Mechanical/​Mechatronics

Stay updated on advancements in mechanical components and mechatronics systems. New technologies in MEMs, fluid systems, and propulsion are driving breakthroughs in transportation, electrification, autonomous driving, and manufacturing.

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Cryogenic Hydraulically Actuated Isolation Valve

Researchers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center have developed a cryogenic isolation valve that utilizes the upstream line pressure of cryogenic fluids for actuation. Previously, the use of cryogenic fluids for actuation systems had been too difficult to control and resulted in unsafe operating...

Briefs : Aerospace
Nitinol-Actuated, Normally Open Valve Assembly (NOVA)

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has developed the NOVA zero-leak, permanent isolation valve that helps prevent leaks in space propulsion systems with operating pressures less than or equal to 500 psia. The actuator is made from nitinol, a heat-activated, non-explosive, shape memory alloy and...

Briefs : Wearables
Organic Semiconductor Thin-Film Sensors Detect Disease Markers in Breath
Organic Semiconductor Thin-Film Sensors Detect Disease Markers in Breath

Organic semiconductors (OSCs) have emerged as a new class of electronic materials promising a wide range of applications including organic field-effect transistors...

Organic Semiconductor Thin-Film Sensors Detect Disease Markers in Breath
Briefs : Defense
Endovascular Variable Aortic Control Catheter
Endovascular Variable Aortic Control Catheter

The Air Force has developed improved devices for hemostatic management of patients with life-threatening blood loss from an arterial wound or surgery. Current aortic occlusion devices...

Endovascular Variable Aortic Control Catheter
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Method Uses Ultraviolet Light to Control Fluid Flow and Organize Particles
Method Uses Ultraviolet Light to Control Fluid Flow and Organize Particles

A new method uses ultraviolet light to control the flow of fluids by encouraging particles — from plastic microbeads, to bacterial spores, to pollutants — to...

Method Uses Ultraviolet Light to Control Fluid Flow and Organize Particles
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Nickel Titanium Alloy Ball Bearings
Nickel Titanium Alloy Ball Bearings

Innovators at NASA's Glenn Research Center have developed a new method for making small-diameter, high-grade ball bearings that are less than 0.25” in diameter thanks to the development of a new alloy...

Nickel Titanium Alloy Ball Bearings
Technology Leaders : Software
Module or Discrete Power?
Module or Discrete Power?

Engineers today are feeling the pressure to get more done in less time, be experts in multiple disciplines, and use their resources more efficiently to maximize profits. This environment is shifting the way...

Module or Discrete Power?
Briefs : Materials
Lunar Surface Manipulation System
Lunar Surface Manipulation System

NASA's Langley Research Center offers a novel lifting and precision positioning device with hybrid functional characteristics of both crane-type lifting devices and robotic manipulators. The design of the...

Lunar Surface Manipulation System
Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
New on the Market: August 2019
New on the Market: August 2019

Circular Connectors

Binder USA, Camarillo, CA, introduced the 720 Series of miniature circular connectors with a snap-in IP67 twin distributor. The distributor — a single male connector into two...

New on the Market: August 2019
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Light-Activated Micro-Pump
Light-Activated Micro-Pump

Even the smallest mechanical pumps have limitations, from the micro-fabrication techniques required to make them to the fact that there are limits on their size. A laser-driven photoacoustic microfluidic pump was...

Light-Activated Micro-Pump
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Microscale Electro-Hydrodynamic (EHD) Modular Cartridge Pump

The EHD pump uses electric fields to move a dielectric fluid coolant in a thermal loop to dissipate heat generated by electrical components with a low-power system. The pump has only a few key components and no moving parts, increasing the simplicity and robustness of the system. In...

Briefs : Aerospace
Deployable Emergency Shutoff Device Blocks High-Velocity Fluid Flows

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center has developed a device and method for blocking the flow of fluid from an open pipe. The device plugs, controls, and meters the flow of gases and liquids. Anchored with friction fittings, spikes, or explosively activated fasteners, the device...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Wearable Liquid Unit Harvests Energy
Wearable Liquid Unit Harvests Energy

Researchers have created wearable technology to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. It presents a step toward the practical realization of self-powered, human-integrated technologies.

Wearable Liquid Unit Harvests Energy
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Combustion Gas Heat Exchanger
Combustion Gas Heat Exchanger

Two very challenging problems facing the U.S. and the world are energy security and global climate change, largely due to dependence on fossil fuels. Cost-effective technologies have been developed that are...

Combustion Gas Heat Exchanger
Briefs : Energy
Technique Identifies Electricity-Producing Bacteria
Technique Identifies Electricity-Producing Bacteria

Certain species of bacteria that exist in oxygen-deprived environments must find a way to breathe that doesn't involve oxygen. These microbes — which can be found deep within mines, at...

