News
“Terradynamics” Predicts How Robots Will Move on Granular Surfaces

Using a combination of theory and experiment, researchers have developed a new approach for understanding and predicting how small legged robots – and potentially also animals – move on and interact with complex granular materials such as sand.

News
Nano Sensor Measures Vibration in the Quantum World

Carbon nanotubes and magnetic molecules are considered building blocks of future nanoelectronic systems. Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and French colleagues have combined both components on the atomic level and to build a quantum mechanical system with novel properties.

News
Custom-Built 3D Printer Creates Synthetic Tissues

Oxford University scientists have demonstrated a custom-built programmable 3D printer that can create materials with several of the properties of living tissues.

Question of the Week
Are Automated Systems a Valuable Way to Grade Essays?

A recent New York Times article highlighted software from EdX, a nonprofit enterprise founded by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. EdX software uses artificial intelligence to grade student essays and short written answers. The tool requires human teachers to first...

News
Imaging System Gathers 3D Data from Long Distances

From up to a kilometer away, a Time-of-Flight (ToF) imaging system gathers high-resolution, 3-D information about objects that are typically very difficult to image.

News
Future Soldiers Will Have Flexible Electronics Everywhere

More than 10 years ago, U.S. Army researchers saw potential in flexible displays. With nothing in the marketplace, the Army decided to change that by partnering with industry and academia to create the Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University.

News
Quantum Sensing Shows Promise for Military Navigation, Detection

U.S. Army Research Laboratory scientists in the Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate are currently exploring the field of quantum sensing and are discovering ways in which the Army can benefit from innovations that were once thought impossible.

News
Scalable Code Simulates Seismic Hazards

A team of researchers at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) and the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering at the University of California, San Diego, has developed a highly scalable computer code that promises to dramatically cut both research times and energy costs in simulating seismic...

News
Army Is Developing New 120mm AMP Tank Round

The U.S. Army is developing a new Advanced Multi-Purpose 120mm tank round that combines six different capabilities into a single round. The Advanced Multi-Purpose, or AMP, is ready to enter into the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase after a prototype successfully demonstrated Technology...

News
‘Metascreen’ Forms Invisibility Cloak

US researchers have now developed a cloak that is micrometers thick and can hide three-dimensional objects from microwaves in their natural environment, in all directions and from all of the observers’ positions.

Question of the Week
Will Humanlike Avatars Move Toward Mainstream Use?

British scientists have created what they say is the world's most realistic human avatar. Combining facial modeling and mathematical algorithms, 'Zoe' has advanced language function and displays a range of emotions. The technology could act as an assistant to business executives or a teacher's...

News
Autonomous Robotic Jellyfish Could Patrol the Seas

Virginia Tech researchers have introduced an autonomous robotic jellyfish the size and weight of a grown man - 5 foot 7 inches in length and weighing 170 pounds - as part of a U.S. Navy-funded project.

News
Seismic Device Could Make Bridges and Buildings More Resilient to Earthquakes

Navid Attary, a student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has created a seismic protection device to boost the resiliency of bridges and buildings to earthquakes. His innovation, which uses a new and novel method to dissipate the destructive forces of earthquakes,...

This work focused on developing, fabricating, and fully calibrating a flow-angle probe for aeronautics research by utilizing the latest...

Briefs: Medical
Nanoscale Surface Plasmonics Sensor With Nanofluidic Control

Conventional quantitative protein assays of bodily fluids typically involve multiple steps to obtain desired measurements. Such methods are not well suited for fast and accurate assay measurements in austere environments such as spaceflight and in the aftermath of disasters....

Briefs: Information Technology
Advanced Dispersed Fringe Sensing Algorithm for Coarse Phasing Segmented Mirror Telescopes

Segment mirror phasing, a critical step of segment mirror alignment, requires the ability to sense and correct the relative pistons between segments from up to a few hundred microns to a fraction of wavelength in order to bring the mirror system to its...

Briefs: Information Technology
Neural Network Back-Propagation Algorithm for Sensing Hypergols

Fast, continuous detection of a wide range of hazardous substances simultaneously is needed to achieve improved safety for personnel working with hypergolic fuels and oxidizers, as well as other hazardous substances, with a requirement for such detection systems to warn personnel...

Briefs: Medical
Bulk Moisture and Salinity Sensor

Measurement and feedback control of nutrient solutions in plant root zones is critical to the development of healthy plants in both terrestrial and reduced gravity environments. In addition to the water content, the amount of fertilizer in the nutrient solution is important to plant health. This typically...

Briefs: Software
Change-Based Satellite Monitoring Using Broad Coverage and Targetable Sensing

A generic software framework analyzes data from broad coverage sweeps or general larger areas of interest. Change detection methods are used to extract subsets of directed swath areas that intersect areas of change. These areas are prioritized and allocated to...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Circularly Polarized Microwave Antenna Element With Very Low Off-Axis Cross-Polarization

The goal of this work was to improve offaxis cross-polarization performance and ease of assembly of a circularly polarized microwave antenna element. To ease assembly, the initial design requirement of Hexweb support for the internal circuit part, as well as...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Flash Cracking Reactor for Waste Plastic Processing

Conversion of waste plastic to energy is a growing problem that is especially acute in space exploration applications. Moreover, utilization of heavy hydrocarbon resources (wastes, waxes, etc.) as fuels and chemicals will be a growing need in the future. Existing technologies require a...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Ultra-Low Heat- Leak, High- Temperature Superconducting Current Leads for Space Applications

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has a need for current leads used in an adiabatic demagnetization refrigerator (ADR) for space applications. These leads must comply with stringent requirements such as a heat leak of approximately 100 μW or less while...

The Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) program is building a sensor that enables a spacecraft to evaluate autonomously a potential landing area to...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
An Automated Safeto- Mate (ASTM) Tester

Safe-to-mate testing is a common hardware safety practice where impedance measurements are made on unpowered hardware to verify isolation, continuity, or impedance between pins of an interface connector. Performing this on critical flight hardware under test and its associated GSE ensures minimal risk when...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Wireless Chalcogenide Nanoionic-Based Radio- Frequency Switch

A new nonvolatile nanoionic switch is powered and controlled through wireless radio-frequency (RF) transmission. A thin layer of chalcogenide glass doped with a metal ion, such as silver, comprises the operational portion of the switch. For the switch to function, an oxidizable...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
DOT Transmit Module

The Deep Space Optical Terminal (DOT) transmit module demonstrates the DOT downlink signaling in a flight electronics assembly that can be qualified for deep space. The assembly has the capability to generate an electronic pulse-position modulation (PPM) waveform suitable for driving a laser assembly to produce the optical...

Briefs: Materials
Regenerable Sorbent for CO2 Removal

A durable, high-capacity regenerable sorbent can remove CO2 from the breathing loop under a Martian atmosphere. The system design allows nearambient temperature operation, needs only a small temperature swing, and sorbent regeneration takes place at or above 8 torr, eliminating the potential for...

Briefs: Materials
Li-Ion Electrolytes With Improved Safety and Tolerance to High-Voltage Systems

Given that lithium-ion (Li-ion) technology is the most viable rechargeable energy storage device for near-term applications, effort has been devoted to improving the safety characteristics of this system. Therefore, extensive effort has been devoted to developing...

Briefs: Materials
Composite Aerogel Multifoil Protective Shielding

New technologies are needed to survive the temperatures, radiation, and hypervelocity particles that exploration spacecraft encounter. Multilayer insulations (MLIs) have been used on many spacecraft as thermal insulation. Other materials and composites have been used as micrometeorite shielding or...

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