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Physical Sciences

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Use of Selective Oxidation Catalyst for Amperometric Sensing Electrode

A modified oxidation catalyst material can be used to build a carbon-monoxide-sensing electrode for amperometric sensors to overcome the typical cross-sensitivity of these sensors toward hydrogen. The technology will have applications in the emerging hydrogen fuel cell...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Simple Subset Wizard

The Simple Subset Wizard (SSW) was developed for the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) to simplify the myriad ways of ordering or obtaining subsets of satellite data from EOSDIS’ different data centers. It provides a simple, coherent interface to a variety of subsetters at ten of the centers. The...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
COEDI Instrument Design Development for the GEOCAPE Mission

A document describes a coastal ocean color instrument for geostationary orbit that meets the science requirements within a size, mass, and cost package that is acceptable within current budgetary constraints. This work advances the instrument design concept for the Coastal Ocean...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Intercalibration of Measurements from Microwave Sensors

A study discusses a robust intercalibration technique using a well validated radiative transfer code that can be applied to the higher-frequency sounding channels for the NASA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. Intercalibration of these high-frequency sounding channels will...

News : Physical Sciences
Magnetically Stimulated Flow Patterns Could Solve Heat Transfer Problems

Sandia National Laboratories researchers Jim Martin and Kyle Solis have discovered a way to harness magnetic fields to create vigorous, organized fluid flows in particle suspensions. The magnetically stimulated flows offer an alternative when heat transfer is difficult...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Laser Spider Web Sensor Used With Portable Handheld Devices

A powerful tool in understanding the role that greenhouse gasses play in climate change would be real-time data from laser chemical sensors providing concentrations and locations of key gasses. The adoption and widespread use of smart mobile phones is an ideal platform on which to...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Wireless Sensor Node for Autonomous Monitoring and Alerts in Remote Environments

The current radio infrastructure for firefighters provides voice communications, but does not support data transfer capability for continuous monitoring of people in the field. Current radios require user interaction to perform manual voice check-in for firefighter...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Life-Detecting Radar

A new device detects the heartbeat and respiration of victims trapped in rubble or disaster debris, and reduces the time required to initiate a rescue. Searchers would like to distinguish live victims from those who have died recently and to distinguish humans from animals. In addition to search and rescue, there are other...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
High-Energy Lithium Flow Cells With Sulfur Cathodes for Transportation Applications

Since the entry of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries into the market, considerable improvements have been made in their gravimetric and volumetric energy densities, especially compared to aqueous systems such as Pb-acid, Ni-Cd, and Ni-MH. Sulfur cathodes have...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Physical Causes of Extremely Low Geomagnetic Activity

An analysis of solar, solar wind, and geomagnetic data during the recent solar cycle minimum (2008) has recently been undertaken. It was discovered that the lowest value of the Ap index [this index is an averaged planetary A index based on data from a set of specific magnetometer stations] in...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Green PCB Removal From Sediment Systems (GPRSS)

John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida A number of NASA centers have used polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-containing materials that have subsequently ended up in surrounding sediment systems. Each center is evaluating remediation technologies that may have application to their environmental problems;...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Internalization of Non-Spherical Particles

This invention specifically relates to an interchangeable sleeve that encompasses a rotating, substantially cylindrical bioreactor. The sleeve supplies a time-varying electromagnetic force of from 0.05 to 0.5 gauss to the culture chamber of the bioreactor in order to increase cell growth and...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
System for Observing Dynamic Atmospheric Phenomena

Existing observing systems are inadequate to measure a variety of dynamic atmospheric processes. Ground-based or airborne systems do not observe over sufficiently large regions to capture the context or time history of many phenomena. Space-based systems do not observe a specific region over...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Covariance Analysis of Astrometric Alignment Estimation Architectures for Precision Dual-Spacecraft Formation Flying

A paper highlights analysis of proposed navigation systems and architectures for achieving precise dual-spacecraft astrometric alignment. The dynamics of dual-spacecraft relative motion, within a restricted n-body problem...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Automated Purgatoid Identification

An algorithm was developed that automatically processes images captured by the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to identify and locate the presence of purgatoids in monochrome images.

