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NASA Briefs

Glenn Research Center (Cleveland, OH) has designed a power supply for a cordless drill in which ultracapacitors, rather than batteries, are used to store energy. Whereas charging of batteries usually takes hours, ultracapacitors can be charged in seconds. Read more here.

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Alternative Controller for a Fiber-Optic Switch

The figure is a simplified diagram of a relatively inexpensive controller for a DiCon VX (or equivalent) fiber-optic switch — an electromechanically actuated switch for optically connecting...

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Techs of the Week

The Biomedical Center in Moscow has produced a vaccine that induces cytotoxic lymphocyte (CTL) clones and enables them to recognize and selectively kill Listeria- infected cells. As the lifetime of CTL clones is very long (three-seven years or more), the formulation could be used for both prophylaxis and treatment of...

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Smart Cars

Cars already automatically lock doors when they sense motion and turn on warning lights if they detect engine problems. But they are about to get a lot smarter.

A research team at Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM) is designing cars capable of analyzing human behavior. Future models may, for example, deduce from...

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Technology Business Briefs

Vertical Take-Off and Landing with Fixed-Wing Speed and Efficiency

This technology, already proven under a US Army contract, creates a hybrid aircraft that combines the best attributes of helicopters with the best attributes of fixed wing aircraft, i.e. VTOL and safe auto-rotation of gyroplanes with the...

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Smooth Flying

A new turbulence detection system alerts pilots to patches of rough air as they fly through clouds. The system, designed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and tested by United Airlines on commercial flights, is designed to better protect passengers from injuries caused by turbulence while reducing flight delays...

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Create the Future & Win Big!

Your unique invention could win you $20,000 or other great prizes in the 2007 Create the Future Design Contest, presented by SolidWorks Corp. and NASA Tech Briefs. Innovative design ideas are being accepted in six categories: Machinery, Equipment, and Component Technology; Consumer Products; Medical; Safety and...

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Where There's Smoke

Glowing firebrands (burning wood pieces) make for a warm evening in front of the fireplace, but for homeowners in high fire-risk areas, windborne fire material can be a nightmare. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has built a firebrand generator to study how firebrands ignite structures. It generates...

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Tech Needs of the Week

A company is seeking an absorbent pad capable of being loaded with a terpanol, which, when saturated, will allow the free flow of air or other gases through its structure. The pad can be made of any thickness or material, and can be used in household, office, and industrial applications. Find out more here.

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Nano Memory

Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania have developed nanowires that can store computer data for 100,000 years and retrieve the data 1,000 times faster than existing portable memory devices such as Flash and micro-drives. The self-assembling nanowire is made of germanium antimony telluride, a phase-changing material that...

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New Products

The MDrive 14Plus Motion Control system from Intelligent Motion Systems (Marlborough, CT) combines the motor, driver, controller, and encoder in one system using a NEMA size 14 brushless 1.8-degree motor. It measures 1.9 x 1.4 x 2.0" and includes a programmable controller and programming instruction set. Communication is via...

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Long-Life Pump

Researchers at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX, have developed a diaphragm pump driven by a piezoelectric actuator. The pump is a prototype of a lightweight pump for circulating cooling liquids in protective garments, high-power electronic circuits, and other medical applications.

The pump contains no sliding...

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Moving Towards Greatness

An unobtrusive sensor that collects and immediately transmits data from the human body could boost athletic performance. Developed at Imperial College London with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in the UK, the new sensor also has potential in healthcare.

The sensor is...

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Current Attractions

Each month, NTB highlights tech briefs related to a particular area of technology in a special section called Technology Focus. Here are some of the technologies featured in the September issue focus on Composites & Coatings.

- Rapid Fabrication of Carbide Matrix/Carbon Fiber Composites

Researchers at...

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Techs of the Week

An epoxy coating for metals is a highly fluorinated, cross-linked polymer containing finely ground Teflon-like particles that impart permanent lubricity. The coated metal surfaces prepared with this technology have good corrosion resistance and durability. They are useful as seat rails, bushings, guide tracks, or any place...

