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.

Carpetlike random arrays of metal-coated silicon nanotips have been shown to be effective as antireflection surfaces. Now undergoing development for incorporation into Sun sensors that would provide...

Nano-engineered catalysts, and a method of fabricating them, have been developed in a continuing effort to improve the performances of direct methanol fuel cells as candidate power...

Capillography (from the Latin capillus, “hair”, and the Greek graphein, “to write”) is a recently conceived technique for forming mats of nanofibers into useful patterns. The concept was inspired...

Power amplifiers comprising InP-based high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs) in coplanar-waveguide (CPW) circuits designed for operation at frequencies of hundreds of gigahertz,...

The world’s first silicon-based complementary metal oxide/semi-conductor (CMOS) integrated-circuit voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) operating in a frequency range around 324...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
High-Voltage, Asymmetric-Waveform Generator

The shapes of waveforms generated by commercially available analytical separation devices, such as some types of mass spectrometers and differential mobility spectrometers are, in general,...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Group-III Nitride Field Emitters

Field-emission devices (cold cathodes) having low electron affinities can be fabricated through lattice- mismatched epitaxial growth of nitrides of elements from group III of the periodic table. Field emission of electrons from solid surfaces is typically utilized in vacuum microelectronic devices, including some...

An improved broadband planar magic-T junction that incorporates microstrip/slotline transitions has been developed. In comparison with a prior broadband magic-T junction incorporating...

An improved packaging approach has been devised for filling a hollow-core photonic-crystal fiber (HC-PCF) with a gas, sealing the HC-PCF to retain the gas, and providing for optical connections...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Thermal Spray Formation of Polymer Coatings

This innovation forms a sprayable polymer film using powdered precursor materials and an in-process heating method. This device directly applies a powdered polymer onto a substrate to form an adherent, mechanically-sound, and thickness-regulated film. The process can be used to lay down both fully...

A method of making more-complex molecules from simpler ones has emerged as a by-product of an experimental study in outer-space atom/ surface collision physics. The...

A family of aerogel-matrix composite materials having thermal-stability and mechanical-integrity properties better than those of neat aerogels has been developed. Aerogels are known to be excellent...

Simple, easy-to-use, highly effective tooling has been devised for maintaining alignment of bolt holes in mating structures during assembly and disassembly of the structures. The...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A New, Highly Improved Two-Cycle Engine

The figure presents a cross-sectional view of a supercharged, variable-compression, two-cycle, internal-combustion engine that offers significant advantages over prior such engines. The improvements...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Flexible Structural-Health-Monitoring Sheets

A generic design for a type of flexible structural- health- monitoring sheet with multiple sensor/actuator types and a method of manufacturing such sheets has been developed. A sheet of this type contains an array of sensing and/or actuation elements, associated wires, and any other associated circuit...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Microgravity, Mesh-Crawling Legged Robots

The design, fabrication, and microgravity flight-testing are part of a continuing development of palm-sized mobile robots that resemble spiders (except that they have six legs apiece, whereas a...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Advanced Active-Magnetic-Bearing Thrust-Measurement System

An advanced thrust-measurement system utilizes active magnetic bearings to both (1) levitate a floating frame in all six degrees of freedom and (2) measure the levitation forces between the floating frame and a grounded frame. This system was developed for original use in measuring the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Thermally Actuated Hydraulic Pumps

Thermally actuated hydraulic pumps have been proposed for diverse applications in which direct electrical or mechanical actuation is undesirable and the relative slowness of thermal actuation can be...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Purifying Nucleic Acids From Samples of Extremely Low Biomass

A new method is able to circumvent the bias to which one commercial DNA extraction method falls prey with regard to the lysing of certain types of microbial cells, resulting in a truncated spectrum of microbial diversity. By prefacing the protocol with glass-bead-beating agitation...

The term “Multi-Angle and Rear Viewing Endoscopic tooL” (MARVEL) denotes an auxiliary endoscope, now undergoing development, that a surgeon would use in...

Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
UV-Resistant Non-Spore-Forming Bacteria From Spacecraft-Assembly Facilities

Four species of non-spore-forming bacteria collected from clean-room surfaces in spacecraft-assembly facilities could survive doses of ultraviolet (UV) radiation that would suffice to kill most known cultivable bacterial species. In a previous study, high UV resistance...

An alternative approach to apertureless near- field optical spectroscopy involving an atomic-force microscope (AFM) entails less complexity of equipment than does a prior approach....

A method of simplified computational modeling of oxidation of hydrocarbons is undergoing development. This is one of several developments needed to enable accurate computational simulation of...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Hard-X-Ray/Soft-γ-Ray Imaging Sensor Assembly for Astronomy

An improved sensor assembly has been developed for astronomical imaging at photon energies ranging from 1 to 100 keV. The assembly includes a thallium-doped cesium iodide scintillator divided into pixels and coupled to an array of high-gain avalanche photodiodes (APDs). Optionally, the...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Hyperspectral Fluorescence and Reflectance Imaging Instrument

The system is a single hyperspectral imaging instrument that has the unique capability to acquire both fluorescence and reflectance high-spatial-resolution data that is inherently spatially and spectrally registered. Potential uses of this instrument include plant stress monitoring,...

A system that comprises optical and electronic subsystems has been developed as an infrastructure for a spectroradiometer that measures time- dependent spectral radiance of the daylight...

Briefs: Information Technology
Toward Better Modeling of Supercritical Turbulent Mixing

A study was done as part of an effort to develop computational models representing turbulent mixing under thermodynamic supercritical (here, high pressure) conditions. The question was whether the large-eddy simulation (LES) approach, developed previously for atmospheric-pressure...

An alternative approach has been devised for encoding image data in compliance with JPEG 2000, the most recent still-image data- compression standard of the Joint Photographic Experts...

An intelligent integrated health management system (IIHMS) incorporates major improvements over prior such systems. The particular IIHMS is implemented for any system defined...

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