Question of the Week
Could tear-off screens catch on?

This week's Question: While LG and Samsung have worked to develop screens that roll and bend, a new patent from Google describes a screen that can be torn like a piece of paper. Images in the filing show an advertisement with coupons that can be pulled off and used in-store, as well as a drawing of a robot that...

Podcasts
John Hanson, Nodes Deputy Project Manager and Technical Lead, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

On December 6, 2015, two CubeSats successfully launched to the International Space Station. As part of NASA’s Nodes mission, the CubeSats will soon communicate with each other and demonstrate the benefits of a networked "swarm" of...

Articles: Defense

Last year, engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL, tested an additive manufacturing process that is being used to make some of the parts for NASA’s new rocket,...

NASA Spinoff: Aerospace
NASA Technology

Nick Blanton spends a lot of time outdoors, skiing in the winter months and hiking when the weather’s warm. All of this takes a toll on his electronic gadgets, which...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping

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...

Articles: Imaging

Using sophisticated 3D imaging, a team at University College London, The European Synchrotron (ESRF), University of Manchester, Harwell Oxford, Oregon State University, and the National...

Articles: Imaging

There are many different types of filters in machine vision that can be utilized to improve or change the image of the object under inspection. It is important to understand the different technologies behind the...

Application Briefs: Aerospace
maxon RE 13 brushed DC motors
maxon precision motors
Fall River, MA
508-677-0520
www.maxonmotorusa.com

In 2018, the European Space Agency (ESA) will send the...

Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics

Modern fiber optics have undergone remarkable advances since their development in the 1960s. The growing demand for fiber-optic cable, especially in the telecommunications industry, has led to an...

Application Briefs: Imaging

Using a custom-designed drone, a researcher from The Ohio State University mapped glaciers and wetlands in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca mountain range. Despite a discovered drop in glacier growth, the findings...

Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
High-Data-Rate Platform to Capture and Analyze Raw Baseband Clock/Data

The Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Testbed has a need to capture and analyze high-datarate (<2 Mbps required) baseband information sent over RF by the JPL Software-Defined Radio (SDR). An RF4425 front end, coupled with a MicroGate Synclink USB and custom C++...

Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
V-FASTR Radio Transient Classifier

The V-FASTR (VLBA Fast Transient Experiment) system was motivated by the desire to monitor the radio sky for interesting transient events. To be confident that no interesting extragalactic event is missed, every VFASTR candidate requires human review and evaluation. Candidates consist of pulsar pulses, spurious...

Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
Wideband, Dual-Polarized, Ultra-Low-Noise Focal Plane Array Feed for Active/Passive Microwave Remote Sensing

NASA missions utilize active, passive, or both, microwave sounders with a large reflector antenna as an important component. In most of these applications, design engineers have realized that desirable science requirements (spatial and...

Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
RF Source Modifications to Improve Performance of an Electronegative Plasma Thruster

In traditional gridded electrostatic ion thrusters, positively charged ions are generated from a plasma discharge of noble gas propellant and accelerated to provide thrust. A separate electron source, typically a neutralizer cathode that consumes propellant, is...

Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
Simple Impedance Matched Planar Microwave Blocking Filter

Thermal blocking filters find wide use in cryogenic applications ranging from quantum computing to ultra-low-noise detectors. They can be used to provide the environmental isolation between cooled devices and the warmer temperature supporting bias and readout circuitry. In particular,...

Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
Microwave Regenerative Sorbent-based Hydrogen Purifier (MRSHP)

The Microwave Regenerative Sorbent-based Hydrogen Purifier (MRSHP) is a unique microwave power-based technology demonstrator created for the purification of a hydrogen product stream produced by the Plasma Pyrolysis Assembly (PPA). The MRSHP prototype uses 2.45-GHz microwave power to...

Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
Low-Power Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN) Communication System

NASA seeks semi-passive, RFIDenabled wearable tags for inventory tracking and astronaut body area network applications. Wearable sensor tags can be printed on astronaut clothing or suits, and are powered by printed thin film batteries and/or via energy harvesting. Energy is...

Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
RF System MATLAB Model Simulation Using a Variety of Data Sources

During the development of the Soil Moisture Active-Passive (SMAP) High-Power Amplifier (HPA), a power glitch was observed with the characteristic of producing small 0.1-0.3 dB jumps in power across temperature. In order to troubleshoot this glitch behavior, a nonlinear model that...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Lightweight, Reusable Payload Launch and Transportation Latch

This innovation addresses the problem of automatic engagement and disengagement of payloads from their transport vehicle when lifted by a crane or other material handling device. The prior state-of-the-art is in material handling devices that require personnel to activate the latch,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Structural Assembly Incorporating Integral Thermal Heat Spreader for Cold Plate Cooling

In a structural cold plate, typically there is a structural member such as a honeycomb panel or a brazed sandwich assembly that provides the structural strength, and at least one cold plate that cools equipment attached to the structural member. The cold...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Advanced Magnetostrictive Regulator, Valve, and Force-to-Angle Sensor

Typical aerospace rocket engines use valves to control the flow and pressures of propellant and pressurants. These typical valves are designed to operate with a mechanical, electromechanical, or pneumatic operator. They all have at least one, and often multiple, penetrations...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

To date, there are solutions that can collect samples by being deployed from a distance from a low-gravity body or using a touch-and-go approach. To increase precision collection of samples...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The Clamshell mechanism, with one quick action, acquires and retains a sample from a small body surface while minimizing sampling energy. The sampler has two quarter-sphere buckets that are driven into the small body...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A working prototype of a non-explosive, static rock splitter for space exploration using shape memory alloys (SMAs) as the driving member also has terrestrial applications. The static, compact,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Passive, Low-Insertion-Force/High-Retention-Force Cam Plug Design for Sample Tube Sample Caging

AMars “sample caching rover” mission designed to collect, document, and package samples for future collection and return to Earth was recommended as the highest-priority mission for 2013–2022 by the 2011 Planetary Decadal Survey. A key premise...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Design Support and Analysis Tool for Pyrotechnically Actuated Valves

This software predicts flow through the initiator of a Primer Chamber Assembly Valve. These valves exhibited a potential failure mode for specific operating conditions where dual simultaneous firings of the initiator occurred. The software tool was able to identify a fluid...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The Deployable Extra-Vehicular Activity Platform (DEVAP) is a staging platform for egress and ingress attached to a lunar, Mars, or planetary surface habitat...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

There is a wide range of spacecraft thermal management applications that require variable conductance devices such as thermal switches. These switches are used to help maintain the heat source (electronics)...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
High-Bandwidth, Wide Field-of-View, Ultra-Sensitive, Radiation-Hardened, Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR) Receiver

Every LiDAR design faces the classic balancing act of signal versus noise. In order to maximize the range of a LiDAR, a receiver must amplify fractions of a micro-amp of photo current into a usable range for signal processing to occur,...

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