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: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Offset Compound Gear Inline Two-Speed Drive

Innovators at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have developed a simple, lightweight, inline, two-speed drive that can be used either as an overall transmission, or as a supplemental add-on input...

Briefs: Aerospace
Compact Termination for Structural Soft Goods

Space environments are particularly harsh for the high-strength fibers NASA relies on for soft structures. Kevlar, Nomex, Nylon, and other synthetic fibers are broken down by exposure to the combination of vacuum, atomic oxygen, and ultraviolet radiation. Glass fiber offers unique advantages for...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Cryo-Fluid Capacitor (CFC)

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) has created the Cryo-Fluid Capacitor (CFC) that capitalizes on the energy storage capacity of liquefied gases, and the relative simplicity of high-pressure gas bottles while...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Radiation Analysis Software

For emergencies involving radiation, decision-makers must have a means to swiftly assess the situation. Having analysis tools that can quickly and reliably make sense of radiation data is of the essence.

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Non-Invasive Intracranial Pressure Measurement

An acknowledged objective of critical-care medicine is a timely, accurate, readily deployable, cost-effective, and, importantly, safe means of assessing and/or monitoring critical...

Actuators are used in a wide variety of electromechanical systems and in robotics, in applications such as steerable catheters, aircraft wings that adapt to changing conditions, and wind...

NASA Ames Research Center has developed a novel, low-cost, self-contained guidance system for small payload operators. Small satellites are becoming ever more capable of performing valuable missions for both...

USAF-96 Steel is a low-alloy steel that, when thermally processed with the method described here, has the following typical values: an ultimate tensile strength of 245 ksi, yield strength at 0.2% offset...

Walls often make up more than half of indoor surface area, especially in residential and office buildings. In addition to delimiting spaces, both for functional and...

Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Ultra-Wide-Bandgap Power Electronics

Power electronics used for routing, control, and conversion of electrical power traditionally utilize silicon semiconductors. These systems tend to be bulky, require active cooling, and are inadequate for...

NASA Langley Research Center has developed Greased Lightning, the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that combines vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability with...

Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Ground-Based System Guides UAVs to Avoid Collisions

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) averages more than 100 reports a month of interactions between unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and commercial or private planes. For UAS to fly in...

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,...

A wearable, non-invasive system was developed to monitor electrical activity in the stomach over 24 hours — essentially an electrocardiogram for the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract. Monitoring for...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Magnetic Induction Heating of Space Foods During Dispensing Under Weightless Conditions

Hot foods are psychologically pleasing. Food heating systems are currently part of the astronaut feeding program. An electrical method of heating foods during dispensing in space uses magnetic induction heating. The process is up to 95% efficient in...

Briefs: Power
Method for Establishing Cool Flames and Flameless Fuel Oxidation with Zero Emissions Using Non-Equilibrium Plasma Activation

Current engines and combustors run at high temperature, which leads to problems of engine knocking, soot and NOx emissions, and difficulty in combustion control. On the other hand, low-temperature combustion and fuel...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Quick Disconnect for High-Pressure Mate/De-Mate

NASA Kennedy Space Center seeks partners interested in the commercial application of the Quick Disconnect for High Pressure Mate/De-Mate. Designed at KSC, this technology is intended for use in...

Vanadium dioxide’s unique properties make it ideally suited for outperforming silicon and giving rise to a new generation of low-power electronic devices. This compound can...

Briefs: Medical
All-Terrain Wheelchair

Researchers have developed an innovative design for a wheelchair that can more easily navigate on soft and uneven outdoor terrain such as grass and gravel. The chair uses three wheels — two wheels in the front...

Moving from electrical communication to optical communication is attractive to chip manufacturers because it could significantly increase chips’ speed and reduce power consumption,...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Auto-Zero Differential Amplifier

Engineers in the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Instrument Electronics Development Branch have developed a chopper-stabilized auto-zero amplifier capable of amplifying signals with extremely small amplitude originating from a thermopile-based infrared (IR) sensor. The instrument is self-adjusting in that it...

Overt symptoms of many diseases often do not manifest until days after a person’s initial exposure to the causative pathogen, typically a virus or bacteria. By then, the disease may...

Briefs: Medical
Mobile Health Platform

A mobile health technology was developed to monitor and predict a user’s psychological status, and to deliver an automated intervention when needed. The technology uses smart-phones to monitor the user’s location and ask questions about psychological status throughout the day.

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
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...

Large-scale liquid rocket engines with regeneratively cooled nozzles will enable reliable and reduced-cost access to space. The coolant that circulates through the internal...

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...

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...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Laser Technique Detects Toxic Agents in the Atmosphere

A real-time instrument was developed that could scan the atmosphere for toxic agents in order to alert communities to a biological or chemical attack.

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Correlation Spectrometer

Correlation spectroscopy is an attractive technique for sensing and analysis applications because it combines the attributes of mechanical and optical simplicity, high selectivity, and good sensitivity. In...

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Materials

Protecting Power Electronics from EM and RF Interference

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Vehicle Electrification

Upcoming Webinars: Sensors/Data Acquisition

The Evolution of SOSA

Upcoming Webinars: Software

Next-Gen Vehicle Architectures and the Role of HPCs

Tech Talks: Medical

Testing Home Healthcare Medical Devices

Upcoming Webinars: Software

Accelerating Pre-Silicon Software Development with Next-Gen...

Trending Stories

Podcasts: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Here's an Idea: A Bug-Inspired Building Material for Mars

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control

The Modern Industrial Workhorse: PID Controllers

Blog: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Woodworking, Simplified: New Software Aids in Design

:

Questions & Feedback

Videos