Special Coverage

Active Aircraft Pylon Noise Control System
Unmanned Aerial Systems Traffic Management
Method of Bonding Dissimilar Materials
Sonar Inspection Robot System
Applying the Dynamic Inertia Measurement Method to Full-Scale Aerospace Vehicles
Method and Apparatus for Measuring Surface Air Pressure
Fully Premixed, Low-Emission, High-Pressure, Multi-Fuel Burner
Self-Healing Wire Insulation
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Dynamically Variable Spot Size Laser System

Applications include aerospace engine repair, medical hardware manufacturing, plastic mold and die restoration, and jewelry manufacturing and repair.NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center developed the handheld laser torch, designed for welding and brazing metals, to repair hard-to-reach Space Shuttle engine nozzles. It incorporates various manual controls and changing lenses to allow the operator to adjust the laser’s power output in real time. The controls and lenses are designed to increase precision, portability, and maneuverability as compared to existing automated lasers and traditional welding techniques such as tungsten inert gas (TIG), metal inert gas (MIG), or gas-tungsten arc welding (GTAW) systems. Proximity sensors with automated shut-off switches also ensure a high level of safety for the user.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Adaptive Thermal Management System

This technology employs a unique way to autonomously regulate the temperature of a structure or vessel.NASA seeks to license the Adaptive Thermal Management System (ATMS) for use in commercial applications. Developed at the John F. Kennedy Space Center, the ATMS provides a way to regulate heat transfer and enable thermal management between two opposing surfaces in either direction. The system has the capability to adapt to provide conductive or insulative functionality depending on environmental conditions or applied stimuli. The ATMS can be designed for use in manufacturing, storage vessels, fluid transfer, aerospace and building architectures, and many other applications to reduce unwanted heat transfer, lower energy usage, or maintain environments at a specific temperature. The ATMS is part of NASA’s technology transfer program, which seeks to promote the commercial use of NASA-developed technologies.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials

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Method of Bonding Dissimilar Materials

Elastic adhesive overcomes the problems associated with large differences in thermal expansion coefficients. An image of the Materials International Space Station Experiment-5 (MISSE-5) samples prior to launch shows a golden thermal blanket with flexible material samples attached. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has developed a new method for bonding dissimilar materials using an elastic adhesive to permit the bond to withstand variations in temperature and pressure. Specifically, NASA uses this method to provide a >98% specular finish on composite materials that is proven capable of withstanding ultraviolet solar radiation exposure in a vacuum and thermal cycling from –115 °C to +65 °C, as well as meeting outgassing requirement limits of 1%.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials

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Nanoencapsulated Aerogels Produced by Monomer Vapor Deposition and Polymerization

This technology provides a method for making strong and lightweight aerogels with insulating properties. The nano-encapsulated aerogel technology has the strength and insulation properties for many applications. The Johnson Space Center researched methods to coat aerogel insulation in order to make it better able to withstand vibration, mechanical compression and flexure, and other environmental damage. This NASA-developed nanoencapsulated aerogel technology is a method for increasing the strength of the aerogel through a coating process while maintaining its insulating properties. With this ruggedizing process, the coating of the aerogel reduces mechanical damage, enabling its practical use in products that might not be suitable with the more fragile aerogel. The basic coating can also shield it from adsorbing humidity or other gases, which could otherwise bind to the substance and change its properties. Functionalized coatings could be developed to adsorb certain gases if that is desired. Aerogel’s low density and extremely low thermal conductivity make it useful as a lightweight, volume-efficient insulation material. Encapsulating the aerogel expands its ability to be incorporated into products that are exposed to vibration and compression during manufacture, shipping, or use. It can also improve its flexibility, opening up a range of new product uses.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials

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Insulative Carbon Fiber Systems for Aerospace Applications

New insulative carbon-fiber composite systems have been developed for use in structural and thermal applications for the aerospace vehicle interface. The sandwich-type composite structure, including carbon fiber and aerogel blanket materials, is based on the previously disclosed family of hybrid laminate composites. Offering unique and tailorable combinations of structural and thermal properties, these insulative carbon fiber systems can be used in vehicle shroud and thermal protection system applications at the aerodynamic interface plane, panels between stages, or fairings for spacecraft equipment space of space launch vehicles. The novel, lightweight, fiber composite laminate system with reduced heat transfer also has increased impact resistance at low temperatures.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials

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Method and Apparatus for Performance Optimization Through Physical Perturbation of Task Elements

This technology can be used in sports psychology, marksmanship training, video gaming, and special forces training.NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed ZONE, an innovative method for improving athletes’ responses to stress, anxiety, and loss of concentration during competition. In the training environment, when the user successfully attains an optimal target state of psychophysiological functioning, the technology informs and/or rewards that user through real-time physical changes in the athletic equipment. For example, in the training setting, a golfer can work toward optimal concentration in the act of putting, leading to improved performance in real situations.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical

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Portable Medical Diagnosis Instrument

Four cutting-edge sensor technologies enable minimally or non-invasive analysis of various biological samples.NASA has developed a novel technology strategy called “The NASA Analyzer” that would provide comprehensive in-flight medical diagnostic capability in a compact, handheld device for human deep-space missions such as Mars. Key features of the technology include the ability to handle multiple sample types (breath, saliva, blood), and the ability to measure virtually any analyte, including future analytes as they emerge. The device provides both non-invasive and minimally invasive sampling capabilities, which will be required during long-duration exploration missions. Breath and saliva are fully non-invasive and can provide critical health assessment information very rapidly. From small blood samples, information about macromolecular analytes, as well as blood cell counts, can be obtained. The device consists of four cutting-edge technologies integrated into a single, compact medical diagnostic tool with wireless (e.g., smartphone) capability. In addition to space applications, this innovative technology will very likely have important spinoffs in medicine and public health on Earth.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical

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