Tech Exchange

Packaging Defect Detection

Consumers desire dent-free packages and properly affixed labels on 3D rigid packaging. A client seeks an automated system that will check the quality of these labels, and will detect, measure, and record critical information. The detection procedure will inform changes in processes, materials, or equipment to reduce or eliminate the imperfections. Such technology would first be applied for off-line lab tests, and then ideally be scaled for use in an online packaging system; the system will require real-time monitoring during packaging production. The equipment must detect defects as small as 2 mm.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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Indoor Positioning System Utilizes Wireless LAN Network

A positioning system utilizes ZigBee™, a wireless sensor network on the 2.4-GHz ISM band. The technology applies stochastic reasoning in analyzing the ID and received signal strength indication (RSSI) of received wireless signals. Due to multipath interference, the position of people or target objects can be estimated within a margin of error of one to several meters, regardless of signal loss, noise, or signal fluctuation.

Posted in: Techs for License
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Square Piston Engine Reduces Emissions

The Square Piston Engine (SPEC), a two-stroke engine with a square piston, has an improved power-to-weight ratio compared to existing engines. The engine features the same three moving parts as a conventional two-stroke engine: crank, gudgeon, and piston. The delayed opening of the exhaust port on the power stroke provides a cleaner burn of the fuel, yielding more torque and lower emissions. The SPEC also has a closed-loop engine oiling system, which provides component durability and reduced hydrocarbon consumption. The engine is modular in design, providing significant manufacturing flexibility.

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Naturally Derived Chemicals Exhibiting Pesticidal Effects

A company seeks biorational approaches to new pesticides. “Biorational” approaches include processes, organisms, or chemistries that occur spontaneously in nature. By isolating these substances, a biorational pesticide may be created. These naturally derived (or synthesized products resembling parent molecules of a natural origin) will have unique modes of action, are environmentally benign, and have commercially acceptable levels of control on specific target species such as weeds, insects, fungi, nematodes, and other crop pests.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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Natural Ingredients for Foods That Improve Insulin Sensitivity

Healthy people and pre-diabetic individuals may have a reduced sensitivity (or resistance) to insulin. A company seeks natural ingredients that can be added to foods that will enhance the body’s sensitivity to insulin, and help maintain post-absorptive blood glucose control at a healthy level. The company is looking for ways to decrease the incidence of risk factors for diabetes (such as impaired fasting glucose) by locating natural edible compounds or extracts that improve insulin sensitivity.

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Detection of Pathogens, Environmental Contaminants, and Illicit Materials

The University of Georgia Research Foundation has a portfolio of technologies for the fast and accurate detection and identification of pathogens and chemicals. The technologies provide for a scalable and inexpensive method for the detection of disease agents as well as environmental contaminants, materials of relevance to homeland security, etc.

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Smart Grid Technology for Monitoring Power Generation of Each Solar Panel

The National Institute of AIST in Japan has developed a communication technology that uses the direct current (DC) power line of a solar panel as a communication line. The technology helps monitor the power generation in each solar panel, which is useful for the maintenance of the panel and the prompt detection of malfunctions. The monitoring unit of the developed communication system is small and can be placed in the terminal box of a solar panel. The system does not require additional wiring work because the existing DC power lines from the solar panels are used for communication.

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Indoor Air Quality Improvements

A company wants to decrease the frequency and severity of respiratory illness in homes with adults, teens, and children. Affordable indoor air quality improvement solutions must be provided to consumers via an air purification device. The client seeks a third-party partner who can offer a currently commercialized/ available air purifier. The pollutants that must be removed from indoor air include particulates, sulfuric acid, ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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Air and Moisture Removal Within Closed Containers

Many types of food spoilage are slowed when air and moisture are removed from around the food. Current removal solutions, however, are expensive, take up too much space, and require complicated processes. A new technology must remove air and moisture with the single push of a button. Any proposed device should be incorporated into the container. A previously attempted solution included a countertop appliance that, using a vacuum, sealed a bag with heat.

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Biodegradable Silica Gel Fiber Regenerates Cell Tissue

An inorganic, biodegradable silica gel fiber (SGF) acts as a physical scaffold to aid the growth of new cells and the collagen structure that supports them. As a scaffold, it can also be used to deliver drugs over a wide area to aid in healing. The material is integrated into the tissues and resorbed by the body. Unlike collagen, the SGF scaffold stays in the wound for 1–2 weeks before resorption. Dimension as well as degradation speed can be adjusted from millimeters up to several hundred square centimeters.

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