May 2016

News : Materials
How to Predict Thickness of Bonbons, Other Shells

Since the 1600s, chocolatiers have been perfecting the art of the bonbon, passing down techniques for crafting a perfectly smooth, even chocolaty shell. Now a theory and a simple fabrication...

News : Materials
Spray-on formula could ice-proof airplanes, power lines, windshields

On your car windshield, ice is a nuisance. But on an airplane, wind turbine, oil rig, or power line, it can be downright dangerous. And removing it with the methods that...

New Head Restraint System Reduces Whiplash Injuries

A reactive head restraint and car seat system designed to reduce whiplash in rear-end vehicle collisions has been unveiled. The unique concept has been brought to life using linkage analysis that demonstrates how the head restraint and car seat react simultaneously when the body of the occupant...

Firefighter Positioning System Can Monitor Mobility Problems in the Elderly

Inside their boots, firefighters’ have advanced insoles with sensors that make it possible for emergency operations commanders to follow the firefighters’ exact movements. The system, which includes an accelerometer and gyroscope, plus a processor, can withstand...

Frictionless Drive System Achieves Stable Nanometer Positioning

Filling a major gap in precision control for applications from semiconductor fabrication to manipulations of living cells, researchers have developed a frictionless drive system that provides nanometer precision over millimeters of travel without complicated feedback control.

Spray-Coated Material De-Ices Aircraft

Researchers at Rice University have added superhydrophobic, or water-repelling, capabilities to its de-icer. The graphene-based spray passively prevents water from freezing above 7 degrees.

Tiny Device May Get People With Paralysis Back on Feet

Medical researchers have created a new minimally invasive brain-machine interface, giving people with spinal cord injuries new hope to walk again with the power of thought.

Bringing Heart Pumps, Medical Devices to Market Faster

Beat by beat, the heart pumps blood through the arteries. In some people, however, the heart is too weak to supply the body with enough oxygen and nutrients, a condition often referred to as myocardial insufficiency or heart failure. A heart pump implanted in the body can help, although the...

Researchers Transmit Data Through Tissue Via Ultrasound

Using animal tissue samples, such as store-bought pork loin and beef liver, researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated the possibility of real-time video-rate data transmission through tissue for in-body ultrasonic communications with implanted medical...

New Way to Extend Life of Implantable Devices in Situ

Blood-contacting implantable medical devices, such as stents, heart valves, ventricular assist devices, and extracorporeal support systems, as well as vascular grafts and access catheters, are used worldwide to improve patients' lives. However, these devices are prone to failure due...

Question of the Week
Would you ride in a Hyperloop?

This week's Question: MIT recently unveiled its prototype design for SpaceX founder Elon Musk's Hyperloop, a high-speed ground transport system that could theoretically send passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in half an hour. The university researchers will test their small prototype pod at SpaceX’s...

Nanomaterial 'Colors' Chemical Reactions

Syracuse University chemists have discovered a new way to visualize and monitor chemical reactions in real time. The team's advanced nanomaterial changes color when it interacts with ions and other small molecules.

News : Aerospace
NASA and FAA Demonstrate Wireless Communication with Aircraft

For the first time ever, a team of engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center conveyed aviation data -- including route options and weather information -- to an airplane over a...

News : Materials
Royal Navy Uses Pilotless Aircraft to Navigate Through Ice

A tiny pilotless aircraft, built by the University of Southampton, launched from the Royal Navy’s ice patrol ship HMS Protector for the first time to assist with navigating through...

News : Software
Camouflage Really Does Reduce Chances of Being Eaten

A ground-breaking study not only confirms the assumption that camouflage protects animals from the clutches of predators, but it also offers insights into the most important aspects of...

News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Scientists Watch Bacterial Sensor Respond to Light

A number of important biological processes, such as photosynthesis and vision, depend on light. But it’s hard to capture responses of biomolecules to light because they happen almost instantaneously.

Now, researchers have made a giant leap forward in taking snapshots of these ultrafast...

