Browse extensive resources on the advances in Sensor and Test technologies. Find applications for smart sensor systems, data acquisition, transducers, detector systems plus the latest in advanced measuring instruments and monitoring systems, devices and instrumentation.

Whether you're tracking your steps, monitoring your health, or sending photos from a smart watch, you want the battery life of your wearable device to last as long as possible. NASA's Jet...

A prototype capsule that one day will return science experiments to Earth was tested by releasing it from a high-altitude balloon. Technology like this capsule could one day return biological...

To facilitate diagnosis in remote, low-resource settings, researchers have developed a paper-based device that changes color, depending on whether the patient has Ebola, yellow fever,...

Position feedback sensors for hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders have used one of three traditional technologies: magnetostrictive, variable resistance, and variable inductance. As the...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Detection of Gases and Vapors Present at Low Concentrations

A nanostructure-based mechanism was developed for sensing the presence of, and estimating concentration values of, specified chemical components in a sample gas to which the mechanism is exposed, where the concentrations may be as low as five parts per billion. The mechanism receives a...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Broadband Photon-Counting Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detector

The planar Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detector (MKID) is very compact and allows a large number of detectors to be fabricated simultaneously and implemented in a focal plane of a telescope using a minimal number of wiring interfaces. In this detector, the incident power is guided...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Micro-LIDAR for Flow Velocimetry

A miniature light detection and ranging (LIDAR) velocimetry sensor has been developed to analyze high-velocity and boundary layer flows in real-world conditions. Using Rayleigh scattering, as opposed to the more common particle scattering, the patent-pending sensors provide multiple flow parameters without the...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Sensitive, Specific Molecular Detection of Single Bacteria Cells

A unique amplification chemistry was developed that allows highly specific isothermal detection of bacteria, and presumably eukaryotic cells, at sub-single-cell sensitivities. This is based on the ability to detect rRNA (ribosomal RNA) rather than DNA, as is typical. The difference...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Optical Hotspot Conductive Fluid Flow Sensor

The Optical Hotspot Flow Sensor (OHFS) enables optical measurement of electrically conductive liquid metal flow rate by exploiting the electrically conductive nature of liquid metals or any other conductive fluid to enable thermal tagging of liquid flow in tubes (US Patent 7,409,875). It is well...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Low-Cost Backup RPOD System

Advanced Optical Systems, Inc. (AOS) developed a low-cost Rendezvous, Proximity Operations, and Docking (RPOD) system that has applications for the future NASA Orion vehicle. Docking operations between the space shuttle and the International Space Station (ISS) required the coordination of real-time sensor data...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Free-Space, Coupled, Multi- Element Detector for Deep Space Optical Communication

High-data-rate deep space optical communication (DSOC) links are desired by NASA and other space agencies to support future advanced science instruments, live high-definition (HD) video feeds, telepresence, and human exploration of Mars and beyond. Optical...

News: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Depth-Sensing Camera Works in Bright Light and Darkness

A new imaging technology from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Toronto operates in both bright sunlight and darkness. A mathematical model programs the device so that the camera and its light source work together efficiently, eliminating extraneous light, or “noise,”...

NASA’s Langley Research Center hoisted a Cessna 172 aircraft 100 feet into the air by cables and released it. The plane plummeted onto a slab of dirt in a violent but controlled experiment that...

Growth in air traffic and passenger numbers has led to warnings that airports could become bottlenecks in the global air transportation system. Ensuring efficient movement of...

A hybrid technology mixes traditional electronics with flexible, high-performance electronics and new 3D printing technologies. The system takes a razor-thin silicon integrated...

News: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Smart Building Responds to all Climate Conditions

A grid of sensors embedded into an innovative building insulation activates specific façade components to optimize energy savings while improving aesthetics. This high-tech kind of retrofitting approach uses several types of modules that allow real-time monitoring. The multifunctional modular...

Vibration machines are crucial to test the forces that make things fall apart in the bumpy real world, from small components to complete systems like airplanes or nuclear weapons. Large,...

News: Photonics/Optics
'Electron Camera' Reveals Nature's Fastest Processes

Using a method known as ultrafast electron diffraction (UED), a scientific instrument from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory reveals nature's fastest processes, including the rapid motions of atoms and molecules.

There are a variety of reasons we need to know the temperature of an object or a process — to prevent product damage, ensure sterilization, determine biological health, ensure...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Low-Cost Solar-Simulated Radiometric Calibration Source

An integrating sphere is a spherical shell that has its internal wall coated with a highly reflective, diffuse scattering material. It typically includes both entrance and exit ports where illumination sources and light monitoring sensors are added to produce a well-known uniform light...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Capacitively Coupled Quantum Capacitance Detector

Future cryogenic far-infrared (IR) missions will require moderate-resolution far-IR spectrometers operating at the photon background limit. Full utilization of these facilities requires...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Nanosensors for Medical Diagnosis

Many diseases are accompanied by characteristic odors, and their recognition can provide diagnostic clues, guide the laboratory evaluation, and affect the choice of immediate therapy. The study of the chemical composition in human breath using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) has shown a correlation...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Passive Voice-Enabled RFID Devices

Radio-Frequency IDentification (RFID) is a technology that provides automatic identification of objects, and relies on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders. The RFID tag is an object that can be applied to and/or incorporated into a product, animal, or person for...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Improved Detection of Kidney Stones Using S-mode Ultrasound

Ultrasound has been a useful tool in the detection of kidney stones. It is a low-cost solution that does not require ionizing radiation that would be harmful to vulnerable populations such as children and recurrent stone formers. However, it suffers from a broad range of sensitivity (78...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Vector Network Analyzer Calibration for Quasi-Optical Dual Ports

It is desirable to measure the electromagnetic properties of devices and materials in the millimeter part of the spectrum. For guided wave-based devices and materials (waveguides, coaxial devices), a vector network analyzer (VNA) is an excellent tool for this purpose since it...

The measurement of structural properties of materials at cryogenic temperatures is a daunting task. The measurement of thin films at low temperatures...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Estimation of Algae Growth Stage, Growth Rate, and Lipid Content

This invention provides a method using light of different wavelengths to estimate freshwater and marine algae growth stage and algae growth rates as well as lipid content in standard media. Light absorption by the algae is measured for a specified light intensity in each of two or...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Isotopic Biomarkers for Rapid Assessment of Bone Mineral Balance in Biomedical Applications

Development of new treatments for metabolic bone disease, and evaluation of the effectiveness of existing therapies in individual patients, are severely hampered by the lack of any reliable tool for quickly measuring changes in bone mineral balance in...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Optically Modulated Miniature Magnetometer

The optically modulated miniature magnetometer (OMMM) is intended to replace two separate instruments (each with their respective mass and power allotments) that are commonly needed together for scientific studies of magnetic fields — a triaxial fluxgate vector magnetometer and an optically pumped...

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