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Interplanetary CubeSats

A report describes upgraded CubeSat satellite elements for the interplanetary environment, with solar sail propulsion and the interplanetary superhighway for navigation and maneuvering. They can host small, capable instruments and optical telecommunications on a mission to map the composition of a sequence of near-Earth...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Spacecraft Line-of- Sight Stabilization Using LWIR Earth Signature

Until the time of this reporting, when a space vehicle required a reference signal for inertial pointing, the choices were a signal beacon from an Earth location, the Earth radiance in the visible spectrum, or a star tracker. However, limitations can arise from using these...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Transportable Instrumentation Package for In-Vehicle On-Road Data Acquisition

The study of driver behavior can provide a wealth of information that can be useful in the design of automobiles including active safety features and functions. There may be differences in driver behavior, as reflected in driver state, and these differences may be...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Variable Camber Aerodynamic Control Surfaces and Active Wing Shaping Control

A new concept of aircraft aerodynamic control surfaces has been developed in connection with another new concept of active wing shaping control for reducing aircraft drag that will result in less fuel burn. The first concept is referred to as a variable camber...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
NanoRacks-Scale MEMS Gas Chromatograph System

In order to study atmospheric or evolved gases, it is highly advantageous for an instrument (e.g. mass spectrometer (MS), thermal conductivity detector (TCD)) to simplify the gas stream with a front-end gas chromatograph (GC). When used for planetary missions, highperformance GCs have to satisfy the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Simulation of Charge Carrier Mobility in Conducting Polymers

Electric conduction in polymers is one of the key elements in avoiding catastrophic internal electrostatic discharge in dielectrics during space missions. This software package enables the simulation of carrier mobility for any given site concentration, which is a material design...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Technique for Finding Retro-Reflectors in Flash LIDAR Imagery

Orbital rendezvous and docking of two spacecraft is a topic of continued interest to NASA. For crewed missions, it is frequently the case that the target is cooperative (i.e., is equipped with some sort of navigation aid). If one of the relative navigation instruments is a Flash...

Briefs : Imaging
Novel Hemispherical Dynamic Camera for EVAs

A novel optical design for imaging systems is able to achieve an ultra-wide field of view (UW-FOV) of up to 208°. The design uses an integrated optical design (IOD). The UW-FOV optics design reduces the wasted pixels by 49% when compared against the baseline fisheye lens. The IOD approach results in a...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Ultrasonic Intake Airflow Meter for Testbeds

An ultrasonic intake airflow meter for engine testbed applications was developed. An automotive intake airflow meter must fulfill a series of requirements differentiating it from typical ultrasonic flow meters. First, the data sampling rate of the device must be as high as possible to be able to...

Briefs : Software
Convex Hull-Based Plume and Anomaly Detection

A number of deep space missions have imaged plumes at Io, Enceladus, and other smaller bodies. These phenomena provide valuable information regarding these bodies. To date, this imagery has been captured fortuitously. The ability to utilize onboard processing to conduct campaigns capturing large...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Integrity Sensing With Smart Polymers and Rubber Components on Vehicles

This research provides a capacitance-based method for monitoring the integrity of tires and other polymeric products during manufacturing and throughout the useful product life. Tires are complex composite structures composed of layers of formulated cross-linked rubber,...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Blade Tip Clearance Sensors for Engine Health Monitoring

Blade health monitoring continues to gain interest as a means of assessing the health of turbine airfoils in aerospace and ground-based gas turbine engines in fleet operation. Many types of blade sensors are used throughout the design validation process of new engines that would...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Multi-Source Autonomous Response for Targeting and Monitoring of Volcanic Activity

The study of volcanoes is important for both purely scientific and human survival reasons. From a scientific standpoint, volcanic gas and ash emissions contribute significantly to the terrestrial atmosphere. Ash depositions and lava flows can also greatly affect...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Deployable Fresnel Rings

Deployable Fresnel rings (DFRs) significantly enhance the realizable gain of an antenna. This innovation is intended to be used in combination with another antenna element, as the DFR itself acts as a focusing or microwave lens element for a primary antenna. This method is completely passive, and is also completely...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Array Design Considerations for the Solar Probe Plus

The NASA Solar Probe Plus (SPP) mission will fly into the Sun’s corona, reaching as close as 9.86 solar radii from the center of the Sun. Power generation for the spacecraft will be provided by two solar array wings, which are being designed and built by JHU-APL and Emcore. SPP will get...