Mechanical Components

Granular Media-Based Tunable Passive Vibration Suppressor

Potential applications include vehicle shock absorbers, earthquake protection systems, and explosion protection systems. A complete, tested, and tunable shock and vibration suppression device is composed of statically compressed chains of spherical particles. The device superimposes a combination of dissipative damping and dispersive effects. The dissipative damping resulting from the elastic wave attenuation properties of the bulk material selected for the granular media is independent of particle geometry and periodicity, and can be accordingly designed based on the dissipative (or viscoelastic) properties of the material. For instance, a viscoelastic polymer might be selected where broadband damping is desired. In contrast, the dispersive effects result from the periodic arrangement and geometry of particles composing a linear granular chain. A uniform (monatomic) chain of statically compressed spherical particles will have a low-pass filter effect, with a cutoff frequency tunable as a function of particle mass, elastic modulus, Poisson’s ratio, radius, and static compression. Elastic waves with frequency content above this cutoff frequency will exhibit an exponential decay in amplitude as a function of propagation distance.

Posted in: Mechanics, Mechanical Components, Briefs, TSP

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Wells for In Situ Extraction of Volatiles from Regolith (WIEVR)

A document discusses WIEVRs, a means to extract water ice more efficiently than previous approaches. This water may exist in subsurface deposits on the Moon, in many NEOs (Near- Earth Objects), and on Mars. The WIEVR approach utilizes heat from the Sun to vaporize subsurface ice; the water (or other volatile) vapor is transported to a surface collection vessel where it is condensed (and collected). The method does not involve mining and extracting regolith before removing the frozen volatiles, so it uses less energy and is less costly than approaches that require mining of regolith.

Posted in: Mechanics, Mechanical Components, Briefs, TSP

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Modular Connector Keying Concept

For panel-mount-type connectors, keying is usually “built-in” to the connector body, necessitating different part numbers for each key arrangement. This is costly for jobs that require small quantities. This invention was driven to provide a cost savings and to reduce documentation of individual parts.

Posted in: Mechanics, Mechanical Components, Briefs

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Genesis Ultrapure Water Megasonic Wafer Spin Cleaner

A device removes, with high precision, the majority of surface particle contamination greater than 1-micron-diameter in size from ultrapure semiconductor wafer materials containing implanted solar wind samples returned by NASA’s Genesis mission. This cleaning device uses a 1.5- liter/minute flowing stream of heated ultrapure water (UPW) with 1-MHz oscillating megasonic pulse energy focused at 3 to 5 mm away from the wafer surface spinning at 1,000 to 10,000 RPM, depending on sample size.

Posted in: Mechanics, Mechanical Components, Briefs, TSP

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Folding Elastic Thermal Surface — FETS

The FETS is a light and compact thermal surface (sun shade, IR thermal shield, cover, and/or deployable radiator) that is mounted on a set of offset tape-spring hinges. The thermal surface is constrained during launch and activated in space by a thermomechanical latch such as a wax actuator.

Posted in: Mechanics, Mechanical Components, Briefs

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Piezoelectrically Initiated Pyrotechnic Igniter

This innovation consists of a pyrotechnic initiator and piezoelectric initiation system. The device will be capable of being initiated mechanically; resisting initiation by EMF, RF, and EMI (electromagnetic field, radio frequency, and electromagnetic interference, respectively); and initiating in water environments and space environments.

Posted in: Mechanics, Mechanical Components, Briefs, TSP

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Dual-Compartment Inflatable Suitlock

There is a need for an improvement over current NASA Extravehicular Activity (EVA) technology. The technology must allow the capacity for quicker, more efficient egress/ingress, allow for “shirtsleeve” suit maintenance, be compact in transport, and be applicable to environments ranging from planetary surface (partial-g) to orbital or deep space zero-g environments. The technology must also be resistant to dust and other foreign contaminants that may be present on or around a planetary surface. The technology should be portable, and be capable of docking with a variety of habitats, ports, stations, vehicles, and other pressurized modules.

Posted in: Mechanics, Mechanical Components, Briefs, TSP

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