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 : Semiconductors & ICs
System and Method for Identifying Electrical Properties of Integrated Circuits

Integrated circuit (IC) design can be divided into three stages: circuitry as specified, circuitry as designed, and circuitry as manufactured. Circuitry as specified is a somewhat abstract circuit design made with knowledge of the latest state-of-the-art integrated...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Cell Processing Cartridge for Miniature Cytometer

Portable flow cytometers, especially in handheld or briefcase sizes, have not been available. One reason is the need to support complex, high-pressure fluidics and process cells using a centrifuge and mixing device. A need existed for point-of-care and/or point-of-analysis flow cytometry.

Computers use different kinds of memory technologies to store data. Long-term memory — typically a hard disk or flash drive — needs to be dense in order to store as much data as...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Gallium-Infused Liquid-Solid Composites

Materials scientists are looking to nature — at the discs in human spines and the skin of ocean-diving fish — for clues about how to design materials with both flexibility and stiffness. The...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Flexible Silicon-on-Polymer Chip

A new, flexible, silicon-on-polymer chip was developed to augment new networked realities such as the Internet of Things. Typical silicon-based integrated circuits are brittle, rigid components packaged in a way that protects them. When these devices are put into a flexible form factor, rigidity is a negative...

Inspired by brains, neural networks are composed of neurons (or nodes) and synapses, which are the connections between nodes. To train a neural network for a task, a neural network takes in a...

NASA is preparing for the next generation of CubeSats that are propelled and will make directional maneuvers. The new gimbal mount provides a seat for the motor, and controls the position of the...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Shape Memory Alloy Art (SMA-Art) Shapes

Shape memory alloys (SMAs) have the unique ability to recover large deformations in response to thermal, mechanical, and/or magnetic stimuli. This behavior occurs by virtue of a crystallo-graphically...

Currently, most 3D-printed organ models are made using hard plastics or rubbers. This limits their application for accurate prediction and replication of the organ’s physical...

High-tech refrigerators have been used to reach temperatures as close to absolute zero as possible — 0 kelvin or -273.15 °C. Physicists aim to cool equipment to as close to absolute zero as...

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a landing gear cavity modification that reduces noise produced during aircraft approach and landing. The modification is an innovative stretchable...

A growing safety concern for pilots and aircraft passengers is laser strikes, or the aiming of high-power laser pointers at aircraft. Laser strikes pose many dangers to pilots, including...

In multi-layer and multi-fluid plate and fin heat exchangers, fluid ports are required to be located on the side of the heat exchanger....

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Flexible, Water-Repellent Graphene Circuits for Washable Electronics

New graphene printing technology can produce electronic circuits that are low-cost, flexible, highly conductive, and water-repellent. Low-cost, inkjet-printed graphene can be tuned with a laser to make functional materials.

A new medical diagnostic device made of paper detects biomarkers and identifies diseases by performing electrochemical analyses — powered only by the user’s touch — and reads...

Briefs : Energy
Cryo-Fluid Capacitor (CFC) for Solid-State Storage and Supply-on-Demand of Cryogenic Fluids

Storage and transfer of fluid commodities such as oxygen, hydrogen, natural gas, nitrogen, argon, etc. are absolute necessities in virtually every industry. These fluids are typically contained in one of two ways: as low-pressure cryogenic liquids, or as...

Briefs : Materials
Ultra-Strong, Lightweight, Elastic, Electrically Conductive Carbon

The configuration of carbon's electrons allows for numerous self-bonding combinations that give rise to a range of materials with varying properties. For example, transparent, super-hard diamonds and opaque graphite, which is used for both pencils and industrial lubricant, are...

Briefs : Energy
Wireless Charging of Moving Electric Vehicles

If electric cars could recharge while driving down a highway, it would virtually eliminate concerns about their range and lower their cost, perhaps making electricity the standard fuel for vehicles. Researchers have wirelessly transmitted electricity to a nearby moving object, which could advance...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Optical Product and Document Security Method

An inexpensive security method for uniquely marking and identifying physical objects such as documents or labels has been developed. This technology uses the mixing of inks in numerous different ratios to print arbitrary marks on a given object. The ink mixture used in a printed mark produces a...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Algorithm Boosts Speed of 3D Printers

A major drawback to 3D printing is the slow pace of the process, which ensures details are reproduced accurately. The pace of 3D printing is one of the factors that has prevented the technology from finding a broader audience. A new algorithm was developed that boosts the speed at which the printers...

Energy harvesting is a diverse field encompassing many technologies that involve a process that captures small amounts of energy that would otherwise be lost as heat, light, sound, vibration, or...

Carbon aerogels (CAs) are nano-porous carbons comprising a particularly significant class of carbon nano-materials for a variety of sustainable energy applications. Carbon aerogels are...

Current gas mask filters counter current threats, but there are large gaps in knowledge about how they do so at the molecular level. Many of the filters were developed to handle a wide...

The efficiency of computer chips has increased by using caches — small, local memory banks that store frequently used data and cut down on time- and...

Briefs : Imaging
Additive Manufacturing Unique Serialization

Current methods of identifying a unique part involve adding a unique serial number to the part. There are many reasons that manufactured parts receive a serial number. They enable traceability of a part throughout its lifecycle, and ensure the part is not a counterfeit; however, labels and stamped...

Briefs : Aerospace
Interlaminar Strengthening Concepts for Polymer Matrix Composites

During the last few decades, one of the most prevalent issues associated with the performance of aerospace composite materials has revolved around low interlaminar mechanical properties. The innovations described in this work outline a number of new and improved techniques for...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
External Diagnostic Method to Detect Electrical Charging in Complex Ion Trapping Systems

Electron-ionized atom trapping technology is widely used in mass spectrometry and atomic clocks. The complexity of the trapping configuration operating in an ultra-high vacuum system is driven by demands for ultimate sensitivity, performance, and fundamental...

Supercapacitors can store and deliver energy faster than conventional batteries. But to realize advanced applications, supercapacitors need better electrodes, which connect the...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Method of Fabricating Ultra-Short-Gate-Length Thin-Film Transistors Using Optical Lithography

The speed of thin-film transistors (TFTs) relates directly to their gate length, which must be kept as short as possible to lower electron transport time between electrodes, and improve its high-frequency response characteristics. Since current density...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
EOS MLS Level 2 Data Processing Software, Version 4

This software reads MLS Level 1 products — the Earth Observing System (EOS) Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) calibrated measurements of microwave radiance products and operational meteorological data — and produces a set of estimates of atmospheric temperature and composition. The software...

Webcasts

On-Demand Webinars: Medical

Ethylene Oxide Sterilization: The Future State

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

From Drudgery to the Effective Use of Design and Process FMEAs

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Heavy-Duty Engine Design for a Transitioning Market

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

High-Powered Directed Energy Laser Projects: Destroy the Target,...

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

Optical Coating Design

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Rapid Decompression and Sealed Containers: Why Choose Magnet...