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 : Imaging
Isolation of Resistance-Bearing Microorganisms

Strategies were explored for inactivating resistance-bearing microorganisms, focusing on a new species (Bacillus horneckii sp. nov.) discovered on the surfaces of the Kennedy Space Center cleanroom facility in which the Phoenix lander was assembled. Two strains that belong to this novel species were...

Briefs : Medical
Growing B Lymphocytes in a Three-Dimensional Culture System

A three-dimensional (3D) culture system for growing long-lived B lymphocytes has been invented. The capabilities afforded by the system can be expected to expand the range of options for immunological research and related activities, including testing of immunogenicity of vaccine...

Briefs : Materials
Liquid Cooling/Warming Garment

The NASA liquid cooling/ventilating garment (LCVG) currently in use was developed over 40 years ago. With the commencement of a greater number of extra-vehicular activity (EVA) procedures with the construction of the International Space Station, problems of astronaut comfort, as well as the reduction of the...

Briefs : Medical
Tissuelike 3D Assemblies of Human Broncho-Epithelial Cells

Three-dimensional (3D) tissuelike assemblies (TLAs) of human bronchoepithelial (HBE) cells have been developed for use in in vitro research on infection of humans by respiratory viruses. The 2D monolayer HBE cell cultures heretofore used in such research lack the complex cell structures...

Briefs : Medical
Oscillating Cell Culture Bioreactor

To better exploit the principles of gas transport and mass transport during the processes of cell seeding of 3D scaffolds and in vitro culture of 3D tissue engineered constructs, the oscillatory cell culture bioreactor provides a flow of cell suspensions and culture media directly through a porous 3D scaffold...

Briefs : Medical
Dual Optics/Ultrasound Imaging and Contrast Media for the Detection and Characterization of Prostate Cancer

Detection of prostate cancer has frequently been plagued with inadequate sensitivity and specificity. Hypoxia is the hallmark of malignancy because aggressive cancers outgrow their blood supply. Optical imaging is emerging as a physiologic...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Photochemical Tissue Bonding for Military Medical Applications

Joining severed vessels is a recurring problem in trauma and surgery. The basic technology of joining vessels using sutures has been available for centuries, but remains a slow and tedious process. A complete system for micro-anastomosis of vessels was developed that involves a laser...

Briefs : Medical
Magnetic Nanoparticles and Devices for Biomedical Uses

A program comprising several collaborative research efforts has been dedicated to advancing the art of utilization of magnetic nanoparticles for biomedical purposes. The research has been performed by three teams, each focusing on different aspects of the art:

Briefs : Medical
Endotracheal Intubation Device with Built-in Stylet and Colormetric Indicator

An endotracheal intubation device is utilized by doctors and paramedics to mechanically create an airway and to ventilate an injured person. The most common ventilating practice in the paramedic industry today requires assembly of a three-piece system at the time when...

Briefs : Information Technology
Software Tool Integrating Data Flow Diagrams and Petri Nets

Data Flow Diagram – Petri Net (DFPN) is a software tool for analyzing other software to be developed. The full name of this program reflects its design, which combines the benefit of data-flow diagrams (which are typically favored by software analysts) with the power and precision of...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Adaptive Nulling for Interferometric Detection of Planets

An adaptive-nulling method has been proposed to augment the nulling-optical-interferometry method of detection of Earth-like planets around distant stars. The method is intended to reduce the cost of building and aligning the highly precise optical components and assemblies needed for...

Briefs : Information Technology
Reducing the Volume of NASA Earth-Science Data

A computer program reduces data generated by NASA Earth-science missions into representative clusters characterized by centroids and membership information, thereby reducing the large volume of data to a level more amenable to analysis. The program effects an autonomous data-reduction/clustering...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Reception of Multiple Telemetry Signals via One Dish Antenna

A microwave aeronautical-telemetry receiver system includes an antenna comprising a seven-element planar array of receiving feed horns centered at the focal point of a paraboloidal dish reflector that is nominally aimed at a single aircraft or at multiple aircraft flying in formation....

