UpFront

NASA Makes Hot Electronics Cooler

In the world of electronics, thermal control is always one of the limiting factors, particularly in space, where there is no air to help cool down electronic components. Jeffrey Didion, a thermal engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, and Dr. Jamal Seyed-Yagoobi, a professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, have developed a technology that may overcome current limitations. Called electrohydrodynamic (EHD)-based thermal control, the technology promises to make it easier and more efficient to remove heat from small spaces — a particular challenge for engineers building advanced space instruments and microprocessors that could fail if the heat they generate is not removed.

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NASA Licenses Clean Energy Technology

Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, in partnership with the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, developed a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell technology for future Department of Defense and commercial applications. Recently, USC and the California Institute of Technology, which manages JPL, awarded a license to SFC Energy, the U.S. affiliate of SFC Energy AG. The non-exclusive license for the technology will facilitate the expansion of the company’s methanol fuel cell products into the U.S. market.

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Ultrasound Generator Wins Worldwide Technology Competition

yet2.com, a technology scouting and intellectual property services firm (Needham, MA), in partnership with NASA Tech Briefs, Clean 15, RadTech, Steinbeis Center for Technology Transfer India, and yet2ventures, has announced that ZetrOZ (Ithaca, NY) is the Top Finalist in its inaugural Step2Change Technology Competition.

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Spacebound Bacteria Inspire Earthbound Remedies

Astronaut Fred Haise was a long way from home when he became sick with an infection caused by an opportunistic pathogen known as Pseudomonas aeruginosa while aboard the Apollo 13 mission to the Moon in 1970. Now, more than four decades later, this same bacterium is central to an important discovery by scientists using human spaceflight research to unlock the mysteries of how disease-causing agents work and can be controlled.

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NASA Light Technology Reduces Chemotherapy and Radiation Side Effects in Cancer Patients

A NASA technology originally developed for plant growth experiments on space shuttle missions has successfully reduced the painful side effects resulting from chemotherapy and radiation treatment in bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients. In a two-year clinical trial, cancer patients undergoing bone marrow or stem cell transplants were given a far-red/near-infrared light emitting diode (LED) treatment called High Emissivity Aluminiferous Luminescent Substrate, or HEALS, to treat oral mucositis — a common and extremely painful side effect of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

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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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