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
Two-Band, Low-Loss Microwave Window

A window for a high-sensitivity microwave receiving system allows microwave radiation to pass through to a cryogenically cooled microwave feed system in a vacuum chamber, while keeping ambient air out of...

Photonic local oscillators and modulators that include whispering-gallery- mode (WGM) optical resonators have been proposed as power-efficient devices for generating and detecting radiation...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Aperture-Coupled Thin-Membrane L-Band Antenna

The upper part of the figure depicts an aperture-coupled L-band antenna comprising patterned metal conductor films supported on two thin polyimide membranes separated by an air gap. In this...

Focal-plane arrays of semiconductor quantum-dot infrared photodetectors (QDIPs) are being developed as superior alternatives to prior infrared imagers, including imagers based on...

A proposed laser-based instrument would quickly measure the approximate distance and approximate direction to the closest target within its field of view. The instrument would not contain...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Miniature L-Band Radar Transceiver

A miniature L-band transceiver that operates at a carrier frequency of 1.25 GHz has been developed as part of a generic radar electronics module (REM) that would constitute one unit in an array of many...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Cathodoluminescent Source of Intense White Light

The device shown in the figure exploits cathodoluminescence to generate intense light in the visible and near-infrared regions of the spectrum. This device is suitable for use as a source of...

A system of electronic hardware and software, now undergoing development, automatically estimates the location of a robotic land vehicle in an urban environment using a somewhat...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Reverse-Tangent Injection in a Centrifugal Compressor

Injection of working fluid into a centrifugal compressor in the reverse tangent direction has been invented as a way of preventing flow instabilities (stall and surge) or restoring...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Capacitors Would Help Protect Against Hypervelocity Impacts

A proposal investigates alternatives to the present "bumper" method of protecting spacecraft against impacts of meteoroids and orbital debris. The proposed method is based on a British highvoltage- capacitance technique for protecting armored vehicles against shapedcharge warheads.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Diaphragm Pump With Resonant Piezoelectric Drive

A diaphragm pump driven by a piezoelectric actuator is undergoing development. This pump is intended to be a prototype of lightweight, highly reliable pumps for circulating cooling liquids in...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Improved Quick-Release Pin Mechanism

An improved quick-release pin mechanism supplants a prior such mechanism in which the pin bears a shear load to hold two objects together. The prior mechanism, of a ball-locking design, can fail when vibrations cause balls to fall out. The load-bearing pin is an outer tube with a handle at one end (hereafter...

An anodizing process, at an early stage of development at the time of reporting the information for this article, has shown promise as a means of fabricating alumina nanotemplates...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Fluorine-Based DRIE of Fused Silica

A process of deep reactive-ion etching (DRIE) using a fluorine-based gas mixture enhanced by induction-coupled plasma (ICP) has been demonstrated to be effective in forming high-aspect-ratio three-dimensional patterns in fused silica. The patterns are defined in part by an etch mask in the form of a thick,...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Mechanical Alloying for Making Thermoelectric Compounds

An economical room-temperature mechanical alloying process has been shown to be an effective means of making a homogeneous powder that can be hot-pressed to synthesize a thermoelectric...

An automated flying-insect detection system (AFIDS) was developed as a proof-of-concept instrument for real-time detection and identification of flying insects. This type of system has use in...

A laboratory blackbody cavity has been designed and built for calibrating infrared radiometers used to measure radiant temperatures in the range from about 200 to about 273 K. In this...

Calligraphic poling is a technique for generating an arbitrary, possibly complex pattern of localized reversal in the direction of permanent polarization in a wafer of LiNbO3 or other...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Composite Pulse Tube

A modification of the design of the pulse tube in a pulse-tube cryocooler reduces axial thermal conductance while preserving radial thermal conductance. It is desirable to minimize axial thermal conductance in the pulse-tube wall to minimize leakage of heat between the warm and cold ends of the pulse tube. At the same time,...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Photometric Calibration of Consumer Video Cameras

Equipment and techniques have been developed to implement a method of photometric calibration of consumer video cameras for imaging of objects that are sufficiently narrow or sufficiently distant to be optically equivalent to point or line sources. Heretofore, it has been difficult to calibrate...

A study of four previously published computational criteria for identifying vortices in high-pressure flows has led to the selection of one of them as the best. This development can...

The risk of premature failure of thermal barrier coatings (TBCs), typically composed of yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ), compromises the reliability of TBCs used to provide thermal protection...

A class of proposed thermionic cooling devices would incorporate precise arrays of metal nanowires as electron emitters. The proposed devices could be highly miniaturized, enabling...

A method of approximating a scalar function of n independent variables (where n is a positive integer) to arbitrary accuracy has been developed. This method is expected to be...

A method of automated recognition of three-dimensional (3D) features in images generated by ground-penetrating imaging radar (GPIR) is undergoing development. GPIR 3D images can be analyzed...

An algorithm has been developed to enable a computer aboard a robot to autonomously plan the path of the manipulator arm of the robot to avoid collisions between the arm and any...

A recently conceived method of automated diagnosis of a complex electromechanical system affords a complete set of capabilities for hybrid diagnosis in the case in which the state of...

Briefs: Information Technology
State-Estimation Algorithm Based on Computer Vision

An algorithm and software to implement the algorithm are being developed as means to estimate the state (that is, the position and velocity) of an autonomous vehicle, relative to a visible nearby target object, to provide guidance for maneuvering the vehicle. In the original intended...

Briefs: Information Technology
Accumulate-Repeat-Accumulate-Accumulate Codes

Accumulate-repeat- accumulate-accumulate (ARAA) codes have been proposed, inspired by the recently proposed accumulate- repeat-accumulate (ARA) codes. These are error-correcting codes suitable...

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