Features

Heat Pipe Assembly Passes NASA Hypersonic Tests

Embedded heat pipe assembly Thermacore Lancaster, PA 717-569-6551 www.thermacore.com A Thermacore heat pipe assembly recently completed testing at the NASA Ames Arc Jet Complex, operating at very high temperatures in a hypersonic leading-edge simulation.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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Liquid Flow Sensor Launches into Space

LS16 liquid flow sensor Sensirion Westlake Village, CA 805-409-4900 www.sensirion.com A liquid flow sensor from Sensirion will measure the impact of microgravity on the effectiveness of liquid flow. Among other potential findings, the project aims to shed light on the effects of weightlessness on the circulatory system.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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Spacecraft Seat Standards Lead to Comfort in Your Car

NASA standards for optimum neutral body posture in spacecraft have led to ergonomic car seats. In the beginning, safety outweighed comfort in spacecraft designs for human space travel. Capsules like Gemini and Apollo were small, and most of the flight activities were performed while the crew was strapped to their seats. Later, NASA devoted more attention to understanding how a spacecraft could provide comfort as well as safety and function to astronauts. NASA examined the neutral body posture (NBP), or the posture the human body naturally assumes in microgravity.

Posted in: Articles, Spinoff

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May the Force (Shoes) Be With You

Maintaining astronaut bone and muscle health in microgravity is an ongoing concern for NASA. Last month, the ForceShoe, designed by XSENS, was flown to the International Space Station (ISS), where they will help NASA collect data for studying the force placed on crewmembers’ bodies during exercise on the ISS Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED).

Posted in: UpFront

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Bioplastic Made from Shrimp Shells Breaks Down in Compost

Researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have introduced a new bioplastic isolated from shrimp shells. It’s made from chitosan, a form of chitin — the second-most abundant organic material on Earth. Chitin, a tough polysaccharide, is the main ingredient in the hardy shells of crustaceans, the armorlike cuticles of insects, and even the flexible wings of butterflies.

Posted in: UpFront

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Extended-Wear Patches for Skin Hydration

Moisturizers and active ingredients must be held against human skin in a patch format. To enhance uptake, a new material needs to be designed for extended wear from 1-10 hours. Comfort and physical flexibility are two chief requirements. Ideally, the patch will also reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Proposed materials must cover large or small areas of skin, and conform to the shapes of those areas. Possible solution areas include natural and synthetic yarns or materials, wovens and nonwovens, and extruded or film materials. The materials may be held against the skin by a suitable adhesive.

Posted in: Tech Needs

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Monitoring Battery Health in Solar-Charged Systems

In solar-powered, battery-run systems, each unit’s battery stores electricity generated by the solar panel during the day and provides electricity to a load when required. The systems currently are networked, but no method is in place to determine or report battery health. A client seeks ways to pre-emptively warn the customer when a battery is about to reach the end of its useful life. Possible solution areas include algorithmic technologies based on time-varying voltage, current, and other metrics during charge/discharge cycles.

Posted in: Tech Needs

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