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
Schema for Spacecraft-Command Dictionary

An Extensible Markup Language (XML) schema was developed as a means of defining and describing a structure for capturing spacecraft command-definition and tracking information in a single location in a form readable by both engineers and software used to generate software for flight and ground systems. A...

Briefs : Information Technology
Self-Adjusting Hash Tables for Embedded Flight Applications

A common practice in computer science to associate a value with a key is to use a class of algorithms called a hash-table. These algorithms enable rapid storage and retrieval of values based upon a key. This approach assumes that many keys will need to be stored immediately. A new set...

Briefs : Information Technology
Efficient Algorithm for Rectangular Spiral Search

An algorithm generates grid coordinates for a computationally efficient spiral search pattern covering an uncertain rectangular area spanned by a coordinate grid. The algorithm does not require that the grid be fixed; the algorithm can search indefinitely, expanding the grid and spiral, as...

Briefs : Information Technology
Algorithm-Based Fault Tolerance Integrated With Replication

In a proposed approach to programming and utilization of commercial off-the-shelf computing equipment, a combination of algorithm-based fault tolerance (ABFT) and replication would be utilized to obtain high degrees of fault tolerance without incurring excessive costs. The basic idea of...

Briefs : Information Technology
Targeting and Localization for Mars Rover Operations

A design and a partially developed application framework were presented for improving localization and targeting for surface spacecraft. The program has value for the Mars Science Laboratory mission, and has been delivered to support the Mars Exploration Rovers as part of the latest version of...

Briefs : Information Technology
Terrain-Adaptive Navigation Architecture

A navigation system designed for a Mars rover has been designed to deal with rough terrain and/or potential slip when evaluating and executing paths. The system also can be used for any off-road, autonomous vehicles. The system uses more sophisticated terrain analysis, but also converges to computational...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Combined GMSK Communications and PN Ranging

A document discusses a method by which GMSK (Gaussian minimum shift keying) modulation and a pseudonoise (PN) ranging signal may be combined. By isolating the in-phase and quadrature components after carrier lock, and extracting their low-pass and band-pass filtered components, there is enough...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Network-Attached Solid-State Recorder Architecture

A document discusses placing memory modules on the high-speed serial interconnect, which is used by a spacecraft’s computer elements for inter-processor communications, to allow all multiple computer system architectures to access the spacecraft data storage at the same time. Each memory board...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
System-Level Integration of Mass Memory

A report discusses integrating multiple memory modules on the high-speed serial interconnect (IEEE 1393) that is used by a spacecraft’s inter-module communications in order to ease data congestion and provide for a scalable, strong, flexible system that can meet new system-level mass memory...

Briefs : Information Technology
An Efficient Reachability Analysis Algorithm

A document discusses a new algorithm for generating higher-order dependencies for diagnostic and sensor placement analysis when a system is described with a causal modeling framework. This innovation will be used in diagnostic and sensor optimization and analysis tools. Fault detection, diagnosis, and...

Briefs : Materials
Method of Cross-Linking Aerogels Using a One-Pot Reaction Scheme

A document discusses a new, simplified method for cross-linking silica and other oxide aerogels, with a polymeric material to increase strength of such materials without adversely affecting porosity or low density. The usual process is long and arduous, requiring multiple washing...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Phase Matching of Diverse Modes in a WGM Resonator

Phase matching of diverse electromagnetic modes (specifically, coexisting optical and microwave modes) in a whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) resonator has been predicted theoretically and verified experimentally. Such phase matching is necessary for storage of microwave/terahertz and optical...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Microwave-to-Optical Conversion in WGM Resonators

Microwave-to-optical frequency converters based on whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) resonators have been proposed as mixers for the input ends of microwave receivers in which, downstream of the input ends, signals would be processed photonically. A frequency converter as proposed (see figure) would...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Wide-Band Microwave Receivers Using Photonic Processing

In wide-band microwave receivers of a type now undergoing development, the incoming microwave signals are electronically preamplified, then frequency-up-converted to optical signals that are processed photonically before being detected. This approach differs from the traditional approach,...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
WGM Resonators for Terahertz-to-Optical Frequency Conversion

Progress has been made toward solving some practical problems in the implementation of terahertz-to-optical frequency converters utilizing whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) resonators. Such frequency converters are expected to be essential parts of non-cryogenic terahertz-radiation...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Temperature Sensors Based on WGM Optical Resonators

