Mechanical/​Mechatronics

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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

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...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

As part of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from TACOM (Tank-Automotive & Armaments Command) - a division of the U.S. Army -Adiabatics used multiphysics...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Self-Inflatable/Self-Rigidizable Reflectarray Antenna

A report describes recent progress in a continuing effort to develop large reflectarray antennas to be deployed in space. Major underlying concepts were reported in two prior NASA Tech Briefs articles: "Inflatable Reflectarray Antennas" (NPO-20433), Vol. 23, No. 10 (October 1999), page 50 and...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A control valve that can throttle high-pressure cryogenic fluid embodies several design features that distinguish it over conventional valves designed for...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The flight-test community routinely spends considerable time and money to determine a range of flight conditions, called a flight envelope, within which an aircraft is safe to fly. The...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The Aerostructures Test Wing (ATW) was an apparatus used in a flight experiment during a program of research on aeroelastic instabilities. The ATW experiment was performed to study a specific instability known as...

Briefs: Motion Control

Modifications have been proposed to effect further improvement of the device described in “Improved Piezo- electrically Actuated Microvalve” (NPO-30158), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol....

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A proposed normally-closed microvalve would contain a piezoelectric bending actuator instead of a piezoelectric linear actuator like that of the microvalve described in the preceding...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Designers of deep submersibles are reluctant to use conventional shafts and seals to penetrate the hulls of deep submersible, pressure vessels fearing seal...

Briefs: Motion Control

The figure depicts the aspects of a proposed deceleration-limiting design for crash walls at the sides of racetracks and highways. The proposal is intended to overcome the dis- advantages...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Quasi-Sun-Pointing of Spacecraft Using Radiation Pressure

A report proposes a method of utilizing solar-radiation pressure to keep the axis of rotation of a small spin-stabilized spacecraft pointed approximately (typically, within an angle of 10° to 20°) toward the Sun. Axisymmetry is not required. Simple tilted planar vanes would be attached...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Cable-Dispensing Cart

A versatile cable- dispensing cart can support as many as a few dozen reels of cable, wire, and/or rope. The cart can be adjusted to accommodate reels of various diameters and widths, and can be expanded, contracted, or otherwise reconfigured by use of easily installable and removable parts that can be carried onboard....

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Device for Locking a Control Knob
A simple, effective, easy-to-use device locks a control knob in a set position. In the initial application for which this device was conceived, the control knob to be locked is that of a needle valve. Previously, in that application, it was necessary for one technician to hold the knob to keep the valve at the...
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Three techniques have been proposed to prolong the intervals of time available for microgravity experiments aboard airplanes flown along parabolic trajectories. Typically, a pilot strives...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A compact, pneu- matically actuated filter shuttle has been invented to enable alternating imaging of a wind-tunnel model in two different spectral bands characteristic of the pressure and...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Continuous Tuning and Calibration of Vibratory Gyroscopes

A method of control and operation of an inertial reference unit (IRU) based on vibratory gyroscopes provides for continuously repeated cycles of tuning and calibration. The method is intended especially for application to an IRU containing vibratory gyroscopes that are integral parts of...

Briefs: Motion Control

The Morrison rotor, named after its inventor, is a hybrid rotor for use in a bearingless switched-reluctance electric motor. The motor is characterized as bearingless in the sense that it does...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

An improved method of calibrating a wind-tunnel force balance involves the use of a unique load application system integrated with formal experimental design methodology. The...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The figure depicts a micromachined silicon vibratory gyroscope that senses rotation about its z axis. The rotation-sensitive vibratory element is a post oriented (when at equilibrium)...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A modified design and fabrication sequence has been devised to improve the performance of a cloverleaf vibratory microgyroscope that includes an axial rod or post rigidly attached to...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Two apparatuses now under development are intended to perform a variety of deep-drilling, coring, and sensing functions for subsurface exploration of rock and soil. These are modified...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Engineers at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center have received a patent on an emergency flight-control method implemented by a propulsion-controlled aircraft (PCA) system. Utilizing...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Neutral-Axis Springs for Thin-Wall Integral Boom Hinges

A document proposes the use of neutral-axis springs to augment the unfolding torques of hinges that are integral parts of thin-wall composite-material booms used to deploy scientific instruments from spacecraft. A spring according to the proposal would most likely be made of metal and could...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Shields for Enhanced Protection Against High-Speed Debris

A report describes improvements over the conventional Whipple shield (two thin, spaced aluminum walls) for protecting spacecraft against high-speed impacts of orbiting debris. The debris in question arise mainly from breakup of older spacecraft. The improved shields include exterior...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A device that enables the automated cutting and transfer of plant shoots is undergoing development for use in the propagation of plants in a nursery or laboratory. At present, it is...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Extension of Liouville Formalism to Postinstability Dynamics

A mathematical formalism has been developed for predicting the postinstability motions of a dynamic system governed by a system of nonlinear equations and subject to initial conditions. Previously, there was no general method for prediction and mathematical modeling of postinstability...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Booms and other structures consisting mainly of thin spring strips are undergoing development. These structures are designed to be lightweight, to be compactly stowable, and to be capable of springing to...

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