January 2018

NASA Spinoff: Medical
NASA Technology

NASA astronaut Shannon Lucid spent hundreds of hours exercising during her 188-day stay on the Russian space station Mir in 1996. Although it was her least favorite...

Briefs: Software
Soil Moisture Active-Passive Project Spacecraft Flight Software

The Soil Moisture Active-Passive (SMAP) Project Spacecraft Flight Software controls all aspects of command and data handling (CDH) in the SMAP spacecraft. Required capabilities include uplink and command, telemetry and downlink, vehicle attitude control, science instrument control,...

Briefs: Imaging

Doctors currently rely on external ultrasound probes, combined with pre-operative imaging scans, to visualize soft tissue and organs during minimally invasive procedures, as the miniature surgical...

Briefs: Materials
Electromagnetic Metamaterial with Wide Angular and Broadband Spectral Absorption

Propagation in a waveguide requires proper termination of signals to prevent reflections from interfering with the desired circuit functionality. Conventional termination designs for a two-dimensional planar waveguide topology provide maximum signal suppression in...

Briefs: Medical
Smart Artificial Limbs

Traditional leg prosthetics enable amputees to maintain mobility and lead more active lives. Leg prosthetics most commonly fit amputees’ residual limbs via a socket that encloses the limb like a wooden clog. Because the socket exerts pressure on the limb’s soft tissue, pain and chafing, sores and blisters, and...

Briefs: Materials

In order to store information in the conventional magnetic memories of electronic devices, the material’s small magnetic domains are oriented “up” or “down” by using...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

CAD models have been developed that enable objects to be 3D-printed out of commercially available plastics; these objects can wirelessly communicate with other smart devices, including a...

Briefs: Software
Deterministic Annealing Clustering

This software partitions a dataset into clusters of data using the Deterministic Annealing algorithm, a more sophisticated clustering technique than usually available in scientific and commercial software. The results provided are deterministic, i.e. unique (within the machine precision tolerance), whereas...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Engineers have fabricated transparent, gel-based robots that move when water is pumped in and out of them. They are made entirely of hydrogel — a tough, rubbery, nearly...

Briefs: Materials

NASA Langley Research Center has developed fluorinated alkyl ether-containing epoxies designed as an anti-insect coating. The robust and durable coating was developed...

Briefs: Test & Measurement

A novel tool was developed that allows users to qualify small-diameter bearings before incorporating them into components. The High-Sensitivity, Environmentally Isolated Bearing...

Briefs: Test & Measurement

The foodborne pathogen Escherichia coli O157 causes an estimated 73,000 illnesses and 60 deaths every year in the United States. Better safety tests could help avoid some of the illnesses...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
System Enables Robots to Understand Contextual Commands

Today’s robots can accomplish many repetitive tasks, but their inability to understand the nuances of human language makes them mostly useless for more complicated requests. For example, if a specific tool is placed in a toolbox and a robot is asked to “pick it up,” it would be...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Magnesium is 75 percent lighter than steel, 33 percent lighter than aluminum, and is the fourth most common element on Earth behind iron, silicon, and oxygen. But despite its light...

Briefs: Materials

Researchers at NASA have developed new methods to manufacture carbon materials (e.g., nanotubes, graphene) with holes through the graphitic surface of the particles. The...

Briefs: Test & Measurement

Wind turbine designers are working to provide blade designs that allow a turbine connected to the blades or rotor to effectively convert wind into electricity. The blades must also be...

Briefs: Imaging

Currently there is no reliable way to determine, during tumor-removal surgery, whether the excised tissue is completely cancer-free at its margins — the proof that...

Briefs: Test & Measurement

Measurement devices that can withstand the acid rains on Venus, radiation in space, and the heat of car engines are being developed to improve research in these extreme...

Briefs: Materials

Superconducting materials are technologically important because electricity flows through them without resistance. Only low-temperature superconductivity seemed possible before 1986,...

