Tech Briefs

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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
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...

Briefs: Information Technology

Two improved new methods for automated diagnosis of complex engineering systems involve the use of novel algorithms that are more efficient than prior algorithms used for the same purpose. Both the...

Briefs: Information Technology

Virtually every design decision, from a simple sketch to complex system drawings, is informed by calculations. Yet, in the race to get projects completed and products...

Briefs: Information Technology
Telephone-Directory Program

eDirectory is a computer program that makes it possible to view entries in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) telephone directory by use of PalmPilot™ (or equivalent) personal digital assistants.

Briefs: Information Technology
Fuzzy Logic Engine

The Fuzzy Logic Engine is a software package that enables users to embed fuzzy-logic modules into their application programs.

Briefs: Information Technology
Encryption for Remote Control via Internet or Intranet

A data-communication protocol has been devised to enable secure, reliable remote control of processes and equipment via a collision-based network, while using minimal bandwidth and computation. The network could be the Internet or an intranet. Control is made secure by use of both a password...

Briefs: Information Technology

A quantum algorithm provides for the encoding of an exponentially large number of classical data bits by use of a smaller (polynomially large) number of quantum bits (qubits). The...

Briefs: Materials

A method of aligning and assembling single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) to fabricate macroscopic structures has been invented. The method entails suspending SWNTs in a fluid,...

Briefs: Materials
Formulating Precursors for Coating Metals and Ceramics

A protocol has been devised for formulating low-vapor-pressure precursors for protective and conversion coatings on metallic and ceramic substrates.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Synthetic bursae are under development for incorporation into robot joints that are actuated by motor-driven cables in a manner similar to that of arthropod joints actuated by muscle-driven tendons. Like natural...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

An electromechanical hand-and-forearm assembly has been developed for incorporation into an anthropomorphic robot that would be used in outer space. The assembly is designed to offer manual dexterity...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Formation Flying of Tethered and Nontethered Spacecraft

A paper discusses the effect of the dynamic interaction taking place within a formation composed of a rigid and a deformable vehicle, and presents the concept of two or more tethered spacecraft flying in formation with one or more separated freeflying spacecraft.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

In situ systems that provide fresh lubricants to ball/race contacts on demand have been developed to prolong the operational lives of ball bearings. These systems were originally...

Briefs: Software
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. The simulated equipment is patterned after the equipment used by the Civil Air Patrol to search for missing aircraft. The...

Briefs: Software
Telephone-Directory Program

eDirectory is a computer program that makes it possible to view entries in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) telephone directory by use of PalmPilot ™ (or equivalent) personal digital assistants. When one uses eDirectory, a single click causes the downloading of a current copy of the directory (which is updated...

Briefs: Software
Processing GPS Occultation Data To Characterize Atmosphere

GOAS [Global Positioning System (GPS) Occultation Analysis System] is a computer program that accepts signaloccultation data from GPS receivers aboard low-Earth-orbiting satellites and processes the data to characterize the terrestrial atmosphere and, in somewhat less comprehensive...

Briefs: Software
Software for Secondary-School Learning About Robotics

The ROVer Ranch is an interactive computer program designed to help secondary-school students learn about space-program robotics and related basic scientific concepts by involving the students in simplified design and programming tasks that exercise skills in mathematics and science. The...

Briefs: Software
Data-Driven Software Framework for Web-Based ISS Telescience

Software that enables authorized users to monitor and control scientific payloads aboard the International Space Station (ISS) from diverse terrestrial locations equipped with Internet connections is undergoing development. This software reflects a data-driven approach to distributed...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

Bare fiber measurements are common in optical component manufacturing before the device under test (DUT) is connectorized and final tested. Insertion loss and polarization...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

The recent development of indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) focal plane arrays (FPAs) capable of imaging visible and shortwave infrared (SWIR) wavelengths has yielded a...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

A two-photon fluorescence microscope has been developed for the study of biophysical phenomena. Two-photon microscopy is a novel form of laser-based scanning microscopy that...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Software for Secondary-School Learning About Robotics

The ROVer Ranch is an interactive computer program designed to help secondary-school students learn about space-program robotics and related basic scientific concepts by involving the students in simplified design and programming tasks that exercise skills in mathematics and science.

Briefs: Physical Sciences

Atom skimmers are devices that act as low-pass velocity filters for atoms in thermal atomic beams. An atom skimmer operating in conjunction with a suitable thermal atomic-beam source (e.g., an...

Briefs: Medical
Tissue Engineering Using Transfected Growth-Factor Genes

A method of growing bioengineered tissues includes, as a major component, the use of mammalian cells that have been transfected with genes for secretion of regulator and growth-factor substances. In a typical application, one either seeds the cells onto an artificial matrix made of a...

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...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A proposed instrument would project a narrow laser beam that would be frequency-modulated with a pseudorandom noise (PN) code for simultaneous measurement of range and velocity along...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A method of fabricating planar, flexible microinductors that exhibit a relatively high quality factor (Q) between 1 and 10 MHz has been devised. These inductors are targeted for use in flexible,...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A receiver proposed for use in L-band microwave radiometry (for measuring soil moisture and sea salinity) would utilize digital signal processing to suppress interfering signals. Heretofore, radio...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A series-connected buck boost regulator (SCBBR) is an electronic circuit that bucks a power-supply voltage to a lower regulated value or boosts it to a higher regulated value. The concept of the SCBBR...

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