Tech Briefs

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 : Software
Mission Operations and Navigation Toolkit Environment

MONTE (Mission Operations and Navigation Toolkit Environment) Release 7.3 is an extensible software system designed to support trajectory and navigation analysis/design for space missions. MONTE is intended to replace the current navigation and trajectory analysis software systems, which, at...

Briefs : Software
Extensible Infrastructure for Browsing and Searching Abstracted Spacecraft Data

A computer program has been developed to provide a common interface for all space mission data, and allows different types of data to be displayed in the same context. This software provides an infrastructure for representing any type of mission data. Existing...

Briefs : Software
Lossless Compression of Data Into Fixed-Length Packets

A computer program effects lossless compression of data samples from a one-dimensional source into fixed-length data packets. The software makes use of adaptive prediction: it exploits the data structure in such a way as to increase the efficiency of compression beyond that otherwise...

Briefs : Software
Video-Game-Like Engine for Depicting Spacecraft Trajectories

GoView is a video-game-like software engine, written in the C and C++ computing languages, that enables real-time, three-dimensional (3D)-appearing visual representation of spacecraft and trajectories (1) from any perspective; (2) at any spatial scale from spacecraft to Solar-system...

Briefs : Software
Analog Input Data Acquisition Software

DAQ Master Software allows users to easily set up a system to monitor up to five analog input channels and save the data after acquisition.

This program was written in LabVIEW 8.0, and requires the LabVIEW runtime engine 8.0 (free download from National Instruments; ni.com) to run the executable. A DAQ...

Briefs : Software
MSLICE Science Activity Planner for the Mars Science Laboratory Mission

MSLICE (Mars Science Laboratory InterfaCE) is the tool used by scientists and engineers on the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission to visualize the data returned by the rover and collaboratively plan its activities. It enables users to efficiently and effectively search...

Briefs : Software
Alert Notification System Router

The Alert Notification System Router (ANSR) software provides satellite operators with notifications of key events through pagers, cell phones, and e-mail. Written in Java, this application is specifically designed to meet the mission-critical standards for mission operations while operating on a variety of...

Briefs : Software
MAGIC: Model and Graphic Information Converter

MAGIC is a software tool capable of converting highly detailed 3D models from an open, standard format, VRML 2.0/97, into the proprietary DTS file format used by the Torque Game Engine from GarageGames. MAGIC is used to convert 3D simulations from authoritative sources into the data needed to run...

Briefs : Software
Lossless Compression of Classification-Map Data

A lossless image-data-compression algorithm intended specifically for application to classification-map data is based on prediction, context modeling, and entropy coding. The algorithm was formulated, in consideration of the differences between classification maps and ordinary images of natural...

Briefs : Software
Policy-Based Management Natural Language Parser

The Policy-Based Management Natural Language Parser (PBEM) is a rules-based approach to enterprise management that can be used to automate certain management tasks. This parser simplifies the management of a given endeavor by establishing policies to deal with situations that are likely to occur....

Briefs : Software
Framework for ReSTful Web Services in OSGi

Ensemble ReST is a software system that eases the development, deployment, and maintenance of server-side application programs to perform functions that would otherwise be performed by client software. Ensemble ReST takes advantage of the proven disciplines of ReST (Representational State Transfer — a...

Briefs : Software
Data Management Applications for the Service Preparation Subsystem

These software applications provide intuitive User Interfaces (UIs) with a consistent look and feel for interaction with, and control of, the Service Preparation Subsystem (SPS). The elements of the UIs described here are the File Manager, Mission Manager, and Log Monitor...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Using Volcanic Ash To Remove Dissolved Uranium and Lead
By exposing an aqueous solution to a treatment medium that includes weathered volcanic ash from Pu’u Nene - a cinder cone on the Island of Hawaii - uranium, lead, and possibly other toxic or radioactive substances can be removed.
Briefs : Energy
High-Efficiency Artificial Photosynthesis Using a Novel Alkaline Membrane Cell
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has introduced a new cell designed to mimic the photosynthetic processes of plants in order to convert carbon dioxide into carbonaceous products and oxygen at high efficiency.
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Computer-Assisted Laser Treatment Using Real-Time Retinal Tracking

Diabetic retinopathy resulting from long-term diabetes mellitus is one of the common diseases that leads to choroidal neovascularization (CNV), a leading cause of blindness. Among the currently available treatment methods, a laser can be used to photocoagulate the diseased areas....

