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: Electronics & Computers
Improved-Bandwidth Transimpedance Amplifier

The widest available operational amplifier, with the best voltage and current noise characteristics, is considered for transimpedance amplifier (TIA) applications where wide bandwidth is required to handle fast rising input signals (as for time-of-flight measurement cases). The added amplifier inside...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Thin-Film Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

The development of thin-film solid oxide fuel cells (TFSOFCs) and a method of fabricating them have progressed to the prototype stage. A TFSOFC consists of the following:

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Novel Materials Containing Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes Wrapped in Polymer Molecules

In this design, single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have been coated in polymer molecules to create a new type of material that has low electrical conductivity, but still contains individual nanotubes, and small ropes of individual nanotubes, which are...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Light-Curing Adhesive Repair Tapes

Adhesive tapes, the adhesive resins of which can be cured (and thereby rigidized) by exposure to ultraviolet and/or visible light, are being developed as repair patch materials. The tapes, including their resin components, consist entirely of solid, low-out-gassing, nonhazardous or minimally hazardous...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Zinc Alloys for the Fabrication of Semiconductor Devices

ZnBeO and ZnCdSeO alloys have been disclosed as materials for the improvement in performance, function, and capability of semiconductor devices. The alloys can be used alone or in combination to form active photonic layers that can emit over a range of wavelength values.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Inherently Ducted Propfans and Bi-Props

The terms “inherently ducted propfan” (IDP) and “inherently ducted bi-prop” (IDBP) denote members of a proposed class of propfan engines that would be quieter and would weigh less than do other...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Small, Lightweight, Collapsible Glove Box

A small, lightweight, collapsible glove box enables its user to perform small experiments and other tasks. Originally intended for use aboard a space shuttle or the International Space Station (ISS),...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Steel Primer Chamber Assemblies for Dual Initiated Pyrovalves

A solution was developed to mitigate the potential risk of ignition failures and burn-through in aluminum primer chamber assemblies on pyrovalves. This was accomplished by changing the assembly material from aluminum to steel, and reconfiguration of flame channels to provide more...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Aerial Deployment and Inflation System for Mars Helium Balloons

A method is examined for safely deploying and inflating helium balloons for missions at Mars. The key for making it possible to deploy balloons that are light enough to be buoyant in the thin, Martian atmosphere is to mitigate the transient forces on the balloon that might tear...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Radial Halbach Magnetic Bearings

Radial Halbach magnetic bearings have been investigated as part of an effort to develop increasingly reliable non-contact bearings for future high-speed rotary machines that may be used in such applications...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Voice Coil Percussive Mechanism Concept for Hammer Drill

A hammer drill design of a voice coil linear actuator, spring, linear bearings, and a hammer head was proposed. The voice coil actuator moves the hammer head to produce impact to the end of the drill bit. The spring is used to store energy on the retraction and to capture the rebound...

It is now possible to grow silicon nanowires at chosen positions and orientations by a method that involves a combination of standard microfabrication processes. Because their...

Palladium chloride films have been found to be useful as alternatives to the gold films heretofore used to detect airborne elemental mercury at concentrations of the order of parts per...

Like the palladium chloride (PdCl2) films described in the immediately preceding article, gold nanowire sensors have been found to be useful for detecting airborne elemental...

Nanowire electron scattering spectroscopy (NESS) has been proposed as the basis of a class of ultra-small, ultra-low-power sensors that could be used to detect and identify chemical compounds present...

A proposal has been made to develop devices that would generate spin-polarized electron currents characterized by polarization ratios having magnitudes in excess of 1. Heretofore, such...

A parameterized orthogonal tight-binding mathematical model of the quantum electronic structure of the bismuth telluride molecule has been devised for use in conjunction with a...

An apparatus for extracting organic compounds from soils, sands, and other solid matrix materials utilizes water at subcritical temperature and pressure as a solvent. The...

A proposed, low-power, backpack-sized instrument, denoted the micro electron microprobe and sample analyzer (MEMSA), would serve as a means of rapidly performing high-resolution microscopy and...

Briefs: Information Technology
A Software Rejuvenation Framework for Distributed Computing

A performability-oriented conceptual framework for software rejuvenation has been constructed as a means of increasing levels of reliability and performance in distributed stateful computing. As used here, “performability-oriented” signifies that the construction of the framework is...

An algorithm for solving a particular nonlinear independent-component-analysis (ICA) problem, that differs from prior algorithms for solving the same problem, has been devised. The...

Briefs: Information Technology
Robust Software Architecture for Robots

“Robust Real-Time Reconfigurable Robotics Software Architecture” (“R4SA”) is the name of both a software architecture and software that embodies the architecture. The architecture was conceived...

Briefs: Information Technology
R4SA for Controlling Robots

The R4SA GUI mentioned in the immediately preceding article is a user-friendly interface for controlling one or more robot(s). This GUI makes it possible to perform meaningful real-time field experiments and research in robotics at an unmatched level of fidelity, within minutes of setup. It provides such powerful...

Briefs: Information Technology
Bio-Inspired Neural Model for Learning Dynamic Models

A neural-network mathematical model that, relative to prior such models, places greater emphasis on some of the temporal aspects of real neural physical processes, has been proposed as a basis for massively parallel, distributed algorithms that learn dynamic models of possibly complex...

A methodology for processing spectral images to retrieve information on underlying physical, chemical, and/or biological phenomena is based on evolutionary and related computational...

Efforts are under way to develop data- acquisition, data- processing, and data- communication systems for monitoring disasters over large geographic areas by use of uninhabited...

Briefs: Information Technology
Complexity for Survival of Living Systems

A logical connection between the survivability of living systems and the complexity of their behavior (equivalently, mental complexity) has been established. This connection is an important intermediate result of continuing research on mathematical models that could constitute a unified representation of...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Using Drained Spacecraft Propellant Tanks for Habitation

A document proposes that future spacecraft for planetary and space exploration be designed to enable reuse of drained propellant tanks for occupancy by humans. This proposal would enable utilization of volume and mass that would otherwise be unavailable and, in some cases, discarded. Such...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Connecting Node

A paper describes the Octanode, a connecting node that facilitates the integration of multiple docking mechanisms, hatches, windows, and internal and external systems with the use of flat surfaces. The Octanode is a 26-faced Great Rhombicuboctahedron Archimedean solid with six octagon-shaped panels, eight hexagon-shaped panels,...

Webcasts

On-Demand Webinars: Electronics & Computers

Vehicle Electrification

Upcoming Webinars: Sensors/Data Acquisition

The Evolution of SOSA

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Next-Gen Vehicle Architectures and the Role of HPCs

Tech Talks: Medical

Testing Home Healthcare Medical Devices

Upcoming Webinars: Software

Accelerating Pre-Silicon Software Development with Next-Gen...

Upcoming Webinars: Software

Balancing Vehicle Comfort and Performance with Simulation-Driven...

Videos