October 2013

Quality knives are typically fabricated from high-strength steel alloys. Depending on the application, there are different requirements for...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
High-Pressure Lightweight Thrusters

Returning samples of Martian soil and rock to Earth is of great interest to scientists. There were numerous studies to evaluate Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission architectures, technology needs, development plans, and requirements. The largest propulsion risk element of the MSR mission is the Mars Ascent...

Recently, additive manufacturing (AM) techniques have been developed that may shift the paradigm of traditional metal production by allowing complex netshaped...

Briefs: Materials
Ambient Dried Aerogels

A method has been developed for creating aerogel using normal pressure and ambient temperatures. All spacecraft, satellites, and landers require the use of thermal insulation due to the extreme environments encountered in space and on extraterrestrial bodies. Ambient dried aerogels introduce the possibility of using...

Briefs: Materials
Passivation of Flexible YBCO Superconducting Current Lead With Amorphous SiO2 Layer

Adiabatic demagnetization refrigerators (ADR) are operated in space to cool detectors of cosmic radiation to a few 10s of mK. A key element of the ADR is a superconducting magnet operating at about 0.3 K that is continually energized and de-energized in...

This invention is a new approach to designing foil bearings to increase their load capacity and improve their reliability through passive thermal management....

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Propellant-Flow-Actuated Rocket Engine Igniter

A rocket engine igniter has been created that uses a pneumatically driven hammer that, by specialized geometry, is induced into an oscillatory state that can be used to either repeatedly impact a piezoelectric crystal with sufficient force to generate a spark capable of initiating combustion, or can...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Unibody Composite Pressurized Structure

An integrated, generic unibody composite pressurized structure (UCPS) combined with a positive expulsion device (PED), consisting of an elastomeric bladder for monopropellant hydrazine, has been quasi-standardized for spacecraft use. The combination functions as an all-composite, nonmetallic, propellant...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Lightweight Liquid Helium Dewar for High-Altitude Balloon Payloads

Astrophysical observations at millimeter wavelengths require large (2-to-5- meter diameter) telescopes carried to altitudes above 35 km by scientific research balloons. The scientific performance is greatly enhanced if the telescope is cooled to temperatures below 10 K with no...

In popular perception, the vastness of space is an empty vacuum dotted with stars, planets, black holes, and other celestial formations. In reality, astrophysicists have shown...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
JWST Integrated Science Instrument Module Alignment Optimization Tool

During cryogenic vacuum testing of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM), the global alignment of the ISIM with respect to the designed interface of the JWST optical telescope element (OTE) will be measured through a series of...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Radar Range Sidelobe Reduction Using Adaptive Pulse Compression Technique

Pulse compression has been widely used in radars so that low-power, long RF pulses can be transmitted, rather than a high-power short pulse. Pulse compression radars offer a number of advantages over high-power short pulsed radars, such as no need of highpower RF...

SweepSAR, a novel radar architecture that depends on a DBF (digital beamforming) array, requires calibration accuracies that are order(s) of magnitude...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Electro-Optic Time-to-Space Converter for Optical Detector Jitter Mitigation

A common problem in optical detection is determining the arrival time of a weak optical pulse that may comprise only one to a few photons. Currently, this problem is solved by using a photodetector to convert the optical signal to an electronic signal. The timing of the...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Partially Transparent Petaled Mask/Occulter for Visible-Range Spectrum

The presence of the Poisson Spot, also known as the spot of Arago, has been known since the 18th century. This spot is the consequence of constructive interference of light diffracted by the edge of the obstacle where the central position can be determined by symmetry of the...

Aircraft performance can be compromised when ice forms on aircraft surfaces such as the wings, nacelles, sensors, and control systems. This can cause safety issues due to significant changes...

Briefs: Information Technology
Educational NASA Computational and Scientific Studies (enCOMPASS)

Educational NASA Computational and Scientific Studies (enCOMPASS) is an educational project of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center aimed at bridging the gap between computational objectives and needs of NASA’s scientific research, missions, and projects, and academia’s latest...

