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: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Quantum-Limit-Approaching Chemical Sensing Chip
Study shows improvements to chemical sensing chip that aims to quickly and accurately identify drugs and other trace chemicals.
A patch of needles connected to a paper sensor diagnoses conditions such as prediabetes.
Real-time health monitoring and sensing abilities of robots require soft electronics, but a challenge of using such materials lies in their reliability.
A mathematical framework can help engineers make informed decisions about which sensors to use and where they must be positioned in aircraft and other machines.
Sensors need to be flexible, stretchable, biodegradable, safe, and stable for use in the body.
The material can be recycled, making renewable energy more sustainable while lowering costs in the process.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Prototype Fuel Gauge for Orbit
The technology could continuously monitor fluid flow in pipes on the International Space Station and prevent satellites from colliding.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Obstacle-Avoiding Drone Uses Live Moth Antenna
“Smellicopter” uses a live moth antenna to avoid obstacles and seek out smells.
The functioning human heart pump provides a model to track and trace what happens at the cell and molecular levels in the pump structure.
The invention can become color-changing “artificial muscle.”
The coatings can be deposited on substrates such as glass, polymers, metals, and aerogels.
The technology could lead to a platform for quantum computation or new types of energy-efficient data storage applications.
This method is an important step towards smaller, more advanced, environmentally friendly electronics.
A potential boon to green manufacturing, the new glue saves on energy, time, and space.
The material is designed for high-temperature applications in aircraft, building insulation, personal protective clothing, industrial, and automotive.
Equipment designers can simplify design efforts and adjust controller platforms as needed when they standardize on electronic input/output products.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
High-Color-Purity 3D Printing
This method obtains high-color-purity 3D objects using a new class of nanoparticles.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Advanced Supercritical Water Oxidation Reactor
This technology has potential across many industries including water reclamation and treatment, and waste destruction in liquid waste streams.
By converting CO2 into complex hydrocarbon products, a new catalyst could aid in large-scale efforts to recycle excess carbon dioxide.
The next generation of waterproof smart fabrics can be laser-printed and made in minutes.
This built-in security measure would prevent hackers from getting enough information about the circuit to reverse-engineer it.
Hundreds of drones can recharge autonomously on unmanned ground vehicles.
A chemical process converts polyethylene plastic into a strong, valuable adhesive.
The stretchable electronics are more stable as they change shape, which could lead to next-generation sensors for healthcare applications.
The algorithms enable drones to quickly switch between hover and forward flight.
The device has applications in medical diagnostics and homeland security.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printing of Sensors Directly on Expanding Organs
The technique could have applications in diagnosing and monitoring the lungs of patients with COVID-19.
Onboard cameras can be used to keep damaged quadcopters in the air and flying stably, even without GPS.

Researchers have demonstrated that they can attract, capture, and destroy perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of federally regulated substances nicknamed “the forever...

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