Tech Briefs

Sensors & Test

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

Latest Tech Briefs

Briefs : Medical
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Particle Robot Works as a Cluster of Simple Units
Particle Robot Works as a Cluster of Simple Units
Loosely connected disc-shaped “particles” can push and pull one another, moving together to transport objects.
Particle Robot Works as a Cluster of Simple Units
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Magneto-Optic Biosensor Using Bio-Functionalized Magnetic Nanoparticles
Magneto-Optic Biosensor Using Bio-Functionalized Magnetic Nanoparticles
This technology is a novel, rugged, and economic diagnostic and sensor platform technology.
Magneto-Optic Biosensor Using Bio-Functionalized Magnetic Nanoparticles
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Microchip Produces High-Contrast OCT Imagery
Microchip Produces High-Contrast OCT Imagery
For disease diagnosis, a microchip maps the back of the eye.
Microchip Produces High-Contrast OCT Imagery
Briefs : IoMT
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 : Energy
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 : Materials
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 : 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 : Electronics & Computers
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 : Wearables
Wireless Sensor “Stickers” Track Physiological Signals
Wireless Sensor “Stickers” Track Physiological Signals
These stickers wirelessly beam health readings to a receiver clipped onto clothing.
Wireless Sensor “Stickers” Track Physiological Signals
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Embedded Gas and Temperature Sensors for Extreme Environments

Innovative process control systems for improved efficiency and lower emissions in current and future fossil-fuel-based power systems and related applications require durable, embedded sensor technology that can operate at higher temperatures and in harsh conditions.

Briefs : Test & Measurement
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 : Green Design & Manufacturing
Chromium Removal from PVC Filters
The process does not cause any structural changes to the PVC filter membrane.
Briefs : Materials
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 : Green Design & Manufacturing
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
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Pinpointing Consumption “Sweet Spot” Makes Formation Flight More Fuel-Efficient
Pinpointing Consumption “Sweet Spot” Makes Formation Flight More Fuel-Efficient
A new method of estimating the optimal trailing aircraft position in a formation increases fuel savings.
Pinpointing Consumption “Sweet Spot” Makes Formation Flight More Fuel-Efficient
Briefs : Energy
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 : RF & Microwave Electronics
WiFi-Based Technique Measures Speed and Distance of Indoor Movement
WiFi-Based Technique Measures Speed and Distance of Indoor Movement
A technology uses a combination of WiFi signals and accelerometer technology to track devices in near-real-time.
WiFi-Based Technique Measures Speed and Distance of Indoor Movement
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Biologically Inspired Artificial Skin Improves Sensory Ability of Robots
Biologically Inspired Artificial Skin Improves Sensory Ability of Robots
A synthetic skin enables robots to sense their own bodies and surroundings
Biologically Inspired Artificial Skin Improves Sensory Ability of Robots
Briefs : Internet of Things
Artificial Skin Provides Haptic Feedback
Artificial Skin Provides Haptic Feedback
The skin could help rehabilitation and enhance virtual reality by instantaneously adapting to a wearer's movements.
Artificial Skin Provides Haptic Feedback
Briefs : Test & Measurement
MMOD Impact Detection and Location
MMOD Impact Detection and Location
This system uses fiber optic strain sensing to detect and locate micrometeoroid/orbital debris.
MMOD Impact Detection and Location
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Embedded Fiber Optic Sensors (EFOS)
Embedded Fiber Optic Sensors (EFOS)

Current laser interferometry pressure pulse detection techniques use the shock-induced change in index of refraction to track detonation and/or shock fronts in a single fiber optic by reflecting laser...

Embedded Fiber Optic Sensors (EFOS)
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Li-ion Cell Calorimeter Makes Commercial Lithium Batteries Safer
Li-ion Cell Calorimeter Makes Commercial Lithium Batteries Safer

Innovators at NASA Johnson Space Center have developed a calorimeter that is able to measure the total heat generated when specific types of Lithium-ion (Li-ion) cells are...

Li-ion Cell Calorimeter Makes Commercial Lithium Batteries Safer
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Would You Cook with ‘Julia?’