Briefs: Information Technology
Coarse-Grain Bandwidth Estimation Scheme for Large-Scale Network

A large-scale network that supports a large number of users can have an aggregate data rate of hundreds of Mbps at any time. High-fidelity simulation of a large-scale network might be too complicated and memory-intensive for typical commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) tools. Unlike a...

Briefs: Information Technology
Detection of Moving Targets Using Soliton Resonance Effect

The objective of this research was to develop a fundamentally new method for detecting hidden moving targets within noisy and cluttered data-streams using a novel “soliton resonance” effect in nonlinear dynamical systems.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
High-Efficiency Nested Hall Thrusters for Robotic Solar System Exploration

This work describes the scaling and design attributes of Nested Hall Thrusters (NHT) with extremely large operational envelopes, including a wide range of throttleability in power and specific impulse at high efficiency (>50%). NHTs have the potential to provide the...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
High-Voltage Clock Driver for Photon-Counting CCD Characterization

A document discusses the CCD97 from e2v technologies as it is being evaluated at Goddard Space Flight Center’s Detector Characterization Laboratory (DCL) for possible use in ultra-low background noise space astronomy applications, such as Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph...

Briefs: Information Technology
Development of the Code RITRACKS

A document discusses the code RITRACKS (Relativistic Ion Tracks), which was developed to simulate heavy ion track structure at the microscopic and nanoscopic scales. It is a Monte- Carlo code that simulates the production of radiolytic species in water, eventby- event, and which may be used to simulate tracks and...

Question of the Week
Will 3D Printing Be a Feasible Way to Build Beyond Earth?

In an attempt to build dwellings on Mars, Russian architects, ZA, have proposed a series of robots that would identify weak areas in the Martian soil, carve them out, and then, using a process similar to that of structural 3D printing, create interior structures using the leftover soil...

Worldwide an estimated 185 million people use a wheelchair daily. A company based in Auckland, New Zealand, has developed an innovative robotic technology that helps people with mobility...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Feedback Sensors Keep Servomotors on Target

Fundamentally, a servo system can perform no more accurately than the accuracy of the feedback device controlling it. In addition, errors in speed or position can be introduced into the system by...

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Handling Delicate Materials

Special care needs to be taken when handling delicate materials used in medical applications. Small diameters provide increased flexibility needed for long-flex-life applications such as cardiac catheter wires....

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Gearboxes

The i-series planetary gearboxes from Groschopp (Sioux Center, IA) are available with AC, PMDC, and brushless motors, and are made of cast aluminum. They are offered with up to three stages of steel cut or optional plastic gears,...

Products: Motion Control
Machine Design Software

CD-adapco (Melville, NY) offers two connected simulation programs, SPEED and STAR-CCM+, for machine design. The SPEED tool is used to design motors, generators, and alternators; STAR-CCM+ is a heat transfer and...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Electric Actuators

Warner Linear (Belvidere, IL) has announced the ITrack linear actuators for light- and medium-duty applications where parallel motor type actuators won’t fit in limited space requirements. The actuators feature a release...

Products: Motion Control
Torque Control Hinges

Reell Precision Manufacturing (St. Paul, MN) offers the TI-100 and TI-200 Series torque control hinges that provide pivoting capabilities without the standard appearance of conventional hinges. Depending on model, the...

Products: Motion Control
Gearmotors

Applimotion (Loomis, CA) has introduced custom gearmotors for high-torque, low-speed, and low-profile applications. The assemblies combine gearing and direct drive frameless motor kits. The ULT, UTH, and UTS low-profile frameless...

Products: Motion Control
Stepper Motor Driver

Lin Engineering (Morgan Hill, CA) offers the R1025 stepper motor driver that can be used with stepper motors ranging from NEMA 8 to NEMA 42. The driver is capable of output currents ranging from 0.8 to 10 amps peak while...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
DC Compressor

Designed for air seats, light-duty air suspension, and other mobile applications, the Thomas 135 Series DC WOB-L® compressor from Thomas Division, a Gardner Denver Company (Sheboygan, WI), is a compact, lightweight...