News : Imaging
Researchers Develop Thin, Flexible Sheet Camera

A team led by Shree K. Nayar, T.C. Chang Professor of Computer Science at Columbia Engineering, has developed a novel sheet camera that can be wrapped around everyday objects to capture images that cannot be taken with one or more conventional cameras.

The team designed and fabricated a...

News : Aerospace
Astronomers Use Imaging Software to See Peanut Shell Galaxy

Astronomers at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, have discovered an unusually shaped structure in two nearby disc galaxies. The Swinburne team recently developed new imaging software, making it possible to observe the double "peanut shell shape" formed by the distribution...

News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Infection alert in catheters could tackle hospital superbugs

A new infection alert system in catheters could prevent serious infections in millions of hospital patients worldwide. The system, detailed in a new paper in “Biosensors and Bioelectronics,” changes the color of the urine so patients and healthcare providers can see easily if...

News : Medical
New device prevents damage while securing tubes

The U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research has developed a novel device for securing medical tubes and catheters intubated within a patient that will prevent damage to the incisors as well as to the soft tissue around the corners of the mouth. 

Burn patients often have problems...

News : Materials
New research uses graphene oxide to fight bacteria

Scientists at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Rome are studying graphene oxide in the hopes of creating bacteria-killing catheters and medical devices. Coating surgical tools with this carbon-based compound could kill bacteria, reducing the need for antibiotics, decreasing the rates...

News : Medical
Wartime medical device is saving lives at home

A patient at the University of California Davis Medical Center was losing blood from multiple gunshot wounds, and doctors feared he was not going to survive long enough for them to operate. The newly approved REBOA catheter was used to restore blood flow to his critical organs so they could save his...

Question of the Week
Will solar power supplant fossil fuels as a primary energy source?

This week's Question: The US now has 1 million solar power installations, and some industry experts expect the number of solar-power systems to increase dramatically in the span of two years. “By the end of 2020, the amount of installed solar capacity will be 300 percent higher...

Who's Who
John Hanson, Nodes Deputy Project Manager and Technical Lead, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

On December 6, 2015, two small satellites, or CubeSats, successfully launched to the International Space Station. As part of NASA’s Nodes mission, the CubeSats will soon communicate with each other and demonstrate the benefits of a...

News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
'Smart' Paper Responds to Gestures

Researchers from the University of Washington, Disney Research, and Carnegie Mellon University have added sensing capabilities  to a piece of paper. Small radio frequency (RFID) tags are placed, printed, or drawn onto the "PaperID" technology to create interactive, lightweight interfaces.

News : Aerospace
NASA Selects Eight Aerospace Technology Proposals for Investment

NASA has selected eight technology proposals for investment. The ideas have the potential to transform future aerospace missions, introduce new capabilities, and significantly improve current approaches to building and operating aerospace systems.

News : Energy
Unexpected Discovery Leads to a Better Battery

An unexpected discovery has led to a rechargeable battery that's as inexpensive as conventional car batteries, but has a much higher energy density. The new battery could become a cost-effective, environmentally friendly alternative for storing renewable energy and supporting the power grid. The...

News : Electronics & Computers
Researchers Turn Urine into Power Source for Electronic Devices

A microbial fuel cell uses natural biological processes of ‘electric’ bacteria to turn organic matter, such as urine, into electricity. These fuel cells are efficient and relatively cheap to run, and produce nearly zero waste compared to other methods of electricity generation....

News : Energy
Graphene Layer Lets Solar Cells Generate Power When it Rains

Chinese researchers have introduced a new approach for making an all-weather solar cell that is triggered by both sunlight and raindrops. To convert solar energy to electricity, the team developed a highly efficient dye-sensitized solar cell. In order to allow rain to produce...

News : Software
Five-Fingered Robot Gets a Grip

Intricate tasks that require dexterous in-hand manipulation — rolling, pivoting, bending, and sensing friction — are a challenge for today's robots. A University of Washington team of computer scientists...

