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

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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Nano 50 Deadline

Nominations for Nanotech Briefs' third annual Nano 50 awards competition are being accepted through 11:59 PM today, April 2. The awards honor the top 50 innovators, products, and technological advancements that demonstrate the greatest potential toward developing the commercialization of nanotechnology. Previous winners include...

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Technology Business Briefs

A Fiber Optic-Based Integration System (FOBIS) has been developed that may be capable of in-situ, real-time biological monitoring, and is based on a single fiber optic system. A compact, multi-functional device, the FOBIS incorporates three working units (a Micro-Flow Cytometer, a Micro-Photometer, and a Micro-Sensor)...

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Chain-mail Fabric

University of Illinois scientists have fabricated the world's smallest

chain-mail fabric that consists of a network of small rings about 500

University of Illinois scientists have fabricated the world's smallest chain-mail fabric that consists of a network of small rings about 500 microns in diameter and even...

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White Papers

Thousands of engineers and scientists rely on National Instruments' LabVIEW for a variety of applications. This paper focuses on the capabilities that make LabVIEW the right tool for data and measurement analysis.

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New Coating

Materials engineers at Purdue University have created a new type of coating that attracts water yet beads oils, promising potential applications such as "self-cleaning" eyeglasses and antifogging car windshields and ski goggles.

The coating consists of a single-molecule-thick layer of a material called polyethylene glycol,...

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Tech Needs of the Week

Technical assistance is needed for the manufacture of serrated, scalloped (concave), and wavy (convex) bandknife blades. Of interest are 14 and 16 TPI (teeth per inch) by blanking for the serrated edge. Blanking has been achieved for the scalloped edge, but the resulting shape is not satisfactory. Blanking was not achieved...

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NASA News

The "Research Opportunities in Aeronautics" announcement from NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate seeks research in several new topic areas for the Next Generation Air Transportation System Air Traffic Management Airspace Project and the Subsonic Fixed Wing Project.

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Sugar Battery

Researchers at Saint Louis University (St. Louis, MO) have developed a biodegradable fuel cell battery that runs on virtually any sugar source, from soft drinks to tree sap, and has the potential to operate three to four times longer on a single charge than conventional lithium ion batteries. If the battery continues to show...

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Technologies of the Week

A low-cost fingerprint detector, using off-the-shelf components integrated into a compact, portable unit, is available. The fingertip is moved relative to a skin-resistance-sensing array to produce a 'reference trajectory signal' that is stored in memory. The fingertip is moved again to produce a 'sample trajectory...

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Air Car

Engineers at Moteur Developpment International (MDI, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg) have designed a prototype car that is powered by compressed air. The vehicle has a tubular chassis that is glued together, a fiberglass body, and uses wireless communication between its components. The engine weighs less than half that of a standard car....

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Saturn Movies

Astronomers have woven NASA Hubble Space Telescope images of Saturn, its rings, and several of its moons into three movies. Each movie highlights unique times in the planet's 30-year waltz around the Sun. Hubble snapped only about a dozen images during each of these three events, so astronomers created software to extend the photos...

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Nano 50â„¢ Awards

Nanotech Briefs® magazine is accepting nominations for its third annual Nano 50 awards competition. The Nano 50 recognizes the top 50 technologies, innovators, and products with the greatest potential to advance the commercialization of nanotechnology.

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Chemical Weapons Sensor

Using lasers and tuning forks, researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a chemical weapon agent sensing technique called Quartz Laser Photo-Acoustic Sensing (QPAS) that promises to meet or exceed current and emerging defense and homeland security chemical detection requirements.

The...

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Tech Needs of the Week

A coating that is hard and has a high modulus of elasticity is needed for application to polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) optical films. Excellent coating adhesion and optical transparency are mandatory. The coating must withstand a force greater than 13,000 MpA, and offer a pencil hardness of B or over.To respond to this Tech Need...

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Supply Chain Software

By 2020, NASA plans to establish a long-term human presence on the Moon. To make this possible, a reliable stream of consumables such as fuel, food and oxygen, spare parts, and exploration equipment would have to make its way from the Earth to the Moon as predictably as any Earth-based delivery system. To figure out how to...

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New on the Market

BI Technologies Electronic Components Division (Fullerton, CA) introduced the EN line of rotary mechanical encoders. The two-bit gray code incremental encoders are housed in 11, 12, and 16 mm packages, and feature detents and push-on switch options. For more information, visit: http://link.abpi.net/l.php?20070321A6

...

Question of the Week
Will Self-Erasing Chips Catch On?

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Metal Injection Molding’s Role in Automotive

Upcoming Webinars: Materials

Technical Ceramics: The Powerhouse of Advanced Materials

Upcoming Webinars: Software

PPAP Reviews Using AI and Machine Learning

Upcoming Webinars: Motion Control

Customizing Actuators Using COTS Drive Components for Martian...

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

2020 Create the Future Contest Awards

Upcoming Webinars: RF & Microwave Electronics

Advancement of Spectrum Analysis Techniques for Tracking,...

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