Spinoff: Transportation
Advanced Control System Increases Helicopter Safety

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

For over 30 years, NASA and U.S. Army engineers have worked together at Ames Research Center to make rotorcraft fly more quickly, quietly, and safely in all kinds of weather. Development of new technologies for both military and civil...

Spinoff: Transportation
Aerodynamics Research Revolutionizes Truck Design

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

The last 35 years have seen a sea change in the design of trucks on America’s highways, reflecting extensive research into vehicle aerodynamics and fluid dynamics conducted by NASA engineers. Thanks to the ingenuity of a Dryden Flight...

Spinoff: Transportation
Engineering Models Ease and Speed Prototyping

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

NASA astronauts plan to return to the Moon as early as 2015 and establish a lunar base, from which 6-month flights to Mars would be launched by 2030. Essential to this plan is the Ares launch vehicle, NASA’s next-generation spacecraft that will,...

Spinoff: Transportation
Software Performs Complex Design Analysis

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Designers use computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to gain greater understanding of the fluid flow phenomena involved in components being designed. They also use finite element analysis (FEA) as a tool to help gain greater understanding of the...

Spinoff: Health and Medicine
LED Device Illuminates New Path to Healing

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Among NASA’s research goals is increased understanding of factors affecting plant growth, including the effects of microgravity. Impeding such studies, traditional light sources used to grow plants on Earth are difficult to adapt to space flight,...

Spinoff: Health and Medicine
Lockable Knee Brace Speeds Rehabilitation

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Marshall Space Flight Center develops key transportation and propulsion technologies for the Space Agency. The Center manages propulsion hardware and technologies of the space shuttle, develops the next generation of space transportation and...

Spinoff: Health and Medicine
Robotic Joints Support Horses and Humans

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

A rehabilitative device first featured in Spinoff 2003 is not only helping human patients regain the ability to walk, but is now helping our four-legged friends as well. The late James Kerley, a prominent Goddard Space Flight Center researcher,...

Spinoff: Health and Medicine
Photorefraction Screens Millions for Vision Disorders

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Who would have thought that stargazing in the 1980s would lead to hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren seeing more clearly today? Collaborating with research ophthalmologists and optometrists, Marshall Space Flight Center scientists Joe...

Spinoff: Health and Medicine
Periodontal Probe Improves Exams, Alleviates Pain

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

“Dentists,” comedian Bill Cosby memorably mused, “tell you not to pick your teeth with any sharp metal object. Then you sit in their chair, and the first thing they grab is an iron hook!” Conventional periodontal probing is indeed...

Spinoff: Health and Medicine
Magnetic Separator Enhances Treatment Possibilities

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Since the earliest missions in space, NASA specialists have performed experiments in low gravity. Protein crystal growth, cell and tissue cultures, and separation technologies such as electrophoresis and magnetophoresis have been studied on...

Spinoff: Health and Medicine
Robotics Offer Newfound Surgical Capabilities

Anyone who has ever worked on a car’s engine or tried to fix a sink knows the frustration of trying to perform precision work in a hard-to-reach place. Imagine how that sense of frustration might magnify when, instead of trying to wrap the head of a wrench around a leaky nut under the kitchen...

Spinoff: Health and Medicine
In-Line Filtration Improves Hygiene and Reduces Expense

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Water, essential to sustaining life on Earth, is that much more highly prized in the unforgiving realm of space travel and habitation. Given a launch cost of $10,000 per pound for space shuttle...

Spinoff: Health and Medicine
Polymer Coats Leads on Implantable Medical Device

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Langley Research Center’s Soluble Imide (LaRC-SI) was discovered by accident. While researching resins and adhesives for advanced composites for high-speed aircraft, Robert Bryant, a Langley engineer, noticed that one of the polymers he was...

Spinoff: Health and Medicine
Circulation-Enhancing Device Improves CPR

Ever stand up too quickly from a sitting or lying position and feel dizzy or disoriented for a brief moment? The downward push of Earth's gravity naturally causes blood to settle in the lower areas of the human body, and occasionally, with a quick movement—such as rising swiftly from a...

Spinoff: Health and Medicine
Noninvasive Test Detects Cardiovascular Disease

For decades now, NASA has been sending spacecraft throughout the galaxy. Once in the cosmos, these crafts use advanced cameras to create images of corners and crevices of our universe never before seen and then transmit these pictures back to laboratories on Earth, where government scientists then...

