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: Aerospace
Portable Runway Intersection Display and Monitoring System

Developed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, the subject technology is a portable airport runway/taxiway intersection lighting system and signage designed to prevent incursions. This proposed runway incursion prevention solution aids in the management and prevention of airport...

Modernization of the National Airspace System (NAS) will involve future air traffic management (ATM) concepts of operation and technology frameworks that rely on...

A spectral transmission-reflectance-intensity (TRI) analyzer was developed that attaches to a smartphone and analyzes patient blood, urine, or saliva samples as reliably as...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
On-line Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT) System for Friction Stir Welding (FSW)

Friction Stir Welding (FSW) is a relatively new solid-state welding process, and many industries are now relying on this technique to produce advanced structures. Industries employing this technique include, but are not limited to, aeronautical, motor vehicle,...

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a method to create Sequential/Simultaneous Multi-Metallized Nanocomposites (S2M2N) via supercritical fluid (SCF) sequential or...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Low-Cost, Long-Lasting Valve Seal

This technology is designed to protect against leaks in solenoid, check, manual, and relief valves, as well as disconnects and regulators.

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center has developed a new,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Non-Collinear Valve Actuation System

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center scientists have invented a novel valve actuator where the primary actuating system and return spring system are arranged non-collinearly. In the past, valve actuators...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Novel Vent Design Features Variable Flow Control and Rain Protection

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center scientists have designed a vent that can be useful for purging closed compartments, while preventing backflow and foreign object entry. The technology uses a system of configurable devices to provide variable flow control and prevent water,...

Briefs: Aerospace
Three-Dimensional Radiation Ray-Tracing for Hypersonic Entry Vehicles

Shock layer radiation is a form of aerodynamic heating that becomes significant at some entry velocities, depending on the vehicle trajectory and the planet’s atmosphere. Radiation heating is commonly computed with an appropriate method known as the tangent slab approximate...

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed aircraft flap tip modifications that reduce noise produced during approach and landing. The modifications are rigid open lattice (honeycomblike) and fin structures...

Briefs: Aerospace
Separation Assurance Framework for ACES Simulation

National Airspace (NAS)-wide simulations provide modeling to emulate tens of thousands of flights for full days of traffic in the U.S. They allow system-level research to be conducted for the simulated airspace, and are currently being used by NASA, FAA, and industry to study interactions,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Novel Design of an Orifice Control Element

An orifice element is commonly used in liquid rocket engine test facilities either as a flow metering device, a damper for acoustic resonance, or to provide a large reduction in pressure over a very...

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a new technology for measuring the junction temperature of laser diode arrays (LDAs) that...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Apparatus and Method to Test Abrasion Resistance of Material Using Airborne Particulate

Prior art techniques for testing abrasion resistance, such as the Taber test and the Bayer test, typically use a rubbing or scratching mechanism to test materials for abrasion resistance; specifically, either an abrasive material is rubbed across the test...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Electrochemically Enhanced Mechanical Polishing of Optics

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center astrophysicists are developing better instruments to measure high-energy X-rays zipping about space when viewed from above the Earth’s atmosphere. Scientists at MSFC adapted a novel method for material removal and super-polishing to the mandrel...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Miniature Airborne Particle Mass Monitor

Particulate matter (PM) exposure and health effects have become top U.S. environmental research agenda items over the past decade. Environmental epidemiological studies rely on information from both...

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a deployable and stowable mechanical design for filling the cavity behind the leading-edge slat (i.e., slat cove) when it is extended upon landing an aircraft....

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Lower-Chatter Friction Pull Plug Welding (FPPW)

Friction Pull Plug Welding (FPPW) is the process necessary to plug the hole that is left behind as a friction stir weld (FSW) joint is completed and the pin tool of the welder retracts from the...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Personal Air Sampler for Collecting Airborne Aerosol Particulates for Molecular Analysis by Size

Air sampling is used to collect samples of airborne particles present in an environment. Analyses of the air samples can provide information concerning potential exposure to harmful respirable agents. Bioaerosol sampling can be used to identify...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Wallops Arc-Second Pointer (WASP)

The Wallops Arc Second Pointer (WASP) is a balloon-borne attitude control system capable of pointing a telescope or instrument with accuracy and stability down to the arc second, or 1/3600 of a degree of angular measurement. When a high-powered telescope is integrated with WASP, it provides a highly precise...

Briefs: Aerospace
Orion Guidance, Navigation, and Control Flight Software

The Orion Spacecraft is NASA’s vehicle for manned exploration outside of low Earth orbit. At the center of the Guidance, Navigation & Control (GN&C) subsystem is the GN&C Flight Software (FSW) that executes on the Vehicle Management Computers (VMCs). This software receives...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Flexible, Printable Electronics for Sensor Arrays

Printable electronics — flexible circuitry that is deposited on some type of plastic substrate — has been a major area of research for decades. But the ability to print the substrate...

Thin film gas sensors are small, lightweight, and relatively easy to operate; however, the testing of these thin film gas sensors is difficult in harsh...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Single Event Upset Suppression System (SEUSS)

Electronic devices are getting smaller and more energy-efficient, meaning that they are more susceptible to single event upsets (SEUs) — malfunctions caused by particles in the atmosphere...

Actuators are a critical driver of all the mechanisms used in space, and improvements of their operation mechanism enhance mission...

Briefs: Software
Desktop Status

The purpose of the Desktop Status application is to collect processor, memory, and storage usages of a computer running the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system, and record these data with time stamps to files at a user-defined time interval. A graphical user interface (GUI) captures users' inputs and displays them on a plot for...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Diffusion-Bonded CVC SiC for Large UVOIR Telescope Mirrors and Structures

In 2012, the National Research Council called for a new generation of astronomical telescopes to enable discovery of habitable planets, facilitate advances in solar physics, and enable the study of faint structures around bright objects by developing high-contrast imaging...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Device for and Method of Computer Intrusion Anticipation, Detection, and Remediation

Initially, relatively powerful computers were constructed as unique mainframes operated by larger corporations on isolated networks. Then, computers with modest amounts of computing power were made available to individuals as standalone personal computers. The...

An industrial-class excavator was developed for use on the Moon and perhaps on Mars. The model mobility platform uses Ackerman Steering with active drives on all six...

Videos