News : Aerospace
Students' Decelerator Design Wins NASA's 'Big Idea' Challenge

Students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign took top honors in NASA’s first Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge.

The challenge: To increase the lift-to-drag ratio on the Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) in ways that...

Question of the Week
Would you use a “skin to screen” technology?

This week's Question: The SkinTrack technology featured in today’s lead story allows users to expand touchpad functionality to the back of the hand and lower arm. By wearing a ring, users can enable cursor movement, highlight numbers on a screen, or dial numbers on a keypad.

What do...

News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
'SkinTrack' Turns Lower Arm into Touchpad

A new wearable technology developed at Carnegie Mellon University could turn one's entire lower arm into a touchpad.

Product of the Month: May 2016

Molex, Lisle, IL, offers Soligie® printed electronic sensor systems that provide a thin, flexible alternative to rigid printed circuit boards (PCBs) or copper flex circuits in a range of applications in the medical, industrial, consumer, defense, and other industries. An integrated design and manufacturing process...

News : Aerospace
NASA Tests 3D-Printed Rocket Fuel Pump

NASA tested a 3D printed rocket engine turbopump with liquid methane – an ideal propellant for engines needed to power many types of spacecraft for NASA’s journey to Mars. During the full-power test, the turbines generated 600 horsepower and the fuel pump got its “heartbeat” racing at more than...

News : Test & Measurement
Flexible Silicone Sensors Enable Stepless Control Devices

Researchers have created flexible silicone sensors that make it easier to steplessly control devices such as a multifunction steering wheel that lets the driver control music, light, and ventilation at the touch of a finger. Multifunction steering wheels are standard in most automobiles...

News : Communications
Beach Buoys Detect Water Contamination

Beachgoers may soon be able to know in a timely manner if the water is clean enough for swimming. The technology comes in the form of buoys that are deployed in the water near a beach. By combining statistical models with real-time data gathered by sensors embedded in the buoys, they provide quick and...

News : Software
Tactile Power Steering Senses Direction of Motorized Carts

Tactile handles forklifts, industrial trucks, and motorized carts are being developed that employ pressure sensors to detect the direction in which a user is pushing or pulling the cart. Workers can get a cart moving in the right direction with very little effort using the pressure...

News : Medical
Photonic Structures Act as Tiny Temperature and Humidity Sensors

Many machines such as turbines, oil drills, health monitors, and nuclear reactors require internal sensors to monitor physical states such as temperature. Researchers are developing compact silicon photonic sensors that can provide accurate readings without being damaged by the...

News : Test & Measurement
New Technique Could Improve Detection of Concealed Nuclear Materials

A low-energy nuclear reaction imaging technique designed to detect the presence of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium in cargo containers arriving at U.S. ports was demonstrated. The method relies on a combination of neutrons and high-energy photons to detect shielded...

News : Aerospace
NASA Prepares Flight Tests of Unmanned Aircraft

NASA and its partners are validating and advancing technologies that will assist the FAA as they develop the regulations to allow integration of unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System. Test objectives will require 15 flights and more than 270 encounters. These encounters will consist...

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Rittal’s Hannover Fair Contest Trip Closes with Facility Tours

After a full week in Germany, Rittal Corporation (, the world’s largest enclosure manufacturer and a leader in thermal management of electrical, electronic, and IT equipment, brought its “Win a Trip to Hannover Fair with Rittal!” contest to a close with tours of...

News : Test & Measurement
Sensors Teach Dogs New Tricks

A team from North Carolina State University has developed and customized a suite of technologies that allows a computer to train a dog autonomously. Sensors in the custom harness monitor a dog’s posture, and the computer effectively responds based on the animal’s body language.

News : Materials
Light-Powered 3D Printer Creates Terahertz Lens

Researchers from Northwestern University used a light-powered 3D printer to create a terahertz lens. The imaging component is made from a novel metamaterial that exhibits properties not readily available in nature.

Question of the Week
Could tear-off screens catch on?

