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.

The figure shows a fixture for measuring the tensile strength of the bond between an aluminum substrate and a thermally insulating polymeric foam. The specimen is meant to be...

Slat heater boxes have been invented for controlling the sink temperatures of objects under test in a thermal vacuum chamber, the walls of which are cooled to the temperature of liquid nitrogen. A...

Langley Research Center has developed electrical- impedance- based icethickness gauges and is seeking partners and collaborators to commercialize them. When used as parts of active monitoring...

An apparatus and method have been developed for measuring the rates of leakage of heat into pipes carrying liquids, the purpose of the measurements being to quantify the thermal performance of...

A proposed method of suppressing the effect of background noise in an optical communication system would exploit the transmission and reception of correlated photons at the receiver. The...

Curved-focal-plane arrays of back-illuminated silicon-based photodetectors are being developed. The basic idea is to improve the performance of an imaging instrument...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
ICCD Camera Enables PLIF Technique for Fuel Visualization in Engines

Large-bore, slow-speed, natural gas two-stoke cycle engines used for power generation and gas compression on natural gas pipelines suffer from poor in-cylinder mixing processes caused by ineffective fuel delivery, which can increase emissions and create low engine efficiency...

Because the hardware interfaces of IR cameras change frequently, this infrared (IR) camera software suite (RTools™) consists of a set of stand-alone, executable...

Scanning tunneling optical resonance microscopy (STORM) is a method, now undergoing development, for measuring optoelectronic properties of materials and devices on the nanoscale by means of a...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
The Micro-Arcsecond Metrology Testbed

The Micro-Arcsecond Metrology (MAM) testbed is a ground-based system of optical and electronic equipment for testing components, systems, and engineering concepts for the Space Interferometer Mission...

The designers and manufacturers of fuel cells are continually striving to improve the efficiency of their products. A design challenge facing the engineer relates to...

Briefs: Medical
Exercise Device Would Exert Selectable Constant Resistance

An apparatus called the resistive exercise device (RED) has been proposed to satisfy a requirement for exercise equipment aboard the International Space Station (ISS) that could passively exert a selectable constant load on both the outward and return strokes. The RED could be used...

Since the advent of Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology, microfabrication methods have been used to manufacture a wide range of miniature pumps. These...

Sensor packages that would be dropped from airplanes have been proposed for pre-eruption monitoring of physical conditions on the flanks of awakening volcanoes. The purpose of such...

An effort is under way to develop capacitive sensors for measuring the masses of cryogenic fluids in tanks. These sensors are intended to function in both microgravitational and...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Multimode Broad-Band Patch Antennas

Microstrip patch antennas of a proposed type would be tunable over broad wavelength ranges. These antennas would be attractive for use in a variety of microwave communication systems in which there are...

An ultra-high-frequency microstrip-patch antenna has been built for use in airborne synthetic-aperture radar (SAR). The antenna design satisfies requirements specific to the GeoSAR...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
164-GHz MMIC HEMT Frequency Doubler

A monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) that includes a high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) has been developed as a prototype of improved frequency doublers for generating signals at...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
GPS Position and Heading Circuitry for Ships

Circuit boards that contain radio-frequency (RF) and digital circuitry have been developed by NASA to satisfy a requirement of the Port of Houston Authority for relatively inexpensive Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers that indicate the azimuthal headings as well as the positions of ships. The...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Ultrasonic/Sonic Mechanisms for Drilling and Coring

Two apparatuses now under development are intended to perform a variety of deep-drilling, coring, and sensing functions for subsurface exploration of rock and soil. These are modified...

Engineers at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center have received a patent on an emergency flight-control method implemented by a propulsion-controlled aircraft (PCA) system. Utilizing...

Briefs: Information Technology
Active State Model for Autonomous Systems

The concept of the active state model (ASM) is an architecture for the development of advanced integrated fault-detection- and-isolation (FDI) systems for robotic land vehicles, pilotless aircraft,...

Briefs: Information Technology
Modernizing Fortran 77 Legacy Codes

The investment in established codes is preserved as modern capabilities are added.

An incremental approach to modernization of scientific software written in the Fortran 77 computing language has been developed. This approach makes it possible to preserve the investment in legacy Fortran software while...

Briefs: Materials
Improved Thermal-Insulation Systems for Low Temperatures

Improved thermal-insulation materials and structures and the techniques for manufacturing them are undergoing development for use in low-temperature applications. Examples of low-temperature equipment for which these thermal insulation systems could provide improved energy efficiency...

A relatively simple silanization process has been developed for waterproofing or rewaterproofing aerogels, xerogels, and aerogel/tile composites, and other, similar low-density, highly microporous...

Briefs: Materials
Oxide Protective Coats for Ir/Re Rocket Combustion Chambers

An improved material system has been developed for rocket engine combustion chambers for burning oxygen/hydrogen mixtures or novel monopropellants, which are highly oxidizing at operating temperatures. The baseline for developing the improved material system is a prior iridium/rhenium...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Neutral-Axis Springs for Thin-Wall Integral Boom Hinges

A document proposes the use of neutral-axis springs to augment the unfolding torques of hinges that are integral parts of thin-wall composite-material booms used to deploy scientific instruments from spacecraft. A spring according to the proposal would most likely be made of metal and could...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Shields for Enhanced Protection Against High-Speed Debris

A report describes improvements over the conventional Whipple shield (two thin, spaced aluminum walls) for protecting spacecraft against high-speed impacts of orbiting debris. The debris in question arise mainly from breakup of older spacecraft. The improved shields include exterior...

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