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
Single-Command Approach and Instrument Placement by a Robot on a Target

AUTOAPPROACH is a computer program that enables a mobile robot to approach a target autonomously, starting from a distance of as much as 10 m, in response to a single command. AUTOAPPROACH is used in conjunction with (1) software that analyzes images acquired by stereoscopic...

Briefs: Software
APGEN Version 5.0

Activity Plan Generator (APGEN), now at version 5.0, is a computer program that assists in generating an integrated plan of activities for a spacecraft mission that does not oversubscribe spacecraft and ground resources.

Briefs: Software
Training Software in Artificial-Intelligence Computing Techniques

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Toolkit is a computer program for training scientists, engineers, and university students in three soft-computing techniques (fuzzy logic, neural networks, and genetic algorithms) used in artificial-intelligence applications. The program promotes...

Briefs: Software
Diagnosis and Prognosis of Weapon Systems

The Prognostics Framework is a set of software tools with an open architecture that affords a capability to integrate various prognostic software mechanisms and to provide information for operational and battlefield decision-making and logistical planning pertaining to weapon systems. The Prognostics...

Briefs: Software
Predicting Noise From Aircraft Turbine-Engine Combustors

COMBUSTOR and CNOISE are computer codes that predict far-field noise that originates in the combustors of modern aircraft turbine engines — especially modern, low-gaseous-emission engines, the combustors of which sometimes generate several decibels more noise than do the combustors of...

Briefs: Software
Space Physics Data Facility Web Services

The Space Physics Data Facility (SPDF) Web services provides a distributed programming interface to a portion of the SPDF software. (A general description of Web services is available at http://www.w3.org/ and in many current software-engineering texts and articles focused on distributed programming.) The...

Briefs: Software
Parallel Adaptive Mesh Refinement Library

Parallel Adaptive Mesh Refinement Library (PARAMESH) is a package of Fortran 90 subroutines designed to provide a computer programmer with an easy route to extension of (1) a previously written serial code that uses a logically Cartesian structured mesh into (2) a parallel code with adaptive mesh...

Briefs: Software
Estimating Effects of Multipath Propagation on GPS Signals

Multipath Simulator Taking into Account Reflection and Diffraction (MUSTARD) is a computer program that simulates effects of multipath propagation on received Global Positioning System (GPS) signals. MUSTARD is a very efficient means of estimating multipath-induced position and phase...

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...

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Machine Vision for Industrial Inspection

Upcoming Webinars: Electronics & Computers

Protecting Power Electronics from EM and RF Interference

Upcoming Webinars: Electronics & Computers

Vehicle Electrification

Upcoming Webinars: Sensors/Data Acquisition

The Evolution of SOSA

Upcoming Webinars: Software

Next-Gen Vehicle Architectures and the Role of HPCs

Tech Talks: Medical

Testing Home Healthcare Medical Devices

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