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News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Initially Moon-Bound, A New Demolition Probe Breaks Ground on Earth

An electrically-driven demolition probe originally funded by NASA enables a more precise, quieter fracturing method that its creators hope will give construction workers on...

Blog : Green Design & Manufacturing
The Top Tech Briefs Stories of 2017

With another year of Tech Briefs almost in the books, it's time to look at our most-read news articles of 2017.

Top stories included a look back at the life of Robert Goddard, and a look forward to...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
KSC Weather Data Archive

The Spaceport Weather Data Archive provides a fully searchable database of weather data gathered at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Not only can the user easily retrieve data and download it, but the user can also view graphically the weather data on a map overlay. The data are...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
BOPPERS: Autonomous Underwater Environmental Monitoring System

A device has been developed that is capable of relatively lengthy unattended operations and high sampling frequency of underwater environmental data anywhere in the world. The...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Electromagnetic Mop (EMop) for Oil Spill Cleanup

The spillage of oil into the environment is an ongoing concern. Marine oil spills draw much attention because the oil harms marine animals and floral life. Current methods to aid in cleaning up the oil include containment booms, oil skimmers, and dispersants. Chemical dispersants are a tradeoff...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Detecting Low-Level Harmful Substances in a Large Volume of Fluid

There are many applications requiring the detection and concentration of harmful substances in a fluid; for example, detecting the presence and concentration of a microbial pathogen in a source of drinking water such as a lake, reservoir, river, stream, storage tank, water main,...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Flood Impact Analysis Tool

NASA Langley resides in an area prone to tidal flooding. During events that were expected to lead to flooding, there were requests for maps showing the predicted flood level and what infrastructure may be impacted,...

Articles : Energy
Innovators Recognized for "Creating the Future" 2017

The Create the Future Design Contest has helped stimulate and reward engineering innovation over the past 16 years, drawing more than 14,000 product designs from engineers, students, and...

Articles : Materials
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, WA, has been operated by Battelle and its predecessors since the lab’s inception in 1965. For more than 50...

Articles : Green Design & Manufacturing
2017 Create the Future Design Contest: Grand Prize Winner

Hi-Light - Solar Thermal Chemical Reactor Technology for Converting CO2 to Hydrocarbons

Xiangkun (Elvis) Cao, Jessica Akemi Cimada da Silva, David Erickson, and...
Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
2017 Create the Future Design Contest: Sustainable Technologies Category Winner

Energy Saving Filter for Removal of Heavy Metals from Water

Volodymyr Khranovskyy, R. Yakimova, Ivan Shtepliuk, P. Lima de Carvalho, and A. Pinto
Talent Molecule LDA
Braga, Portugal

Pollution by heavy metals (HMs) is a crucial...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Process Produces Renewable Car Tires from Trees and Grasses

A team of researchers has invented a new technology to produce automobile tires from trees and grasses. Conventional car tires are viewed as environmentally unfriendly because they are predominantly made from fossil fuels. The car tires produced from biomass that includes trees and...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Flood Dashboard 2.0

Google Maps and Google Earth allow the development of customized displays, but such displays must be constructed by a software developer. The Flood Dashboard allows non-technical users to utilize a simple Web form to build and present custom displays. It is a Ruby on Rails 4 application that allows users to build custom...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Ammonia Recovery System for Wastewater

NASA's Ammonia Recovery System for Wastewater was developed for potential use as part of the Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) on the International Space Station. The system uses an affordable media that is highly selective for ammonia. Ammonia concentrations in wastewater as high as...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Electrochemical Method for Removing Pollutants from Water

When removing very dilute concentrations of pollutants from water, existing separation methods tend to be energy- and chemical-intensive. A new method was developed that could provide a selective alternative for removing even extremely low levels of unwanted compounds. The method relies...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Unleashing RAPID

The Routing Application for Parallel computation of Discharge (RAPID, here) is a river routing model. Given surface and groundwater inflow to rivers, this model can compute the flow and volume of water everywhere in river networks made out of many thousands of reaches. The design of RAPID allows it to be adapted to any river...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Methods for Purifying Enzymes for Mycoremediation

