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 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...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

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

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

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

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

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: Motion Control

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

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...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

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

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...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

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...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

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

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

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

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

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...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Magnetostatic switches — switches that open or close in response to magnetic fields — are being developed and fabricated using micromachining (MEMS) technology. These switches operate similarly to...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

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

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

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:

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Detailed measurements of complex flow fields within the NASA Low Speed Centrifugal Compressor (LSCC) have been acquired. The measurement data provide insight into the fundamental...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Automatic valves have been proposed for shutting off flows of liquids when abnormally large accelerations occur. These valves could be used, for example, to prevent outflows of...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The Spacecraft Autonomous Navigation System using GPS for Earth Orbiters (SANS-GEO) computer program is designed to perform the navigation calculations that will enable the New...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The Multiple Interferometric Ranging Analysis using GPS Ensemble (MIRAGE) computer program processes spacecraft-tracking data to determine orbits of single satellites, or...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A mathematical model that includes layerwise finite elements has been developed for use in numerical simulation of the coupled electrical, mechanical, and thermal responses of...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A new joint, proposed for use on an attachable debris shield for the International Space Station Service Module, has potential for commercial use in situations where hardware must be...

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