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: Information Technology
FastScript3D a Companion to Java 3D

FastScript3D is a computer program, written in the Java 3D™ programming language, that establishes an alternative language that helps users who lack expertise in Java 3D to use Java 3D for constructing three-dimensional (3D)-appearing graphics.

Special-purpose balloons and other inflatable structures would be constructed as flexible laminates of multiple thin polymeric films interspersed with layers of adhesive, according...

Nanostructured MnO2-based cathodes for Li-ion/polymer electrochemical cells have been investigated in a continuing effort to develop safe, high-energy-density, reliable,...

Nanoactuators of a proposed type would exploit the forces exerted by electric fields on dielectric materials. As used here, “nanoactuators” includes motors, manipulators, and...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Two-Step Laser Ranging for Precise Tracking of a Spacecraft

A document proposes a two-step laser ranging technique for precise tracking of a coasting interplanetary spacecraft to determine the degree to which leakage of fuel, solar wind, and/or solar-radiation pressure causes it to deviate from a purely gravitational trajectory.

Briefs: Software
Support for User Interfaces for Distributed Systems

An extensible Java™ software framework supports the construction and operation of graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for distributed computing systems typified by ground control systems that send commands to, and receive telemetric data from, spacecraft. Heretofore, such GUIs have been custom...

Briefs: Software
Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program

The Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program (RSVP) is the software tool for use in the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission for planning rover operations and generating command sequences for accomplishing those operations. RSVP combines three-dimensional (3D) visualization for immersive exploration...

Briefs: Software
Simulating Vibrations in a Complex Loaded Structure

The Dynamic Response Computation (DIRECT) computer program simulates vibrations induced in a complex structure by applied dynamic loads. Developed to enable rapid analysis of launch- and landing-induced vibrations and stresses in a space shuttle, DIRECT also can be used to analyze dynamic...

Briefs: Software
Simulating Descent and Landing of a Spacecraft

The Dynamics Simulator for Entry, Descent, and Surface landing (DSENDS) software performs high-fidelity simulation of the Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) of a spacecraft into the atmosphere and onto the surface of a planet or a smaller body. DSENDS is an extension of the DShell and DARTS programs...

A method has been invented for utilizing directed, hyperthermal oxygen atoms and ions for texturing tips of polymeric optical fibers or other polymeric optical components for use...

Many feeder cattle companies currently conduct “slaughterability” assessments by sending cattle through a chute and photographing them from above with a CCTV or visible light...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Low-Shear Microencapsulation and Electrostatic Coating

A report presents additional information on the topic of a microencapsulation electrostatic processing system. Information in the report includes micrographs of some microcapsules, a set of diagrams that schematically depict the steps of an encapsulation process, and brief descriptions of...

Precision X-Y stages were developed for integration into a new analytical measurement tool for use in the development of digital inks or other fluids to be jetted from ink jet...

In the area of maintaining conventional motorcycle stability, engineers have established a series of tests that measure the wobble, weave, and kickback of every new model before it is released...

Briefs: Medical
Articulating Support for Horizontal Resistive Exercise

A versatile mechanical device provides support for a user engaged in any of a variety of resistive exercises in a substantially horizontal orientation. The unique features and versatility of the device promise to be useful in bed-rest studies, rehabilitation, and specialized strength...

A device built around a pair of electronic shutters has been demonstrated to be effective as a prototype of stroboscopic goggles or eyeglasses for preventing or reducing motion sickness....

A method of growing bioengineered tissues for use in surgical replacement of damaged anterior cruciate ligaments has been invented. An anterior cruciate ligament is one of two...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Simulations of Evaporating Multicomponent Fuel Drops

A paper presents additional information on the subject matter of “Model of Mixing Layer With Multicomponent Evaporating Drops” (NPO-30505), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 28, No. 3 (March 2004), page 55. To recapitulate: A mathematical model of a three-dimensional mixing layer laden with...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Tumbleweed Rovers

Tumbleweed rovers, now undergoing development, are lightweight, inflatable, approximately spherical exploratory robotic vehicles designed to roll across terrain, using only wind for propulsion. Tumbleweed rovers share many features with "beach-ball" rovers, which were discussed in several prior NASA Tech Briefs articles....

A modified Penning-Malmberg trap that could store a small cloud of antiprotons for a relatively long time (weeks) has been developed. This trap is intended for use in research on the...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Simulating a Direction-Finder Search for an ELT

A computer program simulates the operation of direction-finding equipment engaged in a search for an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) aboard an aircraft that has crashed.

A method of adaptive setting of a threshold level for the detection of pulses in a pulse-position modulation (PPM) free-space optical communication system has been developed. In...

A method of maintaining radio communication despite the emergence of unpredictable fades and nulls in the radiation pattern of an antenna has been proposed. The method was...

Coupled receiver/decoders have been proposed for receiving weak single-channel phase-modulated radio signals bearing low-rate-turbo-coded binary data. Originally intended for use in...

A design concept for the receiver portion of a proposed free-space optical communication terminal calls for integration of its communication and pointing detectors. As explained...

A process has been devised for the fabrication of a pressure vessel that comprises a composite-material (matrix/fiber) shell with a metal liner on its inner surface. The use of the...

A South American pipeline project that traverses the Amazon jungle and the Andes Mountains to the Pacific coast originates in the Camisea fields of eastern Peru, which are among...

Briefs: Information Technology
Two Methods for Efficient Solution of the Hitting-Set Problem

A paper addresses much of the same subject matter as that of "Fast Algorithms for Model-Based Diagnosis" (NPO-30582), which appears elsewhere in this issue of NASA Tech Briefs.

Briefs: Information Technology
Biased Randomized Algorithm for Fast Model-Based Diagnosis

A biased randomized algorithm has been developed to enable the rapid computational solution of a propositional-satisfiability (SAT) problem equivalent to a diagnosis problem. The closest competing methods of automated diagnosis are described in the preceding article "Fast Algorithms for...

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