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 : Semiconductors & ICs
Infrared Light-Focusing Platform
Infrared Light-Focusing Platform

Researchers have integrated two technologies widely used in applications such as optical communications, bio-imaging, and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) systems to create a new infrared light-focusing...

Infrared Light-Focusing Platform
Briefs : Imaging
Self-Powered, Washable, Wearable Displays

Clothing usually is formed with textiles and has to be both wearable and washable for daily use; however, smart clothing has had a problem with its power sources and moisture permeability, which causes the devices to malfunction. To solve this problem, a textile-based, wearable display module technology...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Impact-Resistant Battery Electrolyte Solidifies When Hit
Impact-Resistant Battery Electrolyte Solidifies When Hit

Lithium-ion batteries commonly used in consumer electronics are notorious for bursting into flame when damaged or improperly packaged. Inspired by the unusual behavior of some liquids...

Impact-Resistant Battery Electrolyte Solidifies When Hit
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Stretchable, Rubbery Semiconductors
Stretchable, Rubbery Semiconductors

Researchers have created stretchable, rubbery semiconductors including rubbery integrated electronics, logic circuits, and arrayed sensory skins fully based on rubber materials. The semiconductors have...

Stretchable, Rubbery Semiconductors
Briefs : Lighting
Running an LED in Reverse Could Cool Future Computers
Running an LED in Reverse Could Cool Future Computers

Researchers devised a method in which running a light emitting diode (LED) with electrodes reversed was able to cool another device nanometers away. They harnessed the chemical potential...

Running an LED in Reverse Could Cool Future Computers
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Micro UV Aerosol Detector

The detection of aerosols within fluid samples can be accomplished by optical methods. Such methods are useful in detecting potentially harmful aerosols such as biological aerosols that may be present after a biological agent attack or industrial accident. It is well known that biological molecules fluoresce when...

Briefs : Wearables
Flexible, Transparent, Wearable Bio-Patch

Silicon nanoneedle patches are currently placed between skin, muscles, or tissues where they deliver exact doses of biomolecules. Commercially available silicon nanoneedle patches are usually constructed on a rigid and opaque silicon wafer. The rigidity can cause discomfort and cannot be left in the body...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Rhombohedron Epitaxial Growth with Molten Target Sputtering (MTS) at 500 °C Substrate Temperature
Rhombohedron Epitaxial Growth with Molten Target Sputtering (MTS) at 500 °C Substrate Temperature

This invention applies to the field of sputtering, depositing SiGe thin films on sapphire substrates. It is a method of modifying the film...

Rhombohedron Epitaxial Growth with Molten Target Sputtering (MTS) at 500 °C Substrate Temperature
Briefs : Materials
Bendable Electronic Paper Displays a Range of Colors
Bendable Electronic Paper Displays a Range of Colors

The combination of conductive polymers on nanostructures was demonstrated as suited to creating electronic displays as thin as paper. The “paper” is similar to the Kindle tablet. It...

Bendable Electronic Paper Displays a Range of Colors
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
In-Situ Characterization and Inspection of Additive Manufacturing Deposits Using Transient Infrared Thermography
In-Situ Characterization and Inspection of Additive Manufacturing Deposits Using Transient Infrared Thermography

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is a rapidly growing field in which solid objects can be produced layer-by-layer. This...

In-Situ Characterization and Inspection of Additive Manufacturing Deposits Using Transient Infrared Thermography
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Measurement Method for Radioactive Methane

Anew method for measuring radioactive methane is an optical one based on spectroscopy. Previously, radioactive methane has been measured with accelerator mass spectrometry involving expensive machines. Optical measuring could be a cheaper and more agile method.

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Metamaterial Mirror Reflects Sound Waves in Any Direction
Metamaterial Mirror Reflects Sound Waves in Any Direction

Researchers have constructed a “metamirror” device capable of perfectly reflecting sound waves in any direction. The proof-of-principle demonstration is analogous to looking...

Metamaterial Mirror Reflects Sound Waves in Any Direction
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Waterproof Graphene Electronic Circuits

The many applications of graphene, an atomically-thin sheet of carbon atoms with extraordinary conductivity and mechanical properties, include the manufacture of sensors. These transform environmental parameters into electrical signals that can be processed and measured with a computer. Due to their...

Briefs : Imaging
3D Printer Uses Rays of Light to Shape Objects
3D Printer Uses Rays of Light to Shape Objects

Most 3D printers, including light-based techniques, build up 3D objects layer by layer. This leads to a “stair-step” effect along the edges. They also have difficulties creating flexible...

3D Printer Uses Rays of Light to Shape Objects
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Radiometric Temperature Measurement Using a DLP-Based Pyrometer
Radiometric Temperature Measurement Using a DLP-Based Pyrometer

Researchers at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center have identified and evaluated recently available miniature spectrometers that enable compact and robust pyrometry...

