May 2017

News : Medical
Next-generation heart valve regenerates into heart-like tissue

The human heart beats approximately 35 million times every year, effectively pumping blood into the circulation via four different heart valves. Unfortunately, in over 4 million people each year, these delicate tissues malfunction due to birth defects, age-related deteriorations, and...

News : Medical
Laser printing with nanoparticles holds promise for medical research

Electronic devices that not only can be implanted in the human body but also completely dissolve on their own – known as bioresorbable electronics – are envisioned by many as one of medical technology's next frontiers. A new study by Missouri University of Science and...

News : Medical
Process invented to make sustainable rubber and plastics

Synthetic rubber and plastics used for manufacturing tires, toys, and myriad other products are produced from butadiene, a molecule traditionally made from petroleum or natural gas. But those humanmade materials could get a lot greener soon, thanks to the ingenuity of a team of scientists...

News : Design
Ultraviolet Light Sensor for Wearable Devices in the IoT Era

Mass production technology for silicon-based ultraviolet (UV) light sensors, suitable for smartphones and wearable devices in the Internet of Things (IoT) era, has been jointly developed by a research team at Tohoku University and SII Semiconductor Corp., a semiconductor manufacturer...

News : Medical
Bringing Bioprinting to Life

A team from Northwestern University created bioprosthetic ovaries that ultimately led to the restoration of hormone production and fertility in mice.

INSIDER : Motion Control
Modular Climbing Robot Splits into Multiple Explorer Bots

Researchers from the Robotics Research Centre at the International Institute of Technology – Hyderabad (IIIT-H), have developed a stair and obstacle climbing robot that can disassemble itself into smaller robots, and then reassemble back into one device. As a composite system, the...

INSIDER : Motion Control
Actuated Smartwatch Moves in Five Directions

In an effort to make digital smartwatches more convenient for users, researchers at Dartmouth College and the University of Waterloo have produced a prototype watch face named Cito that moves in five different directions. With the ability to rotate, hinge, translate, rise, and orbit, the model...

INSIDER : Materials
Mechanical Actuators Bend as They “Breathe”

Extreme temperatures can severely strain a mechanical component because its material may have trouble enduring the heat without degrading. To address the problem, researchers at MIT developed a new material that expands and contracts as it lets oxygen in and out. The result is a new way to make...

Question of the Week : Robotics, Automation & Control
Will Soft Robots Improve Search-and-Rescue Operations?

University of California, San Diego researchers have demonstrated a soft robot that lifts its legs over obstacles and operates on a variety of terrains. What do you think? Will the 3D-printed quadrupedal technologies someday support search-and-rescue missions?

News : Automotive
Sound-Off: How Do You Secure the ‘Connected’ Car?

What are the best ways to detect and prevent cyberattacks on today's 'connected' cars? Share your thoughts and "Sound Off!"

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Soft Robot ‘Walks’ on Any Terrain

Traditional robots often feature isolated mechanical joints. These discrete components limit a rover’s ability to traverse sand, stone, and other challenging environments.

A team at the University of California San Diego has demonstrated a more flexible option: a soft robot that lifts...

Products : Photonics/Optics
New Products: May 2017 Photonics & Imaging Insider

High Efficiency Double Spot Beam Splitter

LASER COMPONENTS (Bedford, NH) has introduced the HEDS (High Efficiency Double Spot) beam splitter. Double spot beam splitters are diffractive optical elements (DOE) used for separating an incoming laser beam into two identical...

INSIDER : Test & Measurement
Coming to a Lab Bench Near You: Femtosecond X-Ray Spectroscopy

The ephemeral electron movements in a transient state of a reaction important in biochemical and optoelectronic processes have been captured and, for the first time, directly characterized using ultrafast X-ray spectroscopy at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National...

INSIDER : Photonics/Optics
Engineers Invent Method to Control Light Propagation in Waveguides

A team of Columbia Engineering researchers, led by Applied Physics Assistant Professor Nanfang Yu, has invented a method to control light propagating in confined pathways, or waveguides, with high efficiency by using nano-antennas. To demonstrate this technique, they built...

