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
Wavelet-Based Time-Varying Models of Pilots in Control Loops

A report presents a study of the use of wavelet-based mathematical models to quantify the responses of humans in control loops. The report begins with a review of the traditional representation of manual control responses by use of transfer functions derived from Fourier transforms,...

A mid-infrared wave-number range has been identified as being useful for laser measurements of CO and CO2 gases that contain various combinations of isotopes of C and O. The...

The figure schematically depicts two proposed alternative versions of an instrument that amounts, in effect, to a compact, lightweight optoelectronic microscope that contains no...

The figure depicts the laboratory setup of an optical-fiber-coupled microsphere laser with an output in the 1.55-µm wavelength band used in some communication systems. This laser...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Multiple-Pump Lasers

A conceptually simple, effective scheme for reliable, high-power pumping of neodymium:yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) lasers (and perhaps also other solid-state lasers) has been devised. Heretofore, it has been common...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
“Morphing” in Evolutionary Synthesis of Electronic Circuits

A method of automated evolutionary synthesis of electronic circuits has been augmented by a concept called “morphing through fuzzy topologies.” Previous versions of the method provided for the evaluation of “crisp” topologies were precisely specified by open/closed (on/off)...

Miniature fuel cells in a “flat-pack” configuration are being developed as alternatives to recharge- able batteries in cellular telephones, laptop computers, and other small,...

Internal-combustion engines would be constructed with cylinders and ringless pistons made of lightweight carbon/carbon composite materials, according to a proposal. This proposal is a...

A method of automated synthesis of analog and/or digital electronic circuits involves evolution in both software simulations and hardware. Heretofore, the evolutionary auto- mated...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Sequential-Color LED Illumination for Reflective Microdisplays

Integrated silicon microdisplays, such as liquid-crystal-on-silicon (LCOS) devices, are becoming the most effective image source for high-resolution viewfinders, head- mounted displays, and helmet-mounted displays (HMDs). Since these microdisplays are reflective in nature, they...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Multifunction Input/Output Integrated Circuits

Integrated circuits that would perform a variety of analog-signal, digital- signal, and power input/output functions have been proposed. Conceived for use as versatile, fault-tolerant interfaces...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
SEU-Tolerant Flip-Flops

Several improvements in the designs of flip-flop circuits that are parts of logic circuits have been proposed to reduce the incidence of logic errors associated with single- event upsets (SEUs) [bit flips caused by...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Console for an Overhead-Bridge Crane

Human factors engineering has been applied to the design of an overheadbridge crane control console for use by a seated operator in a clean-room environment. The crane console provides the operator with the ability to lift and move loads up to 27.5 tons (24.9 tonnes) in three vertical speed ranges and three...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
High-Temperature Coils for Electromagnets

Coiled electric wires have been developed for use in electromagnets that operate at high temperatures. Examples of such electromagnets could include the actuators in magnetic bearings in advanced gas...

Briefs: Software
Software Generates Sequences of Operations for a Mars Rover

Automated Rover Sequence Generation (ARSG) is a prototype computer program for ground-based automatic generation of sequences of commands that can be used for a robotic exploratory vehicle (rover) on Mars. ARSG is based on the Automated Scheduling and Planning Environment (ASPEN)...

Briefs: Software
Web-Based Software Service Improves Space-Shuttle Processing

Human data-transfer from space-shuttle checkout systems to shuttle business systems is slow, error-prone, and expensive. The Operations and Maintenance Requirement Specification-Automated Buy Off System (OMRS-ABOS) is a software system that automatically transfers test-validation data...

Briefs: Software
Program Analyzes Current Signatures of Solenoid Valves

A computer program processes signal data in the instrument described in “Current- Signature Sensor for Diagnosing Solenoid Valves” (KSC-12152), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 25, No. 9 (September 2001), page 30. Ten-bit samples of the electric current in a solenoid valve are acquired at a rate...

Briefs: Software
Program Predicts Radiation Forces on a Satellite

A computer program predicts the radiation forces on the TOPEX/ Poseidon satellite at any point in its orbit around the Earth. The program performs a unified analysis of the thermal, radiative, power-generation, and orbital-mechanics aspects of operation because these aspects are inter- dependent:...

Briefs: Software
OwWwL and AgentNation: Knowledge-Robot Software

OwWwL and Agent- Nation are Java- language computer programs that act together, quickly scanning Internet databases for relevant information, then organizing the infor- mation into a format suited to the user. OwWwL is a search- engine program that, like other such programs, includes a “spider”...

Briefs: Software
Application Fault Injector

Application Fault Injector (AFI) is a simple com- puter program for testing the fault tolerance of other programs. AFI is a library of subroutines designed to inject faults into memory, data structures, and registers. The library is modular, can easily be extended, and can easily be ported to different computer...

Progress has been achieved in continuing research directed toward increasing the wear resistance and enhancing the self- lubrication properties of chemical-vapor-deposited (CVD) diamond films....

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Water-Jet Accelerator for Launching a Spacecraft

A proposed ground- based apparatus would accelerate a spacecraft to speed of about mach 1, thus making it possible to increase the payload and/or reduce the cost of launching the space- craft into orbit. The apparatus would include a track along which the spacecraft would ride on a sled. Hundreds...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Modular, Highly Maintainable, and Flexible Control Software

Model Rocket Engine Software System (MRECS) is a system of control software that was originally intended for use in controlling rocket engines but is also applicable to almost any real-time, closed- loop process-control system — for example, the feedback control system of a robot....

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Low-Plasticity Burnishing

Low-plasticity burnishing (LPB) has been devel- oped as an affordable means of imparting residual compressive stresses to surface layers of metal parts (especially engine components) in order to increase their...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
System for Detecting Hazardous Gases at Multiple Locations

The Hazardous Gas Detection System 2000 (HGDS 2000) is the latest in a series of instrumentation systems for detecting gases leaking from a space shuttle on a launch pad. The HGDS is a fully redundant system that includes analog and digital electronic control circuitry and a sub- system...

A relatively simple and inexpensive method of fabricating a temperature-compensation element for high- temperature strain gauges has been devised. This element, connected in...

Windowed revocation is a technique for the revocation of the digital certificates that provide assurance of the auth- enticity and integrity of public encryption keys and associated...

Briefs: Software
Mechanical Event Simulation for MEMS Design

This report examines the simulation of the dynamic behavior of a MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) optical switch in order to meet the Telcordia telecommunication industry standards for shock. The setup of the finite element model of the telecommunications device is discussed in detail, along...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Narrowband Tunable Optical Filter Using Fiber Bragg Gratings

Research at Langley Research Center has developed a special fiber- Bragg grating optical filter for use in aircraft or spaceborne differential absorption lidar (DIAL) systems for measuring water vapor in the atmosphere of the Earth. The filter is an optical fiber containing two Bragg...

Question of the Week
Would You Use a ‘SwingBot?’

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