Features

NASA-Developed Platform Integrates Sensors with Smartphones

Carbon-nanotube-based gas detectors paved the way for interchangeable smartphone-savvy sensors. In 2007, when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a call for a sensor that could equip a smartphone with the ability to detect dangerous gases and chemicals, NASA Ames Research Center scientist Jing Li had a ready response. She had been developing the use of single-walled carbon nanotubes that respond to various gases and compounds for use in NASA applications such as evaluating planetary atmospheres, detecting chemicals around rocket launch pads, and monitoring the performance of life-support systems. Her proposal was awarded funding in 2008, but she needed a way for the device to “sniff” the air for samples, and a system that would allow it to interface with a smartphone.

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Editor's Choice: March 2016

Algae can produce valuable products such as biofuels. A new method using forward osmosis incorporates photobioreactor tubes filled with wastewater that float in seawater. The forward osmosis removes the wastewater and concentrates the algae for harvesting, and also cleans the water released back into the seawater, creating a beneficial environmental impact. Find out more HERE.

Posted in: UpFront

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Readers Select 2015 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 new introduction to the design engineering community in 2015. Thanks to all of our readers who voted, and here are your winners for the 2015 NASA Tech Briefs’ Readers’ Choice Product of the Year:

Posted in: UpFront

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It’s Time to Create the Future

The 14th annual Create the Future Design Contest (www.createthefuturecontest.com), sponsored by COMSOL and Mouser Electronics, and produced by Tech Briefs Media Group, is now open for entries. The contest recognizes outstanding innovations in product design worldwide, awarding a Grand Prize of $20,000 USD. There is no cost to enter.

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Defining and Measuring “LOOSE TIGHT BUFFER” in Fiber Optic Cables

As the optical fiber and cable industry unfolded, several terms were coined to describe specific properties that were new and different from conventional wire processing. One of those that stayed around was the term “Loose Tight Buffer.”

Posted in: Articles, Photonics

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Tech Briefs 40th Anniversary: Executive Perspectives

We asked executives to offer perspectives on milestones in their industry or technology area that occurred during the past 40 years. Did their industry exist 40 years ago, and if not, what brought about its creation? Maybe it experienced its greatest growth during that time. And what are their expectations for the coming years?

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Executive Perspectives: Data Acquisition & Sensing

GRANT MALOY SMITH President and CEO Dewetron, Inc. Wakefield, RI www.dewamerica.com In 40 years, data acquisition products have evolved from paper-based chart recorders and analog tape machines, to computer-based instruments. As a result, the relatively slow pace of improvements in performance that typified data recorders for nearly a century is now swept along on the fast-moving current of computer technology advances.

Posted in: Articles, Data Acquisition, Sensors

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