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.

Projects that utilize large volumes of nonmetallic materials of planetary protection concern pose a challenge to their bioburden budget, as the most...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Demonstration of Minimally Machined Honeycomb Silicon Carbide Mirrors

Honeycomb silicon carbide composite mirrors are made from a carbon fiber preform that is molded into a honeycomb shape using a rigid mold. The carbon fiber honeycomb is densified by using polymer infiltration pyrolysis, or through a reaction with liquid silicon. A chemical...

Briefs: Materials
Nanoengineered Thermal Materials Based on Carbon Nanotube Array Composites

State-of-the-art integrated circuits (ICs) for microprocessors routinely dissipate power densities on the order of 50 W/cm2. This large power is due to the localized heating of ICs operating at high frequencies and must be managed for future highfrequency...

Briefs: Materials
Polyimide Aerogel Thin Films

Polyimide aerogels have been cross-linked through multifunctional amines. This invention builds on “Polyimide Aerogels With Three-Dimensional Cross-Linked Structure,” (LEW-18486-1), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 34, No. 8 (August 2010), page 38, and may be considered as a continuation of that invention, which results in...

Briefs: Materials
Composite Laminate With Coefficient of Thermal Expansion Matching D263 Glass

The International X-ray Observatory project seeks to make an X-ray telescope assembly with 14,000 flexible glass segments. The glass used is commercially available SCHOTT D263 glass. Thermal expansion causes the mirror to distort out of alignment. A housing material is...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Robust Tensioned Kevlar Suspension Design

One common but challenging problem in cryogenic engineering is to produce a mount that has excellent thermal isolation but is also rigid. Such mounts can be achieved by suspending the load from a network of fibers or strings held in tension. Kevlar fibers are often used for this purpose owing to their...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Focal Plane Alignment Utilizing Optical CMM

In many applications, an optical detector has to be located relative to mechanical reference points. One solution is to specify stringent requirements on (1) mounting the optical detector relative...

Briefs: Medical
Purifying, Separating, and Concentrating Cells From a Sample Low in Biomass

Frequently there is an inability to process and analyze samples of low biomass due to limiting amounts of relevant biomaterial in the sample. Furthermore, molecular biological protocols geared towards increasing the density of recovered cells and biomolecules of...

Briefs: Medical
Virtual Ultrasound Guidance for Inexperienced Operators

Medical ultrasound or echocardiographic studies are highly operatordependent and generally require lengthy training and internship to perfect. To obtain quality echocardiographic images in remote environments, such as on-orbit, remote guidance of studies has been employed. This technique...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Method to Remove Particulate Matter From Dusty Gases at Low Pressures

Future human exploration of Mars will rely on local Martian resources to reduce the mass, cost, and risk of space exploration launched from Earth. NASA’s In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) Project seeks to produce mission consumables from local Martian resources, such as...

A new method has been developed for monitoring and control of automated sample processing and preparation especially focusing on desalting of samples before...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
An MSK Radar Waveform

The minimum-shift-keying (MSK) radar waveform is formed by periodically extending a waveform that separately modulates the in-phase and quadraturephase components of the carrier with offset pulse-shaped pseudo noise (PN) sequences. To generate this waveform, a pair of periodic PN sequences is each passed through a...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Telescope Alignment From Sparsely Sampled Wavefront Measurements Over Pupil Subapertures

Alignment of two-element telescopes is a classic problem. During recent integration and test of the Space Interferometry Mission’s (SIM’s) Astrometric Beam Combiner (ABC), the innovators were faced with aligning two such telescope subsystems in the...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Heat Shield Employing Cured Thermal Protection Material Blocks Bonded in a Large-Cell Honeycomb Matrix

A document describes a new way to integrate thermal protection materials on external surfaces of vehicles that experience the severe heating environments of atmospheric entry from space. Cured blocks of thermal protection materials are bonded...

Briefs: Materials
Asymmetric Supercapacitor for Long-Duration Power Storage

A document discusses a project in which a series of novel hybrid positive electrode materials was developed and tested in asymmetric capacitors with carbon negative electrodes. The electrochemical performance of the hybrid capacitors was characterized by cyclic voltammetry and a DC...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Airborne Hyperspectral Imaging System

A document discusses a hyperspectral imaging instrument package designed to be carried aboard a helicopter. It was developed to map the depths of Greenland’s supraglacial lakes. The instrument is capable of telescoping to twice its original length, allowing it to be retracted with the door closed during...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
885-nm Pumped Ceramic Nd:YAG Master Oscillator Power Amplifier Laser System

The performance of a traditional diode pumped solid-state laser that is typically pumped with 808-nm laser diode array (LDA) and crystalline Nd:YAG was improved by using 885-nm LDAs and ceramic Nd:YAG. The advantage is lower quantum defect, which will improve the thermal...

Quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) are unipolar semiconductor lasers, where the wavelength of emitted radiation is determined by the engineering of quantum states within the...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Measurement Via Optical Near-Nulling and Subaperture Stitching

A subaperture stitching interferometer system provides near-nulling of a subaperture wavefront reflected from an object of interest over a portion of a surface of the object. A variable optical element located in the radiation path adjustably provides near-nulling to facilitate...

Briefs: Lighting
New Technique Allows Simulation of Noncrystalline Materials

A multidisciplinary team of researchers at MIT and in Spain has found a new mathematical approach to simulating the electronic behavior of noncrystalline materials, which may eventually play an important part in new devices including solar cells, organic LED lights, and printable,...

A team of nanomaterials researchers at Sandia National Laboratories has developed a new technique that could make radiation detection in cargo and baggage more effective and less costly...

The gallium nitride nanowires grown by PML scientists may only be a few tenths of a micrometer in diameter, but they promise a very wide range of applications, from new light-emitting diodes and diode lasers...

Briefs: Software
iGlobe Interactive Visualization and Analysis of Spatial Data

iGlobe is open-source software built on NASA World Wind virtual globe technology. iGlobe provides a growing set of tools for weather science, climate research, and agricultural analysis. Up until now, these types of sophisticated tools have been developed in isolation by national...

With present concern for ecological sustainability ever increasing, it is desirable to model the composition of Earth’s upper atmosphere accurately with regards to certain helpful...

Briefs: Software
Small Aircraft Data Distribution System

The CARVE Small Aircraft Data Distribution System acquires the aircraft location and attitude data that is required by the various programs running on a distributed network. This system distributes the data it acquires to the data acquisition programs for inclusion in their data files.

Briefs: Software
Earth Science Datacasting v2.0

The Datacasting software, which consists of a server and a client, has been developed as part of the Earth Science (ES) Datacasting project. The goal of ES Datacasting is to provide scientists the ability to automatically and continuously download Earth science data that meets a precise, predefined need, and then...

Briefs: Information Technology
Algorithm for Compressing Time-Series Data

An algorithm based on Chebyshev polynomials effects lossy compression of time-series data or other one-dimensional data streams (e.g., spectral data) that are arranged in blocks for sequential...

Briefs: Information Technology
Onboard Science and Applications Algorithm for Hyperspectral Data Reduction

An onboard processing mission concept is under development for a possible Direct Broadcast capability for the HyspIRI mission, a Hyperspectral remote sensing mission under consideration for launch in the next decade. The concept would intelligently spectrally and...

Briefs: Software
Security Data Warehouse Application

The Security Data Warehouse (SDW) is used to aggregate and correlate all JSC IT security data. This includes IT asset inventory such as operating systems and patch levels, users, user logins, remote access dial-in and VPN, and vulnerability tracking and reporting. The correlation of this data allows for an...

Videos