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

Will the voice become a mainstream way to control our devices?

This year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas showcased many new consumer products featuring voice control. LG, for example, introduced a smart refrigerator equipped with Amazon's Alexa voice service. Other CES technologies with voice-recognition capabilities included televisions, home lighting systems, and vehicles. Last Tuesday, Shawn Dubravac, Chief Economist of the Consumer Technology Association, said vocal computing is replacing the traditional graphical user interface, and "the ability to infuse AI into small things at relatively low cost is present." What do you think? Will the voice become a mainstream way to control our devices?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Data Acquisition, Sensors

Read More >>

Researchers Design Lightweight, 'Stronger-Than-Steel' Material

A team of engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has successfully designed a new 3D material with five percent the density of steel and ten times the strength. By compressing and fusing flakes of graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon, the sponge-link configuration is one of the strongest and lightest known materials.

Posted in: News

Read More >>

Electric Field Quantitative Measurement System and Method

This technology could be used for medical imaging, security applications, weather prediction, and nondestructive evaluation of composites and insulators.NASA Langley Research Center’s Electric Field Imaging (EFI) system is the only noncontact method capable of quantitatively measuring the magnitude and direction of electrostatic fields in near- and far-field applications. Based on low-cost, commercially available components, the EFI system uses measurement of very-low-current, human-safe electric fields to construct a three-dimensional image of objects and people based on their dielectric properties. This platform technology, originally developed for measurement of the efficacy of electrical shielding around cables, could be optimized for a variety of applications, including medical imaging, security and detection, weather and natural disaster prediction, and nondestructive evaluation of composites and insulators. The EFI system has the potential to offer a lower-cost, portable, and safer alternative to the imaging systems currently used in these applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers

Read More >>

Auto-Balancing Series-Stacked Input DC-DC Converter

This invention could enable practical, reliable, and efficient power conversion in high-voltage DC systems without power level limitation.ADC-DC converter that can operate from a high input voltage is needed for future high-power space applications. However, the selection of space-qualified, high-voltage transistors and filter capacitors for such a converter are very limited. The available high-voltage components have lower performance than lower-voltage components. One possible solution to this problem is connecting in series the inputs of multiple converters to lower the input voltage at the individual converter inputs. However, because of component tolerances, performance degradation, and transient events, this can result in an unbalanced voltage distribution throughout the various inputs. Excessive voltage on any of the stacked converters can damage components and cause a catastrophic failure. A circuit that could inherently balance the voltage between the inputs of multiple low-voltage DCDC converters would have better performance and reliability.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers

Read More >>

Larger-Area Integrated Electrical Metallization Dielectric Structures with Stress-Managed Unit Cells for Extreme- Environment Semiconductor Electronics Chips

Electronic circuits that operate in high temperatures are used in automobiles, airplanes, oil drilling operations, and many other applications.The use of patterned multiple layers of thin films of metal and dielectric to form integrated circuit interconnections of transistors and/or form on-chip circuit capacitors is well known to those skilled in the art of semiconductor microelectronic fabrication. Because differing layers of thin film materials have different physical and thermal expansion properties, it is also well known that stress is inherently present in these multilayer film structures on a microelectronic chip. The amount of stress changes with temperature and as a function of lateral feature size/area across the chip. When stress anywhere within a patterned metal film feature becomes critically large (i.e., the “yield stress” is exceeded), the metal film can physically crack, buckle, or delaminate from other layers, which usually damages/fails the intended electrical operation of the microelectronic circuit.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers

Read More >>

High-Temperature, Hydrophobic, Flexible Aerogel Composite and Method of Making Same

This technology is well suited for environments requiring insulation materials that can withstand temperatures of up to 1200 °C.NASA’s Glenn Research Center (GRC) has developed a method for fabricating low-density, flexible aerogel composites for use as thermal insulation for myriad applications. It is ideal for a variety of environments that require insulation materials that can withstand temperatures of up to 1200 °C. This innovation significantly advances the state of the art for composite insulation systems, reducing adherence problems and thermal conductivity limitations of conventional aerogel insulations while improving performance with lower weight, lower density, and higher efficiency, all factors contributing to greater applicability of aerogel insulation.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials

Read More >>

Mechanical Components from Highly Recoverable, Low Apparent Modulus Materials

Shock-resistant material eliminates corrosion and polishes to a smooth surface finish.NASA’s Glenn Research Center has developed a new method for producing a shock- and corrosion-proof, superelastic, intermetallic material, NiTiNOL 60 (60NiTi), for use in ball bearings and other mechanical components. These superelastic materials can withstand tremendous loads and stresses without permanent deformation or denting. At the same time, the nickel-titanium alloy is immune to corrosion and rust, unlike mechanical components made from iron or steel. In addition, the material does not chemically degrade or break down lubricants, a common problem with existing bearing materials. This material is best suited for oil-lubricated rolling and sliding contact applications requiring superior and intrinsic corrosion resistance, electrical conductivity, and non-magnetic properties.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials

Read More >>

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