January 2014

Electrical Current Sensors Harvest Wasted Electromagnetic Energy

New smart sensors produce large and clear output voltage signals, which are 2,000 times higher than the traditional current sensors.

Measuring about 1 mm in thickness, the chip can be placed on any sensing point of interest such as electrical cables, conductors,...

NASA Laser Technology Tracks Earth's Ice Sheets

A photon-counting technique will allow NASA researchers to track the melt or growth of Earth’s frozen regions.

CESat-2 is tasked with measuring elevation across Earth's entire surface, including vegetation and oceans, but with a focus on change in the frozen areas of the planet, where...

Film Industry Technology Enables Motion Analysis of Stroke Patients

Researchers have been using 3D technology from the film industry to analyze the everyday movements of stroke patients. The results indicate that computerized motion analysis increases knowledge of how stroke patients can improve their ability to move through rehabilitation.

Micro-Sized Motor is 1,000 Times More Powerful Than Human Muscle

A team of researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has demonstrated a micro-sized robotic torsional muscle/motor made from vanadium dioxide that for its size is a thousand times more powerful than a human muscle,...

Handheld Device Hoists Soldiers in Seconds

Since MIT spinout Atlas Devices’ flagship product, the Atlas Powered Rope Ascender (APA), first hit the market in 2007, it’s been touted as a real-world version of Batman’s famed utility-belt grappling gun: At the pull of a trigger, the handheld device can hoist two people about 30 stories up a...

Question of the Week
Are Driverless Cars Safer?

Major car companies have showcased their latest prototypes at this month's International Consumer Electronics Show. BMW and Audi, for example, unveiled their driverless car technology and conducted demonstrations. Researchers and makers of driverless cars say the technology will be far safer than people-driven...

Electrical Generator Harnesses Power of Evaporating Water

A new type of electrical generator uses bacterial spores to harness the untapped power of evaporating water, according to research conducted at the Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. Its developers foresee electrical generators driven by changes in...

Researchers Create 3D-Printed Soil

Soil scientists at Abertay University are using 3D printing technology to find out, for the very first time, exactly what is going on in the world beneath our feet.

The detailed plastic cubes are replicas of the structure of the soil, and are being used by the scientists as experimental systems in the...

Research Develop 'E-Whisker' Tactile Sensors

Researchers with Berkeley Lab and the University of California (UC) Berkeley have created tactile sensors from composite films of carbon nanotubes and silver nanoparticles similar to the highly sensitive whiskers of cats and rats. The new e-whiskers respond to pressure as slight as a single Pascal,...

Army Counters Unmanned Aircraft System Threats

As the military use of unmanned aircraft systems has increased dramatically, including by entities that may pose a threat to the United States, scientists at Picatinny Arsenal are part of the effort to counter potential threats to U.S. armed forces by such systems.

NASA Powers Up Avionics System for Newest Rocket

The modern avionics system that will guide the most powerful rocket ever built was integrated and powered up for an inaugural run. When completed, the Space Launch System (SLS) will be capable of powering humans and potential science payloads to deep space. It has the greatest capacity of any...

Research Aircraft Measures Climate Effects on Clouds

Which climate effects do clouds have? Under what conditions do they warm or cool the atmosphere? The research aircraft HALO (High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft) is measuring vertical profiles of all components of atmospheric water such as vapor, liquid, and ice in both cloud and...

Carbon Nanotube Sponge Improves Water Clean-Up

Carbon nanotube (CNT) sponges, uniquely doped with sulphur, demonstrated a high capacity to absorb both wastewater and oil, potentially opening up the possibility of using the material in industrial accidents and oil spill clean-ups.

CNTs are hollow cylindrical structures composed of a single...

Bio-Bots Swim by Themselves

Engineers developed the first tiny, synthetic machines that can swim by themselves, powered by beating heart cells.

The bio-bots are modeled after single-celled creatures with long tails called flagella – for example, sperm. The researchers begin by creating the body of the bio-bot from a flexible polymer. Then...

Question of the Week
Will 'Digital Guardians' Improve Security?

In December of 2013, IBM predicted that "in five years, each of us could be protected with our own digital guardian that will become trained to focus on the people and items it is entrusted with, offering a new level of identity theft protection." A program, for example, can learn your online habits to...

Building ‘Belt’ Repairs Earthquake Damage

A ‘belt’ technology offers cheap and quick repair of earthquake-damaged buildings.

