Patents Assigned to United States of America as represented by the Administrator of NASA
  • Patent number: 11001368
    Abstract: Wing structure that includes slat-cove fillers configured to reduce leading-edge slat noise on aircraft, such as transport aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2021
    Assignee: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AS REPRESENTED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF NASA
    Inventors: Travis L. Turner, James B. Moore, David L. Long, Henry H. Haskin, Albert R. Allen, David P. Lockard, Craig L. Streett, Mehdi R. Khorrami
  • Patent number: 11004666
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and devices of the various embodiments may provide a portable power system for powering small devices that may be small, may be compact, may provide continuous power, and may be lightweight enough for an astronaut to carry. Various embodiments may provide a compact, thermionic-based cell that provides increased energy density and that more efficiently uses a heat source, such as a Pu-238 heat source. Nanometer scale emitters, spaced tightly together, in various embodiments convert a larger amount of heat into usable electricity than in current thermoelectric technology. The emitters of the various embodiments may be formed from various materials, such as copper (Cu), silicon (Si), silicon-germanium (SiGe), and lanthanides. Various embodiments may be added to regenerative thermionic cells with multiple layers to enhance the energy conversion efficiency of the regenerative thermionic cells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2021
    Assignee: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AS REPRESENTED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF NASA
    Inventors: Sang H. Choi, Adam J. Duzik
  • Patent number: 11001684
    Abstract: One aspect of the present invention is a puncture healing polymer blend comprising a self-healing first polymer material having sufficient melt elasticity to snap back and close a hole formed by a projectile passing through the material at a velocity sufficient to produce a local melt state in the first polymer material. The puncture healing polymer blend further includes a non-self-healing second material that is blended with the first polymer material. The blend of self-healing first polymer material and second material is capable of self-healing, and may have improved material properties relative to known self-healing polymers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2021
    Assignee: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AS REPRESENTED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF NASA
    Inventors: Keith L. Gordon, Emilie J. Siochi, Dennis C. Working, Russell W. Smith
  • Patent number: 11001319
    Abstract: A class of robots specifically adapted to climb periodic lattices. These “relative robots” are designed for a specific lattice structure and use the regularity of the structure to simplify path planning, align with minimal feedback, and reduce the number of degrees of freedom (DOF) required to locomote. These robots can perform vital inspection and repair tasks within the structure that larger truss construction robots cannot perform without modifying the structure. A particular embodiment is a robot designed to traverse a cubooctahedral (CubOct) cellular solids lattice using only two motions: climbing and turning.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2021
    Assignees: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States of America, as Represented by the Administrator of NASA
    Inventors: Benjamin Jenett, Daniel Cellucci, Kenneth Cheung, Neil Gershenfeld
  • Patent number: 11002894
    Abstract: A laser communication network implemented with multi-chroic filters that are able to partition signals from a band of wavelengths into different sub-bands that enable more than one relay terminal to interconnect users (i.e., sources and sinks of traffic) is provided. A band of wavelengths may be partitioned to enable users to communicate with relay satellites, and relay satellites to communicate with one another, using a predefined set of transmission and reception wavelengths regardless of which particular relay is in the communication session. In other words, embodiments support both relay satellites and user satellites by constructing distinct passbands for relay-borne terminals and the same passbands for users.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2021
    Assignee: United States of America as represented by the Administrator of NASA
    Inventor: Scott Merritt
  • Patent number: 10997526
    Abstract: Aspects of the present disclosure are directed to devices, systems, and methods for optimized integration of a human operator with a machine for safe and efficient operation. Accordingly, aspects of the present disclosure are directed to systems, methods, and devices which evaluate and determine a cognitive state of an operator, and allocate tasks to either the machine and/or operator based on the cognitive state of the operator, among other factors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AS REPRESENTED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF NASA
    Inventors: Angela R. Harrivel, Kellie D. Kennedy, Chad L Stephens, Alan T. Pope
  • Patent number: 10996102
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and devices of the various embodiments may provide a fast and precise methods for continuously monitoring and measuring the absolute wavelength of monochromatic radiation sources, such as lasers, etc., irrespective of the temporal profile of the source (i.e., continuous wave, modulated, or pulsed). Radiation power measurement may also be enabled by the various embodiment methods. The various embodiment methods may utilize high-speed low-noise detection to enable fast and accurate measurements. High-precision wavelength and power measurement may be achieved in the various embodiments to monitor radiation source jitters and fluctuations, without relying on frequency transforms or dispersive optics. Both wavelength and power may be measured simultaneously or sequentially in various embodiments.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AS REPRESENTED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF NASA
    Inventors: Tamer Refaat, Mulugeta Petros, Upendra N. Singh
  • Patent number: 10989604
