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
Optimization of Synthetic Jet Actuators

A report presents a study oriented toward optimization of synthetic jet actuators. [A syn- thetic jet actuator is a fluidic control device that partly resembles a loudspeaker. It typically comprises a piezo- electric actuator/ diaphragm situated in a cavity, facing an orifice or nozzle at the opposite end...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Hexfoil Rotary Flexures

Hexfoil rotary flexures have been proposed as pivots suitable for use in precise optical instruments. In the application that inspired the hexfoil concept, there is a requirement for a limited-rotation mirror gimbal...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Improvements in the Use of Water Washes in Testing for NVR

Some improvements have been made to enhance the role of water as a test solvent for determining the amount of hydrocarbon nonvolatile residue (NVR) present on an item of hardware that is required to be totally or nearly devoid of such residue. Water is now used as an NVR-testing solvent...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Flight Research on Supersonic Laminar Flow

Some airfoil designs have been shown by theory and small-scale tests to be capable of passively maintaining laminar flow at super -sonic speeds. More recently, flight tests have proven that these...

A compact spring-loading design has been proposed to increase the reliability of seals in the joints of vacuum cryogenic systems. Heretofore, such joints have been, variously, compact...

The Rover Analysis Modeling and Simulation (ROAMS) algorithm is to solve the kinematics of a wheeled mo- bile robot (rover) traversing on a rocky terrain. The rover is constructed...

Crowned races have been proposed for crossed roller bearings. Crowning of the races is expected to reduce scuffing of the cylindrical rollers. Crowning of the races is expected to be especially...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Pressure-Balanced, Low-Hysteresis Finger Seal

A second-generation design for a finger seal has been proposed to reduce a hysteretic effect that gives rise to increased leakage in a first-generation finger seal. As explained below, the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Instrument for Measuring Extreme Winds

An instrument is undergoing development for use in measuring both the horizontal direction and the horizontal speed of wind in the speed range from 60 to 300 mph (about 27 to 134 m/s) at a rate of at...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Mechanized Harvesting of Plants in a Controlled Environment

The proposed Plant Harvesting Mechanization System (PHARMS) would comprise machinery and controls for semiautomated harvesting of plants grown in a controlled environment. The PHARMS was conceived as a prototype of harvesters to be incorporated into life-support systems of spacecraft...

Normally, the damage that results in a total loss of the primary flight control of a transport airplane, including all the engines on one side, would be catastrophic. Dryden Flight...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Tests of Finger Seals

A report discusses tests of finger seals, which were described in “Pressure- Balanced, Low-Hysteresis Finger Seal” (LEW-16840), which appears on page 52 in this issue. Like a labyrinth or brush seal, a finger seal is used (typically in a gas turbine) to minimize a leakage flow along a rotating shaft. The report...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Design Concepts for the ISS TransHab Module

Twelve reports present concepts for the design of structural and functional systems, subsystems, and components of the proposed TransHab module — an inflatable, lightweight habitation module that would be used by crewmembers of the International Space Station and would serve as a prototype of...

A mount has been devised to satisfy a requirement to suspend a highly precise, flat, circular, low-thermal-expansion glass mirror in a horizontal plane with its reflective side...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Heart-Pump-Outlet/Cannula Coupling

A fluid coupling has been developed for use in securing a vascular outflow graft (cannula) to the outlet of a surgically implanted NASA/DeBakey heart assist pump. The design of the coupling can also be...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Surface-Launched Explorers for Reconnaissance/Scouting

Small, instrumented, expendable robotic aircraft and projectiles have been proposed for use in scouting for targeted new sites by providing closeup images with ~10-cm resolution,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Gear Bearings and Gear-Bearing Transmissions

Gear bearings are conceptual mechanical components so named because they function as gears and as roller and/or thrust bearings. Gear bearings will be essential components of the next generation...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Linear Dynamometer With Variable Stroke and Frequency

An improved linear dynamometer has been developed for testing linear alternators that are to be used to convert mechanical power to electrical power in free-piston Stirlingcycle engines....

NASA’s F-15B #836 is a two-seat version of the F-15, which is a high-performance, supersonic, all-weather fighter airplane. The F-15B is used as a test-bed aircraft for a wide variety...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Improved Alignment Mechanism for Robotic Drilling

An improved alignment mechanism and mating procedure have been devised for a robotic drilling system in which there is a need to assemble drill stem rods for sampling soils and rocks on a...

A technique for measuring the volume of an incompressible liquid in a rigid tank involves measurement of the total volume of gas in those parts of the tank not occupied by the liquid....

A small mobile robot equipped with a stereoscopic machine vision system and two manipulator arms that have limited degrees of freedom has been given the ability to perform...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Algorithms for Collision Avoidant Formation Flying

A report discusses algorithms for realtime planning of translation paths of multiple spacecraft flying in formation. The algorithm takes account of requirements to avoid collisions while operating within resource constraints (e.g., not calling for an acceleration greater than maximum possible)...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Integrated Colloid Thrusters for Microspacecraft

A report proposes the development of a microfabricated, integrated colloid thruster as a prototype of devices for propulsion and control of the attitudes of microspacecraft. (In a colloid thruster, a beam of positively charged, microscopic droplets is extracted electrohydrodynamically from a...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Improvements in a Piezoelectrically Actuated Microvalve

A report discusses the continuing development of a normally closed, piezoelectrically actuated valve fabricated mostly by micromachining of silicon. The design and operation of the microvalve as described in the instant report are basically the same as those of the version described in...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Low-Energy Transfer From Near-Earth to Near-Moon Orbit

A report presents a theoretical approach to designing a low-energy transfer of a spacecraft from an orbit around the Earth to ballistic capture into an orbit around the Moon. The approach is based partly on the one presented in “Low-Energy Interplanetary Transfers Using Lagrangian...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Software for Designing Actively Controlled Structures

SMARTCOM is a computer program for the analysis and design of actively controlled “smart” structures. Typically, an actively controlled “smart” structure incorporates...

Systems of caged trim masses manipulated by magnetic fields have been proposed for effecting fine control of the positions and/or orientations of spacecraft. The systems were...

The figure depicts a mechanism that is capable of simultaneously rotating as many as six disposable bioreactor chambers about horizontal axes. The particular bioreactor chambers for...

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