UpFront

NASA's New Lander Prototype Passes Tests

NASA engineers successfully integrated and completed system testing on a new robotic lander at Teledyne Brown Engineering’s facility in Huntsville, AL, in support of the Robotic Lunar Lander Project at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. The lander prototype was placed on modified skateboards and a customized track system as a low-cost solution to control movement during final testing of the prototype’s sensors, onboard computer, and thrusters. The functional test focused on ensuring that all system components work seamlessly to sense, communicate, and command the lander’s movements.

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NASA Engineer Finds Answer to Green Energy in the Air

Mark Moore, an aerospace engineer focusing on advanced concepts in the Systems Analysis Branch at NASA’s Langley Research Center (Hampton, VA), is using a grant from the federal government to research airborne wind-capturing platforms. His concepts include long nanotubes that reach into the clouds, tethering a turbine vehicle flying at 2,000, 10,000, or 30,000 feet; and conducting the power that vehicle can harvest from the wind back to Earth.

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NASA’s Aviation Reporting System Improves Railroad Safety

The Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA is serving as a model to create a similar safety reporting system for the Federal Railroad Association (FRA). The ASRS collects, analyzes, and responds to voluntarily submitted aviation safety incident reports in order to lessen the likelihood of aviation accidents. This system helped create the FRA’s new Confidential Close Call Reporting System, which allows employees to voluntarily and anonymously report “close call” incidents that could have resulted in an accident or injury.

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NASA Technology Could Aid in Interpreting of Mammograms and Ultrasound

The new MED-SEG system, developed by Bartron Medical Imaging (New Haven, CT), relies on an innovative software program developed at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD to help doctors analyze mammograms, ultrasounds, digital X-rays, and other medical imaging tests. The FDA recently cleared the system to be used by trained professionals to process images. These images can be used in radiologists’ reports and communications, as well as other uses, but the processed images should not be used for primary image diagnosis.

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NASA’s “Mindshift” Biofeedback Gaming Technology Mimics Reality

NASA Langley Research Center scientists Alan Pope and Chad Stephens, along with high school intern Nina Blanson, have invented technology to inject stress levels into video games’ controls so that the nervous or stressed shooter is aiming a moving gun at a moving target. The technology, called “Mindshift,” includes a sensor attached to the player’s earlobe, checking the pulse and wired into the control. Sensors also can be attached to the forehead, seeking the facial muscle strain that is a sign of stress, or attached to the player’s partner to inject a social variable into game play, requiring teamwork between the two players.

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NASA Gets a GRIP on Hurricanes

NASA is leading an aircraft campaign to provide a sustained and unprecedented look at the inner workings of hurricane formation and intensification. The Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes (GRIP) experiment, taking place from August 15 to September 30, employs three NASA aircraft flying over the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Ocean, and Caribbean Sea to answer questions about how and why hurricanes form and strengthen. Scientists are flying an unmanned drone, outfitted with 3D radar, a microwave radiometer, and other instruments over tropical systems for up to 20 consecutive hours.

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NASA Issues Request for Intellectual Property MarketingNASA Issues Request for Intellectual Property Marketing

NASA is issuing a Request for Information (RFI) on FedBizOpps (www.fbo.gov/) for no-cost intelectual property marketing. NASA requests information from U.S.-owned organizations interested in providing intellectual property (IP) management services (such as patent valuation, marketing, assessment, and brokerage) to NASA under a no-cost arrangement that could allow for revenue sharing upon license execution. Services may be provided to one or more NASA Centers.

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