Tech Briefs

Negative Dielectric Constant Material Based on Ion Conducting Materials

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a novel negative dielectric constant material based on ion-conducting materials. A negative dielectric constant material is an essential key for creating metamaterials, or artificial negative index materials (NIMs). NIMs have generated great attention due to their unique and exotic electromagnetic properties, and could be used for unique optical and microwave applications, including new methods of electromagnetic cloaking and extremely lowloss communications.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Electromagnetic compatibility, Product development, Conductivity
Read More >>

Additively Manufactured Modular Thrust Chamber

Thrust chambers have historically been difficult to manufacture. They require extensive tooling and labor, and are expensive with long lead times. Thrust chambers were designed for manufacture using conventional machining. As a result, designs required multiple pieces to ensure machine tool access to each surface. The individual pieces would then be joined and assembled into a single thrust chamber. These joining operations typically required process development due to the complexity of the parts and the need for joining to provide a seal between parts. A faster, more reliable and affordable manufacturing method was desired.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Additive manufacturing, Productivity, Engine components, Rocket engines, Reliability
Read More >>

Resonance-Actuation of Microshutter Arrays

This innovation uses MEMS technology to selectively capture spectra of distant objects.

The field of view required for future missions is much larger than for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Researchers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center have created a new actuation scheme to reduce mass and complexity of the microshutters used on the NIRSpec instrument. This new development implements pulsed electrostatic actuation in place of magnetic actuation.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics, Optics, Sensors and actuators, Product development, Refractory materials
Read More >>

Point Mechanic Piezoelectric Sensor System

This passive, low-cost system detects extremely small vibrations.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors, Measurements, Architecture, Sensors and actuators, Vibration, Reliability
Read More >>

Wireless Electrical Device Using Open-Circuit Elements Having No Electrical Connections

This technology produces sensors for axial load force, linear displacement, rotation, strain, pressure, torque, and motion sensing.

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a wireless, connection-free, open-circuit technology that can be used for developing electrical devices such as sensors that need no physical contact with the properties being measured. At the core of the technology is the SansEC (Sans Electrical Connections) circuit, which is damage-resilient and environmentally friendly to manufacture and use. The technology uses a NASA award-winning magnetic field response measurement acquisition device to provide power to the device and, in the case of a sensor application, to acquire physical property measurements from them. This fundamental new approach using open circuits enables applications such as sensors for axial load force, linear displacement, rotation, strain, pressure, torque, and motion sensing, as well as unique designs such as for a wireless keypad or wireless rotational dial, or for energy storage.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Integrated circuits, Sensors and actuators, Wireless communication systems, Electric power, Magnetic materials
Read More >>

Designing Stronger Concrete

Plasticity at small scales boosts concrete's utility as the world's most-used material by letting it constantly adjust to stress, decades or centuries after hardening. To find out why, Rice University researchers performed an atom-level computer analysis of tobermorite, a naturally occurring crystalline analog to the calcium-silicate-hydrate (C-S-H) that makes up cement, which in turn holds concrete together. By understanding the internal structure of tobermorite, they hope to make concrete stronger, tougher, and better able to deform without cracking under stress.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Finite element analysis, Composite materials, Materials properties, Test procedures
Read More >>

Designing Materials with Reprogrammable Shape and Function

Researchers from Harvard University's John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed a general framework for designing reconfigurable metamaterials — materials whose function is determined by structure, not composition.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Research and development, Materials properties, Smart materials, Biomechanics
Read More >>

Designing and 3D Printing Customized Insoles for Diabetics

Insoles for diabetics have traditionally been handmade by makers of orthopedic shoes. In the future, these specialist shoemakers will be able to produce insoles more cost effectively using new software and 3D printers.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Diseases, Prostheses and implants, Additive manufacturing, Productivity
Read More >>

Software Improves Medication Adherence for Heart Stent Patients

MyIDEA (My Interventional Drug-Eluting Stent Education App) software was developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) who study data-simplification to improve clinical outcomes. The tablet computer application helps heart patients with drug-eluting stents take their medications correctly.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Computer software and hardware, Cardiovascular system, Medical equipment and supplies, Education, Education and training, Pharmaceuticals
Read More >>

A Novel Orbiting Cloud Imager System for IR/UV/ X-Ray Bands

Applications include telecommunications involving satellite links, agile military communication, reconnaissance, and surveillance of ground assets from orbit.

Typically, the cost of a spaceborne imaging system is driven by the size and mass of the primary aperture. Innovative solutions for imagers that are less complex and are lightweight are very desirable. Currently, telescopes such as JWST and ATLAST are very expensive and very complex.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics, Downsizing, Optics, Lightweighting, Satellites
Read More >>

The U.S. Government does not endorse any commercial product, process, or activity identified on this web site.