Tech Exchange

One-Megapixel Infrared Light Detector

A company seeks a detector array for the infrared region to detect two-dimensional radiation patterns. The sensor should have 1000 x 1000 pixels (or at least 512 × 640 pixels), which are individually addressable. The detector array is comparable to a high-speed CCD chip, but must have high sensitivity in the infrared around 1,300 nm.

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Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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Non-Fluoro-Based Textile Repellency Treatment

A company seeks a ready-to-use, non - fluorochemical - based repellent solution for oil- and water-borne stains for application on textiles. The textiles may be cotton, wool, or synthetic, or a blend of natural and synthetic fibers. This material may be fully formulated or partially formulated in a solventfree delivery solution.

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Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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Power Beaming for Small Robots and Remote Instruments

The NASA Ames Intelligent Robo - tics Group (IRG) is dedicated to enabling humans and robots to explore and learn about extreme environments, remote locations, and uncharted worlds. The IRG conducts applied research in a wide range of areas, with an emphasis on robotics systems science and field testing.

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Low-Cost Engineered Properties for Non- Wovens, Films, and Laminates

A suite of nonwoven technologies offers low-cost mechanical processes that impart specific engineered properties to commodity-priced nonwovens, films, and laminates, and even to non-polymeric materials. A wide range of textures, controllable permeability, aperturing, multilayer composites, elasticity without elastic chemistry, and other features comprises various aspects of the suite. Many of the technologies operate at room temperature, without adhesives, and are suitable to high-speed lines (in excess of 500 FPM). They are compatible with production lines that may need to start and stop.

They enhance the performance of low-cost materials — adding strength, puncture resistance, stretch, texture, permeability, and more — in ways that melt-based systems can achieve. They open potential new markets such as a new category of disposable fabric home goods (sheets, curtains, and pillows), new packaging options, and agricultural products.

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Email: nasatech@yet2.com
Phone: 781-972-0600

Posted in: Techs for License
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Cooler, Quieter Jet Engine for Light-Sport Aircraft and Ultralights

A small jet engine is suitable for light-sport, ultralight, and experimental aircraft, and can replace the vibrating piston engine and propeller combination used in most sport aircraft. Exhaust heat is minimized for safety to 750 °C, so that a suitably insulated cowling can be touched. By minimizing the heat, sound absorbers can be used so that sound output of the engine is also minimized to about 200 dB or less at a measured distance from the exhaust. The engine provides much less vibration than does a conventional propeller and piston engine combination.

The engine provides about 500 N (almost 370 foot-pounds) of thrust using a small compressor diameter and a high rotation speed. This engine produces inherently less noise, and in addition uses sound attenuation such as glass fibers and other materials formed as part of the exhaust tube, boundary layers, and other techniques. Using such sound attenuation, as well as bypass air, also serves to insulate the heat-producing portions of the engine from pilot, passengers, and ground personnel.

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Phone: 781-972-0600

Posted in: Techs for License
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Moisture Release Technologies

A company seeks technologies enabling a woven or nonwoven substrate to contain liquid/fluid that can be released by applying pressure (to yield a moist/wet substrate). They are interested in solutions that will enable water or other liquids/ fluids to be contained within a substrate and then released under moderate pressure (for example, by squeezing the substrate in your hand). The technology solution must be able to incorporate sufficient liquid content in the substrate so that when pressure is applied, approximately 75% of that substrate unit becomes moist.

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Posted in: NASA Tech Needs, Tech Needs
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Binder Solutions for the Manufacture of Molds and, Cores in Metal Castings

Binders used for molding are typically self-setting, so that after mixing two or more binder components into sand, there is a short delay before the mixture starts to set hard. Binders used for core-making are typically gas-cured. A company seeks an environmentally acceptable binder system that could be based on inorganic, “clean” organic, or hybrid derivatives, and offers an immediate advantage over current systems in terms of health, safety, and environmental issues.

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Posted in: NASA Tech Needs, Tech Needs
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Lightning Strike Protection for Composite Aircraft

NASA’s work in advanced aeronautics includes growing interest in environmentally responsive aircraft, one component of which involves use of composites to significantly reduce weight and, hence, fuel consumption. The new Boeing 787 aircraft is one recent example, and there has been a strong move toward composites in new general aviation and business jet aircraft. One disadvantage of this new direction is that the aircraft are far more vulnerable to lightning strikes. The energy deposited in a typical lightning strike involves tens of KV and 10,000-200,000 amperes, occurring in a fraction of a second. Without some type of shielding, or conductive path, the electrically insulated carbon fiber/ epoxy composites can be damaged, particularly at the entry and exit points for the strike. The aircraft instrumentation can also be damaged in such an event and extra shielding is often necessary for composite aircraft.

