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
Visualization of Flows in Beds Packed With Spheres

The figure shows an oil tunnel and associated equipment used in experiments, using the full-flow-field tracking (FFFT) technique, to characterize flows in beds packed with poly (methyl...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Eclipse Aerotow Dynamics Experiment

NASA Dryden Flight Research Center is supporting a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract between the U.S. Air Force Research Labs and Kelly Space & Technology (KST). KST's...

Direct measurement of aircraft-engine thrust by use of strain gauges offers several advantages over traditional model-based methods of calculating thrust, provided that care is...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
High-Altitude Flight Test of the Perseus B Airplane

The Perseus B remotely piloted vehicle (RPV) has achieved a record altitude for a single-engine, propeller-driven airplane of 60,260 ft (18,367 m) on June 27, 1998. The Perseus B is one of...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Model-Based Monitoring for Spacecraft Thruster Leakage

A report describes a method of detecting leakage in one of the 16 thrusters of the Cassini spacecraft. The detection method, implemented as part of the spacecraft flight software, is based on the fact that the three-axis rotational motion of a spacecraft is governed by the Euler's equation....

Improved pressure-relief valves have been developed for systems that contain gases and liquids in a variety of pneumatic, hydraulic, and cryogenic applications. These valves could...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Noise-Reducing Fairings for Flush-Mounted Microphones

Streamlined fairings have been invented for housing single or multiple microphones to measure noise in flowing gases and liquids. Each fairing of this type is designed to minimize the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Push/Pull Four-Point-Bending Apparatus

The figure depicts an improved apparatus for three- or four-point bending tests of stripe specimens. In a bending test, the specimen is subjected to tension along its top surface and compression along...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Using Genetic Algorithms in Spacecraft Vibration Control

Three software products are being developed to help satisfy the needs of NASA and of private industry for reconfigurable active control systems to suppress vibrations in Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLVs) and other structures. These potentially highly marketable products are the...

Two techniques have been proposed (see figure) for controlling the buoyancies and thus the altitudes of robotic lifting balloons (aerobots) that would carry scientific instruments...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Equipping Quick-Disconnect Fittings To Detect Leaks

Quick-disconnect fittings on hoses and bellows can be equipped with sensors to detect leaks and misalignments that cause leaks. Experiments have shown that four types of sensors are effective for this purpose: force sensors, strain gauges, pressure transducers, and microphones. Of these, force...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Analysis of Flutter of the APEX Sailplane

This airplane is expected to be safe from destruction by flutter instabilities.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Flutterometer for Flight Testing

A flutterometer is being developed for use as a data-analysis tool for flight flutter testing. The tool is based on an on-line implementation of a robust flutter-analysis technique, called the "* method,"...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Model of Response of Pressure Sensor in Rarefied Flow

A mathematical model represents the dynamic response of a pressure sensor that (a) comprises a transducer connected to a pressure-sensing port via a pneumatic tube and (b) is operated...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Improved Mufflers for General Aviation

Innovative designs of mufflers for engines of small airplanes have been investigated in an effort to satisfy conflicting demands to maximize the reduction of exhaust noise while minimizing back pressure, size, and weight. Automotive-type muffler designs are not suitable for this purpose because they entail...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Hollow Shaft Actuators with Harmonic Drive Gearing

Harmonic drive gearing is recognized by designers for its zero backlash, high gear ratios, and compact design features. A recent development by HD Systems incorporates a large hollow shaft...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Manipulation of Liquids by Use of Sound: Part I

An acoustic-radiation-pressure phased array (ARPPA) is undergoing development at Lewis Research Center. ARPPAs are envisioned as general-purpose, nonintrusive tools for manipulating both...

Structural Analysis/Design (STRAND) and Neural Net Computation (NETCOM) are developmental modular computer programs that exploit the speedup afforded by parallel and neural-network...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Manipulation of Liquids by Use of Sound: Part II

Acoustic-radiation pressure can be used to improve performance in the dispensing of liquid drops into gases or vacuum and in dispensing gas bubbles into liquids. In a typical application...

An improved "sensor-integrating" algorithm has been developed for use in extracting partial information on the time-varying attitude of a balloon-borne robotic instrumentation...

Latching devices have been developed to provide electrical connections, secure mechanical and thermal connections, and optical alignment for mounting electronically controlled...

Window assemblies (see figure) have been developed to satisfy special requirements pertaining to ease of replacement, alignment, sealing, and resistance to vibration in a spaceborne...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Penetrator Projectile Tolerates Some Misalignment

A two-body design has enabled an instrumented penetrator projectile to function with increased tolerance to initial misalignment among (a) the longitudinal axis of the penetrator, (b) the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Robot Hands With Electroactive-Polymer Fingers

Multifinger electroactive-polymer grippers (MEPGs) are simple, compact, lightweight robotic end effectors with fingers that bend and function similarly to human fingers. The fingers are made...

A novel airdata system based on flush-mounted pressure sensors has been developed for the X-33 aerospace vehicle. Denoted the "X-33 flush airdata sensing" (FADS) system, it was...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Program Facilitates Simulation of Flows of Cryogenic Fluids

EASY/ROCETS is a developmental computer program for mathematical modeling and analysis of dynamic flows of cryogenic fluids in a rocket-engine-testing facility. Heretofore, the numerical simulation of such flows has been accomplished by use of computer codes specific to test-equipment...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Updated Program for Computing Stresses in Spur Gears

DANST-PC is version 3.01 of a computer program for analysis of the statics and dynamics of spur-gear systems. ["DANST" signifies "Dynamic Analysis of Spur Gear Transmissions." A previous version was described in "Computing Stresses in Spur Gears," NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 19, No. 12 (December...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Subliming Solid Microthrusters

Devices are proposed that would sublime solid propellants to generate small thrusts for maneuvering spacecraft with masses of no more than 15 kg. With solids rather than gases in propellant tanks, there would...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Trefoil Rotary Flexure

The figure illustrates a device that flexes to allow rotation about a single axis through a total range of ±12°. This device was designed to offer the following advantages over commercial flexural pivots:

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