This week's Question: While LG and Samsung have worked to develop screens that roll and bend, a new patent from Google describes a screen that can be torn like a piece of paper. Images in the filing show an advertisement with coupons that can be pulled off and used in-store, as well as a drawing of a robot that...

Briefs : RF & Microwave Electronics
High-Data-Rate Platform to Capture and Analyze Raw Baseband Clock/Data

The Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Testbed has a need to capture and analyze high-datarate (<2 Mbps required) baseband information sent over RF by the JPL Software-Defined Radio (SDR). An RF4425 front end, coupled with a MicroGate Synclink USB and custom C++...

Briefs : RF & Microwave Electronics
V-FASTR Radio Transient Classifier

The V-FASTR (VLBA Fast Transient Experiment) system was motivated by the desire to monitor the radio sky for interesting transient events. To be confident that no interesting extragalactic event is missed, every VFASTR candidate requires human review and evaluation. Candidates consist of pulsar pulses, spurious...

Briefs : RF & Microwave Electronics
Wideband, Dual-Polarized, Ultra-Low-Noise Focal Plane Array Feed for Active/Passive Microwave Remote Sensing

NASA missions utilize active, passive, or both, microwave sounders with a large reflector antenna as an important component. In most of these applications, design engineers have realized that desirable science requirements (spatial and...

Briefs : RF & Microwave Electronics
RF Source Modifications to Improve Performance of an Electronegative Plasma Thruster

In traditional gridded electrostatic ion thrusters, positively charged ions are generated from a plasma discharge of noble gas propellant and accelerated to provide thrust. A separate electron source, typically a neutralizer cathode that consumes propellant, is...

Briefs : RF & Microwave Electronics
Simple Impedance Matched Planar Microwave Blocking Filter

Thermal blocking filters find wide use in cryogenic applications ranging from quantum computing to ultra-low-noise detectors. They can be used to provide the environmental isolation between cooled devices and the warmer temperature supporting bias and readout circuitry. In particular,...

Briefs : RF & Microwave Electronics
Microwave Regenerative Sorbent-based Hydrogen Purifier (MRSHP)

The Microwave Regenerative Sorbent-based Hydrogen Purifier (MRSHP) is a unique microwave power-based technology demonstrator created for the purification of a hydrogen product stream produced by the Plasma Pyrolysis Assembly (PPA). The MRSHP prototype uses 2.45-GHz microwave power to...

Briefs : RF & Microwave Electronics
Low-Power Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN) Communication System

NASA seeks semi-passive, RFIDenabled wearable tags for inventory tracking and astronaut body area network applications. Wearable sensor tags can be printed on astronaut clothing or suits, and are powered by printed thin film batteries and/or via energy harvesting. Energy is...

Briefs : RF & Microwave Electronics
RF System MATLAB Model Simulation Using a Variety of Data Sources

During the development of the Soil Moisture Active-Passive (SMAP) High-Power Amplifier (HPA), a power glitch was observed with the characteristic of producing small 0.1-0.3 dB jumps in power across temperature. In order to troubleshoot this glitch behavior, a nonlinear model that...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Lightweight, Reusable Payload Launch and Transportation Latch

This innovation addresses the problem of automatic engagement and disengagement of payloads from their transport vehicle when lifted by a crane or other material handling device. The prior state-of-the-art is in material handling devices that require personnel to activate the latch,...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Structural Assembly Incorporating Integral Thermal Heat Spreader for Cold Plate Cooling

In a structural cold plate, typically there is a structural member such as a honeycomb panel or a brazed sandwich assembly that provides the structural strength, and at least one cold plate that cools equipment attached to the structural member. The cold...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Advanced Magnetostrictive Regulator, Valve, and Force-to-Angle Sensor

Typical aerospace rocket engines use valves to control the flow and pressures of propellant and pressurants. These typical valves are designed to operate with a mechanical, electromechanical, or pneumatic operator. They all have at least one, and often multiple, penetrations...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Circular Cross-Section Blades for a Sampling Device

