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 imposition of a magnetic field has been proposed as a means of reducing the electron backstreaming problem in ion thrusters.

Electron backstreaming refers to the...

Briefs: Software
Software for Improved Extraction of Data From Tape Storage

A computer program has been written to replace the original software of Racal Storeplex Delta tape recorders, which are used at Stennis Space Center. The original software could be activated by a command- line interface only; the present software offers the option of a command-line or...

Briefs: Software
Software for Displaying High-Frequency Test Data

An easy-to-use, intuitive computer program was written to satisfy a need of test operators and data requestors to quickly view and manipulate high-frequency test data recorded at the East and West Test Areas at Marshall Space Flight Center. By enabling rapid analysis, this program makes it...

Distributed-object computing systems are presented with many security threats, including network eavesdropping, message tampering, and communications middleware masquerading. NASA Glenn...

Briefs: Software
Next-Generation Car Engines Optimized to Improve Gas Mileage

This paper examines the simulation and thermal optimization of a wide-range oxygen sensor, which helps to regulate clean and efficient motor operation. The setup of the finite element model of the oxygen sensor is discussed in detail, along with how the sensor's geometry and material...

An optical heterodyne interferometer that can be used to measure linear displacements with an error -20 pm has been developed. The remarkable accuracy of this interferometer is...

Multi-scale retinex with color restoration (MSRCR) is a method of processing digital image data based on Edwin Land's retinex (retina + cortex) theory of human color vision. An...

An instrumentation system that would include an ultraviolet (UV) laser or light-emitting diode, an infrared (IR) laser, and the equivalent of an IR Raman spectrometer has been proposed...

Standard induction motors, normally designed to run at base speeds between 850 to 3500 rpm, are not particularly well suited for low-speed operation, as their...

An improved method has been devised for the computational prediction of a collision between (1) a robotic manipulator and (2) another part of the robot or an external object in the...

Briefs: Motion Control
Small, Untethered, Mobile Robots for Inspecting Gas Pipes

Small, untethered mobile robots denoted gas-pipe explorers (GPEXs) have been proposed for inspecting the interiors of pipes used in the local distribution natural gas. The United States has network of gas- distribution pipes with a total length of approximately 109 m. These...

A proposed inchworm actuator, to be designed and fabricated according to the principles of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), would effect linear motion characterized by steps as...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
The Ames Power Monitoring System

Power demand can be managed to reduce cost.

The Ames Power Monitoring System (APMS) is a centralized system of power meters, computer hardware, and special-purpose software that collects and stores...

A subsystem for the adaptive suppression of noise in a voice-communication system effects a high level of reduction of noise that enters the system through microphones. The subsystem...

Integrated arrays of microscopic solid-state batteries have been demonstrated in a continuing effort to develop microscopic sources of power and of voltage...

The figure shows one of four solid-state power amplifiers, each capable of generating an output power ≥240 mW over one of four overlapping frequency bands from 71 to 106 GHz. (The bands...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Paint-Overspray Catcher

An apparatus to catch paint overspray has been proposed. Overspray is an unavoidable parasitic component of spray that occurs because the flow of air or other gas in the spray must turn at the sprayed surface. Very...

Briefs: Information Technology
Aerodynamic Design Using Neural Networks

The design of aerodynamic components of aircraft, such as wings or engines, involves a process of obtaining the most optimal component shape that can deliver the desired level of component...

Briefs: Information Technology
Adaptation of Mesoscale Weather Models to Local Forecasting

Methodologies have been developed for (1) configuring mesoscale numerical weather- prediction models for execution on high- performance computer workstations to make short-range weather forecasts for the vicinity of the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station...

Briefs: Information Technology
Software for Managing Inventory of Flight Hardware

The Flight Hardware Support Request System (FHSRS) is a computer program that relieves engineers at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) of most of the non-engineering administrative burden of managing an inventory of flight hardware. The FHSRS can also be adapted to perform similar functions for...

Briefs: Information Technology
yourSky: Custom Sky-Image Mosaics via the Internet

yourSky is a computer program that supplies custom astronomical image mosaics of sky regions specified by requesters using client computers connected to the Internet. [yourSky is an upgraded version of the software reported in "Software for Generating Mosaics of Astronomical Images" (NPO-21121),...

Briefs: Information Technology
Software Estimates Costs of Testing Rocket Engines

Simulation-Based Cost Model (SiCM), a discrete event simulation developed in Extend™, simulates pertinent aspects of the testing of rocket propulsion test articles for the purpose of estimating the costs of such testing during time intervals specified by its users. A user enters input data for...

Briefs: Information Technology
Software Supports Distributed Operations via the Internet

Multi-mission Encrypted Communication System (MECS) is a computer program that enables authorized, geographically dispersed users to gain secure access to a common set of data files via the Internet. MECS is compatible with legacy application programs and a variety of operating systems....

Briefs: Information Technology
Software Assists in Extensive Environmental Auditing

The Base Environmental Management System (BEMS) is a Web-based application program for managing and tracking audits by the Environmental Office of Stennis Space Center in conformity with standard 14001 of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 14001). (This standard specifies...

Briefs: Information Technology
Software for Collaborative Engineering of Launch Rockets

The Rocket Evaluation and Cost Integration for Propulsion and Engineering software enables collaborative computing with automated exchange of information in the design and analysis of launch rockets and other complex systems. RECIPE can interact with and incorporate a variety of programs,...

Briefs: Materials
Treatment To Destroy Chloro-hydrocarbon Liquids in the Ground

A relatively simple chemical treatment that involves the use of emulsified iron has been found to be effective in remediating groundwater contaminated with trichloroethylene and other dense chlorohydrocarbon liquids. These liquids are members of the class of dense, non-aqueous phase...

Briefs: Materials
Process for Smoothing an Si Substrate After Etching of SiO₂

A reactive-ion etching (RIE) process for smoothing a silicon substrate has been devised. The process is especially useful for smoothing those silicon areas that have been exposed by etching a pattern of holes in a layer of silicon dioxide that covers the substrate. Applications in...

Briefs: Materials
Flexible Composite-Material Pressure Vessel

A proposed lightweight pressure vessel would be made of a composite of high-tenacity continuous fibers and a flexible matrix material. The flexibility of this pressure vessel would render it (1) compactly stowable for transport and (2) more able to withstand impacts, relative to lightweight pressure...

Briefs: Materials
Lower-Conductivity Thermal-Barrier Coatings

Thermal-barrier coatings (TBCs) that have both initial and post-exposure thermal conductivities lower than those of yttria-stabilized zirconia TBCs have been developed. TBCs are thin ceramic layers, generally applied by plasma spraying or physical vapor deposition, that are used to insulate air-cooled...

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