Briefs : Energy
Aluminum as a Fuel

Batteries and combustion engines each have distinctive benefits and limitations. Batteries have simple construction and operate silently; however, their energy density (i.e., the energy per unit volume) is poor, and...

Briefs : Energy
High-Energy Lithium Flow Cells with Sulfur Anodes

Li-ion batteries offer considerable advantages such as high gravimetric and volumetric energy densities, and good calendar life and shelf life compared to aqueous systems such as Pb-acid, Ni-Cd, and Ni-MH. Various Li-ion chemistries with different Li-intercalating cathodes have attained...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Method Creates Wood Substance Stronger Than Titanium

A new way to treat wood makes it 12 times stronger than natural wood and ten times tougher. The wood substance could be comparable to steel or titanium alloys; it is also comparable to carbon fiber, but much less expensive.

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Technique for Chemically Combining Soft Materials

Every complex human tool has contained multiple materials wedged, tied, screwed, glued, or soldered together. But the next generation of tools, from autonomous squishy robots to flexible...

Briefs : Software
Detecting Unauthorized Device Access by Comparing Multiple Independent Spatial-Time Data Sets from Other Devices

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has developed a method to collect suspicious data and analyze them without extensive costs. A common challenge in complex computer systems is the identification of unauthorized use, which can be...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Robotic Gripper for Satellite Capture and Servicing

The robotic gripper was developed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as part of a robotic satellite servicing mission. The gripping device can be used to autonomously or remotely grasp and...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Method and Associated Apparatus for Capturing, Servicing, and De-Orbiting Earth Satellites Using Robotics

Engineers at Goddard Space Flight Center have overcome limitations plaguing the satellite sector since its inception through the development of a robotic system allowing for the autonomous capture and servicing of in-orbit satellites. By...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Controllable Dry Adhesive for Efficient Climbing Robot

A small robot with the ability to hoist large loads could have countless applications, not only as a small, inexpensive, disposable, mobile sensor in the realms of search and rescue,...

Briefs : Communications
Secure Optical Quantum Communications

NASA’s Glenn Research Center has developed a method of using entangled-photon pairs to produce highly secure mobile communications that require mere milliwatts of power. Conventional gas Argon-ion laser sources are too large, expensive, and power-intensive to use in portable applications. By contrast,...

Briefs : Energy
Generating Electricity with Energy-Harvesting Yarns

Researchers have developed yarns that generate electricity when they are stretched or twisted. The “twistron” yarns are constructed from carbon nanotubes — hollow cylinders of carbon...

Briefs : Propulsion
Non-Catalytic Ignition System for High-Performance Advanced Monopropellant Thrusters

Anon-catalytic pyrotechnic ignition system was developed for advanced green monopropellant systems operating with hydroxylammonium nitrate (HAN)-based monopropellant AF-M315E. This technology will provide increased performance and new operating regimes for...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D Printer Test Station

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a test station capable of in-situ testing of material deposition and layer adhesion in an extrusion additive manufacturing process. The technology addresses the problem of...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Noncontact Sensor Measures Density and Speed of Sound of a Liquid in a Pipeline or Vessel

The need for non-invasive, real-time measurement of the density and speed of sound of a liquid led to the development of an ultrasonic sensing technique based upon the reflection of ultrasound at the solid-fluid interface.

Briefs : Propulsion
Thruster-Based Attitude and Translation Control with Minimum Pulse-Count Disturbance Rejection

Thruster-based control typically requires a substantial engineering effort in order to mitigate an important issue: the control system tends to use many thruster pulses to accomplish what a single thruster pulse could do instead. This fundamental...

Briefs : Software
Selective Access and Editing in a Database

NASA has developed a method and system that provides selective access to different portions of a database by different subgroups of database users. In this system, two or more members of a given access subgroup can simultaneously edit a document accessible to each member. This database system provides...

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