Briefs : Medical
Medical Information Network Decision Support System

In order to facilitate a more rapid and systematic transfer of new medical knowledge and capabilities into mainstream clinical practice, a new Medical Information Network Decision Support (MINDS) system was developed. This system is intended to be a platform for storing and fusing medical data...

Briefs : Medical
Quantifying Therapeutic and Diagnostic Efficacy in 2D Microvascular Images

VESGEN is a newly automated, user- interactive program that maps and quantifies the effects of vascular therapeutics and regulators on microvascular form and function. VESGEN analyzes two- dimensional, black and white vascular images by measuring important vessel...

Briefs : Medical
Micro-Organ Devices

Micro-organ devices (MODs) are being developed to satisfy an emerging need for small, lightweight, reproducible, biological-experimentation apparatuses that are amenable to automated operation and that impose minimal demands for resources (principally, power and fluids). MODs are intended to overcome major disadvantages of...

Briefs : Medical
Mulifunctional Electrosurgical Instrument

The Multifunctional Electrosurgic Instrument (LESDIC) is an electrocauterizing surgical device that is comprised of a serrated chisel tip for sharp, blunt, or cutting dissection. It is also equipped with suctioning, irrigation, and coagulation features. The suction can be controlled at variable speeds...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Sensory Feedback System for Prosthetic Hand Using Interferential Current

A new type of sensory feedback system for a myoelectrically controlled biomimetic prosthetic hand was developed. One of the characteristic features of the human neuromuscular control system is the increase in the compliance around a joint with decreasing activity of a...

Briefs : Medical
Remote Diagnostic Technology for Hearing Assessment

Individuals with hearing loss need to have ready access to hearing screenings, assessments, treatment, and consultation. This diagnostic technology facilitates early detection and intervention of hearing loss. It allows for improved monitoring and expands service scope, reach, and access. By...

Briefs : Medical
Three-Dimensional Near-Infrared Imaging of Pathophysiological Changes Within the Breast

This project aims to improve the estimation of functional properties of breast tissue in near infrared (NIR) imaging. This imaging technique (also known as diffuse optical tomography (DOT)) is noninvasive and non-ionizing, and can be routinely used to...

Briefs : Medical
Software Corrects for Inhomogeneities in Digital Radiographic Images

When radiographic images are recorded, they are subject to inhomogeneities due to the construction of the radiation source and to the properties of the detection medium (detector or screen). As a result, erroneous results may appear when the digital images are processed to...

Briefs : Medical
Nano-Pervaporation Membrane With Heat Exchanger Generates Medical-Grade Water

A nanoporous membrane is used for the pervaporation process in which potable water is maintained, at atmospheric pressure, on the feed side of the membrane. The water enters the non- pervaporation (NPV) membrane device where it is separated into two streams —...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Wireless Brain Implant Using a Telemetric Electrode Array System

The ability to monitor the activities of ensembles of single neurons is critically important in understanding the principles of information processing in the brain that...

Briefs : Medical
Digital Wound Measurement and Tracking System

Historically, the subjective nature of wound treatment has lead to many trial-and-error therapies to match wounds with the right treatment. The WoundMatrix™ digital wound measurement and tracking system provides an objective and qualitative tool and method to track, document, and measure the...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Collecting Ground Samples for Balloon-Borne Instruments

A proposed system in a gondola containing scientific instruments suspended by a balloon over the surface of the Saturn moon Titan would quickly acquire samples of rock or ice from the ground below. Prototypes of a sample-collecting device that would be a major part of the system have been...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Tethered Pyrotechnic Apparatus for Acquiring a Ground Sample

A proposed alternative design for the balloon- borne ground-sampling system described in the immediately preceding article would not rely on free fall to drive a harpoonlike sample-collecting device into the ground. Instead, the harpoon-like sample-collecting device would be a...

Briefs : Information Technology
Aligning a Receiving Antenna Array To Reduce Interference

A digital signal-processing algorithm has been devised as a means of aligning (as defined below) the outputs of multiple receiving radio antennas in a large array for the purpose of receiving a desired weak signal transmitted by a single distant source in the presence of an interfering...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Enhanced Video-Oculography System

A previously developed video-oculography system has been enhanced for use in measuring vestibulo-ocular reflexes of a human subject in a centrifuge, motor vehicle, or other setting. The system as previously developed included a lightweight digital video camera mounted on goggles. The left eye was illuminated by...