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Flexible Absorbent Binder

Kimberly-Clark The Flexible Absorbent Binder (FAB), is a liquid coating that, once dry, forms a cross-linked, water absorbent hydrogel film on many substrates. The coating binds glass, metal, plastics, cellulose, and polypropylene, and may bind covalently to hydroxy-functional surfaces. The coating can also absorb moisture, bodily fluids, and other aqueous liquids; FAB may absorb many times its own weight in water, including salt water and potentially acidic solutions.

Posted in: Techs for License

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Multiple Networks from One WiFi Card

Microsoft This software solution virtualizes multiple WiFi cards within the same computer. It creates two or more software WiFi cards in computer memory so that multiple WiFi connections can take place essentially at the same time, using a single WiFi card and antenna system. The same computer simultaneously can be connected to multiple access points, to different WiFi networks, to multiple nodes in an ad hoc network, or to multiple WiFi channels on the same network (or possibly all of these at the same time.)

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Progress in Insect-Inspired Optical Navigation Sensors

Some details of implementation have become available. Progress has been made in continuing efforts to develop optical flight-control and navigation sensors for miniature robotic aircraft. The designs of these sensors are inspired by the designs and functions of the vision systems and brains of insects. Two types of sensors of particular interest are polarization compasses and ocellar horizon sensors. The basic principle of polarization compasses was described (but without using the term “polarization compass”) in “Insect-Inspired Flight Control for Small Flying Robots” (NPO-30545), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 29, No. 1 (January 2005), page 61. To recapitulate: Bees use sky polarization patterns in ultraviolet (UV) light, caused by Rayleigh scattering of sunlight by atmospheric gas molecules, as direction references relative to the apparent position of the Sun. A robotic direction-finding technique based on this concept would be more robust in comparison with a technique based on the direction to the visible Sun because the UV polarization pattern is distributed across the entire sky and, hence, is redundant and can be extrapolated from a small region of clear sky in an elsewhere cloudy sky that hides the Sun.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs

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Sol-Gel Glass Holographic Light-Shaping Diffusers

Defined areas can be illuminated diffusely with high efficiency. Holographic glass light-shaping diffusers (GLSDs) are optical components for use in special-purpose illumination systems (see figure). When properly positioned with respect to lamps and areas to be illuminated, holographic GLSDs efficiently channel light from the lamps onto specified areas with specified distributions of illumination — for example, uniform or nearly uniform irradiance can be concentrated with intensity confined to a peak a few degrees wide about normal incidence, over a circular or elliptical area.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs

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Phase Correction for GPS Antenna With Nonunique Phase Center

Position can be determined more accurately. A method of determining the position and attitude of a body equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver includes an accounting for the location of the nonunique phase center of a distributed or wraparound GPS antenna. The method applies, more specifically, to the case in which (1) the GPS receiver utilizes measurements of the phases of GPS carrier signals in its position and attitude computations and (2) the body is axisymmetric (e.g., spherical or round cylindrical) and wrapped at its equator with a single- or multiple-element antenna, the radiation pattern of which is also axisymmetric with the same axis of symmetry as that of the body.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs

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Estimating Aeroheating of a 3D Body Using a 2D Flow Solver

A method for rapidly estimating the aeroheating, shear stress, and other properties of hypersonic flow about a three-dimensional (3D) blunt body has been devised. First, the geometry of the body is specified in Cartesian coordinates. The surface of the body is then described by its derivatives, coordinates, and principal curvatures. Next, previously relatively simple equations are used to find, for each desired combination of angle of attack and meridional angle, a scaling factor and the shape of an equivalent axisymmetric body. These factors and equivalent shapes are entered as inputs into a previously developed computer program that solves the two-dimensional (2D) equations of flow in a non-equilibrium viscous shock layer (VSL) about an axisymmetric body. The coordinates in the output of the VSL code are transformed back to the Cartesian coordinates of the 3D body, so that computed flow quantities can be registered with locations in the 3D flow field of interest. In tests in which the 3D bodies were elliptic paraboloids, the estimates obtained by use of this method were found to agree well with solutions of 3D, finite-rate-chemistry, thin-VSL equations for a catalytic body.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs

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Miniature Focusing Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer

Resolution is retained despite the reduction in size. An improved miniature time-of-flight mass spectrometer has been developed in a continuing effort to minimize the sizes, weights, power demands, and costs of mass spectrometers for such diverse applications as measurement of concentrations of pollutants in the atmosphere, detecting poisonous gases in mines, and analyzing exhaust gases of automobiles.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs

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