Spring Joint Package with Overstrain Sensor

This flexible joint provides two degrees of freedom and a tremendous amount of compliance. The overstrain sensor joint has a passive and restoring force that allows the joint to return to a default position, and is also proportional to the amount of lateral deflection the spring has undergone; this allows the OS sensor joint to be used in many of the under-constrained situations that cause universal joints to lock up.


Improved Directed Flux Motor

This directed flux motor utilizes the directed magnetic flux of at least one magnet through ferrous material to drive different planetary gear sets to achieve capabilities in six actuated shafts that are grouped three to each side of the motor. The motor allows for simple changes to modify the torque-to-speed ratio of the gearing contained, as well as simple configurations for up to six output shafts.


Deployable Emergency Shutoff Device Blocks High-Velocity Fluid Flows

A device and method block the flow of fluid from an open pipe. The device was designed to plug, control, and meter the flow of gases and liquids. Anchored with friction fittings, spikes, or explosively activated fasteners, the device is suited for harsh environments and high fluid velocities and pressures. With robotic additions, it can be configured to crawl into a pipe, then anchor and activate itself to block or control fluid flow.


Fluid Structure Coupling Technology

FSC technology controls the way fluids and structures communicate, and dictates the behavior of a system. It can mitigate different types of vibration issues, and can be applied anywhere internal or external fluids interact with physical structures. For example, in a multistory building, water from a rooftop tank or swimming pool could be used to mitigate seismic or wind-induced vibration. It can also be used to control vibration transmission from wet wings and fuel sloshing in aircraft.


Harsh Environment Protective Housings

A ruggedized housing for an electrical or fluid umbilical connector prevents intrusion of dust, sand, dirt, mud, and moisture during field use under harsh conditions. The technology consists of a pair of hand-sized protective umbilical interface housings, each containing a connector with an integrated end cap. When the end cap covers the connector, the connector is protected. The housings can be used in military and space operations, mining, and desert operations.


Conical Seat Shut-Off Valve

A movable valve controls flow of a pressurized working fluid. This valve consists of a hollow, movable floating piston pressed against a stationary solid seat, and can use the working fluid or an external pressure source to seal the valve. The valve design does not require large conventional valve actuators, and the valve stem itself is eliminated.


NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the December, 2014 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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