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The Dark Web

Terrorists and extremists use the Internet to recruit new members, spread propaganda, and plan attacks. The size and scope of these dark corners of the Web are vast and disturbing. A team of computational scientists at the Artificial Intelligence Lab at the University of Arizona is using new approaches to track terrorists' moves...

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Innovate and Win!

Your unique invention could win you $20,000 or other great prizes. Enter your design idea in the 2007 Create the Future Design Contest, presented by SolidWorks Corp. and NASA Tech Briefs. Entries are being accepted in six categories: Machinery, Equipment, and Component Technology; Consumer Products; Medical; Safety and...

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To The Moon

The X PRIZE Foundation and Google announced the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a robotic race to the Moon to win a $30 million prize. Private companies from around the world will compete to land a privately funded robotic rover on the Moon that is capable of completing several mission objectives, including roaming the lunar surface for at...

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NASA News

A system of electronic hardware and software that noninvasively tracks the direction of a person's gaze in real time has been developed by researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. The system illuminates the eye with a low-power infrared LED; acquires video images of the pupil, iris, and cornea in the reflected...

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Battling Bacteria

Doctors rely on a dwindling arsenal of drugs to fight bacterial infections as the bugs keep finding ways to survive. These "superbugs" may be brought to their knees with the discovery by Boston University biomedical engineers of a previously unknown chain of events occurring in bacteria when they are fed antibiotics.

The...

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Tech Needs of the Week

A company seeks technology for casting ophthalmic lenses with a refractive index of at least 1.67, and Abbe of at least 37. Operating parameters would be to cast lenses at ambient conditions with low odor. Thermal or radiation cure is acceptable for polymerization of lens material, with radiation cure preferred. Click here...

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Protein Pairing

Scientists have identified two proteins that pair up at the precise location in the ear where sound vibrations are turned into electrical signals. The finding may eventually help researchers develop more precise treatments for hearing loss, a condition that affects more than 32 million people in the United States.

When a...

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National Nano Engineering Conference

NASA Tech Briefs' 2007 National Nano Engineering Conference (NNEC), November 14-15 at the Marriott Boston Copley Place, is the premier event focused on current and future developments in engineering innovations at the nanoscale, as well as the commercialization of nanotechnology. The event also includes the...

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Create the Future & Win Big!

The 2007 Create the Future Design Contest, presented by SolidWorks Corp. and NASA Tech Briefs, is open for entries in these categories: Machinery, Equipment, and Component Technology; Consumer Products; Medical; Safety and Security; Transportation; and Sustainable Technologies. The contest is co-sponsored by COMSOL...

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Software Tech Briefs

This year's Software Tech Briefs supplement to NASA Tech Briefs is now available for downloading from the NTB Web site.

Sponsored by COMSOL, Software Tech Briefs includes 58 new software programs, developed by NASA and industry, for applications in all areas of design, simulation, and analysis.

COMSOL is the...

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Current Attractions

NASA's Innovative Partnerships Program (IPP) provides technology for NASA's mission directorates, programs, and projects through investment and technology partnerships with industry, academia, government agencies, and national labs.

NASA Tech Briefs spoke with Doug Comstock, Director of NASA's Innovative Partnerships...

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Techs of the Week

PharmaDur™ is a polymer-based technology that provides benefits over conventional forms of transdermal drug delivery. Also used for transmucosal and ophthalmic applications, it is a topical application that yields an invisible and imperceptible hydrogel film that creates a monolithic reservoir from which drug substances are...

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New CPR

A biomedical engineer at Purdue University has developed a new method to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) that promises to be more effective than standard CPR. The new method increases bloodflow through the heart by 25 percent over the current method, which has a success rate of only 5 to 10 percent.

Leslie Geddes of...

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National Nano Engineering Conference

NASA Tech Briefs' 2007 National Nano Engineering Conference (NNEC), November 14-15 at the Marriott Boston Copley Place, is the premier event focused on current and future developments in engineering innovations at the nanoscale, as well as the commercialization of nanotechnology. The event also includes the...

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

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