News
New Tool Analyzes Solar Cell Materials

To make a silicon solar cell, you start with a slice of highly purified silicon crystal, and then process it through several stages involving gradual heating and cooling. But figuring out the tradeoffs involved in selecting the purity level of the starting silicon wafer — and then exactly how much to heat...

News
Researchers Simulate Burning and Detonation of Transportable Explosives

All across America, trucks and tractor-trailers are transporting industrial explosives such as munitions, rocket motors, and dynamite on nearly every artery of the country’s interstate and highway system. America’s track record in transporting these materials is about as...

News: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Touted as possible first responders, insect cyborgs could be the research community's next big breakthrough. Researchers from Case Western Reserve University have discovered that an insect's...

News
Heart-Powered Pacemaker Harvests Energy from Heartbeat Reverberation

Engineering researchers at the University of Michigan designed a device that harvests energy from the reverberation of heartbeats through the chest and converts it to electricity to run a pacemaker or an implanted defibrillator. These mini-medical machines send electrical...

News
Self-Healing Hydrogels Bind in Seconds

University of California, San Diego bioengineers have developed a self-healing hydrogel that binds in seconds, like Velcro, and forms a bond strong enough to withstand repeated stretching. The material has numerous potential applications, including medical sutures, targeted drug delivery, industrial...

Question of the Week
Are there risks in 'hacking' our own biology?

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (TDCS), a deep brain stimulation technique, uses electrodes to direct tiny painless currents across the brain. The currents are thought to improve the firing of neurons and the forming of connections that enable learning. The technique has shown potential in...

News
Create Without the Wait: Design and Render, Design and Simulate

What if design engineers could work with and interact with assemblies with real-time feedback on the structural dynamics acting on the components? What if physics simulations, which currently take hours or days to compute, had so much processing power available that they can be...

News
NVIDIA and Dell Propel Trek to Racing Success

The universal challenges faced by bike manufacturer Trek in creating a new-generation racing bike apply to many companies today: Create products that are sturdy yet use lightweight materials, spot design defects earlier in the design phase, and reduce time from sketch to physical prototype. Trek used...

News: Energy

Offshore wind is an enormous potential resource for the United States - with strong, consistent winds located in the Atlantic, Pacific, the Great Lakes, and the Gulf of Mexico. As part of a planned...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Portable Fourier Transform Spectroscopy for Analysis of Surface Contamination and Quality Control

Progress has been made into adapting and enhancing a commercially available infrared spectrometer for the development of a handheld device for in-field measurements of the chemical composition of various samples of materials. The intent is to...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
'In Situ' Geochemical Analysis and Age Dating of Rocks Using Laser Ablation-Miniature Mass Spectrometer

A miniaturized instrument for performing chemical and isotopic analysis of rocks has been developed. The rock sample is ablated by a laser and the neutral species produced are analyzed using the JPL-invented miniature mass spectrometer. The...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

An ultimate goal of the climate change, snow science, and hydrology communities is to measure snow water equivalent (SWE) from satellite measurements....

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Photogrammetry Tool for Forensic Analysis

A system allows crime scene and accident scene investigators the ability to acquire visual scene data using cameras for processing at a later time. This system uses a COTS digital camera, a photogrammetry calibration cube, and 3D photogrammetry processing software.

Briefs: Software
Doppler Lidar Signal Processing Suite (DLiSPS)

DLiSPS is a collection of software modules that processes lidar data and displays/archives the output products. It has the same features as the real-time version written in C++, except the hardware control capability, with many other functionalities for off-line lidar signal processing. DLiSPS is...