Metal straps are wrapped around each floor of the building, and the straps are then tensioned either by hand or using compressed air tools. The technology is designed for use on reinforced concrete frame...

Micro-Windmills Recharge Cell Phones

A UT Arlington research associate and electrical engineering professor have designed a micro-windmill that generates wind energy. The technology may improve cell phone batteries constantly in need of recharging and home energy generation where large windmills are not preferred.

Smitha Rao and J.-C. Chiao...

Question of the Week
Can Personalized Cognitive Technology Improve Education?

In December of 2013, IBM predicted that cloud-based cognitive technology would personalize education for students within five years. IBM is already testing out the idea in a Georgia public school district serving 170,000 students. Known as Personalized Education Through Analytics on...

Electric Tongues Measure Grape Ripeness

Electronic tongues can become an ally of the wine grower by measuring the detailed degree of maturation and improving competitiveness. Researchers at the Polytechnic University of Valencia applied electronic tongues to measure the maturity of eight different types of grapes (Macabeo, Chardonnay, Pinot...

NASA Tank-Crushing Test Helps Build Better Rockets

NASA completed a series of high-tech can-crushing tests involving an enormous fuel tank crumbling under the pressure of almost a million pounds of force, all in the name of building lighter, more affordable rockets.

During the testing for the Shell Buckling Knockdown Factor Project at...

News : Electronics & Computers
Engineers Create Transparent Semiconductors

Teams from Stanford and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have collaborated to make thin, transparent semiconductors that could become the foundation for cheap, high-performance displays.

The researchers used their new process to make organic thin-film transistors with electronic characteristics...

'Vapor Nanobubble' Technology Detects Malaria

Rice University researchers have developed a noninvasive technology that accurately detects low levels of malaria infection through the skin in seconds with a laser scanner. The “vapor nanobubble” technology requires no dyes or diagnostic chemicals, and there is no need to draw blood.

The new...

Graphene Nano-Ribbons De-Ice Radar Domes

Bulky radar domes (known as “radomes”) like those seen on military ships keep ice and freezing rain from forming directly on antennas. The domes themselves, however, must also be kept clear of ice that could damage them or make them unstable.

Ribbons of ultrathin graphene, combined with polyurethane...

NASA Demo Expands Broadband Capabilities

The completion of the 30-day Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration, or LLCD, mission has revealed that the possibility of expanding broadband capabilities in space using laser communications is as bright as expected.

Hosted aboard the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer known as LADEE,...

Nano-Antennas Enable Networks of Tiny Machines

With antennas made from conventional materials like copper, communication between low-power nano-machines would be virtually impossible. By taking advantage of the unique electronic properties of graphene, however, researchers now believe they’re on track to connect devices powered by small...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Integrity Sensing With Smart Polymers and Rubber Components on Vehicles

This research provides a capacitance-based method for monitoring the integrity of tires and other polymeric products during manufacturing and throughout the useful product life. Tires are complex composite structures composed of layers of formulated cross-linked rubber,...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Blade Tip Clearance Sensors for Engine Health Monitoring

Blade health monitoring continues to gain interest as a means of assessing the health of turbine airfoils in aerospace and ground-based gas turbine engines in fleet operation. Many types of blade sensors are used throughout the design validation process of new engines that would...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Multi-Source Autonomous Response for Targeting and Monitoring of Volcanic Activity

The study of volcanoes is important for both purely scientific and human survival reasons. From a scientific standpoint, volcanic gas and ash emissions contribute significantly to the terrestrial atmosphere. Ash depositions and lava flows can also greatly affect...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Software Suite to Support In-Flight Characterization of Remote Sensing Systems

A characterization software suite was developed to facilitate NASA’s in-flight characterization of commercial remote sensing systems. Characterization of aerial and satellite systems requires knowledge of ground characteristics, or ground truth. This information is...

Briefs : Medical
Visual Image Sensor Organ Replacement

This innovation is a system that augments human vision through a technique called “Sensing Super-position” using a Visual Instrument Sensory Organ Replacement (VISOR) device. The VISOR device translates visual and other sensors (i.e., thermal) into sounds to enable very difficult sensing tasks.

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Additive Manufacturing of Ti-6Al-4V Alloy Components for Spacecraft Applications

In the past two decades, there have been significant advancements in the field of additive manufacturing (AM) of titanium alloy (Ti-6Al-4V) and other metallic components for aerospace applications.

