Tech Exchange

Super Bulk Production of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

Japan Industrial Technology Association

Highly pure, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are mass-produced in bulk forms such as vertically aligned “forests” through a process called Super CVD, a supercharged chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process. Structures of carbon SWNT are patterned and their growth controlled using specialized methods and furnaces.

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Chemical Approach to Spraying All Sides of a Complex Shape

A company seeks technology to spray waterborne substances — both suspensions and solutions — on all sides of an object, even the under sides, regardless of the attitude of the object or the direction from which the spray impinges. Nearuniform coating on all surfaces of the object is required. The technology should not affect the sprayed product negatively, and must work with current spraying equipment and liquid carriers.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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Triclosan Replacement

A company seeks a replacement for triclosan, a popular anti-microbial agent used in household products. The replacement requires thermal stability to withstand manufacturing temperatures (such as polymer melt temperatures during molding), UV stability, and compatibility with anionic detergents. It should also be environmentally friendly, sustainable, broad-spectrum, and cause no color change or odor in the product to which it is applied.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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Intelligent Integrated System Health Management

Stennis Space Center is NASA’s primary center for rocket engine testing. The facilities include large test stands built for the Apollo Program that are being used to test Space Shuttle Main Engines, smaller test stands for smaller rockets and components, and a new test stand, the A3 Test Stand with capability to simulate high-altitude conditions. All test stands are complex systems that provide oxidizer, fuel, and purge fluids, often at extreme pressures and high velocities. The test stand systems must also manage cryogenic temperatures from liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen, and liquid nitrogen, as well as high temperatures from rocket plumes. Further more, test stands include hundreds of sensors, and accurate and reliable measurement systems to obtain data that can be used in the design, validation, and certification of engines and components.

Rocket engine testing is a complex and potentially hazardous operation, not unlike a spacecraft launch. Protocols and processes are followed in order to ensure readiness to test. In order to improve efficiencies and safety in test stand operations, it is crucial to develop systems that can help provide comprehensive and continuous vigilance of each element on the test stand. An ISHM system will provide this capability.

Technology Needs

Integrated System Health Management (ISHM) capability is fundamentally linked to the management of data, information, and knowledge (DIaK) to determine the health of a system. It is similar to having a team of experts who are all individually and collectively observing and analyzing a complex system, and communicating effectively with each other in order to arrive to an accurate and reliable assessment of its health. ISHM is a capability that is achieved by integrating DIaK that might be distributed throughout the system elements. DIaK must be available to any element of a system at the right time and in accordance with a meaningful context. ISHM Functional Capability Level (FCL) is measured by how well a system performs the following functions: (1) detect anomalies, (2) diagnose causes, (3) predict future anomalies/ failures, and (4) provide users with an integrated awareness about the condition of every element in the system and guide user decisions.

The primary technologies that enable achievement of ISHM capability include:

Algorithms/approaches/methodologies for anomaly detection. Approaches and methodologies for root-cause analysis to diagnose causes of anomalies. Approaches and methodologies for prediction of future anomalies. Architectures/taxonomies/ontologies that enable management of DIaK – where management implies distributed storage, sharing, processing, maintenance, configuration, and evolution. Software environments that integrate contributing technologies in a modular plug-and-play fashion, adhering to a defined architecture/ taxonomy/ontology. Standards that allow plug and play and interoperability among elements of an ISHM system. User interfaces to provide the user with integrated system awareness.

Developing solutions to the primary technologies must also consider intelligence and integration. In telligence implies that a credible ISHM capability that allows systematic augmentation of that capability must be a knowledgebased system. implies that inferences and decisions about the health of any element must incorporate and reason using other elements and physical phenomena through out the system.

More Information

For additional information, or to discuss ideas about this concept, contact John Lansaw of Stennis Space Center at 228-688- 1962 or visit nasa@techbriefs.com.

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Low-Cost Liquid Metal Cooling for High-Thermal-Density Electronics

Liquid metal has been used as a coolant for system-level thermal management for decades in nuclear reactors. The reason is its efficiency — liquid metal can have an effective thermal conductivity 10 to 100 times the thermal conductivity of copper. However, cost and long-term reliability of liquid metal cooling approaches have previously precluded its widespread use for cooling of high-thermal-density electronics. Rockwell Collins has developed a liquid metal cooling technology that solves these issues.

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Needle-Free Injection System Using Pyrotechnical Propulsion

PYROFAST is a needle-free injection system with pyrotechnical gas propulsion that provides accurate and comfortable drug delivery through the skin for intra-dermal, subcutaneous, and intra-muscular injections of liquid and solid (lyophilized) drugs. The needle-free injection occurs within 40 msec; a very fine, high-pressure jet stream of liquid medication painlessly penetrates the skin, depositing medication in the tissue beneath. Needle-free injection reduces skin trauma and pain, and leads to better patient compliance by eliminating the patient’s phobia of needles.

PYROFAST technology does not cause bleeding, which is often experienced with a needle injection, thus eliminating the risk of transmission of bloodborne diseases. The gas generator of the PYROFAST system uses a chemical substance that, after activation, generates a gas to create a well-defined and reliable pressure profile suitable for the injection of liquid drugs. The gas puts pressure on a plunger in the injection ampoule of the Medication Unit, which pushes the liquid through the orifice of the nozzle.

Get the complete report on this technology at:
www.techbriefs.com/tow/200911b.html
Email: nasatech@yet2.com
Phone: 781-972-0600

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NASA Engineering Polymer Development Needs

There is increasing interest in lightweight and ultra-lightweight structural concepts and materials within NASA’s exploration mission and as part of efforts to develop “green” aeronautics options. Polymers and polymeric composites are important elements in design and construction of the nation’s future aircraft and spacecraft. Langley Research Center (LaRC) in particular has very active programs in development of advanced engineering polymers for use as structural components, as films or coatings, or for high-temperature or acoustic insulation.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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Technologies to Protect Crop Plants From Pesticide Damage

A company seeks technologies or “safeners” that minimize the negative impact of pesticides on crops, such as physiological or cosmetic damage. The safener must have utility on a broad combination of crops, result in no inhibition effect or other performance consequences on the active ingredient, and have a minimum two-year shelf life under varying temperatures. Possible treatments include seed coating, pharma or cosmetic ingredients, or co-formulation with an existing product.

Respond to this TechNeed at:
www.techbriefs.com/tn/200910c.html
Email: nasatech@yet2.com
Phone: 781-972-0600

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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Small, Mechanical Valve for Use With Propellant Gas

A valve technology is sought that can be used with a propellant- gas-based device aimed at the consumer goods industry. The valve will be used with a canister of propellant gas, in a handheld consumer device, and needs to be small, lightweight, and low-cost. The size should be in the millimeter to centimeter range, weigh less than 5 grams, require no priming, be air-actuated, allow a flow rate between 25 mL/sec and 90 mL/sec, and be manufactured from materials that meet European Union or FDA requirements.

Respond to this TechNeed at:
www.techbriefs.com/tn/200910d.html
Email: nasatech@yet2.com
Phone: 781-972-0600

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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Accurate Laser Micro-Etching

A one-step laser etching process proves advantageous for the microfabrication of optics, electromechanical systems, and fluidics. Utilizing a laser-absorbing fluid against the back side of virtually any solid, transparent material, any of a number of lasers can perform micro-etching of 1 millimicron to 10 millimicrons. Etching can employ two or more lasers on transparent plates, cylinders, rods, films, vessels, or blocks. The resulting etched design may resemble hatching, a grid array, a bubble array, or any special design.

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