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
Code Assesses Risks Posed by Meteoroids and Orbital Debris

BUMPER II version 1.92e is a computer code for assessing the risk of damage from impacts of micrometeoroids and orbital debris on the International Space Station (ISS), including those parts of the ISS covered by shielding that affords partial protection against such impacts. (Other...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Self-Regulating Water-Separator System for Fuel Cells

A proposed system would perform multiple coordinated functions in regulating the pressure of the oxidant gas (usually, pure oxygen) flowing to a fuel-cell stack and in removing excess...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Staggering Inflation To Stabilize Attitude of a Solar Sail

A document presents computational simulation studies of a concept for stabilizing the attitude of a spacecraft during deployment of such structures as a solar sail or other structures supported by inflatable booms. Specifically, the solar sail considered in this paper is a square sail...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Bare Conductive Tether for Decelerating a Spacecraft

A document describes a prototype of electrically conductive tethers to be used primarily to decelerate spacecraft and/or generate electric power for the spacecraft. Like prior such tethers, this tether is designed so that when it is deployed from a spacecraft in orbit, its motion across the...

system for real-time detection of surface- fatigue-pitting damage to gears for use in a helicopter transmission is based on fuzzy-logic used to fuse data from sensors that measure...

Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd., a subcontractor of Societatea Nationala Nucleoelectrica S.A. (SNN) of Romania, contracted Badger Meter to model, test, and produce a set of precision...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Graphite Composite Booms With Integral Hinges

A document discusses lightweight instrument booms under development for use aboard spacecraft. A boom of this type comprises a thin-walled graphite-fiber/matrix composite tube with an integral hinge that can be bent for stowage and later allowed to spring back to straighten the boom for deployment in...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Tool for Sampling Permafrost on a Remote Planet

A report discusses the robotic arm tool for rapidly acquiring permafrost (RATRAP), which is being developed for acquiring samples of permafrost on Mars or another remote planet and immediately delivering the samples to adjacent instruments for analysis. The prototype RATRAP includes a rasp that...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Rapid-Chill Cryogenic Coaxial Direct- Acting Solenoid Valve

A commercially available cryogenic direct-acting solenoid valve has been modified to incorporate a rapid-chill feature. In the original application for which this feature was devised, there is a requirement to ensure that at all times, the valve outlet flow consists entirely or mostly...

A system for mechanical suspension and vibration isolation of a machine or instrument is based on the use of Kevlar (or equivalent aromatic polyamide) cord held in variable tension...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
System for Continuous Deaeration of Hydraulic Oil
A system for continuous, rapid deaeration of hydraulic oil has been built to replace a prior system that effected deaeration more slowly in a cyclic pressure/vacuum process. Such systems are...
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Spacecraft Escape Capsule

A report discusses the Gumdrop capsule — a conceptual spacecraft that would enable the crew to escape safely in the event of a major equipment failure at any time from launch through atmospheric re-entry. The scaleable Gumdrop capsule would comprise a command module (CM), a service module (SM), and a crew escape...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Tool for Torquing Circular Electrical-Connector Collars

An improved tool has been devised for applying torque to lock and unlock knurled collars on circular electrical connectors. The tool was originally designed for, and used by, astronauts working in outer space on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The tool is readily adaptable to terrestrial...

A device denoted as a bumper assembly for a spacecraft payload container comprises an interior structure surrounded by skin or some other protective enclosure (see figure)....

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
On Release of Microbe-Laden Particles From Mars Landers

A paper presents a study in which rates of release of small particles from Mars lander spacecraft into the Martian atmosphere were estimated from first principles. Because such particles can consist of, or be laden with, terrestrial microbes, the study was undertaken to understand their...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Measurement of Model Noise in a Hard-Wall Wind Tunnel

Identification, analysis, and control of fluid mechanically generated sound from models of aircraft and automobiles in special low-noise, semi-anechoic wind tunnels are an important...

A proposed three degree of freedom (tilt/tip/piston) manipulator, suitable for aligning an optical or mechanical component, would offer several advantages over prior such...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Multifunctional Tanks for Spacecraft

A document discusses multifunctional tanks as means to integrate additional structural and functional efficiencies into designs of spacecraft. Whereas spacecraft tanks are traditionally designed primarily to store fluids and only secondarily to provide other benefits, multifunctional tanks are designed to...

The Planetary Autonomous Amphibious Robotic Vehicle (PAARV), now at the prototype stage of development, was originally intended for use in acquiring and analyzing samples of solid,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
System Would Acquire Core and Powder Samples of Rocks

A system for automated sampling of rocks, ice, and similar hard materials at and immediately below the surface of the ground is undergoing development. The system, denoted a sample...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Producing Quantum Dots by Spray Pyrolysis

An improved process for making nanocrystallites, commonly denoted quantum dots (QDs), is based on spray pyrolysis. Unlike the process used heretofore, the improved process is amenable to mass...

An ultrasonic rock-abrasion tool (URAT) was developed using the same principle of ultrasonic/sonic actuation as that of the tools described in two prior NASA Tech Briefs articles:...

Controllable active struts that would function as linear actuators with variable spring stiffness and damping have been proposed as components of advanced suspension systems of future...

A technique for real-time estimation of stability and control derivatives (derivatives of moment coefficients with respect to control-surface deflection angles) was used to support a...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Excitations for Rapidly Estimating Flight-Control

A flight test on an F-15 airplane was performed to evaluate the utility of prescribed simultaneous independent surface excitations (PreSISE) for real-time estimation of flight-control...

A tool makes it possible to couple a torque wrench to an externally knurled, internally threaded, round cable connector. The purpose served by the tool is to facilitate the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Controlling Attitude of a Solar-Sail Spacecraft Using Vanes
A paper discusses a concept for controlling the attitude and thrust vector of a three-axis stabilized Solar Sail spacecraft using only four single degree of freedom articulated spar-tip vanes. The vanes, at the corners of the sail, would be turned to commanded angles about the diagonals of...

Cold Gas Micro Thruster (CGMT)
Marotta Controls
Montville, NJ
973-334-7800
www.marotta.com
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Fastener Options for Clinching Into Stainless

Designers often turn to self-clinching fasteners when they need a practical method to provide threads in thin metal sheets. The fasteners install permanently, reduce hardware, and promote thinner...

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