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
Providing Goal-Based Autonomy for Commanding a Spacecraft

A computer program for use aboard a scientific- exploration spacecraft autonomously selects among goals specified in high-level requests and generates corresponding sequences of low-level commands, understandable by spacecraft systems. (As used here, "goals" signifies specific scientific...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Dynamic Method For Identifying Collected Sample Mass

G-Sample is designed for sample collection missions to identify the presence and quantity of sample material gathered by spacecraft equipped with end effectors. The software method uses a maximum-likelihood estimator to identify the collected sample's mass based on onboard force-sensor...

Briefs: Information Technology
Optimal Planning and Problem-Solving

CTAEMS MDP Optimal Planner is a problem- solving software designed to command a single spacecraft/rover, or a team of spacecraft/ rovers, to perform the best action possible at all times according to an abstract model of the spacecraft/rover and its environment. It also may be useful in solving logistical...

Briefs: Information Technology
Attitude-Control Algorithm for Minimizing Maneuver Execution Errors

A G-RAC attitude- control algorithm is used to minimize maneuver execution error in a spacecraft with a flexible appendage when said spacecraft must induce translational momentum by firing (in open loop) large thrusters along a desired direction for a given period of time. The...

Briefs: Information Technology
Grants Document-Generation System

The Grants Document- Generation System (GDGS) software allows the generation of official grants documents for distribution to the appropriate parties. The documents are created after the selection and entry of specific data elements and clauses. GDGS is written in Cold Fusion that resides on an SQL2000 database...

Briefs: Materials
Precipitation-Strengthened, High-Temperature, High-Force Shape Memory Alloys

Shape memory alloys (SMAs) are an enabling component in the development of compact, lightweight, durable, high-force actuation systems particularly for use where hydraulics or electrical motors are not practical. However, commercial shape memory alloys based on NiTi are...

A heat-storage module based on a commercial open-cell graphite foam (PocoFoam or equivalent) imbued with lithium nitrate trihydrate (LiNO3•3H2O) has been...

The balanced-piston relief valve with side vented reaction cavity has been proposed as an improved alternative to a conventional high- pressure, high-flow relief valve. As explained...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Using Composite Materials in a Cryogenic Pump

Several modifications have been made to the design and operation of an extended-shaft cryogenic pump to increase the efficiency of pumping. In general, the efficiency of pumping a cryogenic fluid is limited by thermal losses (the thermal energy that the pump adds to the fluid). The sources of the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Safety Modification of Cam-and-Groove Hose Coupling

A modification has been made in the mating halves of a cam-and- groove hose coupling to prevent rapid separation of the halves in the event that the cam levers are released while the fluid in the hose is pressurized. This modification can be duplicated on almost any commercially available...

It has been proposed to develop special-purpose electronic noses and algorithms for processing the digitized outputs of the electronic noses for determining whether tissue exposed...

Briefs: Medical
Producing Newborn Synchronous Mammalian Cells

A method and bioreactor for the continuous production of synchronous (same age) population of mammalian cells have been invented. The invention involves the attachment and growth of cells on an adhesive-coated porous membrane immersed in a perfused liquid culture medium in a microgravity analog...

Scintillation-based fast-neutron detectors that are smaller and less power-hungry than mainstream scintillation-based fast-neutron detectors are undergoing development. There are...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Particle-Charge Spectrometer

An instrument for rapidly measuring the electric charges and sizes (from ≈1 to ≈100 μm) of airborne particles is undergoing development. Conceived for monitoring atmospheric dust particles on Mars,...

A proposed instrument for measuring a static electric field would be based partly on a conventional rotating- split-cylinder or rotating-split-sphere electric-field mill. However, the design of the...

A method of real-time quantification of the hardness of a rock or similar material involves measurement of the temperature, as a function of time, of the tool bit of an...

A method of accelerating and facilitating production of video and film motion- picture products, and software and generic designs of computer hardware to implement the method, are...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
FIDO-Class Development Rover

A report describes a rover-type robotic wheeled vehicle recently built for use as a testbed for development of software for future rover-type vehicles. This vehicle is a derivative of the Field Integrated Design and Operations (FIDO) rover, which is a prototype Mars- exploration rover that also serves as a...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Tone-Based Command of Deep Space Probes Using Ground Antennas

A document discusses a technique for enabling the reception of spacecraft commands at received signal levels as much as three orders of magnitude below those of current deep space systems. Tone-based commanding deals with the reception of commands that are sent in the form of precise...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Torque Sensor Based on Tunnel-Diode Oscillator

A proposed torque sensor would be capable of operating over the temperature range from 1 to 400 K, whereas a typical commercially available torque sensor is limited to the narrower temperature...

A proposed brushless shaft-angle sensor for use in extreme cold would offer significant advantages over prior such sensors:

It would be capable of operating in extreme cold; and Its...
Briefs: Physical Sciences
Optical Pressure-Temperature Sensor for a Combustion Chamber

A compact sensor for measuring temperature and pressure in a combustion chamber has been proposed. Heretofore, independent measurements of high pressures and temperatures in combustion chambers have not been performed. In the original intended application, the combustion chamber would...

An automated ground facility, for vicarious radiometric calibration of airborne and spaceborne sensors of visible and infrared light has been established. In the term “vicarious...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Impact-Locator Sensor Panels

Electronic sensor systems for detecting and locating impacts of rapidly moving particles on spacecraft have been invented. Systems of this type could also be useful on Earth in settings in which the occurrence of...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Low-Temperature Supercapacitors

An effort to extend the low-temperature operational limit of supercapacitors is currently underway. At present, commercially available non-aqueous supercapacitors are rated for a minimum operating temperature...

A method of fabricating Bi2–xSbxTe3-based thermoelectric microdevices involves a combination of (1) techniques used previously in the...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Compact, Single-Stage MMIC InP HEMT Amplifier

Figure 1 depicts a monolithic microwave integrated-circuit (MMIC) single-stage amplifier containing an InP-based high- electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) plus coplanar-waveguide (CPW)...

A design modification and a fabrication process that implements the modification have been conceived to solve two problems encountered in the development of...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Low-Loss Waveguides for Terahertz Frequencies

Hollow-core, periodic bandgap (HCPBG) flexible waveguides have been proposed as a means of low-loss transmission of electromagnetic signals in the frequency range from about 300 GHz to 30 THz....

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