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
Service Management Database for DSN Equipment

This data- and event-driven persistent storage system leverages the use of commercial software provided by Oracle for portability, ease of maintenance, scalability, and ease of integration with embedded, client-server, and multi-tiered applications. In this role, the Service Management Database...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Chemochromic Hydrogen Leak Detectors

At NASA, hydrogen safety is a key concern for space shuttle processing. Leaks of any level must be quickly recognized and addressed due to hydrogen’s lower explosion limit. Chemochromic devices have been developed to detect hydrogen gas in several embodiments. Because hydrogen is odorless and colorless and...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Compatibility of Segments of Thermoelectric Generators

A method of calculating (usually for the purpose of maximizing) the power-conversion efficiency of a segmented thermoelectric generator is based on equations derived from the fundamental equations of thermoelectricity. Because it is directly traceable to first principles, the method provides...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
JPL Greenland Moulin Exploration Probe

A probe was designed to investigate the moulins (melt water drainage channels on an ice cap) and ice-hydrology interaction in the Greenland Ice Cap. By using commercially available components, the strong and reliable system has been developed that has a high-definition video recording element, is...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Complementary Barrier Infrared Detector

The complementary barrier infrared detector (CBIRD) is designed to eliminate the major dark current sources in the superlattice infrared detector. The concept can also be applied to bulk semiconductor-based infrared detectors. CBIRD uses two different types of specially designed barriers: an electron...

Briefs : Materials
Room-Temperature Ionic Liquids for Electrochemical Capacitors

A document discusses room-temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) used as electrolytes in carbon-nanotube-based, electrochemical, double-layer capacitors. Unlike the previous electrolyte (EtNB4 in acetonitrile), the RTIL used here does not produce cyanide upon thermal decomposition and does...

Briefs : Materials
Ultra-Lightweight Self- Deployable Nanocomposite Structure for Habitat Applications

A document discusses self-deployable, rigidized structures that are ultra-lightweight and have gas barrier properties, space durability, and high impact resistance. Developed here are microcellular-foamed sandwich structures made from nanocomposite shape memory...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
JPL Greenland Moulin Exploration Probe
A probe was designed to investigate the moulins - melt water drainage channels on an ice cap - and ice-hydrology interaction in the Greenland Ice Cap. By using commercially available components, the strong and reliable system has a high-definition video recording element, is lightweight, and has buoyancy that...
Briefs : Energy
Chemochromic Hydrogen Leak Detectors
Because hydrogen is odorless and colorless and poses an explosion hazard, there is an emerging need for sensors to quickly and accurately detect low levels of leaking hydrogen in fuel cells and other advanced energy-generating systems in which hydrogen is used as fuel. Simple, color-changing sensors have been...
Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Complementary Barrier Infrared Detector
The complementary barrier infrared detector (CBIRD) is designed to eliminate the major dark current sources in a superlattice infrared detector. The concept can also be applied to bulk semiconductor-based infrared detectors. These detectors can be used in infrared imaging cameras in manufacturing process...
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Synthetic Foveal Imaging Technology

Synthetic Foveal imaging Technology (SyFT) is an emerging discipline of image capture and image-data processing that offers the prospect of greatly increased capabilities for real-time processing of large, high-resolution images (including mosaic images) for such purposes as automated recognition and tracking...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Improved Starting Materials for Back-Illuminated Imagers

An improved type of starting materials for the fabrication of silicon-based imaging integrated circuits that include back-illuminated photodetectors has been conceived, and a process for making these starting materials is undergoing development. These materials are intended to enable...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Valve-“Health”-Monitoring System

A system that includes sensors and data-acquisition, wireless data- communication, and data-processing subsystems has been developed as a means of both real-time and historical tracking of information indicative of deterioration in the mechanical integrity and performance of a high-geared ball valve or a...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Aerobot Autonomy Architecture

An architecture for autonomous operation of an aerobot (i.e., a robotic blimp) to be used in scientific exploration of planets and moons in the Solar system with an atmosphere (such as Titan and Venus) is undergoing development. This architecture is also applicable to autonomous airships that could be flown in the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Microstrip Antenna for Remote Sensing of Soil Moisture and Sea Surface Salinity

This compact, lightweight, dual- frequency antenna feed developed for future soil moisture and sea surface salinity (SSS) missions can benefit future soil and ocean studies by lowering mass, volume, and cost of the antenna system. It also allows for airborne soil...