To date, there are solutions that can collect samples by being deployed from a distance from a low-gravity body or using a touch-and-go approach. To increase precision collection of samples from both consolidated and unconsolidated material, allow for precise sampling location selection, and...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Clamshell Sampler

The Clamshell mechanism, with one quick action, acquires and retains a sample from a small body surface while minimizing sampling energy. The sampler has two quarter-sphere buckets that are driven into the small body surface. One mechanism drives a linkage that causes the two buckets to rotate about a common axis to close the...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Shape Memory Alloy Rock Splitter

A working prototype of a non-explosive, static rock splitter for space exploration using shape memory alloys (SMAs) as the driving member also has terrestrial applications. The static, compact, non-explosive...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Passive, Low-Insertion-Force/High-Retention-Force Cam Plug Design for Sample Tube Sample Caging

AMars “sample caching rover” mission designed to collect, document, and package samples for future collection and return to Earth was recommended as the highest-priority mission for 2013–2022 by the 2011 Planetary Decadal Survey. A key premise...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Design Support and Analysis Tool for Pyrotechnically Actuated Valves

This software predicts flow through the initiator of a Primer Chamber Assembly Valve. These valves exhibited a potential failure mode for specific operating conditions where dual simultaneous firings of the initiator occurred. The software tool was able to identify a fluid...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Deployable Extra-Vehicular Activity Platform (DEVAP) for Planetary Surfaces

The Deployable Extra-Vehicular Activity Platform (DEVAP) is a staging platform for egress and ingress attached to a lunar, Mars, or planetary surface habitat airlock, suitlock, or port. The DEVAP folds up into a compact package for transport, and deploys manually from...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Two-Phase Thermal Switch

There is a wide range of spacecraft thermal management applications that require variable conductance devices such as thermal switches. These switches are used to help maintain the heat source (electronics) temperature under varying thermal loads and varying thermal environments. These applications include satellites and...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
High-Bandwidth, Wide Field-of-View, Ultra-Sensitive, Radiation-Hardened, Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR) Receiver

Every LiDAR design faces the classic balancing act of signal versus noise. In order to maximize the range of a LiDAR, a receiver must amplify fractions of a micro-amp of photo current into a usable range for signal processing to occur,...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Magnetometer for Vectorized Field Sensing via Zero-Field, Spin-Dependent Recombination in Silicon Carbide Microelectronics

The proposed technology involves the sensitive detection of magnetic fields using the zero-field, spin-dependent recombination (SDR) phenomenon that naturally arises from atomic-scale, deep-level defects intrinsic to silicon...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Ethernet-to-HRDL Conversion Design

The International Space Station (ISS) uses a fiber optic High Rate Data Link (HRDL) standard for transferring data. ISS experiments, however, may prefer an Ethernet interface. This design allows ISS instruments to keep their Ethernet interface by converting the Ethernet data format into a format compatible with...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Flash LIDAR Emulator

The Flash LIDAR Emulator is a computer system designed to be functionally equivalent to a Flash LIDAR sensor camera. The system has the same hardware interfaces as the sensor, and produces images of comparable quality to the flash LIDAR sensor in real time (30 frames per second). The emulator is then used as a substitute for...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Nanotube-Based Device Cooling System

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are being studied for use in high-strength/lowweight composites and other applications. Recent research on thermal dissipation materials for high-power electronic devices is generating a lot of interest in various industries. Carbon nano tubes have attracted much attention due to their...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Architecture for an Intermediate-Frequency Digital Downconversion and Data Distribution Network

NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) is looking to modernize aging downlink receivers for telemetry, tracking, and radio science. It is looking to replace multiple types of custom-built, special-purpose receivers with a unified receiver architecture that...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Reliability Assessment of CCGA 1752 Advanced Interconnect Kyocera Packages for Extreme Thermal Environments

Ceramic Column Grid Array (CCGA) packages have been increasing in use based on advantages such as high interconnect density, very good thermal and electrical performance, compatibility with standard surface-mount packaging assembly...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Pressure Sensor Using Piezoelectric Bending Resonators

A pressure sensor was developed based on a piezoelectric bending resonator. The resonator is covered and mechanically coupled with a sealed enclosure. The impedance spectrum of the resonator changes with the deformation of the enclosure induced by pressure or force applied to the enclosure....

