Special Coverage

Distributed Propulsion Concepts and Superparamagnetic Energy Harvesting Hummingbird Engine
Aerofoam
Wet Active Chevron Nozzle for Controllable Jet Noise Reduction
Magnetic Relief Valve
Locking Mechanism for a Flexible Composite Hinge
Active Aircraft Pylon Noise Control System
Unmanned Aerial Systems Traffic Management
Method of Bonding Dissimilar Materials
Sonar Inspection Robot System
Home

Satellite-Respondent Buoys Identify Ocean Debris

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution NASA operates a series of Earth-observing satellites, which help scientists learn more about our home planet. Through partnerships with universities and other government agencies, like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Space Agency helps scientists around the world capture precise movements of the Earth’s crust to learn more about the underground processes related to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, create accurate assessments of wind resources for future energy use, and preserve endangered species by generating much-needed data about their environments. This work, done primarily from space with satellites using a variety of complex instruments to take readings of the surface below, generates leagues of valuable data that aid scientists on the ground—or in some cases—on the water.

Posted in: NTB, Spinoff

Read More >>

Mobile Instruments Measure Atmospheric Pollutants

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution As a part of NASA’s active research of the Earth’s atmosphere, which has included missions such as the Atmospheric Laboratory of Applications and Science (ATLAS, launched in 1992) and the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS, launched on the Earth Probe satellite in 1996), the Agency also performs ground-based air pollution research. The ability to measure trace amounts of airborne pollutants precisely and quickly is important for determining natural patterns and human effects on global warming and air pollution, but until recent advances in field-grade spectroscopic instrumentation, this rapid, accurate data collection was limited and extremely difficult.

Posted in: NTB, Spinoff

Read More >>

Cloud Imagers Offer New Details on Earth’s Health

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution A stunning red sunset or purple sunrise is an aesthetic treat with a scientific explanation: The colors are a direct result of the absorption or reflectance of solar radiation by atmospheric aerosols, minute particles (either solid or liquid) in the Earth’s atmosphere that occur both naturally and because of human activity. At the beginning or end of the day, the Sun’s rays travel farther through the atmosphere to reach an observer’s eyes and more green and yellow light is scattered, making the Sun appear red. Sunset and sunrise are especially colorful when the concentration of atmospheric particles is high. This ability of aerosols to absorb and reflect sunlight is not just pretty; it also determines the amount of radiation and heat that reaches the Earth’s surface, and can profoundly affect climate.

Posted in: NTB, Spinoff

Read More >>

Antennas Lower Cost of Satellite Access

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution Whether for scientific inquiry, weather forecasting, or public safety, the world relies upon the data gathered by satellite remote sensing. Some of NASA’s most valuable work is in its remote sensing capabilities—the ability to retrieve data acquired at great distances—affording a height and scope not available from the ground. NASA satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) monitor ocean health by taking large-scale pictures of phytoplankton blooms and measuring surface temperatures; snap photographs of full hurricanes from above, teaching researchers about how these giant storms form; and capture images of cloud formation and air pollution, all allowing researchers to further develop understanding of the planet’s health. NASA remote sensing satellites also monitor shifts in the Earth’s crust, analyze wind patterns around the world to develop efficient wind energy, help people around the world recover from natural disasters, and monitor diminishing sea ice levels.

Posted in: NTB, Spinoff

Read More >>

Feature Detection Systems Enhance Satellite Imagery

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution In 1963, during the ninth orbit of the Faith 7 capsule, astronaut Gordon Cooper skipped his nap and took some photos of the Earth below using a Hasselblad camera. The sole flier on the Mercury-Atlas 9 mission, Cooper took 24 photos—never-before-seen images including the Tibetan plateau, the crinkled heights of the Himalayas, and the jagged coast of Burma. From his lofty perch over 100 miles above the Earth, Cooper noted villages, roads, rivers, and even, on occasion, individual houses.

Posted in: NTB, Spinoff

Read More >>

Chlorophyll Meters Aid Plant Nutrient Management

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution On December 7, 1972, roughly 5 hours and 6 minutes after launch, the crew of Apollo 17 took one of history’s most famous photographs. The brilliant image of the fully illuminated Earth, the African and Antarctic continents peering out from behind swirling clouds, came to be known as the “Blue Marble.” Today, Earth still sometimes goes by the Blue Marble nickname, but as the satellites comprising NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) scan the planet daily in ever greater resolutions, it is often the amount of green on the planet that is a focus of researchers’ attention.

Posted in: NTB, Spinoff

Read More >>

Telemetry Boards Interpret Rocket, Airplane Engine Data

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution For all the data gathered by the space shuttle while in orbit, NASA engineers are just as concerned about the information it generates on the ground. From the moment the shuttle’s wheels touch the runway to the break of its electrical umbilical cord at 0.4 seconds before its next launch, sensors feed streams of data about the status of the vehicle and its various systems to Kennedy Space Center’s shuttle crews. Even while the shuttle orbiter is refitted in Kennedy’s orbiter processing facility, engineers constantly monitor everything from power levels to the testing of the mechanical arm in the orbiter’s payload bay. On the launch pad and up until liftoff, the Launch Control Center, attached to the large Vehicle Assembly Building, screens all of the shuttle’s vital data. (Once the shuttle clears its launch tower, this responsibility shifts to Mission Control at Johnson Space Center, with Kennedy in a backup role.)

Posted in: NTB, Spinoff

Read More >>

The U.S. Government does not endorse any commercial product, process, or activity identified on this web site.