Briefs: Medical

A new chip device called Tissue Nano-transfection (TNT) can generate any cell type of interest for treatment within the patient’s own body. This technology may be used to repair injured...

Briefs: Software

Researchers have developed a method to quickly and accurately identify people and cell lines from their DNA. The software could be used to flag mislabeled or contaminated cell lines in cancer...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

High-voltage wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductor devices like 15-kV silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFETs have attracted attention because of potential applications in high-voltage and high-frequency power...

Briefs: Medical
LightCensor Software for Optimized Viewing of Medical Images

Because of improved display quality, the smartphone has been advocated by medical imaging vendors for viewing medical images in specific conditions that require urgency of results, or when full-sized workstation displays are not readily available. As a handheld device, the viewing...

Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition

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...

Briefs: Medical

Researchers have created biosensor technology for wearable devices that continuously analyzes sweat or blood for different types of biomarkers such as proteins that...

Briefs: Software
Discontinuous-Galerkin Spectral-Element Solver (Eddy)

Eddy is a fundamental research code for advancing spectral methods for complex geometry. The software is intended to enable researchers to collaborate through a common framework that supports three-dimensional simulations on practical problems. Areas of interest include advanced numerical...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Cryogenic and Non-Cryogenic Liquid Level Instrument

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center has developed a unique prototype for measuring the liquid level in a tank, employing a novel process. The technology can operate in a wide range of environments, including high and low temperatures and pressures, and is simpler and less expensive than other...

Briefs: Materials

A light foam was created from two-dimensional sheets of hexagonal-boron nitride (h-BN) that absorbs carbon dioxide. Freeze-drying h-BN turned it into a macro-scale foam that...

NASA Spinoff: Materials

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...

Briefs: Software
Data Compression and Pattern Recognition Software for Hypersensor Data

Historically, there have been various approaches to problems relating to the detection of small, weak, or hidden objects, substances, or patterns embedded in complex backgrounds. One approach has been to use low-dimensional sensor systems that attempt to detect a clean...

Application Briefs: Medical
Keysight Technologies
Santa Rosa, CA
www.keysight.com

Implantable medical biosensors are commonly used to treat health problems via the unobtrusive collection of...

Briefs: Medical
Portable Device for Rapid Detection of the Zika Virus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) listed more than 5,000 cases of the Zika virus in the U.S. from January 2015 to February 2017. The vast majority of those cases were travelers returning from affected areas. Florida has the highest number of cases of the Zika virus at 1,069...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A fundamental advance in controlling soft robots involves using magnetic fields to remotely manipulate microparticle chains embedded in soft robotic devices. Several devices have been developed...

Briefs: Software
Adjoint Error Estimation for Embedded-Boundary Cartesian Meshes for use with Cart3D

This technology provides means of estimating numerical errors in user-specified output functionals, such as lift or drag, for fluid flow simulations. The new method computes an improved estimate of the output (relative to the baseline simulation), an estimate of...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Evolving and Controlling Behaviors in a Computation-Free Robot Swarm

Flocks of birds, schools of fish, and colonies of ants exhibit a remarkable robustness and resilience, despite the limited capabilities of each individual. Recently, research into bio-inspired swarm robotics has been gaining popularity due to the low-cost, robust, redundant,...

Briefs: Test & Measurement

A component leak test apparatus investigates the performance of fittings at low temperature and/or high pressure. Its performance was quantified by measuring the ability to hold cold pressurized gaseous helium...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A collective rattling effect in a type of crystalline semiconductor was discovered to block most heat transfer while preserving high electrical conductivity — a rare pairing...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
High-Resolution, 3D Cell-Printing of Living Tissues

Printing high-resolution living tissues is difficult, as the cells often move within printed structures, and can collapse on themselves. A method of 3D-printing laboratory-grown cells to form living structures was developed that produces tissues in self-contained cells that support the...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Stress-Induced Nanofabrication

Currently, the synthesis of nanomaterials relies on special inter-particle chemical and physical reactions, which restricts their development. However, stress-induced nanofabrication can effectively render arrays of nanomaterials uniform in length, diameter, and density.

