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 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...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Wheel Electrometer System

The electrodes of this electrometer are embedded in a wheel of an exploratory robotic vehicle, utilizing the wheel motion to bring the electrodes into proximity or contact with the soil. Each electrode resides in one of two types of sensor modules: electric-field (ELF) or triboelectric (TRIBO). In either type, what is...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Cryogenic High-Sensitivity Magnetometer

A proposed magnetometer for use in a cryogenic environment would be sensitive enough to measure a magnetic-flux density as small as a picogauss (10-16 Tesla). In contrast, a typical conventional flux-gate magnetometer cannot measure a magnetic-flux density smaller that about 1 microgauss (10-10 Tesla).

Aircraft and other vehicles are often kept in service beyond their original design lives. As they age, they become susceptible to system malfunctions and fatigue. Unlike future...

A technique has been devised for measuring the relative humidity levels in the protective helium/water vapor atmosphere in which the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution,...

The figure shows a prototype of a relatively inexpensive electronic monitoring apparatus that measures and records selected parameters of lightning induced transient voltages on...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Thermal Imaging of Earth for Accurate Pointing of Deep-Space Antennas

A report discusses a proposal to use thermal (long-wavelength infrared) images of the Earth, as seen from spacecraft at interplanetary distances, for pointing antennas and telescopes toward the Earth for Ka-band and optical communications.

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Shock Waves in a Bose-Einstein Condensate

A paper presents a theoretical study of shock waves in a trapped Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC).

Devices called “solid-state ferroelectric-based sources” (SSFBSs) are under development as sources of electrons, ions, ultraviolet light, and x-rays for diverse applications in...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Dusty-Plasma Particle Accelerator

A dusty-plasma apparatus is being investigated as means of accelerating nanometer- and micrometer-sized particles. Applications for the dusty-plasma particle accelerators fall into two classes:

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Code for Analyzing and Designing Spacecraft Power System Radiators

A specific application is for Stirlingcycle/linear-alternator electric-power systems coupled to radioisotope general-purpose heat sources. GPHRAD affords capabilities and options to account for thermophysical properties (thermal conductivity, density) of either metal-alloy or...

An improved miniature time-of-flight mass spectrometer has been developed in a continuing effort to minimize the sizes, weights, power demands, and costs of mass spectrometers for such...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Modeling and Diagnostic Software for Liquefying-Fuel Rockets

A report presents a study of five modeling and diagnostic computer programs considered for use in an integrated vehicle health management (IVHM) system during testing of liquefying-fuel hybrid rocket engines in the Hybrid Combustion Facility (HCF) at NASA Ames Research Center.

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Progress on a Multichannel, Dual-Mixer Stability Analyzer

Several documents describe aspects of the continuing development of a multichannel, dual-mixer system for simultaneous characterization of the instabilities of multiple precise, low noise oscillators.

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Nanowire Thermoelectric Devices

Nanowire thermoelectric devices, now under development, are intended to take miniaturization a step beyond the prior state of the art to exploit the potential advantages afforded by shrinking some device...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Fasteners for Printed Circuit Board Attachment

No matter how sophisticated or advanced, electronic components must be attached reliably and securely if they are to deliver optimum performance. Beyond this universal requirement, particular...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Patch Antenna Fed via Unequal-Crossed-Arm Aperture

A proposed rectangular-patch antenna for transmitting or receiving microwave circularly polarized (CP) radiation would be fed via a cross-shaped aperture that would have unequal arms and would, in turn, be fed at a single point via a microstrip transmission line. As a consequence of the...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Parylene C as a Sacrificial Material for Microfabrication

Although Parylene C cannot be patterned lithographically like photoresists, it nevertheless extends the range of processing options by offering a set of properties that are suitable for microfabrication and are complementary to those of photoresists. The compatibility of Parylene C with...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
In Situ Electrochemical Deposition of Microscopic Wires

A method of fabrication of wires having micron and submicron dimensions is built around electrochemical deposition of the wires in their final positions between electrodes in integrated...

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