INSIDER : Photonics/Optics
Need Glass? Push Print.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists and academic collaborators from the University of Minnesota and Oklahoma State University have demonstrated the synthesis of transparent glass through 3D printing, a development that could ultimately lead to altering the design and structure of lasers and other devices...

Who's Who : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Nick Krotkov, Atmospheric Scientist, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Using data from NASA’s Earth Observing System Aura satellite, launched in 2004, a team led by Michigan Technological University created a global map of volcanic emissions. Scientist Nick Krotkov will use the information to refine climate models and better...

News : Medical
Dual-modality imaging could guide cancer surgery

Researchers in The Netherlands have demonstrated that combining SPECT/CT and fluorescence imaging could help surgeons differentiate tumor tissue from normal tissue. Their study focused on colorectal cancer (CRC) that metastasized beyond the primary tumor. CRC is the second most common cancer in...

News : Medical
Brain Imaging Links Alzheimer's Decline to Tau Protein
Brain Imaging Links Alzheimer's Decline to Tau Protein

A buildup of plaque and dysfunctional proteins in the brain are hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. While much Alzheimer's research has focused on accumulation of the protein amyloid beta,...

Brain Imaging Links Alzheimer's Decline to Tau Protein
News : Medical
Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

The concept of a perfect lens that can produce immaculate and flawless images has been the Holy Grail of lens makers for centuries. In 1873, German physicist and optical scientist Ernst Abbe discovered the diffraction limit of the microscope. In other words, he discovered that conventional...

News : Medical
Optical imaging technology catches DNA ‘blinking’

Many of the secrets of cancer and other diseases can be found in the cell's nucleus. But getting to that level – to see and investigate the important genetic material housed there – requires creative thinking and extremely powerful imaging techniques.

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Sound-Off: How are Collaborative Robots Being Used Today?

Are you seeing collaborative robots being integrated into today's production and manufacturing environments? Tech Briefs invites you to "Sound Off" on the role of "cobots."

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
What's New on Tech Briefs: Brickmaking on Mars a 'Smashing' Success

With support from Congress and the President, NASA aims to send a manned mission to Mars by 2040. Establishing a human presence on the Red Planet, however, will require permanent shelters.

And lugging a pile of bricks on the nine-month, 35-million-mile trip is out of the...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Human-Robot Interaction: When Robotics Meets Philosophy

To support human-robot interaction, designers are taking a page from philosophy and studying how we work together with one another.

Question of the Week : Imaging
Will fog displays improve design processes?
Will fog displays improve design processes?

Today’s lead INSIDER story addressed a new kind of 3D visualization: a shape-shifting fog display. Researcher and co-creator Diego Martinez said the technology enables new ways to collaborate,...

Will fog displays improve design processes?
Products : Data Acquisition
Product of the Month: May 2017

Spectrum Instrumentation Corp. (Hackensack, NJ) introduced the DN6.44x, a range of 12 high-speed, 14-, and 16-bit LXI-based digitizers with up to 24 fully synchronized channels. The 16 bit ADC models offers sampling rates of either 130 MS/s or 250 MS/s, while the 14 bit units feature sampling rates of 500 MS/s. The...

News : Imaging
A Shape-Changing Display – Made from Fog
A Shape-Changing Display – Made from Fog

Researchers from the University of Sussex are the first to combine two cutting-edge visualization technologies in one: a fog screen and a shape-shifting display. The “MistForm” system, according...

A Shape-Changing Display – Made from Fog
News : Energy
Photocatalyst Device Turns Pollution into Power

Researchers from the University of Antwerp and KU Leuven have built a proof-of-concept device that performs two noble functions simultaneously: purifying polluted air and generating power. Read the Tech Briefs Q&A with Professor Sammy Verbruggen.

INSIDER : Test & Measurement
Infrared 3D Scanner Measures Like Human Vision

A 3D scanner, with a resolution of one million pixels and real-time data processing, operates using measuring technology that works in a similar way to human vision. To detect an object, periodic patterns are projected onto the surface using a specially developed near-infrared projector. A sequence...

