Spinoff: Transportation
Pressure-Sensitive Paints Advance Rotorcraft Design Testing

NASA Technology

The rotors of certain helicopters can spin at speeds as high as 500 revolutions per minute. As the blades slice through the air, they flex, moving into the wind and back out, experiencing pressure changes on the order of thousands of times a second...

Spinoff: Transportation
Polymers Advance Heat Management Materials for Vehicles

NASA Technology

For 6 years prior to the retirement of the Space Shuttle Program, the shuttles carried an onboard repair kit with a tool for emergency use: two tubes of NOAX, or “good goo,” as some people called it. NOAX flew on all 22 flights following the Columbia...

Spinoff: Transportation
Wireless Sensors Pinpoint Rotorcraft Troubles

NASA Technology

Helicopters present many advantages over fixed-wing aircraft: they can take off from and land in tight spots, they can move in any direction with relative ease, and they can hover in one area for extended periods of time. But that maneuverability comes...

Spinoff: Public Safety
Ultrasonic Detectors Safely Identify Dangerous, Costly Leaks

NASA Technology

In 1990, NASA grounded its space shuttle fleet. The reason: leaks detected in the hydrogen fuel systems of the Space Shuttles Atlantis and Columbia. Unless the sources of the leaks could be identified and fixed, the shuttles would not be safe to...

Spinoff: Public Safety
Detectors Ensure Function, Safety of Aircraft Wiring

NASA Technology

Pedro Medelius waited patiently in his lab at Kennedy Space Center. He had just received word that a colleague was bringing over a cable from a Space Shuttle solid rocket booster to test Medelius’ new invention. Medelius was calm until his...

Spinoff: Public Safety
Emergency Systems Save Tens of Thousands of Lives

NASA Technology

Shortly before midnight on September 21st, 2010, the small fishing boat Ebby Luz started taking on water. In immediate danger and 8 miles from the shore, its crew activated an emergency beacon that began transmitting their distress signal, identity, and...

Spinoff: Public Safety
Oxygen Assessments Ensure Safer Medical Devices

NASA Technology

Alongside the tragedies that are part of the history of human spaceflight, bittersweet lessons have been learned. These lessons have not only taught us about the extreme requirements of space travel; they have taught us how to live more safely on Earth.

Spinoff: Public Safety
Collaborative Platforms Aid Emergency Decision Making

NASA Technology

Terra. Aqua. Cloudsat. Landsat. NASA runs and partners in many missions dedicated to monitoring the Earth, and the tools used in these missions continuously return data on everything from shifts in temperature to cloud formation to pollution levels...

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
Space-Inspired Trailers Encourage Exploration on Earth

NASA Technology

An inch can make a world of difference. Which is why Garrett Finney moved the office coffee-maker into the full-size, cardboard mockup of the new trailer he was designing. The need for caffeine—and the threat of hot coffee accidentally dumped on...

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
Ultra-Thin Coatings Beautify Art

NASA Technology

The craftsmen in the Roman Empire who constructed the Lycurgus Cup 17 centuries ago probably didn’t think their artifact would survive for nearly 2,000 years as a prized possession. And they certainly couldn’t have known that the technology they used to make it would...

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
Spacesuit Materials Add Comfort to Undergarments

NASA Technology

“Life’s too short to wear average underwear,” says Mo Moorman, the director of public relations at Jockey International. By “average underwear,” Moorman means underwear without NASA technology in it.

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
Gigapixel Images Connect Sports Teams with Fans

NASA Technology

NASA’s twin Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, remain one of the Agency’s greatest achievements in exploration. On Earth, these robots are best known for their stunning pictures of the Martian landscape—images that, in addition to providing...

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
Satellite Maps Deliver More Realistic Gaming

NASA Technology

In June 2009, NASA launched Terra, the flagship of NASA’s Earth Observing System, which studies a sweeping set of the planet’s characteristics. Included in the satellite is the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER). ASTER is a...

