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.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas have solved a longstanding problem that has been plaguing the scanning tunneling microscope for more than 35 years: How to prevent...

Neurons in the brain communicate via rapid electrical impulses that allow the brain to coordinate behavior, sensation, thoughts, and emotion. Scientists who want to study this electrical activity...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Lens-Free Fluorescent Microscope

Rice engineers have developed a wide-field microscope thinner than a credit card, small enough to sit on a fingertip and capable of micrometer resolution over a volume of several cubic millimeters.

A driverless car is making its way through a winding neighborhood street, about to make a sharp turn onto a road where a child’s ball has just rolled. Although no person in the car can see that ball, the...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Transparent Eel-Like Soft Robot Swims Silently Underwater

An eel-like robot was developed that can swim silently in salt water without an electric motor. Instead, the robot uses artificial muscles filled with water to propel itself. The...

Briefs: Motion Control
Sensor-Free Smart Wheel

Technology was developed that not only allows wheels to “know” when and how to rotate, but also enables them to work together in interactive teams. The new technology can be used wherever there is a need for...

The giant rotor blades are one central part of a wind turbine. Researchers developed a rotor blade that makes more efficient use of large fluctuations in wind strength using...

Continuous glucose monitors (CGM) offer significant, daily benefits to people with type 1 diabetes, providing near-real time measurements of blood...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Tiny Probe Can See and Measure Body Temperatures

A new probe developed at the University of Adelaide, may help researchers find better treatments to prevent drug-induced overheating of the brain, and potentially refine thermal treatment for...

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a miniature, ultra-low power injectable biosensor that could be used for continuous, long-term...

A major challenge to assault prevention is that during an assault, victims often do not have an easily accessible way to call for help. Whether calling 911 or using an emergency alert...

A team at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering has made a discovery that could lead to Star Trek-like biosensor devices capable of flagging the...

Sensors that sniff out chemicals in the air to warn us about everything from fires to carbon monoxide to drunk drivers to explosive devices hidden in luggage have improved so...

Innovative “lighthouse” detectors, which use a sweeping beam to pinpoint a radiation source in seconds, are reducing radiation exposure for workers and...

Smart technologies, including phones and other personal devices, have grown in popularity around the globe. With built-in sensors and the ability to tap expansive...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Method Converts Cotton Fabric Waste into Aerogel

Aerogels are among the lightest materials in the world, and are highly porous with strong absorption capacity and low thermal conductivity. These unique properties make aerogels highly...

Briefs: Medical
Monitor Detects White Blood Cell Levels

One of the major side effects of chemotherapy is a sharp drop in white blood cells, which leaves patients vulnerable to dangerous infections. Chemotherapy patients usually receive a dose every 21 days. After each dose, their white blood cell levels fall and then gradually climb again. Doctors usually only...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Precision CNT Cutting Mechanism

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a simple mechanism for the clean cutting of high-strength and high-toughness carbon nanotube/poly-mer fiber composites on demand without high blade wear or...

Briefs: Aerospace
Video Distribution & Storage Unit (VDSU)

Engineers at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Satellite Services Projects Division (SSPD) have designed a high-performance, space-qualified video distribution and storage unit for Restore-L, a spacecraft that will rendezvous, grasp, refuel, and relocate client spacecraft. While previous...

Aircraft coatings are the first line of defense when it comes to mitigating structural corrosion of an air platform. As new coatings are developed — particularly those that contain non-chrome primers...

It has been established opinion since the 1950s that organic crystals and liquid scintillators can work for detecting neutrons, but that plastics are not suitable for neutron detection. For...

Commercial buildings in the United States account for nearly 40% of the total energy consumption. Among them, electricity is the largest energy source for buildings....

For several decades, improvements in conventional transistor materials have been sufficient to sustain Moore’s Law — the historical pattern of microchip manufacturers...

Briefs: Nanotechnology
Removable Implant May Control Type 1 Diabetes

For the more than 1 million Americans who live with Type 1 diabetes, daily insulin injections are literally a matter of life and death. And while there is no cure, a new device may help manage the disease.

Demands for improved computer processing power have led researchers to explore both new processes and other materials beyond silicon to produce electronic components....

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: Materials
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: Software
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.

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