Question of the Week : Materials
Will Mars habitats be built from Martian soil?

This week’s Question: Today’s lead INSIDER story described a potentially new way of building Mars habitats. What do you think? Will Mars habitats be built from Martian soil?

INSIDER : Energy
High-Efficiency Power Converter for the Internet of Things

Internet of Things sensors will have to operate at very low powers to extend battery life for months, or make do with energy harvested from the environment. But that means that they’ll need to draw a wide range of electrical currents. Researchers from MIT developed a new step-down...

INSIDER : Energy
Self-Charging Battery Could Make Chargers Obsolete

New technology developed by Hydro-Québec and McGill University is capable of harvesting and storing energy using light – a self-charging battery. To create the light-charged batteries, a standard cathode from a lithium-ion battery can be “sensitized” to light by incorporating...

INSIDER : Energy
New Device Harnesses Heat to Power Computers
New Device Harnesses Heat to Power Computers

One of the biggest problems with computers is keeping them cool so they don’t overheat. University of Nebraska–Lincoln engineers developed an alternative energy source that would allow...

New Device Harnesses Heat to Power Computers
News : Aerospace
Creating the Future: A Better Way to Map Terrain

Mark Skoog, an aerospace engineer at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center, led the development of new software that stores terrain data in a more efficient and accurate way. The achievement, Skoog says, opens the prospect of anyone – yes, anyone – being able to fly.

News : Materials
A New Material for Mars Habitats? Mars Itself

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego demonstrated a compaction technique that may someday be used to turn Mars soil into building blocks for the Red Planet. The scientists' new method of applying pressure offers construction possibilities as NASA plans manned Mars missions in the...

Question of the Week : Aerospace
Are you concerned about potential asteroid impacts on Earth?

This week’s Question: Our lead INSIDER story addressed NASA’s efforts to track and characterize asteroids. What do you think? Are you concerned about potential asteroid impacts on Earth?

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Exo-Brake Enables Safe Return for Small Spacecraft
Briefs : Propulsion
Green Monopropellant Secondary Payload Propulsion System

Small satellites, launched as secondary payloads, are increasingly being fielded. Advances in liquid rocket propulsion that enhance the on-orbit maneuverability, increase the on-orbit life, and decrease the time between identified need for and deployment of such spacecraft are of great...

Briefs : Materials
Highly Porous and Mechanically Strong Ceramic Oxide Aerogels

NASA's Glenn Research Center (GRC) has developed and produced ultra-lightweight polymer cross-linked aerogels (X-Aerogels). These mechanically robust, highly porous, low-density materials are three times denser than native aerogels, but more than 100 times stronger. Aerogels are...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
AutoSurvey™ Software System

The U.S. Navy has developed a software system that optimizes the collection of data for hydrographic surveys. The autonomous survey system, called AutoSurvery, is an easy-to-implement, real-time adaptive software system for the collection of swath-type data that minimizes survey time while maintaining data quality...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Unleashing RAPID

The Routing Application for Parallel computation of Discharge (RAPID, here) is a river routing model. Given surface and groundwater inflow to rivers, this model can compute the flow and volume of water everywhere in river networks made out of many thousands of reaches. The design of RAPID allows it to be adapted to any river...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Authenticated Sensor Interface Device

Researchers at the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) have developed a device to read data, encrypt the information, and distribute it electronically to multiple locations, providing a one-way data pathway that segregates each destination to prevent cross-party data manipulation. Previous “data...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Robust, Highly Efficient Oxygen-Carbon Monoxide Cogeneration System

Oxygen, water, and fuel are of paramount importance to human life. As a leading concept, the solid-oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC) is a very powerful technology, especially in aiding NASA's endeavors to pursue extraterrestrial exploration missions. This work focused on developing...

Briefs : Materials
Asymmetric Dielectric Elastomer Composite Material

This electronic active material converts a voltage input to a mechanical force and mechanical displacement output. As compared to prior dielectric elastomer (DE) systems, the material has reduced electrode spacing, which lowers significantly the required operating voltage. In addition, the...