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
Elemental Scanning Devices Authenticate Works of Art

NASA Technology

What do you think the paper or computer screen you are looking at is made of? Are the shoes you are wearing really made of leather? Is the table nearby made of wood? How can you be sure? For most people, these questions may sound like useless speculation,...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Microradiometers Reveal Ocean Health, Climate Change

NASA Technology

When NASA researcher Stanford Hooker is in the field, he pays close attention to color. For Hooker, being in the field means being at sea. On one such research trip to the frigid waters of the Arctic, with a Coast Guard icebreaker looming nearby and the...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Sensors Enable Plants to Text Message Farmers

NASA Technology

Long-term human spaceflight means long-term menu planning. Since every pound of cargo comes with a steep price tag, NASA has long researched technologies and techniques to allow astronauts to grow their own food, both on the journey and in some cases at their...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Efficient Cells Cut the Cost of Solar Power

NASA Technology

If you visit Glenn Research Center, you might encounter a photovoltaic (PV) array that looks unlike anything you’ve ever seen. In fact, what one would normally identify as the panel is actually a series of curved mirrors called solar concentrators, engineered to...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Shuttle Topography Data Inform Solar Power Analysis

NASA Technology

The next time you flip on a light switch, there’s a chance that you could be benefitting from data originally acquired during the Space Shuttle Program. An effort spearheaded by Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the National...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Photocatalytic Solutions Create Self-Cleaning Surfaces

NASA Technology

Hazy smog over cities and smoke pouring from the stacks of factories and power plants are visible reminders of the threat posed by air pollution to the environment and personal health. But air quality is often an unseen influence on our lives. Even on...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Concentrators Enhance Solar Power Systems

NASA Technology

“Right now, solar electric propulsion is being looked at very seriously,” says Michael Piszczor, chief of the photovoltaic and power technologies branch at Glen Research Center. The reason, he explains, originates with a unique NASA mission from the late...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Innovative Coatings Potentially Lower Facility Maintenance Costs

NASA Technology

NASA’s Stennis Space Center is located on 13,500 acres in Hancock County, Mississippi, surrounded by another 125,000 acres that act as a buffer for the deafening roar of rocket engines. It has witnessed the flame and smoke spout from the...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Simulation Packages Expand Aircraft Design Options

When engineers explore designs for safer, more fuel efficient, or faster aircraft, they encounter a common problem: they never know exactly what will happen until the vehicle gets off the ground.

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Web Solutions Inspire Cloud Computing Software

NASA Technology

In 2008, a NASA effort to standardize its websites inspired a breakthrough in cloud computing technology. The innovation has spurred the growth of an entire industry in open source cloud services that has already attracted millions in investment and is...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Behavior Prediction Tools Strengthen Nanoelectronics

NASA Technology

Several years ago, NASA started making plans to send robots to explore the deep, dark craters on the Moon. As part of these plans, NASA needed modeling tools to help engineer unique electronics to withstand extremely cold temperatures.

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Power Converters Secure Electronics in Harsh Environments

NASA Technology

“Space weather” is a term more frequently used as solar storms and flares are closely monitored and analyzed for the impact they might have on Earth. Blasts of radiation, if strong enough, can make their presence felt by temporarily shutting down...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Diagnostics Tools Identify Faults Prior to Failure

NASA Technology

The Drilling Automation for Mars Exploration (DAME) project was designed to unearth the secrets of Mars—literally. The project’s engineers designed a light, low-power drill to penetrate into the Martian surface and return clues about the Red...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Archiving Innovations Preserve Essential Historical Records

NASA Technology

The Moon hosts perhaps the most fascinating museum that no one ever visits. From reflectometers to space boots, the lunar module’s descent stage, and the famous first footprints left behind by Neil Armstrong, the Apollo 11 mission alone left over...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Meter Designs Reduce Operation Costs for Industry
Meter Designs Reduce Operation Costs for Industry

NASA Technology

The space shuttle engines changed drastically from the drawing board to the launch pad. The engine—and each of its intricate parts—required extensive testing...

Meter Designs Reduce Operation Costs for Industry
Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Commercial Platforms Allow Affordable Space Research
Commercial Platforms Allow Affordable Space Research

NASA Technology

At an altitude of about 240 miles, its orbital path carries it over 90 percent of the Earth’s population. It circles the Earth in continuous free fall; its...

Commercial Platforms Allow Affordable Space Research
Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Fiber Optics Deliver Real-Time Structural Monitoring

NASA Technology

If the wings of a plane could talk about what they feel during flight, what would they say? Engineers at Dryden Flight Research Center are beginning to find out.