Tech Briefs

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A comprehensive library of technical briefs from engineering experts at NASA and major government, university, and commercial laboratories covering all aspects of innovations in electronics, software, photonics, imaging, motion control, automation, sensors, test, materials, manufacturing, mechanical, and mechatronics.

Briefs: Materials
Since it is a chemical sensor instead of being enzyme-based, the new technology is robust, has a long shelf-life and can be tuned to detect lower glucose concentrations than current systems.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
By recording the way in which hands perform various tasks, it could help researchers in fields such as sports and medical science as well as neuroengineering.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Researchers formulated and synthesized the bio-inks, with the goal of creating create an ultra-soft, thin, and stretchable material for biosensors that is capable of seamlessly interfacing with the surface of organs.
Briefs: Design
NASA’s new COROTUB boom is flattened, rolled, and stowed in a small package for easy transport to remote locations. When unfurled, it expands into a load-bearing structural boom.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A novel turbine blade design and manufacturing approach developed by NASA provides a significant reduction in turbine blade resonant vibration.
Briefs: Medical
Scientists have taken the first step to creating the next generation of wearable health monitors.
Briefs: Test & Measurement

Innovators at NASA Johnson Space Center have developed a method to measure the total and fractional heat response of large format Li-ion cells (cells with capacities greater than 100Ah) when driven into...

Briefs: Data Acquisition
The quantum gravity gradiometer was used to find a tunnel buried outdoors in real-world conditions one meter below the ground surface.
Briefs: Energy
Energy Storage Materials Make Batteries More Efficient and Heat-Resistant
In redox flow batteries, the energy-storing components are dissolved in a solvent and can be stored at a decentralized location.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
The R2 hand and forearm assembly is designed in a modular fashion, enabling rapid replacement of components and sub-assemblies.
Briefs: Design
The researchers have created a “room-temperature all-liquid-metal battery,” which includes the best of both worlds of liquid-and solid-state batteries.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
For drones to autonomously perform necessary but quotidian tasks, they must be able to adapt to wind conditions in real time.
Briefs: Materials
This invention is a method of removing or adsorbing a target substance or material.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
The ability to emit light also brings these microscale robots, which weigh barely more than a paper clip, one step closer to flying on their own outside the lab.
Briefs: Nanotechnology
Researchers from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin recently created the first ever solid-state optical nanomotor.
Briefs: Lighting
A new way to unprint paper uses intense pulsed light from a xenon lamp.
Briefs: Aerospace
This simple, elegant invention can control flow separation resulting from the high flap deflections required by simple-hinged flap systems making such flaps a viable option for aircraft designers.
Briefs: Energy
Researchers have developed an inexpensive and eco-friendly steam generator to desalinate and purify water using sunlight.
Briefs: Energy
Engineers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have designed a novel building-solar controller that optimizes solar energy with smart technology to keep microgrids operating for up to five days.
Briefs: Energy
When it discharges, the carbon dioxide can be released in a controlled way and collected to be reused or disposed of responsibly.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
A new optimization framework created by researchers at University of Michigan could drastically reduce the cost of assessing how battery configurations will perform over the long haul.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Inducing TR in a battery cell allows engineers to test and improve the safety performance of overheated batteries that can potentially catch fire or explode.
Briefs: Energy
The system makes it possible to integrate data from prior experiments, and information based on personal observations by experienced workers, into the machine learning process.
Briefs: Materials
Lithium-ion batteries are currently the preferred technology for powering electric vehicles, but they’re too expensive for long-duration grid-scale energy storage systems.
Briefs: Design
A team of researchers at EMPA have developed a water-activated disposable paper battery.
Briefs: Materials
In batteries, electrolyte is the circulating “blood” that keeps the energy flowing. The electrolyte forms by dissolving salts in solvents, resulting in charged ions that flow between the positive and negative electrodes.
Briefs: Energy
The work could lead to improvements in the energy density of lithium batteries that power electric vehicles.
Briefs: Energy
An experimental plant-based jet fuel could increase engine performance and efficiency, while dispensing with aromatics, the pollution-causing compounds found in conventional fuels.
Briefs: Energy
In tests, the proof-of-concept batteries retained 87.5 percent and 115.9 percent of their energy capacity at -40 °C and 50 °C (-40 °F and 122 °F), respectively.

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