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: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Process To Create High-Fidelity Lunar Dust Simulants

A method was developed to create high-fidelity lunar dust simulants that better match the unique properties of lunar dust than the existing simulants. The new dust simulant is designed to more closely approximate the size, morphology, composition, and other important properties of lunar dust...

Briefs: Materials
Lithium-Ion Electrolytes Containing Phosphorous-Based, Flame-Retardant Additives

Future NASA missions aimed at exploring Mars, the Moon, and the outer planets require rechargeable batteries that can operate over a wide temperature range (–60 to +60 °C) to satisfy the requirements of various applications. In addition, many of these...

Briefs: Materials
Straight-Pore Microfilter With Efficient Regeneration

A novel, high-efficiency gas particulate filter has precise particle size screening, low pressure drop, and a simple and fast regeneration process. The regeneration process, which requires minimal material and energy consumption, can be completely automated, and the filtration performance can...

Briefs: Materials
Determining Shear Stress Distribution in a Laminate

A “simplified shear solution” method approximates the through-thickness shear stress distribution within a composite laminate based on an extension of laminated beam theory. The method does not consider the solution of a particular boundary value problem; rather, it requires only knowledge...

Briefs: Materials
InGaP Heterojunction Barrier Solar Cells

A new solar-cell structure utilizes a single, ultra-wide well of either gallium arsenide (GaAs) or indium-galliumphosphide (InGaP) in the depletion region of a wide bandgap matrix, instead of the usual multiple quantum well layers. These InGaP barrier layers are effective at reducing diode dark current,...

TRACK is a specialized controller for the All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra-Terrestrial Explorer Robot (ATHLETE), which has six limbs with six kinematic degrees of freedom each. TRACK is a...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Self-Adjusting Liquid Injectors for Combustors

A class of self-adjusting injectors for spraying liquid oxidizers and/or fuels into combustion chambers has been proposed. The proposed injectors were originally intended for use in...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Three-Wheel Brush-Wheel Sampler

A new sampler is similar to a common snow blower, but is robust and effective in sample collection. The brush wheels are arranged in a triangle shape, each driven by a brushless DC motor and planetary gearhead...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Handling Qualities Prediction of an F-16XL-Based Reduced Sonic Boom Aircraft

A major goal of the Supersonics Project under NASA’s Fundamental Aeronautics program is sonic boom reduction of supersonic aircraft. An important part of this effort is development and validation of sonic boom prediction tools used in aircraft design. NASA Dryden’s...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Heterodyne Interferometer Angle Metrology

A compact, high-resolution angle measurement instrument has been developed that is based on a heterodyne interferometer. The commonpath heterodyne interferometer metrology is used to measure displacements of a reflective target surface. In the interferometer setup, an optical mask is used to sample the...

Recently, there has been a considerable effort to study the Casimir and van der Waals forces, enabled by the improved ability to measure small...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Aligning Astronomical Telescopes via Identification of Stars

A proposed method of automated, precise alignment of a ground-based astronomical telescope would eliminate the need for initial manual alignment. The method, based on automated identification of known stars and other celestial objects in the telescope field of view, would also...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Generation of Optical Combs in a WGM Resonator From a Bichromatic Pump

Optical combs generated by a monolithic resonator with Kerr-medium can be used in a number of applications, including orbital clocks and frequency standards of extremely high accuracy, such as astronomy, molecular spectroscopy, and the like. The main difficulty of this...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Large-Format AlGaN PIN Photodiode Arrays for UV Images

A large-format hybridized AlGaN photodiode array with an adjustable bandwidth features stray-light control, ultra-low dark-current noise to reduce cooling requirements, and much higher radiation tolerance than previous technologies. This technology reduces the size, mass, power, and cost of...

Briefs: Information Technology
Analysis, Simulation, and Verification of Knowledge-Based, Rule-Based, and Expert Systems

Mathematically sound techniques are used to view a knowledge-based system (KBS) as a set of processes executing in parallel and being enabled in response to specific rules being fired. The set of processes can be manipulated, examined, analyzed, and used in...