Briefs : Aerospace
Multi-Functional Annular Fairing for Coupling Launch Abort Motor to Space Vehicle

NASA's Langley Research Center has designed a Multifunctional Boost Protective Cover (MBPC) for a Launch Abort System (LAS). In the event of a crewed launch, the innovation provides a redundant means of saving the crew, and for an unmanned launch, it provides the...

Briefs : Propulsion
Flame Holder System

NASA's Langley Research Center is seeking to improve upon stock stainless steel flame holders. Researchers at NASA Langley have developed a new ceramic design with a service temperature of 4000 °F. The combination of high strength and high temperature capability, and a twist lock mounting method to the steel burner, sets...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
In-Situ Load System for Calibrating and Validating Aerodynamic Properties of Scaled Aircraft in Ground-Based Aerospace Testing Applications

The in-situ load system (ILS) provides the ground-testing community with a comprehensive tool that permits system-level calibration and validation of force measurement systems in a test-like environment. It...

Briefs : Materials
Method of Creating Micro-Scale Silver Telluride Grains Covered with Bismuth Nanoparticles

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a novel thermoelectric (TE) material utilizing micro-scale silver telluride grains covered with bismuth nanoparticles. These materials have unique advantages in directly converting any level of thermal energy into...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Photo-Acoustic Chemical Detector
Photo-Acoustic Chemical Detector

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a photo-acoustic sensing-based laser vibrometer for the measurement of ambient chemical species. The technology allows for detection of sub-part-per-billion (ppb)...

Photo-Acoustic Chemical Detector
Briefs : Software
Open Mission Control Technologies (Open MCT) Web

The fundamental idea behind the Mission Control Technologies (MCT) project is to build software from pieces that can be assembled by end users to create integrated visualizations. Applications are eliminated in favor of compositions of live data objects that can be combined in different ways for...

Briefs : Software
Human Factors Analysis Support Tool (H-FAST) v 2.0

Large-scale systems engineering projects involve multiple teams of engineers working in parallel. These projects typically include numerous human factors challenges, many of which first become evident during the integration stage. Human factors evaluations are essential in gathering human...

Briefs : Software
RAYGUN Fast Generic Geometry Raycasting Tool

When performing spacecraft simulations, developers sometimes need to feed the simulation with a distance between two objects along a certain direction vector. For example, if a spacecraft is approaching an asteroid and needs to simulate a laser rangefinder, the simulation would need to detect what...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Ultra-High-Speed Fiber Optic Sensor Detects Structural Damage in Real Time

A research group including members from Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science has developed a real-time, fiber-optic, distributed sensing system for strain and temperature. The system requires light injection from only...

Briefs : Materials
Polyimides Derived from Novel Asymmetric Benzophenone Dianhydrides

NASA's Glenn Research Center invites companies to license or establish partnerships to develop its patented high-temperature, low-melt imide resins for fabrication of automotive components. Produced by a solvent-free melt process, these resins exhibit high glass transition...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Low Solidity Vaned Diffuser (LSVD) Design for Improvement of Pressure Recovery

Many pump vaned diffuser designs are based on existing airfoil designs, with little attention given to the vane leading edge. There is a need for a vaned diffuser leading edge that helps resist flow separation and the resultant poor diffuser pressure recovery....

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Piezoelectric Field Disturbance Sensing System and Method

The invention developed is a piezoelectric stimulus-response quantification-based gravimeter (PEG). The PEG takes a completely innovative approach towards utilization of the piezoelectric element — quantifying the gravitational effects on them. In this way, the piezoelectric element...

Briefs : Software
iOrca Code Release

The iOrca outlier detection algorithm is based on the K-nearest neighbors approach. It calculates the distances across the dataset to determine if data points are near or far away from their set of neighbors. If a point has an unusually large distance to its neighbors, it is considered an outlier and of interest to the user....

