From research and development to industrial and commercial applications, NASA's instrumentation technology can help you unlock new insights, improve efficiency, and drive innovation. Whether you're looking to advance your understanding of the cosmos or simply want to optimize your operations, NASA's instrumentation technology could be the perfect partner for your journey.
Model-Based Prognostics For Batteries
This invention relates to the prediction of the remaining useful life of an object in use. It develops a mathematical model to describe battery behavior during individual discharge cycles as well as over its cycle life. The models used to estimate the remaining useful life of batteries are linked to the internal electro-chemical processes of the battery. The effects of temperature and load have been incorporated into the models. Model validation studies were conducted using data from a series of battery cycling experiments at various thermal and electrical loading conditions. Subsequently, the model has been used in a particle filtering framework to make probabilistic predictions of remaining useful life for individual discharge cycles as well as for cycle life.
SpaceCube v2.0 Processor with DDR2 Memory Upgrade
This new version of the card assembly will feature a total of eight 4x DDR2 SDRAM memories per Xilinx FPGA. A dedicated regulator was included to compensate for the lower operating voltage of DDR2 in comparison to the older DDR memory. The DDR2 memories are grouped in pairs with shared address/command/control lines. By sharing those lines, the number of Xilinx I/Os for the DDR2 interfaces could be reduced. These improvements extend the life and design of the processor and provide even greater memory throughput to support the next generation of instruments.
The Cryostat-500 provides laboratory measurement of the steady-state thermal transmission properties of thermal insulation systems under conditions below ambient temperature. Liquid nitrogen is used as a direct measure of the energy going through the test specimen. Thermal insulation systems may be composed of one or more materials that may be homogeneous or non-homogeneous at boundary conditions from 77 K to 373 K and in environments from high vacuum (10E-7 torr) to ambient pressure (10E+3 torr). The Cryostat-500 provides a much wider range of thermal performance and covers the full range of environmental conditions for applications below ambient temperature. The instrument has been proven through extensive testing of foams, composite panels, multilayer insulation (MLI) systems, aerogel blankets, fiberglass, and many other types of materials. Both the quality and quantity of the thermal performance data for insulation materials and systems have increased even as the process and method has become more time efficient and cost effective. Further guidelines on the test method and equipment for the Cryostat-500 are given in ASTM C1774, Annex A3.
A two-way microwave power divider using microstrip transmission lines
The power divider use Klopfenstein tapered transmission lines on each output branch of the junction impedance that is matched the input port. Thus, the output lines are well matched to the input, and a reflected power of 1% can be easily achieved. Resistors are distributed along the transmission lines to provide isolation between the two output ports which prevents power of one output port from coupling to the other output port. A large amount of the power is dissipated in the resistors rather than exiting through any other ports in the system. Due to the symmetry of the design, very little power is dissipated during normal operation. The resulting power divider is operable at high bandwidths as the tapered impedance match which have no upper frequency limitation. Additionally, the tapered lines eliminate many discontinuities in the layout which in turn reduce microwave junction effects. The power divider is capable of being manufactured using known methods and may be utilized in a compact microwave spectrometer.
Data Transfer for Multiple Sensor Networks
High-temperature sensors have been used in silicon carbide electronic oscillator circuits. The frequency of the oscillator changes as a function of changes in the sensor's parameters, such as pressure. This change is analogous to changes in the pitch of a person's voice. The output of this oscillator, and many others may be superimposed onto a single medium. This medium may be the power lines supplying current to the sensors, a third wire dedicated to data transmission, the airwaves through radio transmission, or an optical or other medium. However, with nothing to distinguish the identities of each source, this system is useless. Using frequency dividers and linear feedback shift registers, comprised of flip flops and combinatorial logic gates connected to each oscillator, unique bit stream codes may be generated. These unique codes are used to amplitude modulate the output of the sensor (both amplitude shift keying and on-off keying are applicable). By using a dividend of the oscillator frequency to generate the code, a constant a priori number of oscillator cycles will define each bit. At the receiver, a detected frequency will have associated with it a stored code pattern. Thus, a detected frequency will have a unique modulation pattern or "voice," disassociating it from noise and from other transmitting sensors. These codes may be pseudorandom binary sequences (PRBS), ASCII characters, gold codes, etc. The detected code length and frequency are measured, offering intelligent data transfer. This is an early-stage technology requiring additional development. Glenn welcomes co-development opportunities.
