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
Plasma-Assisted Catalytic Reverse Water Gas Shift Reactor

For improving CO2 conversions for a low-temperature CO2 methanation process, a mechanism of using reverse water gas shift (RWGS) reaction as an intermediate step to generate the more reactive CO species for the methanation process was developed. The challenge was to...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Folding-Tube Deployable Solar Array

Future space missions incorporating solar electric propulsion (SEP) will require large solar arrays that are an order of magnitude larger than the current state of the art for deployable arrays. This...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Vented Launch Vehicle Adapter for a Manned Spacecraft With “Pusher” Launch Abort System

A Launch Vehicle Adapter (LVA) was developed that provides a structural interface between a Commercial Crew Vehicle (CCV) Crew Module/Service Module Spacecraft (CM/SM) and an expendable launch vehicle. It also provides a means to control the exhaust plume...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Delayed Latching Mechanism

Uncontrolled and rapid movement of equipment and people through security gates has been a major problem for security personnel. In situations pertaining to facility security, it is desirable to delay the passage of...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Multifunctional Hot Structure (HOST) Heat Shield

Traditional heat shield design isolates the functions of the thermal protection system (TPS) from the underlying load-carrying structure. This is due to the use of brittle TPS material that...

Electrical circuits such as printed wiring boards or hybrid microcircuits designed to utilize surface mount electrical components are commonly assembled by computer-controlled automated...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Vibration-Dampening Pedestal for MEMS

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are critical devices for various highly sensitive applications; however, the development and potential fielding of these next-generation smart systems is currently...

Tuned mass dampers are used worldwide to mitigate vibrations in structures like buildings and bridges where excessive movement can be alarming or even sickening to occupants. The...

Origami has once again inspired engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. Besides aesthetic beauty, the Japanese tradition of paper-folding addresses a...

The James Webb Space Telescope will be the most powerful space telescope ever built. With a 21-foot diameter, the telescope’s primary mirror is six times larger than the one...

On a snowy day in 1926, a 44-year-old physicist named Robert Goddard went with his wife Esther and some colleagues to his Aunt Effie’s ranch in Auburn,...

Today's vehicles feature traditional internal combustion engines, hybrid, plugin, and electric drivetrains. A reader asks: "Which power-plant choice will take the lead in...

Sensors have a key role in industrial production. For example, they can be used for quality and process monitoring or condition-based maintenance. The range of applications...

Aspacecraft thermal control system must keep the vehicle, avionics, and atmosphere (if crewed) within a defined temperature range. Water coolant loops are typically used to transport...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Low-Power, Lightweight, Ultra-Compact Reverse Water Gas Shift Reactor

Utilizing CO2 to produce H2O and O2 is critical for sustained manned missions in space, and supports both NASA’s cabin Atmosphere Revitalization System (ARS) and ln-situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) concepts. For long-term missions beyond low...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Inflatable Airlock Technologies

An airlock used in space can provide the ability to leave a pressurized volume and enter free space. This is necessary to perform maintenance or make repairs to the pressurized volume or visiting spacecraft,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Carbon Nanotube Purification

Development of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), including single-wall and multi-wall nanotubes and nanofibers, into useful devices requires fabrication of CNTs that are relatively free from process residues such as amorphous carbon and metallic particles that are not part of a CNT array grown on a (coated) substrate....

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Passive High-Temperature Sealing Device

Asealing device was developed that acts as a high-temperature shutoff valve for pipes and ducts. The device is an annular ring that can be slipped over the outside of the pipe (or built into a flanged...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Tamper-Indicating Bolt

In storage and/or transport of certain items, the ability to detect tampering with a container or compartment for such items can be necessary and valuable. In the transport of hazardous substances or nuclear materials...

Briefs: Propulsion
Wireless Ultrasonic Inspection Propulsion System

During inspection of pressure vessels and other large structures, an industry-accepted fixture is used to hold the search unit a predetermined distance from the area of interest under inspection. This fixture is then moved manually around the area of interest so that data can be collected and...

Putting a satellite into low Earth orbit requires a lot of energy, with ground-launched rockets expending two-thirds of their propellant fighting to get...

Briefs: Propulsion
Multi-Pulse Motor (MPM) for Use with Electric Solid Propellants (ESP)

The purpose of this work was to create a safe, green, controllable solid rocket motor that can be pulsed a number of times with electricity to control the ignition and extinguishment times to produce a required thrust or impulse bit. The innovation features an Electric Solid...

Briefs: Propulsion
Rotary Piston Engine

There are many applications where a high power-to-weight engine is either necessary or helpful. Uses for this type of engine range from handheld power equipment, to motorcycles and aircraft — uses multiply when fuel efficiency, compactness, and versatility are added. Currently, there are few viable options available to...

Briefs: Propulsion
Green Liquid Monopropellant Thruster for In-Space Propulsion

Hydrazine has been the standard baseline liquid monopropellant for space propulsion over many decades since replacing hydrogen peroxide. Hydrazine was preferred over peroxide due to its easier storability and higher performance. Like peroxide, hydrazine can be readily decomposed by...

Although maneuvering nanosatellites in space is a complex procedure, a new micro-propulsion method features the simplest of ingredients: water.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Omni Jaw 5™ Powered Protrusion Cutter

In many manufacturing and construction activities, it is frequently necessary to remove a protrusion of material from a component or from a substrate surface. These removal operations include clipping...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Water-Saving Firefighting Nozzle

Fluorocarbon-based fire extinguishing agents are environmentally harmful since they cause depletion of the Earth's ozone layer. Fine Water Mist (FWM)-type systems have very favorable characteristics as...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Sandia Cooler

Heat exchangers are used for the transfer of heat between two or more media. The media may be separated by a solid wall so that they never mix, or they may be in direct contact. Heat exchangers may be used in HVAC systems,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Ruck Dock Load Carriage Connector System

Soldiers, civilians engaged in activities such as hiking, and public safety personnel engaged in search and rescue missions all require reliable systems for the effective carriage of necessary...

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