Special Coverage

Transducer-Actuator Systems for On-Machine Measurements and Automatic Part Alignment
Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors
Heavy Lift Wing in Ground (WIG) Cargo Flying Boat
Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines
Vibration Tables Shake Up Aerospace and Car Testing
Supercomputer Cooling System Uses Refrigerant to Replace Water

Alignment Pins for Assembling and Disassembling Structures

Simple tooling prevents damage to structures.

Simple, easy-to-use, highly effective tooling has been devised for maintaining alignment of bolt holes in mating structures during assembly and disassembly of the structures. The tooling was originally used during removal of a body flap from the space shuttle Atlantis, in which mis-alignments during removal of the last few bolts could cause the bolts to bind in their holes. By suitably modifying the dimensions of the tooling components, the basic design of the tooling can readily be adapted to other structures that must be maintained in alignment.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Mechanics, Assembling, Spacecraft
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Capacitive Sensor

Balluff, Florence, KY, has introduced a new capacitive sensor line for proximity and level detection applications. The line features more than 250 models in a variety of body styles, sensing ranges, harsh environmental ratings, and advanced functionality. The line’s level-control capacitive sensors can detect solids or liquids through the walls of non-metallic containers, without direct contact to the target material. The capacitive proximity sensors can detect metallic or non-metallic targets at distances up to 25 mm, independent of color or surface texture. Standard housing materials include PVC, PBT, POM, and stainless steel. Special application types include level and proximity sensors for high-temperature environments (up to 480°F), miniature sensors with remote adjustment for confined spaces, sensors with IP69K rating for heavy-duty environments, and sensors for leak detection in chemical or pharmaceutical equipment.

For Free Info .

Posted in: Products
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NASA Announces Education Television Partnership

NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale announced recently the launch of NASA Education TV (NASA eTV), a partnership with the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), to produce new educational TV programs for distribution on NASA TV and the Internet. NASA eTV aims to engage young people in the excitement and challenges the future holds for America’s space program. Designed for grades K-12 as well as young adults, the short videos will be available on-demand through the Internet during the 2008-2009 school year.

Each NASA eTV program will consist of 5- to 10-minute video segments. The elementary school-level segments will provide an introduction to science and engineering. The middle-school segments will focus on the relevance of math to 21st century careers. High-school segments will build on the engineering and science behind NASA projects and missions. Programs for the general public will be aimed at 18- to 34-year-olds and focus on the impact of space exploration, scientific discovery, aeronautics research, and NASA-developed technologies.

For a monthly list of NASA Education TV programs, .

Posted in: UpFront
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This Month in NASA History

NASA's Pioneer 11 image of Saturn and itsmoon Titan, at the upper left.This Month in NASA History: On September 1, 1979, Pioneer 11 flew to within 13,000 miles of Saturn and took the first close-up pictures of the planet and its moon, Titan. Launched on April 5, 1973, Pioneer 11 also obtained dramatic images of the immense polar regions of Jupiter, and determined the mass of Jupiter’s moon, Callisto.

Learn more about these events at .

Posted in: UpFront
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Irrigation Water Extracted from Air and Soil Moisture Through Solar Power

By condensing water from the air and soil on chilled pipes, this invention attempts to alleviate both water and food shortage problems. It offers the ability to produce agricultural crops in most hot and humid climates by watering plants with condensation from environmental moisture, and by multiplying the number of crops that can be obtained per season. The production of condensation on pipes’ surfaces irrigates the plants’ roots, cools the roots, and accelerates the plants’ growth.

Posted in: Techs for License
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Aircraft Support Via a Vortex-Ring Cushion Projector

An all-terrain, multi-role, hover-capable aircraft has a fuelefficient, rugged, vertical take-off and hover propulsion system. A raised-height, dispersal-resistant hover cushion is projected over the ground by the device as two bisected concentric streams of rotating and counter-rotating torus flume rings. The aircraft is able to clear trees and obstructions above terrain that would be prohibitive for a hovercraft.

Posted in: Techs for License
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Wireless Communication for Factory Automation

A company seeks technology that is applicable to automated assembly lines; specifically, a reliable and fast short-range wireless technology that can take the place of wired connections for robots and factory automation equipment. Equipment with appendages in motion, such as robots, is fundamentally different in its wiring requirements from equipment that is static. A possible solution to the abrasion that results from repeated movements is to provide control through wireless communication.

Respond to this TechNeed at:

Email: nasatech@yet2.com
Phone: 781-972-0600

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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Powder Atomization Technology

A company seeks an innovative powder atomization technology, which will produce dense, highly spherical, satellitefree metal powders in the size range 50 to 1000 microns. Coating and surface modification technologies are sought for applications including aerospace, medical, and industrial power generation markets. The atomization process must cost-effectively produce perfect, large, spherical particles.

Respond to this TechNeed at:

Email: nasatech@yet2.com
Phone: 781-972-0600

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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A New, Highly Improved Two-Cycle Engine

Performance is improved while mechanical complexity is reduced.

The figure presents a cross-sectional view of a supercharged, variable-compression, two-cycle, internal-combustion engine that offers significant advantages over prior such engines. The improvements are embodied in a combination of design changes that contribute synergistically to improvements in performance and economy. Although the combination of design changes and the principles underlying them are complex, one of the main effects of the changes on the overall engine design is reduced (relative to prior two-cycle designs) mechanical complexity, which translates directly to reduced manufacturing cost and increased reliability. Other benefits include increases in the efficiency of both scavenging and supercharging. The improvements retain the simplicity and other advantages of two-cycle engines while affording increases in volumetric efficiency and performance across a wide range of operating conditions that, heretofore have been accessible to four-cycle engines but not to conventionally scavenged two-cycle ones, thereby increasing the range of usefulness of the two-cycle engine into all areas now dominated by the four-cycle engine.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Mechanics, Systems engineering, Engine efficiency, Scavenging, Superchargers, Two stroke engines
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Flexible Structural-Health-Monitoring Sheets

A generic design for a type of flexible structural- health- monitoring sheet with multiple sensor/actuator types and a method of manufacturing such sheets has been developed. A sheet of this type contains an array of sensing and/or actuation elements, associated wires, and any other associated circuit elements incorporated into various flexible layers on a thin, flexible substrate. The sheet can be affixed to a structure so that the array of sensing and/or actuation elements can be used to analyze the structure in accordance with structural-health-monitoring techniques. Alternatively, the sheet can be designed to be incorporated into the body of the structure, especially if the structure is made of a composite material.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Mechanics, Aircraft structures, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Vehicle health management, Composite materials
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