A comprehensive library of technical briefs from engineering experts at NASA and major government, university, and commercial laboratories covering all aspects of innovations in electronics, software, photonics, imaging, motion control, automation, sensors, test, materials, manufacturing, mechanical, and mechatronics.

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Multi-Pass Quadrupole Mass Analyzer

Analysis of the composition of planetary atmospheres is one of the most important and fundamental measurements in planetary robotic exploration. Quadrupole mass analyzers (QMAs) are the primary tool used to execute these investigations, but reductions in size of these instruments has sacrificed mass resolving...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Lunar Sulfur Capture System

The Lunar Sulfur Capture System (LSCS) protects in situ resource utilization (ISRU) hardware from corrosion, and reduces contaminant levels in water condensed for electrolysis. The LSCS uses a lunar soil sorbent to trap over 98 percent of sulfur gases and about twothirds of halide gases evolved during hydrogen...

The purpose of this development was to validate the use of the external Rover Ultra High Frequency (RUHF) antenna for space under extreme thermal environments to be...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Planar Superconducting Millimeter-Wave/Terahertz Channelizing Filter

This innovation is a compact, superconducting, channelizing bandpass filter on a single-crystal (0.45 μm thick) silicon substrate, which operates from 300 to 600 GHz. This device consists of four channels with center frequencies of 310, 380, 460, and 550 GHz, with...

Briefs: Software
Ensemble Eclipse: A Process for Prefab Development Environment for the Ensemble Project

This software simplifies the process of having to set up an Eclipse IDE programming environment for the members of the cross-NASA center project, Ensemble. It achieves this by assembling all the necessary add-ons and custom tools/preferences.

Briefs: Software
Space Operations Learning Center (SOLC) iPhone/iPad Application

This iPhone application, Space Junk Sammy, is intended to be an educational application designed for Apple iPhones and iPads. This new concept educates kids in an innovative way about how orbital debris affects space missions.

Briefs: Software
ISS Live!

International Space Station Live! (ISSLive!) is a Web application that uses a proprietary commercial technology called Lightstreamer to push data across the Internet using the standard http port (port 80). ISSLive! uses the push technology to display real-time telemetry and mission timeline data from the space station in any common Web...

Briefs: Software
Software to Compare NPP HDF5 Data Files

This software was developed for the NPOESS (National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System) Preparatory Project (NPP) Science Data Segment. The purpose of this software is to compare HDF5 (Hierarchical Data Format) files specific to NPP and report whether the HDF5 files are identical....

Scientists have deemed the fuel cell as one of the most promising power sources that can replace the use of fossil fuels as well as satisfy global expectations. The...

Briefs: Information Technology
Semi-Supervised Eigenbasis Novelty Detection

Recent discoveries in high-time-resolution radio astronomy data have focused attention on a new class of events. Fast transients are rare pulses of radio frequency energy lasting from microseconds to seconds that might be produced by a variety of exotic astrophysical phenomena. For example, X-ray...

Briefs: Information Technology
Translating MAPGEN to ASPEN for MER

This software translates MAPGEN(Europa and APGEN) domains to ASPEN, and the resulting domain can be used to perform planning for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER). In other words, this is a conversion of two distinct planning languages (both declarative and procedural) to a third (declarative) planning language...

Briefs: Imaging
Planetary Data Systems (PDS) Imaging Node Atlas II

The Planetary Image Atlas (PIA) is a Rich Internet Application (RIA) that serves planetary imaging data to the science community and the general public. PIA also utilizes the USGS Unified Planetary Coordinate system (UPC) and the on-Mars map server.

Briefs: Imaging
Automatic Calibration of an Airborne Imaging System to an Inertial Navigation Unit

This software automatically calibrates a camera or an imaging array to an inertial navigation system (INS) that is rigidly mounted to the array or imager. In effect, it recovers the coordinate frame transformation between the reference frame of the imager and the...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Support Routines for In Situ Image Processing

This software consists of a set of application programs that support ground-based image processing for in situ missions. These programs represent a collection of utility routines that perform miscellaneous functions in the context of the ground data system. Each one fulfills some specific need as...