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Using a Ubiquitous Conductor to Power and Interrogate Wireless Passive Sensors and Construct a Sensor Network

Many methods have been developed for interrogation of wireless passive sensors. Surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensors and RF reflection sensors can receive and reflect electronic magnetic waves that are broadcast and received by the...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Full-Field Inverse Finite Element Method for Deformed Shape- and Stress-Sensing of Plate and Shell Structures

Structural health management systems that, by way of real-time monitoring, help mitigate accidents due to structural failures, will become integral technologies of the next-generation aerospace vehicles. Advanced sensor arrays and signal...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Pressure-Optimized Optical Breath Gas Analyzer for Portable Life Support Systems

Optical detection of gaseous carbon dioxide, water vapor (humidity), and oxygen is desired in Portable Life Support Systems (PLSS) incorporating state-of-the-art CO2 scrubbing architectures. Earlier broadband detectors are nearing their end of life, and...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Lightweight Metal Rubber Textile Sensor for In-Situ Lunar Health Monitoring

Extravehicular activities (EVAs) are dangerous to astronauts for a number of reasons, including high levels of physical exertion, potential for impacts by space debris particulates that could puncture the spacesuit and cause depressurization, Moon dust exposure that is...

Briefs : Aerospace
Autonomous Leading-Edge Slat Device for Reduction of Aeroacoustic Noise Associated with Aircraft Wings

Conventional transport aircraft wing design is driven mainly by cruise efficiency, i.e., adequate lift is generated at high speed for level flight with minimal drag. Conventional high-lift systems (leading edge slats and trailing edge flaps)...

Briefs : Aerospace
StormGen Weather Editor

Experiments that take into account the impact of convective weather on airspace operations, future concepts, and flight deck tools require a source of weather data that is readily available, of predictable quality, and tailorable to experimental objectives. Real-world weather data is sparse, highly random, and...

Briefs : Aerospace
Pair-wise Trajectory Management (PTM) Airborne Human Machine Interface (HMI) Display Design

Pair-wise Trajectory Management (PTM) is a concept that utilizes airborne and ground-based capabilities to enable airborne spacing operations in oceanic regions. The goal of PTM is to use enhanced surveillance, along with airborne tools, to manage the...

Briefs : Aerospace
Elastomeric Structural Attachment Concepts for Aircraft Flap Noise Reduction

Airframe noise is a significant part of the overall noise of typical transport aircraft during the approach and landing phases of flight. Airframe noise reduction is currently emphasized under the Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) and Fixed Wing (FW) goals of...

Briefs : Aerospace
Aircraft Engine Exhaust Nozzle System for Jet Noise Reduction

Conventional aircraft typically include propulsion engines that are under the wing or tail surfaces. Each propulsion engine system includes an engine housed in a nacelle with an inlet and a nozzle system. Primary component noise sources from the engine system include the noise...

Briefs : Aerospace
Rotorcraft Noise Model (RNM)

The Rotorcraft Noise Model (RNM) is a suite of computer models that predicts far-field noise for single or multiple flight vehicle operations. RNM calculates the effects of sound propagation over varying ground terrain for acoustic sources using geometrical theory of diffraction algorithms, and through a horizontally...

Briefs : Aerospace
Wheel Helmet to Reduce Landing Gear Noise

Airframe noise, produced by unsteady flow around aircraft structures, is an important source of aircraft noise during approach and landing. Sound radiating from the undercarriage is a major contributor to airframe noise. This type of noise is broadband in nature, caused by the complex unsteady flow field...

