NASA Spinoff

‘NASA Invention of the Year’ Controls Noise and Vibration

Developed at NASA’s Langley Research Center, the Macro-Fiber Composite (MFC) is an innovative, low-cost piezoelectric device designed for controlling vibration, noise, and deflections in composite structural beams and panels. It was created for use on helicopter blades and airplane wings as well as for the shaping of aerospace structures at

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Thermoelectric Devices Advance Thermal Management

When NASA programs need the ultimate reliability to power deep space probes, they repeatedly select thermoelectric (TE) devices as a system component. TE devices heat, cool, and generate electricity when a temperature differential is provided between the two module faces. Using radioactive isotope Plutonium 238 and TE devices to convert

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MATERIAL ANALYSIS AND IDENTIFICATION

KeyMaster Technologies, Inc., develops and markets specialized, hand-held X-ray fluorescence (XRF) instruments and unique tagging technology used to identify and authenticate materials or processes. NASA first met with this Kennewick, Washington-based company as the Agency began seeking companies to develop a hand-held instrument that would detect data matrix symbols on

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READING THROUGH PAINT

Two-dimensional data matrix symbols, which contain encoded letters and numbers, are permanently etched on items for identification. They can store up to 100 times more information than traditional bar codes. While the symbols provide several advantages over bar codes, once they are covered by paint they can no longer be

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FLUID FLOW TECHNOLOGY THAT MEASURES UP

From 1994 to 1996, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center conducted a Center Director's Discretionary Fund research effort to apply artificial intelligence technologies to the health management of plant equipment and space propulsion systems. Through this effort, NASA established a business relationship with Quality Monitoring and Control (QMC), of Kingwood, Texas,

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PROVIDING A TURN FOR THE BETTER

Engineers are tasked with designing new systems every day to meet changing or unexpected technical requirements. After the tragic explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986, NASA engineers embarked on a complete overhaul of many of their long-standing quality systems and procedures. When the official cause of

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The Space Laser Business Model

Creating long-duration, high-powered lasers, for satellites, that can withstand the type of optical misalignment and damage dished out by the unforgiving environment of space, is work that is unique to NASA. It is complicated, specific work, where each step forward is into uncharted territory.

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Low-Pressure Generator Makes Cleanrooms Cleaner

Scientists at NASA's Kennedy Space Center work in cleanrooms: laboratories with high degrees of cleanliness provided by strict control of particles such as dust, lint, or human skin. They are contaminant-free facilities, where the air is repeatedly filtered, and surfaces are smooth to prevent particles from getting lodged. Technicians working

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Big Results From a Smaller Gearbox

Many people will be sad to see the Hubble Space Telescope go, as it was the first instrument of its kind to provide us with such a wealth of imagery and information about the galaxy. The telescope has served us well since its launch in spring of 1990, but it

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Advanced Joining Technology: Simple, Strong, and Secure

The space-age materials that NASA employs in its spacecraft and satellites have different attributes than the building materials that can work for Earthly uses. These materials do not behave like the typical construction materials, and therefore, require new methods for construction.

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