Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rapid Quench Furnace for Processing Powder in an Inert Environment

Ongoing work in the development and characterization of sensory materials requires the development of shape memory alloy (SMA) powder or particles. These are embedded in structural material so that the progression of localized damage that occurs during fatigue crack growth will...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

The Centaur 2 (C2) platform is a compact vehicle with four independently steered and actuated wheel pods, allowing the vehicle to pivot in place and tilt in two directions. It is designed to...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Deep space missions, like the ones going to outer planets and those that rely on solar photovoltaic power, need extremely large solar arrays to produce that power for...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Existing technologies [Loop Heat Pipe (LHP) and passive Thermal Control Valve (TCV)] are integrated and made to work together to provide a passive variable thermal link. The...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Low-Cost Solar-Simulated Radiometric Calibration Source

An integrating sphere is a spherical shell that has its internal wall coated with a highly reflective, diffuse scattering material. It typically includes both entrance and exit ports where illumination sources and light monitoring sensors are added to produce a well-known uniform light...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Future cryogenic far-infrared (IR) missions will require moderate-resolution far-IR spectrometers operating at the photon background limit. Full utilization of these facilities requires...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Nanosensors for Medical Diagnosis

Many diseases are accompanied by characteristic odors, and their recognition can provide diagnostic clues, guide the laboratory evaluation, and affect the choice of immediate therapy. The study of the chemical composition in human breath using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) has shown a correlation...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Passive Voice-Enabled RFID Devices

Radio-Frequency IDentification (RFID) is a technology that provides automatic identification of objects, and relies on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders. The RFID tag is an object that can be applied to and/or incorporated into a product, animal, or person for...

Briefs: Materials
Lightweight, Flexible, Energy-Manageable Polymer Nanocomposites

Solar energy has attracted keen attention because it is a unique, clean, and sustainable energy resource. It is also widely utilized as a power source in space exploration. A lightweight, durable, deployable, and highly efficient all polymer-based solar power panel was developed...

Briefs: Materials
Nanocomposites for Radiation Shielding

Currently, lead and lead-based materials are used to fabricate shields not only for X-rays, but also for other types of radiation. With the growing environmental concern about the toxicity of lead, and the high costs associated with transporting heavy lead-based shields in spacecraft, alternatives are...

Briefs: Materials
Lightweight, High-Strength Nanocomposite Magnesium for Radiators

The next generation of radiators will be designed using a composite with the combination of the lowest density, highest thermal conductivity, and highest strength. A scalable, low-cost process was developed to advance state-of-the-art metal matrix thermal conductors to reach a...

Briefs: Materials
Advanced Protective Coatings for Graphite Substrates

The purpose of this innovation is to develop advanced multilayered coating architectures to protect graphite substrates from hot hydrogen attack. The concept consists of coating the graphite substrate with metallic and non-metallic layers consisting of ZrC; Nb, Mo, and/or Nb-Mo alloy; and/or...

Briefs: Materials
Plasma Extraction of Oxygen from the Martian Atmosphere

Extraction of oxygen from the abundant carbon dioxide present on Mars (96% atmospheric composition) is an important objective in preparation for missions to the planet. Oxygen is not only a fundamental reactant with high-specific-energy chemical fuels such as hydrogen and methane, but,...

Briefs: Materials
Application of Carbon Nanotube Hold-Off Voltage for Determining Gas Composition

In this innovation, a method and associated system have been created to vary a voltage applied to an exposed end of a carbon nanotube for a selected time interval to promote gas discharge, and to estimate a gas component involved in the discharge. Each component of a...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A component-level DC transformer was developed in which no alternating currents or voltages are present. It operates by combining features of a homopolar motor and a homopolar generator, both DC devices, such that the output...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Wallops Flight Facility 6U Advanced CubeSat Ejector (ACE)

Six-unit (6U) CubeSats are recognized as the next nanosatellite to be considered for standardization. The CubeSat standard established by California Polytechnic University (Cal Poly), which applies to 1U–3U sizes, has proven to be a valuable asset to the community. It has both provided...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Improved Attachment Design for Ceramic Turbine Blades Via Hybrid Concepts

This innovation is a hybrid metal-ceramic matrix composite (CMC) turbine blade in which a SiC/SiC CMC airfoil section is bonded to a single-crystal superalloy root section in order to mitigate risks associated with an all-CMC blade inserted in a superalloy disk. This will...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

This work involved designing a liquid nitrogen cold-plate heat exchanger with a high thermal mass using code-standard, high-pressure tubing. High thermal mass requires a substantial amount of...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Surface Densification of Phenolic Impregnated Carbon Ablator

PICA (phenolic impregnated carbon ablator) was developed for the forebody heat shield of the Stardust Return Capsule. Conventional thermal protection system (TPS) materials of the time (primarily carbon phenolics) had high densities and thermal conductivities, yielding a TPS mass...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Low-Density Flexible Ablators

NASA has developed a class of low-density, flexible ablators that can be fabricated into heat shields capable of being packaged, stowed, and deployed in space. Several flexible versions have been developed by infiltrating a pyrolyzing silicone resin into flexible, low-density felts made of carbon, polymer, or...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Solar-Powered Carbon Dioxide Conversions with Thin-Film Devices

A nanomaterial thin-film device provides a low-cost, facile fabrication pathway to commercialize the technology to the sustainable energy market. Metal oxide thin films have been fabricated to a photoelectrochemical cell by solar energy. The prototype device uses both low energy...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Fiber metal laminates (FMLs) are multicomponent materials utilizing metals, fibers, and matrix resins. Tailoring their properties is readily achievable by varying one or more of these...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Method to Produce Copper Nanowires for Interconnect Applications

Copper replaced aluminum nearly two decades ago as interconnect material in integrated circuit manufacturing due to its better electrical conductivity. The size of the interconnect wire has been steadily decreasing as Moore’s law has been progressing through various feature size...

Briefs: Information Technology
Web Application: Ground Hardware Management Tool

An integrated ground support equipment (GSE) tracking and management tool is designed for tracking and managing GSE data used in support of KSC/Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) planning and launch campaigns. This software (the Ground Hardware Management Tool, GHMT) will be fully...

Briefs: Software

About 2.5 seconds after the launch of STS-114, the first Return to Flight launch after the Columbia accident, a large bird struck the external tank and fell into the exhaust plume. While this particular bird strike did not...

Briefs: Software
Fully Implicit Ablation and Thermal Analysis Program, Version 3 (FIAT v3)

FIAT v3 simulates one-dimensional thermal energy transport through a multilayer stack of thermal protection materials, bonding materials, metallic or composite structures, air gaps, and/or insulations. The outer surface encounters aerothermal heating from hypersonic flow,...

Briefs: Information Technology
CFD Utility Software Library

Originating as the Aerodynamics Division Software Library of the 1980s and -90s, this software is a collection of more than 100 software applications, many of them for manipulating the grids and flow solutions associated with computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Underlying these applications are about 30 libraries...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Improved Detection of Kidney Stones Using S-mode Ultrasound

Ultrasound has been a useful tool in the detection of kidney stones. It is a low-cost solution that does not require ionizing radiation that would be harmful to vulnerable populations such as children and recurrent stone formers. However, it suffers from a broad range of sensitivity (78...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Vector Network Analyzer Calibration for Quasi-Optical Dual Ports

It is desirable to measure the electromagnetic properties of devices and materials in the millimeter part of the spectrum. For guided wave-based devices and materials (waveguides, coaxial devices), a vector network analyzer (VNA) is an excellent tool for this purpose since it...

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