Briefs : Information Technology
Wireless Avionics Packet To Support Fault Tolerance for Flight Applications

In this protocol and packet format, data traffic is monitored by all network interfaces to determine the health of transmitter and subsystems. When failures are detected, the network interface applies its recovery policies to provide continued service despite the...

Briefs : Medical
Biomedical Wireless Ambulatory Crew Monitor

A compact, ambulatory biometric data acquisition system has been developed for space and commercial terrestrial use. BioWATCH (Bio medical Wireless and Ambulatory Telemetry for Crew Health) acquires signals from bio-medical sensors using acquisition modules attached to a common data and power bus....

Briefs : Software
Submillimeter Confocal Imaging Active Module

The term “submillimeter confocal imaging active module” (SCIAM) denotes a proposed airborne coherent imaging radar system that would be suitable for use in reconnaissance, surveillance, and navigation. The development of the SCIAM would include utilization and extension of recent achievements in...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Traveling-Wave Maser for 32 GHz

The figure depicts a traveling-wave ruby maser that has been designed (though not yet implemented in hardware) to serve as a low-noise amplifier for reception of weak radio signals in the frequency band of 31.8 to 32.3 GHz. The design offers significant improvements over previous designs of 32-GHz traveling-wave...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
System Synchronizes Recordings From Separated Video Cameras

A system of electronic hardware and software for synchronizing recordings from multiple, physically separated video cameras is being developed, primarily for use in multiple-look- angle video production. The system, the time code used in the system, and the underlying method of...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Piecewise-Planar Parabolic Reflectarray Antenna

The figure shows a dual-beam, dual- polarization Ku-band antenna, the reflector of which comprises an assembly of small reflectarrays arranged in a piecewise-planar approximation of a parabolic reflector surface. The specific antenna design is intended to satisfy requirements for a wide-swath...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Reducing Interference in ATC Voice Communication

Three methods have been proposed to be developed to enable reduction of the types of interference that often occur among voice-communication radio signals involved in air-traffic control (ATC). For historical reasons and for compatibility with some navigation systems, control towers and aircraft...

Briefs : Information Technology
EOS MLS Level 1B Data Processing, Version 2.2

A computer program performs level- 1B processing (the term “1B” is explained below) of data from observations of the limb of the Earth by the Earth Observing System (EOS) Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS), which is an instrument aboard the Aura spacecraft. This software accepts, as input, the raw EOS...

Briefs : Software
Auto-Generated Semantic Processing Services

Auto-Generated Semantic Processing (AGSP) Services is a suite of software tools for automated generation of other computer programs, denoted cross-platform semantic adapters, that support interoperability of computer-based communication systems that utilize a variety of both new and legacy...

Briefs : Software
Geospatial Authentication

A software package that has been designed to allow authentication for determining if the rover(s) is/are within a set of boundaries or a specific area to access critical geospatial information by using GPS signal structures as a means to authenticate mobile devices into a network wirelessly and in real-time has been...

Briefs : Software
Maneuver Automation Software

The Maneuver Automation Software (MAS) automates the process of generating commands for maneuvers to keep the spacecraft of the Cassini-Huygens mission on a predetermined prime mission trajectory. Before MAS became available, a team of approximately 10 members had to work about two weeks to design, test, and...

Briefs : Software
Event Driven Messaging With Role-Based Subscriptions

Event Driven Messaging with Role-Based Subscriptions (EDM-RBS) is a framework integrated into the Service Management Database (SMDB) to allow for role-based and subscription-based delivery of synchronous and asynchronous messages over JMS (Java Messaging Service), SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer...

Briefs : Software
Estimating Relative Positions of Outer-Space Structures

A computer program estimates the relative position and orientation of two structures from measurements, made by use of electronic cameras and laser range finders on one structure, of distances and angular positions of fiducial objects on the other structure. The program was written...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Fabricating PFPE Membranes for Microfluidic Valves and Pumps

A process has been developed for fabricating membranes of a perfluoropolyether (PFPE) and integrating them into valves and pumps in “laboratory-on-a-chip” microfluidic devices. Membranes of poly(tetrafluoroethylene) [PTFE] and poly(dimethylsilane) [PDMS] have been considered for...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Fabricating PFPE Membranes for Capillary Electrophoresis

A process has been developed for fabricating perfluoropolyether (PFPE) membranes that contain microscopic holes of precise sizes at precise locations. The membranes are to be incorporated into “laboratory-on-a-chip” microfluidic devices to be used in performing capillary...