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
XVD Image Display Program

The XVD [X-Windows VICAR (video image communication and retrieval) Display] computer program offers an interactive display of VICAR and PDS (planetary data systems) images. It is designed to efficiently display multiple-GB images and runs on Solaris, Linux, or Mac OS X systems using X-Windows. XVD is the de facto...

Briefs: Software
Mars Science Laboratory Workstation Test Set

The Mars Science Laboratory developed the Workstation TestSet (WSTS) is a computer program that enables flight software development on virtual MSL avionics. The WSTS is the non-real-time flight avionics simulator that is designed to be completely software-based and run on a workstation class Linux PC....

Briefs: Software
GlastCam: A Telemetry-Driven Spacecraft Visualization Tool

Developed for the GLAST project, which is now the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, GlastCam software ingests telemetry from the Integrated Test and Operations System (ITOS) and generates four graphical displays of geometric properties in real time, allowing visual assessment of the...

Briefs: Software
Telemetry-Enhancing Scripts

Scripts Providing a Cool Kit of Telemetry Enhancing Tools (SPACKLE) is a set of software tools that fill gaps in capabilities of other software used in processing downlinked data in the Mars Exploration Rovers’ (MER) flight and test-bed operations. SPACKLE tools have helped to accelerate the automatic processing and...

A new algorithm efficiently computes the tightest exact bound on the levels of resources induced by a flexible activity plan (see figure). Tightness of bounds is extremely important for...

Briefs: Software
Mission Operations and Navigation Toolkit Environment

MONTE (Mission Operations and Navigation Toolkit Environment) Release 7.3 is an extensible software system designed to support trajectory and navigation analysis/design for space missions. MONTE is intended to replace the current navigation and trajectory analysis software systems, which, at...

Briefs: Software
Extensible Infrastructure for Browsing and Searching Abstracted Spacecraft Data

A computer program has been developed to provide a common interface for all space mission data, and allows different types of data to be displayed in the same context. This software provides an infrastructure for representing any type of mission data. Existing...

Briefs: Software
Lossless Compression of Data Into Fixed-Length Packets

A computer program effects lossless compression of data samples from a one-dimensional source into fixed-length data packets. The software makes use of adaptive prediction: it exploits the data structure in such a way as to increase the efficiency of compression beyond that otherwise...

Briefs: Software
Video-Game-Like Engine for Depicting Spacecraft Trajectories

GoView is a video-game-like software engine, written in the C and C++ computing languages, that enables real-time, three-dimensional (3D)-appearing visual representation of spacecraft and trajectories (1) from any perspective; (2) at any spatial scale from spacecraft to Solar-system...

Briefs: Software
Analog Input Data Acquisition Software

DAQ Master Software allows users to easily set up a system to monitor up to five analog input channels and save the data after acquisition.

This program was written in LabVIEW 8.0, and requires the LabVIEW runtime engine 8.0 (free download from National Instruments; ni.com) to run the executable. A DAQ...

Briefs: Software
MSLICE Science Activity Planner for the Mars Science Laboratory Mission

MSLICE (Mars Science Laboratory InterfaCE) is the tool used by scientists and engineers on the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission to visualize the data returned by the rover and collaboratively plan its activities. It enables users to efficiently and effectively search...

Briefs: Software
Alert Notification System Router

The Alert Notification System Router (ANSR) software provides satellite operators with notifications of key events through pagers, cell phones, and e-mail. Written in Java, this application is specifically designed to meet the mission-critical standards for mission operations while operating on a variety of...

Briefs: Software
MAGIC: Model and Graphic Information Converter

MAGIC is a software tool capable of converting highly detailed 3D models from an open, standard format, VRML 2.0/97, into the proprietary DTS file format used by the Torque Game Engine from GarageGames. MAGIC is used to convert 3D simulations from authoritative sources into the data needed to run...

A lossless image-data-compression algorithm intended specifically for application to classification-map data is based on prediction, context modeling, and entropy coding. The algorithm was...

Briefs: Software
Policy-Based Management Natural Language Parser

The Policy-Based Management Natural Language Parser (PBEM) is a rules-based approach to enterprise management that can be used to automate certain management tasks. This parser simplifies the management of a given endeavor by establishing policies to deal with situations that are likely to occur....

Briefs: Software
Framework for ReSTful Web Services in OSGi

Ensemble ReST is a software system that eases the development, deployment, and maintenance of server-side application programs to perform functions that would otherwise be performed by client software. Ensemble ReST takes advantage of the proven disciplines of ReST (Representational State Transfer — a...

Briefs: Software
Data Management Applications for the Service Preparation Subsystem

These software applications provide intuitive User Interfaces (UIs) with a consistent look and feel for interaction with, and control of, the Service Preparation Subsystem (SPS). The elements of the UIs described here are the File Manager, Mission Manager, and Log Monitor...

Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Using Volcanic Ash To Remove Dissolved Uranium and Lead

By exposing an aqueous solution to a treatment medium that includes weathered volcanic ash from Pu’u Nene - a cinder cone on the Island of Hawaii - uranium, lead, and possibly other...

A proposed system in a gondola containing scientific instruments suspended by a balloon over the surface of the Saturn moon Titan would quickly acquire samples of rock or ice from the...

A proposed alternative design for the balloon- borne ground-sampling system described in the immediately preceding article would not rely on free fall to drive a harpoonlike...

A digital signal-processing algorithm has been devised as a means of aligning (as defined below) the outputs of multiple receiving radio antennas in a large array for the purpose of...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Enhanced Video-Oculography System

A previously developed video-oculography system has been enhanced for use in measuring vestibulo-ocular reflexes of a human subject in a centrifuge, motor vehicle, or other setting. The system as previously developed included a lightweight digital video camera mounted on goggles. The left eye was illuminated by...

A method has been proposed to increase the degree of synchronization of a radio receiver with the phase of a suppressed carrier signal modulated with a binary-phase-shift-keying (BPSK) or...

A proposed heterodyne receiver would be capable of detecting electromagnetic radiation in both of two orthogonal linear polarizations, separating sidebands, and providing...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Modular Battery Charge Controller

A new approach to masterless, distributed, digital-charge control for batteries requiring charge control has been developed and implemented. This approach is required in battery chemistries that need...

Generic structures have been conceived for multiplexer blocks to be implemented in field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) based on four-gate field-effect transistors...

A system comprising very-large-scale integrated (VLSI) circuits is being developed as a means of bioinformatics-oriented analysis and recognition of patterns of fluorescence...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Low-Noise Amplifier for 100 to 180 GHz

A three-stage monolithic millimeter-wave integrated-circuit (MMIC) amplifier designed to exhibit low noise in operation at frequencies from about 100 to somewhat above 180 GHz has been built and tested....

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Inert Welding/Brazing Gas Filters and Dryers

A system has been designed to reduce the hydrogen molecule content in inert gases that are used for shielding the welding arc and molten weld area during the manual fusion, automated welding, and induction brazing process. Two desiccant pipeline dryer cartridges are connected together using either...

Videos