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: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Chain Drive Dust Conveyer

The Mars 2020 coring drill will generate a significant amount of dust and debris (known as fines) due to the volume of milled material displaced by the corer's annulus. These cuttings must be removed to ensure that...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Autonomous Combustion-Powered Hopping Robot

Robots are conventionally made mobile by rolling on wheels; however, wheeled robots have limited ability to traverse large obstacles. Obstacles much taller than the robot's wheels can prevent...

Oil spills have become an environmental problem due to the growth of offshore oil exploration, production, and transportation. There are...

The Flying Carpet is a platform of any shape, size, or material that is suspended by a four-point cable system. The platform can serve as a movable scaffolding and worker...

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a system that provides both structural support and protection attributes in a failsafe manner. This innovation incorporates the use of...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Recovering Metals from Electronic Waste

End-of-life electronic devices such as smartphones, computers, televisions, and other electronics contain significant amounts of valuable metals including base metals (zinc, tin, lead, nickel, and...

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a new class of polyimide composite electrical insulation materials for wires, cable, and bus pipe. These new insulation materials have been shown to withstand a...

The huge demand for switching components exceeding silicon's (Si) current density limitation of 200 A/cm2 has pushed the enhancement of alternative semiconductor...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Omnidirectional Mobile Robot with Two Moving Parts

SIMbot is an updated version of the ballbot, an elegantly simple robot whose tall, thin body moves on top of a sphere slightly smaller than a bowling ball. SIMbot features a motor with just...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Interactive Robot Control System and Method of Use

Researchers at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC), in collaboration with General Motors and Oceaneering, have designed a state-of-the-art, highly dexterous, humanoid robot: Robonaut 2 (R2)....

Briefs: Software
Launch Trajectory Acquisition System (LTAS) Source Slaving Selector (LS3)

The LTAS Source Slaving Selector application was developed to transmit LTAS data in User Datagram Protocol (UDP) packets using the LTAS data from one of multiple incoming UDP streams. Users select the data stream via a graphical user interface (GUI), which also displays a...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Positioning Stage

Assembly of optic-electronic devices requires precision alignment of optical fibers with lasers or sensors, and then bonding. A worker looking through a microscope at the end of a fiber conventionally executes this precision alignment and bonding process.

To comply with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive, pure tin is replacing lead-tin alloys in commercial electronic devices. Unfortunately, tin can grow...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Additive-Manufactured, Very Lightweight, Diamond Turned Aspheric Mirror

Industrial-grade, lightweight mirrors used in military and aeronautics have tight specifications brought on by demanding performance parameters. For example, a mirror that is used in an orbiting telescope would have to be extremely lightweight, stiff, and be configured to...

Briefs: Materials
Electrically Conductive, Optically Transparent Polymer/Carbon Nanotube Composites

NASA's Langley Research Center researchers have developed a novel method for making carbon nanotubes that are very uniform in size. A template is used to guide the carbon nanotube growth so that all nanotubes are uniform in size. The carbon nanotubes can be used...

Tufts University engineers have invented a chip-sized, high-speed modulator that operates at terahertz (THz) frequencies at room temperature and at low voltages without consuming DC...

Researchers at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), in collaboration with General Motors and Oceaneering, have designed a state-of-the-art, highly dexterous, humanoid robot:...

Briefs: Software
Acoustic Propagation and Emulation Toolset (APET)

Currently, APET includes a modified version of the Rotorcraft Noise Model (RNM, version 7). It also includes the newly developed Spectral Attenuation Method (SAM), which contains the Ray Tracing Program (RTP) and two versions of a Green's Function Parabolic Equation (GFPE) code. The third...

The rapid rise of global interest in the field of autonomous driving is ushering in a new era of automobiles. With many vehicles already offering autonomous preventative safety...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Wearable Robotic System for Minimally Invasive Surgery

Researchers developed a wearable robotic system for minimally invasive surgery (also known as keyhole surgery) that will offer surgeons natural and dexterous movement, as well as the...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems

Multi-robot systems deployed in real-world applications are exposed to the same issues that computer systems face. A cybersecurity attack on a robot has the consequences of an attack on a...

Briefs: Software
AUTONOMIE Automotive System Design Software

AUTONOMIE is a MATLAB-based software environment and framework for automotive control system design, simulation, and analysis. It simulates subsystems, systems, or an entire vehicle, and predicts and analyzes fuel efficiency and performance. The software performs analyses and tests for virtual...

Briefs: Software
Numerical Method to Predict the Evaporation Time of a Water Droplet Attached to a Solid Boundary in the Presence of Fluid Flow

One of the objectives of the In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) RESOLVE project was to extract water from lunar regolith by heating and then capturing and quantifying the released water. A potentially large error in...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Functionalization of Carbon Nanotubes

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have attracted much attention due to their extraordinary mechanical and unique electronic properties. CNTs are being studied for applications in high-strength/low-weight composites and other applications. In order to alter the CNT properties for particular applications, chemical...

Carbon fiber (CF) and carbon fiber composites have gained widespread use in recent years due to their unique combination of high strength and...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Development of a Sodium LiDAR for Spaceborne Missions

Laser and electro-optic technologies are under development to remotely measure sodium (Na) by adapting existing LiDAR technology with spaceflight heritage. The developed instrumentation will serve as the core for planning a heliophysics mission targeted to study the composition and dynamics...

An alternate heat shield concept for the Orion space vehicle is to use interlocking blocks of Phenolic Impregnated Carbon Ablator (PICA). The blocks are independent from...

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a method for producing multifunctional, structural, thermally stable...

To measure organics in a fluid sample, one either has to bring the sample in the form of a colloid to the instrument, or extract the organics from the sample and bring...

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