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Electrometer for Triboelectric Evaluation of Materials

Some materials should be distinguishable by their triboelectric responses. An electrometer developed for measuring the triboelectric responses of soils on Mars is also potentially useful on Earth for identifying some materials via their triboelectric responses. In operation, an array of triboelectric sensors is rubbed against the material of interest for a predetermined distance, then withdrawn from the material of interest at a predetermined speed. During this operation, the electrometer circuitry measures the time-varying sensor output voltages, which are proportional to the electric charges induced on the sensors by the rubbing. The resulting voltage-vs.-time data constitute the desired triboelectric-response data. If materials that one seeks to identify or to distinguish from each other exhibit unique, known triboelectric responses that have been catalogued, then a sample of unknown material can be identified by seeking a match between its triboelectric response and one of the catalogued responses.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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From NASA to NASCAR: Space-Age Technology Finds Its Way into Auto Racing

Although it may not be obvious to the untrained eye, a number of technical innovations developed for aerospace and defense applications have found their way into the sport of auto racing. Take thermal barriers and driver “cool suits,” for example. Heat coming from the engine, transmission, exhaust system, oil coolers, etc., can cause temperatures inside the fully-enclosed cockpit of a modern stock car to reach 140- 160°F. Because of its close proximity to the exhaust headers, the metal floorboards beneath the gas pedal can heat up to 330°F or more — hot enough to fry an egg...or a driver’s foot.

Posted in: Articles

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NASA Briefs

A robotic arm tool for rapidly acquiring permafrost (RATRAP) is being developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPO). The RATRAP is for acquiring samples of permafrost on Mars or another remote planet and immediately delivering the samples to adjacent instruments for analysis. Read more here.

Posted in: Blog

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Tech Needs of the Week

Polished aluminum begins to re-oxidize and pit almost immediately, especially when exposed to climates along the sea or in hot, humid areas. A company is looking for a coating or surface-protection process to protect polished aluminum used outdoors and keep it free of scratches. The solution should be clear and have a ten-year lifespan between applications. Click here for more info.

Posted in: Blog

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Gecko Gauze



Posted in: Blog

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Current Attractions

Each month, NTB highlights tech briefs related to a particular area of technology in a special section called Technology Focus. Here are some of the technologies featured in the February issue focus on Test and Measurement.

Posted in: Blog

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Detecting Toxic Metals



Posted in: Blog

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