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
Inlet Housing for a Partial-Admission Turbine

An inlet housing for a partial-admission turbine has been designed to cause the inlet airflow to make a smooth transition from an open circular inlet to an inlet slot. The smooth flow is required for purposes of measuring inlet flow characteristics and maximizing the efficiency of the turbine.

Humans have been using tools to make farming easier since the dawn of civilization. Since the turn of the 20th century, the growing use of mechanized power to till and...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Rotating Reverse-Osmosis for Water Purification

A new design for a water-filtering device combines rotating filtration with reverse osmosis to create a rotating reverse- osmosis system. Rotating filtration has been used for separating plasma...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Robotic End Effectors for Hard-Rock Climbing

Pasadena, California Special-purpose robot hands (end effectors) now under development are intended to enable robots to traverse cliffs much as human climbers do. Potential applications for robots...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Improved Nutation Damper for a Spin- Stabilized Spacecraft

A document proposes an improved liquid- ring nutation damper for a spin-stabilized spacecraft. The improvement addresses the problem of accommodating thermal expansion of the damping liquid. Heretofore, the problem has been solved by either (1) filling the ring completely with liquid and...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Making Precise Resonators for Mesoscale Vibratory Gyroscopes

An alternative approach to the design and fabrication of vibratory gyroscopes is founded on the use of fabrication techniques that yield best results in the mesoscopic size range, which is characterized by overall device dimensions of the order of a centimeter. This approach stands in...

In response to a growing industry trend toward corrosion- and maintenance-free natural-gas valves, Kerotest designed POLYBALL™™ 1/2" to 12" standard- and full-port...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Two-Stage Solenoid

A proposed design for a solenoid-based electromechanical actuator would provide greater starting force than does a comparable conventional design. As used here, "starting force" signifies the magnetic force exerted by the actuator at one end of its stroke when the gap in its magnetic circuit is the widest. A solenoid of...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Improved Ball-and-Socket Docking Mechanism

A proposed docking mechanism would form a ball-and-socket joint in the docked condition. The mechanism could tolerate significant initial misalignment because it would include an alignment cone that...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Double-Acting, Locking Carabiners

A proposed design for carabiners (tether hooks used in mountaineering, rock climbing, and rescue) is intended to make it possible to operate these devices even while wearing thick gloves. According to the proposal, the gate of a carabiner would be capable of swinging either toward or away from the hook body,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Flow Straightener for a Rotating-Drum Liquid Separator

A flow straightener has been incorporated into a rotary liquid separator that originally comprised an inlet tube, a shroud plate, an impeller, an inner drum, an outer drum, a housing, a pitot tube, and a hollow shaft motor. As a consequence of the original geometry of the impeller, shroud,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Hybrid Inflatable Pressure Vessel

Figure 1 shows a prototype of a large pressure vessel under development for eventual use as a habitable module for long spaceflight (e.g., for transporting humans to Mars). The vessel is a hybrid that...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Blade-Pitch Control for Quieting Tilt-Rotor Aircraft

A method of reducing the noise generated by a tilt-rotor aircraft during descent involves active control of the blade pitch of the rotors. This method is related to prior such noise-...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Solar Array Panels With Dust-Removal Capability

It has been proposed to incorporate piezoelectric vibrational actuators into the structural supports of solar photovoltaic panels, for the purpose of occasionally inducing vibrations in the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Strain-Gauge Measurement of Weight of Fluid in a Tank

A method of determining the amount of fluid in a tank is based on measurement of strains induced in tank supports by the weight of the fluid. Unlike most prior methods, this method is nonintrusive: there is no need to insert instrumentation in the tank and, hence, no need to run wires,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Advanced Docking System With Magnetic Initial Capture

An advanced docking system is undergoing development to enable softer, safer docking than was possible when using prior docking systems. This system is intended for original use in...

Columnar-vortex generators (CVG) have been proposed as means to increase the safety of takeoffs and landings of aircraft on aircraft or helicopter carriers and other ships at sea....

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Miniature Robotic Spacecraft for Inspecting Other Spacecraft

A report discusses the Miniature Autonomous Extravehicular Robotic Camera (Mini AERCam) — a compact robotic spacecraft intended to be released from a larger spacecraft for exterior visual inspection of the larger spacecraft. The Mini AERCam is a successor to the AERCam Sprint...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Miniature Ring-Shaped Perisaltic Pump

An experimental miniature peristaltic pump exploits piezoelectrically excited flexural waves that travel around a ring: A fluid is carried in the containers formed in the valleys between the peaks of the...

A cylindrical-punch indentation technique has been developed as a means of measuring the nonlinear elastic responses of materials - more specifically, for measuring the moduli of...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Autonomous Formation Flight

NASA's Strategic Plan for the Aerospace Technology Enterprise includes ambitious objectives focused on affordable air travel, reduced emissions, and expanded aviation-system capacity. NASA Dryden Flight Research...

Intelligent fasteners with embedded microprocessors remotely controlled by wireless tools or a data network can advance the speed, flexibility, flow, and cost...

Provisions for specification of hazards faced by a robotic vehicle (rover) equipped with a rocker-bogie suspension, for prediction of collisions between the vehicle and the hazards,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Wavy-Planform Helicopter Blades Make Less Noise

Wavy-planform rotor blades for helicopters have been investigated for the first time in an effort to reduce noise. Two of the main sources of helicopter noise are blade/vortex interaction (BVI)...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Expandable Purge Chambers Would Protect Cryogenic Fittings

Expandable ice-prevention and cleanliness-preservation (EIP-CP) chambers have been proposed to prevent the accumulation of ice or airborne particles on quick-disconnect (QD) fittings, or on ducts or tubes that contain cryogenic fluids. In the original application for which the EIP-CP...

Miniature blimps are under development as robots for use in exploring the thick, cold, nitrogen atmosphere of Saturn's moon, Titan. Similar blimps can also be used for surveillance...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Hybrid Automotive Engine Using Ethanol-Burning Miller Cycle

A proposed hybrid (internal-combustion/ electric) automotive engine system would include as its internal-combustion subsystem, a modified Miller-cycle engine with regenerative air preheating and with autoignition like that of a Diesel engine. The fuel would be ethanol and would be...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Modular Rake of Pitot Probes

The figure presents selected views of a modular rake of 17 pitot probes for measuring both transient and steady-state pressures in a supersonic wind tunnel. In addition to pitot tubes visible in the figure, the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Spacecraft Orbits for Earth/Mars-Lander Radio Relay

A report discusses a network of spacecraft, in orbit around Mars, used to relay radio communications between Earth stations and mobile exploratory robots (rovers) as well as stationary scientific instruments that have been landed on the Mars surface. The relay spacecraft include two already in...

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