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.

Miniature fiber-optic-coupled sensors based on optically excited, self-resonant microbeams are being developed for measuring stresses and strains within muscle fascicles and tendons....

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Optical Measurement of Temperatures in Muscles and Tendons

Miniature fiber-optic-coupled sensors based on optically excited, self-resonant microbeams have been proposed for measuring temperatures within muscle fascicles and tendons. The proposed sensors could be used in medical and biological research on humans and other animals. The proposed...

An improved high-resolution thermometer (HRT) for use in scientific experiments at temperatures

A heterodyne optical interferometer of a type used to measure small displacements can be augmented to suppress a phenomenon, called "self-interference," that tends to limit the...

Storage batteries based on intercalation of lithium and bromine in graphite have been proposed. Like other storage batteries, these could be recharged electrically. Optionally, these...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Signal Processor for Doppler Measurements in Icing Research

An advanced signal processor has been developed to enable high-resolution measurement of the frequency and phase shifts of noisy laser Doppler velocimeter (LDV) and phase Doppler particle analyzer (PDPA) signals. The purpose of the measurements is to exploit the phase Doppler principle...

Paper, tea, tobacco, and other food and industrial goods use drying tunnels to remove moisture from wet product sheets during manufacture. The tunnels operate using a fan to supply drying air to the...

Briefs: Materials
High-Performance POSS-Modified Polymeric Composites

Epoxies and/or cyanate esters that incorporate polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) compounds are undergoing development at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). These formulations are expected to be useful as high-performance matrix resins for advanced, lightweight fiber/matrix...

Briefs: Materials
Model Simulates Semi-Solid Material Processing

David Spencer (MIT) developed semi-solid material processing through an accidental observation he made while dealing with the processing of metals in their mushy state. The semi-solid material process basically consists of two stages: pre-processing and processing. During pre-processing, the...

Briefs: Materials
Modular Cryogenic Insulation

"Modular cryogenic insulation" denotes a chaff for installation in the partially evacuated annular spaces between the inner and outer walls of tanks used to store and transport liquid nitrogen and other cryogenic liquids. The insulating chaff was developed to replace low-density powders (e.g., perlite, silica...

The tail boom of a single-rotor helicopter is subjected to a complex flow field that includes the wakes of the main and tail rotors, the freestream, and the wake from the forward...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Computer Program Predicts Rocket Noise

A computer program predicts the noise and ignition over pressure in the vicinity of a rocket during launch. The program has been developed to complement the vibroacoustic-prediction effort for rockets now in use and to provide the capability for prediction of vibroacoustic loads associated with...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
External Adhesive Pressure-Wall Patch

A mechanical device has been developed for applying an adhesive patch, from the outside, to the wall of a spacecraft module that has lost pressure because of penetration by a meteoroid or a piece of orbital debris. This device will make it possible to seal and re-pressurize the affected module during space...

Johnson Space Center's (JSC's) growing operations community requires new ways to distribute and process mission information. The Mission Control Center uses flight-control application...

Briefs: Information Technology
Electronic Bulletin Board Publishes Schedules in Real Time

Real Time Schedule Publisher (RTSP) is a computer program that generates a report of the current schedules of as many as about 25 users within an organization. The report is refreshed every 5 minutes and displayed in a common area on a flat-panel computer monitor that serves as an...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Apparatus Would Extract Water From the Martian Atmosphere

A report proposes an apparatus that would extract water from the atmosphere of Mars and would consume little energy in doing so. The apparatus would include a set of copper plates surrounded by a thermal shield with slots through which atmospheric gas could circulate. At night, the slots...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Review of Research on Supercritical vs. Subcritical Fluids

A paper reviews theoretical and experimental research on the behaviors of supercritical fluids and, for comparison, subcritical fluids. Experiments with drops, isolated or in groups, streams, shear layers, mixing layers, jets, and sprays are tabulated and discussed as a precursor...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Hybrid Regenerative Water-Recycling System

A wastewater-recycling system contains biological and physicochemical water-treatment units. The system is suitable for use in environments in which clean water supplies are limited. Waste streams containing urine and washwater are purified into potable water with a recovery rate of 99 percent....

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Study of Fusion-Driven Plasma Thruster With Magnetic Nozzle

A report presents a computational study of a proposed plasma thruster for a spacecraft. The behavior of the plasma was computationally simulated by use of a mathematical model of magnetohydrodynamic flow implemented in the previously developed MACH2 computer program. To increase...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Liquid/Vapor-Hydrazine Thruster Would Produce Small Impulses

A report proposes a liquid/vapor-hydrazine thruster for use in controlling the attitude of a small spacecraft. From the upstream to the downstream end, the thruster would include a tank containing liquid hydrazine, a fast liquid valve, a heated prevaporizing plenum, a fast gas...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Thruster Based on Sublimation of Solid Hydrazine

A report proposes a small spacecraft attitude-control thruster in which the propellant material would be hydrazine that would be stored frozen until sublimed at the instant of use. From the upstream to the downstream end, the main components of the thruster would include a plug of solid...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Temporary Fullerene Films in Microelectromechanical Devices

In a proposed technique for fabrication of microelectromechanical devices, thin films of fullerenes would be used as temporary packaging to protect and position delicate...

Briefs: Materials
Model Simulates Semi-Solid Material Processing

David Spencer (MIT) developed semi-solid material processing through an accidental observation he made while dealing with the processing of metals in their mushy state. The semi-solid material process basically consists of two stages: pre-processing and processing. During pre-processing, the...

A data system generates information on the position and orientation of a pointing instrument (e.g., a telescope or a laser) that could be mounted on a moving platform (e.g., an aircraft) and...

A method of processing phase measurements in a large, unequal-arm laser Michelson interferometer makes it possible to measure phase effects much smaller than the laser phase noise....

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Conformably Stowable Canard

An improved secondary wing system of the canard type has been invented to improve performance and increase efficiency of airplanes capable of flight at supersonic and high subsonic speeds. Canards, including...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Improved Dynamic Holographic Optical-Interconnection System

An improved visual display system for a helmet produces two- and three-dimensional images by use of the limited domain of spatial light modulation (SLM) values. One especially notable improvement incorporated into the design of this system is a simplification in the design of dynamic...

Optoelectronic oscillators (OEOs) that incorporate carrier-suppression subsystems for reduction of close-to-carrier phase noise are undergoing development. The carrier-suppression...

A control scheme for nulling interferometry has been devised to make it possible to stabilize interferometric optical-path-length differences to within approximately a nanometer....

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