Special Coverage

Mechanoresponsive Healing Polymers
Variable Permeability Magnetometer Systems and Methods for Aerospace Applicationst
Evaluation Standard for Robotic Research
Small Robot Has Outstanding Vertical Agility
Smart Optical Material Characterization System and Method
Lightweight, Flexible Thermal Protection System for Fire Protection
High-Precision Electric Gate for Time-of-Flight Ion Mass Spectrometers
Polyimide Wire Insulation Repair System
Distributed Propulsion Concepts and Superparamagnetic Energy Harvesting Hummingbird Engine
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Improved Approach to Exoplanet Coronagraphy

Visible nulling coronagraphy and interferometry requires that the wavefront errors be held to unprecedented precision in the presence of environmental disturbances. A Null Diversity algorithm is used to first attain the precision, but it does not execute at high enough temporal bandwidth to hold the precision for long periods of time (hours). The environmental changes, mostly vibration and jitter with some thermal drift, can be rapidly varying and thus require a fast control algorithm. To perform rapid control, an algorithm, based upon a series of approximations, has been developed and simulated at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for the sensing and control, in closed loop, of extremely precise wave-front errors in an interferometer. It operates over the range of ~5 nanometers rms down to <100 picometers rms in closed loop at high bandwidth (~20 Hz) and is used to hold (i.e. maintain) the requisite wavefront error.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics

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Apparatus and Method for a Light Direction Sensor

This invention, developed at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, was originally conceived as a high-accuracy, high-sensitivity, bi-axial Sun angle sensor, but has also been proposed for applications involving the general field of precisely measuring the direction in which light travels toward the sensor. It has applications in spacecraft navigation, formation flying in space, space beacons, and automotive collision avoidance.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics

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Apparatus and Method for Creating a Photonic Densely Accumulated Ray-Point

NASA's Langley Research Center has discovered a new approach to achieving a laser focal point size much smaller than the wavelength of light used, and smaller than that obtained using conventional micro zone plate lenses. The Photonic Densely Accumulated Ray-poinT (DART) technology relies on phase contrast along with interference phenomena, with or without the use of a micro zone plate lens. Coupled with the extremely small spot size, the technology also provides very high laser energy density at the pseudo focal point surrounded by destructive interference, thereby enabling a range of potential useful applications such as laser processing, lithography, nanofabrication, and optical data storage.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics

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High-Quality Tissue Formation Method

This technology could be used in research and development, pharmaceutical development, regenerative medicine, and drug screening and testing.NASA's Johnson Space Center seeks interested parties for the commercialization of the High Density Spot Seeding (HDSS) method to create 2D and 3D tissue models. This method can potentially be used to develop tissue models for a variety of applications, including wound treatment, therapy, and tissue modeling of skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, nerve, and bone. The HDSS technique has an easy four-step method that does not require expensive reagents, such as specialized serum or growth factors, and compared to traditional methods, HDSS has the potential to yield superior-quality tissue samples.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical

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Filtering Molecules with Nanotube Technology

Innovators at NASA's Johnson Space Center have developed a filtration device to eliminate contaminants from water supplies. Originally developed to purify waste-water for reuse aboard the International Space Station, the innovation is applicable to numerous situations on Earth where there is a need to collect potable, medical-grade water from a contaminated water supply. The unique aspect of the technology is its use of acoustics, rather than pressure, to drive water through small-diameter carbon nanotubes. The invention requires less power than conventional filtration systems, and is well-suited to a variety of water processing needs.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical

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3D Biomimetic Platform

This technology can be used for cell culture and drug discovery.NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a method and apparatus to be used for cell culture that combines the effects of microgravity and low-dose radiation. The technology has been developed to simulate the effects of microgravity and chronic radiation exposure to cell culture experiments conducted on the International Space Station (ISS).

Posted in: Briefs, Medical

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Automated Behavior and Cohesion Assessment Tools (ABCAT)

An important consideration of long-duration spaceflight operations is interpersonal dynamics that affect crew cohesion and performance. Flight surgeons have stated the need for unobtrusive monitoring to help detect if crews are having difficulties coping with long-duration spaceflight environments.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical

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