NASA's Hot 100 Technologies: Information Technology & Software

Enhanced Project Management Tool

This invention is a system for managing a project that includes multiple tasks and workers. Periodic monthly, task plan, schedule, and budget reports are generated and made available for display or further analysis. When the system receives a description of a skill set needed for a project, the skill set module is queried. The name and relevant skill(s) possessed by each worker is displayed in a visually perceptible format.

Posted in: Articles, Techs for License, Electronics & Computers, Software
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NASA's Hot 100 Technologies: Instrumentation

Powder Handling Device for Analytical Instruments

This technology provides automated sample handling and movement of coarse-grained powder or other solid materials to enable analysis by a robotic or totally automated computer system. The powder is handled as a fluid, using mechanical vibrations in conjunction with a driving force, and requiring few or no moving parts.

Posted in: Articles, Techs for License, Imaging, Sensors
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NASA's Hot 100 Technologies: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Variable Power Handheld Laser Torch

A handheld laser torch was designed for welding and brazing metals to repair hard-to-reach space shuttle engine nozzles. It incorporates various manual controls and changing lenses to allow the operator to adjust the laser’s power output in real time. Applications are likely to be in-field welding and brazing of damaged equipment where traditional welding systems cannot easily access the welding area.

Posted in: Articles, Techs for License, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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NASA's Hot 100 Technologies: Materials & Coatings

Shape Memory Alloys

Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs) can be deformed at low temperature and recover their original shape upon heating. New alloys can operate up to ~300 °C, compared to ~80 °C for commercially available alloys. SMAs can be used in adaptive structures, actuators, heat detection devices, medical devices, high-temperature automotive components, aeronautics, and military.

Posted in: Articles, Techs for License, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials
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NASA's Hot 100 Technologies: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Spring Joint Package with Overstrain Sensor

This flexible joint provides two degrees of freedom and a tremendous amount of compliance. The overstrain sensor joint has a passive and restoring force that allows the joint to return to a default position, and is also proportional to the amount of lateral deflection the spring has undergone; this allows the OS sensor joint to be used in many of the under-constrained situations that cause universal joints to lock up.

Posted in: Articles, Techs for License, Fluid Handling, Motors & Drives
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NASA's Hot 100 Technologies: Optics

Automated Vision Test

The traditional test for visual acuity requires the patient to look and report which letters they see. A new invention provides an automated system to estimate visual acuity based on objective measurements of the eye optics and wavefront aberrations. A typical measurement consists of a list of numbers that constitute the coefficients of the polynomials. The algorithm converts the list of numbers into an estimate of the visual acuity of the patient.

Posted in: Articles, Techs for License, Imaging, Machine Vision
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NASA's Hot 100 Technologies: Power Generation & Storage

Model-Based Prognostics For Batteries

Effective Battery Health Monitoring (BHM) technologies are needed to ensure that battery operation is optimal and, if not, that it stays within design limits. BHM technologies protect the asset’s batteries from degradation due to non-optimal usage, and ensure viable levels of system availability, reliability, and sustainability in the presence of degraded batteries.

Posted in: Articles, Techs for License, Energy Storage, Solar Power
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NASA's Hot 100 Technologies: Propulsion

Fully Premixed, Low-Emission, High-Pressure, Multi-Fuel Burner

This burner is capable of operating on a variety of gaseous fuels and oxidizers, including hydrogen-air mixtures, with a low pressure drop. The burner provides a rapidly and uniformly mixed fuel-oxidizer mixture that is suitable for use in a fully premixed combustion regime that has the benefits of low pollutant emissions and freedom from harmful flashback effects, combustion instabilities, and thermal meltdown problems.

Posted in: Articles, Techs for License, Aerospace
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NASA's Hot 100 Technologies: Robotics, Automation & Control

Inductive Monitoring System

IMS software utilizes techniques from model-based reasoning, machine learning, and data mining to build system-monitoring knowledge bases from archived or simulated sensor data. In real time, IMS performs monitoring functions, determining and displaying the degree of deviation from nominal performance. IMS trend analyses can detect conditions that may indicate a failure or required system maintenance.

Posted in: Articles, Techs for License, Automation, Robotics
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NASA's Hot 100 Technologies: Sensors

Gas Sensors Based on Coated and Doped Carbon Nanotubes

Electronic, inexpensive, low-power gas sensors are based on single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) and provide a method for gas detection by coating or doping the SWCNTs with suitable materials. Applications include detection of flammable gases for the petrochemical industry, methane detection for the mine safety industry, environmental monitoring of toxic industrial gases, and monitoring gases in a patient’s breath.

Posted in: Articles, Techs for License, Sensors
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