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
Compact, Two- Sided Structural Cold Plate Configuration

In two-sided structural cold plates, typically there is a structural member, such as a honeycomb panel, that provides the structural strength for the cold plates that cool equipment. The cold plates are located on either side of the structural member and thus need to have the cooling fluid...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Levitated Duct Fan (LDF) Aircraft Auxiliary Generator

This generator concept includes a novel stator and rotor architecture made from composite material with blades attached to the outer rotating shell of a ducted fan drum rotor, a non-contact support system between the stator and rotor using magnetic fields to provide levitation, and an...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
AN Fitting Reconditioning Tool

A tool was developed to repair or replace AN fittings on the shuttle external tank (ET). (The AN thread is a type of fitting used to connect flexible hoses and rigid metal tubing that carry fluid. It is a U.S. military-derived specification agreed upon by the Army and Navy, hence AN.) The tool is used on a drill...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Noise from wind farms falls into two categories: aerodynamic noise is created by the blades of a turbine swishing through the air, while mechanical noise is associated with the machinery housed in the nacelle of...

Briefs: Software
Draper Station Analysis Tool

Draper Station Analysis Tool (DSAT) is a computer program, built on commercially available software, for simulating and analyzing complex dynamic systems. Heretofore used in designing and verifying guidance, navigation, and control systems of the International Space Station, DSAT has a modular architecture that lends...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Common Bolted Joint Analysis Tool

Common Bolted Joint Analysis Tool (comBAT) is an Excel/VB-based bolted joint analysis/optimization program that lays out a systematic foundation for an inexperienced or seasoned analyst to determine fastener size, material, and assembly torque for a given design. Analysts are able to perform numerous...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Commercial Modular Aero-Propulsion System Simulation 40k

The Commercial Modular Aero-Propulsion System Simulation 40k (C-MAPSS40k) software package is a nonlinear dynamic simulation of a 40,000-pound (≈178-kN) thrust class commercial turbofan engine, written in the MAT-LAB/Simulink environment. The model has been tuned to capture the behavior...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Miniature, Variable-Speed Control Moment Gyroscope

The Miniature Variable-Speed Control Moment Gyroscope (MVS-CMG) was designed for small satellites (mass from less than 1 kg up to 500 kg). Currently available CMGs are too large and heavy, and available miniature CMGs do not provide sufficient control authority for use on practical satellites....

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
NBL Pistol Grip Tool for Under water Training of Astronauts

A document discusses a lightweight, functional mockup of the Pistol Grip Tool for use during underwater astronaut training. Previous training tools have caused shoulder injuries. This new version is more than 50 percent lighter [in water, weight is 2.4 lb (≈1.1 kg)], and can operate...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Traditional azimuth-elevation (“az-el”) stages are used to point a variety of devices ranging from large optical telescopes to tank guns. Such a stage typically has...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
HEXPANDO Expanding Head for Fastener-Retention Hexagonal Wrench

The HEXPANDO is an expanding-head hexagonal wrench designed to retain fasteners and keep them from being dislodged from the tool. The tool is intended to remove or install socket-head cap screws (SHCSs) in remote, hard-to-reach locations or in circumstances when a dropped fastener...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Teleoperated Marsupial Mobile Sensor Platform Pair for Telepresence Insertion Into Challenging Structures

A platform has been developed for two or more vehicles with one or more residing within the other (a marsupial pair). This configuration consists of a large, versatile robot that is carrying a smaller, more specialized autonomous operating...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Planar Rotary Piezoelectric Motor Using Ultrasonic Horns

A motor involves a simple design that can be embedded into a plate structure by incorporating ultrasonic horn actuators into the plate. The piezoelectric material that is integrated into the horns is pre-stressed with flexures. Piezoelectric actuators are attractive for their ability to...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Self-Rupturing Hermetic Valve

For commercial, military, and aerospace applications, low-cost, small, reliable, and lightweight gas and liquid hermetically sealed valves with post initiation on/off capability are highly desirable for pressurized systems. Applications include remote fire suppression, single-use system-pressurization systems,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Airborne and space infrared cameras require highly flexible direct cooling of mechanically-sensitive focal planes. A thermal electric cooler is often used together with a thermal strap as a means to transport...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Dampers for Stationary Labyrinth Seals

