NASA Tech Needs
Sterilizable Applicator for Pre-Mixed Liquid Formulation

An organization needs an inexpensive device to deliver a pre-measured amount of liquid evenly to a surface. The applicator is intended for a single use, must be able to be sterilized after final assembly, and needs to hold enough liquid or gel to cover about 1 to 3 square feet of surface...

NASA Tech Needs
Force-Feedback Mechanism

A torque-feedback mechanism must measure force, pressure, and displacement. The hybrid system or multi-part assembly requires haptic, visual, sound, temperature, or vibration feedback instruments. The technology may take the form of either a standalone sensor cube that flashes according to pressure, or a material that...

Who's Who
Marcia Domack and John Wagner, Engineers, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

Marcia Domack and John Wagner, engineers in the Advanced Materials and Processing Branch at NASA Langley Research Center, have worked with Boston-based metal fabricator Spincraft, focusing on a one-piece manufacturing process called spin forming. The team used...

Podcasts
Marcia Domack and John Wagner, Engineers, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

Marcia Domack and John Wagner, engineers in the Advanced Materials and Processing Branch at NASA Langley Research Center, have worked with Boston-based metal fabricator Spincraft, focusing on a one-piece manufacturing process called spin forming. The team...

News : Energy
Record Efficiency for Next-Generation Solar Cells

Researchers from the University of Toronto (U of T) and King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) have made a breakthrough in the development of colloidal quantum dot (CQD) films. The researchers created a solar cell out of inexpensive materials that was certified at a...

Podcasts
Stephen Freeman, Vice President of International Business Development, Materion Corporation

Recently, NASA Tech Briefs spoke with Stephen Freeman, Vice President of International Business Development for Materion Corporation, which is the new name for advanced materials manufacturer Brush Engineered Materials and all of its businesses....

Question of the Week
Do you believe that geoengineering efforts, like ocean fertilization processes, are valuable tactics that will reduce global warming?

An international team of scientists has published the results of a 2004 experiment to fertilize oceans with iron. The ocean fertilization was an effort to reduce the carbon at the water’s surface and potentially...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Open-Frame Panel PC

WinSystems (Arlington, TX) introduced a 12.1-inch open-frame, color flat panel PC and 1.66GHz single board computer (SBC) based on the Intel® Atom™ processor. The PPC3-12 panel PC is a compact, ready-to-mount flat panel display subsystem that also includes a resistive touchscreen integrated into a chassis less than three...

Products : Electronics & Computers
XMC Module

Acromag’s (Wixom, MI) new XMC-6VLX mezzanine modules feature a configurable Xilinx® Virtex™-6 FPGA enhanced with multiple high-speed memory buffers, I/O, and numerous high-bandwidth serial interfaces. The FPGA provides rapid processing and is closely coupled to the serial interconnects to prevent data transfer bottlenecks....

Products : Electronics & Computers
Video and Audio Capture Card

WinSystems (Arlington, TX) introduced a 12.1-inch open-frame, color flat panel PC and 1.66GHz single board computer (SBC) based on the Intel® Atom™ processor. The PPC3-12 panel PC is a compact, ready-to-mount flat panel display subsystem that also includes a resistive touchscreen integrated into a chassis less...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Accelerated Processing Unit

The AMD (Sunnyvale, CA) Embedded G-Series processor is the world’s first integrated circuit to combine a low-power CPU and a discrete-level GPU into a single embedded Accelerated Processing Unit (APU). The AMD G-T16R APU, with an average power of only 2.3 Watts, enables very small form factor, fan-less and portable...

News
“Tuning” Graphene Drums Might Turn Conductors Into Semiconductors

Tightening or relaxing the tension on a drumhead will change the way the drum sounds. The same goes for drumheads made from graphene, only instead of changing the sound, stretching graphene has a profound effect on the material's electrical properties. Researchers working at...

Question of the Week
Is the traditional resume becoming obsolete?

Facebook plans to launch its own jobs board, working with some existing sites to let users search listings. Similar online developments have led job experts to say that the traditional resume is turning into a thing of the past.

News : Electronics & Computers
New Tech for Grid-Level Electrical Energy Storage

Electrical energy storage is the obstacle preventing more widespread use of renewable energy sources. Due to the unpredictable nature of wind and solar energy, the ability to store this...

Question of the Week
Will the growing number of personal smartphones and tablets in the workplace (and growing expectations) create greater security problems for organizations?

A recent survey from the network security company Fortinet found that Gen-Y employees in the workplace have an expectation that they will be able to use their own mobile smartphones and...

