Imaging

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

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Nuclear Radiation-Detecting Device
Nuclear Radiation-Detecting Device

A material was developed for nuclear radiation detection that could provide a significantly less expensive alternative to the detectors now in commercial use. Specifically, the high-performance material is...

Nuclear Radiation-Detecting Device
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Volumetric 3D Printing
Volumetric 3D Printing

While additive manufacturing (AM), commonly known as 3D printing, is enabling engineers and scientists to build parts in configurations and designs never before possible, the impact of the technology has been limited...

Volumetric 3D Printing
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Composite Panel with Integrated Thermal Control
Composite Panel with Integrated Thermal Control

Technological advancements in materials, sensors, and computing have driven demand for higher-performance satellites. Satellites need to be much more capable in a much smaller size with a...

Composite Panel with Integrated Thermal Control
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Imaging Flexible DNA ‘Building Blocks’ in 3-D
Imaging Flexible DNA ‘Building Blocks’ in 3-D

Over the past decade, researchers have been working to create nanoscale materials and devices using DNA as construction materials through a process called DNA origami. A single long “sca...

Imaging Flexible DNA ‘Building Blocks’ in 3-D
Briefs : Imaging
Solving a Problem that Plagues Scanning Tunneling Microscopes

Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas have solved a longstanding problem that has been plaguing the scanning tunneling microscope for more than 35 years: How to prevent the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope from crashing into the surface of a material during imaging or...

Briefs : Medical
Seeing the Brain’s Electrical Activity
Seeing the Brain’s Electrical Activity

Neurons in the brain communicate via rapid electrical impulses that allow the brain to coordinate behavior, sensation, thoughts, and emotion. Scientists who want to study this electrical activity...

Seeing the Brain’s Electrical Activity
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
See Objects Hidden Around Corners
See Objects Hidden Around Corners

A driverless car is making its way through a winding neighborhood street, about to make a sharp turn onto a road where a child’s ball has just rolled. Although no person in the car can see that ball, the...

See Objects Hidden Around Corners
Briefs : Aerospace
Airborne Background Oriented Schlieren Technique
Airborne Background Oriented Schlieren Technique

NASA has developed a novel method to render visible the density changes in air that cause a refractive index change by an airborne vehicle. These density changes include shock waves, vortices,...

Airborne Background Oriented Schlieren Technique
Briefs : Imaging
Video Distribution & Storage Unit (VDSU)

Engineers at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Satellite Services Projects Division (SSPD) have designed a high-performance, space-qualified video distribution and storage unit for Restore-L, a spacecraft that will rendezvous, grasp, refuel, and relocate client spacecraft. While previous...

Briefs : Nanotechnology
Composite Film Enables Windows that Switch from Transparent to Color
Composite Film Enables Windows that Switch from Transparent to Color

Commercial buildings in the United States account for nearly 40% of the total energy consumption. Among them, electricity is the largest energy source for buildings....

Composite Film Enables Windows that Switch from Transparent to Color
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Large-Area Structural Damage Nondestructive Evaluation
Large-Area Structural Damage Nondestructive Evaluation

When testing composite structures, it is important to understand the response of the structure to the load. Of significance is the formation of damage and growth of that damage leading...

Large-Area Structural Damage Nondestructive Evaluation
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Compact Science Experiment Module
Compact Science Experiment Module

Crew time on the International Space Station (ISS) is extremely limited for any operations on science payloads. Autonomous science experiments in small, self-contained, cubical payloads are highly desirable...

Compact Science Experiment Module
Briefs : Motion Control
Piezomagnetic Material Changes Magnetic Properties When Stretched
Piezomagnetic Material Changes Magnetic Properties When Stretched

Piezoelectric materials, which generate an electric current when compressed or stretched, are familiar and widely used; for example, lighters that spark when a switch is...

Piezomagnetic Material Changes Magnetic Properties When Stretched
Briefs : Medical
Technique Enables 3D Printing of Microstructures
Technique Enables 3D Printing of Microstructures

Two-photon lithography (TPL), a high-resolution 3D printing technique, is capable of producing nanoscale features smaller than 1/100 the width of a human hair. The technique could enable X-ray...

Technique Enables 3D Printing of Microstructures
Briefs : Imaging
Flight Awareness Collaboration Tool (FACT)
Flight Awareness Collaboration Tool (FACT)

Winter weather such as snow, freezing precipitation, and ice can impact airport surface operations. These conditions may result in significant disruptions in arrival and departure rates. To address...

Flight Awareness Collaboration Tool (FACT)
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
A Fast, Non-Destructive Test for Two-Dimensional Materials
A Fast, Non-Destructive Test for Two-Dimensional Materials

Thinning a material down to a single-atom thickness can dramatically change that material’s physical properties. Graphene, the best known two-dimensional (2D) material, has...

