Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Sampling and Control Circuit Board for an Inertial Measurement Unit

Scientists at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have developed a circuit board that serves as a control and sampling interface to an inertial measurement unit (IMU). The circuit board provides sampling and communication abilities that allow the IMU to be sampled at precise...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Efficient Radiation Shielding Through Direct Metal Laser Sintering

Functional and parametric degradation of microcircuits due to total ionizing dose (TID) often poses serious obstacles to deployment of critical state-of-the-art (SOTA) technologies in NASA missions. Moreover, because device dielectrics in which such degradation occurs vary from...

Briefs : Materials
Polyimide Aerogels with Three-Dimensional Cross-Linked Structure

NASA-developed polyimide aerogels are 500 times stronger than conventional silica aerogels. The innovative aerogels represent a revolutionary advance over fragile silica aerogels because they are highly flexible and foldable in thin film form. As a thin film, they can be used to...

Briefs : Materials
Catalytic Oxidation of Organic Contaminants at Reduced Pressure

The current technology for catalytic oxidation of aqueous organic contaminants at elevated temperature and pressure works well at operating conditions of 265 °F and 70 psia with effluent TOCs (total organic carbon) of less than 0.5 ppm. However, it does not perform well at the...

Briefs : Materials
Approach for Achieving Flame Retardancy While Retaining Physical Properties in a Compatible Polymer Matrix

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) seeks to license its Advanced Fire Retardant Materials to industry. KSC’s scientists have developed processes and know-how to impart fire retardancy to common polymers such as nylons, polyesters, and...

Briefs : Materials
Metal/Fiber Laminate and Fabrication Using a Porous Metal/Fiber Preform

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a new technique to enable the preparation of metal/composite hybrid laminates, also known as fiber metal laminates (FML), by depositing metal directly onto fabric using a plasma deposition process. FMLs provide a useful...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Tension Stiffened and Tendon Actuated Manipulator

NASA’s Langley Research Center is developing a robotic arm with lightweight joints that provide a wide range of motion. The envisioned design provides users with a long reach and numerous degrees of freedom. The arm, ideal for use in aquatic environments or for manipulation of light terrestrial...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Lattice Structures Coating Concept for Efficient Thermal Linking Beds

Conventional air revitalization technology for removal of CO2, moisture, and trace organic contaminants usually involves a packed bed of sorbent pellets that can be regenerated using a concept similar to that of pressure swing adsorption (PSA). Additional heat input...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
A Statistically Based Approach to Broadband Liner Design and Assessment

The broadband component of fan noise has grown in relevance with the utilization of increased bypass ratio and advanced fan designs. Thus, while the attenuation of fan tones remains paramount, the ability to simultaneously reduce broadband fan noise levels has become more...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Connection and Repair Techniques for Capillary Tubing in Restrictive Areas and Gas Chromatography Applications

Capillary columns offer challenges in gas chromatography (GC) work due to their small size and fragile nature. Typical repair techniques to join two capillary columns require cumbersome metal fittings. This solution is not applicable in...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Self-Latching Piezocomposite Actuator

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a self-latching piezocomposite actuator. The self-latching nature of this invention allows for piezo actuators that do not require constant power draw. Among other applications, the invention is well suited for use in aerodynamic control surfaces and engine...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Active Response Gravity Offload and Method

To train astronauts to live and work in the weightless environment on the International Space Station, NASA employs a number of techniques and facilities that simulate microgravity. Engineers at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) have developed a new system called the Active Response Gravity Offload...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Fluid Harmonic Absorber

NASA Marshall Space Flight Center’s Fluid Structure Coupling (FSC) technology is a highly efficient and passive method to control the way fluids and structures communicate and dictate the behavior of a system. This technology has the demonstrated potential to mitigate a multitude of different types of vibration issues,...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Variable-Aperture Reciprocating Reed Valve

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center engineers have developed a new reed valve for controlling fluid flow back and forth between two chambers. The VARR valve provides two-way flow that is proportional to flow demand. As the pressure gradient builds on one side, the reed valve responds by opening an...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Passive, Integrated, Sublimator-Driven Coldplate

Spacecraft thermal control systems typically perform three key functions — heat acquisition, heat transport, and heat rejection — in addition to those of insulation, heat generation, and heat storage. In a typical pumped fluid-loop spacecraft thermal control system, heat is acquired from...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Strat-X

