Mechanical Components

Floating Oil-Spill Containment Device

This triangular device can be used for oil and natural gas containment. Previous oil containment booms have an open top that allows natural gas to escape, and have significant oil leakage due to wave action. Also, a subsea pyramid oil trap exists, but cannot move relative to moving oil plumes from deepsea oil leaks.

Posted in: Mechanics, Mechanical Components, Briefs

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Instrument Package Manipulation Through the Generation and Use of an Attenuated-Fluent Gas Fold

This document discusses a technique that provides a means for suspending large, awkward loads, instrument packages, components, and machinery in a stable, controlled, and precise manner. In the baseplate of the test machine, a pattern of grooves and ports is installed that when pressurized generates an attenuated-fluent gas f old providing a low-cost, near-zero-coefficient-of-friction lubrication boundary layer that supports the object evenly, and in a predictable manner. Package movement control requires minimal force.

Posted in: Mechanics, Mechanical Components, Briefs

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Transpiration-Cooled Spacecraft-Insulation-Repair Fasteners

Transpiration-cooled fasteners are proposed that operate like an open-loop heat pipe (self-tapping screws, bolts, and spikes) for use in on-orbit repair of thermal-insulation of a space shuttle or other spacecraft. By limiting the temperature rise of such a fastener and of the adjacent repair material and thermal protection system, the transpiration cooling would contribute to the ability of the repair to retain its strength and integrity in the high-heat-flux, oxidizing environment of re-entry into the atmosphere of the Earth.

Posted in: Mechanics, Mechanical Components, Briefs

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Site Tamper and Material Plow Tool — STAMP

Tool simplifies measurement of surface samples. A non-actuated tool has been developed for preparing regolith for in situ measurement by smoothing uneven surfaces and excavating fresher subsurface material for planetary exploration. The STAMP tool contains two tools to prepare regolith for in situ measurement: a tamper to smooth uneven surfaces, and a blade to excavate fresher subsurface material.

Posted in: Mechanics, Mechanical Components, Briefs

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Mechanical Components for Demanding Applications

Small-diameter ball screws and stainless steel linear actuators deliver performance and durability for compact, portable, and lightweight applications. Advanced medical device designs are evolving rapidly and demand higher standards for medical equipment reliability. Applying linear motion components to these medical applications yields the best results when collaboration begins at the early stages of the design. Beginning with specification requirements provided by the medical device manufacturer, definition of design priorities must be incorporated for finished devices intended for human use, including:

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Mechanical Components, Medical, Briefs, MDB

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Axel Robotic Platform for Crater and Extreme Terrain Exploration

Other applications include exploration, search and rescue, and open-pit mining. To be able to conduct science investigations on highly sloped and challenging terrains, it is necessary to deploy science payloads to such locations and collect and process in situ samples. A tethered robotic platform has been developed that is capable of exploring very challenging terrain. The Axel rover is a symmetrical rover that is minimally actuated, can traverse arbitrary paths, and operate upside-down or right-side up. It can be deployed from a larger platform (rover, lander, or aerobot) or from a dual Axel configuration. Axel carries and manages its own tether, reducing damage to the tether during operations.

Posted in: Mechanics, Mechanical Components, Briefs

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Magnetic Interface for Segmented Mirror Assembly

Newly developed magnetic devices are used to create an interface between adjacent mirror segments so that once assembled, aligned, and phased, the multiple segments will behave functionally equivalent to a monolithic aperture mirror. One embodiment might be a kinematic interface that is reversible so that any number of segments can be pre-assembled, aligned, and phased to facilitate fabrication operations, and then disassembled and reassembled, aligned, and phased in space for operation.

Posted in: Mechanics, Mechanical Components, Briefs

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