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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Technology Business Briefs

Small Geometry Flash EEPROM & DRAM Memory Patents

These patents cover such topics as Flash EEPROM and DRAM device, high storage capacity, cell size, cell layout, product material, etching masking material, photolithography technique, narrower spacing between adjacent line patterns, high packing density of...

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Unwarped at Warp Speed

Researchers at the University of Warwick in the UK have developed a way to identify partial, distorted, scratched, smudged, or otherwise warped fingerprints in a few seconds. Previous techniques have tried to identify a few key features on a fingerprint and match them against a database of templates. The new method...

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NASA Briefs

Johnson Space Center (Houston, TX) has invented photocatalytic/ magnetic composite particles as an improved method of photocatalysis for removing chemical and biological pollutants from air and water. Read more here.

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Tech Needs of the Week

A company seeks an aerosol that can be easily launched using a pulsed jet fogger, has reflectivity or other optical properties, and is safe for human cutaneous and pulmonary contact. Visually reflective aerosols are sought with emitted or reflected light that can be manipulated using laser or other optical sources. Click...

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Small Strength

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a new technique for identifying and repairing small, potentially dangerous cracks in aircraft wings and other structures made from polymer composites. By infusing a polymer with electrically conductive carbon nanotubes, and then monitoring the structure's electrical...

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Current Attractions

Each month, NTB highlights tech briefs related to a particular area of technology in a special section called Technology Focus. Here are some of the technologies featured in the October issue focus on Sensors.

Wirelessly Interrogated Position or Displacement Sensors

Researchers at NASA's Langley Research...

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Techs of the Week

The Jettison D® is an ionizer that works in conjunction with a diesel engine's emission control system to decrease the amount of pollutants emitted while improving fuel economy, reducing maintenance, and enhancing engine performance. It changes unburned oil droplets and vapors emitted from the engine into light, burnable...

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High-Tech Helmets

The University of Illinois (UI) at Urbana- Champaign and Unity High School in Tolono, IL, have teamed with Simbex, a research and product- development company in New Hampshire, to develop a system inside a football helmet that monitors head injuries. It works in tandem with helmets made by Riddell, and was first tested on the...

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Coming Attractions

This monthly review lets you "meet" the new advertisers appearing in Defense Tech Briefs (DTB). Here's a sneak peek at the products, services, and offers available from October's first-time advertisers.

AVX Corp. (Myrtle Beach, SC) offers products for defense, aerospace, and space applications, including ceramic...

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Technology Business Briefs

Portfolio of Mobile Messaging Patents for Sale

Four U.S. patents, several U.S. applications and a family of international counterparts are available.

Reinforced Micromodule

This technology relates to a reinforced micromodule of the kind for supporting an integrated circuit adapted here for use in...

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A Panoramic View

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, in collaboration with scientists at NASA's Ames Research Center, have built a low-cost robotic device that enables any digital camera to produce gigapixel (billions of pixels) panoramas called GigaPans. The device attaches to any digital camera and enables the public to shoot...

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Innovate and Win!

Have you entered your unique invention in the 2007 Create the Future Design Contest, presented by SolidWorks Corp. and NASA Tech Briefs? If not, you only have until October 15 to submit your design idea. Entries are being accepted in six categories: Machinery, Equipment, and Component Technology; Consumer Products; Medical;...

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NASA Briefs

Glenn Research Center (Cleveland, OH) has designed a power supply for a cordless drill in which ultracapacitors, rather than batteries, are used to store energy. Whereas charging of batteries usually takes hours, ultracapacitors can be charged in seconds. Read more here.

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Techs of the Week

The Biomedical Center in Moscow has produced a vaccine that induces cytotoxic lymphocyte (CTL) clones and enables them to recognize and selectively kill Listeria- infected cells. As the lifetime of CTL clones is very long (three-seven years or more), the formulation could be used for both prophylaxis and treatment of...

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Smart Cars

Cars already automatically lock doors when they sense motion and turn on warning lights if they detect engine problems. But they are about to get a lot smarter.