Briefs : Communications
Polarization-Dependent Whispering Gallery Modes (WGMs) in Microspheres
Polarization-Dependent Whispering Gallery Modes (WGMs) in Microspheres

Dielectric microspheres are optical structures that exhibit resonant properties, meaning they can be used to select very narrow wavelengths of an incoming light beam's...

Polarization-Dependent Whispering Gallery Modes (WGMs) in Microspheres
Briefs : Propulsion
Magnetically Conformed, Variable-Area Discharge Chamber for Hall Thruster, and Method

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has developed a Hall thruster with a variable-area discharge chamber that improves the performance and lifetime of the thruster. Conventional Hall thrusters have poor ionization efficiency, which limits the thrust-to-power ratio...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Methods for Purifying Enzymes for Mycoremediation

This process applies to remediation and restoration of soils contaminated by fuel, polychlorinated biphenyl wastes, etc. While there can be a general beneficial effect of microbial communities, individual plant-fungus combinations can vary in their efficacy in removal of pollutants from the...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Land Cover Viewer

The Land Use Land Cover Viewer is an online visualization tool that enables users to view land use land cover maps. The maps were developed under the Land Cover Mapping for Green House Gas (GHG) Inventories project, which sought to enable SERVIR Eastern and Southern Africa countries to have data to report on GHG inventories as...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Low-Cost RFID Torque and Tension Sensing Tag System

This technology is a low-cost RFID-based torque and tension sensor for high-performance fasteners, such as bolts, that are used in sophisticated high-tech equipment and systems. It offers the ability to remotely and quickly verify that a given fastener is torqued properly, resulting in...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Intelligent Robotics Safeguarding

Traditional robot applications limit operator access to hazards through hard-guarding and protective devices that either detect and stop the hazard, or prevent access into the safeguarding space until the hazard no longer exists. The introduction of power- and force-limited robots used in collaborative...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
SpinDx™ Lab on a Disk

Currently, when a patient arrives at the hospital or doctor's office feeling ill, they are first examined by the doctor, sent to a blood lab where vials of blood are taken, and then sent home to wait for results. This approach often means patients must wait days or weeks to get results. During that waiting period, they...

Briefs : Communications
Cellular Reflectarray Antenna and Method of Making Same
Cellular Reflectarray Antenna and Method of Making Same

NASA's Glenn Research Center invites companies to license a new concept design for terrestrial satellite dishes and communications systems. The Cellular Reflectarray Antenna (CRA) has...

Cellular Reflectarray Antenna and Method of Making Same
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Low-Power, Special-Purpose Chip for Speech Recognition in Electronics

Automatic speech recognition is on the verge of becoming the chief means of interacting with computing devices. To address this, MIT researchers have built a low-power chip specialized for automatic speech recognition. Whereas a cellphone running speech recognition software...

Briefs : Communications
9-Meter Slaving System

The objective of the 9-Meter Slaving System is to transmit Launch Trajectory Acquisition System (LTAS) data from one of multiple incoming data streams to the 9-Meter antenna control unit using a synchronous serial modem. The data stream is determined by a 9-Meter telemetry operator's selection via a graphical user...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Obs4MIPS.py

The Obs4MIPS.py software package is a front end to an existing free software package written by Lawrence Livermore National Lab, called “Climate Model Output Rewriter” (CMOR2), and reads in a multitude of standard data formats such as netcdf3, netcdf4, Grads control files, MATLAB data files, or a list of netCDF files. The...

Briefs : Aerospace
Turbofan Engine Acoustic Liner Design and Analysis Tools

NASA Langley Research Center has developed two tools for turbofan engine acoustic liner design and analysis. The first is a statistical approach for broadband liner design and assessment; the second is graphical software to design and analyze resonant channels in acoustic liners.

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
System, Apparatus, and Method for Liquid Purification

Scientists at NASA's Glenn Research Center have developed a unique water purification method that can be used for water recycling or point-of-use applications. Originally developed as a means to recycle water in space, this technology has applications in industrial water treatment, water...

