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Seed-Wing Flyers for Exploration

Scientific instruments would be dispersed from aloft by use of miniature autogyros. Small instrumented, free-flying (unpowered) rotary aircraft have been proposed for use in gathering scientific data from hazardous or inaccessible terrain on remote planets as well as on Earth. These aircraft are called “seed-wing flyers” because they would resemble winged seeds (e.g., maple seeds) in both appearance and aerodynamic behavior.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs

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Boundary Conditions for Computing Flows of Real Gas Mixtures

It is possible to suppress errors that arise in a simplistic formulation. An improved formulation of equations of flow of a general gas mixture includes consistent boundary conditions that are applicable to real gases. An analysis of prior formulations, with focus on boundary conditions, led to the conclusion that boundary conditions based on ideal mixtures and/or perfect gases can lead to errors in computed flows of real gases. The improved formulation makes it possible to achieve greater accuracy in computation of flows of real (including chemically reactive) gas mixtures, and is expected to be especially beneficial in computing flows of supercritical fluids like those in diesel engines, gas turbine engines, rocket engines, supercritical-fluid extraction processes, and crude oil under high pressure.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs

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National Nano Engineering Conference

NASA Tech Briefs' 2007 National Nano Engineering Conference (NNEC), November 14-15 at the Marriott Boston Copley Place, is the premier event focused on current and future developments in engineering innovations at the nanoscale, as well as the commercialization of nanotechnology. The event also includes the presentation of the third annual Nano 50™ Awards.

Posted in: Blog

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Create the Future & Win Big!

The 2007 Create the Future Design Contest, presented by SolidWorks Corp. and NASA Tech Briefs, is open for entries in these categories: Machinery, Equipment, and Component Technology; Consumer Products; Medical; Safety and Security; Transportation; and Sustainable Technologies. The contest is co-sponsored by COMSOL Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. So, exercise your imagination and submit your innovative design ideas today. All entries must be received by October 15, 2007. For guidelines, tips on winning, and the official entry form, go here.

Posted in: Blog

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Software Tech Briefs



Posted in: Blog

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A Brighter Choice for Safety

LUNAplast™ EXIT signs illuminate without the need for electricity, maintenance, or a power connection.Emergency exit signs can be lifesavers, but only if they remain visible when people need them. All too often, power losses or poor visibility can render the signs ineffective. Luna Technologies International, Inc., of Kent, Washington, is shining new light on this safety issue. The company’s LUNAplast™ product line illuminates without the need for electricity, maintenance, or a power connection. LUNAplast, which benefited from tests conducted at Johnson Space Center, is so successful that NASA engineers selected it for the emergency exit pathway indicators on the International Space Station (ISS).

Posted in: NTB, Spinoff

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Images Revealing More Than a Thousand Words

A unique sensor developed by ProVision Technologies, a NASA Commercial Space Center housed by the Institute for Technology Development, produces hyperspectral images with cutting-edge applications in food safety, skin health, forensics, and anti-terrorism activities. While hyperspectral imaging technology continues to make advances with ProVision Technologies, it has also been transferred to the commercial sector through a spinoff company, Photon Industries, Inc.

Posted in: NTB, Spinoff

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