Products: Motion Control
DC Accelerometer

Measurement Specialties (Hampton, VA) has introduced a rugged, triaxial DC accelerometer for steady-state, low-g vibration measurements and high-g transient shock measurements. The piezoresistive, MEMSbased Model 3803A...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Encoders

Heidenhain Corp. (Schaumburg, IL) offers the Leine & Linde DRIVE-CLiQ encoder platform for operation in harsh drive environments where they are exposed to vibration, shock, and mechanical loads. The encoder can be installed to...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Torque Transducers

HBM (Marlborough, MA) offers the T40B and T40FM torque transducers that include an integrated speed measurement system. They are designed to work in harsh environments such as those that contain humidity, condensation,...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Actuators

Zero-Max (Plymouth, MN) offers Roh’lix® linear actuators made from stainless steel for use where cleanliness is a priority. Used to convert rotary motion to linear travel, the actuators carry loads at speeds up to 70...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Motor Stages

The PlanarDL-series stages from Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) are available in nine different travel and performance configuration applications ranging from high-accuracy surface profilometry to high-speed semiconductor and...

While charge-coupled device (CCD) and complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensors perform similar functions — collecting light (photons) and converting those...

Application Briefs: Aerospace
Spacesuit Simulator Meets NASA Training Needs

Aurora Flight Sciences delivered a completed Space Suit Simulator (S3) to NASA following the successful completion of a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) effort.

Application Briefs: Aerospace
Video Wall Improves Collaboration

The renovated Payload Operations Integration Center, part of the Huntsville, AL-based Marshall Space Flight Center, features a new video wall. The wall includes a 2 × 12 array of monitors that uses RGB...

Application Briefs: Aerospace
Thrusters Support GOES-R Satellite Series

Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp company, has shipped the first set of four solar electric propulsion thrusters to Lockheed Martin at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. Lockheed Martin will...

In the winter of 2009, Washington, DC workers faced the prospect of a difficult commute due to record-setting snowfall. But thousands of the city’s Metrorail riders found the public transportation...

Techs for License: Materials
Zeolite Production Method Removes Soil Pollutants

X-type zeolites use an ion-exchange mechanism to capture and retain heavy metals for soil and water remediation. Zeolites are hydrated aluminosilicate minerals characterized by a three-dimensional open structure. Their cation exchange capacity (CEC), large surface area, and porosity allow the...

Techs for License: Semiconductors & ICs
Low-Loss Dielectric Materials Improve PC Boards

Low-loss dielectric materials are available. The hydrocarbon- based, fiber-reinforced composite sheets can be applied to printed circuit boards and IC chip packaging. The material has a very low dielectric constant and low dissipation factor up to GHz range frequencies, and is advantageous for...

Tech Needs
Insect Processing Technologies for Chicken Feed

The growing scarcity of resources to produce increasingly demanded ingredients, such as soybean meal and animal protein meals, has doubled feed costs in the recent years. Thus, alternative protein sources, including insects, are urgently needed. Insects must be introduced in the feed chain, and...

Tech Needs
New Synthetic Nematicides

Nematodes are among the most damaging crop pests. Very few available chemical nematicides can affect control, and some options are restricted by the Environmental Protection Agency and similar bodies. Nematodes damage plant roots, and reduce the plant’s ability to take up water and nutrients. The need is great to...

Dr. Leslie Bebout works as a microbial ecologist in the Exobiology Branch at NASA’s Moffett Field, CA-based Ames Research Center. She and her colleagues study...

Podcasts
Dr. Leslie Bebout, Microbial Ecologist, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Dr. Leslie Bebout works as a microbial ecologist in the Exobiology Branch at NASA’s Moffett Field, CA-based Ames Research Center. She and her colleagues study the complexities of carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen cycling in early Earth and Mars analog microbial...

