NASA Tech Needs

Developing a Commercial Nanoionics Switch for RF Applications

The Antenna and Optical Systems Branch at NASA’s Glenn Research Center is working on many innovations in nanotechnology for use in communications applications. One such emerging field of nanotechnology receiving significant attention for its promising results is nanoionics. Nanoionics-based technologies employ ion transport and chemical change at the nanoscale, using oxidation/reduction reactions of ionic metal species in order to build conductive bridge contacts. These mechanisms can serve as the basis for many nanoscale devices and can help overcome some of the challenges inherent in microelectro-mechanical systems (MEMS)-based and solid-state-based devices for radio frequency (RF) applications.

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Technology for Drilling/Cutting/Separating Materials

A company seeks alternative methods for sawing, drilling, boring, cutting, or otherwise separating materials such as wood, metal, and composites. When compared to conventional sawing, drilling, boring, or other cutting methods, the new method should be faster and easier; provide a cleaner cut in terms of smooth wall or bore and in chips, dust, or contamination of the work area; offer a longer tool life; minimize noise level; require low physical force during operation; be safe for use in an open environment; and reduce dependence on traditional power tools used in the workplace.

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Near-Field UHF RFID Systems

A company seeks a near-field ultra-high-frequency (UHF) RFID system solution that can communicate in near-field while keeping the field region localized so that far-field talks can be suppressed. A new near-field UHF RFID reader antenna is sought that has strong magnetic near-field, but small far-field gain and beam width. The antenna size should be as small as possible. A second option would be a UHF solution with assisting devices that could guarantee a localized read field. The tags in the interesting field could be read reliably without field nulls. The cross-reading for the tags outside the interesting field could be avoided.

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Technology for Drilling, Cutting, and Separating Materials

A company seeks alternative methods for sawing, drilling, boring, cutting, or otherwise separating materials such as wood, metal, and composites. When compared to conventional methods, the new technology should be faster, easier, provide a cleaner cut in terms of smoothness and dust in the work area, and offer a long tool life. It must minimize noise levels, require low physical force during operation, and be safe for use in an open environment.

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Improving Thermoplastic Performance Using Additives and Reinforcers

A company seeks to improve the performance properties of polyolefins, polyethylenes, and thermoplastics. Additives, ingredients, fillers, modifiers, agents, and other methods are all of interest. Properties of interest include lighter weight, higer modulus, increased tensile strength, improved impact and heat resistance, decreased density, minimal shrinkage, improved surface finish and appearance, and improved scratch resistance, surface hardness, and stiffness.

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Purge Monitoring Technology for Gaseous Helium (GHe) Conservation

John C. Stennis Space Center provides rocket engine propulsion testing for the NASA space programs. Since the development of the Space Shuttle, every Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) has gone through acceptance testing before going to Kennedy Space Center for integration into the Space Shuttle. The SSME is a large cryogenic rocket engine that uses Liquid Oxygen (LO2) and Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) as propellants. Due to the extremely cold cryogenic conditions of this environment, an inert gas, helium, is used as a purge for the engine and propellant lines since it can be used without freezing in the cryogenic environment.

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Sensations and Materials for Lip Products

A company seeks unique materials to add to lip products for new lip sensations and experiences (such as cooling, warming, numbing, tingling, and flavors), solutions that can impart prolonged sensate experiences, and solutions that can impart not-yet-known sensations. Products should meet the following guidelines: good aesthetics (no intense color and/or objectionable odor), compatibility with cosmetic solvents and colors, thermal stability, and costs competitive with other lip product ingredients.

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Protecting Anodized Aluminum in a Highly Alkaline Environment

A company seeks to protect the surface of an aluminum product when exposed to the harsh alkaline environment inside a dishwasher. The product currently has a hard-anodized surface to protect against abrasion. The company seeks to avoid an exterior coating that can be abraded away. Preferably, the surface would be made impervious by adding to the anodized coating, changing the material of the coating, or changing the chemistry by which it’s made.

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Composite Materials — Partnership Opportunities

Organic matrix composite materials have the potential for a significant mass reduction compared to metallic materials for aircraft and spacecraft, and have been a NASA focus for many years. The major technology drivers for these applications include large-scale composites manufacturing, composite damage tolerance and detection, and primary structure durability. Successful composite technologies will demonstrate concepts with reduced weight and cost with no loss in performance when compared to technologies for metallic concepts.

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Smart and Intelligent Sensors

Rocket engine testing is the primary mission for Stennis Space Center. Test stand facilities include the B-1/B-2 complex built for the Apollo Program, which is now used to test the RS-68 engine. A number of smaller test stands are available for testing components and lower thrust rocket engines. A-3 is a new test stand under construction that will have the capability to simulate high-altitude conditions. For each test article, the customer expects to receive highquality measurements to support their engine design, validation, and certification requirements. Making these measurements requires hundreds or thousands of sensors.

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