INSIDER: Materials
Sponge-Like Material Soaks Up Oil Spills

In hopes of limiting the disastrous environmental effects of massive oil spills, scientists from Drexel University and Deakin University, in Australia, have teamed up to manufacture and test a new material. The boron nitride nanosheet absorbs up to 33 times its weight in oils and organic solvents — a...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics
Tiny Lenses Capture Very Big View

Engineers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have created the first- ever flexible, Fresnel zone plate microlenses with a wide field of view — a development that could allow everything from surgical...

Electron microscopy researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a unique way to build 3-D structures with finely controlled...

A new, onion-like nanoparticle could open new frontiers in bioimaging, solar energy harvesting and light-based security techniques.

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics
Beam Steering Developer’s Kit

New Scale Technologies Inc. (Victor, NY) has a new beam steering developer’s kit for precise point-to-point beam positioning and dynamic scanning up to 100 Hz. The two piezoelectric rotary stages in the...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics
High Definition Infrared Camera

FLIR Systems (Meer, Belgium) has announced the new FLIR 1030sc High Definition (HD) Longwave Infrared (LW-IR) camera. Coupling an extraordinarily sensitive detector, with new FLIR OSXTM Precision HD-ready...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics
180-Degree FOV High Definition Lens

A new extra lightweight, 180-degree field-of-view (FOV) F/1.4, high definition fisheye lens for use in both commercial and defense applications has been released by Ophir Optics (Jerusalem, Israel). The...

Scientists from Stanford University have discovered how to make the electrical wiring on top of solar cells nearly invisible to incoming light. The new design, which uses silicon nanopillars to...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
EADIN Lite Communication Network

The distributed engine controls (DEC) task seeks to investigate the capabilities of a distributed network for aircraft engine controls. Traditional aircraft engine control systems use analog systems to...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Iris DSN-Compatible, CubeSat-Compatible Transponder

No CubeSat-compatible, Deep Space Network (DSN)-compatible communications and navigation transponder exists at the time of this reporting. In order for CubeSats and other small spacecraft to go into deep space, a DSN-compatible capability is needed.

Modern avionics permit user interfaces on spacecraft to be performed on computer screens instead of with physical controls. This saves a great...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Multi-Frequency, THz Quantum Cascade Laser Source

Interest in the use of THz detectors outside the laboratory for space, atmospheric, and terrestrial applications has grown immensely in the past half-century. Of particular interest in recent years is the development of the quantum cascade laser (QCL) as a THz frequency source.

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Avionics/Electronics Box Rail Mount System

There is limited space available to install numerous avionics boxes with the caveat that each box is a line replacement unit (LRU). Access to enable the removal of the boxes is limited, and it is critical that no tools and/or loose parts exist to ensure that no damage is done to aft-located components....

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Semiconductor Nanomembrane-Based Flight Sensors and Arrays

There are two broad classes of methods for measuring skin friction (or wall shear): indirect and direct. The direct methods generally employ a movable element of the actual surface surrounded by a very small gap and connected to some type of flexure. One then measures the displacement of...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Dual I²C and SPI Slave Core for FPGA and ASIC Implementations

The I2C/SPI Verilog core consists of a combined register transfer logic (RTL) Verilog code for a general-purpose I2C and serial-to-parallel interface (SPI) slave for implementations targeting field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and application specific...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Automated Break-Out Box for Use with Low-Cost Spacecraft Integration and Test

Electrical checkout and testing is a critical part of the overall space integration and test flow. Verifying proper harness and connector signal interfaces is key to ensuring component health and overall system functionality. Break-out boxes (BOBs) are used to give...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Radiation-Hardened 10BASE-T Ethernet Physical Interface (PHY)

The EXPRESS Logistics Carrier (ELC) system was built by NASA Goddard for installation on the International Space Station (ISS). Four ELC systems are on ISS. Each ELC site includes two data nodes. The ELC requirements call for a radiation-hardened 10BASE-T Ethernet interface at each...

This radiation-hardened, compact, low-power, quad 12-bit digital-to-analog converter (DAC) application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) incorporates science-driven features...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Use of Eccentric Bushings to Precision-Locate Multiple Parts on a Large Mating Structure

Cups/cones are being used to provide a shear load transfer capability on a large separation interface that uses multiple discreet retention and release (R&R) devices (such as frangible nuts, separation nuts, separation bolts, etc.). To both provide good...

There is a need for large mirrors that can be launched to various bodies in the solar system in a packed form and unfolded to provide the required dimensions. The solution...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Six-Degree-of-Freedom Control With Only Eight Thrusters

Typical spacecraft thruster configurations are often unable to provide full six-degree-of-freedom control and may have unwanted interaction between their attitude control and trajectory control functions, have undesirably high instantaneous electrical power demands, and use more thrusters...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Precise Direct Control of Pressure or Vacuum Using a Digitally Controlled Actuator

A closed/semi-open pressure or vacuum system uses an electric screw mechanical actuator that can be digitally controlled and monitored, and which receives feedback directly from an external or internal source. This innovation can adjust for media temperature...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Irreversible Entropy Production Rate in High-Pressure Turbulent Reactive Flows

To model high-pressure reactive flows, the most promising methodology is large eddy simulation (LES) in which one solves the large scales of the problem and models the small scales. There is currently no guidance as to the relative importance of small scales...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Piezoelectric Actuator for a 2-inch Isolation Cryogenic Valve

This project is focused on the development of a high-force, high-speed piezoelectric actuator for control of a 2-inch (≈5-cm) isolation valve application in a cryogenic vacuum environment. The piezo motor actuators on the two cryogenic isolation valves were successfully tested at...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Torque Plug Actuator Design for Sample Return Sample Tubes

During the transportation of any sample material, it is important to ensure that no damage or contamination of the sample occurs while in transit. This concept is extremely important within the sample caching rover sample return architecture. Adequately sealing the sample tubes is...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Stable, Flat Packaging Concepts for Large Detector Arrays

A ceramic vacuum chuck is used to hold large detector arrays flat while being attached parallel to a rigid substrate. Once held in the vacuum chuck, the component is typically seized by epoxy against a rigid substrate. The problem that interferes with this operation happens when the epoxy...

W-band active phased array antennas have a very small inter-element pitch (≈2 mm). In this innovation, instead of trying to integrate isolators into the unit...

There has been a great deal of interest in building bolometers from hightemperature superconductors due to their high transition temperatures and the...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Uniformly Etched Lateral Gratings Applied to Pre-existing Ridge Waveguides

There is great difficulty in implementing lateral gratings in GaSb-based lasers. Commercially, single-frequency GaSb lasers have been fabricated using metal gratings deposited laterally to the ridge-waveguide (RWG) stripe. The disadvantage of this is that the laser...

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