A sensor has been demonstrated that can measure distance over a total range of about 300 microns to an accuracy of about 0.1 nm (resolution of about 0.01 nm). This represents an...

Due to limited resources available for power and space for payloads, miniaturizing and integrating instrumentation is a high priority for addressing the challenges...

Briefs: Information Technology
Commercial Non-Dispersive Infrared Spectroscopy Sensors for Sub-Ambient Carbon Dioxide Detection

Carbon dioxide produced through respiration can accumulate rapidly within closed spaces. If not managed, a crew’s respiratory rate increases, head aches and hyperventilation occur, vision and hearing are affected, and cognitive abilities decrease....

While a variety of techniques exist to monitor trace gases, methods relying on absorption of laser light are the most commonly used in terrestrial applications....

Briefs: Software
Mission Data System Java Edition Version 7

The Mission Data System framework defines closed-loop control system abstractions from State Analysis including interfaces for state variables, goals, estimators, and controllers that can be adapted to implement a goal-oriented control system. The framework further provides an execution environment that...

Briefs: Software
Adaptive Distributed Environment for Procedure Training (ADEPT)

ADEPT (Adaptive Distributed Environment for Procedure Training) is designed to provide more effective, flexible, and portable training for NASA systems controllers. When creating a training scenario, an exercise author can specify a representative rationale structure using the...

Briefs: Software
LEGEND, a LEO-to-GEO Environment Debris Model

LEGEND (LEO-to-GEO Environment Debris model) is a three-dimensional orbital debris evolutionary model that is capable of simulating the historical and future debris populations in the near- Earth environment. The historical component in LEGEND adopts a deterministic approach to mimic the known...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Millimeter-Wave Localizers for Aircraft-to-Aircraft Approach Navigation

Aerial refueling technology for both manned and unmanned aircraft is critical for operations where extended aircraft flight time is required. Existing refueling assets are typically manned aircraft, which couple to a second aircraft through the use of a refueling boom....

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
SpaceCube Version 1.5

SpaceCube 1.5 is a high-performance and low-power system in a compact form factor. It is a hybrid processing system consisting of CPU (central processing unit), FPGA (field-programmable gate array), and DSP (digital signal processor) processing elements. The primary processing engine is the Virtex-5 FX100T FPGA, which has...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Impedance Discontinuity Reduction Between High-Speed Differential Connectors and PCB Interfaces

High-speed serial communication (i.e., Gigabit Ethernet) requires differential transmission and controlled impedances. Impedance control is essential throughout cabling, connector, and circuit board construction.

News
Army Works To Develop New Combat Headgear

In their quest for better helmet technologies to keep soldiers and marines safe on the battlefield, researchers at Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center are making a "HEaDS-UP" play.

News
Engineers 'Program' DNA Molecules

Similar to using Python or Java to write code for a computer, chemists soon could be able to use a structured set of instructions to “program” how DNA molecules interact in a test tube or cell.

News
Manufacturing Improvements Yield Lighter Body Armor

Soldiers facing rugged terrain and extreme temperatures are continually searching for ways to reduce the weight of their gear. In a search for solutions to this persistent issue, U.S. Army scientists and engineers have preliminarily demonstrated body armor that is 10 percent lighter through new...

News: Medical
Breakthrough in Low-Cost, Automated Chemotherapy Treatment Wins $20,000 Global Design Competition

New York, NY – ChemoPatch, a low-cost, disposable, electronic patch-based cancer chemotherapy device designed to be simple, automated, and easy-to-use by cancer patients outside of the hospital, has been awarded the grand prize of $20,000 in the...

Blog
Good News and Bad News

The bad news: the U.S. Government is shut down.

The good news: the deadline has been extended to enter the Speed2Design Exploration & Discovery contest for a visit to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

In August, I was able to attend the Speed2Design event at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California, and...

Question of the Week
Should Electronic Devices Be Used During Takeoffs and Landings?