This process applies to remediation and restoration of soils contaminated by fuel, polychlorinated biphenyl wastes, etc. While there can be a general beneficial effect of microbial communities, individual plant-fungus combinations can vary in their efficacy in removal of pollutants from the...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Land Cover Viewer

The Land Use Land Cover Viewer is an online visualization tool that enables users to view land use land cover maps. The maps were developed under the Land Cover Mapping for Green House Gas (GHG) Inventories project, which sought to enable SERVIR Eastern and Southern Africa countries to have data to report on GHG inventories as...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Obs4MIPS.py

The Obs4MIPS.py software package is a front end to an existing free software package written by Lawrence Livermore National Lab, called “Climate Model Output Rewriter” (CMOR2), and reads in a multitude of standard data formats such as netcdf3, netcdf4, Grads control files, MATLAB data files, or a list of netCDF files. The...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
System, Apparatus, and Method for Liquid Purification

Scientists at NASA's Glenn Research Center have developed a unique water purification method that can be used for water recycling or point-of-use applications. Originally developed as a means to recycle water in space, this technology has applications in industrial water treatment, water...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
WX Subsystem Weather Station

The WX Subsystem Weather Station was designed for use as part of the Weather Instrumentation (WX) Subsystem for the Constellation Program (CxP) to be implemented in the Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center. The weather stations need to be rugged, robust, and reliable. Although this equipment is not to be...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Vulnerability Assessment Tool

Malawi has not been spared from the severe impacts of climate change. In the past two decades, Malawi has experienced a number of adverse climatic hazards, the most serious being dry spells, seasonal droughts, intense and unpredictable rainfall, riverine floods, and flash floods. Some of these, especially droughts...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Algae Bioreactor Using Submerged Enclosures with Semi-Permeable Membranes

NASA has invented an innovative method to grow algae, clean wastewater, and capture carbon dioxide to ultimately produce biofuel. The invention consists of floating flexible-plastic enclosures and photo-bioreactors with semi-permeable membranes. This new cultivation system...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Three-Band Cloud and Precipitation Radar

After many years of use of Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) and CloudSat data, focus groups within the cloud and precipitation science community produced requirements for the next generation of missions. The first draft of Aerosol-Cloud-Ecosystem mission requirements was formalized in 2009,...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Researchers Build Solar-Powered Water Purifier

Using low-cost materials, academics from the University of Buffalo developed a solar-powered water purifier. The device could help to address global drinking water shortages, especially in developing areas and regions affected by natural disasters.

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
System for In-Situ Detection of Plant Exposure to Trichloroethylene (TCE)

In collaboration with the State University of New York and the Naval Research Laboratory, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center is developing a hyperspectral estimator to detect trichloroethylene (TCE) in plants. TCE has been a widely used industrial solvent known to be...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Time-Shifted PN Codes for CW LIDAR, RADAR, and SONAR

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a waveform processing technique to eliminate signal noise resulting from sources of interference (scatterers) that can degrade continuous wave (CW) lidar return data. The algorithm was developed to enable CW lidar measurement of atmospheric gas...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Data Informatics Infrastructure for the Megacities Carbon Project

With the goal of assessing the anthropogenic carbon-emission impact of urban centers on local and global climates, the Megacities Carbon Project has been building carbon-monitoring capabilities for the past two years around the Los Angeles metropolitan area as a pilot effort....

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Activated Metal Treatment System (AMTS) for Paints

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) seeks partners interested in the commercial application of the Activated Metal Treatment System (AMTS) for treating polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in paints. NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is offering companies licensing or partnering...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Airborne Elastic Backscatter and Raman Polychromator for Ash Detection

Volcanic ash is a significant hazard to aircraft engines and electronics. It has caused damage to unwary aircraft and disrupted air travel for thousands of travelers, costing millions of dollars. The small, jagged fragments of rocks, minerals, and volcanic glass that...