A Fast, Non-Destructive Test for Two-Dimensional Materials
Briefs : Software
Technique Measures Temperature of 2D Materials at the Atomic Level

Newly developed two-dimensional (2D) materials such as graphene — which consists of a single layer of carbon atoms — have the potential to replace traditional microprocessing chips based on silicon, which have reached the limit of how small they can get. But engineers have...

Briefs : Imaging
Polymer-Based 2D-to-3D Transformable Surfaces

Technologies using stretchable materials are increasingly important. Yet, in general, it is not possible to control how they stretch with much more sophistication than inflating balloons. A method was developed that allows the calculated transformation of 2D stretchable surfaces into targeted 3D...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Safe2Ditch Technology
Safe2Ditch Technology

Highly capable small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) provide substantial business opportunity, especially if allowed to operate in the suburban market. Reliability issues force the use of a safety pilot for each vehicle...

Safe2Ditch Technology
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Algorithms Analyze Images from Minimal Data

Smartphones and sensors have produced a treasure trove of pictures, many tagged with pertinent information identifying content. Using this vast database of cross-referenced images, convolutional neural networks and other machine learning methods have revolutionized the ability to quickly identify...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Method and Associated Apparatus for Capturing, Servicing, and De-Orbiting Earth Satellites Using Robotics

Engineers at Goddard Space Flight Center have overcome limitations plaguing the satellite sector since its inception through the development of a robotic system allowing for the autonomous capture and servicing of in-orbit satellites. By...

Briefs : Aerospace
Non-Catalytic Ignition System for High-Performance Advanced Monopropellant Thrusters

Anon-catalytic pyrotechnic ignition system was developed for advanced green monopropellant systems operating with hydroxylammonium nitrate (HAN)-based monopropellant AF-M315E. This technology will provide increased performance and new operating regimes for...

Briefs : Transportation
New Depth Sensors Could be Sensitive Enough for Self-Driving Cars
New Depth Sensors Could be Sensitive Enough for Self-Driving Cars

A new approach to time-of-flight imaging that increases its depth resolution 1,000-fold has been presented by the MIT Camera Culture group. That type of resolution could make...

New Depth Sensors Could be Sensitive Enough for Self-Driving Cars
Briefs : Imaging
Access System Senses Finger Vibrations to Verify Users
Access System Senses Finger Vibrations to Verify Users

The market for smart security access systems is expected to grow rapidly, reaching nearly $10 billion by 2022. Today's smart security access systems mainly rely on traditional techniques...

Access System Senses Finger Vibrations to Verify Users
Briefs : Transportation
Gimbal for Steering Propelled CubeSats
Gimbal for Steering Propelled CubeSats

NASA is preparing for the next generation of CubeSats that are propelled and will make directional maneuvers. The new gimbal mount provides a seat for the motor, and controls the position of the...

Gimbal for Steering Propelled CubeSats
Briefs : Imaging
LLNL Finds Reason Behind Defects in 3D Printing
LLNL Finds Reason Behind Defects in 3D Printing

High-speed images of a common laser-based metal 3D printing process, coupled with newly updated computer models, have revealed the mechanisms behind material redistribution, a phenomenon that...

LLNL Finds Reason Behind Defects in 3D Printing
Briefs : Medical
Scientists Discover New Way to Label Chemical Compounds for Medical Imaging
Scientists Discover New Way to Label Chemical Compounds for Medical Imaging

Researchers have found a versatile workaround to create chemical compounds that could prove useful for medical imaging and drug development. While studying chemical...

Scientists Discover New Way to Label Chemical Compounds for Medical Imaging
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Searching for the Failure Mechanisms in Lithium-Sulfur Batteries
Searching for the Failure Mechanisms in Lithium-Sulfur Batteries

It's difficult to see the details of atomic and topographical changes that lead to battery failure. However a team of researchers developed a method to see reactions leading to...

Searching for the Failure Mechanisms in Lithium-Sulfur Batteries
Briefs : Imaging
Additive Manufacturing Unique Serialization

Current methods of identifying a unique part involve adding a unique serial number to the part. There are many reasons that manufactured parts receive a serial number. They enable traceability of a part throughout its lifecycle, and ensure the part is not a counterfeit; however, labels and stamped...

Briefs : Automotive
MorphoHawk Mathematic Morphology Software for Image and Data Analysis

Computers and automated systems have accelerated productivity and improved quality and reliability for nearly everything, and are destined to take on increasing roles as time moves on. One major limiting factor for automated systems is their inability to categorize and...