Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Voltage Sensors Monitor Harmful Static

Anyone who has ever experienced an unpleasant jolt from a doorknob after shuffling across the carpet on a dry morning knows that static electricity—also known as triboelectric charging—can be a nuisance. However, many computer enthusiasts are too familiar with how built-up triboelectricity can...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Compact Instruments Measure Heat Potential

Without the insulating protection of Earth’s atmosphere, orbiting space shuttles, space stations, and satellites are subject to thermal damage from radiation. This damage varies with different orbital parameters, solar activity, and the vehicle’s angle to the Sun, so these external surfaces...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Program Assists Satellite Designers

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Managed by Goddard Space Flight Center, the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) was launched on December 30, 1995, from Kennedy Space Center, and to this day, it is still active. The satellite carries several instruments and is part of the...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Water-Based Coating Simplifies Circuit Board Manufacturing

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

The Structures and Materials Division at Glenn Research Center is devoted to developing advanced, high-temperature materials and processes for future aerospace propulsion and power generation systems. The Polymers Branch...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Software Schedules Missions, Aids Project Management

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

NASA missions require advanced planning, scheduling, and management, and the Space Agency has worked extensively to develop the programs and software suites necessary to facilitate these complex missions. These enormously...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Software Analyzes Complex Systems in Real Time

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Expert system software programs, also known as knowledge-based systems, are computer programs that emulate the knowledge and analytical skills of one or more human experts, related to a specific subject. SHINE (Spacecraft Health...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Wireless Sensor Network Handles Image Data

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

To relay data from remote locations for NASA’s Earth sciences research, Goddard Space Flight Center contributed to the development of “microservers” (wireless sensor network nodes), which are now used commercially as a quick and...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Virtual Reality System Offers a Wide Perspective

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Robot Systems Technology Branch engineers at Johnson Space Center created the remotely controlled Robonaut for use as an additional “set of hands” in extravehicular activities (EVAs) and to allow exploration of environments that...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Software Simulates Sight: Flat Panel Mura Detection

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

In the increasingly sophisticated world of high-definition flat screen monitors and television screens, image clarity and the elimination of distortion are paramount concerns. As the devices that reproduce images become more and...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Inductive System Monitors Tasks

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

The Inductive Monitoring System (IMS) software developed at Ames Research Center uses artificial intelligence and data mining techniques to build system-monitoring knowledge bases from archived or simulated sensor data. This information is then used...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Mars Mapping Technology Brings Main Street to Life

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

The Red Planet has long held a particular hold on the human psyche. From the Roman god of war to Orson Welles’ infamous Halloween broadcast, our nearest planetary neighbor has been viewed with curiosity, suspicion, and awe....

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Intelligent Memory Module Overcomes Harsh Environments

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Solar cells, integrated circuits, and sensors are essential to manned and unmanned space flight and exploration, but such systems are highly susceptible to damage from radiation. Especially problematic, the Van Allen radiation...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Integrated Circuit Chip Improves Network Efficiency

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Prior to 1999 and the development of SpaceWire, a standard for high-speed links for computer networks managed by the European Space Agency (ESA), there was no high-speed communications protocol for flight electronics. Onboard...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Novel Process Revolutionizes Welding Industry

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Deformation resistance welding (DRW) is a revolutionary welding process—a new technique for joining metals—in an industry that has not changed significantly in decades. Developed by the Energy and Chassis Division of the Detroit-based Delphi...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Sensors Increase Productivity in Harsh Environments

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

A team of scientists at Glenn Research Center, operating under the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate’s Aviation Safety and Fundamental Aeronautics programs, developed a series of technologies for testing aircraft engine combustion...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Portable Device Analyzes Rocks and Minerals

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Building on the success of the two rover geologists that arrived on Mars in January 2004, NASA’s next rover mission is being planned for travel to the Red Planet before the end of the decade. Twice as long and three times as heavy as the Mars...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
NASA Design Strengthens Welds

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

The Welding Institute (TWI), a nonprofit professional organization based out of the United Kingdom and devoted to the industry of joining materials, engineering, and allied technologies, developed a novel form of welding in the 1990s. Friction stir welding (FSW),...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Polyimide Boosts High-Temperature Performance

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Polyimides are a class of polymers notable for chemical, wear, radiation, and temperature resistance, characteristics that have led to applications as diverse as aerospace engine housings and electronics packaging. Other applications include...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
NASA Innovation Builds Better Nanotubes

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

One of the basic nanotechnology structures, the carbon nanotube, is a graphite sheet one atomic layer thick that is wrapped on itself to create an extraordinarily thin, strong tube. Although carbon nanotubes were discovered more than 15 years ago, their...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Portable Nanomesh Creates Safer Drinking Water

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Providing astronauts with clean water is essential to space exploration to ensure the health and well-being of crewmembers away from Earth. For the sake of efficient and safe long-term space travel, NASA constantly seeks to improve the process of...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Innovative Stemless Valve Eliminates Emissions

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

The past, present, and future of NASA launch and space travel technologies are steeped in the icy realm of cryogenics. NASA employs cryogenics, the science of generating extremely low temperatures and the behavior of materials at those...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Web-Based Mapping Puts the World at Your Fingertips

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

NASA’s award-winning Earth Resources Laboratory Applications Software (ELAS) package was developed at Stennis Space Center. Since 1978, ELAS has been used worldwide for processing satellite and airborne sensor imagery data of the Earth’s...

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
Space Research Fortifies Nutrition Worldwide

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

In addition to the mammoth engineering challenge posed by launching a cargo-laden craft into space for a long-distance mission, keeping the crews safe and healthy for these extended periods of time in space poses further challenges, problems for...

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
Aerogels Insulate Missions and Consumer Products

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Recently, NASA’s Stardust mission used a block of aerogel to catch high-speed comet particles and specks of interstellar dust without damaging them, by slowing down the particles from their high velocity with minimal heating or other effects...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Computer Model Locates Environmental Hazards

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Since 1972, Landsat satellites have collected information about Earth from space. Specialized digital photographs of Earth’s continents and surrounding coastal regions have helped people study many aspects of our planet and analyze and protect...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Battery Technology Stores Clean Energy

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Affordable and reliable clean energy has been a tantalizing, but elusive, quarry. Featured in Spinoff 1985 and pioneered by Lawrence Thaller at Lewis (now Glenn) Research Center in the 1970s as a potential alternate energy source for long-term space...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Robots Explore the Farthest Reaches of Earth and Space

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

“We were the first that ever burst/Into that silent sea,” the title character recounts in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s opus Rime of the Ancient Mariner. This famous couplet is equally applicable to undersea exploration today as surface...

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
Space Age Swimsuit Reduces Drag, Breaks Records

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

A space shuttle and a competitive swimmer have a lot more in common than people might realize: Among other forces, both have to contend with the slowing influence of drag. NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate focuses primarily on...

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
Immersive Photography Renders 360º Views

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

NASA uses 3-D immersive photography and video for guiding space robots, in the space shuttle and International Space Station programs, cryogenic wind tunnels, and for remote docking of spacecraft. It allows researchers to view situations with the same...

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
Historic Partnership Captures Our Imagination

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Timeless, beautiful, and haunting images: A delicate blue marble floating in the black sea of space; a brilliant white astronaut suit, visor glowing gold, the entire Earth as a backdrop; the Moon looming large and ghostly, pockmarked with sharp...