Radiometric Temperature Measurement Using a DLP-Based Pyrometer
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Material Could Make Plastic Manufacturing More Energy-Efficient
Material Could Make Plastic Manufacturing More Energy-Efficient

Anew material was developed that can extract the key ingredient in the most common form of plastic from a mixture of other chemicals while consuming far less energy than usual....

Material Could Make Plastic Manufacturing More Energy-Efficient
Briefs : Software
Machine Learning Tool Computes Flow Around Interactively Designable 3D Objects
Machine Learning Tool Computes Flow Around Interactively Designable 3D Objects

When engineers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model the flow of air...

Machine Learning Tool Computes Flow Around Interactively Designable 3D Objects
Briefs : Test & Measurement
High-Performance, Current-Steering Digital-to-Analog Converter
High-Performance, Current-Steering Digital-to-Analog Converter

A current-steering digital-to-analog converter (DAC) was developed that achieves improved switching times (up to 75% faster) in high-speed (gigahertz), high-resolution (8-14...

High-Performance, Current-Steering Digital-to-Analog Converter
Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Electron Beam Heating and Atomic Restructuring of Sapphire Surfaces
Electron Beam Heating and Atomic Restructuring of Sapphire Surfaces

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a new way to reduce the high-temperature heating requirement of sapphire substrates in wafer production. The growth of...

Electron Beam Heating and Atomic Restructuring of Sapphire Surfaces
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Fast and Accurate Simulation of Manufactured Parts with Defects
Fast and Accurate Simulation of Manufactured Parts with Defects

Unwanted porosity is typical to many manufacturing processes — from traditional casting to additive manufacturing (3D printing) — and is difficult to avoid entirely....

Fast and Accurate Simulation of Manufactured Parts with Defects
Briefs : Software
Software Could Help Prevent Arrhythmic Heart Disease

The heart’s pumping ability is controlled by electrical activity that triggers the heart muscle cells to contract and relax. In certain heart diseases such as arrhythmia, the organ’s electrical activity is affected.

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Technique Reverse-Engineers Complex 3D CAD Models
Technique Reverse-Engineers Complex 3D CAD Models

Nearly all commercial products start as a CAD file — a 2D or 3D model with the product’s design specifications. One method that’s widely used to represent today’s 3D models is...

Technique Reverse-Engineers Complex 3D CAD Models
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Singlet-Based Magnet for Enhanced Data Storage
Singlet-Based Magnet for Enhanced Data Storage

Anew type of magnet — called a singlet-based magnet — was discovered that differs from conventional magnets in which small magnetic constituents align with one another to create a strong...

Singlet-Based Magnet for Enhanced Data Storage
Briefs : Test & Measurement
S-Curve Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer
S-Curve Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer

Time-of flight mass spectrometers are commonly used in analytical chemistry and many other applications. They contain a region where ions travel toward a detector. A new geometry was developed that...

S-Curve Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer
Briefs : Medical
Method Shrinks Objects to the Nanoscale
Method Shrinks Objects to the Nanoscale

Existing techniques for creating nano-structures are limited in what they can accomplish. Etching patterns onto a surface with light can produce 2D nano-structures but doesn’t work for 3D structures....

Method Shrinks Objects to the Nanoscale
Briefs : Materials
Coating Prevents Fogging on Transparent Surfaces
Coating Prevents Fogging on Transparent Surfaces

Anyone who skis, wears glasses, uses a camera, or drives a car is familiar with the problem: Coming into a humid environment from the cold causes eyewear, camera lenses, or windshields to...

Coating Prevents Fogging on Transparent Surfaces
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Medium-Frequency Transformer Transitions from AC to DC
Medium-Frequency Transformer Transitions from AC to DC

Traditionally, electronics are cooled using a heat sink that transfers the heat generated by the electronic system into the air or a liquid coolant. For the heat sink to work, it has to...

Medium-Frequency Transformer Transitions from AC to DC
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Transparent, Self-Healing Electronic Skin

Scientists have taken inspiration from underwater invertebrates like jellyfish to create an electronic skin with similar functionality. Like a jellyfish, the electronic skin is transparent, stretchable, touch-sensitive, and self-healing in aquatic environments.

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Novel Techniques Trick Object Detection Systems
Novel Techniques Trick Object Detection Systems

New adversarial techniques developed by engineers at Southwest Research Institute can make objects “invisible” to image detection systems that use deep-learning algorithms. These techniques...

Novel Techniques Trick Object Detection Systems
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Pocket-Sized Imaging Device Improves Accuracy Of Epidural Placement
Pocket-Sized Imaging Device Improves Accuracy Of Epidural Placement

A team of bioengineers supported through a Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) has...

Pocket-Sized Imaging Device Improves Accuracy Of Epidural Placement

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Using Portable Scenarios and Coverage Metrics to Ensure...

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Impact of Autonomous and Electric Vehicles in New Product...

Upcoming Webinars: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Autonomous Vehicles Sensors: How to Ensure They Work Well and...

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Connectivity Solutions for Robust Data Transmission in Future...

Upcoming Webinars: Transportation

Transforming the Grid: New Technologies for the Transmission and...

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Military Robotics