Briefs : Materials
Aerogels With Gradients of Density

Aerogels with gradients in density have been produced in experiments, as part of an effort to develop materials that will be used in outer space to capture particles traveling at high speeds for the STARDUST mission.

Briefs : Motion Control
Controller for Bistable Brakes

The circuit shown in the figure is a controller for bistable brakes. The use of bistable brakes reduces energy consumption and spurious heating, as explained below.

A bistable brake is one that can stay in the "on" or "off" position without consuming energy from an outside source. To switch a bistable brake...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Ultracapacitors Store Energy in a Hybrid Electric Vehicle

A government/ industry/ academic cooperative has developed a hybrid electric transit bus (HETB). The goals of the development program, which continues, include doubling the fuel economy of city transit buses currently in service, and reducing emissions to one-tenth of the levels allowed...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Interferometric System Images Small Vibrating Structures

A commercial scanning imaging white-light interferometer designed for measuring surface profiles of stationary objects has been modified into an interferometric instrument for imaging vibrating microelectromechanical structures. The modified instrument operates in a stroboscopic mode,...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Four-Message Electromechanical Display System

A proposed electromechanical display system would be capable of presenting as many as four different messages. Conventional electromechanical display systems are limited to three messages.

Briefs : Information Technology
Rapid-Prototyping Virtual-Reality Software Tool Kit

The VrTool computer program enables its user to rapidly develop a prototype virtual-reality (VR) application program. Users of VR application programs need software that can help them keep pace with the rapidly evolving VR field. None of the previously commercially available VR software tool...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Imaging With a Focal-Plane Array of Ultrasonic Transducers

A prototype system for acoustic imaging of gas leaks that emit ultrasound was developed at Kennedy Space Center. Potential government and commercial users concerned with leak imaging and safety expressed interest in this technology.

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Two-Photon Microscope Imaging Spectrometer

A two-photon microscope imaging spectrometer has been proposed for use in scanning confocal two-photon microscopy. The proposed instrument would solve a spectrum-overlap that sometimes arises, as explained below.

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Improved HRTF-Based Pseudostereophony

An improved pseudostereophonic system utilizes digital filtering and head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) to afford tailorability and sound quality not available from older pseudostereophonic systems. Although the term "pseudostereophony" may not be widely known, the underlying concept has been studied...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Microwave Battery Charger

A simple microwave power-transmission system has been proposed for maintaining the charge on spacecraft batteries immediately prior to launch. The basic concept of this system could also be applied to other systems (e.g., emergency equipment) that must be kept in a state of high readiness for rapid deployment, without...

Briefs : Software
Software Interface Between MATLAB and a PC RS-232 Serial Port

A computer program establishes an interface between the MATLAB software and the serial data port of a personal computer (PC) that runs either the Windows 95 or the Windows NT operating system. The program makes it possible to utilize the graphical user interface (GUI) and the...

Briefs : Software
Program for Analysis of Spacecraft Telecommunication Systems

A computer program facilitates the analysis and design of a radio-communication system for transmitting data from an orbiting spacecraft to ground stations. Input data provided by the user include primarily (1) parameters of the spacecraft orbit (including parameters that specify...

Briefs : Software
Software for Spacecraft/Ground Communication via the Internet

The Space Communications Protocol Standards (SCPS) specify a developmental system of international protocols for data communications between spacecraft and points on Earth. SCPS protocols are intended to make a spacecraft appear, to a terrestrial computer user, as just another node...

Briefs : Materials
Improved Fabrication of YBa2Cu3O7 —x Superconductors

An improved method of manufacturing high-temperature superconductors of general composition YBa2Cu3O7— x and various grain structures has been devised. This method involves mixing, pressing, and heating of Y2O3, CuO, and...

Briefs : Materials
Susceptor-Coating Materials for Growth of 4H-SiC

Several materials have shown promise for coating graphite susceptors used in epitaxial growth of 4H-SiC. The development of appropriate susceptor-coating materials is an essential part of continuing efforts to produce high-quality, thick, undoped and lightly doped epilayers of 4H-SiC for use as...

Technology Leaders

Tech Briefs TV