Briefs: Information Technology
Physics Mining of Multi-Source Data Sets

Powerful new parallel data mining algorithms can produce diagnostic and prognostic numerical models and analyses from observational data. These techniques yield higher-resolution measures than ever before of environmental parameters by fusing synoptic imagery and time-series measurements. These techniques...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

The CoNNeCT Global Positioning System RF Module (GPSM) slice is part of the JPL CoNNeCT Software Defined Radio (SDR). CoNNeCT is the Communications, Navigation, and Networking reconfigurable...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

As NASA embarks upon developing the Next-Generation Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) Radio for deep space exploration, the demands on EVA battery life will substantially increase. The number of modes and...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Simple Cell Balance Circuit

A method has been developed for continuous cell voltage balancing for rechargeable batteries (e.g. lithium ion batteries). A resistor divider chain is provided that generates a set of voltages representing the ideal cell voltage (the voltage of each cell should be as if the cells were perfectly balanced). An...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Previous development testbeds have assumed that the developer was physically present in front of the hardware being used. No provision for remote operation of basic functions...

Briefs: Software
3D Visualization for Phoenix Mars Lander Science Operations

Planetary surface exploration missions present considerable operational challenges in the form of substantial communication delays, limited communication windows, and limited communication bandwidth. A 3D visualization software was developed and delivered to the 2008 Phoenix Mars Lander...

Briefs: Software
System-of-Systems Technology-Portfolio- Analysis Tool

Advanced Technology Life-cycle Analysis System (ATLAS) is a system-of-systems technology-portfolio-analysis software tool. ATLAS affords capabilities to (1) compare estimates of the mass and cost of an engineering system based on competing technological concepts; (2) estimate life-cycle costs...

Briefs: Software
VESGEN Software for Mapping and Quantification of Vascular Regulators

VESsel GENeration (VESGEN) Analysis is an automated software that maps and quantifies effects of vascular regulators on vascular morphology by analyzing important vessel parameters. Quantification parameters include vessel diameter, length, branch points, density, and fractal...

Briefs: Software
Constructing a Database From Multiple 2D Images for Camera Pose Estimation and Robot Localization

The LMDB (Landmark Database) Builder software identifies persistent image features (“landmarks”) in a scene viewed multiple times and precisely estimates the landmarks’ 3D world positions. The software receives as input multiple 2D images of...

Briefs: Software
Adaption of G-TAG Software for Validating Touch and Go Asteroid Sample Return Design Methodology

A software tool is used to demonstrate the feasibility of Touch and Go (TAG) sampling for Asteroid Sample Return missions. TAG is a concept whereby a spacecraft is in contact with the surface of a small body, such as a comet or asteroid, for a few...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Carbon Nanotube Bonding Strength Enhancement Using Metal “Wicking” Process

Carbon nanotubes grown from a surface typically have poor bonding strength at the interface. A process has been developed for adding a metal coat to the surface of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) through a “wicking” process, which could lead to an enhanced bonding...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Germanium Lift-Off Masks for Thin Metal Film Patterning

A technique has been developed for patterning thin metallic films that are, in turn, used to fabricate microelectronics circuitry and thin-film sensors. The technique uses germanium thin films as lift-off masks. This requires development of a technique to strip or undercut the germanium...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Multi-Layer Far- Infrared Component Technology

A method has been developed for fabricating high-reflectivity, multi-layer optical films for the terahertz wavelength region. A silicon mirror with 99.997-percent reflectivity at 70 μm wavelength requires an air gap of 17.50 μm, and a silicon thickness of 5.12 μm. This approach obtains...

Briefs: Materials
Sealing Materials for Use in Vacuum at High Temperatures

Sealing materials that can be applied and left in place in vacuum over a wide range of temperatures (especially temperatures of a few thousand degrees Celsius) have been conceived and investigated for potential utility in repairing thermal-protection tiles on the space shuttles in orbit...

Briefs: Materials
Radiation Shielding System Using a Composite of Carbon Nanotubes Loaded With Electropolymers

Single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) coated with a hydrogen-rich, electrically conducting polymer such as polyethylene, receive and dissipate a portion of incoming radiation pulse energy to electrical signals that are transmitted along the CNT axes, and...

Videos