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Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Auto-Tuning Variable Frequency Drives

Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) make applications all over the world work better, more efficiently, and with their keypad displays, make the equipment easier to interact with.

White Papers
Motion Control

Fiber Optic Emergency Stops for Harsh Environment Applications

Fiber optic emergency stops provide immunity to EMI, RFI, and lightning; are inherently safe; and can operate at extremely long distances up to 10 kilometers. This whitepaper...

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Development of the Orion Crew-Service Module Umbilical Retention and Release Mechanism

The Orion Crew-Service Module (CM/SM) umbilical retention and release mechanism supports, protects, and disconnects all of the cross-module commodities...

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Micro-Lid for Sealing a Sample Reservoir for Micro-Extraction Systems

Great strides are taken to miniaturize spaceflight instrumentation, particularly analytical systems such as liquid chromatographs, gas chromatographs, and mass...

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Single-Fluid-Pumped Radiators with Increased Turn-Down Ratio and Control in the Stagnation Regime

Fluid-pumped radiators are used to reject heat from structures to space. A fluid travels inside the structure to collect heat, and then travels...

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Airfoil-Shaped Fluid Flow Tool for Use in Making Differential Measurements

Researchers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center have developed a suite of adaptable flow measurement devices that can be easily installed without compromising the structural integrity of existing conduits. With their simple installation procedures, the devices can be...

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Mechanisms for Achieving Non-Sinusoidal Waveforms on Stirling Engines

The current state-of-the-art Stirling engines use sinusoidal piston and displacer motion to drive the thermodynamic cycle and produce power. Research performed at NASA Glenn has shown that non-sinusoidal waveforms have the potential to increase Stirling engine power density,...

Briefs
Motion Control

Improving Stirling Engine Performance Through Optimized Piston and Displacer Motion

Stirling engines typically achieve high efficiency, but lack power density. Low power density prevents them from being used in many applications where internal combustion engines are viable competitors, and increases system costs in applications that require...

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Piezo-Actuated, Fast-Acting Control Valve

High-power electric propulsion systems have the potential to revolutionize space propulsion due to their extremely high performance. This can result in significant propellant savings on space vehicles, allowing the overall mass to shrink for launch on a less expensive vehicle, or to allow the space...

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Interface Between STAR-CCM+ and 42 for Enhanced Fuel Slosh Analysis

Fuel slosh is excited during spacecraft maneuvers. The forces and torques exerted on the spacecraft by the slosh must be controlled by the attitude control system to maintain correct pointing and spacecraft orbit. In some rare cases, the attitude control system may excite the...

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

RFID Cavity

This technology provides a method for interrogating collections of items with radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags. It increases the read accuracy, meaning that more of the item tags will be successfully read. It also permits smaller tag antennas than would otherwise be necessary.

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Method for Asteroid Volatile Extraction in Space

Some meteorites representative of certain classes of asteroids are 25% or more water by weight. This is consistent with infrared spectra of some asteroids, indicating hydrated minerals are abundant in some varieties of carbonaceous chondrite asteroids. Since water is very valuable in space, it...

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Magnetic Relief Valve

A magnetically retained pressure-relief valve enables quick-open on/off operation when overpressure is reached.

Inventors at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center have developed a magnetically retained, fast-response...

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Work Piece Cleaning Apparatus and Method with Pulsating Mixture of Liquid and Gas

NASA Goddard’s scientists have developed a novel, volatile organic compound (VOC)-free system for cleaning tubing and piping that significantly reduces cost and carbon consumption. The innovative technology enables the use of deionized water in place of costlier...

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Safety Drain System for Fluid Reservoir

Researchers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center have developed a system that reduces the entrapment risks associated with a pool or spa’s recirculation drain. The technology prevents hazards caused by suction forces on the body, hair, clothing, or other articles. Employing a novel configuration of...

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Temperature-Compensating PMT Housing

Shrinking or contracting light guides is a problem when photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) are glued to the guides. If there is no way to allow movement of the PMTs, when the temperature goes down, the light guide contracts and breaks the glue joint. The PMTs cannot be left loose to rattle around inside the...

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Locking Mechanism for a Flexible Composite Hinge

Composites have excellent strength characteristics, are lightweight, and are increasingly being used in space applications. However, they are highly inflexible and require hinged joints when...

Briefs
Aerospace

Jet Engine Exhaust Nozzle Flow Effector

NASA’s Langley Research Center has created novel flow effector technology for separation control and enhanced mixing. The technology allows for variable shape control of aircraft structure through...

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A Structural Joint with Multi-Axis Load Carrying Capacity

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a composite joint connector that is more structurally efficient than joints currently on the market. Traditionally, composite joints can...

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Eddy-Current-Minimizing Flow Plug for Use in Flow Conditioning and Flow Metering

Innovators at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center have developed a suite of prototype fluid plug technologies with an array of capabilities for fluid flow metering, mixing, and conditioning. Each innovation within this suite is based upon a core technology that...

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Compact Vibration Damper

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a compact tuned damper to reduce vibration occurring at a fixed frequency. Tuned dampers reduce vibration of the base structure by the dissipation of energy. The...

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Process for Forming a High-Temperature Single Crystal Preloader

Friction has long been a thorny problem for sealing-device designers. Traditional sealing devices rely on a contacting relationship between surfaces and sealing elements to prevent fluid leakage, but in the case of moving elements, this contact produces friction that causes wearing...

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Fluidic Oscillator Array for Synchronized Oscillating Jet Generation

NASA’s Langley Research Center develops innovative technologies to control fluid flow in ways that will ultimately result in improved performance and fuel efficiency....

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A Method for Accurate Load/Position Control of Rigidly Coupled Electromechanical Actuators

NASA has developed a technique designed to prevent cross-coupling in systems where two or more linear electro-mechanical actuators (EMA) are rigidly connected and are in danger of becoming cross-coupled. In such systems where the linked EMAs are commanded...

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Transformable and Reconfigurable Entry, Descent, and Landing Systems and Methods

The Adaptable, Deployable Entry Placement Technology (ADEPT) concept is a mechanically deployable, semi-rigid aeroshell entry system capable of achieving low ballistic coefficient during entry for planetary or Earth return missions. The decelerator system offers a...

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Conduit Purging Device and Method

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center invites companies to license this dead-end welding device for use in the welding of tubing. This technology solves the problem of unacceptable welds in dead-end...

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Ultralight Self-Deployable Solar Sails

Deployment of large structures such as solar sails relies typically upon electromechanical mechanisms, mechanically expandable or inflatable booms, launch restraints, controls, and other mechanisms that drastically increase the total mass, stowage volume, and areal density. The primary performance parameter...

Briefs
Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Ultra-Compact Heat Rejection System

Radiator panels are the baseline heat rejection approach for most space systems. This approach is sound, but requires a large amount of surface area to radiate the anticipated heat load. The large panels require support structures to hold them in place and prevent damage. These structures impact mass and cost....

Briefs
Robotics, Automation & Control

Piezoelectric-Actuated Rotary Ultrasonic Motor

This actuator was developed out of a need for a cryogenic actuator that can operate effectively in spite of the thermal mismatch involved with construction materials that have different...