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Ultra-Wideband, Dual-Polarized, Beam- Steering P-Band Array Antenna

A dual-polarized, wide-bandwidth (200 MHz for one polarization, 100 MHz for the orthogonal polarization) antenna array at P-band was designed to be driven by NASA’s EcoSAR digital beam former. EcoSAR requires two wide P-band antenna arrays mounted on the wings of an aircraft,...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Centering a DDR Strobe in the Middle of a Data Packet

The Orion CEV Northstar ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) project required a DDR (double data rate) memory bus driver/receiver (DDR PHY block) to interface with external DDR memory. The DDR interface (JESD79C) is based on a source synchronous strobe (DQS\) that is sent along with...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Submerged AUV Charging Station

Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) are becoming increasingly important for military surveillance and mine detection. Most AUVs are battery powered and have limited lifetimes of a few days to a few weeks. This greatly limits the distance that AUVs can travel underwater. Using a series of submerged AUV charging...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Using a Commercial Ethernet PHY Device in a Radiation Environment

This work involved placing a commercial Ethernet PHY on its own power boundary, with limited current supply, and providing detection methods to determine when the device is not operating and when it needs either a reset or power-cycle. The device must be radiation- tested and free...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Habitat Demonstration Unit (HDU) Vertical Cylinder Habitat

NASA’s Constellation Architecture Team defined an outpost scenario optimized for intensive mobility that uses small, highly mobile pressurized rovers supported by portable habitat modules that can be carried between locations of interest on the lunar surface. A compact vertical...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Brushless Motors for In-Tank Fuel Pumps

Most automotive fuel systems use a Fuel Delivery Module (FDM) with components to filter and pump gasoline at a specified pressure and flow rate from the fuel tank to the engine. The FDM uses a reservoir assembly to maintain a fuel supply at the pump inlet and support components such as pressure regulators...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Origami-Inspired Folding of Thick, Rigid Panels

To achieve power of 250 kW or greater, a large compression ratio of stowed-to-deployed area is needed. Origami folding patterns were used to inspire the folding of a solar array to achieve synchronous deployment; however, origami models are generally created for near-zero-thickness material. Panel...

Briefs : Medical
A Novel Protocol for Decoating and Permeabilizing Bacterial Spores for Epifluorescent Microscopy

Based on previously reported procedures for permeabilizing vegetative bacterial cells, and numerous trial-and-error attempts with bacterial endospores, a protocol was developed for effectively permeabilizing bacterial spores, which facilitated the...

Briefs : Medical
Method and Apparatus for Automated Isolation of Nucleic Acids from Small Cell Samples

RNA isolation is a ubiquitous need, driven by current emphasis on micro-arrays and miniaturization. With commercial systems requiring 100,000 to 1,000,000 cells for successful isolation, there is a growing need for a small-footprint, easy-to-use device that can...

Briefs : Medical
Enabling Microliquid Chromatography by Microbead Packing of Microchannels

The microbead packing is the critical element required in the success of onchip microfabrication of critical microfluidic components for in-situ analysis and detection of chiral amino acids. In order for microliquid chromatography to occur, there must be a stationary phase...

Briefs : Medical
On-Command Force and Torque Impeding Devices (OC-FTID) Using ERF

Various machines have been developed to address the need for countermeasures of bone and muscle deterioration when humans operate over extended time in space. Even though these machines are in use, each of them has many limitations that need to be addressed in an effort to prepare...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Deployable Fresnel Rings

Deployable Fresnel rings (DFRs) significantly enhance the realizable gain of an antenna. This innovation is intended to be used in combination with another antenna element, as the DFR itself acts as a focusing or microwave lens element for a primary antenna. This method is completely passive, and is also completely...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Array Design Considerations for the Solar Probe Plus

The NASA Solar Probe Plus (SPP) mission will fly into the Sun’s corona, reaching as close as 9.86 solar radii from the center of the Sun. Power generation for the spacecraft will be provided by two solar array wings, which are being designed and built by JHU-APL and Emcore. SPP will get...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Transition-Edge Hot-Electron Microbolometers for Millimeter and Submillimeter Astrophysics

The millimeter and the submillimeter wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum hold a wealth of information about the evolution of the universe. In particular, cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation and its polarization carry the oldest information...

