A comprehensive library of technical briefs from engineering experts at NASA and major government, university, and commercial laboratories covering all aspects of innovations in electronics, software, photonics, imaging, motion control, automation, sensors, test, materials, manufacturing, mechanical, and mechatronics.

Latest Tech Briefs

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Sandia’s Nanoantennas Help Detectors See More Heat, Less Noise
Sandia’s Nanoantennas Help Detectors See More Heat, Less Noise
A nanoantenna-enabled detector boosts the usable signal of a thermal infrared camera by up to three times.
Sandia’s Nanoantennas Help Detectors See More Heat, Less Noise
Briefs : Software
The Planetary Tides Simulation Facility for Simulation Tidal Strain in Planetary Ice Analogs
The Planetary Tides Simulation Facility for Simulation Tidal Strain in Planetary Ice Analogs
Applications include modeling of tidal stress response of icy satellites as well as fatigue of terrestrial ice shelves.
The Planetary Tides Simulation Facility for Simulation Tidal Strain in Planetary Ice Analogs
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Chromium Removal from PVC Filters
The process does not cause any structural changes to the PVC filter membrane.
Briefs : Communications
Wirelessly Controlled Ingestible Capsule
Wirelessly Controlled Ingestible Capsule
This electronic pill can relay diagnostic information or release drugs in response to smartphone commands.
Wirelessly Controlled Ingestible Capsule
Briefs : Wearables
System Allows Diabetics to Monitor Blood Sugar Without Drawing Blood
System Allows Diabetics to Monitor Blood Sugar Without Drawing Blood
The self-contained technology is similar to the smart watches that monitor heart rate.
System Allows Diabetics to Monitor Blood Sugar Without Drawing Blood
Briefs : Aerospace
Thin Heat Shield for Superfast Aircraft
Thin Heat Shield for Superfast Aircraft
A carbon nanotube heat shield can better protect extremely fast aircraft.
Thin Heat Shield for Superfast Aircraft
Briefs : RF & Microwave Electronics
Flow Disruption Devices for the Reduction of High Lift System Noise
Flow Disruption Devices for the Reduction of High Lift System Noise
This technique lowers airstream noise generated at the side edges of deployed flaps, elevons, or slats.
Flow Disruption Devices for the Reduction of High Lift System Noise
Briefs : Aerospace
Shape Sensing Innovations Dramatically Improve Structural Design Tools
Shape Sensing Innovations Dramatically Improve Structural Design Tools
These advances are useful for transportation, infrastructure, and aerospace.
Shape Sensing Innovations Dramatically Improve Structural Design Tools
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Environmental Barrier Coatings for Ceramic Matrix Composites
Environmental Barrier Coatings for Ceramic Matrix Composites
These barrier coatings protect high-performance components in extreme environments.
Environmental Barrier Coatings for Ceramic Matrix Composites
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Environmentally Friendly Process for Battery Recycling
Environmentally Friendly Process for Battery Recycling
A solvent leaches cobalt and lithium for reuse from spent batteries.
Environmentally Friendly Process for Battery Recycling
Briefs : Imaging
Acoustic Interactions Change Materials at the Atomic Level
Acoustic Interactions Change Materials at the Atomic Level
Interaction of sound and light reveals new information of a crystal's quantum properties.
Acoustic Interactions Change Materials at the Atomic Level
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Robotic “Cockroach” Explores Underwater Environments
Robotic “Cockroach” Explores Underwater Environments
This microbot can walk on land, swim, and walk underwater.
Robotic “Cockroach” Explores Underwater Environments
Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Catalysis Approach Reduces Carbon Dioxide to Methane
Catalysis Approach Reduces Carbon Dioxide to Methane
This approach is a cost-effective way to convert carbon dioxide gas into methane.
Catalysis Approach Reduces Carbon Dioxide to Methane
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Micro Device Detects Ebola Virus Using Bio-Sensors
Micro Device Detects Ebola Virus Using Bio-Sensors
The device can be used to pre-screen for the virus using gene-editing assays before those infected can travel and expose others.
Micro Device Detects Ebola Virus Using Bio-Sensors
Briefs : Aerospace
Design Treatment for Advanced Metals Enables Easier Machining
Design Treatment for Advanced Metals Enables Easier Machining
Applying a surface-active agent makes metal easier to cut and shape into parts and pieces.
Design Treatment for Advanced Metals Enables Easier Machining
Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Recovery of Mercury and Rare Earth Elements from Fluorescent Lamp Phosphors
Recovery of Mercury and Rare Earth Elements from Fluorescent Lamp Phosphors
This method will enable safer fluorescent light recycling.
Recovery of Mercury and Rare Earth Elements from Fluorescent Lamp Phosphors
Briefs : Transportation
Power System for Hybrid Heavy-Duty Trucks
Power System for Hybrid Heavy-Duty Trucks
Electric motors and gas-alcohol engines could slash pollution levels and greenhouse gases from long-haul trucks.
Power System for Hybrid Heavy-Duty Trucks
Briefs : Energy
Ruthenium-Doped Thermoelectric Materials
Ruthenium-Doped Thermoelectric Materials
These robust materials convert excess heat energy into electricity.
Ruthenium-Doped Thermoelectric Materials
Briefs : Medical
Breathable Electronic Skin Using Nanofiber Substrate
Breathable Electronic Skin Using Nanofiber Substrate
This electronic skin can track heart rate, respiration, muscle movement, and other health data.
Breathable Electronic Skin Using Nanofiber Substrate
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Optical Window for Far-IR Instruments Using Thin TOPAS® Film
Optical Window for Far-IR Instruments Using Thin TOPAS® Film
This thin film can be used for ground-based and airborne applications in aircraft, balloons, and other flight missions.
Optical Window for Far-IR Instruments Using Thin TOPAS® Film
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Dynamic Mechanical Strain-Induced Temperature Gradient Coating
Dynamic Mechanical Strain-Induced Temperature Gradient Coating
The non-destructive coating has applications in structural health monitoring, aerospace, automotive, and military/defense.
Dynamic Mechanical Strain-Induced Temperature Gradient Coating
Briefs : Materials
SiC-Based Microstructures for Sensors
SiC-Based Microstructures for Sensors
Ultra-thin SiC microstructures enable batch fabrication of MEMS, NEMS, pressure sensors, and biosensors.
SiC-Based Microstructures for Sensors
Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Modular Toolbox Builds Safe Robots
Modular Toolbox Builds Safe Robots
Various components are used to assemble robots that are more aware of their surroundings.
Modular Toolbox Builds Safe Robots
Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Viable, Environmentally Friendly Alternative to Polystyrene Foam
Viable, Environmentally Friendly Alternative to Polystyrene Foam
This plant-based material can be manufactured using water as a solvent instead of other harmful solvents.
Viable, Environmentally Friendly Alternative to Polystyrene Foam
Briefs : Automotive
Hardening Lightweight Metal Foams with Nanocoating
Hardening Lightweight Metal Foams with Nanocoating
Load-bearing structures in cars and airplanes could be manufactured from the metal foam.
Hardening Lightweight Metal Foams with Nanocoating
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Process Turns Sand and Plant Materials into a Water Filtration Tool
Process Turns Sand and Plant Materials into a Water Filtration Tool

According to the United Nations, 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services and the majority live in developing nations. A process was...

Process Turns Sand and Plant Materials into a Water Filtration Tool
Question of the Week
Would You Cook with ‘Julia?’