NASA Tech Needs

NASA Tech Needs
Reduction of Liquid Temperatures in Metal/Glass Containers

Beverages, when served cold, quickly heat up during consumption. A client seeks material and process technologies that will insulate against heat gain or actively reduce temperature of liquids contained in glass bottles or metal cans. Processes that enable the printing, coating, and...

NASA Tech Needs
Preservation of High-Water-Content Fruit

As fresh produce undergoes a number of processes from point of harvest to final products like yogurt, ice cream, pasta sauces, and frozen meals, its natural characteristics are altered. To ensure a fresh taste and texture, a company seeks technology, ingredients, or processes that preserve the natural...

NASA Tech Needs
Removal of Kinetic Energy Associated with Transporting Light

A client seeks innovative ways to control the kinetic energy of moving products through high-speed manufacturing and filling processes. The company requires aluminum and tinplated food and beverage cans to be conveyed and transported during production without damage. Products are small...

NASA Tech Needs
Non-Invasive Intra-Cranial Pressure Monitoring

Because manned spaceflight still imposes unknown stresses on the human body, NASA is seeking non-invasive technological approaches for intra-cranial pressure measurement. A baseline must be established on the ground, and then periodic measurements will be taken during flight — possibly over...

NASA Tech Needs
Better Foam Generation

Foam is a key indicator of efficacy and performance for a range of consumer pharmaceutical and food products. A company seeks cost-effective physical and mechanical technologies for enhanced foam generation and stability. Devices that are able to generate a high volume of foam from low-concentration, surfactant-based...

NASA Tech Needs
Printing Technology for PVA Film

A company seeks technology options for printing on a moving Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) film web before or during the production of liquitabs and other unit dose products. The technology must be able to print on PVA film either on-line (preferred), at line, or offline. The film production method, which will require a...

NASA Tech Needs
Technologies to Stabilize and Deliver RNA Strands

An organization is looking for technologies that can stabilize and deliver fragile RNA strands to plants and animals outside of a laboratory-controlled environment. The RNA strands may include dsRNA (double-stranded RNA) and shRNA (short hairpin RNA). A proposed solution must provide a method to...

NASA Tech Needs
Controlled Delivery of Liquid

A customer seeks a range of technologies that will allow controlled delivery of liquid products over a wide viscosity range. Proposed technologies must work for liquids with low viscosity (such as floor cleaners) and/or very high viscosity (such as thick bleaches and body washes). Technologies will be evaluated...

NASA Tech Needs
Spray Coating Systems

Current spray designs coat the exposed surface of the top layer of fibers, while fibers in the interior do not get treated. Fibers also move around when transported during processing, leading to exposure of untreated surfaces. An organization seeks novel technologies that can apply a spray coating to the entire surface area...

NASA Tech Needs
Improved Recycling Processes

Currently, cellulose-based fibers can only be recycled 6-8 times, after which the fiber length and properties are too significantly impacted for any further reuse. Technologies are therefore required to enhance the fibers’ recycling potential. The technologies must not add virgin fibers at each recycling stage....

NASA Tech Needs
Microencapsulation of Probiotic Bacteria

The incorporation of probiotic bacteria into liquid food or food with high water activity is still a challenge for the functional food industry. The metabolic activity of the lyophilized bacteria, however, is extremely sensitive to the presence of water and oxygen, and a solution must protect...

NASA Tech Needs
Heat-Seal Adhesive

A new food-grade heat-seal adhesive is needed for roll-coated film lids. New chemistries must be formulated into a waterbased matrix to seal transparent film onto plastic trays containing food or medical materials. The organization deals primarily with polyester films (APET/CPET) and trays, and containers made from polystyrene...

NASA Tech Needs
Corrugate Reduction

An organization wants to use less corrugate in its shipping operations. Unique designs or processes must reduce the amount of corrugate material required, while maintaining the same level of protection for the products being shipped. Replacing corrugate with another material may be considered, but the replacement material...

NASA Tech Needs
Heat Seal Solutions for Flexible Film

An organization seeks one or more bonding agents that can be dispersed into water. When the bonding agents are coated onto a PET film and dried, the coated film should adhere to and seal items made from rigid PE (polyethylene), PP (polypropylene), PS (polystyrene), PVC (polyvinylchloride), and PET...

