Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Analyzers Measure Greenhouse Gasses, Airborne Pollutants

NASA Technology

In complete darkness, a NASA observatory waits. When an eruption of boiling water billows from a nearby crack in the ground, the observatory’s sensors seek particles in the fluid, measure shifts in carbon isotopes, and analyze samples for biological...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Remediation Technologies Eliminate Contaminants

NASA Technology

All research and development has a story behind it, says Jacqueline Quinn, environmental engineer at Kennedy Space Center. For Quinn, one such story begins with the Saturn 1B launch stand at Kennedy and ends with a unique solution to a challenging environmental...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Receivers Gather Data for Climate, Weather Prediction

NASA Technology

Signals from global positioning system (GPS) satellites are now being used for more than just location and navigation information. By looking at the radio waves from GPS satellites, a technology developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) not...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Coating Processes Boost Performance of Solar Cells

NASA Technology

NASA currently has spacecraft orbiting Mercury (MESSENGER), imaging the asteroid Vesta (Dawn), roaming the red plains of Mars (the Opportunity rover), and providing a laboratory for humans to advance scientific research in space (the International Space...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Analyzers Provide Water Security in Space and on Earth

NASA Technology

Resourcefulness is a key quality for living in space, and on the International Space Station (ISS), that means making the most of water supplies. In 2008, the installation of the Water Processing Assembly (WPA) onboard the ISS allowed the space...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Catalyst Substrates Remove Contaminants, Produce Fuel

NASA Technology

“A spacecraft is the ultimate tight building. We don’t want any leaks, and there is very little fresh air coming in,” says Jay Perry, an aerospace engineer at Marshall Space Flight Center. “As a result, there is a huge potential for a buildup of...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Rocket Engine Innovations Advance Clean Energy

NASA Technology

During launch countdown, at approximately T-7 seconds, the Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs) roar to life. When the controllers indicate normal operation, the solid rocket boosters ignite and the shuttle blasts off. Initially, the SSMEs throttle down to reduce...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Technologies Render Views of Earth for Virtual Navigation

NASA Technology

On a December night in 1995, 159 passengers and crewmembers died when American Airlines Flight 965 flew into the side of a mountain while in route to Cali, Colombia. A key factor in the tragedy: The pilots had lost situational awareness in the dark,...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Content Platforms Meet Data Storage, Retrieval Needs

NASA Technology

Earth is under a constant barrage of information from space. Whether from satellites orbiting our planet, spacecraft circling Mars, or probes streaking toward the far reaches of the Solar System, NASA collects massive amounts of data from its...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Tools Ensure Reliability of Critical Software

NASA Technology

In November 2006, after attempting to make a routine maneuver, NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) reported unexpected errors. The onboard software switched to backup resources, and a 2-day lapse in communication took place between the spacecraft and Earth. When...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Electronic Handbooks Simplify Process Management

NASA Technology

Getting a multitude of people to work together to manage processes across many organizations —for example, flight projects, research, technologies, or data centers and others—is not an easy task. Just ask Dr. Barry E. Jacobs, a research computer scientist...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Software Innovations Speed Scientific Computing

NASA Technology

What causes the Sun to change? And what are the impacts on our planet and our daily lives?

These are some of the top questions that the Heliophysics Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate is seeking answers to through a variety of missions...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Controller Chips Preserve Microprocessor Function

NASA Technology

Above the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Brazil, there is a dip in the Earth’s surrounding magnetic field called the South Atlantic Anomaly. Here, space radiation can reach into Earth’s upper atmosphere to interfere with the functioning of satellites,...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Nanotube Production Devices Expand Research Capabilities

NASA Technology

In order for the Hubble Space Telescope to take incredible, never-seen-before shots of celestial bodies and then send them back to Earth, the spacecraft needs power. While in orbit, Hubble cannot plug into an electrical outlet or stop at a store for...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Custom Machines Advance Composite Manufacturing

NASA Technology

Here is a brief list of materials that NASA will not be using to construct spacecraft: wood, adobe, fiberglass, bone. While it might be obvious why these materials would not make for safe space travel, they do share a common characteristic with materials that...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Polyimide Foams Offer Superior Insulation

