Sensors/​Data Acquisition

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

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Laser-Based System Detects Fires Even in Dusty, Harsh Environments
Laser-Based System Detects Fires Even in Dusty, Harsh Environments
A new laser-based system offers an efficient way to detect fires in challenging environments such as industrial facilities or large construction sites.
Laser-Based System Detects Fires Even in Dusty, Harsh Environments
Briefs : Automotive
Helping Autonomous Vehicles See Around Corners
Helping Autonomous Vehicles See Around Corners
A system senses tiny changes in shadows on the ground to determine if there’s a moving object coming around the corner.
Helping Autonomous Vehicles See Around Corners
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Sandia’s Nanoantennas Help Detectors See More Heat, Less Noise
Sandia’s Nanoantennas Help Detectors See More Heat, Less Noise
A nanoantenna-enabled detector boosts the usable signal of a thermal infrared camera by up to three times.
Sandia’s Nanoantennas Help Detectors See More Heat, Less Noise
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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 : Wearables
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 : Imaging
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 : Robotics, Automation & Control
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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 : Test & Measurement
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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 : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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 : Test & Measurement
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 : Test & Measurement
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 : Motion Control
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 : Electronics & Computers
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 : Aerospace
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 : Electronics & Computers
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 : Wearables
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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 : Electronics & Computers
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
Briefs : Energy
Photovoltaic-Powered Sensors
Photovoltaic-Powered Sensors
RFID-based devices work in indoor and outdoor lighting conditions and could transmit data for years before they need to be replaced.
Photovoltaic-Powered Sensors
Briefs : Aerospace
Macro-Fiber Composite (MFC) Actuator
Macro-Fiber Composite (MFC) Actuator
This technology has applications in sonar, range measuring, directional-force sensors, flow meters, and vibration/noise sensing and control.
Macro-Fiber Composite (MFC) Actuator
Briefs : Data Acquisition
Adaptive Spatial Resolution Enables Focused Fiber Optic Sensing
Adaptive Spatial Resolution Enables Focused Fiber Optic Sensing
This innovation dynamically provides fast signal processing and precision measurement.
Adaptive Spatial Resolution Enables Focused Fiber Optic Sensing
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Algorithm Gives Robots a Faster Grasp
Algorithm Gives Robots a Faster Grasp
The algorithm speeds up the planning process that robots use to adjust their grip on objects.
Algorithm Gives Robots a Faster Grasp
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Enhanced Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Reader
Enhanced Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Reader
The reader uses a frequency multiplexer to boost its ability to accurately locate a greater number of RFID tags.
Enhanced Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Reader
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Packaging for SiC Sensors and Electronics
Packaging for SiC Sensors and Electronics
This packaging provides protection for SiC sensors and electronics in harsh, hightemperature environments.
Packaging for SiC Sensors and Electronics
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