Tech Briefs

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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: Medical
MediSCAPE is a highspeed 3D microscope capable of capturing images of tissue structures that could guide surgeons to navigate tumors and their boundaries without needing to remove tissues and wait for pathology results.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Tests showed the metalens they made could focus its 197-nanometer output onto a spot measuring 1.7 microns in diameter, increasing the power density of the light output by 21 times.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Plasmonics is a technology that essentially traps the energy of light in groups of electrons oscillating together on a metal surface.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
It achieves 40 channels by combining a frequency comb light source based on a new photonic crystal resonator developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) with an optimized mode-division multiplexer.
Briefs: Design
Have we found a better alternative to lithium-ion batteries?
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
The researchers plan to apply the design to edge computing devices.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
The technology could be useful in manufacturing and assembly plants for sorting packages, or in any environment where humans and robots collaborate.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
A new general-purpose optimizer can speed up the design of walking robots, self-driving vehicles, and other autonomous systems.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Interactive program aids motion planning for environments with obstacles.
Briefs: Materials
Applications include a smart fabric for exoskeletons, an adaptive cast that adjusts its stiffness as an injury heals, or a deployable bridge that could be unrolled and stiffened.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The piezoelectric “meta-bot” is capable of propulsion, movement, sensing, and decision-making.
Briefs: Materials
A simple change to the surface of perovskite removes a barrier to its functionality.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Researchers built electroluminescent soft artificial muscles for flying, insect-scale robots.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
The robots will be challenged to carry out work too dangerous for humans.
Briefs: Medical
Additional applications include defogging/defrosting, wearable devices, industrial heat systems, sensors, thermochromic displays, and microfluidic chips.
Briefs: Energy
The material remains effective as an energy harvester or sensor at temperatures to well above 572°F.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
The process predicts when and where microscopic cracks will occur before they become catastrophic.
Briefs: Design
New design removes the need for mechanisms to perform active tilting of the wings or rotors, reducing system mass.
Briefs: Power
Acoustic optimization for anti-phase asymmetric rotor.
Briefs: Manned Systems
Gust load alleviation is an increasing concern for the design of fixed-wing aircraft with ultra-high aspect wings.
Briefs: Power
Advanced analyses shed light on the mechanism of a deadly problem plaguing combustion chambers in rocket engines.
Briefs: Manned Systems
A lightweight alternative to rudders for aircraft with spanwise adaptive wings.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
This method increases the efficiency of light-emitting diodes and other optical elements.
Briefs: Lighting
These micro LEDs can be folded, twisted, cut, and stuck to different surfaces.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Bulky, heavy LiDAR systems in self-driving cars could be replaced with a single chip.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
The millimeter-sized flat lens can be used in wearable displays for virtual reality, which requires compact, lightweight, and cost-effective components.
Briefs: Aerospace
Besides miniature spacecraft propulsion systems, the valve could also have applications in the industrial processing industry where low flow devices are commonly used.
Briefs: Transportation
A self-aligning, self-healing system for pneumatics and cryogenics with applications in aerospace.
Briefs: Design
Testing has shown that NASA's poppet reduces leakage rates of traditional aerospace cryogenic valves by three orders of magnitude.

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