Tech Exchange

Energy Storage Technology to Power the Future in Space Exploration

By Carolyn Mercer, NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH NASA is focused on building a human outpost on the lunar surface. To reach this goal, there is a critical need to develop energy storage technologies to power the future lunar outpost. In particular, technology is required for outpost power generation for the lunar lander that will deliver outpost hardware, and for advanced extravehicular activity (EVA) suits. In every case, human-safe, reliable operation and low mass are critical to ensure the viability of extended stays on the lunar surface while minimizing the launch mass and the mass carried by astronauts and lunar rovers.

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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. Respond to this TechNeed at: Email: nasatech@yet2.com Phone: 781-972-0600

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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. Respond to this TechNeed at: Email: nasatech@yet2.com Phone: 781-972-0600

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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.

Posted in: Techs for License

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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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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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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. Respond to this TechNeed at: Email: nasatech@yet2.com Phone: 781-972-0600

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