Spinoff: Health and Medicine
Scheduling Accessory Assists Patients with Cognitive Disorders

Neuropsychology is the study of how the brain relates to behavior, emotion, and cognition. Clinical neuropsychologists evaluate the behavioral effects of neurological and developmental disorders stemming from brain injury, strokes, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and...

Spinoff: Health and Medicine
Neurospinal Screening Evaluates Nerve Function

When in the zero-gravity environment of space, an astronaut realizes quickly that most motions require significantly less effort, and the body adjusts itself to the new environment so that a simple act like putting in a contact lens does not result in a sharp poke in the eye or clapping of hands...

Spinoff: Health and Medicine
Hand-Held Instrument Fights Acne, Tops Over-the-Counter Market

When the U.S. Congress created NASA in 1958, it sought to ensure that the Nation saw returns on its investments in aerospace research. It, therefore, wrote provisions into the Space Act Agreement that formed the Agency requiring that NASA share its technological advances and...

Spinoff: Health and Medicine
Multispectral Imaging Broadens Cellular Analysis

How does life begin and evolve? Does life exist elsewhere in the universe? What is the future of life on Earth and beyond?

Spinoff: Health and Medicine
Hierarchical Segmentation Enhances Diagnostic Imaging

Developed by Dr. James Tilton, a computer engineer with Goddard Space Flight Center's Computational and Information Sciences and Technology Office, Hierarchical Segmentation (HSEG) software allows for advanced image analysis. The software organizes an image's pixels into regions based on...

Spinoff: Transportation
Comprehensive Software Eases Air Traffic Management

Gridlock, bottlenecks, bumper-to-bumper jams—we all get caught in congestion at one time or another, as the rigors of road traffic are an inevitable part of life. Sometimes we do our best to get ahead, taking advantage of the slightest opening in the next lane, in anticipation that it is...

Spinoff: Transportation
Modeling Tool Advances Rotorcraft Design

Often times, when people think of NASA, they think of space travel. The first "A" in NASA, however, is for "Aeronautics," and the Agency has always held as one of its tenets to explore, define, and solve issues in aircraft design. Just as often as NASA is associated with space travel, when people hear...

Spinoff: Transportation
Air Data Report Improves Flight Safety

Aviation is one of the safest means of transportation, but aviation safety professionals always work to make it safer. When flights operate outside of the norm, analysts perk up, as these flights are perhaps also operating outside the realm of safety. These out-of-the- ordinary flights, or atypicalities,...

Spinoff: Transportation
Advanced Airfoils Boost Helicopter Performance

Advanced rotorcraft airfoils developed by U.S. Army engineers working with NASA's Langley Research Center were part of the Army's risk reduction program for the LHX (Light Helicopter Experimental), the forerunner of the Comanche helicopter. The helicopter's airfoils were designed as part of the...

Spinoff: Transportation
Deicing System Protects General Aviation Aircraft

Ice accumulation is a serious safety hazard for aircraft. The presence of ice on airplane surfaces prevents the even flow of air, which increases drag and reduces lift. Ice on wings is especially dangerous during takeoff, when a sheet of ice the thickness of a compact disc can reduce lift by 25...

Spinoff: Public Safety
Chemical-Sensing Cables Detect Potential Threats

As fleets of aircraft age, corrosion of metal parts becomes a very real economic and safety concern. Corrosive agents like moisture, salt, and industrial fluids—and even internal problems, like leaks and condensation—wear away and, especially over time and repeated exposure, begin to...

Spinoff: Public Safety
Infrared Imaging Sharpens View in Critical Situations

The Microgravity Combustion Science group at NASA's Glenn Research Center studies how fire and combustible liquids and gasses behave in low-gravity conditions. This group, currently working as part of the Life Support and Habitation Branch under the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate,...

Spinoff: Public Safety
Plants Clean Air and Water for Indoor Environments

Although one of NASA's goals is to send people to the far reaches of our universe, it is still well known that people need Earth. We understand that humankind's existence relies on its complex relationship with this planet's environment—in particular, the regenerative qualities of Earth's...

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
Corrosive Gas Restores Artwork, Promises Myriad Applications

Short wavelength solar radiation in the space environment just outside of the Earth's atmosphere produces atomic oxygen. This gas reacts with spacecraft polymers, causing gradual oxidative thinning of the protective layers of orbiting objects, like satellites and the International...

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
Detailed Globes Enhance Education and Recreation

Earth from space—swirling wisps of white against a backdrop of deep azure, punctuated with brown and green swatches of land, all etched on one orb surrounded by black space, floating, seemingly isolated, but teeming with humanity and other forms of life. It is an iconic image, first captured...