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
Airfoil-Shaped Fluid Flow Tool for Use in Making Differential Measurements

Researchers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center have developed a suite of adaptable flow measurement devices that can be easily installed without compromising the structural integrity of existing conduits. With their simple installation procedures, the devices can be...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Piezo-Actuated, Fast-Acting Control Valve

High-power electric propulsion systems have the potential to revolutionize space propulsion due to their extremely high performance. This can result in significant propellant savings on space vehicles, allowing the overall mass to shrink for launch on a less expensive vehicle, or to allow the space...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Interface Between STAR-CCM+ and 42 for Enhanced Fuel Slosh Analysis

Fuel slosh is excited during spacecraft maneuvers. The forces and torques exerted on the spacecraft by the slosh must be controlled by the attitude control system to maintain correct pointing and spacecraft orbit. In some rare cases, the attitude control system may excite the...

Briefs: Motion Control
Mechanisms for Achieving Non-Sinusoidal Waveforms on Stirling Engines

The current state-of-the-art Stirling engines use sinusoidal piston and displacer motion to drive the thermodynamic cycle and produce power. Research performed at NASA Glenn has shown that non-sinusoidal waveforms have the potential to increase Stirling engine power density,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
RFID Cavity

This technology provides a method for interrogating collections of items with radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags. It increases the read accuracy, meaning that more of the item tags will be successfully read. It also permits smaller tag antennas than would otherwise be necessary.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Method for Asteroid Volatile Extraction in Space

Some meteorites representative of certain classes of asteroids are 25% or more water by weight. This is consistent with infrared spectra of some asteroids, indicating hydrated minerals are abundant in some varieties of carbonaceous chondrite asteroids. Since water is very valuable in space, it...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Improving Stirling Engine Performance Through Optimized Piston and Displacer Motion

Stirling engines typically achieve high efficiency, but lack power density. Low power density prevents them from being used in many applications where internal combustion engines are viable competitors, and increases system costs in applications that require...

NASA Technology

Rocket launches—or earthquakes—are already punishing experiences. But it turns out there are some things that can make them worse: like if the vibrations hit the structure...

Inspecting the condition of dikes and other sea defense structures is typically a task for robots, working in a team and in a highly autonomous way. But if they move around across the dikes,...

News: Robotics, Automation & Control
Machine-Learning System Recognizes Sounds from Video

A machine learning system from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recognizes sounds by watching video. The neural network interprets natural sounds in terms of image categories, without hand-annotated training data.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Magnetic Relief Valve
A magnetically retained pressure-relief valve enables quick-open on/off operation when overpressure is reached.

Inventors at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center have developed a magnetically retained, fast-response...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Work Piece Cleaning Apparatus and Method with Pulsating Mixture of Liquid and Gas

NASA Goddard’s scientists have developed a novel, volatile organic compound (VOC)-free system for cleaning tubing and piping that significantly reduces cost and carbon consumption. The innovative technology enables the use of deionized water in place of costlier...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Safety Drain System for Fluid Reservoir

Researchers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center have developed a system that reduces the entrapment risks associated with a pool or spa’s recirculation drain. The technology prevents hazards caused by suction forces on the body, hair, clothing, or other articles. Employing a novel configuration of...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Locking Mechanism for a Flexible Composite Hinge

Composites have excellent strength characteristics, are lightweight, and are increasingly being used in space applications. However, they are highly inflexible and require hinged joints when...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Temperature-Compensating PMT Housing

Shrinking or contracting light guides is a problem when photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) are glued to the guides. If there is no way to allow movement of the PMTs, when the temperature goes down, the light guide contracts and breaks the glue joint. The PMTs cannot be left loose to rattle around inside the...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Air Compressor

Gardner Denver Thomas (Sheboygan, WI) offers the 2380 series twin WOB-L® piston oil-less air compressor designed for pressure/vacuum and high flow. It provides 100 psi (6.9 bar) maximum pressure with open flow of 2.3 cfm (65...

Products: Automotive
Auto Crash Sensor

Meggitt Sensing Systems (Irvine, CA) introduced the Endevco model 7264H optimally gas-damped accelerometer for automotive safety testing. The sensor is small in size and mass, and eliminates irrelevant frequency content...

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a rocket motor concept that could be used to power CubeSat low-cost satellites. The Los Alamos team recently tested a...

Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
High-Speed Backplane Connector System

Samtec (New Albany, IN) has expanded its ExaMAX® High-Speed Backplane Connector System optimized for high-density and high-speed performance. The ExaMAX® header and right-angle receptacle system...

Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Keylock Switches

APEM, Vista, CA, introduced LK Series keylock switches available in nickel-plated or black overmolded barrel shutter and key. The multi-position switches are available in momentary and maintained functions, and in single or...

Briefs: Aerospace
Film Cooled Surface

Turbine film cooling flows typically are subject to jet detachment and reduced cooling effectiveness for high blowing rates. Current concepts to improve jet attachment involve impractical or overly complex hole designs...

For well over a decade, electrical engineer Holger Schmidt has been developing devices for optical analysis of samples on integrated chip-based platforms, with...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Jet Engine Exhaust Nozzle Flow Effector

NASA’s Langley Research Center has created novel flow effector technology for separation control and enhanced mixing. The technology allows for variable shape control of aircraft structure through...

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a composite joint connector that is more structurally efficient than joints currently on the market. Traditionally, composite joints can...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Eddy-Current-Minimizing Flow Plug for Use in Flow Conditioning and Flow Metering

Innovators at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center have developed a suite of prototype fluid plug technologies with an array of capabilities for fluid flow metering, mixing, and conditioning. Each innovation within this suite is based upon a core technology that...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Process for Forming a High-Temperature Single Crystal Preloader

Friction has long been a thorny problem for sealing-device designers. Traditional sealing devices rely on a contacting relationship between surfaces and sealing elements to prevent fluid leakage, but in the case of moving elements, this contact produces friction that causes wearing...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Compact Vibration Damper

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a compact tuned damper to reduce vibration occurring at a fixed frequency. Tuned dampers reduce vibration of the base structure by the dissipation of energy. The...

NASA’s Langley Research Center develops innovative technologies to control fluid flow in ways that will ultimately result in improved performance and fuel efficiency....

Born out of a desire for aircraft to be able to take off and land capably at airports with shorter runways to alleviate congestion at the major hubs, the circulation control wing...

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