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.

Application Briefs: Propulsion

Cold Gas Micro Thruster (CGMT)
Marotta Controls
Montville, NJ
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

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...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Integral Flexure Mounts for Metal Mirrors for Cryogenic Use

Semi-kinematic, six-degree-of-freedom flexure mounts have been incorporated as integral parts of metal mirrors designed to be used under cryogenic conditions as parts of an astronomical instrument. The design of the mirrors and their integral flexure mounts can also be adapted to other...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Low-Cost Propellant Launch From a Tethered Balloon

A document presents a concept for relatively inexpensive delivery of propellant to a large fuel depot in low orbit around the Earth, for use in rockets destined for higher orbits, the Moon, and for remote planets. The propellant is expected to be at least 85 percent of the mass needed in low...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The variable terrain tilt platform (VTTP) is a means of providing simulated terrain for mobility testing of engineering models of the Mars Exploration Rovers. The VTTP could also be...

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
Stable Satellite Orbits for Global Coverage of the Moon

A document proposes a constellation of spacecraft to be placed in orbit around the Moon to provide navigation and communication services with global coverage required for exploration of the Moon. There would be six spacecraft in inclined elliptical orbits: three in each of two orthogonal...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Shapes different from the traditional ones have been proposed for face worm gears and for conical and cylindrical worms that mesh with them. The proposed shapes are based on the concept of...

Application Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
OilTrac™ fluid maintenance program/oil recycling system
COMO Filtration Systems
Janesville, WI
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Two High-Temperature Foil Journal Bearings

An enlarged, high-temperature -compliant foil bearing has been built and tested to demonstrate the feasibility of such bearings for use in aircraft gas turbine engines. At 150 mm in diameter, this is the largest foil bearing known to date. This bearing is a scaled-up version of a patented...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Using Plates To Represent Fillets in Finite-Element Modeling

A method that involves the use of fictitious plate elements denoted bridge plates has been developed for representing the stiffnesses of fillets in finiteelement calculations of deflections, stresses, and strains in structures. In the absence of this method, it would be necessary to...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A nonlinear version of the Liouville equation based on terminal attractors is part of a mathematical formalism for describing postinstability motions of dynamical systems...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Lunar Constellation of Frozen Elliptical Inclined Orbits

A document discusses the design of orbits of spacecraft for relaying communications between Earth stations and robotic and human explorers in craters in one of the polar regions on the Moon. In simplest terms, the basic problem is to design a constellation of orbits to provide continuous...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The figure shows the LEMUR IIb, which is a modified version of the LEMUR II — the second generation of the Limbed Excursion Mechanical Utility Robot (LEMUR). Except as described below,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Controlling Herds of Cooperative Robots

A document poses, and suggests a program of research for answering, questions of how to achieve autonomous operation of herds of cooperative robots to be used in exploration and/or colonization of remote planets. In a typical scenario, a flock of mobile sensory robots would be deployed in a previously...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Compact, Precise Inertial Rotation Sensors for Spacecraft

A document describes a concept for an inertial sensor for measuring the rotation of an inertially stable spacecraft around its center of gravity to within 100 microarc- seconds or possibly even higher precision. Whereas a current proposal for a spacecraft-rotation sensor of this accuracy...

Application Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Custom horizontal machining centers
Mitsui Seiki USA
Franklin Lakes, NJ
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Cargo-Positioning System for Next-Generation Spacecraft

A report discusses a proposed system for mounting loaded pallets in the cargo bay of a next-generation space-shuttle-like spacecraft, such that the center of mass of the cargo would lie within a 1-in. (2.54- cm) cube that would also contain the center of mass of the spacecraft. The system...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

In the continuing goal of developing products with better performance at a lower cost, composites are becoming increasingly prevalent in the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Large Deployable Reflectarray Antenna

A report discusses a 7-meter-diameter reflectarray antenna that has been conceived in a continuing effort to develop large reflectarray antennas to be deployed in outer space. Major underlying concepts were reported in three prior NASA Tech Briefs articles: "Inflatable Reflectarray Antennas" (NPO-20433),...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A proposed device would remove bubbles of gas from a stream of liquid (typically water), accumulate the gas, and periodically release the gas, in bulk, back into the stream. The device is...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A proposed data-fusion system, to be implemented mostly in software, would further process the digitized and preprocessed outputs of sensors in a turbofan engine to detect...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Future nuclear-powered Ion-Propulsion- System-propelled spacecraft such as Jupiter Icy Moon Orbiter (JIMO) will carry more than 10,000 kg of xenon propellant. Typically, a...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Predicting Tail Buffet Loads of a Fighter Airplane

Buffet loads on aft aerodynamic surfaces pose a recurring problem on most twin-tailed fighter airplanes: During maneuvers at high angles of attack, vortices emanating from various surfaces on the forward parts of such an airplane engine inlets, wings, or other fuselage appendages) often burst,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

An instrumentation system rapidly and repeatedly determines the horizontal location of the center of gravity of a laboratory vehicle that slides horizontally on three air bearings (see...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Water-filled containers are used as building blocks in a new generation of containment systems for testing high-speed flywheels. Such containment systems are needed to ensure safety...

Who's Who: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Dr. Walter Merrill is involved in a variety of programs aimed at forming partnerships with private and public entities. For the past five...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Mechanically Biased, Hinged Pairs of Piezoelectric Benders

The upper part of the figure depicts an actuator that comprises two mechanically biased piezoelectric benders hinged together at their ends and equipped with tabs at their mid-length points for attachment to the relatively moving objects that are to be actuated. In the example of the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Oscillating-Linear-Drive Vacuum Compressor for CO2

A vacuum compressor has been designed to compress CO2 from ˜1 psia (˜6.9 kPa absolute pressure) to ˜75 psia (˜0.52 MPa), to be insensitive to moisture, to have a long operational life, and to be lightweight, compact, and efficient. The compressor consists...

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