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
MRO SOW Daily Script

The MRO SOW daily script (wherein "MRO" signifies "Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter" and "SOW" signifies "sequence systems engineer of the week") is a computer program that automates portions of the MRO daily SOW procedure, which includes checking file-system sizes and automated sequence processor (ASP) log files. The MRO SOW...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Tool for Inspecting Alignment of Twinaxial Connectors

A proposed tool would be used to inspect alignments of mating twinaxial-connector assemblies on interconnecting wiring harnesses. More specifically, the tool would be used to inspect the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
An ATP System for Deep-Space Optical Communication

An acquisition, tracking, and pointing (ATP) system is proposed for aiming an optical- communications downlink laser beam from deep space. In providing for a direction reference, the concept exploits the mature technology of star trackers to eliminate the need for a costly and potentially...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Polar Traverse Rover Instrument

A Polar Traverse Rover (PTR) is a device designed to determine the role of Antarctica in the global climate system by determining typical paths of continental air that passes the South Pole, and by obtaining insight into the relationship between events at the Antarctic and the meteorology of sub- polar altitudes....

A recently invented method of measuring concentrations of phycocynanin- pigmented algae and bacteria in water is based on measurement of the spectrum of reflected sunlight. When...

The Expert System is an enclosed, controlled environment for growing plants, which incorporates a computerized, knowledge-based software program that is designed to capture the...

Dimethyl acetamide (DMAC) and N-methyl pyrrolidinone (NMP) have been found to be useful as high- temperature- resilience-enhancing additives to a baseline electrolyte used in...

A miniature mass spectrometer that incorporates features not typically found in prior mass spectrometers is undergoing development. This mass spectrometer is designed to simultaneously...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Waveguide Harmonic Generator for the SIM

A second-harmonic generator (SHG) serves as the source of the visible laser beam in an onboard calibration scheme for NASA's planned Space Interferometry Mission (SIM), which requires an infrared laser beam and a visible laser beam coherent with the infrared laser beam. The SHG includes...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Whispering Gallery Mode Resonator With Orthogonally Reconfigurable Filter Function

An optical resonator has been developed with reconfigurable filter function that has resonant lines that can be shifted precisely and independently from each other, creating any desirable combination of resonant lines. This is achieved by changing the axial...

Bimaterial thermal compensators have been proposed as inexpensive means of preventing (to first order) or reducing temperature-related changes in the resonance frequencies of...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Stable Calibration of Raman Lidar Water-Vapor Measurements

A method has been devised to ensure stable, long-term calibration of Raman lidar measurements that are used to determine the altitude-dependent mixing ratio of water vapor in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. Because the lidar measurements yield a quantity proportional to the...

An improved adaptive method of processing image data in an artificial neural network has been developed to enable automated, real-time recognition of possibly moving objects under...

Briefs: Information Technology
Root Source Analysis/ValuStream™ — a Methodology for Identifying and Managing Risks

Root Source Analysis (RoSA) is a systems-engineering methodology that has been developed at NASA over the past five years. It is designed to reduce costs, schedule, and technical risks by systematically examining critical assumptions and the state of the...

Briefs: Information Technology
Ensemble: an Architecture for Mission-Operations Software

"Ensemble" is the name of an open architecture for, and a methodology for the development of, spacecraft mission-operations software. Ensemble is also potentially applicable to the development of non-spacecraft mission-operations-type software.

Briefs: Physical Sciences
On-Orbit Multi-Field Wavefront Control With a Kalman Filter

A document describes a multi-field wavefront control (WFC) procedure for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) on-orbit optical telescope element (OTE) fine-phasing using wavefront measurements at the NIRCam pupil. The control is applied to JWST primary mirror (PM) segments and...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
The Interplanetary Overlay Networking Protocol Accelerator

A document describes the Inter - planetary Overlay Networking Protocol Accelerator (IONAC) — an electronic apparatus, now under development, for relaying data at high rates in spacecraft and interplanetary radio-communication systems utilizing a delay-tolerant networking protocol....

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Multichannel Monitor-Stabilizer for Injection-Locked Lasers

Temp Tracker and Temp Tracker 12 ch (single-channel and 12-channel versions) programs are designed for use with an atomic gravity gradiometer. They support the stable operation of the injection-locked slave laser(s) in an autonomous regime. Due to changes of environmental conditions and...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Self-Quenching Single-Photon Detector

The self-quenching single-photon detector exhibits unique avalanching behaviors. It can automatically quench each of the Geiger mode avalanche events occurring inside the detector, can maintain the...

A differential-frequency measurement technique has been devised to reduce the spurious contributions of temperature fluctuations to determinations of physical quantities from readings...

An experiment has shown that when single- walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are grown by chemical vapor deposition in the presence of an electric field of suitable strength, the nanotubes become...

Carpetlike random arrays of metal-coated silicon nanotips have been shown to be effective as antireflection surfaces. Now undergoing development for incorporation into Sun sensors that would provide...

Nano-engineered catalysts, and a method of fabricating them, have been developed in a continuing effort to improve the performances of direct methanol fuel cells as candidate power...

Capillography (from the Latin capillus, “hair”, and the Greek graphein, “to write”) is a recently conceived technique for forming mats of nanofibers into useful patterns. The concept was inspired...

Power amplifiers comprising InP-based high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs) in coplanar-waveguide (CPW) circuits designed for operation at frequencies of hundreds of gigahertz,...

The world’s first silicon-based complementary metal oxide/semi-conductor (CMOS) integrated-circuit voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) operating in a frequency range around 324...

The shapes of waveforms generated by commercially available analytical separation devices, such as some types of mass spectrometers and differential mobility spectrometers are, in general,...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Group-III Nitride Field Emitters

Field-emission devices (cold cathodes) having low electron affinities can be fabricated through lattice- mismatched epitaxial growth of nitrides of elements from group III of the periodic table. Field emission of electrons from solid surfaces is typically utilized in vacuum microelectronic devices, including some...

An improved broadband planar magic-T junction that incorporates microstrip/slotline transitions has been developed. In comparison with a prior broadband magic-T junction incorporating...

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