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.

Adaptive variable bias control (AVBC) is an improved technique for controlling the currents supplied to the electromagnets in magnetic bearings. In AVBC, the bias currents are varied in...

The term "mechanical mirroring using controlled stiffness and actuators" ("MEMICA") denotes a developmental concept for reflecting contact forces, displacements, mechanical damping,...

A phased-array-fed cylindrical-reflector antenna with superquadric projected aperture has been designed to afford the ability to scan the beam over a wide angular range without...

Open-cell silicon carbide foam coated with a ferrite-filled absorbing resin has been found to be useful for black-body absorbers at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths. The...

A commercial version of the NASA plasma-contactor hollow-cathode assembly (PC HCA) has been developed. The NASA PC HCA is a highly reliable hollow discharge cathode that is the most thoroughly...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Adaptive Filtering of SAR Interferograms

An algorithm for filtering synthetic-aperture-radar (SAR) interferograms has been developed which substantially improves the performance of subsequent phase-unwrapping. It accomplishes this task by filtering the interferogram strongly in areas where the scene contains little detail, and weakly where the...

Briefs: Information Technology
Developmental Software for Exploiting Hyperspectral Imagery

A unique state-of-the-art process for exploiting hyperspectral satellite imagery, based on evolutionary computing methods, has been developed and a proof-of-concept demonstration has been conducted. This development is projected to lead to several important commercial products,...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Techniques for Controlling Buoyancy of Balloons on Titan

A report discusses alternative techniques for controlling the buoyancy, and thus the altitude and landings, of a balloon-borne instrumentation system that would be launched to explore the moon Titan of the planet Saturn. Some of the techniques are based on established concepts of heating...

An algorithm for rapid acquisition of a pulse-position-modulation (PPM) optical data signal implements a pattern-matching technique for synchronization of receiver timing with the...

Lightweight, low-power-consumption, inexpensive ozone sensors based on colorimetric chemical sensing would be developed, according to a proposal. Colorimetric chemical sensing is an...

Briefs: Materials
Update on Electrolytes for Low-Temperature Lithium Cells

A report presents results of research on carbonate-based electrolytes to improve the low-temperature-performances of lithium-ion rechargeable electrochemical cells. The loss of performance with decreasing temperature is attributable largely to a decrease of ionic conductivity and the...

A technique for noninvasive determination of the pressure in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has been proposed. This technique would involve two main steps: First, an optical coherence...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Bushing-Mounted Drag Chain

The figure illustrates a chair-base mechanism with a bushing-mounted drag chain. The bushing-mount design provides for one end of the drag chain to be free to pivot; this provision makes it possible to wrap the...

An improved solution for preserving samples of urine has been formulated. This solution preserves a much broader spectrum of analytes in urine than do other urine-preservative solutions here-tofore in use by NASA,...

Briefs: Medical
Primers for Amplifying CMV DNA in Body Fluids and Tissue

A novel set of primers has been developed for use in a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of cytomegalovirus (CMV). The purpose of this development is to enable faster, more sensitive detection of CMV virus infecting body fluids and tissues.

Briefs: Software
The Automated Fatigue Calculation Program (FATPLUS)

Since it was developed in the late 1980s, the Automated Fatigue Calculation Program (FATPLUS) has consistently demonstrated its ability to predict fatigue life, independently validate proprietary fatigue methodologies, identify fatigue-sensitive parts, and train engineers in predicting...

A temperature correction has been developed to enable the extraction of pressure images and corresponding pressure data from images of photoluminescence of pressure-sensitive paints (PSPs)....

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Studies of Interaction Impedance in a TWT Helix

Two reports present further developments in the subject of "Computation of Characteristics of a Helical TWT Slow-Wave Circuit" (LEW-16571), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 22, No. 4 (April 1998), page 54. The subject is computation, by use of the MAFIA (Solution of MAxwell's Equations by the...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
High-Temperature Pressure Sensors Made From Silicon Carbide

Pressure sensors that contain thin diaphragms made from the 6H polytype of silicon carbide (6H-SiC) have been developed. These are prototypes of pressure sensors for use at high temperatures in engines, power plants, material-processing systems, and numerous other applications.

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Piezoelectric Igniter/Pressure-Sensor Devices

Piezoelectric devices that would serve as spark plugs, power generators for spark plugs, and/or pressure sensors have been proposed for use in internal-combustion engines. Unlike conventional spark plugs, these devices would function without need for wire connections to external high-voltage sources....

Electrically tunable microstrip two-pole band-bass filters for a center frequency near 19 GHz and a 4-percent bandwidth have been designed, fabricated, and demonstrated to be functional....

Improved polymer electrolyte membranes for direct methanol fuel cells can be made by impregnating the baseline membrane material with cross-linked polystyrene (a copolymer of styrene...

Computational simulations and wind-tunnel tests have demonstrated the feasibility of using inflatable boots on the leading edges of airplane wings, both as devices to increase lift and...

Briefs: Information Technology
Expert System To Develop Job Standards

The Job Standards Development System is a user-friendly expert system that (1) helps users select an appropriate work measurement methodology to develop job standards (or the less formal job time estimates) and (2) leads the users through the steps necessary to use a work time estimating technique to...

Briefs: Information Technology
Further Developments in Web Interactive Training

Three innovative computer programs for training and testing personnel at Kennedy Space Center have been developed under the aegis of the Web Interactive Training (WIT) project. The WIT project exploits the capabilities afforded by the Internet and by state-of-the-art multimedia data-presentation...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Using Narrow-Band Data Links in Locating Lightning Strikes

A method of preprocessing lightning-measurement waveforms has been devised to reduce the bandwidth needed to transmit data for computing the locations of lightning strikes. The method is used in a system in which electric fields and electric-field derivatives induced by lightning are...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Centralized Electronic Reporting of Material-Science Tasks

The Materials Science Division (MSD) at Kennedy Space Center is developing a computer system to maintain a material-science data base coupled with a user-friendly interface on the World Wide Web. The system is designed to eliminate the need for time-consuming and expensive distribution...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Nonintrusive Flow-Measurement System

A nonintrusive flow-measurement system based on ultrasonics has been developed to replace a system based on turbine flowmeters. A turbine flowmeter must be mounted in line with a pipe; this raises the...

A laminated composite-material plate has been developed for use as a lightweight heat sink and mechanical support for rigid printed-circuit boards (PCBs) that hold surface-mounted...

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