Briefs : Physical Sciences
Volcano Monitor: Autonomous Triggering of 'In-Situ' Sensors

In-situ sensors near volcanoes would be alerted by the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) craft to take more frequent data readings. This project involves developing a sulfur-dioxide-sensing volcano monitor that will be able to transmit its readings through an Iridium modem. The monitor, when...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Wireless Devices for Temperature Monitoring

The growth of wireless instrumentation technology has provided new ways to apply temperature measurement sensors, combined with personal computers, to collect, tabulate, and analyze data. For complex, multi-sensor applications, wireless devices provide a means to eliminate the nuisance of running...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Interference-Detection Module in a Digital Radar Receiver

A digital receiver in a 1.26-GHz spaceborne radar scatterometer now undergoing development includes a module for detecting radio-frequency interference (RFI) that could contam-inate scientific data intended to be acquired by the scatterometer. The role of the RFI-detection module is to...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Modal Vibration Analysis of Large Castings

The art of experimental modal vibration analysis (MVA) has been extended to apply to large castings. This extension was made to enable the use of experimental MVA as a relatively inexpensive, simple means of assessing the internal structural integrity of tread shoes of crawler transporters used to move...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Structural/Radiation-Shielding Epoxies

A development effort was directed toward formulating epoxy resins that are useful both as structural materials and as shielding against heavy-ion radiation. Hydrogen is recognized as the best element for absorbing heavy-ion radiation, and high- hydrogen-content polymers are now in use as shielding...

Briefs : Materials
Integrated Multilayer Insulation

Integrated multilayer insulation (IMLI) is being developed as an improved alternative to conventional multilayer insulation (MLI), which is more than 50 years old. A typical conventional MLI blanket comprises between 10 and 120 metallized polymer films separated by polyester nets. MLI is the best...

Articles : Medical
2008 Create the Future Design Contest Grand Winner

This year’s seventh annual NASA Tech Briefs “Create the Future Design Contest,” presented by Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp., recognized innovation in product design in six categories: Consumer Products, Machinery & Equipment, Medical, Safety & Security, Sustainable...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Determining Aliasing in Isolated Signal Conditioning Modules

Within a digital world, the parameters of real-world information (temperature, voltage, current, speed, flow, pressure, distance, etc.) used for process communications and control are analog in nature. Processing this information is achieved primarily using digital signal processing...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Apparatus for Screening Multiple Oxygen-Reduction Catalysts

An apparatus that includes an array of multiple electrodes has been invented as a means of simultaneously testing multiple materials for their utility as oxygen-reduction catalysts in fuel cells. The apparatus ensures comparability of test results by exposing all the catalyst-material...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Spectrum Analyzers Incorporating Tunable WGM Resonators

A photonic instrument is proposed to boost the resolution for ultraviolet/optical/infrared spectral analysis and spectral imaging allowing the detection of narrow (0.00007-to-0.07-picometer wavelength resolution range) optical spectral signatures of chemical elements in space and planetary...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Composite Bipolar Plate for Unitized Fuel Cell/Electrolyzer Systems

In a substantial improvement over present alkaline systems, an advanced hybrid bipolar plate for a unitized fuel cell/ electrolyzer has been developed. This design, which operates on pure feed streams (H2/O2 and water, respectively) consists of a porous...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Consumer Products Category Winner

Jim Jablonsky
J&M Associates
Hatfield, PA

This inexpensive and easily operated filter system removes heavy metals, arsenic, mercury, bad tastes, and offensive odors. It consists of a composite mixture of metal oxide, carbon, and zeolite multimedia that has been processed...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Quantum-Well Thermophotovoltaic Cells

Thermophotovoltaic cells containing multiple quantum wells have been invented as improved means of conversion of thermal to electrical energy. The semiconductor bandgaps of the quantum wells can be tailored to be narrower than those of prior thermophotovoltaic cells, thereby enabling the cells to convert...

Briefs : Information Technology
Bounded-Angle Iterative Decoding of LDPC Codes

Bounded-angle iterative decoding is a modified version of conventional iterative decoding, conceived as a means of reducing undetected- error rates for short low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes. For a given code, bounded- angle iterative decoding can be implemented by means of a simple...

