Special Coverage

Transducer-Actuator Systems for On-Machine Measurements and Automatic Part Alignment
Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors
Heavy Lift Wing in Ground (WIG) Cargo Flying Boat
Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines
Vibration Tables Shake Up Aerospace and Car Testing
Supercomputer Cooling System Uses Refrigerant to Replace Water

Eliminate Interference from Converter Output

Motor chokes, sine wave filters, and EMC sine wave filters can help suppress the electromagnetic interference at a frequency converter’s output.

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) in frequency converters can be very problematic if not addressed properly in the initial design. EMC ensures the proper operation of devices to avoid negative electromagnetic interference (EMI) effects. Good design takes into account the control, design, and function of each device to prevent such interference.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control

High-Speed Network Protocol for Faster, More Reliable Emergency Response

Anew network protocol — the Multi Node Label Routing (MNLR) protocol — was developed to improve the information flow between emergency responders at the scene of an incident and decision-makers at the office of emergency management.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Communication protocols, Communication protocols, Disaster and emergency management, Emergency management, Hazards and emergency management, Hazards and emergency operations

Conductive Particle Assembly Enables Creation of Two-Dimensional Electronic Circuits

Fabrication of one-dimensional granular and colloidal materials can be used for granular conductors, flexible electronics for wearable devices, and electromagnetic energy transport.

One-dimensional conductive particle assembly holds promise for a variety of practical applications; in particular, for a new generation of electronic devices. Synthesis of such chains with programmable shapes outside a liquid environment has proven difficult.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Electronic equipment, Integrated circuits, Electronic equipment, Integrated circuits, Conductivity

Omni Jaw 5™ Powered Protrusion Cutter

With an interchangeable jaw, the tool can be used as a bolt cutter, punch, or shear.

In many manufacturing and construction activities, it is frequently necessary to remove a protrusion of material from a component or from a substrate surface. These removal operations include clipping the head off a bolt, or removing a nut, rivet, weld bead, or temporary assembly alignment tab from a substrate surface of assembled components. These operations may be required during normal assembly, during demolition of equipment or facilities, or during product repair or manufacturing rework activities.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Maintenance, Repair and Service Operations, Maintenance, repair, and service operations, Tools and equipment, Assembling, Cutting

Low-Cost Chip Extends Life of Battery Sensors

Batteries in sensors last longer – in some cases, more than ten times longer.

A voltage detector chip was developed that requires only a few trillionths of a Watt (picowatts) to activate other circuits, enabling engineers to design sensors that continuously listen, without using power from a battery or mains. The result is smaller batteries, or a battery life that is extended, in some cases by years. The voltage detector can also eliminate standby power.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors, Batteries, Integrated circuits, Sensors and actuators, Batteries, Integrated circuits, Sensors and actuators

Using Microwaves to Produce High-Quality Graphene

This method makes graphene for flexible and printable electronics, energy storage, and catalysis.

Engineers have developed a simple method for producing high-quality graphene that can be used in next-generation electronic and energy devices. The method essentially bakes the compound in a microwave oven.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Manufacturing processes, Graphite

Custom Administration Reporting (gTracker)

A reporting tool was needed that could indicate the accuracy of search results by tracking the number of clicks required by users to find their desired search results. The application should also capture the number of times other links and like filtering components are clicked. The report should have the ability to display a specific date range. The application is configured to allow multiple interfaces to utilize the service, and can provide statistics per interface or across all interfaces for a consolidated view of search user behavior metrics.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Big data, Data acquisition and handling, Internet, Big data, Data acquisition and handling, Internet

Process Produces Renewable Car Tires from Trees and Grasses

This discovery could also impact other technologically advanced rubber-based products.

A team of researchers has invented a new technology to produce automobile tires from trees and grasses. Conventional car tires are viewed as environmentally unfriendly because they are predominantly made from fossil fuels. The car tires produced from biomass that includes trees and grasses would be identical to existing car tires, with the same chemical makeup, color, shape, and performance.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Tires and traction, Environmental technologies, Biological sciences, Manufacturing processes, Chemicals


Android is the primary software platform for mobile, networked devices such as tablets and smartphones. These devices are increasingly used for safety-critical functions that require verification of correct and robust behavior of applications. Such software written for the Android operating system is hard to test because applications are inherently concurrent, applications are usually being driven by asynchronous user input and network events, the application model is not amenable to unit testing, and the availability of sources for many commercial applications is missing. Safety-critical applications require verification by means of systematic exploration of all possible software behaviors. Conventional testing does not guarantee sufficient coverage, especially for concurrent applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Cyber security, Internet of things, Safety critical systems, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Cyber security, Internet of things, Safety critical systems, Test procedures

Micromachined Sensors Monitor Train Rails and Predict Failures

Sensors designed to predict helicopter transmission failures are now used to detect problems in train tracks.

Spinoff is NASA's annual publication featuring successfully commercialized NASA technology. This commercialization has contributed to the development of products and services in the fields of health and medicine, consumer goods, transportation, public safety, computer technology, and environmental resources.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors

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