UpFront

NTB Readers Select Products of the Year

In December, we asked NASA Tech Briefs readers to select the one product from our 12 Products of the Month that you thought was the most significant introduction to the design engineering community in 2011. Thanks to all of our readers who voted, and here are your winners for the 17th Annual NASA Tech Briefs Readers’ Choice Product of the Year:

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Paint-On Solar Cells are “Sun-Believable”

What if the next coat of paint you put on the outside of your home could generate electricity from light — electricity that can be used to power the appliances and equipment on the inside? Researchers at the University of Notre Dame created an inexpensive solar paint that uses semiconducting nanoparticles to produce energy.

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The Open-Sky Office

Picture yourself working under the open sky – in your office. A dynamic luminous ceiling brings the sky into office spaces by creating the effect of passing clouds. Researchers from the Stuttgart-based Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering have replicated indoors a luminous ceiling that extends across the entire room, simulating lighting conditions that resemble those produced by passing clouds, and conveying the impression that you are sitting outdoors.

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All in a Day’s Work

On December 23, NASA astronaut Don Pettit joined the crew on the International Space Station (ISS), where he’ll live and work until May. For Flight Engineer Pettit, who holds a doctorate in chemical engineering, this trip marks his third spaceflight and second long-duration mission.

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The Future of Design

CAD software vendors will tell you that they continue to focus on improving the user experience – and they do tell you that in our annual roundtable of executives from leading software companies.

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NASA Rocks With Internet Radio Station

NASA is speaking the language of tech-savvy young adults with the launch of its custom-produced Internet music radio station called Third Rock – America’s Space Station.

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The Path of Least Emissions

According to new research from the University at Buffalo, it's possible for drivers to cut their tailpipe emissions without significantly slowing travel time.

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