Technique Identifies Electricity-Producing Bacteria
Briefs : Imaging
Visualizing Motion of Water Molecules for Liquid-Based Electronics

A high-resolution inelastic x-ray scattering technique was used to measure the strong bond involving a hydrogen atom sandwiched between two oxygen atoms. This hydrogen bond is a quantum-mechanical phenomenon responsible for various properties of water, including viscosity, that...

Q&A : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Q&A: “Neural Lander” Uses AI to Land Drones Smoothly

Soon-Jo Chung is Bren Professor of Aerospace in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science (EAS) at Caltech and research scientist at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He and his team developed a method for using a deep neural network to help autonomous drones “learn” how to land more...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Automated Object Detection in an Image

Recent developments in machine vision have demonstrated remarkable improvements in the ability of computers to properly identify objects in a viewing field. Most of these advances rely on color-texture analyses that require target objects to possess one or more highly distinctive, local features that can be...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
System Provides “Electric Eyesight” for Autonomous Vehicles
System Provides “Electric Eyesight” for Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles relying on light-based image sensors often struggle to see through blinding conditions such as fog. Sub-terahertz wavelengths, which are between microwave...

System Provides “Electric Eyesight” for Autonomous Vehicles
Briefs : Imaging
Technique Makes Objects Invisible to Image Detection Systems
Technique Makes Objects Invisible to Image Detection Systems

Adversarial techniques were developed that can make objects “invisible” to image detection systems that use deep-learning algorithms. These techniques can also trick systems...

Technique Makes Objects Invisible to Image Detection Systems
Briefs : Propulsion
Inductive Power Transfer for Spaceflight Systems

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has developed technology that uses inductive power transfer (IPT) for wireless power interfaces between spaceflight elements (such as the payload, vehicle, and pad). Current spaceflight systems require traditional hardwire connections for power interfaces. This...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Two-Dimensional Materials Improve Efficiency of Lithium-Air Batteries
Two-Dimensional Materials Improve Efficiency of Lithium-Air Batteries

Lithium-air batteries are poised to become the next replacement for currently used lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles, cell-phones, and computers....

Two-Dimensional Materials Improve Efficiency of Lithium-Air Batteries
Briefs : Energy
Hybrid Cathodes Could Boost Energy Capacity of Lithium Batteries
Hybrid Cathodes Could Boost Energy Capacity of Lithium Batteries

Today's lithium-ion batteries use cathodes (one of the two electrodes in a battery) made of a transition metal oxide. Batteries with cathodes made of sulfur are considered a...

Hybrid Cathodes Could Boost Energy Capacity of Lithium Batteries
Blog : Aerospace
What is the ‘Lunar Gateway?’ NASA Details Its Return to the Moon
What is the ‘Lunar Gateway?’ NASA Details Its Return to the Moon
Sign up now to hear how NASA plans to get back to the Moon by 2024.
What is the ‘Lunar Gateway?’ NASA Details Its Return to the Moon
Blog : Electronics & Computers
Answering Your Questions: How Will Emulation Be Used in Automotive Design?
Answering Your Questions: How Will Emulation Be Used in Automotive Design?
A reader asks: What role will emulation play in the verification of modern automotive solutions?
Answering Your Questions: How Will Emulation Be Used in Automotive Design?
White Papers : Medical
How to Assemble Your Microfluidic Test Device - Automated or By Hand

When you’re a medical designer building a Point-of-Care microfluidic test device, you need to precisely control the alignment of layer components. A new white paper from Preco Inc. compares an automated assembly approach to a manual one.

Podcasts : Aerospace
Here's an Idea: Apollo 11
Here's an Idea: Apollo 11
In this special edition of Here's an Idea, we explore the many tools and materials that began as one small step toward the Moon.
Here's an Idea: Apollo 11
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
A Work of Art: Researchers Create Complex Actuators, Automatically
A Work of Art: Researchers Create Complex Actuators, Automatically
MIT's new way of automatically creating actuators is a bit like solving a Rubik's Cube.
A Work of Art: Researchers Create Complex Actuators, Automatically
White Papers : Transportation
Camera Selection for Vehicle & Transportation Applications

The intersection of mobility and security represents a particularly attractive area for video imaging devices. These applications require high-performance digital cameras for object identification, driver monitoring, theft prevention, evidence review, and training. Camera and image...

White Papers : Transportation
How AUTOSAR Fuels Intelligent EV Smart Charging

As discussed in this paper, the Telemotive Intelligent Charging solution, along with the integration of AUTOSAR at the ECU level, offers the user/driver an error-free communication between charging station and vehicle via the actual charging cable, thus establishing real communication between the...