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
Rugged Iris Mechanism

A rugged iris mechanism has been designed to satisfy several special requirements, including a wide aperture in the “open” position, full obscuration in the “closed” position, ability to function in a cryogenic...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Alignment Stage for a Cryogenic Dilatometer

A three degree of freedom alignment stage has been designed and built for use in a cryogenic dilatometer that is used to measure thermal strains. The alignment stage enables precise adjustments of...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Variable-Pressure Washer

The variable-pressure washer (VPW) is a proposed device that is so named because (1) it would play the role similar to that played by an ordinary washer, except that (2) the clamping pressure applied by it would vary...

A special-purpose desk has been designed to facilitate collaboration by two computer programmers sharing one desktop computer or computer terminal. The impetus for the design is a...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Magnetically Attached Multifunction Maintenance Rover

A versatile mobile telerobot, denoted the magnetically attached multifunction maintenance rover (MAGMER), has been proposed for use in the inspection and maintenance of the surfaces of...

An alternative method of controlled shifting of the center of mass has been proposed as a means of locomotion of a robot that comprises mostly a payload inside a hollow,...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Fasteners for Printed Circuit Board Attachment

No matter how sophisticated or advanced, electronic components must be attached reliably and securely if they are to deliver optimum performance. Beyond this universal requirement, particular...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Ultrasonic/Sonic Jackhammer

An ultrasonic/sonic jackhammer (USJ) is the latest in a series of related devices, the first of which were reported in “Ultrasonic/Sonic Drill/Corers With Integrated Sensors” (NPO-20856), NASA Tech Briefs,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Vortobots

The term “vortobots” denotes proposed swimming robots that would have dimensions as small as micrometers or even nanometers and that would move in swarms through fluids by generating and exploiting vortices in a cooperative...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Two SMA-Actuated Miniature Mechanisms

The figures depict two miniature mechanisms actuated by strips made of shape-memory alloy (SMA). A typical SMA is a nickel-titanium alloy known by the trade name “Flexinol” or “Nitinol.” In...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Piezo-Operated Shutter Mechanism Moves 1.5 cm

The figure shows parts of a shutter mechanism designed to satisfy a number of requirements specific to its original intended application as a component of an atomic clock to be flown in outer...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Temperature-Controlled Clamping and Releasing Mechanism

A report describes the development of a mechanism that automatically clamps upon warming and releases upon cooling between temperature limits of ~180 K and ~293 K.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Fastener Starter

The Fastener Starter is a creative solution to prevent the loss of small fasteners during their installation. This is the only currently available tool that can firmly grip and hold a single screw, bolt, nut, washer, spacer, or any combination of these parts. Other commercially available fastener starters are unable to...

Nanoactuators of a proposed type would exploit the forces exerted by electric fields on dielectric materials. As used here, “nanoactuators” includes motors, manipulators, and...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Two-Step Laser Ranging for Precise Tracking of a Spacecraft

A document proposes a two-step laser ranging technique for precise tracking of a coasting interplanetary spacecraft to determine the degree to which leakage of fuel, solar wind, and/or solar-radiation pressure causes it to deviate from a purely gravitational trajectory.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Synthetic Bursae for Robots

Synthetic bursae are under development for incorporation into robot joints that are actuated by motor-driven cables in a manner similar to that of arthropod joints actuated by muscle-driven tendons. Like natural...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Robot Forearm and Dexterous Hand

An electromechanical hand-and-forearm assembly has been developed for incorporation into an anthropomorphic robot that would be used in outer space. The assembly is designed to offer manual dexterity...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Formation Flying of Tethered and Nontethered Spacecraft

A paper discusses the effect of the dynamic interaction taking place within a formation composed of a rigid and a deformable vehicle, and presents the concept of two or more tethered spacecraft flying in formation with one or more separated freeflying spacecraft.

In situ systems that provide fresh lubricants to ball/race contacts on demand have been developed to prolong the operational lives of ball bearings. These systems were originally...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Software for Secondary-School Learning About Robotics

The ROVer Ranch is an interactive computer program designed to help secondary-school students learn about space-program robotics and related basic scientific concepts by involving the students in simplified design and programming tasks that exercise skills in mathematics and science.

A compact refrigerator designed specifically for cooling a microwave maser low noise amplifier is capable of removing heat at a continuous rate of 180 mW at a temperature of 2.5 K....

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Improving Control in a Joule-Thomson Refrigerator

A report discusses a modified design of a Joule-Thomson (JT) refrigerator under development to be incorporated into scientific instrumentation aboard a spacecraft.In most other JT refrigerators (including common household refrigerators), the temperature of the evaporator (the cold stage) is kept...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
High-Temperature, High-Load-Capacity Radial Magnetic Bearing

A radial heteropolar magnetic bearing capable of operating at a temperature as high as 1,000 °F (≈540 °C) has been developed. This is a prototype of bearings for use in gas turbine engines operating at temperatures and speeds much higher than can be withstood by lubricated...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Blended Buffet-Load-Alleviation System for Fighter Airplane

The capability of modern fighter airplanes to sustain flight at high angles of attack and/or moderate angles of sideslip often results in immersion of part of such an airplane in unsteady, separated, vortical flow emanating from its forebody or wings. The flows from these surfaces...

An improved design for a capacitive sensing, rocking-mode vibratory microgyroscope is more amenable to mass production, relative to a prior design. Both the improved design and the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Fast Laser Shutters With Low Vibratory Disturbances

The figure shows a prototype vacuum-compatible, fast-acting, long-life shutter unit that generates very little vibratory disturbance during switching. This is one of a number of shutters...

A system for collecting samples of powdered rock has been devised for use in conjunction with an ultrasonic/sonic drill/corer (USDC) — a lightweight, low-power apparatus designed to...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Semiautomated, Reproducible Batch Processing of Soy

A computer-controlled apparatus processes batches of soybeans into one or more of a variety of food products, under conditions that can be chosen by the user and reproduced from batch to...

Virtually all businesses and industries are vulnerable to electric power disturbances such as outages, sags, swells, and harmonics. These problems are less of an...

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