Special Coverage

NASA Supercomputer Simulations Reveal 'Noisy' Aerodynamics
Robotic Gripper Cleans Up Space Debris
Soft Robot “Walks” on Any Terrain
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Using Microwaves to Produce High-Quality Graphene
Transducer-Actuator Systems for On-Machine Measurements and Automatic Part Alignment
Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors
Heavy Lift Wing in Ground (WIG) Cargo Flying Boat
Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space

Integrated Three-Dimensional Module Heat Exchanger for Power Electronics Cooling

Critical elements in the operation of electric drive systems are power electronics and power semiconductor packages. Improving thermal management of power electronics can help reduce the cost, weight, and volume of electric drive systems, and thus increase market acceptance. The power semiconductor packaging must provide the necessary electrical connections, while at the same time enabling heat removal from the semiconductor devices such as insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) and diodes.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Power electronics, Semiconductor devices, Power electronics, Semiconductor devices, Heat exchangers, Heat exchangers
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Forging Graphene into Three-Dimensional Shapes

Graphene is a relative to graphite, which consists of millions of layers of graphene, and can be found in common pencil tips. Since graphene was isolated in 2004, researchers have learned to routinely produce and handle it. Graphene can be used to make electronic and optoelectronic devices such as transistors, photodetectors, and sensors.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Forming, Graphite, Materials identification
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App Enables Smartphone Camera to Screen for Pancreatic Cancer

The five-year survival rate of pancreatic cancer is one of the worst — 9 percent — in part because there are no obvious symptoms or non-invasive screening tools to catch a tumor before it spreads. One of the earliest symptoms of pancreatic cancer, as well as other diseases, is jaundice, a yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes caused by a buildup of bilirubin in the blood. The ability to detect signs of jaundice when bilirubin levels are minimally elevated — but before they're visible to the naked eye — could enable an entirely new screening program for at-risk individuals.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Diagnosis, Diseases
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Continuous Diagnostic System Predicts Industrial Robot Faults

Robots in production lines work with micrometer precision, unless a component fails. If, for example, the linear actuator used to precisely position a car body in front of an assembly robot is damaged, the robotic arm will no longer be able to position the car door exactly. The result is a misaligned door.

Posted in: Briefs, Automation, On-board diagnostics, On-board diagnostics (OBD), On-board diagnostics, On-board diagnostics (OBD), Manufacturing equipment and machinery, Robotics, Reliability, Reliability
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Optofluidic 3D Printing

Optofluidic three-dimensional printing enables advancements and innovation in optical fibers and biomedical devices. This 3D printing approach uses axial plane optical microscopy (APOM) technology.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Fiber optics, Microscopy, Fiber optics, Microscopy, Medical equipment and supplies, Additive manufacturing
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ECTemp™

The health and fitness industry strives to provide customers with the best technologies and features available to help users train in the right zone and duration for best results. Core body temperature is a factor in this analysis, but has been largely unavailable due to the invasiveness of accurate sensors, and the variation between skin temperature and core body temperature. An accurate estimate of core body temperature is also valuable for occupations in which heat stress and heat illness are risk factors. Because of the difficulty in directly measuring core body temperature, a practical alternative was developed.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Medical, health, and wellness
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Method for Inflating Uniformly Stiff Tubular Booms

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) developed a foam-rigidized, inflatable, tubular space boom that can be transported, deployed, and inflated at remote locations. The lightweight device consists of an inner and outer sleeve and, in its non-pressurized state, can be accordion-folded into a small storage canister. This allows for simple and compact transportation at a low cost.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Storage, Foams, Gases, Spacecraft
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Product of the Month: November 2017

WinSystems, Arlington, TX, released the PPC65B series IP65-rated panel PC in a thin, fanless design with an operating temperature range from -20 to +70 °C. The panel PC offers a rugged design for extreme environments and industrial IoT applications. The PCs accommodate panel and VESA mounting configurations; when mounted properly, the sealed front bezel provides protection against ingress from dust and moisture for industrial control applications. They support Linux and Windows 10 operating systems, use the 1.9-GHz Quad-Core Intel® Atom processor, and include up to 8 GB of RAM. High-resolution graphics at 1024 × 768 and 1280 × 1024 are accessed via a five-wire resistive touchscreen. The rugged design also incorporates a SATA controller with 2.5” HDD/SSD and input power of 12-24V DC. Optimal connectivity and I/O for embedded systems is achieved through two Gigabit Ethernet ports, a USB 2.0 port, and a USB 3.0 port. The series also includes options for expansion with RS-232/422/485 and USB.

Posted in: Products, Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, PCs/Portable Computers
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ScienceOrganizer: A Scientific Knowledge Management and Remote Experimentation Tool

The ScienceOrganizer system was designed to facilitate the work of geographically distributed NASA science teams by supporting the organization, administration, documentation, and execution of science projects and missions. The capabilities of ScienceOrganizer include the ability to conduct and monitor working experiments; locate, utilize, and publish experimental datasets; develop and share scientific software models; store scientific project information; document the scientific process; and co-visualize scientific data. Users access ScienceOrganizer through an intuitive Web-based interface that enables them to upload, download, and centrally organize project information including data, documents, images, and scientific records associated with laboratory and field experiments.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Big data, Internet, Big data, Internet, Data management, Test equipment and instrumentation
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Smartphone Camera Measures Heart Health

Currently, a 45-minute ultrasound scan is required to provide detailed information about heart health. Researchers have discovered a method by which a smartphone camera can noninvasively provide the same information.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Measurements, Optics, Optics, Cardiovascular system
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