NASA Tech Needs
Fast-Cooking Pasta

A large manufacturer of consumer products needs an innovative process to make fast-cooking pasta. Cooking time should be reduced by at least 70%, and thickness/texture of the dry product must be the same as that of the reference shape. Ingredients should be suitable for human consumption. The reduction of cooking time and...

NASA Tech Needs
Diagnostic Indicators on Consumer Packaging

Low-cost, flexible diagnostic indicators must be incorporated onto consumer product packaging. The main focus of the technology should be the diagnosis of bad breath; a printable diagnostic strip on a tube of toothpaste, for example, may be a possible solution for quickly identifying halitosis. The...

NASA Tech Needs
Graphene as Filler for Thermoplastic Nanocomposites

To save costs and reduce weight, a company is exploring graphene as a filler for thermoplastic resins. Work to date has shown that graphene dispersion is generally poor in thermoplastics, leading to less than optimal reinforcement properties and darker color. The manufacturer is specifically...

NASA Tech Needs
High-Temperature Seals for Non-Nuclear Test Facility

The United States National Research Council (NRC) has identified Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) as a high-priority NASA Space Technology Roadmap Area. NTP could be an enabling technology to reduce transit time and mission risk to Near-Earth Objects, Mars, and other deep space destinations....

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...

NASA Tech Needs
Creation of Novel Optical Effects

A client seeks transformative technologies that will enable a variety of optical effects or hidden messaging to be created directly onto consumer products and its packaging. Reversible effects that are triggered by external stimuli, such as water (hydrochromic) and light (photochromic), are of interest....

NASA Tech Needs
Reduction of Plastics Used in Packaging

An organization must reduce the amount of plastic resin used in packaging, while maintaining the package’s structural integrity and functionality through the supply chain. It may be possible, for example, to inject air bubbles into plastic resin in such a way as to maintain container size, shape, and...

NASA Tech Needs
Oxygen Barrier Materials for Improving Food/Beverage Shelf Life

An organization would like to increase the oxygen barrier in thermoplastic elastomers by an order of magnitude or more to preserve the shelf life of food/beverages. This organization is seeking an order-of-magnitude improvement in oxygen blocking, without a substantial increase in...

NASA Tech Needs
New Shipping Alternatives for Liquid and Granular Materials

Liquids and granular materials can often be of high weight and mass. A firm seeks new shipping alternatives to handle both kinds of material. Alternative means of shipping product, inter-plant, between plant and distributor, to the retailer, and ultimately to the consumer are required....

NASA Tech Needs
Dust Mitigation Connectors for Electrical Cables and Fluid Lines

Faults in wiring systems are a serious concern for the aerospace and aeronautic (commercial, military, and civil) industries. Circuit failures and vehicle accidents have occurred and have been attributed to faulty wiring created by open and/or short circuits. Often, such circuit...

NASA Tech Needs
Materials that Form Mesh-Based Sheets

Materials exist that provide optical clarity, but the fabricmaking process drives the costs too high. A company seeks cost-effective materials and technologies that will form meshbased sheets exhibiting high optical clarity and low haze. The resulting sheet/film/fabric will also be evaluated based on cost...

NASA Tech Needs
Packaging Defect Detection

Consumers desire dent-free packages and properly affixed labels on 3D rigid packaging. A client seeks an automated system that will check the quality of these labels, and will detect, measure, and record critical information. The detection procedure will inform changes in processes, materials, or equipment to reduce or...

NASA Tech Needs
Naturally Derived Chemicals Exhibiting Pesticidal Effects

A company seeks biorational approaches to new pesticides. “Biorational” approaches include processes, organisms, or chemistries that occur spontaneously in nature. By isolating these substances, a biorational pesticide may be created. These naturally derived (or synthesized products...

NASA Tech Needs
Natural Ingredients for Foods That Improve Insulin Sensitivity

Healthy people and pre-diabetic individuals may have a reduced sensitivity (or resistance) to insulin. A company seeks natural ingredients that can be added to foods that will enhance the body’s sensitivity to insulin, and help maintain post-absorptive blood glucose control at a...

NASA Tech Needs
Indoor Air Quality Improvements

A company wants to decrease the frequency and severity of respiratory illness in homes with adults, teens, and children. Affordable indoor air quality improvement solutions must be provided to consumers via an air purification device. The client seeks a third-party partner who can offer a currently commercialized/...