Briefs: Materials
Inorganic-Organic Hybrid Polymers for High-Temperature Applications

A new class of polymeric materials was developed with resistance to heat, dielectric breakdown, and oxidation at high temperatures. For applications that demand high temperature resistance coupled with greater strength, these polymers can be easily transformed into ceramics with...

Articles: Photonics/Optics

Four lasers can be used for micro welding: pulsed neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG), continuous wave (CW) fiber, quasi continuous wave (QCW) fiber, and nanosecond fiber. Each laser type...

Articles: Imaging

Two basic components make up the value added to a work piece by the micro-electric discharge machining (μEDM) process: form and surface finish....

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

Researchers at MIT and several other institutions have developed a method for making photonic devices — similar to electronic devices but based on light rather than electricity —...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

A growing safety concern for pilots and aircraft passengers is laser strikes, or the aiming of high-power laser pointers at aircraft. To address the present lack of effective...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

Spectral images, which contain more color information than is obtainable with a typical camera, reveal characteristics of tissue and other biological samples that can't be seen by...

Articles: Photonics/Optics

Whether it is the industrial smart robot in the age of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), using three-dimensional data to orient itself in its working space, the reverse vending machine counting empty bottles...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

A transfer technique based on thin sacrificial layers of boron nitride could allow high-performance gallium nitride gas sensors to be grown on sapphire substrates and then...

Products: Lighting
High-Speed Cameras

iX Cameras (Woburn, MA and Rochford, UK) has added a new, value-priced camera to the premium ultra-high-speed i-SPEED 7 Series line. The new i-SPEED 713...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

A new form of compact cooling technology developed for space astronomy could pave the way for use of advanced superconducting detectors for better cancer treatments, driverless...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

A well-designed thermal management system is critical to the life and performance of electric-drive vehicles (EDVs), hybrids (HEVs), plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), and all-electric vehicles (EVs). Temperature and...

Articles: Photonics/Optics

The SPIE Photonics West 2018 technical conference and exhibition returns to The Moscone Center in San Francisco, January 27 through February 1, offering attendees the opportunity to explore the latest...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

A new method for digital design and printing of stretchable, flexible electronics, called Hybrid 3D printing, was developed to integrate soft, conductive inks with a material substrate to...

Briefs: Medical

Infectious diseases remain the world’s top contributors to human death and disability, and with recent outbreaks of Zika virus infections, there is a keen need for...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

A new approach was developed that overcomes the limitation of conventional chip-testing methods on 3D chips, which include many thin horizontal “floors” connected to one another by vertical...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

To date, it has been difficult or impossible for most robotic and prosthetic hands to accurately sense the vibrations and shear forces that occur, for example, when a finger is sliding along a tabletop,...

Articles: Materials

Metal additive manufacturing is being embraced as a choice for parts production across many fields — including aerospace, automotive, healthcare, and other industries —...

Facility Focus: Sensors/Data Acquisition

The explosion of the first Soviet atomic bomb in August 1949, followed by the Soviet development of bombers that could traverse the Arctic Circle, created a...

Briefs: Imaging
Stereoscopic Imaging in Hypersonic Boundary Layers Using Planar Laser-Induced Fluorescence

Stereoscopic time-resolved visualization of three-dimensional structures in a hypersonic flow was performed for the first time in NASA Langley Research Center’s 31-inch Mach 10 Air Tunnel. Nitric oxide (NO) was seeded into hypersonic boundary layer flows...

Briefs: Imaging
Color-Changing Surface Tunable Through Electrical Voltage

Video screens are made up of hundreds of thousands of pixels that display different colors to form the images. With current technology, each of these pixels contains three subpixels — one red, one green, and one blue. A new method was developed to tune the color of the subpixels. The...

