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Briefs: Electronics & Computers

When Navy SEALs carry out dives in Arctic waters, or when rescue teams are diving under ice-covered rivers or ponds, the survival time even in the best wetsuits is very limited — as...

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Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Researchers have observed waves of atomic rearrangements, known as phasons, propagating supersonically through a vibrating crystal lattice — a discovery that may dramatically...

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Briefs: Energy

A new chemical composite could be used to store heat from the Sun during the day in a thermal battery, and release the heat when needed. A common approach to thermal storage is to use...

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Q&A: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Plastics are excellent thermal insulators — a quality that can be an advantage in some applications. But this property is less desirable in products such as plastic...

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Briefs: Power
Magnetic Induction Heating of Space Foods During Dispensing Under Weightless Conditions

Hot foods are psychologically pleasing. Food heating systems are currently part of the astronaut feeding program. An electrical method of heating foods during dispensing in space uses magnetic induction heating. The process is up to 95% efficient in...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Aerogels are among the lightest materials in the world, and are highly porous with strong absorption capacity and low thermal conductivity. These unique properties make aerogels highly...

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Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Vanadium dioxide’s unique properties make it ideally suited for outperforming silicon and giving rise to a new generation of low-power electronic devices. This compound can...

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Briefs: Energy

Researchers have created a material that consists of carefully structured molecules designed to be particularly electrochemically stable in order to prevent the battery from losing energy to unwanted reactions....

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Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Plastic Material Works as a Heat Conductor

Plastics are excellent insulators, meaning they can efficiently trap heat — a quality that can be an advantage in something like a coffee cup sleeve. But this insulating property is less desirable in products such as plastic casings for laptops and mobile phones that overheat, in part, because the...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control

The wide variety of industrial applications each independently calls for a level of robustness from the physical (PHY) layer, all the way up to applications. Time...

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Briefs: Energy

Carbon aerogels (CAs) are nano-porous carbons comprising a particularly significant class of carbon nano-materials for a variety of sustainable energy applications. Carbon aerogels are...

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Briefs: Nanotechnology

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center has developed a solid-state ultracapacitor with a unique combination of high capacitance and battery-like discharge characteristics. The high capacitance in...

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Briefs: Materials

Superconducting materials are technologically important because electricity flows through them without resistance. Only low-temperature superconductivity seemed possible before 1986,...

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Briefs: Materials
Inorganic-Organic Hybrid Polymers for High-Temperature Applications

A new class of polymeric materials was developed with resistance to heat, dielectric breakdown, and oxidation at high temperatures. For applications that demand high temperature resistance coupled with greater strength, these polymers can be easily transformed into ceramics with...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Engineers have invented a new architecture for quantum computing based on novel “flip-flop” qubits. The new chip design allows for a silicon quantum processor that can be...

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Briefs: Materials

The slippery state caused by water or oil is called superlubricity — where there is basically no friction on a surface. In graphene, this superlubricity state comes from atomic orbitals that...

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Briefs: Materials

Silicon has several qualities that have led it to become the bedrock of electronics. One is that it features a very good “native” insulator — silicon dioxide, or...

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Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Printable electronics — flexible circuitry that is deposited on some type of plastic substrate — has been a major area of research for decades. But the ability to print the substrate...

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Briefs: Aerospace

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) developed a foam-rigidized, inflatable, tubular space boom that can be transported, deployed, and inflated at remote locations. The lightweight...

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Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a robust wireless temperature sensor that does not require an electrical connection. The temperature sensor...

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Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

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...

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Briefs: Materials

Researchers have made ultralight, highly porous, compressible, and heat-resistant sponge-like materials from nanoscale ceramic fibers. The highly deformable material...

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Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Fields ranging from autonomous driving to personalized medicine are generating huge amounts of data. But just as the flood of data is reaching massive proportions, the ability of computer chips to...

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Articles: Motion Control

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) in frequency converters can be very problematic if not addressed properly in the initial design. EMC ensures the proper operation of devices to avoid negative...

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Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Materials that can be produced by 3D printing include not just plastics, but metal, glass, and even food. A new system called a Digital Construction Platform (DCP) was...

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Articles: Materials

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that innovation.

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Briefs: Materials

When the Deepwater Horizon drilling pipe blew out seven years ago, beginning the worst oil spill in U.S. history, those in charge of the recovery discovered that the millions of gallons of...

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Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Wearable sensors are uniquely placed to fill the technology gap for real-time analytics at the point of need. Seamless integration of chemical sensors into wearable platforms gives...

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Briefs: Materials

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a new class of polyimide composite electrical insulation materials for wires, cable, and bus pipe. These new insulation materials have been shown to withstand a...

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