Briefs : Energy
Material Removes Ice Buildup Without Power or Chemicals

From airplane wings, to overhead power lines, to the giant blades of wind turbines, a buildup of ice can cause problems ranging from impaired performance all the way to catastrophic...

Briefs : Energy
Plasma Generator Using Spiral Conductors

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a patented SansEC sensor technology for use in many different areas, including tall structures and wind turbines. The SansEC technology is a proven wireless sensing platform capable of measuring the electrical impedance of physical matter in proximity to the...

Briefs : Aerospace
Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) 370 Resin for High-Temperature Applications

RTM370 imide resin was developed to address the limitations of conventional imide resins, which are generated from commercially available symmetrical biphenyl...

Briefs : Software
Foot Pedal Controller

A novel foot-pedal-operated system and device were developed to control translational and rotational movement of an object in three-dimensional (3D) space. The Foot Pedal Controller system enables operators to control...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Robots Bring Airplane Production Up to Speed

Robots are helping a European airplane manufacturer cut into an eight-year backlog of orders for one of its most popular aircraft.

White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
Selecting the Optimal Washer Solution for Assembly Applications

Washers are critical to the operation of virtually every machine or device with moving parts. They perform a variety of functions beyond securing bolts, nuts and screws, including insulating, sealing, locking and more. With what appears to be almost limitless varieties of washers...

Briefs : Aerospace
Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) Aircraft with Vectored Thrust for Control and Continuously Variable Pitch Attitude in Hover

Most fixed-wing VTOL unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) take off vertically, then transition to horizontal flight. This is a new type of UAV that has unique capability. It can vary its hover position from “nose up”...

Briefs : Data Acquisition
Modular Cross-Platform System Gives High-Speed Pilots Better Visual Aids

The ability to fly at supersonic speed without producing unsettling sonic booms would re-open a path to faster commercial aviation. In pursuit of aerodynamics that...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Optically Transparent Polyimide Aerogels

Innovators at NASA's Glenn Research Center have expanded their growing portfolio of aerogels to include a new optically transparent polyimide aerogel. Aerogels — low-density, highly porous,...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Device Measures Laser Power in Real Time

Lasers play roles in many manufacturing processes, from welding car parts to crafting engine components with 3D printers. To control these tasks, manufacturers must ensure that their lasers fire at...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Exhaust Plume Analyzer

Exhaust plumes emanating from smoke stacks at power plants or other industrial facilities can have adverse impacts on local aviation during periods of calm winds. Adverse impacts can be exacerbated if the temperature is low or the atmosphere is unstable. While low oxygen concentrations and elevated temperatures inside the...

Briefs : Aerospace
Device for Providing Real-Time Rotorcraft Noise Abatement Information

Rotorcraft typically operate near the ground throughout the duration of the operation. For this reason, military rotorcraft are vulnerable to acoustic detection, and public acceptance of civil rotorcraft is limited by annoyance caused by rotor noise radiation. The purpose of...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Gateway Integrates Wireless Sensors with Existing Aircraft Systems

In traditional hardwired avionics systems, sensor integration requires installation of literally tons of physical cable that significantly increases vehicle weight and the...

Briefs : Materials
Spanwise Adaptive Wing

NASA's Glenn Research Center developed a novel means of articulating the outboard portion of an aircraft wing to create the optimal geometry for given flight conditions. The Spanwise Adaptive Wing (SAW) concept employs...

Briefs : Aerospace
Modular, Multi-Mode-Propulsion, Unmanned Aerial Concept

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed an unmanned aerial vehicle concept for long-range, distributed aerial presence and delivery applications. This aircraft concept is capable...

Briefs : Aerospace
Automated Conflict Resolution for Air Traffic Control (AAC) Versions 1 and 2

A conflict resolution algorithm that can provide automated separation assurance for the next-generation air traffic control system has been developed. The algorithm generates resolution trajectories that can be sent to the aircraft from a ground-based system via a data...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Large-Scale Robotic Inkjet Printing System

Painting of surfaces having numerous facets and/or curved surfaces is a time-consuming process that requires the application of several coats (layers) of paint. Such surfaces are often found on...

Question of the Week : Government
Will Urban Air Mobility ‘Take Off?'

A Tech Briefs TV video demonstrates NASA’s rotary-wing “air taxi” concept. The vehicles, in theory, have the capacity for vertical take-off and landing, eliminating the need for long runways.

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Sensor Combination Detects People by Smell

Trained rescue dogs are the best disaster workers — their sensitive noses help them track down people buried by earthquakes or avalanches. But dogs need breaks. A new measuring device is always...

Briefs : Aerospace
Variable-Pitch Turbine Blades

Gas turbine blades of conventional rotorcraft turboshaft engines are optimized to operate at nearly a fixed speed and a fixed incidence angle. If the operating condition of the engine changes, then the flow...

INSIDER : Aerospace
Plane Flies with No Moving Parts

Since the first airplane took flight, virtually every aircraft has flown with the help of moving parts such as propellers, turbine blades, or fans that produce a persistent, whining buzz. MIT has built the...

Blog : Energy
Answering Your Questions: For an Electric-Aircraft Future, Do We Need to Rethink Design?
For an electric-aircraft future, it's not enough to just change components. You have to rethink design, our expert tells one reader.
5 Ws : Aerospace
5 Ws of the SAFIRE Lithium-Ion Battery


The Safe Impact Resistant Electrolyte (SAFIRE) fire-resistant battery can be used in consumer electronics such as cellphones, in drones and cars, and in soldiers’ packs.

Briefs : Materials
Synthesis and Development of Polyurethane Coatings Containing Fluorine Groups for Adhesive Applications

Accumulation of insect strikes on the leading edge of airplane wings is a more serious problem than one might realize. Depending on the magnitude, such accumulation changes the aerodynamic characteristics of the wing, causing a change from...

Q&A : Materials
Q&A: University of Virginia’s Patrick Hopkins Studies How to Regulate a Material’s Thermal Conductivity

Professor Hopkins and University of Virginia colleagues — in collaboration with materials scientists at Penn State, the University of Maryland, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology — have studied a material that can...

Application Briefs : Test & Measurement
Ray Optics Simulation of Inertial Navigation Systems

Attitude detection is a crucial element in aircraft and spacecraft navigation. The motion of an aircraft consists of a translational component (motion of its center of mass with respect to...

News : Materials
2018 Create the Future Design Contest: Aerospace & Defense Category Winner


Hidden PFM-1 anti-personnel landmines are unexploded ordnance (UXO) devices that pose a difficult challenge to conventional...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
2018 Create the Future Design Contest: Sustainable Technologies Category Winner


Associate Prof. Hai Minh Duong and Prof. Nhan Phan-Thien, National University of...
Blog : Materials
'Invisible Glass’ Takes First Prize in ‘Create the Future’ Contest
The grand-prize-winning nanotechnology coating imparts anti-reflection and water-repellency capabilities to surfaces made of silicon, glass ,and some plastics, including Teflon.
Blog : Test & Measurement
A Closer Look at Bats, Hummingbirds Offers New Ideas for Flying Robots
Rivers Ingersoll spoke with Tech Briefs about why it is so important to have an up-close understanding of the hummingbird and nectar bat.

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