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 remote alarm circuit provides visible and audible signals to indicate that there is little unused space left on magnetic and optical tracks on disks used to record voice signals...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Quantifying Traversability of Terrain for a Mobile Robot

A document presents an updated discussion on a method of autonomous navigation for a robotic vehicle navigating across rough terrain. The method at an earlier stage of development was described in “Navigating a Mobile Robot Across Terrain Using Fuzzy Logic” (NPO-21199), NASA Tech...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Software-Reconfigurable Processors for Spacecraft

A report presents an overview of an architecture for a software-reconfigurable network data processor for a spacecraft engaged in scientific exploration. When executed on suitable electronic hardware, the software performs the functions of a physical layer (in effect, acts as a software radio in...

Units of superconducting circuitry that exploit the concept of the single-Cooper-pair box (SCB) have been built and are undergoing testing as prototypes of logic gates that could, in...

The figure is a schematic diagram of a complementary metal oxide/semiconductor (CMOS) electronic circuit that functions as a NAND gate at a power-supply potential (Vdd) of...

The figure is a schematic diagram of a complementary metal oxide/semiconductor (CMOS) electronic circuit that has been designed to function as a NAND gate at a temperature between 0 and 80...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Variable-Pressure Washer

The variable-pressure washer (VPW) is a proposed device that is so named because (1) it would play the role similar to that played by an ordinary washer, except that (2) the clamping pressure applied by it would vary...

A special-purpose desk has been designed to facilitate collaboration by two computer programmers sharing one desktop computer or computer terminal. The impetus for the design is a...

Briefs: Software
Selecting Data From a Star Catalog

MCDUMP is a computer program that selects data from the SKYMAP SKY2000 Master Star Catalog — a database about 150 MB in size, stored on a computer hard drive.

Briefs: Software
Update on Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program

The Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program (RSVP) has been updated. RSVP was reported in "Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program" (NPO-30845), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 29, No. 4 (April 2005), page 38. To recapitulate: The Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program (RSVP) is the software...

Briefs: Software
CSAM Metrology Software Tool

CSAM Metrology Software Tool (CMeST) is a computer program for analysis of false-color CSAM images of plastic-encapsulated microcircuits. ("CSAM" signifies C-mode scanning acoustic microscopy.) The colors in the images indicate areas of delamination within the plastic packages. Heretofore, the images have been...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Solid Freeform Fabrication of Composite-Material Objects

Composite solid freeform fabrication (C-SFF) or composite layer manufacturing (CLM) is an automated process in which an advanced composite material (a matrix reinforced with continuous fibers) is formed into a freestanding, possibly complex, three-dimensional object. In CLM, there is no...

Three improvements have been devised for the cold-box process, which is a special molding process used to make sand/binder cores for casting hollow metal parts. These improvements...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Magnetically Attached Multifunction Maintenance Rover

A versatile mobile telerobot, denoted the magnetically attached multifunction maintenance rover (MAGMER), has been proposed for use in the inspection and maintenance of the surfaces of...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Improved Electrolytic Hydrogen Peroxide Generator

An improved apparatus for the electrolytic generation of hydrogen peroxide dissolved in water has been developed. The apparatus is a prototype of H2O2 generators for the safe and effective sterilization of water, sterilization of equipment in contact with water, and other...

Three optical gauges have been developed for guiding the assembly and measuring precisely the reflecting surfaces of a compound mirror that comprises a corner-cube retroreflector glued...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Verifying the Safety of a Radioactive Waste Container With Simulation Software

As part of decommissioning the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Hanford Site — an inactive nuclear facility in southeastern Washington — a contaminated apparatus called a glovebox (a steel isolation chamber with built-in gloves that allow personnel to remotely...

A recently developed mathematical model of the output (displacement) versus the input (applied voltage) of a piezoelectric transducer accounts for hysteresis. For the sake of computational speed,...

Recent advances in fiber technology have enabled a dramatic increase in the power delivered from fiber based amplifiers and lasers. This is particularly true at the 1060-nm...

A family of iron-nickel and ironnickel- cobalt alloys made using metal injection technology (MIT) has been designed to match the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Thin-Film Resistance Heat-Flux Sensors

Thin-film heat-flux sensors of a proposed type would offer advantages over currently available thin-film heat flux sensors. Like a currently available thin-film heat-flux sensor, a sensor according to...

Briefs: Materials
More About Arc-Welding Process for Making Carbon Nanotubes

A report presents additional information about the process reported in "Manufacturing High-Quality Carbon Nanotubes at Lower Cost"; (GSC-14601) NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 28, No. 9 (September 2004), page 62. To recapitulate: High-quality batches of carbon nanotubes are produced at...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Controlling Laser Spot Size in Outer Space

Three documents discuss a method of controlling the diameter of a laser beam projected from Earth to any altitude ranging from low orbit around the Earth to geosynchronous orbit. Such laser beams are under consideration as means of supplying power to orbiting spacecraft at levels of the order of tens...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Crane-Load Contact Sensor

An electronic instrument has been developed as a prototype of a portable crane-load contact sensor. Such a sensor could be helpful in an application in which the load rests on a base in a horizontal position...

Briefs: Information Technology
Ontology-Driven Information Integration

Ontology-driven information integration (ODII) is a method of computerized, automated sharing of information among specialists who have expertise in different domains and who are members of...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Optical Sensing of Combustion Instabilities in Gas Turbines

In a continuing program of research and development, a system has been demonstrated that makes high-speed measurements of thermal infrared radiance from gas-turbine engine exhaust streams. When a gas-turbine engine is operated under conditions that minimize the emission of pollutants,...

Thin, transparent layers comprising mats of carbon nanotubes have been proposed for providing lateral (that is, inplane) electrical conductivities for collecting electric currents...

In the race to deliver drugs to market more quickly, biopharmaceutical companies need to classify and interpret data at unprecedented rates with tools that eliminate...

Briefs: Medical
Microwave Treatment of Prostate Cancer and Hyperplasia

Microwave ablation in the form of microwave energy applied to a heart muscle by a coaxial catheter inserted in a vein in the groin area can be used to heat and kill diseased heart cells. A microwave catheter has been developed to provide deep myocardial ablation to treat ventricular...

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