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Space-Qualified Traveling-Wave Tube

The L-3 Communications Electron Technologies, Inc. Model 999HA traveling-wave tube (TWT), was developed for use as a high-power microwave amplifier for high-rate transmission of data and video signals from deep space to Earth (see figure). The 999HA is a successor to the 999H — a non-space-qualified TWT...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Smart Power Supply for Battery-Powered Systems

A power supply for battery-powered systems has been designed with an embedded controller that is capable of monitoring and maintaining batteries, charging hardware, while maintaining output power. The power supply is primarily designed for rovers and other remote science and engineering vehicles,...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Parallel Processing of Broad-Band PPM Signals

A parallel-processing algorithm and a hardware architecture to implement the algorithm have been devised for timeslot synchronization in the reception of pulse-position-modulated (PPM) optical or radio signals. As in the cases of some prior algorithms and architectures for parallel, discrete-time,...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Inexpensive Implementation of Many Strain Gauges

It has been proposed to develop arrays of strain gauges as arrays of ordinary metal film resistors and associated electronic readout circuitry on printed-circuit boards or other suitable substrates. This proposal is a by-product of a development of instrumentation utilizing metal film resistors on...

Briefs : Software
Processing AIRS Scientific Data Through Level 3

The Atmospheric Infra-Red Sounder (AIRS) Science Processing System (SPS) is a collection of computer programs, known as product generation executives (PGEs). The AIRS SPS PGEs are used for processing measurements received from the AIRS suite of infrared and microwave instruments orbiting the Earth...

Briefs : Software
Web-Based Requesting and Scheduling Use of Facilities

Automated User’s Training Operations Facility Utilization Request (AutoFUR) is prototype software that administers a Web-based system for requesting and allocating facilities and equipment for astronaut-training classes in conjunction with scheduling the classes. AutoFUR also has potential...

Briefs : Information Technology
AutoGen Version 5.0

Version 5.0 of the AutoGen software has been released. Previous versions, variously denoted “Autogen” and “autogen,” were reported in two articles: “Automated Sequence Generation Process and Software” (NPO-30746), Software Tech Briefs (Special Supplement to NASA Tech Briefs), September 2007, page 30, and...

Briefs : Information Technology
Time-Tag Generation Script

Time-Tag Generation Script (TTaGS) is an application program, written in the AWK scripting language, for generating commands for aiming one Ku-band antenna and two S-band antennas for communicating with spacecraft. TTaGS saves between 2 and 4 person-hours per every 24 hours by automating the repetitious process of...

Briefs : Information Technology
Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer Product File Readers

TES Product File Reader software extracts data from publicly available Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) HDF (Hierarchical Data Format) product data files using publicly available format specifications for scientific analysis in IDL (interactive data language). In this innovation,...

Briefs : Information Technology
Reporting Differences Between Spacecraft Sequence Files

A suite of computer programs, called “seq diff suite,” reports differences between the products of other computer programs involved in the generation of sequences of commands for spacecraft. These products consist of files of several types: replacement sequence of events (RSOE), DSN...

Briefs : Software
Coordinating “Execute” Data for ISS and Space Shuttle

The Joint Execute Package Development and Integration tool is a Web utility program that provides an integrated capability to generate and manage messages and “execute” package data for members of a space shuttle and the International Space Station (ISS). (An “execute” package...

Briefs : Materials
Database for Safety-Oriented Tracking of Chemicals

SafetyChem is a computer program that maintains a relational database for tracking chemicals and associated hazards at Johnson Space Center (JSC) by use of a Web-based graphical user interface. The SafetyChem database is accessible to authorized users via a JSC intranet. All new chemicals pass...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Inflatable Tubular Structures Rigidized With Foams

Inflatable tubular structures that have annular cross sections rigidized with foams, and the means of erecting such structures in the field, are undergoing development. Although the development effort has focused on lightweight structural booms to be transported in compact form and deployed in...

Briefs : Materials
Optimized Li-Ion Electrolytes Containing Fluorinated Ester Co-Solvents

A number of experimental lithium-ion cells, consisting of MCMB (meso-carbon microbeads) carbon anodes and LiNi0.8Co0.2O2 cathodes, have been fabricated with increased safety and expanded capability. These cells serve to verify and demonstrate...

Briefs : Materials
Probabilistic Multi-Factor Interaction Model for Complex Material Behavior

Complex material behavior is represented by a single equation of product form to account for interaction among the various factors. The factors are selected by the physics of the problem and the environment that the model is to represent. For example, different factors...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Foldable Instrumented Bits for Ultrasonic/Sonic Penetrators

Long tool bits are undergoing development that can be stowed compactly until used as rock- or ground-penetrating probes actuated by ultrasonic/sonic mechanisms. These bits are designed to be folded or rolled into compact form for transport to exploration sites, where they are to be...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Compact Rare Earth Emitter Hollow Cathode

A compact, high-current, hollow cathode utilizing a lanthanum hexaboride (LaB6) thermionic electron emitter has been developed for use with high-power Hall thrusters and ion thrusters. LaB6cathodes are being investigated due to their long life, high current capabilities, and less...