Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Mobility for small, man-portable reconnaissance robots in the past has been limited with regard to obstacles like curbs, stairs, and vertical walls. A previous innovation overcame these obstacles by introducing...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A piezoelectrically actuated percussive bit augments rotary drills to form a rotary-hammering drill/sampler. The Percussive Augmenter of Rotary Drills (PARoD) bit...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Non-Collinear Valve Actuator

Typical large aerospace valves use pneumatic actuators with large return springs to define a normal state. These springs are exclusively in line with the pneumatic actuator, and therefore are forced to have the same stroke and forces. These typical systems use either a large helical spring or a stack of Bellville...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Vibration and Thermal Cycling Apparatus for Cryogenic Tanks

Understanding thermal and mechanical behaviors and their inter-dependencies of complex tank systems is crucial to making proper design decisions. Low-maintenance, high-performance systems are becoming more important as global energy demands and efficiency requirements increase.

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Integrated Rate Isolation Sensor

Some vehicles use an internal measurement unit (IMU) system to determine the speed, acceleration, orientation, position, and/or direction of movement of the vehicle. Vehicles used for high-availability or life-critical systems may employ a fault-tolerant IMU design. Typically, such vehicles use three or more IMUs...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

A new technique allows a mercury-cadmium-telluride (MCT) focal plane array (FPA) to operate at room temperature. These results were obtained...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Enhanced Auditory Alert Systems

Auditory warning systems for human interfaces are often designed around criteria that depend primarily upon signal loudness. It is well understood from the auditory literature that, by making an alert signal substantially louder than the measured background noise level, one can insure that an alert signal will be...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Carbon Monoxide Silicate Reduction System

Oxygen produced from lunar resources is a very desirable product to greatly reduce the mass lifted from the Earth’s surface in support of exploration activities. The ability to obtain high yields of oxygen from undifferentiated lunar soils enables planning for near-term piloted missions to the Moon....

Briefs: Information Technology
Modeling Lunar Surface Systems Concepts of Operations

The goal of this work was to model lunar surface systems using a declarative planning system (ASPEN — Activity Scheduling/Planning Environment), provide a parameterizable Excel document to aid in the model generation, and deliver both Mac and PC versions. An adaptation of Microsoft Excel...

Briefs: Information Technology
Portable Distributed Scripts (PoDS)

“Portable Distributed Scripts” (PoDS) is a Python application that allows users to execute serial independent tasks concurrently across nodes on multicore clusters. The package consists of a set of scripts working together through a simple text-based interface. A user only needs to provide minimal...

Briefs: Information Technology
Slot-Sampled Optical PPM Demodulation

In order to demodulate an optical PPM signal, the receiver must align its slot clock to that of the received waveform to count the number of arrivals within each slot. The large bandwidth expansion factor of PPM, M/log2(M) requires a prohibitively large sample rate when a fixed sample clock N...

Briefs: Information Technology
Small-Object Detection via Fast Discrete Curvelet Transform

The detection of distant objects in an image is relevant to applications in defense, security, and robotics. Successfully detecting objects of interest has been a common problem with respect to intelligent computer vision. Automatic target recognition (ATR) systems have been formulated...

News: Motion Control

What will it take to land heavier spacecraft on Mars? How will engineers slow large payloads traveling at supersonic speeds in a thin Martian atmosphere? The Low Density...

News: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Predictive maintenance of hard-to-access plants, no unnecessary oil changes, no unnecessary laboratory costs, and less environmental impact are some of the...

Who's Who: Materials

Dr. Mary Ann Meador, Senior Research Scientist at NASA Glenn Research Center, guides projects that will synthesize new types of aerogels. Her research has...

News: Transportation
Morphable Surfaces Reduce Air Resistance

A morphable surface developed by an MIT team can change surface texture — from smooth to dimpled, and back again — through changes in pressure. When the inside pressure is reduced, the flexible material shrinks, and the stiffer outer layer wrinkles. Increasing pressure returns the surface to a smooth...

News: Communications
'Sensing Skin' Detects Damage in Concrete Structures

Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Eastern Finland have developed new “sensing skin” technology designed to serve as an early warning system for concrete structures, allowing authorities to respond quickly to damage in everything from nuclear facilities...

Question of the Week
Will "Sentiment Mapping" Improve Transportation Systems?

A new UK transportation project uses a digital platform to map trouble spots — traffic jams, late buses, stationary trains — by tracking passengers' emotions on social media. This type of "sentiment mapping" plan will combine information collected from various social media channels,...

News: Robotics, Automation & Control
New Strain Gauge Enables 'Soft Machines'

Purdue University researchers have developed a technique to embed a liquid-alloy pattern inside a rubber-like polymer to form a network of sensors. The approach may be used to produce "soft machines" made of elastic materials and liquid metals.

Such an elastic technology could be used to create robots...

News: Materials
Engineers Develop Ultrastiff, Ultralight Material

Engineers at MIT and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have developed a new ultrastiff, ultralight material.

The material is based on the use of microlattices with nanoscale features, combining great stiffness and strength with ultralow density. The actual production of such...

News
Simulations Make Additive Manufacturing More Efficient

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have developed a new and more efficient approach to a challenging problem in additive manufacturing — using selective laser melting, namely, the selection of appropriate process parameters that result in parts with desired properties....

News: Lighting
Researchers Develop Flexible, Energy-Efficient Hybrid Circuit

Researchers from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering have developed a flexible, energy-efficient hybrid circuit combining carbon nanotube thin film transistors with other thin film transistors. The hybrid could take the place of silicon as the traditional transistor material used...

Question of the Week
Will We Drive On Solar Roadways?

An Idaho couple, Scott and Julie Brusaw, recently started an IndieGoGo campaign to raise money for their project, Solar Roadways, which wants to replace asphalt roads with high-strength glass-encased solar panels and LEDs. The panels could potentially light up, generate electricity, melt snow, or charge...

News
Computer Program 'Learns Everything about Anything'

Computer scientists from the University of Washington and the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Seattle have a fully automated computer program called Learning Everything about Anything, or LEVAN.

The program searches millions of books and images on the Web to learn all possible...

News
Nanotube Forests Capture Water from Arid Air

New research by scientists at Rice University demonstrated that forests of carbon nanotubes can be made to harvest water molecules from arid desert air and store them for future use.

Researchers in the lab of Rice materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan found a way to mimic the Stenocara...

News: Photonics/Optics
Thin Films Self-Assemble in One Minute

Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have devised a technique whereby self-assembling nanoparticle arrays can form a highly ordered thin film over macroscopic distances in one minute.

INSIDER Product: Electronics & Computers

AMD (Sunnyvale, CA) has announced the 2nd generation AMD Embedded R-series accelerated processing unit (APU) and CPU family (previously codenamed "Bald Eagle") for embedded applications. The 2nd generation AMD R-series APU and...

INSIDER Product: Electronics & Computers

4DSP (Austin, TX) has announced the release of a new PCI Express product featuring the Xilinx Kintex-7 combined with 16 A/D channels at 250 Msps. The PC768 is a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) card that features advanced Digital...

INSIDER Product: Electronics & Computers

Mouser Electronics, Inc. (Mansfield, TX) is now shipping the new MPX2053 Series Air Pressure Sensors from Freescale Semiconductor. These sensors provide accurate pressure readings from 0 to 7.25 PSI (0 to 50 kPa) and...

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