NASA Technology

At Langley Research Center, Erik Weiser and his colleagues in the Advanced Materials and Processing Branch were working with a new substance for fabricating composites for use in supersonic aircraft. The team, however, was experiencing some frustration. Every time...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Beam Steering Devices Reduce Payload Weight

NASA Technology

Scientists have long been able to shift the direction of a laser beam, steering it toward a target, but often the strength and focus of the light is altered. For precision applications, where the quality of the beam cannot be compromised, scientists have typically...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Models Support Energy-Saving Microwave Technologies

NASA Technology

During the Apollo Program, astronauts on the Moon encountered a small menace that created big problems: lunar dust. Similar to how tiny bits of Styrofoam behave on Earth—adhering to anything they touch—lunar dust sticks to spacesuits, spacecraft, tools,...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Materials Advance Chemical Propulsion Technology

NASA Technology

In the future, the Planetary Science Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate hopes to use better-performing and lower-cost propulsion systems to send rovers, probes, and observers to places like Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. For such purposes, a new...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
High-Temperature Coatings Offer Energy Savings

NASA Technology

The U.S. X-Plane Program included the first-of-its-kind research in aerodynamics and astronautics with experimental vehicles, including the first aircraft to break the sound barrier; the first aircraft to fly in excess of 100,000, then 200,000, and then 300,000...

Spinoff: Issues
Spinoff 2009
Image-Capture Devices Extend Medicine’s Reach
Medical Devices Assess, Treat Balance Disorders
NASA Bioreactors Advance Disease Treatments
Robotics Algorithms Provide Nutritional Guidelines
‘Anti-Gravity’ Treadmills Speed Rehabilitation
Crew...
Spinoff: Issues
Spinoff 2008
Robotics Offer Newfound Surgical Capabilities
In-Line Filtration Improves Hygiene and Reduces Expense
LED Device Illuminates New Path to Healing
Polymer Coats Leads on Implantable Medical Device
Lockable Knee Brace Speeds...
Spinoff: Issues
Spinoff 2007
Circulation-Enhancing Device Improves CPR
Noninvasive Test Detects Cardiovascular Disease
Scheduling Accessory Assists Patients with Cognitive Disorders
Neurospinal Screening Evaluates Nerve Function
Hand-Held Instrument Fights Acne, Tops Over-the-Counter Market
Spinoff: Issues
Spinoff 2006
Ingestible Thermometer Pill Aids Athletes in Beating the Heat
Space-Proven Medical Monitor: The Total Patient-Care Package
From Planetary Imaging to Enzyme Screening

Transportation

Damage-Tolerant Fan Casings for Jet Engines
Steering Aircraft Clear of Choppy...
Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
LED Systems Target Plant Growth

Living in space long term will require a sustainable environment. Plants provide fresh food, clean air, and clean water that will assist this effort, but plants need light to grow, and light requires energy. Here on Earth, most plants get this light from the obvious abundant source, the Sun. The Sun’s solar...

Spinoff: Health and Medicine
Burnishing Techniques Strengthen Hip Implants

When compressed air mixes with jet fuel and is ignited in a turbine engine, the temperature can reach 3,000 °F. As a result of this fiery exhaust, the turbine spins and then forces the air through the back of the engine, and the jet moves forward. While extremely hot air assists in...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Systems Analyze Water Quality in Real Time

If you are planning a day at your local park or even a weekend camping trip, you would simply pack all the food, drink, and supplies you need. Similarly, astronauts on short-term space missions can get away with packing the provisions they need to survive in space. But long-term space travel — a...

Spinoff: Health and Medicine
Signal Processing Methods Monitor Cranial Pressure

When you think of a beating heart, you might assume it beats at regular intervals, but in actuality, velocity and pressure change with every beat, and the time interval between each beat is different. Now a NASA-developed technology is helping researchers understand...

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
Aerogels Insulate Against Extreme Temperatures

“When you hold a piece of silica aerogel, it feels otherworldly. If you drop it on a table top, it has an acoustic ring to it. It sounds like a crystal glass hitting the table,” describes George Gould, the director of research and development at Aspen Aerogels Inc.

Similar in chemical...

Spinoff: Health and Medicine
Ultraviolet-Blocking Lenses Protect, Enhance Vision

In the 1980s, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) scientists James Stephens and Charles Miller were studying the harmful properties of light in space, as well as that of artificial radiation produced during laser and welding work. The intense light emitted during welding...