Briefs : Software
Spacecraft Trajectory Analysis and Mission Planning Simulation (STAMPS) Software

STAMPS simulates either three- or six-degree-of-freedom cases for all spacecraft flight phases using translated HAL flight software or generic GN&C models. Single or multiple trajectories can be simulated for use in optimization and dispersion analysis. It...

Briefs : Software
Cross Support Transfer Service (CSTS) Framework Library

Within the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS), there is an effort to standardize data transfer between ground stations and control centers. CCSDS plans to publish a collection of transfer services that will each address the transfer of a particular type of data (e.g.,...

Briefs : Software
Mars Science Laboratory Second-Chance Flight Software

Mars lander spacecraft, beginning with Mars Pathfinder (MPF), have been designed to tolerate flight computer resets during the entry, descent, and landing (EDL) phase despite having only a single flight computer. This capability was enabled by a predictable, nondynamic EDL architecture. The...

Briefs : Software
Arbitrary Shape Deformation in CFD Design


is a commercially available software tool, based on an Arbitrary Shape Design (ASD), which allows the user to perform shape optimization for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) design. The developed software tool provides important advances in the state-of-the-art of automatic CFD shape...
Briefs : Software
Range Safety Flight Elevation Limit Calculation Software

This program was developed to fill a need within the Wallops Flight Facility workflow for automation of the development of vertical plan limit lines used by flight safety officers during the conduct of expendable launch vehicle missions.

Briefs : Information Technology
GPU Lossless Hyperspectral Data Compression System

Hyperspectral imaging systems onboard aircraft or spacecraft can acquire large amounts of data, putting a strain on limited downlink and storage resources. Onboard data compression can mitigate this problem but may require a system capable of a high throughput. In order to achieve a high...

Briefs : Information Technology
Calculation of Operations Efficiency Factors for Mars Surface Missions

For planning of Mars surface missions, to be operated on a sol-by-sol basis by a team on Earth (where a “sol” is a Martian day), activities are described in terms of “sol types” that are strung together to build a surface mission scenario. Some sol types require...

Briefs : Information Technology
Fuzzy Neuron: Method and Hardware Realization

Simple and effective learning functions and adaptive elements can be placed into small hardware systems to include instruments for space, bioimplantable devices, and stochastic observers.

Briefs : Information Technology
Frequency-Modulated, Continuous-Wave Laser Ranging Using Photon-Counting Detectors

Optical ranging is a problem of estimating the round-trip flight time of a phase- or amplitude-modulated optical beam that reflects off of a target. Frequency-modulated, continuous-wave (FMCW) ranging systems obtain this estimate by performing an interferometric...

Briefs : Information Technology
Robust, Optimal Subsonic Airfoil Shapes

A method has been developed to create an airfoil robust enough to operate satisfactorily in different environments. This method determines a robust, optimal, subsonic airfoil shape, beginning with an arbitrary initial airfoil shape, and imposes the necessary constraints on the design. Also, this method is...

Briefs : Information Technology
Temperature Dependences of Mechanisms Responsible for the Water-Vapor Continuum Absorption

The water-vapor continuum absorption plays an important role in the radiative balance in the Earth’s atmosphere. It has been experimentally shown that for ambient atmospheric conditions, the continuum absorption scales quadratically with the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Kalman Filter Input Processor for Boresight Calibration

Ka-band ranging provides the phase center (PC) to phase center range, which needs to be converted to the center of mass (CM) to center of mass range. Nominally, both PC and CM lie on the line connecting the spacecraft GRAIL A and GRAIL B. In this case, the conversion should be done simply...

Briefs : Information Technology
Organizing Compression of Hyperspectral Imagery to Allow Efficient Parallel Decompression

A family of schemes has been devised for organizing the output of an algorithm for predictive data compression of hyperspectral imagery so as to allow efficient parallelization in both the compressor and decompressor. In these schemes, the compressor...

