Mechanical/Mechatronics

Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Shape Memory Alloys Achieve High Force and Precision

With very little fanfare, a special class of alloys has been finding its way into our daily lives. From indestructible eyewear, to smartphone cameras, to coronary stents, this material is...

Briefs : Nanotechnology
Precision CNT Cutting Mechanism

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a simple mechanism for the clean cutting of high-strength and high-toughness carbon nanotube/poly-mer fiber composites on demand without high blade wear or...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
New on the Market: June 2018

Laser Sensors

The optoNCDT 1750 laser sensors from Micro-Epsilon, Raleigh, NC, feature measuring ranges of 500 and 750 mm for fast, high-precision measurement tasks that require large measuring ranges....

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Offset Compound Gear Inline Two-Speed Drive

Innovators at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have developed a simple, lightweight, inline, two-speed drive that can be used either as an overall transmission, or as a supplemental add-on input...

Briefs : Materials
Compact Termination for Structural Soft Goods

Space environments are particularly harsh for the high-strength fibers NASA relies on for soft structures. Kevlar, Nomex, Nylon, and other synthetic fibers are broken down by exposure to the combination of vacuum, atomic oxygen, and ultraviolet radiation. Glass fiber offers unique advantages for...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Cryo-Fluid Capacitor (CFC)

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) has created the Cryo-Fluid Capacitor (CFC) that capitalizes on the energy storage capacity of liquefied gases, and the relative simplicity of high-pressure gas bottles while...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Nano-Sized Actuator Lifts Many Times its Weight

Actuators are used in a wide variety of electromechanical systems and in robotics, in applications such as steerable catheters, aircraft wings that adapt to changing conditions, and wind...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Affordable Vehicle Avionics (AVA)

NASA Ames Research Center has developed a novel, low-cost, self-contained guidance system for small payload operators. Small satellites are becoming ever more capable of performing valuable missions for both...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Painted-on Coating Transforms Walls into Sensors and Interactive Surfaces

Walls often make up more than half of indoor surface area, especially in residential and office buildings. In addition to delimiting spaces, both for functional and...

Articles : Materials
Products of Tomorrow: June 2018

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Magnetic Induction Heating of Space Foods During Dispensing Under Weightless Conditions

Hot foods are psychologically pleasing. Food heating systems are currently part of the astronaut feeding program. An electrical method of heating foods during dispensing in space uses magnetic induction heating. The process is up to 95% efficient in...

Briefs : Propulsion
Method for Establishing Cool Flames and Flameless Fuel Oxidation with Zero Emissions Using Non-Equilibrium Plasma Activation

Current engines and combustors run at high temperature, which leads to problems of engine knocking, soot and NOx emissions, and difficulty in combustion control. On the other hand, low-temperature combustion and fuel...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Quick Disconnect for High-Pressure Mate/De-Mate

NASA Kennedy Space Center seeks partners interested in the commercial application of the Quick Disconnect for High Pressure Mate/De-Mate. Designed at KSC, this technology is intended for use in...

Briefs : Medical
All-Terrain Wheelchair

Researchers have developed an innovative design for a wheelchair that can more easily navigate on soft and uneven outdoor terrain such as grass and gravel. The chair uses three wheels — two wheels in the front...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Auto-Zero Differential Amplifier

Engineers in the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Instrument Electronics Development Branch have developed a chopper-stabilized auto-zero amplifier capable of amplifying signals with extremely small amplitude originating from a thermopile-based infrared (IR) sensor. The instrument is self-adjusting in that it...