Products: Electronics & Computers

The BGA244 Binary Gas Analyzer from Stanford Research Systems, Sunnyvale, CA, continuously and non-invasively determines the ratio of gases in a binary mixture, or checks the purity of a single gas....

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Non-Destructive Additive Manufacturing Characterization Coupon

Additive manufacturing (AM) material assurance has relied upon traditional test coupons and testing methods that work well for wrought materials, but fail to address the unique and not as well-known characteristics of AM parts. A new standardized, integrated test coupon was designed...

Briefs: Medical
Methods for Characterizing Nonlinear Fields of a High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Source

Minimally invasive and non-invasive therapeutic ultrasound treatments can be used to ablate, necrotize, and/or otherwise damage tissue. High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), for example, is used to thermally or mechanically damage tissue. HIFU thermal...

Briefs: Software
AMMOS-PDS Pipeline Service (APPS)

APPS provides a multi-mission instrument data and metadata (i.e. label) transformation service that interfaces local or remote Mission Data provider’s data processing pipeline/end-products and the PDS (Planetary Data System) data archive to ensure compliance to standards in a schedule/cost-efficient manner...

Briefs: Imaging

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a high-resolution live imaging technique that can be used for early detection of retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration,...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Additive Manufacturing Facility for Utilization Primarily in Microgravity Environments

The purpose of this innovation is to create the ability to manufacture off Earth, primarily in a microgravity environment. This additive manufacturing facility (AMF) will have the capability to build tools, parts, experimental hardware, and upgrade hardware...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Joining of Ti, Mo, and Ni Terminated Thermoelectric Segments via Brazing

The joining of low- and high-temperature thermoelectric materials (with ZT optimized to specific temperature ranges) to each other in a segmented configuration can lead to enhanced device efficiency. The resulting joints between these materials must be both chemically and...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Engineers have invented a new architecture for quantum computing based on novel “flip-flop” qubits. The new chip design allows for a silicon quantum processor that can be...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A software system was developed that helps robots more effectively act on spoken instructions — no matter how abstract or specific those instructions may be — from people who...

Briefs: Materials
Process Turns Carbon Dioxide into 3D Graphene with Microporous Surface

The conversion of carbon dioxide to useful materials usually requires high energy input due to its ultrahigh stability. A heat-releasing reaction between carbon dioxide and sodium was developed to take carbon dioxide and turn it into 3D graphene with micropores across its...

Briefs: Software

From phone camera snapshots to life-saving medical scans, digital images play an important role in the way humans communicate information. But digital images are subject to a range of...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

As 3D printing has become a mainstream technology, studies have investigated printable structures that will fold themselves into useful three-dimensional shapes when heated...

Briefs: Imaging
Dual-Field-of-View Multiband Optics

Multi-spectral-band systems are steadily emerging as a desired feature in a camera system. Each spectral band offers different image characteristics. Shorter-wavelength spectral bands provide the potential for better resolution due to the smaller impact of diffraction on the size of the optics blur. This means...

5 Ws: Electronics & Computers
Learn the Who, What, Where, When, and Why of the Grid Friendly™ Charger Controller.
Q&A: Materials

Dr. Ahmed and scientists from NIST and American University are researching the use of metal organic frameworks...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control

Cornell University engineers have been experimenting with a new type of programming that mimics the mind of an insect.

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers
NASA challenged university students to create a deployable solar array for the Martian surface. See which "Big Ideas" impressed Bob Hodson, a leader of the space agency's Game Changing Development Program.
Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Have You Used Metal Additive Manufacturing?

Today's INSIDER featured a story about the growing role of metal additive manufacturing in industries like aerospace, automotive, and healthcare.

Blog: Materials
ORNL staff scientist Adam Rondinone explains how his team made the tiny toy.
INSIDER: Imaging

New software developed by BGU researchers enables standard cameras to capture hyperspectral images and video, which is a faster and more cost-efficient approach than...

