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: Photonics/Optics
Configuration Enables RFID Tags to Work as Sensors

The detection and localization of gas releases, such as methane from leaking natural gas pipelines or nitrogen oxides from failing electrical equipment, require high sensitivity to the target gas and insensitivity to non-target gases. Infrared (IR) absorption spectroscopy gives highly specific...

NASA's Langley Research Center, in collaboration with Michigan State University (MSU), has developed a microphone array that...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Optical Mass Sensor for Multi-Phase Flows

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center is offering opportunities for its new fiber optic mass flow sensor system. Capable of measuring multi-phase flows in a pipe, the technology is minimally invasive,...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Bio-Renewable Process Creates “Green” Plastic

Plastics are often derived from petroleum, contributing to reliance on fossil fuels, and driving harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Compact, High-Resolution Rotary Position Sensor

It is often desirable to sense the angular position of a rotating part. Numerous kinds of rotation sensors have been developed over the years; one type is a capacitive sensor, where a...

A process for engineering next-generation soft materials with embedded chemical networks that mimic the behavior of neural tissue lays the foundation for soft active matter with highly...

When hit with light, semiconductors (materials that have an electrical resistance in between that of metals and insulators) generate an electric current....

Photons, or units of light, are faster than electrons and could, therefore, process information faster from smaller chip structures. A switch was designed that bypasses a...

As the demand for air transportation increases, the capacity of the current U.S. ATM system will eventually be stressed to its limits. New technologies in communication, navigation, and surveillance (CNS),...

Optical fibers have been traditionally produced by making a cylindrical object called a preform — essentially, a scaled-up model of the fiber — and then heating it. Softened...

Computer processors have continued to shrink down to nanometer sizes where there can be billions of transistors on a single chip. This phenomenon is described under Moore's Law, which...

It's common to see line-shaped clouds in the sky, known as contrails, trailing behind the engines of a jet airplane. What's not always visible is a vortex coming off of the tip of each wing — like...

Briefs: Nanotechnology
Polymer Nanofiber-Based Reversible Nano-Switch/Sensor Schottky Diode (nanoSSSD) Device

Innovators at NASA's Glenn Research Center have developed a unique nano-structure device that operates as a nano-switch/sensor for detecting toxic gases and ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Conventional microsensors are limited by their short life, high cost and...

Additive manufacturing (3D printing) can be used to manufacture porous electrodes for lithium-ion batteries, but because of the nature of the manufacturing process, the design of these...

Researchers have demonstrated the ability to create amorphous metal (metallic glass) alloys on large scales using 3D printing technology. Metallic glasses lack the crystalline...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Soft, Pliable, 3D Stretchable Electronics

By stacking and connecting layers of stretchable circuits on top of one another, soft, pliable 3D stretchable electronics were fabricated that can pack a lot of functions while staying thin and small...

Origami manufacturing has led to considerable advances in the field of foldable structures with innovative applications in robotics, aerospace, and metamaterials; however, existing origami are either...

Wearable technologies are exploding in popularity in both the consumer and research spaces, but most of the electronic sensors that detect and transmit data from wearables are made of hard,...

Briefs: Software
Algorithm Enables Drones to Work in a Coordinated Approach

An algorithm was developed that enables a team of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to communicate and work toward a common goal. The tool could be used to improve security or capture images simultaneously over a large area.

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Technique Boosts Capacity of Computer Storage

The most dense solid-state memory ever created could soon exceed the capabilities of current computer storage devices by 1,000 times using a new technique. The same technology was used to manufacture atomic-scale circuits, allowing for quickly removing or replacing single hydrogen atoms. The...

A thin material was developed that can control the redirection and reflection of sound waves with almost perfect efficiency. While many theoretical approaches to...

Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Nano/Micro Mechanical Environmental Test Cell

A device and method have been developed to conduct compression and tensile tests on soft materials such as flocculated sediments, biopolymers, biological materials, and food stuffs. The device...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Microtesting Rig

The measurement of mechanical behavior in very small samples whose dimensions are on the order of microns and below can offer advantages over conventional macroscopic testing in many instances. Motivations for investigating...

To further develop semiconductor technology, the field of molecular electronics is seeking to manufacture circuit components from individual molecules instead of silicon. Because of...

Briefs: Materials
High-Kinetic-Energy Penetrator Shielding and High-Wear-Resistance Materials Fabricated with Boron Nitride Nanotubes and BNNT Polymer Composites

In recent years, anti-penetration materials have been more widely used for armor, bulletproof vests, and micrometeoroid and orbital debris protection layers for space-suits, space vehicles, and...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Integrated Multiphysics and Advanced Diagnostics

The objective of this effort was to design, fabricate, integrate, and fly a nuclear thermal rocket without having to build massive ground test facilities. Furthermore, this nuclear rocket...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Device Detects Explosives, Drugs, or Lead

Warfighters and law enforcement personnel encounter many situations where they need to assess and determine if a situation is hostile or benign. Currently available field explosive detection kits are...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Stray Energy Indicator for Pyrotechnic Applications

A compact and portable system is used to monitor and store real-time measurements of stray energy through a pyrotechnic firing circuit using infrared technology. The infrared sensor is mated to the NASA Standard Initiator simulator, and is calibrated such that the current input through the...

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Electronics & Computers

OpenVPX Technology: The Future of Military Computing

Upcoming Webinars: Lighting

Driving Ahead of the Curve: Visionary Headlamp Concept

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

The New DIS ISO/SAE 21434: Road Vehicles – Cybersecurity...

Upcoming Webinars: Medical

Conformal Coating Protection of Critical Medical Technologies

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

Alignment Strategy for Complex Part Geometries

Upcoming Webinars: Imaging

High-Speed Imaging

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