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.

This optical switch controls the direction of light passing through optical fibers faster and more efficiently.
A combination of additives shows promise for boosting battery performance in very cold or hot weather.
This method also reverse-engineers computer chips to detect the chip’s purpose.
This multifunctional hybrid laminate composite can be used for residential and commercial construction.
This invention is a highly stable, heat-treatable, and tunable material.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Device Creates Electricity from Snowfall
The nanogenerator also acts as a weather station.
Briefs: Internet of Things
Photovoltaic-Powered Sensors
RFID-based devices work in indoor and outdoor lighting conditions and could transmit data for years before they need to be replaced.
The method could impact optical imaging, vision correction, and disease diagnosis.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Optically Fixable Shape Memory Polymers
These polymers can combine thermal and optically fixable shape memory.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Unpowered, Lightweight Ankle Exoskeleton
This low-profile ankle exoskeleton integrates into a shoe and fits under clothing.
This technology could lead to the creation of fully functional quantum computers.
Squid skin inspires a new material with heat-regulating properties.
When combined with saltwater, rust can be a source of electricity.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Transport Method Boosts Capacity of Heat Exchangers
A simple modification can improve the capability of turbulent heat exchangers by 500%.
This technology has applications in sonar, range measuring, directional-force sensors, flow meters, and vibration/noise sensing and control.
This innovation dynamically provides fast signal processing and precision measurement.
The device could impact composites manufacturing and health monitoring.
Briefs: Materials
Durable Polyimide Aerogels
Stronger and flexible, polyimide aerogels provide insulation and structural support.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Robots Can Pick Up Any Object After Inspecting It

For decades, robots in controlled environments like assembly lines have been able to pick up the same object over and over again. More recently, breakthroughs in computer vision have enabled...

Undercooled metal technology was developed that features liquid metal (in this case, Field's metal, an alloy of bismuth, indium, and tin) trapped below its melting point in polished,...

A process was developed for producing oxide perovskite crystals in flexible, free-standing layers. A two-dimensional rendition of this substance is intriguing because 2D materials have been shown to...

Briefs: Imaging
Camera Enables Surgeons to More Easily Identify Cancerous Tissue

Many surgeons rely on sight and touch to find cancerous tissue during surgery. Large hospitals or cancer treatment centers may also use experimental near-infrared fluorescent agents that bind to tumors so surgeons can see them on specialized displays. These machines are costly,...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Method Enables Robots to Exchange Directed Messages

A novel approach was developed to improve communications range and allow for covert behavior using a team of robots for future multi-domain operations. Specifically, researchers...

Researchers have created a motion-powered, fireproof sensor that can track the movements of firefighters, steelworkers, miners, and others who work in high-risk environments where they cannot always be seen....

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Soft Robotics Perception System

A perception system for soft robots was developed that is inspired by the way humans process information about their own bodies in space and in relation to other objects and people. The system includes a...

Flying animals both power and control flight by flapping their wings. This enables small natural flyers such as insects to hover close to a flower but also to rapidly escape danger. Animal flight has...

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines are employed to locate cancerous tumors and aid in the development of treatment plans, while nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) machines are used to...

Researchers have developed a fiber that combines the elasticity of rubber with the strength of a metal, resulting in a tougher material. The fibers consist of a gallium metal core...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Facial Recognition Technology Works in the Dark

Thermal cameras like forward looking infrared (FLIR) sensors are actively deployed on aerial and ground vehicles, in watch towers, and at check points for surveillance purposes. More recently,...

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