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an integrated reflective backshort fabricated with a phononic-isolated kinetic inductance detector or transition edge sensor. The integrated backshort includes: a silicon wafer; a reflective metal layer bonded to the silicon wafer; a silicon first layer disposed on the reflective metal layer; a structural second layer disposed on the first layer; a first superconductor layer disposed on the second layer as a kinetic inductance detector; and a second superconductor layer disposed on the second layer as leads, a microstrip, a capacitor or filter; wherein a phononic structure is etched in the second layer, leaving holes in the second layer; and wherein the etching penetrates through the holes into the second layer, and stopping on the reflective metal layer, leaving a space under the second layer where edges of the first layer etched under the second layer define a length of the integrated backshort.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2021
    Assignee: United States of America as represented by the Administrator of NASA
    Inventor: Kevin Denis
  • Patent number: 10985676
    Abstract: Various aspects include electric generators configured to boost electrical output by leveraging electron avalanche generated by a high energy photon radiation source. In various aspects, an electric generator includes a stator and a rotor positioned within the stator, wherein the stator and rotor are configured to generate electric current when the rotor is rotated, and a high energy photon source (e.g., a gamma ray source) positioned and configured to irradiate at least a portion of conductors in the rotor or stator. In some aspects, the stator generates a magnetic field when the electric generator is operating, and the rotor includes armature windings configured to generate electric current when the rotor is rotated. In some aspects, the high energy photon source includes cobalt-60 and/or cesium-137.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2021
    Assignee: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AS REPRESENTED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF NASA
    Inventors: Sang H. Choi, Dennis M. Bushnell, Adam J. Duzik
  • Patent number: 10983223
    Abstract: A method for determining geolocation of a UAV near a power grid includes detecting, via a transceiver, a carrier signal transmitted from a first grid node to identify the node's fixed geolocation. A response signal may be transmitted from a second grid node in response to the carrier signal to identify a fixed geolocation of the second grid node, or the UAV may process the carrier signal. A processor determines time-of-flight of the carrier signal, e.g., using the response signal, and derives the UAV's geolocation using the time-of-flight. Determining time-of-flight may include referencing a lookup table indexed by time-of-arrival at the transceiver of the modulated carrier and response signals. A timestamp may indicate time-of-transmission of the carrier and response signals, respectively. Deriving geolocation may include subtracting time-of-transmission of the response signal from that of the carrier signal. A system includes the processor and transceiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2021
    Assignee: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AS REPRESENTED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF NASA
    Inventors: Andrew J. Moore, Scott B. Dorsey
  • Patent number: 10975425
    Abstract: A novel assay and a suite of devices may isolate nucleic acids from prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and prepare samples for real-time (quantitative) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. The assay may employ an aqueous-based non-alcohol approach that yields robust RNA quality. The suite of ready-to-use devices may provide pre-loaded reagents in liquid and lyophilized formats to enable rapid manual operation in a laboratory or remote field environments. The assay and devices may be particularly suitable to analysis in microgravity or deep space environments.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2021
    Assignee: United States of America as Represented by the Administrator of NASA
    Inventors: Travis David Boone, Jimmy Kar Chuen Jung, Macarena Parra, Mark Brown
  • Patent number: 10962650
    Abstract: Exemplary methods and systems may generate a point cloud data generated polyhedral geofence for use in navigating a vehicle. The polyhedral geofence may be generated, or created, from point cloud data such as lidar data. Further, a vehicle may utilize propulsion devices and controllers for moving the vehicle based on a point map data generated polyhedral geofence.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2021
    Assignee: United States of America as Represented by the Administrator of NASA
    Inventors: Matthew Schubert, Andrew Moore
  • Patent number: 10958014
    Abstract: Blind mate mechanisms that are capable of simultaneously making multiple connections in a single motion are disclosed. Such mechanisms may be useful for applications where two or more of structural, electrical, and/or fluid couplings could be made manually or robotically at the same time using the mechanism. The mechanism may include a removable side and a fixed side.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2021
    Assignee: United States of America as represented by the Administrator of NASA
    Inventors: Elliott Martin, William Davies, Michael Liszka, Christopher Lashley, Charles Bacon, Patrick O'Neill, David Parker
  • Patent number: 10957019
    Abstract: A method includes receiving a recursively subdivided and reassembled first image comprising pixels, each pixel assigned a region label, subdividing the image into overlapping subsections, determining overlapping pixels surrounding seams along which the overlapping subsections are joined together, accumulating a histogram of co-occurrences of region label pairs of the overlapping pixels surrounding the seams along which the overlapping subsections are joined together, merging overlapping pixels having region labels with a co-occurrence histogram count exceeding a predetermined threshold, and merging spatially and non-spatially adjacent regions of the first image to form a second image with reduced artifacts proximate the seams along which the overlapping subsections are joined together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2021
