Tech Exchange

Testing and Analysis for Measuring Food Qualities

 

 

A food company seeks ways of objectively measuring and analyzing taste, mouth feel, texture, flavor, and eating quality of foods, leading to an analysis method that is accurate and repeatable across many foods and across time.

 

 

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

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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Analytical Technique for Healthcare and Industrial Applications

Aria Analytics is commercializing a novel analytical technology to characterize liquids for healthcare and industrial applications. As a drop of liquid evaporates on the vibrating quartz sensor, it undergoes distinctive phase changes representing the unique chemical and physical characteristics of the sample. This unique “fingerprint” represents information that is not readily available from any combination of analytical methods currently in use.

Posted in: Techs for License
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Microbial-Based Lawn-Care, Pond-Care, and Cleaning Technologies

Proprietary microbial systems use naturally occurring microbes in lieu of chemicals in fertilizers, microbial inoculants, cleaning products, and pond treatments. Products are based on incorporating beneficial micro-organisms with a variety of task-specific organic surfactants, microbial nutrients, fertilizers, cleaning agents, and bio-polymers. The micro-organisms produce enzymes that continue to work even after cleaning, or — in the case of lawn and pond care — continue to make the soil or pond healthier even after fertilizing the plants or inoculating the water.

Posted in: Techs for License
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NASA Technology Needs: An Overview

M. N. Dastoor, Ph.D

Chief Technologist, Innovative Partnerships Program Office

NASA Headquarters, Washington, D. C.

The NASA Strategic Plan articulates a three-part Mission for the Agency: (1) Space Exploration; (2) Scientific Discovery; (3) Aeronautics Research. These far-reaching goals of the Agency are under the governance of four Mission Directorates, for their implementation: (1) Exploration Systems Mission Directorate [ESMD]; (2) Space Operations Mission Directorate [SOMD]; (3) Science Mission Directorate [SMD]; and (4) Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate [ARMD]. The workhorse that binds all of the Directorates’ Programs and Projects is the acquisition of capabilities via the application of technology. These technologies fall into two general categories. Technologies which are unique to the Mission Directorates (examples: EVA for SOMD/ESMD; Deep Space Network for SMD; and Air Traffic Management for ARMD) and those that are crosscutting in performance (examples: Space Communications; Vehicle Health Management). For Space Missions, such technologies and capabilities have to survive and function in the hostile environments of Space.

Exploration Systems Mission Directorate [ESMD]

The Central focus of ESMD is the establishment of a permanent Human presence on the Moon. The three Core Themes that address the primary activities to be conducted on the Moon are (1) Use the Moon to prepare for future human and robotic missions to Mars and other destinations; (2) Pursue scientific activities to address fundamental questions about the solar system, the universe, and our place in them; (3) Extend sustained human presence to the Moon to enable eventual settlement. Ways to maximize the three Core Themes result in the creation of three Crosscutting Themes: (1) Expand Earth’s economic sphere to encompass the Moon and pursue lunar activities with direct benefits to life on Earth; (2) Strengthen existing and create new global partnerships; (3) Engage, inspire, and educate the public.

As a consequence of several in-house analysis studies, a list of selected Strategic Capabilities and Technologies have emerged:

Structures, Materials, and Mechanisms Thermal Protection Systems Radiation Shielding, Dust and Contaminant Mitigation Propulsion and Cryogenics Thermal Control Power Avionics and Software Communications Environmental Control and Life Support Crew Support and Accommodations In-Situ Resource Utilization Robotics and Operations

Space Operations Mission Directorate (SOMD)

SOMD has several primary Mission responsibilities. Principally they provide all necessary capabilities and functions to NASA Space Shuttle Flights during its Mission to complete the assembly of the International Space Station (ISS). In addition, all of SOMD’s know-how of Space Operations and Space Transportation will serve as an inheritance and baseline to ESMD and incorporated where deemed relevant. Of particular note, is the use of the ISS as a testbed for space validation of emerging, as well as, operational technologies of value to Lunar Exploration. Furthermore, SOMD has the responsibility for designing and developing an Agency-wide integrated Space Communications Architecture for the future. It comprises an integration of four principal elements: (1) Earth-based Antenna Element; (2) Earth-based Relay Satellite Element; (3) Lunar Relay Satellite Element; and (4) Mars Relay Satellite Element. Selected key technology challenges for SOMD are:

Space Communications

Optical Communication Spacecraft RF Technology Antenna Array and Transmit Programmable Communications

Space Transportation

Automated Optical Tracking and Identification Test Requirements/Instrumentation Automated Collection and Transfer of Data

Science Mission Directorate (SMD)

SMD works closely with the Science Community to identify the highest science priorities and the best strategies and Missions to address those priorities. These suggested priorities are provided through the decadal surveys and other reports of the National Academy of Sciences. Using these decadal surveys and reports, each of the Science Divisions sponsors a triennial strategic roadmapping effort, comprised largely of members of the external science community and led by a senior leader in the community. These committees operate under the auspices of the NASA Advisory Council. The products of these efforts are the building blocks of NASA Science Strategy Documents, including the recently published Science Plan.

