The first laser based on the wave physics phenomenon called bound states in the continuum (BIC) has been developed. The technology could revolutionize the development of surface...

Briefs: Energy
New Catalyst for Plastic Production Also Creates Hydrogen

Researchers have developed a new, low-cost catalyst for plastic production that turns a biorefinery product into a starting material for the synthesis of plastics, which could represent a sustainable alternative to widespread PET. At the same time, hydrogen can also be formed during the...

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed the SHEARLESS composite boom with a final cross-section shape that is lenticular and is flexible enough to...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Gated Chopper Integrator (GCI)

Microvolt-level signals require gains of at least a thousand. Offsets and noise in the amplifier chain will be amplified by the same amount, which can saturate the amplifier or swamp the signal so it is not resolvable. Other methods use chopping and/or autozero techniques to lower the offset and noise. The key...

Application Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Crash Test Dummies Get Older and Better with 3D Printing
Markforged
Watertown, MA
markforged.com

The crash test dummy has come of age over many decades as the gold standard for safety testing of automobiles. Organizations like...

NASA's Glenn Research Center has developed a novel solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) with five times the specific power density of currently available SOFCs. This highly efficient SOFC can operate on a...

The 2018 Nominees Are:

Each December, we ask our readers to cast their votes in the annual Tech Briefs’ Readers’ Choice Product of the Year Awards. Each month, our editors choose a Product of the Month...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Wide-Area Chemical Sensor

The detection and localization of gas releases, such as methane from leaking natural gas pipelines or nitrogen oxides from failing electrical equipment, require high sensitivity to the target gas and insensitivity...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Device Detects Subatomic-Scale Motion

It is relatively easy to measure small movements of large objects, but is much more difficult when the moving parts are on the scale of nanometers, or billionths of a meter. The ability to accurately...

Spectrometers are widely used for applications such as chemical analysis, remote sensing, quality control, environmental monitoring, spaceborne measurements, and optical measurements. Most spectrometers...

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a novel optical grating device that dynamically modulates light and is capable of controlling the spectral properties and propagation of light...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Inductive Non-Contact Position Sensor

The Inductive Non-Contact Position Sensor is a highly accurate sensor for motion control applications. The sensor was designed to monitor the precise movements of an optical inspection system that...

5 Ws: Communications
5 Ws of Spray-On Antennas
Who

Manufacturers and users of wearables, functional fabrics, mobile devices, wireless routers, and Internet of Things devices.

Today's photovoltaic power systems are generally comprised of a single photovoltaic module or multiple modules connected by combinations of series and parallel circuits as a photovoltaic array....

Spinoff is NASA's annual publication featuring successfully commercialized NASA technology. This commercialization has contributed to the development of products and services in the fields...

The Create the Future Design Contest was launched in 2002 to help stimulate and reward engineering innovation. In the past 16 years, the annual contest has drawn more than 13,000...

There are challenges involved when using magnetically responsive materials to achieve the one-way flow of light in a photonic chip, including the ability to place compact magnets on a chip. In...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Blue-Light Imaging Sees Through Fire

A blue-light imaging method was developed that can be used to obtain visual data from large test fires where high temperatures could disable or destroy conventional electrical and mechanical sensors. The...

Products: Data Acquisition
New on the Market: December 2018
Data Acquisition Devices

The USB-1808 Series simultaneous-sampling data acquisition devices from Measurement Computing Corp., Norton, MA, provides synchronous and concurrent voltage I/O, waveform...

Facility Focus: Test & Measurement
Facility Focus: Ames Laboratory

Ames Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, IA. For more than...

Gas turbine blades of conventional rotorcraft turboshaft engines are optimized to operate at nearly a fixed speed and a fixed incidence angle. If the operating condition of the engine changes, then the flow...

Most naturally occurring materials have a disordered atomic structure that interferes with the propagation of both sound and electromagnetic waves. When the waves come into contact with these...

Researchers have developed a new propulsion concept for swimming robots that exploits temperature fluctuations in the water for propulsion without the need for an engine, propellant, or power supply.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Reusable Breakaway Mounting Device

Breakaway devices are used to mount objects to systems or structures (for example, cars, drones, helmets, buildings) and prevent damage when the objects fall away from the system. Unfortunately, even in ideal scenarios, many of these devices have limitations. Breakaway bolts and shear pins have the complication...

Conventional lithium-ion batteries cannot be rapidly charged at temperatures below 50 °F. Electric vehicles are popular on the West Coast because the weather is...

Relying on advanced materials such as perovskites and single-walled carbon nano-tubes, a window technology was developed that responds to heat by transforming from transparent to...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
A New Twist Makes Rotating Machinery More Efficient and Quieter

Derived from a design approach for a new wing known as PRANDTL-D, this technology achieves similar improvements for propellers and other rotating machinery.

The engineering and manufacturing world is rapidly changing — are you changing with it? The claim of “reinventing” the fundamental tools of an industry is a bold one,...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Active Pointing Monitor for a 2-Axis Optical Control System

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has developed a pointing measurement detection and control system that monitors the real-time optical axis motions (such as tip and tilt) that affect image quality in aerial platforms. To date, there is no known real-time optical image alignment and...

Videos