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: Electronics & Computers
Integrated Three-Dimensional Module Heat Exchanger for Power Electronics Cooling

Critical elements in the operation of electric drive systems are power electronics and power semiconductor packages. Improving thermal management of power electronics can help reduce the cost, weight, and volume of electric drive systems, and thus increase market...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Forging Graphene into Three-Dimensional Shapes

Graphene is a relative to graphite, which consists of millions of layers of graphene, and can be found in common pencil tips. Since graphene was isolated in 2004, researchers have learned to...

The five-year survival rate of pancreatic cancer is one of the worst — 9 percent — in part because there are no obvious symptoms or non-invasive screening tools to catch a...

Robots in production lines work with micrometer precision, unless a component fails. If, for example, the linear actuator used to precisely position a car body in front of an...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Optofluidic 3D Printing

Optofluidic three-dimensional printing enables advancements and innovation in optical fibers and biomedical devices. This 3D printing approach uses axial plane optical microscopy (APOM) technology.

Briefs: Medical
ECTemp™

The health and fitness industry strives to provide customers with the best technologies and features available to help users train in the right zone and duration for best results. Core body temperature is a factor in this analysis, but has been largely unavailable due to the invasiveness of accurate sensors, and the variation between...

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) developed a foam-rigidized, inflatable, tubular space boom that can be transported, deployed, and inflated at remote locations. The lightweight...

Briefs: Software
ScienceOrganizer: A Scientific Knowledge Management and Remote Experimentation Tool

The ScienceOrganizer system was designed to facilitate the work of geographically distributed NASA science teams by supporting the organization, administration, documentation, and execution of science projects and missions. The capabilities of ScienceOrganizer...

Briefs: Medical
Smartphone Camera Measures Heart Health

Currently, a 45-minute ultrasound scan is required to provide detailed information about heart health. Researchers have discovered a method by which a smartphone camera can noninvasively provide the same information.

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
High-Energy-Storage Capacitor

A method was created for electroless deposition of conformal ultrathin (<20 nm) metal oxides on the high-surface-area walls of commercial carbon nanofoam papers, typically 0.1–0.3 mm thick. The resulting...

Briefs: Software
Knowledge Preservation Management

The Knowledge Preservation Management (KPM) system allows for the capture, management, and Web-based access of manufacturing operations information. KPM also captures retirees' knowledge via transcript-enabled video-taped interviews, and with video data-mining advanced search capabilities. Access to this...

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...

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