Briefs: Software
Test Waveform Applications for JPL STRS Operating Environment

This software demonstrates use of the JPL Space Telecommunications Radio System (STRS) Operating Environment (OE), tests APIs (application programming interfaces) presented by JPL STRS OE, and allows for basic testing of the underlying hardware platform. This software uses the JPL...

Briefs: Medical
Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Signals Measure Neuronal Activity in the Cortex

Functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is an emerging optical neuroimaging technology that indirectly measures neuronal activity in the cortex via neurovascular coupling. It quantifies hemoglobin concentration ([Hb]) and thus measures the same...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
ESD Test Apparatus for Soldering Irons

ESDA (Electrostatic Discharge Association) ESD STM 13.1-2000 requires frequent testing of the voltage leakage from the tip of a soldering iron and the resistance from the tip of the soldering iron to the common point ground. Without this test apparatus, the process is time-consuming and requires several...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Pneumatic Proboscis Heat-Flow Probe

Heat flow is a fundamental property of a planet, and provides significant constraints on the abundance of radiogenic isotopes, the thermal evolution and differentiation history, and the mechanical...

Briefs: Information Technology
Sequential Probability Ratio Test for Spacecraft Collision Avoidance Maneuver Decisions

A document discusses sequential probability ratio tests that explicitly allow decision-makers to incorporate false alarm and missed detection risks, and are potentially less sensitive to modeling errors than a procedure that relies solely on a probability of...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
FPGA-Based X-Ray Detection and Measurement for an X-Ray Polarimeter

This technology enables detection and measurement of x-rays in an x-ray polarimeter using a field-programmable gate array (FPGA). The technology was developed for the Gravitational and Extreme Magnetism Small Explorer (GEMS) mission. It performs precision energy and timing...

Briefs: Information Technology
Cursor Control Device Test Battery

The test battery was developed to provide a standard procedure for cursor control device evaluation. The software was built in Visual Basic and consists of nine tasks and a main menu that integrates the set-up of the tasks. The tasks can be used individually, or in a series defined in the main menu.

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Method to Measure Total Noise Temperature of a Wireless Receiver During Operation

A method has been developed to measure the total effective noise power in a GPS receiver, including contributions from the system temperature, the antenna temperature, interference, lossy components, etc. A known level of noise is periodically injected before the...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Advanced Materials and Fabrication Techniques for the Orion Attitude Control Motor

Rhenium, with its high melting temperature, excellent elevated temperature properties, and lack of a ductile-to-brittle transition temperature (DBTT), is ideally suited for the hot gas components of the ACM (Attitude Control Motor), and other hightemperature...

A proof-of-concept device is being developed (see figure) for hydrogen gas production based on water-splitting redox reactions facilitated by cobalt tetra-aryl porphyrins (Co[TArP])...

This packaging design approach can help heritage hardware meet a flight project’s stringent EMC radiated emissions requirement. The approach re quires only...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
An Offload NIC for NASA, NLR, and Grid Computing

This work addresses distributed data management and access — dynamically configurable high-speed access to data distributed and shared over wide-area high-speed network environments. An offload engine NIC (network interface card) is proposed that scales at n×10- Gbps increments through 100-Gbps...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
RF Reference Switch for Spaceflight Radiometer Calibration

The goal of this technology is to provide improved calibration and measurement sensitivity to the Soil Moisture Active Passive Mission (SMAP) radiometer. While RF switches have been used in the past to calibrate microwave radiometers, the switch used on SMAP employs several techniques...

Briefs: Materials
Self-Healing Nanocomposites for Reusable Composite Cryotanks

Composite cryotanks, or composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs), offer advantages over currently used aluminum- lithium cryotanks, particularly with respect to weight savings. Future NASA missions are expected to use COPVs in spaceflight propellant tanks to store fuels,...

Briefs: Materials
Ceramic Adhesive and Methods for On-Orbit Repair of Re-Entry Vehicles

This adhesive is capable of repairing damaged leading edge components of re-entry vehicles while in space, and is novel with regard to its ability to be applied in the vacuum of space, and in a microgravity environment. Once applied, the adhesive provides thermal and oxidation...

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