A research team at Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM) is designing cars capable of analyzing human behavior. Future models may, for example, deduce from...

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Technology Business Briefs

Vertical Take-Off and Landing with Fixed-Wing Speed and Efficiency

This technology, already proven under a US Army contract, creates a hybrid aircraft that combines the best attributes of helicopters with the best attributes of fixed wing aircraft, i.e. VTOL and safe auto-rotation of gyroplanes with the...

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Smooth Flying

A new turbulence detection system alerts pilots to patches of rough air as they fly through clouds. The system, designed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and tested by United Airlines on commercial flights, is designed to better protect passengers from injuries caused by turbulence while reducing flight delays...

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Create the Future & Win Big!

Your unique invention could win you $20,000 or other great prizes in the 2007 Create the Future Design Contest, presented by SolidWorks Corp. and NASA Tech Briefs. Innovative design ideas are being accepted in six categories: Machinery, Equipment, and Component Technology; Consumer Products; Medical; Safety and...

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Where There's Smoke

Glowing firebrands (burning wood pieces) make for a warm evening in front of the fireplace, but for homeowners in high fire-risk areas, windborne fire material can be a nightmare. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has built a firebrand generator to study how firebrands ignite structures. It generates...

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Tech Needs of the Week

A company is seeking an absorbent pad capable of being loaded with a terpanol, which, when saturated, will allow the free flow of air or other gases through its structure. The pad can be made of any thickness or material, and can be used in household, office, and industrial applications. Find out more here.

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Nano Memory

Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania have developed nanowires that can store computer data for 100,000 years and retrieve the data 1,000 times faster than existing portable memory devices such as Flash and micro-drives. The self-assembling nanowire is made of germanium antimony telluride, a phase-changing material that...

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New Products

The MDrive 14Plus Motion Control system from Intelligent Motion Systems (Marlborough, CT) combines the motor, driver, controller, and encoder in one system using a NEMA size 14 brushless 1.8-degree motor. It measures 1.9 x 1.4 x 2.0" and includes a programmable controller and programming instruction set. Communication is via...

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Long-Life Pump

Researchers at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX, have developed a diaphragm pump driven by a piezoelectric actuator. The pump is a prototype of a lightweight pump for circulating cooling liquids in protective garments, high-power electronic circuits, and other medical applications.

The pump contains no sliding...

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Moving Towards Greatness

An unobtrusive sensor that collects and immediately transmits data from the human body could boost athletic performance. Developed at Imperial College London with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in the UK, the new sensor also has potential in healthcare.

The sensor is...

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Current Attractions

Each month, NTB highlights tech briefs related to a particular area of technology in a special section called Technology Focus. Here are some of the technologies featured in the September issue focus on Composites & Coatings.

- Rapid Fabrication of Carbide Matrix/Carbon Fiber Composites

Researchers at...

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Techs of the Week

An epoxy coating for metals is a highly fluorinated, cross-linked polymer containing finely ground Teflon-like particles that impart permanent lubricity. The coated metal surfaces prepared with this technology have good corrosion resistance and durability. They are useful as seat rails, bushings, guide tracks, or any place...

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The Dark Web

Terrorists and extremists use the Internet to recruit new members, spread propaganda, and plan attacks. The size and scope of these dark corners of the Web are vast and disturbing. A team of computational scientists at the Artificial Intelligence Lab at the University of Arizona is using new approaches to track terrorists' moves...

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Innovate and Win!

Your unique invention could win you $20,000 or other great prizes. Enter your design idea in the 2007 Create the Future Design Contest, presented by SolidWorks Corp. and NASA Tech Briefs. Entries are being accepted in six categories: Machinery, Equipment, and Component Technology; Consumer Products; Medical; Safety and...

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To The Moon

The X PRIZE Foundation and Google announced the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a robotic race to the Moon to win a $30 million prize. Private companies from around the world will compete to land a privately funded robotic rover on the Moon that is capable of completing several mission objectives, including roaming the lunar surface for at...

Question of the Week
Would You Use a ‘SwingBot?’

Webcasts

On-Demand 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...

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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