A government advisory panel urged the Federal Aviation Administration to ease the long-standing ban on using the devices during takeoffs and landings. Since the curbs were put in place, airliners have been made more resistant to electronic interference, and many have their own...

News
Modular Robotic Cubes Self-Assemble

Small cubes with no exterior moving parts can propel themselves forward, jump on top of each other, and snap together to form arbitrary shapes.

News
New Steering Technology Saves Fuel and Improves Efficiency

Researchers at Purdue University have shown how to reduce fuel consumption while improving the efficiency of hydraulic steering systems in heavy construction equipment. The new approach incorporates several innovations: It eliminates valves now needed to direct the flow of hydraulic...

News
The Ship That Waves Won’t Rock

A new ship makes it easier to find one’s sea legs, thanks to opposing waves created in specially designed tanks fitted in the hull. The ship will house personnel working on offshore installations, and is optimized to provide the best possible comfort when moored adjacent to a platform.

The integrated...

Question of the Week
Do the Benefits of Car Connectivity Outweigh the Drawbacks?

Car-to car and car-to-infrastructure communication, which uses Wi-Fi and cellular technologies to inform drivers of any obstacles in the road, is advancing. Technologies like V2X can be used to deliver warnings to other drivers if, for example, a car has crashed or broken down in the...

News
Army advances standardized tactical computer

In combat and tactical vehicles, soldiers can access communications systems that display a complete picture of the battlefield. However, these high-tech situational awareness features are viewed through different computer systems, over separate monitors and with little room to spare. Now the Army is...

News
Future Soldiers Will Have Flexible Electronics Everywhere

More than 10 years ago, U.S. Army researchers saw potential in flexible displays. With nothing in the marketplace, the Army decided to change that by partnering with industry and academia to create the Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University. The Army's goal was to get this...

INSIDER Product: Electronics & Computers
Closed-Loop I²S Audio Amplifiers

Texas Instruments (TI) (Dallas, TX) has introduced a family of four digital-input, closed-loop I2S amplifiers for mid-power stereo audio applications including TVs, soundbars, portable docking...

INSIDER Product: Electronics & Computers
Projected Capacitive (PCAP) Touch Panel

(Dallas, TX) has announced the addition of an 18.5-inch projected capacitive (PCAP) touch panel to the Crystal Touch: TRUE Multi-Touch PLUS standard product line. Crystal Touch: TRUE Multi-Touch PLUS...

INSIDER Product: Electronics & Computers
Power MOSFETs

Mouser Electronics, Inc. (Mansfield, TX) now stocks International Rectifier’s (IR) family of AEC-Q101 Automotive qualified 40V N-channel MOSFETs, featuring IR’s proven Gen12.7 trench technology with ultra-low...

INSIDER Product: Electronics & Computers
OpenVPX(R) 40G Ethernet + InfiniBand(R) Switch Card

Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions (Ashburn, VA), a business group of Curtiss-Wright Controls, has introduced the newest member of its Fabric40(TM) family of extremely high-speed 40...

A Kansas State University chemical engineer has discovered that a new member of the ultrathin materials family has great potential to improve electronic and thermal...

A team of Stanford engineers has built a basic computer using carbon nanotubes, a semiconductor material that has the potential to launch a new generation of electronic devices...

News
Biobot Swarms Map Unknown Environments

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed software that allows them to map unknown environments – such as collapsed buildings – based on the movement of a swarm of insect cyborgs, or “biobots.”

Question of the Week
Would You Use Headphones That Play Music Based on Your Mood?

Microsoft is researching earbuds that play music based on your mood. The "Septimu" headphones contain internal measurement units (IMUs), a thermometer, and a heart rate monitor. The headphones will also detect posture, keep a health diary, and monitor exercise patterns. A...

News
Nanoscale Textures Generate Water-Repellent Surfaces

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory investigated the effects of differently shaped, nanoscale textures on a material's ability to force water droplets to roll off without wetting its surface. The findings are highly relevant for a broad range of...