Vibration dampers have been invented that are incorporated as components within the stationary labyrinth seal assembly. These dampers are intended to supplement other vibration-suppressing features of labyrinth seals in order to reduce the incidence of high-cycle-fatigue failures, which have been known to...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Explosive Bolt Dual-Initiated From One Side

An explosive bolt has been developed that has a one-sided dual initiation train all the way down to the pyro charge for high reliability, while still allowing the other side of the bolt to remain in place after actuation to act as a thermal seal in an extremely high-temperature environment. This...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Two-Stage Winch for Kites and Tethered Balloons or Blimps

A winch system provides a method for launch and recovery capabilities for kites and tethered blimps or balloons. Low power consumption is a key objective, as well as low weight for portability. This is accomplished by decoupling the tether-line storage and winding/ unwinding functions,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Dust Mitigation Vehicle

A document describes the development and demonstration of an apparatus, called a “dust mitigation vehicle,” for reducing the amount of free dust on the surface of the Moon. The dust mitigation vehicle would be used to pave surfaces on the Moon to prevent the dust from levitating or adhering to surfaces.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Method for Cleanly and Precisely Breaking Off a Rock Core Using a Radial Compressive Force

The Mars Sample Return mission has the goal to drill, break off, and retain rock core samples. After some results gained from rock core mechanics testing, the realization that scoring teeth would cleanly break off the core after only a few millimeters of...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Scoring Dawg Core Breakoff and Retention Mechanism

This novel core break-off and retention mechanism consists of a scoring dawg controlled by a set of two tubes (a drill tube and an inner tube). The drill tube and the inner tube have longitudinal concentric holes. The solution can be implemented in an eccentric tube configuration as well where...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Sampling cores requires the controlled breakoff of the core at a known location with respect to the drill end. An additional problem is designing a mechanism that can be...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Sampling cores requires the controlled breakoff of the core at a known location with respect to the drill end. An additional problem is designing a mechanism that can be implemented at a...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Vibration Isolation and Stabilization System for Spacecraft Exercise Treadmill Devices

A novel, passive system has been developed for isolating an exercise treadmill device from a spacecraft in a zero-G environment. The Treadmill 2 Vibration Isolation and Stabilization System (T2-VIS) mechanically isolates the exercise treadmill from the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Six Degrees-of-Freedom Ascent Control for Small-Body Touch and Go

A document discusses a method of controlling touch and go (TAG) of a spacecraft to correct attitude, while ensuring a safe ascent. TAG is a concept whereby a spacecraft is in contact with the surface of a small body, such as a comet or asteroid, for a few seconds or less before...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Optical-Path-Difference Linear Mechanism for the Panchromatic Fourier Transform Spectrometer

A document discusses a mechanism that uses flex-pivots in a parallelogram arrangement to provide frictionless motion with an unlimited lifetime. A voice-coil actuator drives the parallelogram over the required 5-cm travel. An optical position sensor...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Monolithic, High-Speed Fiber-Optic Switching Array for Lidar

Current fiber switch technologies use mechanical means to redirect light beams, resulting in slow switch time, as well as poor reliability due to moving parts wearing out quickly at high speeds. A non-mechanical ability to switch laser output into one of multiple fibers within a fiber...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Wireless Inductive Power Device Suppresses Blade Vibrations

Vibration in turbomachinery can cause blade failures and leads to the use of heavier, thicker blades that result in lower aerodynamic efficiency and increased noise. Metal and/or composite fatigue in the blades of jet engines has resulted in blade destruction and loss of lives....

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Anti-Rotation Device Releasable by Insertion of a Tool

A drive mechanism enables a socket-type wrench to rotate a shaft and prevents accidental rotation of the shaft when the wrench is not coupled to the shaft. In the original intended application, the shaft would be part of an attachment mechanism on a spacecraft, and the purpose to be served...

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