Briefs : Medical
Relativistic Ion Tracks (RITRACKS)

Once astronauts venture beyond Earth’s protective atmosphere, they are exposed to the high-energy charged particles of galactic cosmic rays (GCR) and solar particle events (SPE), and secondary protons and neutrons. GCR are composed of ions, the great majority of which are protons (≈87%) and helium nuclei...

Briefs : Medical
Medical Oxygen Concentrator for Microgravity Operation

Supplemental oxygen delivery systems are vital to provide a critical life support respiratory function. Whether they are used for patients suffering from lung diseases or other illnesses, or astronauts donning an oxygen mask during a toxic spill or fire on a spacecraft, lightweight and...

Briefs : Medical
Lateral Displacement Device for Blood Cell Separation

Separation of particles based on size is one of the essential components in biochemical analysis, environmental assays, and industrial and biomedical applications. Filtration is one of the most frequently used techniques to separate particles. A mechanical filter can be used to remove,...

Briefs : Medical
Using a Blood Clot in Microfluidic Valving Applications

The lack of reliable microvalves impedes many lab-on-a-chip applications for blood analysis. On the other hand, blood clotting — the formation of solid blood aggregate to stop bleeding — provides a natural valving mechanism. It is therefore very attractive to use this mechanism for...

Briefs : Medical
Drug-Encapsulated Prosthetic Enhancement

This invention places a drug delivery system inside a prosthetic implant to circumvent the physical issues encountered after fitting the implant. Implants being relatively large in size would be able to house the drug-carrying device inside them without compromising the structural integrity or the...

Briefs : Medical
Portable Resting State Detection System Using Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

The ability to distinguish between high and low levels of task engagement is important for detecting and preventing performance decrements during safety-critical operational tasks in the real world. Examples of such tasks include commercial aviation, monitoring...

Briefs : Software
BALFIT Version 3.1 Multivariate Regression Analysis and Regression Model Optimization Software

The software package BALFIT was developed for both the processing of wind tunnel strain-gage balance data and the analysis of more general multivariate experimental data sets. The software uses automatically generated regression models for the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Mariana Text Classification System

Support Vector Machines (SVM) can be used as a binary classifier for a wide range of data and problems. For text, it is often used to determine automatically if a document belongs to a given topic category. Automatic and reliable classification of documents can be an invaluable tool for industries that monitor...

Briefs : Information Technology
Marshall MRMS Mosaic Python Toolkit (MMM-Py)

This Python script will allow the user to read, analyze, and display National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Multi-Radar/Multi-Sensor(MRMS) mosaic tile files containing mosaic radar reflectivities on a national 3D grid. Simple diagnostics and plotting, as well as computation of...

Briefs : Information Technology
Data Encoding and Parallelization Porting Techniques to Transform Binary Data Formats to Hadoop/MapReduce

The objective of this invention is to transform applications that process big data in arbitrary formats using the MapReduce parallel programming model and executed on the open-source Hadoop platform. Many legacy data-intensive applications...

Briefs : Information Technology
Framework Software Library Version 1.0

Within the space community, there is a need to exchange a wide variety of data between partner organizations. The Framework software library can be used to exchange any type of data between partners. It provides these core capabilities:

Briefs : Information Technology
Crisis Mapping Toolkit (CMT) V1

The increasing availability of accessible geospatial data with a turnaround time of days or hours provides unique opportunities for responders to better plan responses to crises, and to inform victims, friends, and relatives of local crisis conditions. However, this raw data is not readily interpretable by the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Real-Bogus Machine Learning Systems at the Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory

The intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) is a wide-field sky survey of the optical transient sky (e.g., supernovae, variable stars) that uses image subtraction for the discovery of astronomical transients. Astronomical transients, such as supernovae, are...

Briefs : Information Technology
Scalable Gaussian Process Regression

Block GP is a Gaussian Process regression framework for multimodal data that can be an order of magnitude more scalable than existing state-of-the-art nonlinear regression algorithms. The framework builds local Gaussian Processes on semantically meaningful partitions of the data and provides higher prediction...

