August 9, 2014

One of the very best publications existing today is “NASA TECH BRIEFS, Engineering Solutions for Design & Manufacturing”.  This monthly publication strives to transfer technology from NASA design centers to University and corporate entities hoping the research and development can be commercialized in some fashion.  In my opinion, it is a marvelous resource and demonstrates avenues of investigation separate and apart from what we have come to know as the recognized NASA mission.   As you well know, in the process of exploration, there are many very useful “down-to-Earth” developments that can utilize and commercialized to benefit manufacturing and our populace at large.  These are enumerated in this publication.  Several distinct areas within the magazine highlighting papers and studies may be seen as follows:

  • Technology Focus: Mechanical  Components
  • Manufacturing & Prototyping
  • Materials & Coatings
  • Electronics/Components
  • Physical Sciences
  • Patents of Note
  • New For Design Engineers

As you can see, each of these areas concentrates upon differing subjects, all relating to engineering and product design.

Let me now mention several publications and papers coming from the Volume 38, Number 8 edition.  This will give you some feel for the investigative work coming from the NASA research centers across our country.  These are in the August 2014 magazine.

  • “Extreme Low Frequency Acoustic Measurement System”, Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
  • “Piezoelectric Actuated Valve for Operation in Extreme Conditions”, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.
  • “Compact Active Vibration Control System”, Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
  • “Rotary Series Elastic Actuator”, L.B.J Space Center, Houston, Texas.
  • “HALT Technique to Predict the Reliability of Solder Joints in a Shorter Duration”, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

I feel one the great failure of our federal government is the abdication of manned-space programs.  WE REALLY SCREWED UP on this one.  If you have read any of my previous posting on this subject you will understand my complete and utter amazement relative to that decision by the Executive and Legislative branches of our government.  This, to some extent, underscores the deplorable lack of vision existing at the highest levels.   We have decided to let the Russians get us up and back.  Very bad decision on our part.  Now, it is important to note that NASA is far from being dormant-NASA is working.

Let’s take a look at the various NASA locations and the areas of research they are undertaking.

  • Ames Research Center:  Technological Strengths: Information Technology, Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Aerospace Operations Systems, Rotorcraft, Thermal Protection Systems.
  • Armstrong Flight Research Center: Technological Strengths: Aerodynamics, Aeronautics Flight Testing, Aeropropulsion, Flight Systems, Thermal Testing Integrated Systems Test and Validation.
  • Glenn Research Center: Technological Strengths: Aeropropulsion, Communications, Energy Technology, High-Temperature Materials Research.
  • Goddard Space Flight Center: Technological Strengths:  Earth and Planetary Science Missions, LIDAR, Cryogenic Systems, Tracking, Telemetry, Remote Sensing, Command.
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Technological Strengths: Near/Deep-Space Mission Engineering, Microspacecraft, Space Communications, Information Systems, Remote Sensing, Robotics.
  • Johnson Space Center:  Technological Strengths: Artificial Intelligence and Human Computer Interface, Life Sciences, Human Space Flight Operations, Avionics, Sensors, Communication.
  • Kennedy Space Center: Technological Strengths: Fluids and Fluid Systems, Materials Evaluation, Process Engineering Command, Control, and Monitor Systems, Range Systems, Environmental Engineering and Management.
  • Langley Research Center:  Technological Strengths: Aerodynamics, Flight Systems, Materials, Structures, Sensors, Measurements, Information Sciences.
  • Marshall Space Flight Center: Technological Strengths: Materials, Manufacturing, Nondestructive Evaluations, Biotechnology, Space Propulsion, Controls and Dynamics, Structures, Microgravity Processing.
  • Stennis Space Center: Technological Strengths: Propulsion Systems, Test/Monitoring, Remote Sensing, Nonintrusive Instrumentation.
  • NASA Headquarters: Technological Strengths: NASA Planning and Management.

I can strongly recommend to you the “Tech Brief” publication.  It’s free.  You may find further investigation into the areas of research can benefit you and your company.  Take a look.

As always, I welcome your comments.  Many thanks.

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