Briefs : Propulsion
Multi-Thruster Propulsion Apparatus

Two different types of electrostatic thrusters are used to propel spacecraft: ion thrusters and Hall-effect thrusters. Ion thrusters have the benefit of relatively high exhaust velocities with higher overall thrust efficiencies. Hall-effect thrusters typically offer higher thrust-to-power ratios, but they...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Tangential Wrap Rib Deployable Reflector

There is a need for a large deployable reflector of 2-meter diameter or greater so smaller launch vehicles can be used. Common issues with going from a large solid reflector into deployable structures are the structural stiffness and deployable structure complexity.

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Method Improves Accuracy of Imaging Data

Research by the University of Chicago provides scientists looking at single molecules or into deep space a more accurate way to analyze imaging data captured by microscopes, telescopes, and other devices. The method, known as single-pixel interior filling function (SPIFF), detects and corrects systematic...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Automation System Manages Critical Gas Distribution Process

Part of the TDK group of companies, Headway Technologies (Milpitas, CA) is a semiconductor manufacturer of memory and drive head technologies, and designs and manufactures recording heads for high-performance hard disk drives.

Briefs : Software
LTAS Source Slaving Selector (LS3) Analyzer

The objective of the Launch Trajectory Acquisition System (LTAS) Source Slaving Selector (LS3) Analyzer application is to convert recorded data files — which are generated by the LTAS Source Slaving Selector (LS3) application in binary format — to human-readable text files as per a variety of...

Briefs : Communications
Ad Hoc Selection of Voice Over Internet Streams

NASA seeks interested parties to license the Ad Hoc Selection for Voice Over Internet (VoIP) Streams technology developed by engineers at Johnson Space Center. This technology features the ability to select specific audio streams from one or more sources and then convert them into a multicast to...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Products of Tomorrow: May 2017

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that innovation.

Briefs : Communications
Deep-Space Positioning System

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has developed a compact, low-power, self-contained instrument that provides the equivalent of GPS throughout the solar system without the aid of an artificially provided infrastructure. The state-of-the-art X-ray navigation instrument is also able to determine the position of a...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
WX Subsystem Weather Station

The WX Subsystem Weather Station was designed for use as part of the Weather Instrumentation (WX) Subsystem for the Constellation Program (CxP) to be implemented in the Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center. The weather stations need to be rugged, robust, and reliable. Although this equipment is not to be...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Novel Threading Enables New Approach to Golf Clubs

Spinoff is NASA's annual publication featuring successfully commercialized NASA technology. This commercialization has contributed to the development of products and services in the fields of health and medicine, consumer goods, transportation, public safety, computer technology, and...

Briefs : Software
Representation and Analysis of System Behavior Using Monotonic Signals

NASA has developed a new method for analyzing complex system behavior that also may be viewed as a type of data visualization and decision support tool. Large complex control systems may have thousands or even millions of sensors, each providing some type of signal that...

Briefs : Communications
GPS Satellite Geometry Analysis Tool (GPSGEM)

The purpose of the GPS Satellite Geometry Analysis Tool (GPSGEM) is to evaluate GPS satellite geometry for a given Earth-fixed location or for a provided trajectory. The tool will generate a listing of all satellites in view, the best satellite combination defined by the most optimum Geometric...

Briefs : Propulsion
Propellant Distributor for a Thruster

Innovators at NASA's Glenn Research Center have developed several new technological innovations to improve the capability of Hall-effect thrusters, which are used primarily on Earth-orbiting satellites and can also be used for deep-space robotic vehicles. Hall thrusters are susceptible to discharge channel...

Briefs : Materials
Nanotubular Toughening Inclusions

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed an extensive technology portfolio on novel methods for effective dispersion of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in polymers. The technology portfolio extends from making stable dispersions of CNTs in polymer resins to processes for making composite CNT/polymer films and...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Floating Ultrasonic Transducer Inspection System and Method for Nondestructive Evaluation

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a Floating Ultrasonic System for improved nondestructive testing. Most ultrasonic scanners require an external liquid coupling agent (e.g., water, gel, oil) to make a good contact between the probe and the...

