Billy's Blog

On Billy's Blog, Billy Hurley, Digital Editorial Manager, writes stories about new and innovative achievements in design engineering, from industrial robots and autonomous vehicles to 3D printers and see-through solar cells. Along with other Tech Briefs writers and editors, Billy shares his opinions, poses questions to readers, and finds the fun, interesting, and unexpected stories behind today's leading-edge inventions.

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Current Attractions

Defense Tech Briefs (DTB) provides engineers with a one-stop source for the latest advances and tech transfer opportunities from Defense Department R&D programs. Commercially promising inventions resulting from this work are reported in DTB magazine, published bi-monthly and mailed with NASA Tech Briefs. Here are some of...

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Technologies of the Week

A fabric (non reflective) is available that can emit its own light. It is created with threads of every type and nature and can emit light in different colors. View this technology here.

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File Sharing

Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon (Pittsburgh, PA) have developed a method of speeding up the transfer of large data files over the Internet by configuring peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing services to share not only identical files, but also similar files. By identifying relevant chunks of files similar to a desired file, the...

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Current Attractions

The ScanWorks(R) hand-held 3D laser scanner from Perceptron (Plymouth, MI) was named Photonics Tech Briefs Product of the Month for April. The instrument features a scanning rate of up to 458,000 points per second and can maintain a dense point resolution of approximately 14 microns. The device projects the sensor's field of...

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Technology Business Brief

Company is seeking industry support for further testing and development of its carbon nanotube (CNT) adhesive.

Developed in conjunction with the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the University of California-Berkeley, this company is looking for industry investment to support tests on the adhesion strength...

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PTB Product of the Year Awards

Each month, the editors of Photonics Tech Briefs (PTB) select a Product of the Month. At the end of the year, we ask our readers to choose the Product of the Year -- the one product from those eight nominees that they feel was the most significant new product introduced to the photonics engineering community in...

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Designer Heart

A new counter-flow heart pump being developed by researchers at Australia's Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is based on a double-output centrifugal model that pushes the blood in a counter direction to ensure correct flow through both sides of the heart.

"The counter-flow pump is a bi-ventricular assist device...

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Brain Model

Understanding the functional significance of the folds in the outermost layer of the brains of large mammals is one of the big open questions in neuroscience. A team led by MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School researchers recently developed a tool that could aid such studies by helping researchers "see" how...

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Tech Needs of the Week

New orthobiologic technologies are needed that stimulate bone growth in spinal fusion repairs. Methods that stimulate bone growth, provide growth scaffolding, and promote healing through osteo- induction (where bone formation is actively induced) and osteo- conduction (where a scaffold passively facilitates bone repair)...

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Drug Delivery

A Princeton University research team has created particles that can deliver medicine deep into the lungs or infiltrate cancer cells while leaving normal cells alone. Only 100 to 300 nanometers wide, the particles can be loaded with medicines or imaging agents to enhance the detection capabilities of CT scans and MRIs.

The...

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White Papers

NASA recently developed LaRC02, a set of first-ply-failure criteria for composites that have been shown to be accurate and physically consistent. This white paper from Noran Engineering describes the LaRC02 criterion features and its implementation into NEiNastran.

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Laser Measurement

University of Rochester (Rochester, NY) researchers developed a technique, using a laser, white light, and a reflective tube, that in 60 seconds or less measures multiple chemicals in body fluids. The technique tests urine and blood serum for common chemicals important to monitoring and treatment of diabetes and cardio-...

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Momentum Measurement

Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory-Stennis Space Center (NRL-SSC, Washington, DC) have directly derived the air-sea momentum exchange at the ocean interface using observed ocean currents under Hurricane Ivan and determined that it decreases when winds exceed 32 meters per second. Proper evaluation and measurement of...

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Technologies of the Week

A fiber optic link noise measurement and optimization system is available. It includes an apparatus for measuring noise signals in each fiber optic link and apparatus for generating system performance data corresponding to the noise signals measured by the noise measurement apparatus. View this technology here.