INSIDER: Imaging

A team of researchers led by the University of California San Diego has for the first time observed nanoscale changes deep inside hybrid perovskite crystals...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory have developed germanium nanoparticles with improved photoluminescence, making them potentially better materials...

INSIDER Product: Imaging

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Imaging System

Edmund Optics® (EO) (Barrington, NJ) has introduced a new Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Imaging System from Lumedica,...

News: Manufacturing & Prototyping

As a critical component in patient healthcare, medical device manufacturing is highly regulated and requires the utmost attention to sanitation, safety, and biocompatibility. Used both...

News: Materials

Electropolishing is often referred to as a “reverse plating” process. Electrochemical in nature, electropolishing uses a combination of rectified current and a blended chemical electrolyte bath to remove flaws...

News: Medical

Orthopedic and cardiovascular implants are some of the most common medical devices manufactured today that demand high levels of biocompatibility. To ensure better patient...

News: Materials
In addition to electropolishing, other metal finishing capabilities include laser marking, which can be used to ensure compliance with the latest UDI requirements, and color anodizing, which can be used to improve part identification with vibrant hues.
News: Materials

Cutting tools, drills, and blades are critical devices used in surgical procedures. Blades used in surgical procedures must be free from burrs and laser slag and remain sharp for accurate cutting. Remaining burrs...

Blog: Energy
As electric vehicles take the road, a new kind of EV infrastructure has emerged to power them. A Tech Briefs reader asks our expert about an emerging, “smart” idea: Intelligent Charging.
Blog: Automotive
A Beverly Hills city official tells Tech Briefs how the city is changing its infrastructure to accommodate a growing number of electric vehicles.
INSIDER: Semiconductors & ICs

Creators of a new, M&M-sized wearable device aim to bring UV detection to users’ fingertips – or more precisely, fingernails.

Question of the Week: Transportation
Are cities ready for the arrival of electric autonomous vehicles?

In this week’s INSIDER, city official David Schirmer shared how Beverly Hills is preparing for the arrival of electric vehicles. Municipalities, he said, will require new kinds of smart traffic signals, charging stations, and changes to building codes. A Tech Briefs reader asked...

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
Farmers in Europe are increasingly turning to robotic weeders. A specialist from University of California, Davis tested out the technologies.
Blog: Aerospace
Introducing the New TechBriefs.com

Long-time readers of the site may have noticed this week that TechBriefs.com has a whole new look — a more visual, more scrollable design.

INSIDER: Semiconductors & ICs
For the first time ever, Columbia University engineers created “artificial graphene” in a semiconductor device.
Question of the Week: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Would you wear a fingernail UV sensor?

Last week’s INSIDER showcased a new UV wearable sensor from L'Oréal and Northwestern University engineers.

Blog: Sensors/Data Acquisition
In a Tech Briefs Q&A, professor and biosensor creator Albert Titus reviews the state of wearable sensor design.
Blog: Data Acquisition
In an increasingly mobile world, manufacturers want to keep an eye on their facilities and equipment – no matter how far away they are from their test fixture.
INSIDER: Imaging
A BYU professor and his team have found a way to take the 3D displays of science fiction and make them a reality.
Question of the Week: Data Acquisition
Have you implemented Bluetooth- or Internet-enabled data logging?

This week's INSIDER featured a story about one company's transition to Internet-enabled data logging. The deployed system allowed the repair center’s users to remotely analyze a part’s vibration measurements. We want to hear from you. Have you implemented Bluetooth- or...

INSIDER: Motion Control

Scientists have developed a novel electric propulsion technology for nanorobots. Traditional nanobots take minutes to carry out actions, sometimes even hours. Therefore, efficient molecular assembly...

Blog: Electronics & Computers

As the 2018 Winter Olympics are set to begin next week, creators of a moisture-managing ski jacket are literally going for the gold.

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