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
Software for Scanning, Storing, and Retrieving Images

An application program for scanning and storage of images and for retrieval of the images via the World Wide Web has been written in the Java programming language to be portable to any computer and operating system that support the Java Virtual Machine 1.02. The program can be run on one...

Briefs: Motion Control
Improved Magnetostrictive Pump

An improved magnetostrictively actuated pump has been developed to satisfy a need for a small, low-pressure, high-flow-rate fluid pump that contains few moving parts and can run reliably for long periods...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Wireless Information Network

A wireless information network (WIN) is undergoing development for use by workers at locations scattered across Kennedy Space Center (KSC). This WIN could be a prototype of a larger network that would serve all of NASA; by logical extension, it could also be a prototype of commercial WINs. By use of a combination of...

An improved method of fabricating electrodes for fuel cells includes the use of sputtering to deposit thin layers of catalytic electrode metals. Previously, catalytic electrode metals...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Alternative One-Time-Opening Miniature Isolation Valve

The figure depicts a proposed miniature, electrically actuated, one-time-opening isolation valve that would be made mostly of silicon, by use of micromachining techniques. Isolation...

Briefs: Software
Software for Environmental Monitoring in a Large Facility

Four computer programs enable the nearly real-time distribution, analysis, and display of data on temperature, relative humidity, and particle fallout measured by sensors in the Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF) and the Launch Pad Payload Changeout Room (PCR) at Kennedy Space Center. The...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Circuit Detects Pyrolysis of Polyimide Insulation on Wires

An electronic circuit has been designed as a prototype of a device that determines whether critical electrical systems have been compromised because of pyrolysis of polyimide-insulated wires. This circuit can be modified to prevent further pyrolysis and to check for indications of...

Briefs: Software
Software for Parallel Adaptive Refinement of Meshes

A software library has been developed for adaptive refinement of unstructured (that is, irregular) tetrahedral or triangular meshes that define two- or three-dimensional coordinates or volume elements used in parallel (that is, multiprocessor) finite-element or finite-volume computations. This...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A 3D Navier-Stokes CFD Code for Analysis of Turbomachinery

The ADPAC software is a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code for analysis of flows in turbomachines. The outstanding feature of ADPAC is the ability to solve the Navier-Stokes equations for complex three-dimensional (3D) flow fields that include multiple flow paths, and the modeling...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Ion-Mobility Spectrometric Determination of Hydrazines

Hydrazine, monomethylhydrazine, and unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine can be detected and measured at concentrations as low as 10 parts per billion in the presence of ammonia at concentrations as high as 10 parts per million (greater than the odor threshold concentration of ammonia,...

A laser-light-scattering method that includes cross-correlation processing of photodetector output signals has been devised for use in measuring the Brownian motions, and thereby...

Improved formulations and processes have been invented for manufacturing ceramic fibers that exhibit structural stability and retain tensile strength at temperatures up to 1,200...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Insectile and Vermiform Exploratory Robots

A six-legged robot resembling an insect and a legless segmented robot resembling a worm (see figure) have been proposed as prototypes of biomorphic explorers  small, mobile, exploratory robots...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Robot Would Inspect Hanging Cables

A proposed automated apparatus would travel along a hanging cable, optically inspecting it all around. The proposal was made to eliminate lowering human inspectors in baskets along emergency-egress slidewires at Kennedy Space Center launch pads. The apparatus would include a motor drive system, a video camera...

Briefs: Materials
Tailoring Fiber/Matrix Interfaces Through Kirkendall Defects

In a proposed method of tailoring some of the mechanical properties of metal-matrix, oxide-matrix, and ceramic-matrix composite materials, Kirkendall defects (microscopic pores as described below) would be introduced into thin interfacial layers between the fibers and the matrices....

A spectrometer/radiometer now undergoing development is designed to be used aboard a spacecraft to measure the heights of cloud tops on Earth. The spectrometer/radiometer performs...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Low-Energy Interplanetary Transfers Using Lagrangian Points

A paper summarizes early findings from a continuing study of the dynamics of the transport and distribution of matter within the Solar system. In the study, the stable and unstable manifolds of the periodic and quasi-periodic orbits around the Lagrangian points L1 and L2 of the...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Computer Program for Analysis of Convective Heat Transfer

Glenn-HT is a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) computer code for the analysis of three-dimensional flow and convective heat transfer in a gas turbine. Glenn-HT has been evolving during the past few years at Glenn Research Center, and at least 35 technical papers relative to this code...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Watchdog Timer and Reset Control Circuit

A watchdog timer and reset control circuit has been designed for use with a microprocessor or microcontroller (hereafter "microcontroller" for short) that would otherwise lack the protection afforded...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Continuous Electrolytic Generation of Hydrogen Peroxide

Electrolytic cells for the continuous generation of hydrogen peroxide in streams of water have been developed. Cells of this type could be incorporated into wastewater-treatment systems based on advanced oxidation processes that utilize hydroxyl radicals. In addition to...

The validation of computational-fluid-dynamics (CFD) software used for the design and analysis of turbomachinery has made it necessary to resolve measurement of the flow field more...

The Generic Spacecraft Analyst Assistant (GenSAA) computer program enables the rapid development of expert-system software for intelligent real-time monitoring and detection of...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Digital PIV Measurements of Flow in a Centrifugal Compressor

A report describes experiments in which digital particle-image velocimetry (digital PIV) was used to measure the flow field in the diffuser of a high-speed centrifugal compressor. In digital PIV, a sheet of pulsed laser light illuminates a flow field seeded with small tracer particles,...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Inrush-Current-Control Circuit

The electronic circuit shown in the figure regulates the inrush current that arises upon initial application of voltage to capacitors. This inrush-current-control circuit is intended principally to be...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Five Computer Codes for Analysis of Turbomachinery

A suite of five computational fluid dynamics (CFD) codes has been developed for analysis of flows in turbomachinery. Two of the codes are used to generate two-dimensional (2-D) or...

The P-Finite Element Integrated Thermal-Structural Program (PITS 2D) solves the equations for the combined effects of thermal expansion and elasticity in a two-dimensional or an...

Improved evaporators for loop heat pipes have been developed by incorporating bidisperse structures (in place of older monodisperse structures) into evaporator wicks. As explained in...

Briefs: Materials
Reducing Damage to Alumina Fibers in Metal-Matrix Composites

Coating alumina fibers with sputtered metal has been proposed as a means to enable the fibers to retain more strength when the fibers are incorporated into metal-matrix composites. If the alumina fibers could be made to retain more strength, then it would be possible to manufacture...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Better Densification of Cryogenic Liquid Rocket Propellants

An improved system for densifying (by cooling) the liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen used as propellants for the space shuttle has been proposed. These propellant liquids are...

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