Tech Exchange

Catalytic Filters for Outdoor Power Equipment

NoxFox™ Catalytic Filters reduce harmful emissions from engine exhaust with performance comparable to existing catalytic converters. High-surface-area ceramic nanofibers hold nanoparticles of platinum, palladium, rhodium, and other catalysts, so that NoxFox catalytic filters are comparatively lightweight and robust. Patented, catalyzed ceramic nanofibers (nCATfibers™) provide high surface area for maximal contact and minimal exhaust resistance. Engine makers can use NoxFox catalytic filters do the job not possible by engine tuning and deliver a highly “green” product. In addition, the product’s unique structure results in a 50% weight reduction over existing honeycomb catalytic converters.

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Password Protection System Requires No Special Hardware

The High-Security Password System takes the place of strong passwords on digital devices and online services, yet is easy to remember and quick to enter for most individuals. This system places images in a two- or three-dimensional matrix to generate the equivalent of a ten-digit number. The security of the system can be increased by cells in the matrix, also consisting of a number of cells.

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Centennial Challenges

The NASA Regolith Excavation Cha llenge was held on August 2 and 3 on the campus of the California Poly - technic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. The competition required teams to build a roving excavator that could autonomously navigate, excavate, and transfer 150 kg of simulated lunar regolith (lunar soil) into a collector bin within 30 minutes. Excavating lunar regolith will be an important part of any construction projects or processing of natural resources on the Moon. NASA is looking for new ideas for excavation techniques that do not require excessively heavy machines or large amounts of power.

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Reducing Free Fatty Acids in Frying Oil

A food manufacturer is looking for a technology to extend the usability of its frying oils; specifically, technologies to reduce the formation of free fatty acids (FFA) during frying. The company seeks to change or control chemical reaction of hydrolysis without changing water content of the food itself. Taste, smell, color, and texture must not be affected. If the solution is an ingredient, the product must be natural and food-grade; synthesized compounds will not be evaluated.

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Image Processing for Controlling a Robot or Quality Inspection

A company seeks technologies that may be applicable to automated assembly lines, including a robot to use image processing to select and pick up small parts from a bin using a pin several millimeters in diameter. The image processing technology should be general-purpose and highly versatile to allow the techniques to be applied to many different situations. The required picking speed is several seconds. Possible solution areas are 3D medical imagery and automated surgical equipment.

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Technology Uses In-Building Wi-Fi to Determine Location of Wireless Devices

LOCADIO technology pairs readings of IEEE 802.11× received signal-strength indication (RSSI) with probabilistic analysis of building floor plans to deduce where a wirelessenabled device is in a building. It can locate a wireless device within a room to an accuracy of about 1.5 meters. LOCADIO is “hardware-agnostic” in that it is not tethered to any specific brand of system hardware. LOCADIO complements GPS and RFID technologies, in that it operates indoors, can be implemented for a relatively few wireless-enabled devices, and works at ranges greater than RFID.

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Advanced Particle Separation Technology Uses Coriolis Force and Specific Gravity

This technology selectively separates fine and small particles that have a desired particle size range by using the particles’ specific gravity and their various sedimentation rates in a rotating vessel of vibrating liquid. By adjusting the frequency and amplitude of the vibration, and by controlling the rotation of the vessel, the technology can enlarge what may be a close-to-equal settling ratio for small particles of high specific gravity and larger particles of low specific gravity, so as to achieve accurate separation by cross-sectional dimension or specific gravity.

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Lunar Science Instrumentation: Understanding and Characterizing the Moon Through Challenging Measurements

NASA lunar robotic science missions support the high-priority goals identified in the 2007 National Research Council report, The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon: Final Report (National Academies Presses, 2007). Future missions will characterize the lunar exosphere and surface environment; field-test new equipment, technologies, and approaches for performing lunar science; identify landing sites and emplace infrastructure to support robotic and human exploration; demonstrate and validate heritage systems for exploration missions; and provide operational experience in the harsh lunar environment.

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Wireless Communication for Factory Automation

A company seeks technology that is applicable to automated assembly lines; specifically, a reliable and fast short-range wireless technology that can take the place of wired connections for robots and factory automation equipment. Equipment with appendages in motion, such as robots, is fundamentally different in its wiring requirements from equipment that is static. A possible solution to the abrasion that results from repeated movements is to provide control through wireless communication.

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Powder Atomization Technology

A company seeks an innovative powder atomization technology, which will produce dense, highly spherical, satellitefree metal powders in the size range 50 to 1000 microns. Coating and surface modification technologies are sought for applications including aerospace, medical, and industrial power generation markets. The atomization process must cost-effectively produce perfect, large, spherical particles.

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