Mechanical/​Mechatronics

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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.

INSIDER: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Intricate tasks that require dexterous in-hand manipulation — rolling, pivoting, bending, and sensing friction — are a challenge for today's robots. A University of Washington team of computer scientists...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

This actuator was developed out of a need for a cryogenic actuator that can operate effectively in spite of the thermal mismatch involved with construction materials that have different...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center has developed a novel ruggedized housing for an electrical or fluid umbilical connector that prevents intrusion of dust, sand, dirt, mud, and moisture during field use under harsh...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Systems, Methods, and Apparatus of a Low-Conductance Silicon Micro-Leak for Mass Spectrometer Inlet

Mass spectrometers on atmospheric entry probes require a method for introducing gas from high-pressure ambient regions to the vacuum of the mass spectrometer interior.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed three techniques and systems to calibrate and validate...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Release of a Stuck Solar Array or Antenna

Satellite launches experience approximately one deployment failure every two years. These failures include a solar array or antenna that fails to deploy because it is stuck due to a mechanism failure, or is snagged by a cable or thermal blanket. Knowledge of the exact circumstances of the deployable...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
High-Heat-Flux-Capable Boundary Layer Vortex Generator and Boundary Layer Transition Device

Afixed geometry device has been developed to promote boundary layer transition and generation of streamwise vorticity, and is capable of withstanding entry heating environments for the Space Shuttle Orbiter. Designed to have a total height above the...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Because of the cost-effectiveness of flying smallsats compared to large flagship spacecraft, there is increasing interest in boosting their capabilities for...

INSIDER: Manufacturing & Prototyping

A college student who won a NASA design challenge recently had the tool he designed 3D-printed on the Additive Manufacturing Facility on the International Space Station. The Multipurpose...

INSIDER: Automotive

Researchers have devised a novel way to help keep a driverless vehicle under control as it maneuvers at the edge of its handling limits. The new technology is being tested by...

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers
Researchers Keep Hydrogels Hydrated

Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a way to prevent hydrogels from dehydrating. The water-based technique could lead to longer-lasting contact lenses, stretchy microfluidic devices, flexible bioelectronics, and even artificial skin.

INSIDER Product: Imaging

Furukawa Electric (Tokyo, Japan) and OFS (Norcross, GA) recently introduced the FITEL S179 Hand-Held, Core Alignment Fusion Splicer. The FITEL S179 Fusion Splicer can be used on all Metro, LAN and FTTx fibers,...

INSIDER Product: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The high precision, AU300-XZ Motorized Three-axis Gimbal Mount from Optimal Engineering Systems, Inc. (OES) (Van Nuys, CA) features full 360O rotation of each axis. The rigid black anodized aluminum alloy frame...

INSIDER: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A flow battery can be recharged quickly by replacing its electrolyte liquid. Previous versions of liquid batteries, however, have relied on complex systems of tanks, valves, and pumps, adding to...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

As CubeSats take on increased functionality, including larger solar arrays for increased power demands and large antennas for science and communications needs, the requirements for...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Aridged retention interface is necessary to secure planetary sample tubes within a caching system for use in future sample return missions. The assumed retention...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Planetary Ice Mining by Down-Hole Energy Injection

Ice has been discovered on Mars and is present in the permanently shadowed craters on the Moon and on many asteroids. The ice is usually buried beneath an overburden of regolith. Evidence indicates this overburden may be a meter deep in some locations for the Moon; for Mars, it varies with...

Briefs: Propulsion

An advanced Lean-Direct-Injection (LDI) turbine engine combustor was developed. Named LDI-II, which stands for second-generation LDI, this technology has vastly improved and expanded the...

Briefs: Aerospace

As powered flight expands to include electric propulsion technologies, aeronautics designers need to understand the electrical, aerodynamic, and structural...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

The Hall effect thruster (HET) was designed for long-duration operation with gaseous iodine as the propellant. Iodine is an alternative to the state-of-the-art propellant xenon. Compared to xenon,...

Briefs: Propulsion
Burnable-Poison-Operated Reactor Using Gadolinium Loaded Alloy

The problem to be resolved in this work was the use of radial control drums as the sole active reactivity control system for nuclear thermal propulsion, which results in significant rocket performance changes during full-power operation. This can result in large inefficiencies in...

INSIDER: Aerospace

NASA tested a 3D printed rocket engine turbopump with liquid methane – an ideal propellant for engines needed to power many types of spacecraft for NASA’s journey to Mars. During the full-power...

News: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Tactile handles forklifts, industrial trucks, and motorized carts are being developed that employ pressure sensors to detect the direction in which a user is pushing or pulling the...

News: Test & Measurement

Many machines such as turbines, oil drills, health monitors, and nuclear reactors require internal sensors to monitor physical states such as temperature. Researchers are...

News: Photonics/Optics

A low-energy nuclear reaction imaging technique designed to detect the presence of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium in cargo containers arriving at U.S. ports was...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Lightweight, Reusable Payload Launch and Transportation Latch

This innovation addresses the problem of automatic engagement and disengagement of payloads from their transport vehicle when lifted by a crane or other material handling device. The prior state-of-the-art is in material handling devices that require personnel to activate the latch,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Advanced Magnetostrictive Regulator, Valve, and Force-to-Angle Sensor

Typical aerospace rocket engines use valves to control the flow and pressures of propellant and pressurants. These typical valves are designed to operate with a mechanical, electromechanical, or pneumatic operator. They all have at least one, and often multiple, penetrations...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

To date, there are solutions that can collect samples by being deployed from a distance from a low-gravity body or using a touch-and-go approach. To increase precision collection of samples...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The Deployable Extra-Vehicular Activity Platform (DEVAP) is a staging platform for egress and ingress attached to a lunar, Mars, or planetary surface habitat...

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