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.

A family of experimental highly miniaturized field-effect transistors (FETs) is based on exploitation of the electrical properties of nanofibers of polyaniline/ polyethylene oxide...

Briefs: Software
Software for Collaborative Use of Large Interactive Displays

The MERBoard Collaborative Workspace, which is currently being deployed to support the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Missions, is the first instantiation of a new computing architecture designed to support collaborative and group computing using computing devices situated in NASA...

Briefs: Software
Modified Recursive Hierarchical Segmentation of Data

An algorithm and a computer program that implements the algorithm that performs recursive hierarchical segmentation (RHSEG) of data have been developed. While the current implementation is for two-dimensional data having spatial characteristics (e.g., image, spectral, or spectral-image data),...

Briefs: Software
Integrated Modeling Environment

The Integrated Modeling Environment (IME) is a software system that establishes a centralized Web-based interface for integrating people (who may be geographically dispersed), processes, and data involved in a common engineering project. The IME includes software tools for life-cycle management, configuration...

Briefs: Software
Framework for Flexible Security in Group Communications

The Antigone software system defines a framework for the flexible definition and implementation of security policies in group communication systems. Antigone does not dictate the available security policies, but provides high-level mechanisms for implementing them. A central element of the...

Briefs: Software
Stress Testing of Data-Communication Networks
NetStress is a computer program that stress-tests a data-communication network and components thereof. NetStress comprises two components running, respectively, in a transmitting system and a receiving system connected to a network under test. The novelty of the program is that is has the capability to...
Briefs: Software
Sizing Structures and Predicting Weight of a Spacecraft

EZDESIT is a computer program for choosing the sizes of structural components and predicting the weight of a spacecraft, aircraft, or other vehicle. In designing a vehicle, EZDESIT is used in conjunction with a finite-element structural- analysis program: Each structural component is sized...

The figure is a simplified schematic diagram of a tilt-sensing unequal-path interferometer set up to measure the orientation of the normal vector of one surface of a cube mounted on a...

A molecular Rayleigh scattering based air density measurement system was built in a large nozzle and engine component test facility for surveying supersonic plumes from...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Improved Gear Shapes for Face Worm Gear Drives

Shapes different from the traditional ones have been proposed for face worm gears and for conical and cylindrical worms that mesh with them. The proposed shapes are based on the concept of...

An electrochemical cell for making corrosion measurements has been designed to prevent or reduce crevice corrosion, which is a common source of error in prior such cells. In a typical...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Lightweight Electronic Camera for Research on Clouds

"Micro-CPI" (wherein "CPI" signifies "cloud-particle imager") is the name of a small, lightweight electronic camera that has been proposed for use in research on clouds. The Micro-CPI would be incorporated into a small autonomous or remotely piloted airplane of a type that is now used in...

A method of adaptive signal processing has been proposed as the basis of a new generation of interferometric optical profilometers for measuring surfaces. Many current optical...

An improved method of estimating the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of a phase-shift keying (PSK) communication link is founded on a rigorous statistical analysis of the input to, and the...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Pilot Weather Advisor System Nears Realtime

The Pilot Weather Advisor (PWA) system is an automated satellite radio-broadcasting system that provides nearly realtime weather data to pilots of aircraft in flight anywhere in the continental United States. The system was designed to enhance safety in two distinct ways: First, the automated receipt...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
T-Shaped Emitter Metal Structures for HBTs

Metal emitter structures in a class of developmental InP-based high-speed heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs) have been redesigned to have Tshaped cross sections. More precisely, the modified...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
EMI Filters for Low-Temperature Applications

Filters that suppress electromagnetic interference (EMI) on signal cables connected to cryogenic electronic equipment can be made from cores consisting of high-permeability materials. The basic...

A proposed Ka-band transmitting/ receiving system would embody a unique combination of established and semi-proven design features. Although this system is intended primarily for...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Improved Photon-Emission-Microscope System

An improved photon-emission-microscope (PEM) instrumentation system has been developed for use in diagnosing failure conditions in semiconductor devices, including complex integrated circuits. This system is designed primarily to image areas that emit photons, at wavelengths from 400 to 1,100 nm,...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Repairing Chipped Silicide Coatings on Refractory Metal Substrates

The space shuttle orbiter's reaction control system (RCS) is a series of small thrusters that use hypergolic fuels to orient the orbiter in space. The RCS thrusters are constructed from a special niobium-based alloy — the C-103. This alloy retains excellent mechanical...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Simplified Fabrication of Helical Copper Antennas

A simplified technique has been devised for fabricating helical antennas for use in experiments on radio-frequency generation and acceleration of plasmas. These antennas are typically made of copper (for electrical conductivity) and must have a specific helical shape and precise diameter.

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Waveguide Power-Amplifier Module for 80 to 150 GHz

A waveguide power-amplifier module capable of operating over the frequency range from 80 to 150 GHz has been constructed. The module comprises a previously reported power amplifier packaged in a waveguide housing that is compatible with WR-8 waveguides. (WR-8 is a standard waveguide size for the...

An alternative design for dielectric optical microresonators and a relatively simple process to fabricate them have been proposed. The proposed microresonators would exploit the same...

In one of several alternative approaches to the design and fabrication of a "whispering-gallery" optical microresonator of high resonance quality (high Q), the index of...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Graded-Index “Whispering-Gallery” Optical Microresonators

Graded-index-of- refraction dielectric optical microresonators have been proposed as a superior alternative to prior dielectric optical microresonators, which include microspheres (described in several prior NASA Tech Briefs articles) and microtori wherein electromagnetic waves...

A class of thermally stable piezoelectric and pyroelectric polymers, and an improved method of making them, have been invented. These polymers can be used as substrates for a wide...

Briefs: Materials
Combustion Synthesis of Ca₃(PO₄)₂ Net-Shape Surgical Implants

ASelf-propagating high-temperature combustion synthesis (SHS) is the basis of a method of making components of porous tricalcium phosphate [Ca3(PO4)2] and related compounds in net sizes and shapes for use as surgical implants that are compatible...

Briefs: Software
Robust Control for the Mercury Laser Altimeter

Mercury Laser Altimeter Science Algorithms is a software system for controlling the laser altimeter aboard the Messenger spacecraft, which is to enter into orbit about Mercury in 2011. The software will control the altimeter by dynamically modifying hardware inputs for gain, threshold, channel-...

Briefs: Software
DAVE-ML Utility Programs

DAVEtools is a set of Java archives (*.jar files) that embodies tools for manipulating flight-dynamics models that have been encoded in dynamic aerospace vehicle exchange markup language (DAVE-ML). [DAVE-ML is an application program, written in Extensible Markup Language (XML), for encoding complete computational models...

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