How It Works The scanners operation is based on the principle of Laser Triagulation. The ShuttleSCAN contains an imaging sensor; two lasers mounted on opposite sides of the imaging sensor; and a customized, on-board processor for processing the data from the imaging sensor. The lasers are oriented at a given angle and surface height based on the size of objects being examined. For inspecting small details, such as defects in space shuttle tiles, a scanner is positioned close to the surface. This creates a small field of view but with very high resolution. For scanning larger objects, such as use in a robotic vision application, a scanner can be positioned several feet above the surface. This increases the field of view but results in slightly lower resolution. The laser projects a line on the surface, directly below the imaging sensor. For a perfectly flat surface, this projected line will be straight. As the ShuttleSCAN head moves over the surface, defects or irregularities above and below the surface will cause the line to deviate from perfectly straight. The SPACE processors proprietary algorithms interpret these deviations in real time and build a representation of the defect that is then transmitted to an attached PC for triangulation and 3-D display or printing. Real-time volume calculation of the defect is a capability unique to the ShuttleSCAN system. Why It Is Better The benefits of the ShuttleSCAN 3-D system are very unique in the industry. No other 3-D scanner can offer the combination of speed, resolution, size, power efficiency, and versatility. In addition, ShuttleSCAN can be used as a wireless instrument, unencumbered by cables. Traditional scanning systems make a tradeoff between resolution and speed. ShuttleSCANs onboard SPACE processor eliminates this tradeoff. The system scans at speeds greater than 600,000 points per second, with a resolution smaller than .001". Results of the scan are available in real time, whereas conventional systems scan over the surface, analyze the scanned data, and display the results long after the scan is complete.
A Broadband, Compact Low-Power microwave Radiometer Down Converter for Small Satellite Applications
The system includes a fundamental local oscillator (LO) source composed of a broad-band tunable frequency synthesizer as well as a crystal oscillator. The synthesizer employs a harmonic doubler to expand frequency coverage. The CubeRRT system uses a series of RF switches and band-pass filters, to select the desired harmonic while suppressing unwanted harmonics. The CubeRRT system uniquely combines several technologies to minimize the number of frequency banks and thus reduce mass, volume and power requirements. The CubeRRT system uses four frequency banks in order to provide continuous microwave receiver coverage from 6GHz to 40GHz.
Macroflash (Cup Cryostat)
Advances in new polymers and composites along with growing industrial needs in below-ambient temperature applications have brought about the Macroflash development. Accurate thermal performance information, including effective thermal conductivity data, are needed under relevant end-use conditions. The Macroflash is a practical tool for basic testing of common materials or research evaluation of advanced materials/systems. The Macroflash can test solids, foams, or powders that are homogeneous or layered in composition. Test specimens are typically 75mm in diameter and 6mm in thickness. The cold side is maintained by liquid nitrogen at 77 K while a heater disk maintains a steady warm-side temperature from ambient up to 373 K. The steady boiloff of the liquid nitrogen provides a direct measure of the heat energy transferred through the thickness of the test specimen. Nitrogen or other gas is supplied to the instrument to establish a stable, moisture-free, ambient pressure environment. Different compression loading levels can also be conveniently applied to the test specimen as needed for accurate, field-representative thermal performance data. The Macroflash is calibrated from approximately 10 mW/m-K to 800 mW/m-K using well-characterized materials.
Cryostat-100 combines the best features of previous cryostats developed by NASA, while offering new features and conveniences. This unit can readily handle the full range of cryogenic-vacuum conditions over several orders of magnitude of heat flux. Guide rings, handling tools, and other design items make insulation change-out and test measurement verification highly reliable and efficient to operate. The new apparatus requires less ancillary equipment (it is not connected to storage tank, phase separator, subcooler, etc.) to operate properly. It is top-loading, which makes disassembly, change-out, and instrumentation hook-up much faster. The thermal stability is improved because of internal vapor plates, a single-tube system of filling and venting, bellows feed-throughs, Kevlar thread suspensions, and heavy-wall stainless-steel construction. The cold mass of Cryostat-100 is 1m long, with a diameter of 168 mm. The test articles can therefore be of a corresponding length and diameter, with a nominal thickness of 25.4 mm. Shorter lengths are acceptable, and thicknesses may be from 0 mm to 50 mm. Tests are conducted from ambient pressure (760 torr) to high vacuum (below 110-4 torr) and at any vacuum pressure increment between these two extremes. The residual gas (and purge gas) is typically nitrogen but can be any purge gas, such as helium, argon, or carbon dioxide. Typically, eight cold vacuum pressures are performed for each test series. The warm boundary temperature is approximately 293 K, and the cold boundary temperature is approximately 78 K. The delta temperature for the cryogenic testing is therefore approximately 215 K. A unique lift mechanism provides for change-out of the insulation test specimens. It also provides for maintenance and other operations in the most effective and time-efficient ways. The lift mechanism is also a key to the modularity of the overall system.
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