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
Optical-Path-Difference Linear Mechanism for the Panchromatic Fourier Transform Spectrometer

A document discusses a mechanism that uses flex-pivots in a parallelogram arrangement to provide frictionless motion with an unlimited lifetime. A voice-coil actuator drives the parallelogram over the required 5-cm travel. An optical position sensor...

In the SmartEnergyLab, scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, Germany are investigating how to network various electrical household appliances and operate...

Today, National Instruments announced its 2011 Green Engineering Grant program for the rapid design, prototyping, and commercialization of new green technology. The grant will provide access to up to $25,000...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Monolithic, High-Speed Fiber-Optic Switching Array for Lidar

Current fiber switch technologies use mechanical means to redirect light beams, resulting in slow switch time, as well as poor reliability due to moving parts wearing out quickly at high speeds. A non-mechanical ability to switch laser output into one of multiple fibers within a fiber...

The DOE's Fuel Cell Technologies Program is offering up to $12 million to advance hydrogen storage technologies for use in fuel cell powered vehicles and other...

Products: Electronics & Computers
High-Power Transformers

Payton Planar Magnetics (Deerfield Beach, FL) offers high-power transformers with 99%+ efficiencies. These types of transformers are used in battery charging stations for HV and can be connected in series to achieve...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Wireless Inductive Power Device Suppresses Blade Vibrations

Vibration in turbomachinery can cause blade failures and leads to the use of heavier, thicker blades that result in lower aerodynamic efficiency and increased noise. Metal and/or composite fatigue in the blades of jet engines has resulted in blade destruction and loss of lives....

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Anti-Rotation Device Releasable by Insertion of a Tool

A drive mechanism enables a socket-type wrench to rotate a shaft and prevents accidental rotation of the shaft when the wrench is not coupled to the shaft. In the original intended application, the shaft would be part of an attachment mechanism on a spacecraft, and the purpose to be served...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Safe, Advanced, Adaptable Isolation System Eliminates the Need for Critical Lifts

The Starr Soft Support isolation system incorporates an automatically reconfigurable aircraft jack into NASA’s existing 1-Hertz isolators. This enables an aircraft to float in mid-air without the need for a critical lift during ground vibration testing (GVT),...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Single Piezo-Actuator Rotary-Hammering Drill

This innovation comprises a compact drill that uses low-axial preload, via vibrations, that fractures the rock under the bit kerf, and rotates the bit to remove the powdered cuttings while...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A Magnetically Coupled Cryogenic Pump

Historically, cryogenic pumps used for propellant loading at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and other NASA Centers have a bellows mechanical seal and oil bath ball bearings, both of which can be problematic and require high maintenance. Because of the extremely low temperatures, the mechanical seals are made of...

Electric power and electronics play an increasing role in vehicles. Currently copper is the conductive material of choice but in comparison to aluminum, it is heavy and...

A system has been developed to acquire and handle samples from a suspended remote platform. The system includes a penetrator, a penetrator deployment mechanism, and a sample...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Improved Rare-Earth Emitter Hollow Cathode

An improvement has been made to the design of the hollow cathode geometry that was created for the rare-earth electron emitter described in “Compact Rare Earth Emitter Hollow Cathode” (NPO-44923), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 34, No. 3 (March 2010), p. 52. The original interior assembly was made entirely...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
High-Temperature Smart Structures for Engine Noise Reduction and Performance Enhancement

One of key NASA goals is to develop and integrate noise reduction technology to enable unrestricted air transportation service to all communities. One of the technical priorities of this activity has been to account for and reduce noise via...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Cryogenic Scan Mechanism for Fourier Transform Spectrometer

A compact and lightweight mechanism has been developed to accurately move a Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS) scan mirror (a cube corner) in a near-linear fashion with near constant speed at cryogenic temperatures.

This innovation includes a slide mechanism to restrict motion to...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Piezoelectric Rotary Tube Motor

A custom rotary SQUIGGLE® motor has been developed that sets new benchmarks for small motor size, high position resolution, and high torque without gear reduction. Its capabilities cannot be achieved with conventional electromagnetic motors. It consists of piezoelectric plates mounted on a square flexible tube....

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Crane Brake Release Tool

At the Rotation, Processing and Surge Facility (RPSF), the Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) segments are processed after they arrive by rail prior to a Shuttle launch. Using overhead bridge cranes capable of lifting up to 200 tons, the engineers remove the rail cover of the SRB segments, inspect the propellant grain and metal...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Distributed Control of Long Slender Robotic Manipulators

Sample acquisition from small bodies is a key capability needed for proposed comet and asteroid sample return missions. This investigation determines how to utilize shape memory...

Fuel cells use the chemical energy of hydrogen or other fuels to efficiently produce electricity or heat with minimal byproducts, primarily water. The DOE is accepting applications for a...

Briefs: Transportation
Spring Tire

A new tire is made from helical springs, requires no air or rubber, and consumes nearly zero energy. The spring tire provides greater traction in sandy and/or rocky soil, can operate in microgravity and under harsh conditions,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Plasma Igniter for Reliable Ignition of Combustion in Rocket Engines

A plasma igniter has been developed for initiating combustion in liquid-propellant rocket engines. The device propels a hot, dense plasma jet, consisting of elemental fluorine and fluorine compounds, into the combustion chamber to ignite the cold propellant mixture. The igniter...

One of the major technical problems deep-space optical communication (DSOC) systems need to solve is the isolation of the optical terminal from vibrations produced by the spacecraft...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Wire Test Grip Fixture

Wire-testing issues, such as the gripping strains imposed on the wire, play a critical role in obtaining clean data. In a standard test frame fitted with flat wedge grips, the gripping action alone creates stresses on the wire specimen that cause the wire to fail at the grip location. When conventional wire grip fixtures...

News: Green Design & Manufacturing
Funding Opportunity for Vehicle Research and Development

The DOE is accepting applications for up to $184 million over three to five years to accelerate the development and deployment of new efficient vehicle technologies that will reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, save drivers money, and limit carbon pollution.

Renewable energy comes out of an electricity socket, but to get there it has to travel a long journey – from wind turbines out at sea or regional solar, wind, and biogas power plants....

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Stacked Corrugated Horn Rings

This Brief describes a method of machining and assembly when the depth of corrugations far exceeds the width and conventional machining is not practical. The horn is divided into easily machined, individual rings with shoulders to control the depth. In this specific instance, each of the corrugations is identical in...

Some refinements have been conceived for a proposed apparatus that would generate hydrogen (for use in a fuel cell) by means of chemical reactions among magnesium, magnesium...

A proposed apparatus for generating hydrogen by means of chemical reactions of magnesium and magnesium hydride with steam would exploit the same basic principles as those discussed...

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