Articles : Imaging
Using Sensor Fusion to Analyze Laser Processing in Additive Manufacturing

Sensor: “A device that detects or measures a physical property and records, indicates, or otherwise responds to it.” A sensor is a device that detects a physical quantity and responds by transmitting a signal.

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Development of Sodium Lidar for Spaceborne Missions

The metal layers at mesospheric altitudes are excellent tracers of neutral atmosphere dynamics, and have been used since the 1960s to study the chemistry and dynamics of the mesosphere. Ablation from meteors is believed to be the chief source of metals such as Na, Mg, K, Fe, and Ca in the...

Articles : Imaging
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems

The use of modern laser technology has become standard in industrial manufacturing thanks to its speed, accuracy and effectiveness. Lasers are used to engrave parts, electronic printed...

Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Additive-Manufactured, Very Lightweight, Diamond Turned Aspheric Mirror

Industrial-grade, lightweight mirrors used in military and aeronautics have tight specifications brought on by demanding performance parameters. For example, a mirror that is used in an orbiting telescope would have to be extremely lightweight, stiff, and be configured to...

Application Briefs : Lighting
Choosing a Light and Color Measurement System for LEDs
Choosing a Light and Color Measurement System for LEDs

LED-based lighting and display systems are becoming increasingly popular due to their low cost, flexibility, and efficiency. Measuring the light and color output of LEDs is, therefore,...

Choosing a Light and Color Measurement System for LEDs
Articles : Photonics/Optics
3D Imaging Reveals Sub-surface Battery Flaws

Traditional imaging technologies have been used to investigate overall solar efficiency, but many of the methods only offer surface views. A new – and “exciting” – ultra-fast laser technique developed at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory provides a deeper look...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Autonomous Vehicles Open Up New Roads for LIDAR Growth

Laser range-finding, or LIDAR, is a way of measuring distance, directly analogous to radar except using radiation in the near infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum rather than the radio waves used in radar. LIDAR techniques are used for a variety of final applications including...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Partially Transparent Circular Mask to Suppress Narrowband Laser Light

The evolved Laser Interferometry Space Antenna (eLISA) is the implementation of the original Laser Interferometry Space Antenna (LISA) concept that will be proposed for the European Space Agency's (ESA) L.3 Cosmic Visions opportunity. The eLISA observatory uses lasers to...

Application Briefs : Imaging
Miniature Camera Mimics Eagle's Eye

A tiny, 3D-printed “eagle-eye” camera developed at the University of Stuttgart in Germany mimics the vision of some of nature's sharpest predators. The “foveated” imaging system, named after the fovea part of the eye, provides a high central acuity that could support new applications in optical...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Characterizing Richness of Previously Unmapped Terrain and Estimating Its Impact on Navigation Performance Using 3D Range Sensors in Flight

Landers to large planetary bodies such as Mars typically use a secondary reconnaissance spacecraft to generate high-fidelity 3D terrain maps that are subsequently used for landing site selection and creating...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space

The standard way for spacecraft to communicate with teams on the ground has been to use radio waves. NASA, however, will test the use of lasers to increase data communication rates by as much as 100 times. In a Technology Leaders Q&A, JPL physicist Bill Klipstein explains his role as...

Products : Photonics/Optics
New Products: May 2017 Photonics & Imaging Technology

1x4 Pulsed Laser Diode Array

Excelitas Technologies® Corp. (Waltham, MA) has introduced a 1x4 Pulsed Laser Diode Array for LiDAR applications. The new laser array combines Excelitas’ high-efficiency, multi-cavity laser chip technology with small form-factor surface mount device...

News : Imaging
What’s New on TechBriefs.com: Asteroid Detection, Blood-Pressure Monitoring, and Breaking the ‘Bandwidth Bottleneck’

Did you know that a 1-kilometer-wide asteroid flew past the Earth this month? Or that a chip-scale device provides broader bandwidth instantaneously to more users? Or that a new "Bold Band" offers a wearable way to monitor...