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.

Interest in wearable electronics for continuous, long-term health and performance monitoring is rapidly increasing. The reduction in power levels consumed by sensors and electronic...

Briefs: Software
Development of Automated Structural Health Monitoring for Composite Overwrapped Pressure Vessels

Virtually all NASA spacecraft use composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs) to reduce the weight disadvantage of metal pressure vessels. However, these composite structures are more susceptible to damage than metal PVs, are difficult to inspect,...

Automatic navigation systems have been developed previously to aid the visually impaired, but these devices have not been as reliable and easy to...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Interim, In-Situ Additive Manufacturing Inspection

Researchers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center have developed a novel method for interim, in-situ dimensional inspection of additively manufactured parts. Additive manufacturing...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
An Electron Caught in the Act

How fast is an electron? Australian scientists were able to measure it. Australia's fastest camera, located at the Attosecond Science Facility, has revealed the time it takes for molecules to break apart. The...

Ionic liquids—salts made by combining positively charged molecules (cations) and negatively charged molecules (anions) that are liquid at...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Optical Probing Deep into the Eye

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a scanning technology commonly used by ophthalmologists to check for eye diseases. A team of scientists has figured out how to retrofit these high-performance machines...

A team of researchers have designed, built, and tested two devices, called superconducting undulators, which could make X-ray free-electron lasers (FELs) more...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
PC-Board-Mountable Corrosion Sensors

Corrosion is a pervasive and expensive problem in applications ranging from construction to microelectronics. Corrosion has been widely studied in theories, and empirical studies exist for common...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Gas Sensing System Employing Raman Scattering

The detection and characterization of molecular gases in a sample is a relatively difficult challenge. Usually, this task is relegated to expensive and time-consuming processes like mass spectrometry and gas chromatography. Furthermore, numerous industrial applications require such gas-phase analysis...

Briefs: Materials
Absorbent Polymer Reinforcing Fiber

Absorbent polymers can be used, for instance, to absorb hydrocarbons from an aqueous medium such as the absorption of oil from water. In some configurations, conventional absorbent polymers are contained within a permeable material; for example, conventional spill “socks” and booms can hold an absorbent...

System breakdowns in modern industrial environments can result in millions of dollars in lost time and productivity, and even the loss of life and property. In the utilities industry — where the...

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a robust wireless temperature sensor that does not require an electrical connection. The temperature sensor...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Lightweight, Crack-Resistant, Silk Composite Sensor

New lightweight, energy-saving composites that won't crack or break even after prolonged exposure to environmental or structural stress are needed in industries such as civil infrastructure...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Compact, Lightweight, Athermal, Nanocomposite Telescopes with Freeform Optics

Small space missions such as CubeSats frequently require telescopes with highly sophisticated optical systems that are also low in mass and cost. The very limited spacecraft volume and mass limits also preclude adjustments to maintain critical alignment with change in...

Briefs: Materials
TiBor Skin Composite Coatings

TiBor Skin is a two-part technology that creates toughened, corrosion- and wear-resistant composite structures. The technology consists of coatings or surface materials for application on metals, plus methods of applying these materials. It also provides methods of integrating the applied coatings with their...

Although unmanned aerial systems (UAS) have proven increasingly useful in a variety of applications, their widespread usage within the National Airspace System is limited because of regulatory...

Briefs: Software
Robust Mesh Update Method for Grid Motion Problems

Over the past several decades, one class of problems in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) that has undergone substantial development involves movement of the fluid domain boundary. The problem class exists when the fluid domain boundary is either explicitly time-dependent, or is known a priori...

A system of nozzles and pylons that redistributes jet exhaust noise sources upstream to reduce jet noise has been developed. Certain aircraft configurations install the propulsion...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Plasma-Assisted Catalytic Reverse Water Gas Shift Reactor

For improving CO2 conversions for a low-temperature CO2 methanation process, a mechanism of using reverse water gas shift (RWGS) reaction as an intermediate step to generate the more reactive CO species for the methanation process was developed. The challenge was to...

Briefs: Materials
Customizable Recyclable Launch Packaging

NASA is developing a sustainable in-space manufacturing ecosystem by providing both the capability to create 3D printer filament from currently used packaging material as well as the development of new, high-performance packaging architectures created with materials that are well suited for use in 3D...

Briefs: Materials
Self-Lubricating Hard Coatings for Extreme Environments

NASA’ s space goals include a permanent presence on the Moon and an expedition to Mars. The success of habitats and vehicles on the Moon and Mars — and ultimately, of the human exploration of and permanent human presence on the Moon and Mars — is critically dependent on the correct...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Folding-Tube Deployable Solar Array

Future space missions incorporating solar electric propulsion (SEP) will require large solar arrays that are an order of magnitude larger than the current state of the art for deployable arrays. This...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Polymeric Thermal History Sensor

Items such as food and pharmaceuticals exposed over time to temperatures outside the specified range can pose a serious health risk. Determining the heat exposure history of these items is a key step in addressing these issues. In particular, there is a need for determining when an item has been exposed to...

Briefs: Software
An Upwind Parabolized Navier-Stokes Solver (UPS) for Supersonic and Hypersonic Flow Simulation, Version 6.1

The simulation of high-speed flow involves unique challenges such as the treatment of strong flow gradients associated with shock waves and expansion fans, as well as the modeling, at hypersonic speeds, of air chemistry effects. However,...

Briefs: Aerospace
Multi-Fidelity Simulator (MFS)

Many next-generation air traffic algorithms may be formed by learning algorithms or dynamic programming techniques. These techniques form their solutions through iterative methods where the efficacy of a proposed solution needs to be evaluated for every round of iteration. In complex air traffic scenarios, often...

Researchers at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC) recently completed a study of the feasibility of aerial towing an unpiloted, sub-scale vehicle to supersonic flight conditions to examine...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Vented Launch Vehicle Adapter for a Manned Spacecraft With “Pusher” Launch Abort System

A Launch Vehicle Adapter (LVA) was developed that provides a structural interface between a Commercial Crew Vehicle (CCV) Crew Module/Service Module Spacecraft (CM/SM) and an expendable launch vehicle. It also provides a means to control the exhaust plume...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Delayed Latching Mechanism

Uncontrolled and rapid movement of equipment and people through security gates has been a major problem for security personnel. In situations pertaining to facility security, it is desirable to delay the passage of...

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Reducing the Cost of Quality in Automotive BiW

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Electric-Vehicle Transmission Development Priorities

Upcoming Webinars: Sensors/Data Acquisition

The Critical Role of Fiber Optic Temperature Sensors in Medical...

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Zinc Die Casting Concepts to Achieve Precision, Performance, and...

Upcoming Webinars: Test & Measurement

Radar Measurements: Triggering, Analysis, and Generation

Upcoming Webinars: Materials

Designing with Silicone for Space

Videos