Scientists are discovering new ways to decrease costs and increase efficiency of solar panels and coming up with creative ways to generate power. According to TechRepublic, a photovoltaic...

Search-and-rescue operations, package delivery, and underwater exploration could all be performed soon by intelligent machines. The Autonomy Incubator group at NASA Langley is...

News: Robotics, Automation & Control
Researchers Create 'Cognitive' Underwater Robots

A new programming approach developed by MIT engineers gives underwater robots more “cognitive” capabilities.

In March, the team tested the autonomous mission-planning system during a research cruise off the western coast of Australia. The researchers tested their system on an autonomous...

More than 100 drugs have been approved to treat cancer, but predicting which ones will help a particular patient is an inexact science. A new implantable device, about the size of...

NASA researchers, working with the Air Force Research Laboratory and FlexSys of Ann Arbor, MI, successfully completed initial flight tests of a new morphing wing...

Question of the Week
Will NASA achieve “warp drive?”

This week’s Question: According to a NASASpaceflight.com forum, NASA has successfully tested its electromagnetic (EM) drive in a vacuum. The form of space flight could eventually enable trips at speeds approaching that of light. The drive works by propelling objects through space by using magnets to create...

Dr. David Miller began his term as the NASA chief technologist on March 17, 2014. He currently serves as the agency’s principal advisor and advocate on NASA...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Quantitative Analysis of Failure Mode in Adhesively Bonded Test Specimens

After adhesively bonded mechanical test specimens have been tested to failure, the failure mode must be interpreted and quantified. Areas of the adherent that are bare (no residual adhesive remains) have undergone adhesive failure. The remainder of the surface has...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Energy-Based Acoustic Measurement System for Rocket Noise

Development of the next generation of spaceflight vehicles has prompted a renewed focus on sound source characterization and near-field propagation modeling. Without advancements in these areas, large uncertainties in vibro-acoustic loading estimates on space vehicles and payloads may...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Mass Gauging Demonstrator for Any Gravitational Conditions

This concept uses an optical interferometric method to determine the density and/or pressure of the gas state contained with tank ullage. The system is similar to compression tank volume methods. By using an optical interferometric technique to determine gas density and/or pressure, a...

This invention provides a lower-cost means for verifying the scanning functionality of an electronically steerable (i.e. phased array) antenna (PAA) compared to existing...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Neutron Spectrometer for Inner Radiation Belt Studies

The Earth’s magnetosphere offers a wealth of information on particle dynamics, acceleration, and trapping. Fast neutrons, produced in the Earth’s atmosphere by the impact of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) and solar energetic particles (SEPs), are an important but poorly measured component of...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
High-Energy Instrumentation for Small Satellite Platforms

Given the increased availability of small satellite opportunities either through CubeSats or the Air Force’s University Nanosat program, and the limited availability of larger platforms, it is challenging to develop new instrumentation that not only fits within the envelope of small...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Variable Acceleration Force Calibration System

A variable acceleration calibration system combines an innovative mechanical system and a statistical design of experiments to calibrate multi-axis force transducers. This system can reduce calibration time, allow for improved calibration of large-scale transducers, provide mobility for on-site...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
A Synthetic Quadrature Phase Detector/ Demodulator for Fourier Transform Spectrometers

Fourier transform spectroscopy works by measuring a spectral/light signal through a Michelson interferometer. In order to know the wavelength of the signal, one must use a stable reference, which is typically a metrology laser. In a standard Fourier transform...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Device for Direct Measurement of the Diffusivity and Molecular Release Through Membranes and Filters

Concentration-driven molecular diffusion is a fundamental phenomenon essential for the transport of nutrients in cells, for oxygen exchange in the lungs, and mating of chemicals in industrial reactors and the food industry. Thus, diffusion plays...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Increased Alignment in Carbon Nanotube Growth

The combination of electronic and mechanical properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) has led to wide-ranging investigation of their potential in future electronics and computing, sensors, electrodes, and composites. A method and system for fabricating an array of two or more CNT structures on a coated...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Process to Fabricate Specific Sized Monodisperse Polystyrene Microparticles

A new method was developed to prepare monodisperse nano to microparticles of polystyrene ranging from 0.5 to 2.5 microns in relatively large-quantity batches (2 L, 10% by weight in water). Current commercial sources are very expensive and can typically only be acquired...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Atmospheric Pressure Plasma-Based Fabrication of Printable Electronics and Functional Coatings

The need for low-cost and environmentally friendly processes for fabricating printable electronics and biosensor chips is growing. Nanomaterials have proved to be very useful in both printable electronics due to their electronic properties, and in...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Passive Destructive Interference Acoustic Liner for a Turbofan Engine Using Additive Manufacturing

This technology exploits the capabilities of additive manufacturing to attenuate the fan noise within the inlet or aft duct of a turbofan engine. The approach may be expanded to include auxiliary power units, environmental control systems, or other...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Diminutive Assembly for Nanosatellite deploYables (DANY) Miniature Release Mechanism

CubeSat appendices such as solar panels and antennas often need to be constrained by a release mechanism during launch. These appendices are then deployed once the desired orbit is reached. The usual constraint method used is a combination of an unpredictable/...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Quantitative Real-Time Flow Visualization Technique

There is a need for experimental techniques that have low cost and rapid turnaround. It is also necessary to obtain quantitative information from such a method. Previous methods are either lacking in quantitative information such as dye or smoke injection, or require considerable set-up and...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Thin-Film Evaporative Cooling for Side-Pumped Lasers

A highly efficient way to cool solid-state crystal lasers was developed. This thin-film evaporative cooling technique offers higher optical efficiencies and monochromatic quality than traditional conductive cooling techniques. Developed for use in side-pumped 2.0- micron laser systems used in...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
MEMS Micro-Translation Stage with Large Linear Travel Capability

A MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) micro-translation stage (MTS) with large linear travel capability was developed that uses capacitive electrostatic forces created by stators arranged linearly on both sides of a channel, and matching rotors on a moveable shuttle for precise...

A valve cage consists of a stackable planar structure design with paths that are azimuthally cut out and connected radially. The pattern causes the flow to move...

Briefs: Aerospace
Real-Time Aerodynamic Parameter Estimation Without Airflow Angle Measurements

Accurate measurements of airflow angles are among the most expensive and difficult to obtain in flight testing because of the complexity of the airflow near the aircraft and the consequent need to carefully mount and calibrate the sensors. A novel technique was...

Briefs: Aerospace
Method for Improving Control Systems with Normalized Adaptation by Optimal Control Modification

A new technology has been developed for improving performance and stability of control systems. This method represents a significant advancement in the state-of-the-art of adaptive control technology. The present invention is a new type of adaptive...

Briefs: Aerospace
Airborne Coordinated Conflict Resolution and Detection (ACCoRD) Framework

To accommodate the predicted increase in air traffic, the next generation of air traffic management (ATM) systems relies on operational concepts where the responsibility for separation is distributed between airborne and ground systems. These distributed modes of operation...

Briefs: Aerospace
Integrated Pitot Health Monitoring System

The health and integrity of aircraft sensors and instruments play a critical role in aviation safety. Inaccurate or false readings due to icing of airspeed sensors in flight can lead to improper decision-making, resulting in serious consequences. Icing or blockages of pitot airspeed sensors provide very...

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