Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Carbon Nanotube Purification

Development of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), including single-wall and multi-wall nanotubes and nanofibers, into useful devices requires fabrication of CNTs that are relatively free from process residues such as amorphous carbon and metallic particles that are not part of a CNT array grown on a (coated) substrate....

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Deployable Perimeter Truss with Blade Reel Deployment Mechanism

Solar sail technology depends heavily on the total surface area of the sail. In other words, minimizing mass and volume of its support structure is the main objective, particularly when it comes to launch configuration, i.e. mass, volume constraints, etc. There is a need to develop...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
NEO Hunter Seeker Micro-Spacecraft and Mission Concept

The area of research known as “Planetary Defense” is largely concerned with identifying and tracking asteroids that could impact Earth. The vast majority of asteroids that pose such a risk are known as “Near Earth Asteroids/Objects” or NEAs and NEOs. Some of them are unknown,...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Multipath, Multistage, Erosion-Resistive Valve for Downhole Flow Control

Multipath, multistage, erosion-resistant flow control valves have been developed that can sustain the extremely high pressure of deep oil wells. Fitting in the restricted available space and operating using limited power with a long lifetime are challenges for choke valves...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Passive Close-Off Feature for Sample Acquisition and Retention

The current coring bit and percussive drilling style works very well for strong rocks; however, when coring into weak, crumbling rock, the core tends to break apart and simply fall out of the bit. These rocks, powder, and other debris can have useful information that is lost when...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Piezoelectric-Actuated Cryogenic Thermodynamic Vent Valve

Cryogenic fluid control valves require actuation that controls the geometric position of the orifice in a thermally stable manner. Traditional actuator devices may have various materials used in their construction that have varying CTEs (coefficients of thermal expansion) and therefore...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Decelerator System Simulation (DSS)

The Crew Exploration Vehicle Parachute Assembly System (CPAS) project conducts computer simulations to verify that requirements on flight performance, parachute loads, and terminal rate of descent are met. The objective of this work was to obtain a high-fidelity simulation of Orion crew capsule flight test...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Miniature, Multi-Functional, Self-Braking Vehicle

A novel, miniature, low-mass vehicle has been created that is driven by piezoelectric stacks and a resonance structure. Preliminary tests on similar mechanisms that are used to transmit electrical power across the wall showed efficiencies of the order of 90%. The transmitted mechanical power, and...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Pulse-Echo Probe Mounting Fixture for Blind Alignment on Pipes

The probe and its mounting fixture are critical parts of the health monitoring of steam pipes. A high-temperature, piezoelectric transducer generates and receives ultrasonic waves, and the probe has to transmit the wave normal to the pipe surface. The mounting fixture is designed to...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Passive Mechanism for Maintaining Tension at a Spool to Within a Given Window

During any winding or unwinding action, a tether may experience unexpected changes in tension. For example, the load being wound could become stuck and stop moving, causing the tension in the line to suddenly become extremely high. Alternatively, the load could slip,...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Aluminum Gas Tungsten Arc Orbital Tube Welding

JPL has been hand-welding aluminum tubing for decades in support of flight programs and ground support equipment, including thermal plates and shrouds. This hand-welding process is time-consuming, cumbersome, difficult, and unreliable in terms of repeatability and success, which leads to leaks,...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Effective Packing of Large Panels via Scrolling and Origami Folding

There is a need for large mirrors that can be launched to various bodies in the solar system in a packed form and unfolded to provide the required dimensions. The solution to the need for foldable panels that can be made as mirrors or other structures including antennas, etc....

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Six-Degree-of-Freedom Control With Only Eight Thrusters

Typical spacecraft thruster configurations are often unable to provide full six-degree-of-freedom control and may have unwanted interaction between their attitude control and trajectory control functions, have undesirably high instantaneous electrical power demands, and use more thrusters...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Precise Direct Control of Pressure or Vacuum Using a Digitally Controlled Actuator

A closed/semi-open pressure or vacuum system uses an electric screw mechanical actuator that can be digitally controlled and monitored, and which receives feedback directly from an external or internal source. This innovation can adjust for media temperature...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Piezoelectric Actuator for a 2-inch Isolation Cryogenic Valve

This project is focused on the development of a high-force, high-speed piezoelectric actuator for control of a 2-inch (≈5-cm) isolation valve application in a cryogenic vacuum environment. The piezo motor actuators on the two cryogenic isolation valves were successfully tested at...

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