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Planetary Ice Mining by Down-Hole Energy Injection

This lightweight technology operates in low gravity with energy efficiency. John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida Ice has been discovered on Mars and is present in the permanently shadowed craters on the Moon and on many asteroids. The ice is usually buried beneath an overburden of regolith. Evidence indicates this overburden may be a meter deep in some locations for the Moon; for Mars, it varies with latitude and may be as deep as or deeper than two meters in many locations. To obtain this ice as a resource in usable quantities, existing technology will require that it be strip-mined.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Water, Mining vehicles and equipment, Spacecraft

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The Ultimate Shaft-To-Hub Connection

Polygon Shapes - Multi-Faceted Problem Solvers Kinematically ground polygonal shapes have been used as drive connections for more than 45 years. What is now referred to as Polygon Systems was developed by Fortunawerke, Stuttgart, West Germany, who patented a grinding machine capable of producing matched polygonal shaft and bore diameters.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Mechanical Components, Mechanics

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Integrated Epoxy Feedthroughs Improve Fuel Pump Reliability

Of all the design decisions that affect the operation of an in-tank fuel pump, the way you seal the pump housing may top the list. A bad seal will allow liquid fuel to work its way into the housing, which will eventually corrode the electronics and potentially cause a risk of fire.

Posted in: White Papers, Aeronautics, Defense, Mechanical Components, Mechanics

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The Best Springs You Haven't Tried Yet

Flat wire wave springs offer the best balance of size and spring force. Here’s what you need to know to design with these high-performance alternatives to traditional springs. Discussed in this paper are the different styles of wave springs and the design advantages offered to the engineer, such as axial space savings, no torsional loads, consistent spring force, dimensional tolerances improvements, increased travel, etc. Additionally it shows some application examples and includes a formulas page for spring calculations.

Posted in: White Papers, Mechanical Components, Motion Control

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Wire Wound Springs versus Machined Springs; A Comparison

This white paper addresses the high points of choosing between Machined Springs and Wire Wound Springs, and goes into further detail regarding the unique differences that can significantly affect design considerations. Complete with charts detailing technical benefits between the two methods of producing springs. This educational white paper is an essential reference document for any engineer working with mechanical components.

Posted in: White Papers, Mechanical Components

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Lightweight, Reusable Payload Launch and Transportation Latch

This device can be used for latching cargo in aircraft, supporting hazardous materials, or latching pallets and shipping boxes.This innovation addresses the problem of automatic engagement and disengagement of payloads from their transport vehicle when lifted by a crane or other material handling device. The prior state-of-the-art is in material handling devices that require personnel to activate the latch, or latches that are actuated by heavy, bulky actuator systems fixed to the transportation device. These require significant accommodations on the transport vehicle to mate to the latch.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Mechanics, Materials handling, Construction vehicles and equipment, Industrial vehicles and equipment

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Structural Assembly Incorporating Integral Thermal Heat Spreader for Cold Plate Cooling

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas In a structural cold plate, typically there is a structural member such as a honeycomb panel or a brazed sandwich assembly that provides the structural strength, and at least one cold plate that cools equipment attached to the structural member. The cold plate is typically located between the structural member and the item it is cooling. With this configuration, the cold plate’s location, shape, and size are limited to being placed beneath the item it is cooling. This requires an additional envelope that is equal to the cold plate thickness. Being able to locate the cold plate in locations other than beneath the item it is cooling would have multiple benefits including reduced envelope requirements in the direction of the item it is cooling, as well as allowing a larger cold plate cooling footprint.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Cooling, Parts

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