Briefs : Information Technology
Protograph-Based Raptor-Like Codes

Theoretical analysis has long indicated that feedback improves the error exponent but not the capacity of point-to-point memoryless channels. The analytic and empirical results indicate that at short blocklength regime, practical rate-compatible punctured convolutional (RCPC) codes achieve low latency with...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Photonic Laser Thrusters for Spacecraft Maneuvering

Traditionally, spacecraft maneuvering is performed by onboard particle- based thrusters, such as ion thrusters, with a limited amount of fuel that restricts lifetime and V capability. In addition, the traditional “all-in-one” single-vehicle architecture requires that mission-critical,...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Silicon vs. Gallium Arsenide Which Photovoltaic Material Performs Best

Solar technologies are all measured and specified under standard test conditions. The conditions state that the solar panel be tested at 25°C and be subjected to 1000 W/m2 of light energy – closely approximating the power of the sun in broad daylight. This approach works...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
V-Assembly Dual-Head Efficiency Resonator (VADER) Laser Transmitter

A complete demonstration breadboard unit for advanced development as a high-TRL (technology readiness level) system has been constructed and characterized. Infusion of several new component technologies, such as ceramic:YAG material and high-power laser diode arrays (LDAs),...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Twin Head Efficient Oscillator Development for the ACE Multi- Beam Lidar and 3D-Winds

The Twin Head Efficient Oscillator (THEO) concept uses a pair of smaller, identical laser pump modules, oriented to remove asymmetrical thermo-optical effects typical in single-slab lasers such as HOMER (High Output Maximum Efficiency Resonator), MLA (Mercury...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Planetary Polarization Nephelometer

Aerosols in planetary atmospheres have a significant impact on the energy balance of the planets, yet are often poorly characterized. An in situ instrument was developed that would provide more diagnostic information on the nature of aerosols it encountered if deployed on a planetary descent probe. Previous...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
GaSb-Based Diode Lasers for Remote Detection of Carbon Dioxide

Monolithic ridge-waveguide GaSbbased diode lasers were fabricated with a second-order, laterally etched Bragg grating to generate single-mode emission from InGaAsSb/AlGaAsSb multiquantum- well structures. In this design, the monolithic Type-I GaSb-based diode lasers use grating...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Optical Tunable-Based Transmitter for Multiple High-Frequency Bands

The purpose of this innovation is to be able to deliver, individually or simultaneously, multiple microwave high-frequency bands including, but not limited to, L (1.5 GHz), C (7 GHz), X (8.4 GHz), Ku (14.5 GHz), Ka (32 GHz), and Q (38 GHz) frequencies at high data rates and with...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
A High-Repetition-Rate Seeded Optical Fiber Amplifier (SOFiA) for the LIST Mission and Next-Generation Satellite Laser Ranging

A document describes a fiber/solid-state hybrid seeded regenerative amplifier capable of achieving high output energy with tunable pulse widths for satellite laser ranging (SLR) applications. The diode-pumped solid-state...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Motorized Zoom Lens

Resolve Optics (Chesham, Bucks, UK) has developed a variant of its Model 207 miniature motorised zoom lens, enabling a manufacturer of remotely operated vehicles (ROV’s) to help improve the deep sea welding capability of their system.

Products : Photonics/Optics
Galvanometer-Based Optical Scanner

ScannerMAX (Orlando, FL) recently announced the release of the all new Compact- 506 model optical scanner. The Compact-506 is built upon ScannerMAX’s patented VRAD actuator platform and features a very strong rotor construction and 6mm bearings, allowing it to move small mirrors as well as very large mirrors...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Handheld Raman Spectrometer

Ocean Optics (Dunedin, FL) has released the IDRaman mini handheld Raman spectrometer, a small, powerful instrument for sample authentication and counterfeit detection, identification and verification. The palm-sized IDRaman delivers fast, accurate Raman analyses ranging from chemical and explosive agent detection in...

Products : Photonics/Optics
2.8 MP USB 3.0 Scientific Imaging Camera

Point Grey (Richmond, BC) announced a new addition to the Grasshopper3 scientific imaging camera family that features high quality, high resolution CCD sensors with a USB 3.0 interface. The new Grasshopper3 GS3-U3-28S5 camera models are based on color and monochrome versions of the fast and highly...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Dual-Band Photodetector

GPD Optoelectronics Corp. (Salem, NH) has announced the availability of made-toorder Dual-Band photodetectors. Two discrete photodiodes are mounted in a stack such that the incoming light is sensed by both diodes. The design can be optimized for detection of light from the visible to mid-IR.

Products : Photonics/Optics
Portable Spectrometer

Saelig Company, Inc. (Fairport, NY) has introduced the GL SPECTIS 5.0 Touch - a portable instrument for obtaining light measurement data ranging from NIR to UV with laboratory accuracy. Unique features of the GL SPECTIS 5.0 Touch include: laboratory accuracy, extended spectral range from 200 to 1050nm, very high resolution...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Photothermal Excitation For Atomic Force Microscopy

Asylum Research (Santa Barbara, CA), an Oxford Instruments company, has announced blueDrive photothermal excitation, an option available exclusively for Asylum’s Cypher™ Atomic Force Microscopes (AFMs). blueDrive makes tapping mode imaging simple, stable, and accurate. blueDrive replaces...

