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: Software
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Current human spaceflight requirements limit the number of hours a crewmember can be outside of the habitation unit to 8 hours in a 48-hour period, and 24 hours in a seven-day period. This time must be appropriately balanced to complete science, exploration, and maintenance tasks. Off-days can be used for site transit...

The laws of physics have set a 5-nanometer threshold on the size of transistor gates among conventional semiconductors, about one-quarter the size of high-end,...

Briefs: Energy
Standardized Heating Method to Trigger and Prevent Thermal Runaway Propagation in Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) cells are increasingly used in high-voltage and high-capacity modules. The Li-ion chemistry has the highest energy density of all rechargeable battery chemistries, but associated with that energy is the issue of...

Great strides are taken to miniaturize spaceflight instrumentation, particularly analytical systems such as liquid chromatographs, gas chromatographs, and mass...

Fluid-pumped radiators are used to reject heat from structures to space. A fluid travels inside the structure to collect heat, and then travels...

JPL's Microfluidic Electrospray Propulsion (MEP) thruster design is based on a microfabricated electrospray system with a capillary-force-driven feed system that uses...

NASA's Langley Research Center has created a novel process that significantly improves the effectiveness of high-lift devices on aircraft wings by utilizing a hybrid concept...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rescue Robot Has Remote Control Function

A group of researchers at Osaka University, Kobe University, Tohoku University, The University of Tokyo, and Tokyo Institute of Technology developed construction robots for disaster relief that solve...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Small Robot Has Outstanding Vertical Agility

Roboticists at the University of California, Berkeley, have designed a small robot that can leap into the air and then spring off a wall, or perform multiple vertical jumps in a row, resulting in...

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)....

Actuators are a critical driver of all the mechanisms used in space, and improvements of their operation mechanism...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
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...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Robot Powertrain Moves Toward Energy Autonomy

Inspecting the condition of dykes and other sea defense structures is typically a task for a team of robots. They consume a lot of energy to move across the dykes, perform tests, and communicate...

The Yale-CMU-Berkeley (YCB) Object and Model Set provides universal benchmarks for labs specializing in robotic manipulation and prosthetics. About two years ago, Aaron Dollar, an associate professor...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Reliability Testing of High-Power Devices

Before a new high-power semiconductor device can be used for industrial applications, it must be thoroughly tested to determine if it will survive environmental stresses and continue to meet...

Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder and Northwestern University have developed a tiny, soft, and wearable acoustic sensor that measures vibrations in the human...

Environmental monitoring — the assessment of air, water, and soil quality — is highly important to oil and gas exploration companies, landowners, regulatory agencies, municipalities, and...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Measuring Tiny Forces with Light

Photons have no mass, but they have momentum. This allows researchers to use light to push matter around. Scientists at the Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML) at the National Institute of Standards and...

Research at The University of Nottingham (UK) and the University at Ningbo (China) has found that laser scanning is a viable structural safety technique to detect the damaging...

The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed a metrology workbench for the measurement and visualization of displacement and strain fields in three dimensions. The...

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a novel probe for eddy current sensor applications that improves detection depth and measurement resolution. Although the use of...

NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) seeks to license its Multidimensional Damage Detection System for Flat Surfaces technology. The ability to detect damage to composite surfaces can be crucial,...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Wireless Sensing System Using Open-Circuit, Electrically Conductive Spiral-TraceSensor

NASA Langley Research Center researchers have developed a wireless, low-profile sensor that uses a magnetic field response measurement acquisition system to provide power to the sensor and to acquire physical property measurements from it. Unique to...

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a magnetometer that takes advantage of the unique variable permeability properties of Metglas 2714A magnetic...

Briefs: Materials
Methods for Intercalating and Exfoliating Hexagonal Boron Nitride

Innovators at NASA's Glenn Research Center have developed a number of materials and methods to optimize the performance of nanomaterials by making them tougher, more resistant, and easier to process. Glenn's scientists are generating critical improvements at all stages of...

Briefs: Materials
Method for Fabricating Diamond-Dispersed, Fiber-Reinforced Composite Coating onLow-Temperature Sliding Thrust Bearing Interfaces

Innovators at NASA's Glenn Research Center have developed a method for fabricating a fiber-reinforced diamond composite coating on the surfaces of sliding thrust bearings at low and cryogenic temperatures....

Briefs: Materials
Enhanced Composite Damping Through Engineered Interfaces

Material damping is important in the design of structures as it limits vibration amplitudes, increases fatigue life, and affects impact resistance. This is particularly true for composite materials, which are currently used extensively in applications that experience frequent dynamic...

NASA's Langley Research Center is developing an innovative self-healing resin that automatically reacts to mechanical stimuli. Current structural materials are not self-healing, making it necessary to...

Briefs: Materials
Methodology for the Effective Stabilization of Tin-Oxide-Based Oxidation/ReductionCatalysts

NASA Langley researchers, in work spanning more than a decade, have developed a portfolio of technologies for low-temperature gas catalysis. Originally developed to support space-based CO2 lasers, the technology has evolved into an...

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