The 2007 NASA Tech Briefs (NTB) and Photonics Tech Briefs (PTB) Readers’ Choice Product of the Year Awards were presented recently by the editors of NTB and PTB at an awards...

A family of polymer/ carbon films has been developed for use as sensory films in electronic noses for detecting SO2 gas at concentrations as low as 1 part per million...

Briefs: Materials
Organic/Inorganic Polymeric Composites for Heat-Transfer Reduction

Organic/inorganic polymeric composite materials have been invented with significant reduction in heat-transfer properties. Measured decreases of 20–50 percent in thermal conductivity versus that of the unmodified polymer matrix have been attained. These novel composite...

Briefs: Materials
Composite Cathodes for Dual-Rate Li-Ion Batteries

Composite-material cathodes that enable Li-ion electrochemical cells and batteries to function at both high energy densities and high discharge rates are undergoing development. Until now, using commercially available cathode materials, it has been possible to construct cells that have either...

A nickel-based superalloy that resists embrittlement by hydrogen more strongly than does nickel alloy 718 has been developed. Nickel alloy 718 is the most widely used superalloy. It...

Briefs: Materials
Chemical Passivation of Li⁺-Conducting Solid Electrolytes

Plates of a solid electrolyte that exhibits high conductivity for positive lithium ions can now be passivated to prevent them from reacting with metallic lithium. Such passivation could enable the construction and operation of high-performance, long-life lithium-based rechargeable...

Spherical Sensor Configurations (SSC) have been designed for detecting and tracking signals in three dimensions. The Spherical Sensor Configurations offer distinct...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Improved Descent-Rate Limiting Mechanism

An improved braking cable-payout mechanism has been developed. Like other such mechanisms, this mechanism can be used as a braking or shock-absorbing device for any of a variety of purposes — for...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Alignment-Insensitive Lower-Cost Telescope Architecture

This architecture features an active wavefront sensing and control scheme along with methods for measuring the relative positions of the primary to aft optics, such as the secondary mirror, and should enable larger and cheaper telescope architectures needed for future applications. This...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Miniature Latching Valve

A miniature latching valve has been invented to satisfy a need for an electrically controllable on/off pneumatic valve that is lightweight and compact and remains in the most recently commanded open or closed state...

Immersive CAVE™ display system
Mechdyne Corp.
Marshalltown, IA
641-754-4649
www.mechdyne.com

Mechdyne Corporation has installed a CAVE™ display system...

LDRA tool suite
LDRA
San Bruno, CA
650-583-8880
www.ldra.com

Aimed at safely transferring astronauts to and from the International Space Station...

Articles: Software
Innovation Begets Innovation
By Robert “Buzz” Kross
Senior Vice President of
the Manufacturing Division
Autodesk
San Rafael, CA

Innovation is a way of life at Autodesk. Since our introduction of AutoCAD software...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Micro-Resistojet for Small Satellites

An efficient micro- resistojet has been developed with thrust in the millinewton level, with a specific impulse of approximately 250 seconds and power input of 20 watts or less that is useful for applications of up to 1,000 hours of operation or more. The essential feature of this invention is a gas-...

Siemens PLM Software, Plano, TX, has introduced synchronous technology, a history-free, feature-based CAD modeling technology integrated into the company's NX™ and Solid Edge® software. The technology...

Techs for License
High-Performance CIGS Solar Cell Saves Resources

AIST has developed a thin-film technology that can reduce the consumption of raw selenium below one-tenth of the conventional standard when manufacturing non-silicon-based copper-indium- gallium- selenide (CIGS) thin-film solar cells. The technology uses radio-frequency- cracked selenium radicals...

Techs for License
Paracellular Drug Delivery Through Baker’s Yeast Microcapsules

Yeast has the ability to reversibly open up the junctions between cells to aid drug delivery. By micro-encapsulating active ingredients inside the yeast cells, this technology enhances paracellular movement of active ingredients in mucus-rich areas such as buccal, oral, nasal,...

Tech Needs
Self-Contained Therapeutic Thermal Wrap

A company seeks technology leading to a flexible, adhesive thermal patch or wrap for sore muscles that provides lasting warmth for 8 to 12 hours or more. The technology should not involve a chemical active in contact with the skin. The heating effect should be able to be activated anywhere, without the use...

Tech Needs
Substance with High Affinity for Large Antigen Molecules

A company seeks a process of making high-affinity antibodies (or other substances) that can bind rapidly to antigens of large molecular sizes, such as proteins. Achieving high-affinity binding is important for expanding detection limits and achieving diagnostics in short amounts of time....

A method denoted wireless acoustic- electric feedthrough (WAEF) has been conceived for transmitting power and/or data signals through walls or other solid objects made of a variety...

Dr. David Morrison is senior scientist at the NASA Astrobiology Institute and a founder of the multidisciplinary field of astrobiology. He is an expert on the risk of asteroid...

Briefs: Medical
Apparatus for Sampling Surface Contamination

An apparatus denoted a swab device has been developed as a convenient means of acquiring samples of contaminants from surfaces and suspending the samples in liquids. (Thereafter, the liquids can be dispensed, in controlled volumes, into scientific instruments for analysis of the contaminants.) The...

Briefs: Medical
Novel Species of Non-Spore-Forming Bacteria

While cataloging cultivatable microbes from the airborne biological diversity of the atmosphere of the Regenerative Enclosed life-support Module Simulator (REMS) system at Marshall Space Flight Center, two strains that belong to one novel bacterial species were isolated. Based on 16S rRNA gene...

The laboratory apparatus shown in the figure is a chamber for aerosol deposition of bioparticles on surfaces of test coupons. It is designed for primary use in inoculating both flat and...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Hyperspectral Sun Photometer for Atmospheric Characterization and Vicarious Calibrations

A hyperspectral sun photometer and associated methods have been developed and demonstrated. Sun photometers are used to measure total (global), direct, and diffuse at-surface solar irradiance. The data acquired by sun photometers are used in atmospheric,...

Hamler Test and Analysis (HTA) provides testing, design, and finite-element analysis (FEA) consulting services, specializing in vibration measurement and experimental vibration...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Dynamic Stability and Gravitational Balancing of Multiple Extended Bodies

Feasibility of a non-invasive compensation scheme was analyzed for precise positioning of a massive extended body in free fall using gravitational forces influenced by surrounding source masses in close proximity. The N-body problem of classical mechanics is a paradigm...

Briefs: Information Technology
Simulation of Stochastic Processes by Coupled ODE-PDE

A document discusses the emergence of randomness in solutions of coupled, fully deterministic ODE-PDE (ordinary differential equations-partial differential equations) due to failure of the Lipschitz condition as a new phenomenon. It is possible to exploit the special properties of ordinary...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Cluster Inter-Spacecraft Communications

A document describes a radio communication system being developed for exchanging data and sharing data-processing capabilities among spacecraft flying in formation. The system would establish a high-speed, low- latency, deterministic loop communication path connecting all the spacecraft in a cluster. The...

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Will Self-Erasing Chips Catch On?

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