Engineers at The University of Texas at Dallas have created semiconductor technology that could make night vision and thermal imaging affordable for everyday use.

The best hope for cheap, super-efficient solar power is a remarkable family of crystalline materials called hybrid perovskites. In just five years of development, hybrid perovskite...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics
Silicon Avalanche Photodiode

Excelitas’ (Waltham, MA) new HeliX Silicon Avalanche Photodiode (APD) Module is a compact, easy-to-use, analogue low-light-level detection (L³D) module employing Excelitas’ Si APD chips. The detector is in a...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics
Tablet Cameras

Motic (Richmond, British Columbia) has figured out a way to turn tablet computers into dynamic imaging stations that will preview, acquire, store, measure, and communicate microscope images. Built on Android technology,...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics
Spectrometer Platform

Ibsen Photonics (Farum, Denmark) recently announced the new FREEDOM HR spectrometer platform for integrators of compact analytical and process control instruments. The new HR platform consists of FREEDOM HR-UV, HR-VIS,...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics
Laser Interferometer

4D Technology Corporation (Tucson, AZ) has introduced its newly improved AccuFiz compact laser interferometer for accurate, repeatable measurement of surface shape and transmitted wavefront quality. New features include...

Question of the Week
Will airships be the future of "green" aviation?

A group of academics from the University of Lincoln, UK, believe airships may be the 'green' answer to the future growth of aviation . The Multibody Advanced Airship for Transport (MAAT) project, made up of eight nations and led by the Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia in Italy, is working to...

INSIDER: Lighting
Researchers Develop Hybrid Supercapacitors

UCLA researchers have successfully combined two nanomaterials to create a new energy storage medium that combines the best qualities of batteries and supercapacitors.

Sound waves passing through the air, objects that break a body of water and cause ripples, or shockwaves from earthquakes all are considered “elastic” waves. These waves travel at the...

Application Briefs: Motion Control
Autonomous Robots Keep Warehouse Running Green

YLOG, a startup company in Austria, uses an intelligent and very environmentally friendly logistics system that is winning an increasing number of customers. The technology makes use of...

Resistance thermometers, also called resistance temperature detectors (RTDs), are very common sensors used for temperature measurement. Their reliability, ruggedness, wide range,...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Microwave Radar Sensor Module

Existing implementations of continuous wave (CW) radar are not packaged appropriately for use as part of a heartbeat detection system for disaster search and rescue. They use separately packaged microwave...

A system has been developed using sound to detect problems on rovers or other remote platforms autonomously. It consists of a sensor array of microphones and...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
MEMS Gyroscope with Dual Interferometric Sense Elements

High-performance inertial sensors, such as ring laser gyroscopes or fiber optic gyroscopes, have sufficient performance to enable “dead reckoning” navigation for adequate periods of time. Smaller microelectromechanical system (MEMS) inertial sensors, such as MEMS gyroscopes and MEMS...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
MMOD Risk Mitigation Technology for Spacecraft Thermal Protection Systems

The proposed concept uses sensors to detect high-temperature plasma ingestion during entry through a breach in the thermal protection system (TPS) caused by a micrometeoroid orbital debris (MMOD) impact. It uses consumables usually available on human-rated spacecraft such...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Shock-Sensing Apparatus

Acompact shock-sensing device, which employs an innovative light sheet generator, has been created. The device may be used either as a solo aerodynamic shock detector or in combination with a scanning mode shock...

Physical and chemical properties of nanomaterials are known to be significantly different from those having larger crystallites (i.e. bigger than nano),...

Briefs: Materials
White, Electrically Conductive, Radiation-Stable, Thermal Control Coating

A highly reflective, white conductive coating system was developed using a layered approach with a combination of commercially available white conductive pigments within a conductive binder system. The top coating is a space-stable, radiation-resistant, highly reflective...

Briefs: Materials
Plasma-Assisted Thin Film Coatings to Create Highly Hydrophobic Porous Structures

Gas-distribution layers (GDLs) are water-management structures used in fuel cells and electrolyzers. GDLs are critical components that prevent flooding of the fuel cell electrode by product water, thus preserving open channels for reactant gas to reach the...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
High-Performance Photocatalytic Oxidation Reactor System

As crewed space missions extend beyond low Earth orbit, the need to reliably recover potable water is critical. Aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the water is recycled from cabin humidity condensate, urine distillate, and hygiene wash wastes. In spacecraft cabin air...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
ACS Anchor Guide Stud and Caddy

An alignment guide and a mounting interface for two of the repair tools on orbit during the Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 4 (see SM4) were developed. This design can be installed in a timely manner, and was specifically developed for a worksite with minimal access and minimal visual line-of-sight to the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Next-Generation, Lightweight Hard Upper Torso/Hatch Assembly

The current MK-III carbon-graphite/epoxy Hard Upper Torso (HUT)/hatch assembly represented an 8.3 psi (≈57 kPa) technology demonstrator model of a zero pre-breathe suit. In this configuration, the MK-III suit weighed about 120 lb (≈54 kg). Since future lunar/planetary suits will...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Elastic Deployable Composite Tubular Roll-Out Boom

The objective of this work was to develop an innovative deployable boom/structure technology that is ultra-lightweight (<30-grams/meter potential), and has extremely compact stowage volume (>100:1 compaction ratio), broad scalability (no size limits envisioned), high deployed frequency,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Reduced-Speed Duplex-Ring Seal

Ring seals are used in rotating union applications where a fluid flow or hydraulic pressure signal is transferred from a static reference frame to a rotating component, such as a shaft, for the purpose of providing lubrication and/or a hydraulic signal to a component(s) in a rotating frame of reference. Ring seals...

Briefs: Aerospace
Performing Launch Depressurization Test on Large Test Articles Using Two Vacuum Chambers in Tandem

Two vacuum chambers were used in tandem to perform a launch depressurization test. The test article was mounted in a 10-ft (≈3 m) Vertical Vacuum Chamber (Chamber 248-10). The 25-ft (≈7.6-m) Space Simulator (Chamber 150-25) was rough-pumped and...

Briefs: Propulsion
Pyramid Micro-Electrofluidic-Spray Propulsion Thruster with Integrated Attitude and Thrust Vector Control

A micro-electrofluidic-spray propulsion (MEP) system was built on a micro scale, in which arrays of hundreds of nano-thrusters are etched on silicon wafers like ICs, only a centimeter on a side. Many dozens of these thruster chips can be...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Sampling Mechanism for a Comet Sample Return Mission

Sample return missions have the ability to vastly increase scientific understanding of the origin, history, current status, and resource potential of solar system objects including...

Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Products of Tomorrow: April 2015

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...

Emily Wilson developed a miniaturized laser heterodyne radiometer (mini-LHR) to measure the emissions of carbon dioxide and methane from melting permafrost. Wilson’s...

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