Tech Briefs

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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: Information Technology
Entanglement in Self-Supervised Dynamics

A new type of correlation has been developed similar to quantum entanglement in self-supervised dynamics (SSD). SSDs have been introduced as a quantum-classical hybrid based upon the Madelung equation in which the quantum potential is replaced by an information potential. As a result, SSD preserves the...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Reliability of Ceramic Column Grid Array Interconnect Packages Under Extreme Temperatures

A paper describes advanced ceramic column grid array (CCGA) packaging interconnects technology test objects that were subjected to extreme temperature thermal cycles. CCGA interconnect electronic package printed wiring boards (PWBs) of polyimide were...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Six Degrees-of-Freedom Ascent Control for Small-Body Touch and Go

A document discusses a method of controlling touch and go (TAG) of a spacecraft to correct attitude, while ensuring a safe ascent. TAG is a concept whereby a spacecraft is in contact with the surface of a small body, such as a comet or asteroid, for a few seconds or less before...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Optical-Path-Difference Linear Mechanism for the Panchromatic Fourier Transform Spectrometer

A document discusses a mechanism that uses flex-pivots in a parallelogram arrangement to provide frictionless motion with an unlimited lifetime. A voice-coil actuator drives the parallelogram over the required 5-cm travel. An optical position sensor...

Briefs: Medical

Electronic biosensing technology could someday displace the multi-welled microplate, long a standard tool in biomedical research and diagnostic laboratories. Essentially arrays of...

Briefs: Materials

Although the concept of nanotechnology (controlling matter on an atomic scale) dates back to 1959, it is only now becoming more commercially realized. It has the potential to challenge...

Briefs: Medical

The MDMouse system incorporates a pre-existing medical device into a conventional computer control mouse. The tool is designed to measure blood pressure outside of the medical environment, and to provide that...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Engineers have long been aware of the potential of laser sintering to create innovative and beneficial medical products. Because it is an additive (layer-by-layer) manufacturing process,...

Briefs: Medical

A prototype implantable eye pressure monitor for glaucoma patients is believed to contain the first complete millimeter-scale computing system. The pressure monitor is...

Briefs: Medical

A lens that enables microscopic objects to be seen from nine different angles at once to create a 3D image has been developed. Other 3D microscopes use multiple lenses or cameras...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

Custom fiber optic bundle array assemblies developed by the Photonics Group at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center were an enabling technology for both the...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Automated Cryocooler Monitor and Control System

A system was designed to automate cryogenically cooled low-noise amplifier systems used in the NASA Deep Space Network. It automates the entire operation of the system including cool-down, warm-up, and performance monitoring. The system is based on a single-board computer with custom software and...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Multi-Wavelength, Multi-Beam, and Polarization-Sensitive Laser Transmitter for Surface Mapping

A multi-beam, multi-color, polarized laser transmitter has been developed for mapping applications. It uses commercial off-the-shelf components for a low-cost approach for a ruggedized laser suitable for field deployment.

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Optical Communications Link to Airborne Transceiver

An optical link from Earth to an aircraft demonstrates the ability to establish a link from a ground platform to a transceiver moving overhead. An airplane has a challenging disturbance environment including airframe vibrations and occasional abrupt changes in attitude during flight. These...

Briefs: Lighting

Polymer nanofibers are nanoscale materials whose properties can be adjusted to provide desirable light management performance for high-efficiency solid-state lighting (SSL)...

Briefs: Lighting

Early phosphor-converted white light-emitting diodes (LEDs) produced light with poor color characteristics in terms of color rendering index (CRI) and correlated color...

Briefs: Energy
Grid-Tied Photovoltaic Power System

A grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) power system is connected directly to the utility distribution grid. Facility power can be obtained from the utility system as normal. The PV system is synchronized with the utility system to provide power for the facility, and excess power is provided to the utility.

Briefs: Physical Sciences

This miniature or micro-sized semi-conductor sensor design provides direct, nonintrusive measurement of skin friction or wall shear stress in fluid flow situations in a...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Amperometric Solid Electrolyte Oxygen Microsensors With Easy Batch Fabrication

There is a great need for oxygen microsensors for aerospace and commercial applications. Current bulk or thick-film solid electrolyte oxygen sensors have the disadvantages of being large in size, high in power consumption, difficult to batch-fabricate, and high in...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

A compact and portable target assembly (Fig. 1) has been developed to measure the boresite alignment of LRO’s Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument at the spacecraft...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Virtual Sensor Test Instrumentation

Virtual Sensor Test Instrumentation is based on the concept of smart sensor technology for testing with intelligence needed to perform sell-diagnosis of health, and to participate in a hierarchy of health determination at sensor, process, and system levels. A virtual sensor test instrumentation consists of...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs

A proposed integrated circuit would translate (1) a pair of input signals having a low differential potential and a possibly high common-mode potential into (2) a pair of output signals...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Small Microprocessor for ASIC or FPGA Implementation

A small microprocessor, suitable for use in applications in which high reliability is required, was designed to be implemented in either an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) or a field-programmable gate array (FPGA). The design is based on commercial microprocessor architecture,...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Source-Coupled, N-Channel, JFET-Based Digital Logic Gate Structure Using Resistive Level Shifters

A circuit topography is used to create usable, digital logic gates using N (negatively doped) channel junction field effect transistors (JFETs), load resistors, level shifting resistors, and supply rails whose values are based on the DC parametric...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Monitoring Digital Closed-Loop Feedback Systems

A technique of monitoring digital closed-loop feedback systems has been conceived. The basic idea is to obtain information on the performances of closed-loop feedback circuits in such systems to aid in the determination of the functionality and integrity of the circuits and of performance...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Evaluation of the Reflection Coefficient of Microstrip Elements for Reflectarray Antennas

Basis functions were studied and identified that provide efficient and accurate solutions for the induced patch currents and the reflection phase in microstrip reflectarrays. The integral equation of an infinite array of microstrip elements in the form of...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Smaller (volume, mass, power) electronics for a Ka-band (36 GHz) radar interferometer were required. To reduce size and achieve better control over RF-phase versus temperature, fully hybrid electronics...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Radiation-Tolerant, SpaceWire-Compatible Switching Fabric

Current and future near-Earth and deep space exploration programs and space defense programs require the development of robust intra-spacecraft serial data transfer electronics that must be reconfigurable, fault-tolerant, and have the ability to operate effectively for long periods of...

Briefs: Software
MASCOT — MATLAB Stability and Control Toolbox

MASCOT software was created to provide the conceptual aircraft designer accurate predictions of air vehicle stability and control characteristics. The code takes as input mass property data in the form of an inertia tensor, aerodynamic loading data, and propulsion (i.e. thrust) loading data. Using...

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