Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Access our comprehensive library of technical briefs on mechanical and fluid systems, from engineering experts at NASA and government, university, and commercial laboratories.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Extensive redundancy is designed into aircraft flight-control systems to ensure a low probability of failure. During recent years, however, major failures of flight-control systems...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A first-order mathematical model has been developed in a theoretical study of the dynamics of a load suspended by a cable from a crane that moves along a straight track. The model...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The tail boom of a single-rotor helicopter is subjected to a complex flow field that includes the wakes of the main and tail rotors, the freestream, and the wake from the forward...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Computer Program Predicts Rocket Noise

A computer program predicts the noise and ignition over pressure in the vicinity of a rocket during launch. The program has been developed to complement the vibroacoustic-prediction effort for rockets now in use and to provide the capability for prediction of vibroacoustic loads associated with...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Hybrid Regenerative Water-Recycling System

A wastewater-recycling system contains biological and physicochemical water-treatment units. The system is suitable for use in environments in which clean water supplies are limited. Waste streams containing urine and washwater are purified into potable water with a recovery rate of 99 percent....

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Liquid/Vapor-Hydrazine Thruster Would Produce Small Impulses

A report proposes a liquid/vapor-hydrazine thruster for use in controlling the attitude of a small spacecraft. From the upstream to the downstream end, the thruster would include a tank containing liquid hydrazine, a fast liquid valve, a heated prevaporizing plenum, a fast gas...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Thruster Based on Sublimation of Solid Hydrazine

A report proposes a small spacecraft attitude-control thruster in which the propellant material would be hydrazine that would be stored frozen until sublimed at the instant of use. From the upstream to the downstream end, the main components of the thruster would include a plug of solid...

Briefs: Motion Control

An improved secondary wing system of the canard type has been invented to improve performance and increase efficiency of airplanes capable of flight at supersonic and high subsonic speeds. Canards, including...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Easy-to-use, low-power-consumption apparatuses capable of drilling to acquire core samples of thick layers of material and/or measuring physical and chemical characteristics of the layers...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A normally closed, piezoelectrically actuated microvalve is being developed as a prototype of valves in microfluidic systems and other microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) intended for...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Flow-concentrating supersonic gas/liquid nozzles have been invented for use in cleaning and in verifying the cleanliness of tanks, pipes, tubes, machine parts, and structures. The overall...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Advanced Rigid/Inflatable Spacecraft Habitation Module

A large, lightweight, economical, easy-to-manufacture human-habitation module that is well suited to long-term use in outer space has been developed. Modules like this one have potential for commercial applications, including the provision of human habitats for the commercialization of outer...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

According to a proposal, membranes to be used in inflatable focusing mirrors (see Figure 1) would be designed and fabricated with parabolic radial variations of thickness. More...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

An air-displacement volumometer with soft sides has been devised for measuring the volume of a human body. This apparatus could be useful in hospitals, medical research laboratories, clinics,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Improved Methodology for Dynamics of Orbiter Payload Bay Doors

The Payload Bay Door Dynamics Simulation (PBDS) computer program simulates the mechanical behavior of the space-shuttle payload bay doors and their latching and driving mechanisms during opening, closing, latching, and unlatching. PBDS was developed to replace an older program that...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The figure depicts the exterior appearance of a pistol-grip rotary power tool that can be used to turn a drill bit, wrench socket, screwdriver, or other tool bit clockwise or counterclockwise at a controlled...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A pressure-swing technique has been developed for controlling the generation and flow of gas in an anaerobic biological reactor and associated equipment in a system that processes...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The EXOS computer program numerically simulates impacts of orbital debris on spacecraft. EXOS can be used to simulate meteoroid- and orbital-debris-impact damage to commercial...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Software Predicts Noise From Rotor-Wake/Stator Interactions

V072 is a computer program that predicts the noise generated by the interaction between the rotor-blade wake (fan wake) and the stator vanes of a turbofan engine. The program is a combination of subroutines from prior NASA programs, with many added features.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Insulating tiles with interlocking shaped gaps have been developed for use in protecting the leading edges of the wings of aerospacecraft against excessive heating during hypersonic...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A Rankine-cycle engine that contains a binary working fluid (ammonia + water) and a recuperative heat exchanger has been built and tested. This engine is a prototype of...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Magnetic Couplings for Gas-Driven Catapults

A proposed magnetic-coupling scheme would afford additional degrees of freedom to optimize the designs of gas-driven catapults or launchers. The scheme could be applied to gas guns in diverse applications, including launching spacecraft or aircraft, propelling various objects at high speeds along the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A relief valve has been designed to limit the differential pressure between two fluids that are not allowed to be mixed. This valve offers advantages over both simple check valves and simple relief valves....

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Vortex-Fired Liquid-Fuel Rocket Combustion Chambers

Liquid-fuel rocket engines that utilize vortex flow fields to keep combustion-chamber walls cool have been investigated in computational simulations and experiments. In an engine of this type, the vortex flow establishes radial gradients of pressure and density that cause the lower-density hot...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Systems for Dynamic Control of Growth of Protein Crystals

Computer-controlled laboratory apparatuses for real-time monitoring and control of the growth of protein crystals are undergoing development. By use of an apparatus of this type, one can monitor and control several parameters that affect the growth of protein crystals; these parameters...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

An apparatus called a "personal motion platform" (PMP) is undergoing development for use in adding the sensations of motion to computer-controlled simulated environments of the type now popularly known as...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The figure schematically illustrates three manipulator mechanisms for positioning an end effector (a robot hand or other object) in a plane (which would ordinarily be horizontal)....

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

An improved mechanism has been devised to facilitate the adjustment of tension in a cable in a cable-and-pulley drive. Cable-and-pulley drives are being used increasingly in robots and other...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Path-Planning Program for a Redundant Robotic Manipulator

The Space Station Robot Manipulator System (SSRMS) Path Planning Program is a computer program that, in comparison with software developed previously for the same purpose, supports operations of faster and more complex robots. Two especially notable features of the program are that (1) it...

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