Products : Photonics/Optics
DOP Meter

Using a patented maximum & minimum search technique, the DOP- 201 from General Photonics (Chino, CA) measures and displays the Degree of Polarization (DOP) of a light source in real time with high accuracy and wide dynamic range. While polarimeter-based systems are expensive and can be inaccurate for low-DOP sources, and...

Products : Photonics/Optics
120mW Laser Diode

Oclaro’s (Denville, NJ) HL63142DG high power red laser diode offers an inbuilt monitor photodiode at a lasing wavelength of 637nm. It is a unique design which enables system designers to control optical power output by monitoring the photodiode current and adjusting power variants and temperature for precise control and...

Product of the Month: The RVG200 Videographic Data Recorder

ABB, Warminster, PA, has introduced the RVG200 videographic data recorder with touchscreen technology. The recorder provides easy access to process data for onsite operators, while enabling secure remote access to the same data from any tablet, smartphone, PC, or other networked device....

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Testing Today’s Most Complex Consumer Device: The Ubiquitous Smartphone

We’ve come a long way since Alexander Graham Bell’s famous words, “Mr. Watson, come here” were spoken and the telephone was born. The simplicity of use of today’s smartphones, tablets, and similar smart devices belies the underlying complexity of creating a...

Application Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Prototype Recovers Lost-At-Sea Images

New hardware built by research engineers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is helping NASA retrieve experimental images otherwise lost at sea. The hardware weighs less than two pounds, and serves as a means of locating NASA’s flight imagery recorders that capture valuable image data of...

Application Briefs : Test & Measurement
Positioning System Will Keep Test Range on Target

NASA has contracted ADC USA to design and build an Experimental Test Range (ETR) Positioning System that consists of positioning components for a state-of-the-art Radar Cross Section (RCS) and Antenna Measurement compact range chamber facility located at NASA’s Langley Research Center in...

Application Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Actuator Meets NASA Requirements for Asteroid Sample Return

BEI Kimco Magnetics designed a customized moving magnet voice coil actuator (VCA) to meet the requirements for the flatplate Michelson moving mirror application on the Origins-Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRISRex) spacecraft. The...

NASA Spinoff : Imaging
Camera Systems Rapidly Scan Large Structures

Aging aircraft are an increasing concern. Commercial and government vehicles are being flown past their originally intended service life in order to save money. The answer, however, isn’t merely to build more aircraft. NASA’s Aircraft Aging and Durability (AAD) Project is taking a proactive...

Techs for License
Mechanism Allows Pedals to be Used Together or Separately

Current bicycle mechanisms allow only alternate use of pedals, thus halving possible torque. A new arrangement allows simultaneous use of both pedals. The TEJJ cycle uses the force of alternately pushed pedals to start or maintain momentum. When carrying higher loads or climbing a hill, a...

Techs for License
Technology Tests for Unwanted Microorganisms

Clinical and industrial instruments, clothing, gloves, and work surfaces may contain or acquire microorganisms, which flourish or grow as a function of the environment in which they are located. Such growth may lead to the proliferation of toxin- or allergen-producing pathogenic organisms. Using...

Tech Needs
Additives to Minimize Dirt Accumulation

Polymeric and non-polymeric additives must release dirt from stucco, decks, and other coated architectural surfaces. A client seeks hydrophobic surfaces that are hard rather than tacky, and offer low surface tension and high contact angle. Preferably, a homeowner could spray these enhanced coatings with...

Tech Needs
Cost-Effective Cholesterol Tests

A client seeks a simple, small, and cost-effective diagnostic cholesterol test kit. The technology must be used directly by a consumer, possibly as an in-home test kit. Results should be visible immediately and show different levels, including normal, moderately elevated, or high cholesterol. Solutions could be...

Who's Who
David Wing, Air Traffic Management Researcher, Langley Research Center, Hampton VA

David Wing is the principal investigator for the Traffic Aware Strategic Aircrew Requests (TASAR) concept and software application. The cockpit technology, while taking aircraft traffic, weather, and other data sources into account, will compute trajectory...

Question of the Week
Would You Ride in a Flying Car?