Briefs : Information Technology
Conversion From Tree to Graph Representation of Requirements

A procedure and software to implement the procedure have been devised to enable conversion from a tree representation to a graph representation of the requirements governing the development and design of an engineering system. The need for this procedure and software and for other...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Parallel Hybrid Vehicle Optimal Storage System

A paper reports the results of a Hybrid Diesel Vehicle Project focused on a parallel hybrid configuration suitable for diesel-powered, medium-sized, commercial vehicles commonly used for parcel delivery and shuttle buses, as the missions of these types of vehicles require frequent stops. During...

Briefs : Medical
Anaerobic Digestion in a Flooded Densified Leachbed

A document discusses the adaptation of a patented biomass-digesting process, denoted sequential batch anaerobic composting (SEBAC), to recycling of wastes aboard a spacecraft. In SEBAC, high-solids-content biomass wastes are converted into methane, carbon dioxide, and compost.

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Machinery & Equipment Category Winner

Winner of an HP Workstation

Small-Area Thin-Film Heat Flux Sensor

Mahmoud Assaad
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
Akron, OH

This sensor is being used in tires of all types and sizes, and has also been applied to engineering products such as hoses, belts, and...

Articles : Medical
Medical Category Winner

Kristina Irsch Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute, Johns Hopkins University
School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD

Amblyopia, commonly known as “lazy eye,” is the leading cause of vision loss in childhood, caused by misalignment of the eyes (strabismus) or defocus. If treated early in...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Safety & Security Category Winner

Electronic Fog, Frost, and Ice Prevention Technology

Don Skomsky
Integrity Engineering, Inc.
West Chester, PA

This electronic device prevents condensation, frost, and ice from forming on any surface. It predicts when fog, frost, and/or ice is about to form on a surface (windows,...

Articles : Green Design & Manufacturing
Sustainable Technologies Category Winner

Lindsay Meek

Perth, Australia

This design improves the energy efficiency of a residential air conditioner by replacing the traditional reciprocating compressor (bore and stroke) with a higher efficiency permanent magnet motor coupled to a scroll compressor. Recent advances in permanent...

Articles : Transportation
Transportation Category Winner

Tai Chiem

Melbourne, Australia

Movito is a scooter based on an electric inwheel motor, a hubless front wheel, and a modular base system. It is designed for traveling short distances in and around the city.

One of the key technologies used to reduce harmful emissions is an in-wheel motor...

Application Briefs : Communications
Communications Systems Support NASA’s Unmanned Aircraft
Communications systems and support equipment
L-3 Communications Corp.
Communications Systems West
Salt Lake City, UT

NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, CA has chosen L-3 Communications Systems West to...

Application Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Handheld Labeler is Key to International Space Station’s Organizational System
PT-1880 handheld electronic labeler
Brother International
Bridgewater, NJ

In October 2007, the crew of NASA’s International Space Station (ISS) was having difficulty clarifying the often complex...

NASA Tech Needs
Advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics - Mesh Generation

NASA’s work in advanced aeronautics and space vehicle development relies on advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes such as FUN3D that rely on numerical solution of equations of motion over a discrete mesh of points in three dimensions. A judicious placement of points is...

P356 Low-Pressure Gage

Kavlico, a unit of Custom Sensors & Technologies, Moorpark, CA, has introduced the P356 low-pressure gage/differential pressure sensor for applications requiring an operational life in excess of 10 years. Available in pressure ranges of 0-0.5, 0-1, ±1, 0-3, and 0-5 PSI, the sensor provides a linear amplified voltage...

Product Simplification: Rediscover a Whole New Game

Product simplification is the discipline of merging the greatest performance functionality into the fewest number of parts using the most suitable and cost-effective materials and manufacturing processes. It is an engineering board game, in a way, answering questions about a design and seeing a...

Who's Who
Dr. Alexander Kashlinsky, Senior Staff Scientist, SSAI, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Dr. Alexander Kashlinsky is a principal investigator on several NASA and NSF grants studying topics related to cosmological bulk flows, cosmic microwave and infrared background radiation, and early stellar populations. Using the Wilkinson Microwave...

Techs for License
Green Sewage Treatment and Water Purification Technology

A green sewage treatment and water purification technology combines water with fertilizer and biomass production. The sustainable water treatment system produces biofuel and organic fertilizer, and extracts carbon from the atmosphere. No electric power is required for sewage treatment,...

Techs for License
Odor Removal From Recycled Plastics

This technology removes odors from recycled plastics, especially high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Odors absorbed from household or industrial liquids do not affect physical properties of the polymer, but make the recycled plastic unsuitable for consumer goods. Trace amounts of polyethylene imines blended with...

Technology Leaders