information technology and software
Estimating a Remaining Useful Life in Batteries
This technology provides a method having a training (off-line) mode and a subsequent run-time (on-line) mode for estimating a remaining useful life (RUL) of an object that is in active use for at least part of the time (an active object). In the training mode, the system collects training data, including operating conditions of the object, measurements from sensors monitoring the system, and the ground truth indicating the true extent of damage. The system extracts or identifies precursors of failure from the sensor data by analyzing their correlation to the ground truth. The feature domain size is optionally reduced by eliminating one or more features that are highly correlated to other features, such that their exclusion does not diminish information about damage progression in the system. The invention decomposes the prognostic problem into two separate regression problems: the feature-to-damage mapping and the operational conditions-to-damage rate mapping. The regressions can be carried out using methods that employ either physics-based models, data-driven techniques, or a hybrid combination thereof. Regression algorithms like Gaussian Process Regression (GPR), Relevance Vector Machine (RVM), etc., can be used to solve each of these mapping subtasks. The decomposition allows the technique to explicitly account for accumulated damage up to now and anticipated future damage progression.
Strobing to Mitigate Vibration for Display Legibility
The dominant frequency of the vibration that requires mitigation can be known in advance, measured in real time, or predicted with simulation algorithms. That frequency (or a lower frequency multiplier) is then used to drive the strobing rate of the illumination source. For example, if the vibration frequency is 20 Hz, one could employ a strobe rate of 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, or 20 Hz, depending on which rate the operator finds the least intrusive. The strobed illumination source can be internal or external to the display. Perceptual psychologists have long understood that strobed illumination can freeze moving objects in the visual field. This effect can be used for artistic effect or for technical applications. The present innovation is instead applicable for environments in which the human observer rather than just the viewed object undergoes vibration. Such environments include space, air, land, and sea vehicles, or on foot (e.g., walking or running on the ground or treadmills). The technology itself can be integrated into handheld and fixed display panels, head-mounted displays, and cabin illumination for viewing printed materials.
materials and coatings
High-Performance Polyimide Powder Coatings
Powder coatings are used throughout industry to coat a myriad of metallic objects. This method of coating has gained popularity because it conserves materials and eliminates volatile organic compounds. Resins traditionally chosen for powder coatings have low melting points that enable them to melt and flow into a smooth coating before being cured to a durable surface. High-performance resins, such as Teflon, nylon, and polyimide, have not been found suitable for use in powder coatings because of their high melting points. However, KSC's newly developed polyamic acid resins with low melting points can be used in a powder coating. These polyamic acid resins, when sprayed onto metal surfaces, can be cured in conventional powder coating ovens to deliver high-performance polyimide powder coatings. The polyimide powder coatings offer superior heat and electrical stability as well as superior chemical resistance over other types of powder coatings.
mechanical and fluid systems
These patented gear bearings provide superior speed reduction in a small package. They form rolling friction systems that function both as gears and bearings and are compatible with most gear types, including spur, helical, elliptical, and bevel gears. These self-synchronized components can be in the form of planets, sun, rings, racks, and segments thereof. The design reduces micro chatter and eliminates rotational wobble to create smooth and precise control. It offers tighter mesh, more even gear loading, and reduced friction and wear. Gear bearings eliminate separate bearings, inner races, and carriers, as well as intermediate members between gears and bearings. Load paths go directly from one gear bearing component to another and then to ground. By incorporating helical gear teeth forms (including herringbone), gear bearings provide outstanding thrust bearing performance. They also provide unprecedented high- and low-speed reduction through the incorporation of phase tuning. Phase tuning allows differentiation in the number of teeth that must be engaged govbetween input and output rings in a planetary gearset, enabling successful reduction ratios of 2:1 to 2,000:1. They provide smooth and accurate control with rifle-true anti-backlash. This produces a planetary transmission with zero backlash. The gear bearing technology is based on two key concepts: the roller gear bearing and the phase-shifted gear bearing. All designs are capable of efficiently carrying large thrust loads. Existing gear systems have drawbacks including weak structures, large size, and poor reliability, as well as high cost for some types (e.g., harmon-ic drives). Gear bearings solve these problems with simpler construction, fewer parts, and superior strength. By selecting the appropriate manufacturing method and materials, gear bearings can be tailored to benefit any application, from toys to aircraft.
materials and coatings
Smart Coating for Corrosion Detection and Protection
The smart coating is based on the controlled release of corrosion inhibitors and indicators from specially formulated microcapsules and particles pioneered by NASA (patent allowed). The coating detects corrosion in its early stages, inhibits it, and/or repairs the coating. The onset of corrosion triggers the release of compounds that indicate and inhibit corrosion. Mechanical damage to the coating triggers the release of film-forming compounds to repair the damage. In practice, the corrosion-responsive microcapsules detect the chemical changes that occur when corrosion begins and respond by releasing their contents. A corrosion indicator will identify the affected region with a color change, and healing agents and corrosion inhibitors help mitigate the corrosion. The microcapsules can be tailored for incorporation into different coating systems. This multifunctional coating system will reduce maintenance cost and improve safety by preventing catastrophic corrosion failures. The coating can reduce infrastructure life cycle costs by extending the life of corrosion-susceptible structures and components, reduce inspection times of structures, and reduce the level of repair for corrosion-affected areas.