Briefs : Information Technology
MBSE-Driven Systems Engineering Visualization Suite

There is a need to define the information architecture, ontologies, and patterns that drive the construction and architecture of Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) models, but less clarity is given to the logical follow-on of that effort: how to practically leverage the resulting semantic...

Briefs : Information Technology
Python Turbulence Detection Algorithm (PyTDA)

This software, written in the Python programming language, estimates turbulence from Doppler radar data. It ingests radar data using the Department of Energy’s Py-ART open-source radar software toolkit.

Briefs : Imaging
One-Micron (1064-nm) Planar External Cavity Laser (PLANEX)

A highly reliable, very low-phase and low-amplitude-noise laser is required as an oscillator for the LISA mission. A commercial product made by Redfern Integrated Optics met these requirements (1550 nm PLANEX External Cavity Laser), but it operated at 1.5 microns, not the required LISA...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Micro Cylindrical Ion Trap Micro Mass Spectrometer Instrument System

The goal of this work was to advance the development of new, extremely small (≈2 cm3), low-power (≈3 W), and low-cost micro mass spectrometer instrument systems (μMSIS) through the application of microelectro-mechanical system (MEMS) design and fabrication, and...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Invertible Time Invariant Linear Filtering (InTILF) Method for Pattern Detection and Modeling of Stochastic One- or Two- Dimensional Data

X-ray astronomy offers the opportunity to observe important phenomena, including the early accretion of massive black holes and detecting diffuse ionized intergalactic gas that is heated to X-ray temperatures...

Articles : Aerospace
The Future of Exploration Starts With 3D Printing

Last year, engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL, tested an additive manufacturing process that is being used to make some of the parts for NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), more efficiently and affordably without compromising performance and...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
Solar Orbiter Instrument Filters Powered by Brushed Motor
maxon RE 13 brushed DC motors
maxon precision motors
Fall River, MA

In 2018, the European Space Agency (ESA) will send the Solar Orbiter into space. A joint project of the ESA and NASA, the Solar Orbiter will be an...

Spinoff : Aerospace
Space Blanket-Inspired Cases Protect Expensive Devices

NASA Technology

Nick Blanton spends a lot of time outdoors, skiing in the winter months and hiking when the weather’s warm. All of this takes a toll on his electronic gadgets,...

Articles : Aerospace
Products of Tomorrow: May 2016

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just some...

Articles : Imaging
3D Imaging Reveals Battery Degradation in Real Time

Using sophisticated 3D imaging, a team at University College London, The European Synchrotron (ESRF), University of Manchester, Harwell Oxford, Oregon State University, and the National...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Filtering in Machine Vision

There are many different types of filters in machine vision that can be utilized to improve or change the image of the object under inspection. It is important to understand the different technologies behind the various types of filters in order to understand their advantages and limitations. Although there is a wide...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Using UV LEDs to Cure Fiber Optic Cables

Modern fiber optics have undergone remarkable advances since their development in the 1960s. The growing demand for fiber-optic cable, especially in the telecommunications industry, has led to an increase in high-volume production of optical fiber. New high-irradiance UV LED curing systems widely deployed...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Customized Drone Maps Glaciers

Using a custom-designed drone, a researcher from The Ohio State University mapped glaciers and wetlands in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca mountain range. Despite a discovered drop in glacier growth, the findings from the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) revealed a slightly more optimistic picture of the region’s water...

John Hanson, Nodes Deputy Project Manager and Technical Lead, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

On December 6, 2015, two CubeSats successfully launched to the International Space Station. As part of NASA’s Nodes mission, the CubeSats will soon communicate with each other and demonstrate the benefits of a networked "swarm" of...

Products : Imaging
GigE Cameras

Teledyne DALSA (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada/Billerica, MA) has added six models to its Genie Nano series of GigE Vision® cameras. The M1930, C1930, M1930-NIR, M2590, C2590, and M2590-NIR are built around On Semiconductor’s Python 2000 and 5000 monochrome and color sensors respectively. Designed for industrial imaging applications,...

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