NASA Spinoff

3D Endoscope Boosts Safety and Cuts Cost of Surgery

NASA’s 3D imaging technology goes from space to brain surgery. In 2007, Dr. Hrayr Shahinian was looking for an engineering team to help him develop an endoscopic device suitable for brain surgery, and capable of both steering its lens and producing a three-dimensional video image. He discovered that the person he

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Underwater Adhesives Retrofit Pipelines with Advanced Sensors

NASA-developed sensors and adhesion methods equip pipelines and tension legs that hold offshore platforms upright for safety monitoring. By the time the gas you fill your car with hits the engine, it’s been through quite a journey. An oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, for example, might need to be

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Flight Controller Software Protects Lightweight, Flexible Aircraft

Flutter prevention software can be used for better control of farm equipment, robots, and drones. NASA has made profound contributions to aviation, including advancing our understanding of flight mechanics and devising ways to improve aircraft performance. In the late 1980s, NASA participated in the development of Robust Control theory, which aims

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Custom 3D Printers Revolutionize the Space Supply Chain

Additive manufacturing technology could enable future astronauts to build any part or piece needed on long-duration missions. A spaceflight crew has to bring with it everything it will need over the course of its journey. In space travel, not only is payload capacity at a premium, but objects carried into space

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IonoSTAGE Ensures Accuracy of Pilots’ GPS

FAA software relies on NASA-developed programs to help pilots avoid ionospheric storms. To permit safe and reliable aircraft navigation over North America using the Global Positioning System (GPS), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has developed the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), which improves the accuracy, availability, continuity, and integrity of GPS

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Improved Calibration Shows Images’ True Colors

Camera calibration techniques for monitoring propulsion tests are used to improve quality of satellite images. In satellite images, the true color of a body of water, or anything else they depict, is not precise. Radiometric calibration, which improves the color accuracy of an image and enables it to be used to

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NASA Spinoff: NASA’s UV Radiation Research Keeps Sun Worshipers Safe

Studying radiation effects on spacecraft led to a personal Sun exposure monitor. To understand the Sun’s impacts on Earth, NASA initiated the Living with a Star program in 2001, and began developing a key research satellite: the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). One of the instruments created for the SDO was the

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Vision Algorithms Catch Defects in Screen Displays

Software based on NASA vision research is used in making laptop, cellphone, and TV displays. NASA has sent more than a few robotic missions into space, but it never loses sight of its goal to enable human exploration of the cosmos. A core component of planning for future manned missions is

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Brainwave Monitoring Software Helps Distracted Minds

Software designed to help pilots stay attentive now improves workplace, school, and sports performance. Imagine moving an object using only your mind. Software company Unique Logic’s Time on Task exercise makes that possible, at least on a computer screen. The game is one of the company’s Play Attention educational line, and

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Thermal Materials Protect Priceless Personal Keepsakes

Thermal protection technology used on the shuttles keeps valuables safe from fire. Most of us cannot comprehend the task of building something to withstand temperatures over 4,000 °F, but NASA can. The space shuttles endured such temperatures when returning to Earth’s atmosphere because of aerodynamic heating, or heating due to the

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