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: Photonics/Optics
Large Solar-Rejection Filter

An optical filter consisting of a multilayer spectral coating on a flexible membrane has been designed to be placed in front of the 200-in. (5.08-m) Hale telescope on Mt. Palomar. The filter is intended to protect the telescope against solar radiant flux and limit solar heating of the interior of the telescope dome...

Briefs: Information Technology
Two Mathematical Models of Nonlinear Vibrations

Two innovative mathematical models of nonlinear vibrations, and methods of applying them, have been conceived as byproducts of an effort to develop a Kalman filter for highly precise estimation...

An optoelectronic metrology apparatus now at the laboratory-prototype stage of development is intended to repeatedly determine distances of as much as several hundred meters, at...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Large Solar-Rejection Filter

An optical filter consisting of a multilayer spectral coating on a flexible membrane has been designed to be placed in front of the 200-in. (5.08-m) Hale telescope on Mt. Palomar. The filter is intended to protect the telescope against solar radiant flux and limit solar heating of the interior of the telescope dome...

Two simple position or displacement sensors based on inductance-capacitance resonant circuits have been conceived. These sensors are both powered and interrogated without use of wires...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Ka-Band Radar Terminal Descent Sensor

The terminal descent sensor (TDS) is a radar altimeter/velocimeter that improves the accuracy of velocity sensing by more than an order of magnitude when compared to existing sensors. The TDS is designed...

Solid-state electrochemical sensors for measuring the degrees of acidity or alkalinity (in terms of pH values) of liquid solutions are being developed. These sensors are intended to...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Improved Sensing Coils for SQUIDs

An improvement in the design and fabrication of sensing coils of superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) magnetometers has been proposed to increase sensitivity. It has been estimated that, in...

A new sensor (see figure) provides an absolute position measurement. The figure presents a schematic view of a motorized linear- translation stage that contains, at each end, an electronic...

Briefs: Materials
Strong, Lightweight, Porous Materials

A new class of strong, lightweight, porous materials has been invented as an outgrowth of an effort to develop reinforced silica aerogels. The new material, called X-Aerogel is less hygroscopic, but no less porous and of similar density to the corresponding unmodified aerogels. However, the property that...

Briefs: Materials
Nanowicks

Nanowicks are dense mats of nanoscale fibers that are expected to enable the development of a variety of novel capillary pumps, filters, and fluidic control devices. Nanowicks make it possible obtain a variety of novel effects,...

TUFROC (Toughened Uni-piece Fibrous Reinforced Oxidation- resistant Composite) has been developed as a new thermal protection system (TPS) material for wing leading edge and nose...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Rapid and Quiet Drill

The figure depicts selected aspects of the rapid and quiet drill (RAQD), which is a prototype apparatus for drilling concrete or bricks. The design and basic principle of operation of the RAQD overlap, in several...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Hydrogen Peroxide Concentrator

A relatively simple and economical process and apparatus for concentrating hydrogen peroxide from aqueous solution at the point of use have been invented. The need for this or a similar invention arises for the...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
MMIC Amplifiers for 90 to 130 GHz

The figure shows two monolithic microwave integrated-circuit (MMIC) amplifier chips optimized to function in the frequency range of 90 to 130 GHz, covering nearly all of F-band (90 – 140 GHz). These...

A printed, folded, Hilbert-curve fractal microwave antenna has been designed and built to offer advantages of compactness and low mass, relative to other antennas designed for...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Single-Camera Panoramic-Imaging Systems

Panoramic detection systems (PDSs) are developmental video monitoring and image-data processing systems that, as their name indicates, acquire panoramic views. More specifically, a PDS acquires images...

Electronic circuitry has been developed to serve as an interface between an electronic tongue and digital input/output boards in a laptop computer that is used to control the tongue and...

An inexpensive wall clock has been devised for displaying solar time or sidereal time as it would be perceived on a planet other than the Earth, or for displaying sidereal time on...

An efficient arrangement of four switches has been conceived for coupling, to four output ports, the output powers of any subset of four devices that are members of a redundant set of...

A lightweight reflectarray antenna that would enable simultaneous operation at frequencies near 7.115 GHz and frequencies near 32 GHz is undergoing development. More precisely, what is...

Briefs: Information Technology
C Namelist Facility

C Namelist Facility (CNL) is a package of software that supports the development of data-driven programs that utilize relatively free-form input files (e.g., text files) to control complex operations. The only comparable prior namelist facility is built into Fortran and does not support arrays or records. Newer computing...

Briefs: Information Technology
Software Framework for Peer Data-Management Services

Object Oriented Data Technology (OODT) is a software framework for creating a Web-based system for exchange of scientific data that are stored in diverse formats on computers at different sites under the management of scientific peers. OODT software consists of a set of cooperating,...

Briefs: Information Technology
Autogen Version 2.0

Version 2.0 of the autogen software has been released. "Autogen" (automated sequence generation) signifies both a process and software used to implement the process of automated generation of sequences of commands in a standard format for uplink to spacecraft. Autogen requires fewer workers than are needed for older manual...

Briefs: Information Technology
Efficient Mosaicking of Spitzer Space Telescope Images

A parallel version of the MOPEX software, which generates mosaics of infrared astronomical images acquired by the Spitzer Space Telescope, extends the capabilities of the prior serial version. In the parallel version, both the input image space and the output mosaic space are divided among...

Briefs: Information Technology
Tracking-Data-Conversion Tool

A computer program denoted Tracking Data Delivery Software Orbit Data File (TDDSODF) converts deep- space- radiocommunication spacecraft-tracking data from a currently used file format known in the art as "TRK-2-34" to a legacy format denoted "TRK-2-18." TDDSODF reads standard formatted data units (SFDUs) of several...

Briefs: Information Technology
NASA Enterprise Visual Analysis

NASA Enterprise Visual Analysis (NEVA) is a computer program undergoing development as a successor to Launch Services Analysis Tool (LSAT), formerly known as Payload Carrier Analysis Tool (PCAT). NEVA facilitates analyses of proposed configurations of payloads and packing fixtures (e.g. pallets) in a spaceshuttle...

Briefs: Information Technology
Advanced Reference Counting Pointers for Better Performance

A computer program implements reference counting pointers (RCPs) that are lock-free, thread-safe, async-safe, and operational on a multiprocessor computer. RCPs are powerful and convenient means of managing heap memory in C++ software. Most prior RCP programs use locks to ensure thread...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Robot Would Climb Steep Terrain

The figure depicts the steep terrain access robot (STAR) — a walking robot that has been proposed for exploring steep terrain on remote planets. Robots based on the STAR concept could also be used on...

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