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
Aerial Deployment and Inflation System for Mars Helium Balloons

A method is examined for safely deploying and inflating helium balloons for missions at Mars. The key for making it possible to deploy balloons that are light enough to be buoyant in the thin, Martian atmosphere is to mitigate the transient forces on the balloon that might tear...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Radial Halbach Magnetic Bearings

Radial Halbach magnetic bearings have been investigated as part of an effort to develop increasingly reliable non-contact bearings for future high-speed rotary machines that may be used in such applications...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Voice Coil Percussive Mechanism Concept for Hammer Drill

A hammer drill design of a voice coil linear actuator, spring, linear bearings, and a hammer head was proposed. The voice coil actuator moves the hammer head to produce impact to the end of the drill bit. The spring is used to store energy on the retraction and to capture the rebound...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Using Drained Spacecraft Propellant Tanks for Habitation

A document proposes that future spacecraft for planetary and space exploration be designed to enable reuse of drained propellant tanks for occupancy by humans. This proposal would enable utilization of volume and mass that would otherwise be unavailable and, in some cases, discarded. Such...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Connecting Node

A paper describes the Octanode, a connecting node that facilitates the integration of multiple docking mechanisms, hatches, windows, and internal and external systems with the use of flat surfaces. The Octanode is a 26-faced Great Rhombicuboctahedron Archimedean solid with six octagon-shaped panels, eight hexagon-shaped panels,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Device for Measuring Low Flow Speed in a Duct

A multiple-throat venturi system has been invented for measuring laminar flow of air or other gas at low speed (1 to 30 cm/s) in a duct while preserving the laminar nature of the flow and keeping...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Autoignition Chamber for Remote Testing of Pyrotechnic Devices

The autoignition chamber (AIC) performs by remotely heating pyrotechnic devices that can fit the inner diameter of the tube furnace. Two methods, a cold start or a hot start, can be used with this device in autoignition testing of pyrotechnics. A cold start means extending a pyro -...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Device Acquires and Retains Rock or Ice Samples

The Rock Baller is a sample acquisition tool that improves sample retention. The basic elements of the Rock Baller are the tool rotation axis, the hub, the two jaws, and the cutting blades, which are located on each of the jaws. The entire device rotates about the tool rotation axis, which is...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Pneumatic Haptic Interfaces

Haptic interfaces in the form of arrays of balloonlike pneumatic actuators are being developed to provide tactile feedback from (1) remote-manipulator hands, tools on the tips of robot arms, and other, similar...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Cryogenic Feedthrough Test Rig

The cryogenic feedthrough test rig (CFTR) allows testing of instrumentation feedthroughs at liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen temperature and pressure extremes (dangerous process fluid) without actually exposing the feedthrough to a combustible or explosive process fluid. In addition, the helium used (inert gas),...

Dr. Peter Shirron, a senior research scientist with NASA’s Cryogenics and Fluids Group, led the team of researchers credited with...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Radial-Electric-Field Piezoelectric Diaphragm Pumps

In a recently invented class of piezoelectric diaphragm pumps, the electrode patterns on the piezoelectric diaphragms are configured so that the electric fields in the diaphragms have...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Ejector-Enhanced, Pulsed, Pressure-Gain Combustor

An experimental combination of an off-the-shelf valved pulsejet combustor and an aerodynamically optimized ejector has shown promise as a prototype of improved combustors for gas turbine...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
“Zero-Mass” Noninvasive Pressure Transducers

Extremely lightweight, compact, non-invasive, rugged, relatively inexpensive strain- gauge transducers have been developed for use in measuring pressures of fluids in tubes. These gauges were...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Computerized Machine for Cutting Space Shuttle Thermal Tiles

A report presents the concept of a machine aboard the space shuttle that would cut oversized thermal-tile blanks to precise sizes and shapes needed to replace tiles that were damaged or lost during ascent to orbit. The machine would include a computer-controlled jigsaw enclosed in a...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Orbiting Depot and Reusable Lander for Lunar Transportation

A document describes a conceptual transportation system that would support exploratory visits by humans to locations dispersed across the surface of the Moon and provide transport of humans and cargo to sustain one or more permanent Lunar outpost. The system architecture reflects...

Articles: Electronics & Computers
Mechatronic System Integration and Design

While today’s multi-discipline mechatronic systems significantly outperform legacy systems, they are also much more complex by nature, requiring close cooperation between multiple design...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Parallel Hybrid Vehicle Optimal Storage System

A paper reports the results of a Hybrid Diesel Vehicle Project focused on a parallel hybrid configuration suitable for diesel-powered, medium-sized, commercial vehicles commonly used for parcel delivery and shuttle buses, as the missions of these types of vehicles require frequent stops. During...

Articles: Transportation
Transportation Category Winner
Movito Electric Scooter

Tai Chiem Melbourne, Australia

Movito is a scooter based on an electric inwheel motor, a hubless front wheel, and a modular base system. It is designed for traveling short...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Quick-Connect Windowed Non-Stick Penetrator Tips for Rapid Sampling

Standard penetrator sampling systems were designed in order to allow for sampling via penetrators to produce a full set of sample acquisitions including volatile liquids, fine powders, and solid fragments. A gravity harpoon sampler has been designed with a removable tip and a...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Prediction of B-Pillar Failure in Automobile Bodies

The B-pillar is an important load-carrying component of any automobile body. It is a primary support structure for the roof, and is typically a thin-walled, spot-welded, closed-section...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Modeling Unsteady Cavitation and Dynamic Loads in Turbopumps

A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model that includes representations of effects of unsteady cavitation and associated dynamic loads has been developed to increase the accuracy of simulations of the performances of turbopumps. Although the model was originally intended to serve as a...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Ultrasonic/Sonic Anchor

The ultrasonic/sonic anchor (U/S anchor) is an anchoring device that drills a hole for itself in rock, concrete, or other similar material. The U/S anchor is a recent addition to a series of related devices, the first...

A small, simple fixture has been found to be highly effective in reducing destructive unsteady hydrodynamic loads on a miniature submarine that is attached in piggyback fashion to...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Alternative OTEC Scheme for a Submarine Robot

A proposed system for exploiting the ocean thermal gradient to generate power would be based on the thawing-expansion/ freezing-contraction behavior of a wax or perhaps another suitable...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Utilizing Ocean Thermal Energy in a Submarine Robot

A proposed system would exploit the ocean thermal gradient for recharging the batteries in a battery-powered unmanned underwater vehicle [UUV (essentially, a small exploratory submarine...

Two hydrogen generators based on reactions involving magnesium and steam have been proposed as means for generating the fuel (hydrogen gas) for such fuel-cell power systems as...

Application Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Connectors Provide Signal Reliability for Mars Science Laboratory
Compact PCI (cPCI) Connectors
Hypertronics Corporation
Hudson, MA

Hypertronics’ space-grade Compact PCI (cPCI)...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Deployable Crew Quarters

The deployable crew quarters (DCQ) have been designed for the International Space Station (ISS). Each DCQ would be a relatively inexpensive, deployable box-like structure that is designed to fit in a rack bay. It is to be occupied by one crewmember to provide privacy and sleeping functions for the crew. A DCQ comprises...


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