Briefs: Information Technology
Core and Off-Core Processes in Systems Engineering

An emerging methodology of organizing systems-engineering plans is based on a concept of core and off-core processes or activities. This concept has emerged as a result of recognition of a risk in the traditional representation of systems-engineering plans by a Vee model alone, according to...

Briefs: Information Technology
Digital Reconstruction Supporting Investigation of Mishaps

In support of investigations of mishaps like the crash of the space shuttle Columbia, a process based on digital reconstruction from recovered components has been developed. The process is expected to reduce the need for physical reconstruction from recovered parts, reduce the time and...

Briefs: Information Technology
Template Matching Approach to Signal Prediction

A new approach to signal prediction and prognostic assessment of spacecraft health resolves an inherent difficulty in fusing sensor data with simulated data. This technique builds upon previous work that demonstrated the importance of physics-based transient models to accurate prediction of signal...

Briefs: Software
Observing System Simulation Experiment (OSSE) for the HyspIRI Spectrometer Mission

The OSSE software provides an integrated end-to-end environment to simulate an Earth observing system by iteratively running a distributed modeling workflow based on the HyspIRI Mission, including atmospheric radiative transfer, surface albedo effects, detection,...

Briefs: Software
Probabilistic Design and Analysis Framework

PRODAF is a software package designed to aid analysts and designers in conducting probabilistic analysis of components and systems. PRODAF can integrate multiple analysis programs to ease the tedious process of conducting a complex analysis process that requires the use of multiple software packages....

Briefs: Software
Excavator Design Validation

The Excavator Design Validation tool verifies excavator designs by automatically generating control systems and modeling their performance in an accurate simulation of their expected environment. Part of this software design includes interfacing with human operations that can be included in simulation-based studies...

Briefs: Software
Momentum Management Tool for Low-Thrust Missions

A momentum management tool was designed for the Dawn low-thrust interplanetary spacecraft en route to the asteroids Vesta and Ceres, in an effort to better understand the early creation of the solar system. Momentum must be managed to ensure the spacecraft has enough control authority to perform...

Briefs: Software
Mixed Real/Virtual Operator Interface for ATHLETE

The mixed real/virtual operator interface for ATHLETE (MSim-ATHLETE) is a new software system for operating manipulation and inspection tasks in JPL’s ATHLETE (All-Terrain Hex-Legged Extra-Terrestrial Explorer). The system presents the operator with a graphical model of the robot and a palette...

Briefs: Software
Antenna Controller Replacement Software

The Antenna Controller Replacement (ACR) software accurately points and monitors the Deep Space Network (DSN) 70-m and 34-m high-efficiency (HEF) ground-based antennas that are used to track primarily spacecraft and, periodically, celestial targets. To track a spacecraft, or other targets, the antenna must...

Briefs: Software
Efficient Parallel Engineering Computing on Linux Workstations

A C software module has been developed that creates lightweight processes (LWPs) dynamically to achieve parallel computing performance in a variety of engineering simulation and analysis applications to support NASA and DoD project tasks. The required interface between the module and...

The FAILSAFE project is developing concepts and prototype implementations for software health management in mission-critical, real-time embedded systems. The project unites features of the...

This software has been designed to detect water bodies that are out in the open on cross-country terrain at mid- to far-range (approximately 20–100 meters), using imagery acquired from a stereo pair...

Briefs: Software
Nonlinear Combustion Instability Prediction

The liquid rocket engine stability prediction software (LCI) predicts combustion stability of systems using LOX-LH2 propellants. Both longitudinal and transverse mode stability characteristics are calculated. This software has the unique feature of being able to predict system limit amplitude.

Briefs: Physical Sciences
JMISR INteractive eXplorer

MISR (Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer) INteractive eXplorer (MINX) is an interactive visualization program that allows a user to digitize smoke, dust, or volcanic plumes in MISR multiangle images, and automatically retrieve height and wind profiles associated with those plumes. This innovation can perform...

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