Experiments in space can be expensive and infrequent, but Earth’s upper atmosphere is accessible via large scientific balloons, and can be used to address many of the same fundamental questions. Scientific balloons are made of a thin polyethylene film inflated with helium, and can carry atmospheric sampling instruments on a gondola...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Hydraulic Pressure Distribution System

Human operation in space over long time periods causes bone and muscle deterioration, so there is a need for countermeasures in the form of physical exercises consisting of working against controlled resistivity. Generally, there are three types of exercise machines that are used by space crews to maintain...

Briefs : Software
Improved Digital Map Rendering Method

Data adaptive algorithms are the critically enabling technology for automatic collision avoidance system efforts at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center. These Armstrong-developed algorithms provide an extensive and highly efficient encoding process for global-scale digital terrain maps (DTMs) along...

Briefs : Software
Interactive Diagnostic Modeling Evaluator

NASA’s Ames Research Center has developed an interactive diagnostic modeling evaluator (i-DME) tool to aid in modeling for noise and lag in the data and debugging of system models when fault detection, isolation, and recovery results are incorrect. i-DME is designed to dramatically speed up the...

Briefs : Software
High-Fidelity 3D Electromagnetic (E&M) Propagation Modeling Tools

For a future potential radar sounder mission to small celestial bodies like comets and asteroids, it is important to understand the interaction between propagating waves and interior geophysical structures. In general, it is not easy to build a software model capable of handling...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
In-Flight Pitot-Static Calibration

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a new method for calibrating pitot-static air data systems used in aircraft. Pitot-static systems are pressure-based instruments that measure the aircraft’s airspeed. These systems must be calibrated in flight to minimize potential error. Current methods —...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Real-Time Radiation Monitoring Using Nanotechnology

NASA has patented a unique chemical sensor array leveraging nanostructures for monitoring the concentration of chemical species or gas molecules that is not damaged when exposed to protons and other high-energy particles over time. The nanotechnology-enabled chemical sensor array uses single...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
External Diagnostic Method to Detect Electrical Charging in Complex Ion Trapping Systems

Electron-ionized atom trapping technology is widely used in mass spectrometry and atomic clocks. The complexity of the trapping configuration operating in an ultra-high vacuum system is driven by demands for ultimate sensitivity, performance, and fundamental...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Modules for Inspection, Qualification, and Verification of Pressure Vessels

After decades of composite over-wrapped pressure vessel (COPV) development, manufacturing variance is still high, and has necessitated higher safety factors and additional mass to be flown on spacecraft, reducing overall performance. When liners are used in COPVs, they...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Products of Tomorrow: August 2016

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just...

Articles : Aerospace
Human Spaceflight Takes a Giant Leap

NASA is developing the capabilities needed to send humans to an asteroid by 2025, and to Mars in the 2030s. While robotic explorers have studied Mars for more than 40 years, NASA’s path for the human exploration of Mars begins in low Earth orbit aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Astronauts on...

Articles : Aerospace
Suiting Up for the Future

NASA is developing the next generation of suit technologies that will enable deep-space exploration by incorporating advancements such as regenerable carbon dioxide removal systems and water evaporation systems that more efficiently provide crewmembers with core necessities such as breathing air and temperature...

Articles : Aerospace
Modified Monitor Provides Glasses-Free 3D for Pilots and Gamers

When flying the increasingly crowded skies, pilots need to have an arsenal of information: altitude, airspeed, fuel level, distance to their destination, and the location of other planes in the sky. All of this information is presented in a series of two-dimensional instruments,...

Products : Aerospace
Product of the Month: August 2016

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, North Kingstown, RI, introduced the BLAZE 600M non-contact optical measurement solution. The flexible, manually operated system provides ultra-rapid 3D data acquisition and actionable data for measurement, inspection, product development, line tuning, and reverse engineering....

Articles : Test & Measurement
Precise Measurements on Earth Enable Further Exploration in Space

Measurement is the first step to success. If you can’t measure something accurately, it can’t be understood or improved. That is especially true for the spacecraft rockets and engines designed to operate under extreme temperatures and pressures at liftoff, or space stations...