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Smell Test

Developed by scientists at the University of Cincinnati (UC, Cincinnati, OH), the Sniff Magnitude Test (SMT) may sniff out olfactory disorders that could be an early warning of AlzheimerÂ’s disease, ParkinsonÂ’s disease, and other problems outside the typical sensory loss associated with aging.

The sense of smell is one...

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White Papers

Antenna engineers are now face increasingly difficult concerns regarding directionality, frequency variations, isolation, and testing. This paper from Emerson & Cuming Microwave Products describes how the use of microwave absorbers and dielectric materials can offer today's antenna engineers solutions to address these...

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Current Attractions

In a crash, keeping the occupants alive and uninjured is paramount. As a part of the Structural Dynamics Branch in the Research and Technology Directorate at NASA Langley, the Landing and Impact Research Facility (LandIR) tests the safety of aircraft by crashing them. Dr. Karen Jackson is part of the research team.

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Technology Business Brief

The turbine blade features a much lighter, more efficient, less expensive, and entirely new structural design. Other advantages offered by

this technology include increased performance, lower noise, decreased maintenance time and expense, and optimized electronic pitch control. View this brief here.

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NASA News

NASA's new Science Mission Directorate Associate Administrator Alan Stern has appointed NASA scientist and 2006 Nobel Prize recipient John Mather to lead the Office of the Chief Scientist at Headquarters in Washington, DC. Mather and his staff will be chief advisors to Stern. Office responsibilities will include assisting the associate...

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Dental Device

A recently completed pilot study conducted with the University of Michigan has shown that a Sandia National Laboratories handheld device determined in minutes -- from a tiny sample of saliva -- not only if a patient has gum disease, but how advanced the disease is.

Using a disposable lab-on-a-chip cartridge, the device makes...

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Current Attractions

The Desktop 3D Scanner from NextEngine (Santa Monica, CA) was named NTB's Product of the Month for April. A full-color multi-laser scanner that scans complex shapes for CAD and 3D design applications on the desktop, the scanner is about the size of a cereal box and connects directly to a PC via USB 2.0. It operates with...

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Awards

NASA has selected 18 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) research proposals for Phase 2 contract negotiations. The selected STTR projects have a total value of approximately $11 million, and the contracts will be awarded to 17 small, high-technology firms in 10 states.

The goals of the program are to stimulate technological...

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Tech Needs of the Week

An advanced materials company is seeking new coating technologies that display excellent weathering and durability performance. The coatings will be applied in wet format to glass substrates and need to be optically transparent, have a hardness of at least 2H, and have excellent outdoor durability.

To respond to...

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White Papers

This paper introduces the three levels of data-logging software for use with National Instruments’ DAQ devices -- NI LabVIEW SignalExpress, NI LabVIEW SignalExpress LE, and NI LabVIEW.

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White Papers

This paper introduces the three levels of data-logging software for use with National Instruments’ DAQ devices -- NI LabVIEW SignalExpress, NI LabVIEW SignalExpress LE, and NI LabVIEW.

Unique Method for Orifice Production

This white paper from Bird Precision explains that in producing accurate,...

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Intelligent Sunglasses

Researchers at the University of Washington (Seattle, WA) have designed prototype sunglasses that darken instantaneously, using electrochromic materials that change transparency depending on the electric currents running through them. The wearer spins a tiny dial on the arm of the glasses to change lens color or...

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Current Attractions

Each month, NTB highlights tech briefs related to a particular area of technology in a special section known as Technology Focus. Here's an Insider look at the April focus on Sensors.

Wearable Environmental and Physiological Sensing Unit

Developed at NASA™s Ames Research Center, the wearable environmental and...

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Technologies of the Week

A multilayer plastic film is available that meets the specifications required for flexible food packaging. View this technology here.

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Fancar Aircraft

Engineers at Urban Aeronautics (Yavne, Israel) are developing the prototype X-Hawk Fancraft(TM), a Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) vehicle whose rotors, unlike a helicopter, are contained in the body of the craft. Originally envisioned as a medical evacuation vehicle, X-Hawk’s modular cargo bay allows for tailor-made,...

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