What are the Challenges?
Improved means are needed to identify when a plane is in fact struck by lightning, and both onboard and ground-based NDE methods are needed to assess the level of damage that occurred. Perhaps more importantly, means to eliminate or mitigate damage must be engineered in a cost-effective manner, ideally as a single “outer” shield that will protect the aircraft from both structural damage as well as shield instruments without additional internal hardware requirements.

What is NASA Doing?
Lightning damage detection/diagnosis technologies do not exist today for our modern fleet of aircraft, so one element of NASA’s program is to explore how this can be best accomplished both during flight and after the fact. Onboard current sensors will be used to measure the intensity and location of the lightning current during a strike. Simulations of lightning-arc events in the laboratory (see photo) with various test panels will provide baseline data for model development. The voltage/current measurements from such tests will be correlated against statistical data sets to estimate the level of damage expected on the composite and eventually to evaluate the safety risks associated with continuing the flight profile after a lightning strike has occurred.

Since the aircraft fuselage and wing structure can be very complex, it will be important to develop physics-based models of the lightning strike event. This code would allow designers to consider different material solutions for test and evaluation and eventually should allow good correlation between the model and observed lightning strike effects in the field.

What Applications Does
NASA Envision? NASA intends this information and model to be made available to composite aircraft developers as a tool in their design efforts. Similar issues are faced in the wind turbine industry where the blades can be composites. There may also be applications in the electric power industry related to arc events in very high-voltage environments.

What are NASA’s Needs?
NASA is interested in collaborating with industry or university groups in several areas.

On-board sensors for measurement of lightning strike intensity, location, and current flow during the event.Conductive paint technology or other “coating” concepts for composites to facilitate current flow, hence mitigate or eliminate structural damage, and/or remove any need for additional internal shielding of electronics.Physics-based models of complex composite structures/actual aircraft that can be adapted to include model lightning strike events to quantify electrical, mechanical, and thermal parameters to indicate damage. More Information
For more information, contact Mr. George Szatkowski at 757-864-6194 or email nasa@techbriefs.com.
Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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Mechanical Mounting/Connection/Release System

The internal mechanism of the connector part of this system works to maintain positioning repeatability and rigidity, and compensates for wear over time, while both the connector and receiver are tapered in two planes to assure repeatable positioning. Together, the two form a rigid connection that can be unlocked and removed in a single plane, with no access to the side faces required for release. The principles of engaging, securing, and releasing the connector of this mount from the receiver remain the same at any scale — from applications in heavy equipment attachments, to medical devices and prostheses, to the scale of nano-machines.

Applications include situations where one piece of equipment must be attached rigidly to another in a single direction; for example, attaching down-hole tools for drilling or laparoscopic operating tools where attachment and release can take place in one plane only, with no access to releases on the side. Areas of application include securing shipping containers and in microgravity where applications of side force cause unwanted rotational reaction.

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Email: nasatech@yet2.com
Phone: 781-972-0600

Posted in: Techs for License
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Shape-Memory Alloys Replace Traditional Electromagnet Actuators

Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs) are metals that “remember” their original shapes. SMA technology can provide the same mechanical movement and required forces of an electromagnetic actuator, but in a more compact form, while removing the need for motors, gearing, or springs. This SMA technology has shown a reduction in weight of up to 50%, a reduction in the space required of up 70%, and a cost reduction of up to 30% compared to traditional electromagnetic actuators. The technology can deliver mechanical movement as well as electrical connectivity, it is intrinsically safe, can be made into a flat but flexible actuator, and can operate around curvatures.

Examples of applications are compact and low-weight linear electromechanical actuators; active Bowden cable devices; and temperature-dependent shape-changing actuation, displacement, or reversible surface modification. The technology could be used by the white goods, automation, medical devices, transportation, consumer goods, and leisure goods industries.

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Email: nasatech@yet2.com
Phone: 781-972-0600

Posted in: Techs for License
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