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: Software
Central-Monitor Software Module

One of the software modules of the emergency-vehicle traffic-light-preemption system of the two preceding articles performs numerous functions for the central monitoring subsystem. This module monitors the states of all units (vehicle transponders and intersection controllers): It provides real-time access to the...

Briefs: Software
Intersection-Controller Software Module

An important part of the emergencyvehicle traffic-light-preemption system summarized in the preceding article is a software module executed by a microcontroller in each intersection controller. This module monitors the broadcasts from all nearby participating emergency vehicles and intersections. It...

Briefs: Software
Traffic-Light-Preemption Vehicle-Transponder Software Module

A prototype wireless data-communication and control system automatically modifies the switching of traffic lights to give priority to emergency vehicles. The system, which was reported in several NASA Tech Briefs articles at earlier stages of development, includes a transponder on each...

When developing the steering component of the Catrike Speed recumbent tricycle, the manufacturer switched from metal bearings to igubal® plastic rod ends for lighter weight (80%...

A multitude of tests are necessary during the manufacture of sophisticated tables used to position patients in nuclear-medicine-based medical imaging machines. Some of the...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Sensors for Pointing Moving Instruments Toward Each Other

Optoelectronic sensor systems are being developed for use in maintaining fixed relative orientations of two scientific- instrument platforms that are in relative motion. In the original intended application, the platforms would be two spacecraft flying in formation and separated by a long...

An improved cathode structure on a membrane/electrode assembly has been developed for a direct methanol fuel cell, in a continuing effort to realize practical power systems...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Improved Anode for a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell

A modified chemical composition has been devised to improve the performance of the anode of a direct methanol fuel cell. The main feature of the modified composition is the incorporation of...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
X-Band, 17-Watt Solid-State Power Amplifier

An advanced solid-state power amplifier that can generate an output power of as much as 17 W at a design operating frequency of 8.4 GHz has been designed and constructed as a smaller, lighter, less...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Upgrading the Space Shuttle Caution and Warning System

A report describes the history and the continuing evolution of an avionic system aboard the space shuttle, denoted the caution and warning system, that generates visual and auditory displays to alert astronauts to malfunctions. The report focuses mainly on planned human-factors-oriented...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Fractal Reference Signals in Pulse-Width Modulation

A report proposes the use of waveforms having fractal shapes reminiscent of sawteeth (in contradistinction to conventional regular sawtooth waveforms) as reference signals for pulse-width modulation in control systems for thrusters of spacecraft flying in formation.

A system for collecting samples of powdered rock has been devised for use in conjunction with an ultrasonic/sonic drill/corer (USDC) — a lightweight, low-power apparatus designed to...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Semiautomated, Reproducible Batch Processing of Soy

A computer-controlled apparatus processes batches of soybeans into one or more of a variety of food products, under conditions that can be chosen by the user and reproduced from batch to...

An advanced computer code is undergoing development for numerically simulating laser cooling and trapping of large numbers of atoms. The code is expected to be useful in...

A recently conceived approach to automated real-time control of the actions of a robotic system enables an embedded real-time planning algorithm to develop plans that are more robust than...

Briefs: Information Technology
Method of Real-Time Principal-Component Analysis

Dominant element-based gradient descent and dynamic initial learning rate (DOGEDYN) is a method of sequential principal component analysis (PCA) that is well suited for such applications as...

Flight-control and navigation systems inspired by the structure and function of the visual system and brain of insects have been proposed for a class of developmental miniature...

Briefs: Information Technology
Semantic Metrics for Analysis of Software

A recently conceived suite of object-oriented software metrics focus is on semantic aspects of software, in contradistinction to traditional software metrics, which focus on syntactic aspects of software. Semantic metrics represent a more human-oriented view of software than do syntactic metrics. The...

Briefs: Information Technology
Development of Software for a Lidar-Altimeter Processor

A report describes the development of software for a digital processor that operates in conjunction with a finite-impulse-response (FIR) chip in a spaceborne lidar altimeter.Processing is started by a laserfire interrupt signal that is repeated at intervals of 25 ms. For the purpose of...

These coatings show promise, but further development is needed. Conversion coatings that comprise mixtures of molybdates and several additives have been subjected to a variety of...

A relatively economical method of chemical vapor deposition (CVD) has been developed for synthesizing diamond crystals and films. Unlike prior CVD methods for synthesizing diamond, this method does...

Briefs: Materials
Modifying Silicates for Better Dispersion in Nanocomposites

An improved chemical modification has been developed to enhance the dispersion of layered silicate particles in the formulation of a polymer/silicate nanocomposite material. The modification involves, among other things, the co-exchange of an alkyl ammonium ion and a monoprotonated...

A proposed optoelectronic sensor system would measure the increase in thickness of a film of parylene (a thermoplastic polymer made from para-xylene) during growth of the film in a...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Pd/CeO2/SiC Chemical Sensors

The incorporation of nanostructured interfacial layers of CeO2 has been proposed to enhance the performances of Pd/SiC Schottky diodes used to sense hydrogen and hydrocarbons at high temperatures. If successful, this development could prove beneficial in numerous applications in which there are...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Microparticle Flow Sensor

The microparticle flow sensor (MFS) is a system for identifying and counting microscopic particles entrained in a flowing liquid. The MFS includes a transparent, optoelectronically instrumented laminar-flow chamber...

Biosensors of a proposed type would exploit scattering of light by surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Related prior biosensors exploit absorption of light by SPR. Relative to the prior SPR...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Diode-Laser-Based Spectrometer for Sensing Gases

A diode-laser-based spectrometer has been developed for measuring concentrations of gases and is intended particularly for use in analyzing and monitoring combustion processes under microgravitational conditions in a drop tower or a spacecraft.

Pilot scale experiments have demonstrated a method of reducing the amounts of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emitted by industrial boilers and powerplant combustors that...

A capability for real-time computational simulation of aeroheating has been developed in support of the Hyper-X program, which is directed toward demonstrating the feasibility of...

Question of the Week
Will Self-Erasing Chips Catch On?

Trending Stories

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Integrity Sensing With Smart Polymers and Rubber Components on Vehicles

Q&A: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Q&A: NanoLED Architecture Overcomes Efficiency Droop

Articles: Green Design & Manufacturing

Driving Growth and Innovation With Sustainable Design

Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Deep Learning in Machine Vision

Application Briefs: Software

Using the IoT for Predictive Maintenance

Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Researchers Prove Their Elastic Exosuit Eases Back Stress

Videos