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The figure schematically illustrates three manipulator mechanisms for positioning an end effector (a robot hand or other object) in a plane (which would ordinarily be horizontal)....

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Improved Cable-Drive Pretensioner

An improved mechanism has been devised to facilitate the adjustment of tension in a cable in a cable-and-pulley drive. Cable-and-pulley drives are being used increasingly in robots and other...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Path-Planning Program for a Redundant Robotic Manipulator

The Space Station Robot Manipulator System (SSRMS) Path Planning Program is a computer program that, in comparison with software developed previously for the same purpose, supports operations of faster and more complex robots. Two especially notable features of the program are that (1) it...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Comprehensive Micromechanics-Analysis Code (MAC/GMC)

Micromechanics Analysis Code With Generalized Method of Cells (MAC/GMC) is a comprehensive, user-friendly, efficient computer program that predicts the elastic and inelastic thermomechanical responses of continuous and discontinuous composite materials with arbitrary internal microstructures...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Surface Micromachined Silicon Carbide Accelerometers

Surface micromachined silicon carbide accelerometers are undergoing development for eventual use in high-temperature environments like those inside turbines, internal-combustion engines,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Molded Plastic Simulated Landscapes

Simulated landscapes of Mars have been made of thermoplastic sheets molded to shapes derived from images of the Martian terrain. These simulated landscapes can be used to advantage in scientific experiments, simulations, educational displays, and other applications, in which unitary molded plastic sheets...

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: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Failure-Resistant Multiline Tethers

Hoytethers™ are failure-resistant multiline tethers named after their inventor, Robert Hoyt. They were originally intended for use in outer space to provide reliable tethering of satellites in the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Program Simulates Flights of Advanced Aerospace Vehicles

Marshall Aerospace Vehicle Representation in C (MAVERIC) is a C-language computer program developed for use in performing high-fidelity simulations of flights and analyses of the guidance and control performances of the X-33 aerospace vehicle and the VentureStar reusable launch vehicle...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Spacecraft Solar-Wind Trim Panels for Pointing

A report proposes that spacecraft assigned to orbits distant from the Earth be equipped with trim panels that would intercept the solar wind to generate small torques to correct for disturbance torques and thereby help to maintain the spacecraft pointed in the required directions. Paired panels...

A methodology of active control has been developed in an effort to alter (preferably to reduce) the tendency of a four-wheel land vehicle to roll over during tight turns and...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Program for Computing Dynamics of Multiple Bodies

Symbolic Generator-Based Efficient Multibody Dynamics Algorithm (SOMBAT) is a program that enables speedy and accurate computations that solve equations of motion of multiple bodies. Originally intended for space-based applications (i.e., solving equations for the dynamics of a cluster of...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Leak-Free Pressurizing Valve

A leak-free valve has been proposed as a more reliable, less expensive, adaptable alternative to a one-time-opening, pyrotechnically actuated valve (pyrovalve). In the original intended application, the pyrovalve...

Pneumatic cushions have been proposed for protecting the afterbodies of two-body instrumented soil-penetrator projectiles. These cushions would be, essentially, doughnut-shaped...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Ultrasonic Measurement of Bending of Bolts

Work performed at Johnson Space Center has brought about a major improvement in the means for measuring the bending that occurs whenever stress is applied to a bolted joint. This major improvement...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Using Electromagnetic Drag on Tethers To De-Orbit Spacecraft

Two papers propose the use of electrically conductive tethers to remove spent or dysfunctional spacecraft from orbit around the Earth in order to reduce the hazard of orbital debris. In comparison with onboard rockets, these tethers would be more cost-effective, more reliable, and...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Spherical-Coordinates Encoder Module

The spherical-coordinates encoder module (SCEM) is a relatively simple and inexpensive electromechanical apparatus for quickly and easily measuring three-dimensional offsets between objects at distances...

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...

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: 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...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Boundary-Layer Rake of Pitot Tubes for Flight Testing

A boundary-layer rake of pitot tubes has been designed and built for installation on a flight-test fixture (FTF) on the NASA Dryden F-15B, which is a two-seat version of the F-15...

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: 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: 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: 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...

Mathematical models to approximate the dynamics of aircraft are often generated by considering aircraft structures to be rigid bodies. These models may be unsuitable for evaluating...

A continuing program of research is directed toward the development of crashworthy composite-material fuselages for small aircraft. These fuselages are required not only to withstand...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Computational Test Cases for a Rectangular Supercritical Wing

A report describes wind-tunnel experiments on a rectangular supercritical wing and presents test cases that have been selected from the archived sets of experimental data for comparison with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) predictions. In the experiments, the wing was driven in...

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