News
New Sensor Could Extend Life of High-Temperature Engines

A temperature sensor developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge could improve the efficiency, control, and safety of high-temperature engines. The sensor minimizes drift -- degradation of the sensor that results in faulty temperature readings and reduces the longevity of...

News
Measuring System Enables Wind Farms and Radar to Coexist

Researchers have developed a measuring system which, hanging from a helicopter, detects the electric field strength as well as the signal contents of air-traffic control navigation systems. The data could be used in the planning phase of wind farms to find out to what extent the planned...

News
Experimental Spaceplane Aims for Aircraft-Like Operation in Orbit

The current generation of satellite launch vehicles is expensive to operate, often costing hundreds of millions of dollars per flight. To help address these challenges, DARPA has established the Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) program. The program aims to develop a fully reusable...

News
Researchers Add Fourth Dimension to Printing

Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have successfully added a fourth dimension to their printing technology, opening up exciting possibilities for the creation and use of adaptive, composite materials in manufacturing, packaging and biomedical applications.

News
NASA Crowdsourcing Finds New Uses for Patented Technologies

NASA has joined forces with the product development startup Marblar for a pilot program allowing the public to crowdsource product ideas for forty of NASA’s patents. This initiative will allow Marblar’s online community to use a portion of NASA’s diverse portfolio of patented...

News
Paper-Based Device Could Bring Medical Testing to Remote Areas

In remote regions of the world where electricity is hard to come by and scientific instruments are even scarcer, conducting medical tests at a doctor’s office or medical lab is rarely an option. Scientists are now reporting progress toward an inexpensive point-of-care, paper-based...

News
Lightweight Test Kit Lets Soldiers Screen for Explosives

A small, easy-to-use, lightweight explosive screening kit continues to move forward towards full fielding as a means to provide soldiers in the field with the capability to screen for suspected homemade explosive materials (HME). Using colorimetric chemistry, the Colorimetric...

Question of the Week
If You Had the Opportunity, Would You Take a Ride to near Space?

World View Enterprises will offer $75,000 helium balloon rides into “near space," allowing people to ride higher than 98,000 feet above Earth’s atmosphere.

News
Curiosity Instrument Confirms Mars Origin of Some Meteorites

Examination of the Martian atmosphere by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover confirms that some meteorites that have dropped to Earth really are from the Red Planet. A key new measurement of the inert gas argon in Mars' atmosphere by Curiosity's laboratory provides the most definitive evidence...

News
Wireless Test System Gives Advance Warning of Landslides

Using technology found in cellphones, inexpensive sensors might one day soon save lives by giving advance warning of deadly landslides in at-risk areas around the world. The wireless test sensors are installed around an active landslide zone.

MakerBot, Brooklyn, NY, has introduced the MakerBot® Digitizer™ Desktop 3D Scanner for creating 3D models. The scanner takes a real-life object, scans it using a camera...

Question of the Week
Will Self-Erasing Chips Catch On?

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Metal Injection Molding’s Role in Automotive

Upcoming Webinars: Materials

Technical Ceramics: The Powerhouse of Advanced Materials

Upcoming Webinars: Software

PPAP Reviews Using AI and Machine Learning

Upcoming Webinars: Motion Control

Customizing Actuators Using COTS Drive Components for Martian...

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

2020 Create the Future Contest Awards

Upcoming Webinars: RF & Microwave Electronics

Advancement of Spectrum Analysis Techniques for Tracking,...

Trending Stories

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Integrity Sensing With Smart Polymers and Rubber Components on Vehicles

Q&A: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Q&A: NanoLED Architecture Overcomes Efficiency Droop

Articles: Green Design & Manufacturing

Driving Growth and Innovation With Sustainable Design

Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Deep Learning in Machine Vision

Application Briefs: Software

Using the IoT for Predictive Maintenance

Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Researchers Prove Their Elastic Exosuit Eases Back Stress

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