Features

New Electron Microscopy Method Sculpts 3-D Structures at Atomic Level

Electron microscopy researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a unique way to build 3-D structures with finely controlled shapes as small as one to two billionths of a meter. The new technique demonstrates how scanning transmission electron microscopes, normally used as imaging tools, are also capable of precision sculpting of nanometer-sized 3-D features in complex oxide materials.

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Onion-Like Layers Help New Nanoparticle Glow

A new, onion-like nanoparticle could open new frontiers in bioimaging, solar energy harvesting and light-based security techniques.

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Products of Tomorrow: December 2015

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just some of the examples of NASA-developed technology used in products today.

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Multiphysics Software Models Mean Flow Augmented Acoustics in Rocket Systems

Combustion instability in solid rocket motors and liquid engines is a complication that continues to plague designers and engineers. Many rocket systems experience violent fluctuations in pressure, velocity, and temperature originating from the complex interactions between the combustion process and gas dynamics. During severe cases of combustion instability, fluctuation amplitudes can reach values equal to or greater than the average chamber pressure. Large amplitude oscillations lead to damaged injectors, loss of rocket performance, damaged payloads, and, in some cases, breach of case/loss of mission. Historic difficulties in modeling and predicting combustion instability haves reduced most instances of most rocket systems experiencing instability into a costly fix through testing or scrapping of the system entirely.

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NASA Turns to 3D Metal Printing for SLS Propulsion Program

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) Stratasys Direct Manufacturing Valencia, CA 888-311-1017 www.stratasysdirect.com NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center is currently leading the development of the Space Launch System (SLS) program, which is building a heavy-lift launch vehicle to carry human explorers and science payloads to new frontiers. Today, one important technology being explored by the team at Marshall is additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, as it relates to manufacturing hardware and propulsion for the SLS rocket. The center dedicated resources to materials and technologies research, using their latest liquid rocket injector development as one optimal project for testing out the capabilities, costs, and benefits of additive manufacturing processes. One goal of additive manufacturing is to consolidate parts to reduce labor and weight, and create an overall more efficient part with increased complexities that help optimize injectors for future applications.

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NASA Leverages Analytical Modeling to Improve Astronaut Mission Readiness

Probabilistic modeling Charles River Analytics Cambridge, MA 617-491-3474 www.cra.com NASA has contracted with Charles River Analytics to develop a system to measure and assess astronaut workload. The system for Cognitive Assessment and Prediction to Promote Individualized Capability Augmentation and Reduce Decrement, or CAPT PICARD, will measure, assess, and predict cognitive workload to assist astronauts or mission control in responding more effectively. Astronauts sent on manned NASA missions face long periods of minimal cognitive workload followed by sudden, fast-tempo operations. In addition, disrupted sleep, long-term motion exposure, and lack of normal gravity may impair cognitive and psychomotor functioning, resulting in fatigue, stress, and decreased mood.

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Top Prizes Awarded in the Create the Future Design Contest

Top prizes in the 2015 Create the Future Design Contest were awarded on November 6 in New York City. The Grand Prize winner, and winners in seven categories, took home awards for their innovative design ideas.

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