Tech Briefs

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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: Semiconductors & ICs

Computer processors have shrunk to nanometer scales over the years, with billions of transistors sitting on a single computer chip. While the increased number of transistors helps make...

Briefs: Motion Control

MIT engineers have developed a telerobotic system to help surgeons quickly and remotely treat patients experiencing a stroke or aneurysm. With a modified joystick, surgeons...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Legged robots are very promising for use in real-world applications, but their operation in narrow spaces is still challenging. One solution for enhancing their environmental...

Briefs: Aerospace
Diffraction Suppressed Mirror

Precise optical systems, especially those sensitive to information loss, are typically designed to minimize the use of mirrors. This is due to the Airy disk effect inherent to all conventional mirrors, which is a result of diffraction of the incident light. This effect represents information loss between the...

Briefs: Medical

Georgia Tech researchers have shown that robots about the size of a particle of dust are capable of precise bidirectional control. By harnessing the power of a magnetic field generated...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

Scientists discovered a new platform for quantum technologies by suspending two-dimensional (2D) crystals over pores in a slab of gold. When heated, the metal reflows to form a porous structure...

Briefs: Connectivity

For many types of machinery and test equipment, there is a great need to perform basic automatic control functions, or even just sensor monitoring. Developing hardwired automation is...

Briefs: AR/AI

High-fidelity touch has the potential to significantly expand the scope of what we expect from computing devices, making new remote sensory experiences possible. The...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Super temporal resolution microscopy allows imaging of fluorescent molecules 20 times faster than traditional lab cameras normally allow. A general method has been developed to let a...

Briefs: Data Acquisition

Engineers have added a new capability to electronic microchips: flight. About the size of a grain of sand, the new flying microchip (microflier) does not have a motor or engine. Instead, it...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

A middle infrared light source can detect greenhouse and other gases as well as molecules in a person’s breath. The compact system, which resembles a tiny suitcase, contains just two parts: a standard...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

A terahertz laser was developed with high constant power, tight beam pattern, and broad electric frequency tuning for a wide range of applications in chemical sensing and imaging. The...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Classical laser communication gimbals are coupled to 105um multimodal receiving fibers for the high-power transmission of data, fine pointing, and tracking. These fibers cannot be used in...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

The importance of optical image quality and the trend toward thinner smart-phones have pushed manufacturers to increase the number of cameras in order to provide cellphones with better...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

Light-emitting diode (LED)-based communications techniques allow computing devices, including cellphones, to communicate with one another using infrared light. However, LED...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

A new research focusing on topological control capabilities in an integrated acoustic-electronic system at technologically relevant frequencies could pave the way for additional research...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
High-Speed Communication Vouchsafed by the Laws of Quantum Physics

Security in encrypted communication is a top priority because of our highly connected and mobile society’s increasing reliance on the internet. Engineers at Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Research Laboratory of Electronics, MIT, have developed...

Briefs: Aerospace

The Modular Artificial-Gravity Orbital Refinery Spacecraft (MAGORS) is a technology from NASA Ames Research Center for in-situ refining or recycling of materials in space, including mass...

Briefs: Software

The automation of additive manufacturing (AM) is limited and usually still requires human labor workflows, including the fundamental step of removing the finished object from the printer...

Briefs: Materials

Engineers have created a highly effective way to paint complex 3D-printed objects, such as lightweight frames for aircraft and biomedical stents, that could save manufacturers time and money and provide new...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Traditional glassmaking techniques can be costly and slow, and 3D printing glass often results in rough textures, making them unsuitable for smooth lenses. Using a new...

Briefs: Materials

Engineers have invented a way to spray extremely thin wires made of a plant-based material that could be used in N95 mask filters, devices that harvest energy for electricity, and potentially...

Briefs: Software

Robotic assistants are expected to become increasingly marketable as caregivers; however, the external hard structure of current caregiving robots prevents them from establishing a safe human-robot interaction....

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Robot Senses Hidden Objects

Researchers have developed a robot that uses radio waves, which can pass through walls, to sense occluded objects. The robot, called RF-Grasp, combines this powerful sensing with more traditional computer vision to locate and grasp items that might otherwise be blocked from view. The advance could one day streamline...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Robots are good at making identical repetitive movements such as a simple task on an assembly line. But they lack the ability to perceive objects as they move through an environment. A...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A fish-inspired robot that can travel 26 meters through the air after takeoff could be used to collect water samples in hazardous and cluttered environments,...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

With a training technique commonly used to teach dogs to sit and stay, computer scientists showed a robot how to teach itself several new tricks including stacking blocks. With the...

Briefs: Medical

Researchers have developed a new kind of bandage that helps blood to clot and doesn’t stick to the wound. They tested various superhydrophobic materials — which are, like...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A patented self-contained device for isolating deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), ribonucleic acid (RNA), proteins, and cells without using pipettes or centrifuges has been developed at NASA’s...

Trending Stories

Briefs: Test & Measurement

Reliability Testing of High-Power Devices

Articles: Photonics/Optics

Breakthrough Lightweight AR Eyeglasses

Special Reports: Robotics, Automation & Control

Aerospace Manufacturing - May 2022 v1

Technology Leaders: Imaging

Image Sticking — Cause, Test and Solutions

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