    Assignee: United States of America as represented by the Administrator of NASA
    Inventor: James C. Tilton
  • Patent number: 10945389
    Abstract: A passive nutrient delivery system for plant growth includes a rooting module having a body portion having a top, a bottom, and a sidewall extending between the top and the bottom. The rooting module further includes a hydrophilic plug, having an opening, in a first portion of the interior of the body portion adjacent the top of the body portion, and a substrate in a second portion of the interior of the body portion between the bottom and the plug. The rooting module further includes an oxygen permeable area in the sidewall of the body portion, a first wicking material extending through the sidewall of the body portion into the interior of the body portion, and a second wicking material extending through the body of the body portion into the interior of the body portion, through the interior of the body portion, and through the opening of the plug. The passive nutrient delivery system also comprises a reservoir wherein a port can receive the removable rooting module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2021
    Assignee: United States of America as Represented by the Administrator of NASA
    Inventor: Howard G. Levine
  • Patent number: 10947639
    Abstract: Various embodiments provide Molten Target Sputtering (MTS) methods and devices. The various embodiments may provide increases in the kinetic energy, increases in the energy latency, and/or increases in the flux density of molecules for better crystal formation at low temperature operation. The various embodiment MTS methods and devices may enable the growth of a single crystal Si1-xGex film on a substrate heated to less than about 500° C. The various embodiment MTS methods and devices may provide increases in the kinetic energy, increases in the energy latency, and/or increases in the flux density of molecules without requiring the addition of extra systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2021
    Assignee: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AS REPRESENTED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF NASA
    Inventors: Hyun Jung Kim, Sang H. Choi
  • Patent number: 10935973
    Abstract: Methods, apparatuses, systems, and non-transitory computer readable storage media for generating solution data for autonomous vehicles to negotiate problem situations have been disclosed. The disclosed technology generates state data associated with a vehicle using sensor data received from the vehicle and from external objects within a vicinity of the vehicle. The state data includes any of a location of the vehicle, a destination of the vehicle, an operational status of the vehicle, and information associated with a vehicle environment. In response to determining that the state data satisfies a state criterion, a determination of solution profile data that matches the state data is made on the basis of a comparison of the state data to the solution profile data. Solution data is generated using the matching solution profile data to transmit the solution data to the vehicle for execution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2021
    Assignees: Nissan North America, Inc., United States of America as Represented by the Administrator of NASA
    Inventors: Liam Pedersen, Maarten Sierhuis, Hans Utz, Mauro Della Penna, Terrence Fong, Mark Allan, Maria Bualat, Eric Schafer
  • Patent number: 10927825
    Abstract: A vacuum arc thruster (VAT) for a propulsion system of a micro-satellite is provided. The VAT includes an anode, a cathode including a fuel, and an insulator between the anode and the cathode. The VAT is operable to create an arc between the anode and the cathode and discharge plasma through the diverging nozzle as thrust. The anode may define a diverging nozzle. The VAT may further include a Halbach array including a plurality of permanent magnets arranged in a ring, each of the permanent magnets of the ring having a radially inward positioned north pole and a radially outward positioned south pole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2021
    Assignee: United States of America as represented by the Administrator of NASA
    Inventors: Behnam Azimi, Steven M. West, Dakotah B. Rusley
  • Patent number: 10929966
    Abstract: Systems and methods are described for correcting distorted images captured of underwater environments. Caustics are used to provide additional illumination to underwater objects, and lenslets from ocean wave fluid lensing are used to magnify a benthic scene for enhancing the effective resolution of the images. The process introduces a fluid distortion characterization methodology, caustic bathymetry concepts, fluid lensing lenslet homography technique, two dimensional image reconstruction process, and three dimensional airborne fluid lensing process for characterizing the aquatic surface wave field, modelling bathymetry using caustic phenomena, and robust high-resolution aquatic remote sensing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2019
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2021
    Assignee: United States of America as Represented by the Administrator of NASA
    Inventor: Ved Chirayath
  • Patent number: 10928549
    Abstract: Various embodiments may provide an airborne system for measuring meteorological parameters, including a high altitude unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) formed completely or partially of closed-cell polyurethane foam. In various embodiments, the UAV may include extendable wings configured to extend and retract as the UAV climbs and descends to different altitude levels. In various embodiments, the UAV may include one or more infrasonic sensors and wind screening configured to measure one or more meteorological parameters, such as wind shear, seismic waves, magnetic storms, magnetohydrodynamic waves, severe weather, tornadoes, hurricanes, meteors, and lighting. The infrasonic sensors may be configured to determine wind shear at the local and regional level. In various embodiments, other meteorological sensors may also be included in/on the UAV in addition to the infrasonic sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2021
    Assignee: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AS REPRESENTED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF NASA
    Inventors: Qamar A. Shams, Neil C. Coffey