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: Nanotechnology
By capturing more cancer cells than blood draw screening, this device could help doctors understand a tumor’s biology and make decisions about treatment.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Prototypes show promise as a low-cost, natural filtration option.
Briefs: Materials
The high-quality bioplastics can be molded into a film that can be used in plastic bags and packaging.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
An enhanced polymer could be used for more energy-efficient systems with a smaller carbon footprint.
Briefs: Aerospace
Early flutter detection will help in the development of safer and more eco-friendly aircraft turbines.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
This could lead to the commercial development of smart glass, with applications ranging from imaging to advanced robotics.
Briefs: Wearables
The smart ring shows it’s possible to detect fever before you feel it.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
The algorithm speeds up the planning process robots use to adjust their grip on objects for picking and sorting or tool use.
Briefs: Packaging & Sterilization
A novel method was developed to produce an alkaline hydrogel that could improve wound healing.
Briefs: Wearables
The app detects fluid behind the eardrum using a piece of paper and a smartphone’s microphone and speaker.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A production-based X-ray solution performs product quality evaluation directly on the manufacturing line.
Briefs: Packaging & Sterilization
This portable method could enable hospitals to make their own supply of the disinfectant on demand and at lower cost.
Briefs: Data Acquisition
Microspheres are used in wind tunnel experiments to monitor airflow, to stain biological samples, and in time-delayed drug release.
Briefs: Automotive
The carbon fiber serves as the electrode, conductor, and load-bearing material.
Briefs: Materials
The soft material demonstrates autonomous, heartbeat-like oscillating properties.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Flywheels offer an environmentally and financially sound choice for protecting critical operations.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Terrestrial uses include physical therapy, clinical diagnosis, athletic training and performance, and robust exercise equipment.
Briefs: Medical
This wearable device is placed on the skin to measure a variety of body responses, from electrical to biomechanical signals.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
The system uses infrasonic acoustics for weather monitoring and for drone or UAV activity.
Briefs: Imaging
Dangerous “butterfly” landmines can be detected using low-cost drones and infrared cameras.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
The size and shape of the nanostructure can be controlled as it is assembled piece by piece.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The material could be used in security, health, industrial, and safety applications.
Briefs: Materials
The new metal lattice material can be used to create models that regain shape after being crushed.
Briefs: Unmanned Systems
These tiny aerial robots can operate in cramped spaces and withstand collisions.
Briefs: Materials
The new material could provide efficient and reusable protection from shock, vibration, and explosion.
Briefs: Packaging & Sterilization
The gel works even at freezing temperatures and contains natural antimicrobial compounds derived from durian husk.
Briefs: Communications
Servo motion control delivers powerful, fast, and precise movement onboard robots and for associated equipment.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
This could make possible embedded devices like a spinal cord-stimulating unit with a battery-powered magnetic transmitter on a wearable belt.
Briefs: Energy
This cell could potentially operate around the clock, balancing the power grid over the day-night cycle.

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