NASA Space Science is focused in areas where access to Space enables new scientific endeavors or enhances existing ones. The SMD organizes its work into four broad scientific pursuits: (1) Earth Science – Study planet Earth from Space to advance scientific understanding and meet societal needs; (2) Planetary Science – Advance scientific knowledge of the origin and history of the Solar System, the potential for life elsewhere, and the hazards and resources present as humans explore space; (3) Heliophysics – Understand the Sun and its effects on Earth and the Solar System; (4) Astrophysics – Discover the origin, structure, evolution, and destiny of the universe, and search for Earth-like planets.

Selected key technology challenges and priorities required to implement the Missions are:

New Remote Sensing Technologies Large, Lower Cost, Lightweight Mirrors and Space-Deployable Structures Novel Platforms Intelligent Distributed Systems Information Systems

Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate

ARMD is unique, as compared to the other Mission Directorates, in that they have no responsibilities for dedicated Space Missions. The principles that drive the goals of ARMD are: (1) dedication to the mastery and intellectual stewardship of the core competencies of Aeronautics for the Nation in all flight regimes; (2) focus on research in areas that are appropriate to NASA’s unique capabilities; (3) directly addressing the fundamental research needs of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) in partnership with the member agencies of the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO).

ARMD has four programs: (1) Fundamental Aeronautics Program; (2) Aviation Safety Program; (3) Airspace Systems Program; (4) Aeronautics Test Program. The focus of the three research oriented programs are shown below. The Aeronautics Test Program helps ensure the strategic availability and accessibility of a critical suite of aeronautics test facilities that are deemed necessary to meet aeronautics, agency, and national needs.

For more information we refer you to the following websites:

Explorations Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD)

Space Operations Mission Directorate (SOMD)

Science Mission Directorate (SMD)

Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD)

Posted in: Tech Needs, Aeronautics
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Home Exterior Building/Construction Products

A company is looking for innovative or improved PVCu/composite products, systems, and manufacturing technologies relating to home exterior building/construction products and systems. Products, systems, or technologies to improve energy efficiency, U-value, product performance/ lifetime, visual aesthetics, and/or ease of installation are all of interest. Also included are new building materials, improved manufacturing techniques, environmental technologies, and customizable PVCu systems.

Respond to this TechNeed at:

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

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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Methods to Detect Minute Quantities of Acrylamide in Foods

A large global food company seeks a rapid, inexpensive, and reliable test that can detect even small levels of acrylamide in fried snack foods. What is desired is a rapid, simple, inexpensive method that could be performed essentially online in a fried snack plant by line operators or quality assurance analysts. Ideally, it would require little, if any, sample preparation, would provide results in less than one hour, and would be selective, sensitive, and quantitative for acrylamide in a potato chip.

Respond to this TechNeed at:

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

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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Unique DNA Signature Identifies Organism’s Species

Unique genetic markers called oligonucleotides can provide swift identification of a known organism or rule out an organism from known genomes. This software technology provides a way to generate thousands of such markers and provides a searchable database of chromosomal sequences for over 100 pathogens and near-neighbor organisms, unique plasmid sequences, and markers for virulence and antibioticresistant genes in a platform-independent format. Using the technology, the existing database can be extended to any DNA-based organisms. With as few as 20 DNA fragments, the system can achieve a 99% confidence of no false negatives against a library of samples.

Posted in: Techs for License
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Finger Seals Replace Brush or Labyrinth Seals

Finger seals are non-contact fluid seals similar in purpose to labyrinth or brush seals in that they act as a barrier between two areas of the same or different pressures, but allow a rotating shaft to penetrate through them from one side to the other. Applications include sealing rotating parts in turbine engines, pumps, rotating air motors, or other applications where a shaft needs to be sealed against incursion or excursion of oil, air, water, or other gases or fluids.

Posted in: Techs for License
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Topical Delivery for Analgesic Medications

A company seeks new non-oral delivery mechanisms for analgesics. Non-oral methods avoid the stomach and the intestine. These new mechanisms might be topical; that is, in contact with the outer layer of the skin. However, other nonoral mechanisms are open for consideration. Non-oral administration bypasses both the stomach and the liver and can deliver more active to the bloodstream more quickly per dose.

Respond to this TechNeed at:

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

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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Heating Different Zones of Food in a Microwave Oven

An organization seeks technology to enable foods to become crispy when heated in a home microwave oven. The outer surface should heat and become (or remain) crispy, while the interior body of the food should heat only as appropriate. The organization seeks materials, ingredients, or other technologies that enable the zones, while physically part of the same food, to respond differently to the same radiant microwave energy environment.

Respond to this TechNeed at:

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

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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