News : Energy
Solar Nanowire Template Permits Flexible Energy Absorption

Researchers creating electricity through photovoltaics want to convert as many of the sun’s wavelengths as possible to achieve maximum efficiency. For this reason, they see indium gallium nitride as a valuable future material for photovoltaic systems. Changing the concentration of...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Real-Time Remote Monitoring with Wireless Sensors

If remote sensors are to be autonomous and report their data in real time, they must have a reliable power source and a stable Ethernet connection. The United States Geological Survey (USGS), for example, monitors water conditions with a nationwide array of automated sensors, and uses their data...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Ultra-Low-Power MEMS Selective Gas Sensors

This innovation is a system for gas sensing that includes an ultra-low-power MEMS (microelectromechanical system) gas sensor, combined with unique electronic circuitry and a proprietary algorithm for operating the sensor. The electronics were created from scratch, and represent a novel design capable of...

Briefs : Information Technology
Pattern Recognition Algorithm for High- Sensitivity Odorant Detection in Unknown Environments

In a realistic odorant detection application environment, the collected sensory data is a mix of unknown chemicals with unknown concentrations and noise. The identification of the odorants among these mixtures is a challenge in data recognition. In...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Terahertz Radiation Heterodyne Detector Using Two- Dimensional Electron Gas in a GaN Heterostructure

High-resolution submillimeter/terahertz spectroscopy is important for studying atmospheric and interstellar molecular gaseous species. It typically uses heterodyne receivers where an unknown (weak) signal is mixed with a strong signal from the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Versatile Controller for Infrared Lamp and Heater Arrays

A paper describes a modular design for new controllers for infrared heating during cruise stage solar thermal vacuum test of the Mars Science Laboratory. The controllers had to be easy to use and maintain, used with a wide variety of different control schemes, and made using commercial...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Instrument Suite for Vertical Characterization of the Ionosphere-Thermosphere System

A document describes a suite that provides four simultaneous ion and neutral-atom measurements as a function of altitude, with variable sensitivity for neutral atmospheric species. The variable sensitivity makes it possible to extend the measurements over the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Determining Performance Acceptability of Electrochemical Oxygen Sensors

A method has been developed to screen commercial electrochemical oxygen sensors to reduce the failure rate. There are three aspects to the method: First, the sensitivity over time (several days) can be measured and the rate of change of the sensitivity can be used to predict...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
High-Speed Scanning Interferometer Using CMOS Image Sensor and FPGA Based on Multifrequency Phase- Tracking Detection

A sub-aperture stitching optical interferometer can provide a cost-effective solution for an in situ metrology tool for large optics; however, the currently available technologies are not suitable for high-speed and real-time...

Briefs : Software
Motion-Capture-Enabled Software for Gestural Control of 3D Models

Current state-of-the-art systems use general-purpose input devices such as a keyboard, mouse, or joystick that map to tasks in unintuitive ways. This software enables a person to control intuitively the position, size, and orientation of synthetic objects in a 3D virtual...

Briefs : Software
Orbit Software Suite

Orbit Software Suite is used to support a variety of NASA/DM (Dependable Multiprocessor) mission planning and analysis activities on the IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) platform. The suite of Orbit software tools (Orbit Design and Orbit Dynamics) resides on IPS/Linux workstations, and is used to perform mission design and...

Briefs : Software
CoNNeCT Baseband Processor Module Boot Code SoftWare (BCSW)

This software provides essential startup and initialization routines for the CoNNeCT baseband processor module (BPM) hardware upon power-up. A command and data handling (C&DH) interface is provided via 1553 and diagnostic serial interfaces to invoke operational, reconfiguration, and...

Briefs : Software
Trajectory Software With Upper Atmosphere Model

The Trajectory Software Applications 6.0 for the Dec Alpha platform has an implementation of the Jacchia- Lineberry Upper Atmosphere Density Model used in the Mission Control Center for International Space Station support. Previous trajectory software required an upper atmosphere to support...

Briefs : Software
ALSSAT Version 6.0

Advanced Life Support Sizing Analysis Tool (ALSSAT) at the time of this reporting has been updated to version 6.0. A previous version was described in “Tool for Sizing Analysis of the Advanced Life Support System” (MSC- 23506), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 29, No. 12 (December 2005), page 43. To recapitulate: ALSSAT is a...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Employing a Grinding Technology to Assess the Microbial Density for Encapsulated Organisms

Projects that utilize large volumes of nonmetallic materials of planetary protection concern pose a challenge to their bioburden budget, as the most conservative value of 30 spores/cm3 is typically used. The standard laboratory procedures do not...

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