A proposed technique for measuring temperature would exploit differences between the temperature dependences of the frequencies of two different electromagnetic modes of a whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) optical resonator. An apparatus based on this technique was originally intended to be part of...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Four-Pass Coupler for Laser-Diode-Pumped Solid-State Laser

A four-pass optical coupler affords increased (in comparison with related prior two-pass optical couplers) utilization of light generated by a laser diode in side pumping of a solid-state laser slab. The original application for which this coupler was conceived involves a neodymium-...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Varying the Divergence of Multiple Parallel Laser Beams

A provision for controlled variation of the divergence of a laser beam or of multiple parallel laser beams has been incorporated into the design of a conceptual free-space optical-communication station from which the transmitted laser beam(s) would be launched via a telescope. The original...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Low-Resolution Raman-Spectroscopy Combustion Thermometry

A method of optical thermometry, now undergoing development, involves low-resolution measurement of the spectrum of spontaneous Raman scattering (SRS) from N2 and O2 molecules. The method is especially suitable for measuring temperatures in high-pressure combustion...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Phase Matching of Diverse Modes in a WGM Resonator

Phase matching of diverse electromagnetic modes (specifically, coexisting optical and microwave modes) in a whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) resonator has been predicted theoretically and verified experimentally. Such phase matching is necessary for storage of microwave/terahertz and optical...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Microwave-to-Optical Conversion in WGM Resonators

Microwave-to-optical frequency converters based on whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) resonators have been proposed as mixers for the input ends of microwave receivers in which, downstream of the input ends, signals would be processed photonically. A frequency converter as proposed (see figure) would...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Wide-Band Microwave Receivers Using Photonic Processing

In wide-band microwave receivers of a type now undergoing development, the incoming microwave signals are electronically preamplified, then frequency-up-converted to optical signals that are processed photonically before being detected. This approach differs from the traditional approach,...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
WGM Resonators for Terahertz-to-Optical Frequency Conversion

Progress has been made toward solving some practical problems in the implementation of terahertz-to-optical frequency converters utilizing whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) resonators. Such frequency converters are expected to be essential parts of non-cryogenic terahertz-radiation...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Temperature Sensors Based on WGM Optical Resonators

A proposed technique for measuring temperature would exploit differences between the temperature dependences of the frequencies of two different electromagnetic modes of a whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) optical resonator. An apparatus based on this technique was originally intended to be part of...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Four-Pass Coupler for Laser-Diode-Pumped Solid-State Laser

A four-pass optical coupler affords increased (in comparison with related prior two-pass optical couplers) utilization of light generated by a laser diode in side pumping of a solid-state laser slab. The original application for which this coupler was conceived involves a neodymium-doped...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Varying the Divergence of Multiple Parallel Laser Beams

A provision for controlled variation of the divergence of a laser beam or of multiple parallel laser beams has been incorporated into the design of a conceptual free-space optical-communication station from which the transmitted laser beam(s) would be launched via a telescope. The original...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Virtualizing Physical Measurements Using Wireless Sensor Technology

Virtualizing physical measurements using wireless sensor technology enables a host of new solution choices. Wireless sensors are smart devices that realize measurements without using external data acquisition (DAQ) equipment or external power sources. The hardware needed to...

Briefs : Information Technology
Control Architecture for Robotic Agent Command and Sensing

Control Architecture for Robotic Agent Command and Sensing (CARACaS) is a recent product of a continuing effort to develop architectures for controlling either a single autonomous robotic vehicle or multiple cooperating but otherwise autonomous robotic vehicles. CARACaS is potentially...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Improved Airborne System for Sensing Wildfires

The Wildfire Airborne Sensing Program (WASP) is engaged in a continuing effort to develop an improved airborne instrumentation system for sensing wildfires. The system could also be used for other aerial-imaging applications, including mapping and military surveillance.

Briefs : Materials
CO₂ Sensors Based on Nanocrystalline SnO₂ Doped With CuO

Nanocrystalline tin oxide (SnO2) doped with copper oxide (CuO) has been found to be useful as an electrical-resistance sensory material for measuring the concentration of carbon dioxide in air. SnO2 is an n-type semiconductor that has been widely used as a sensing...

Question of the Week
Will Cooling Coatings Catch On?

Webcasts

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3D Printed Metals Are Not All the Same

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Testing and Inspecting 3D-Printed Parts

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Using Simulation to Design Robust Adhesively Bonded Structures

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Electric-Vehicle Transmission Development and Simulation

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Thermal Management Crisis: Knowing Your Passive Solution Options

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IoT’s Role in Today’s Transportation Systems