Researchers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) have developed an automated method for producing intricate fabric-based circuits and antennas. The method enables the fabrication of complex single- or multilayer circuit patterns and will contribute to a new generation of mobile communication capabilities. Wearable electronics, or “e-textiles,” currently operate in a number of niche areas, such as vests for firefighters and soldiers and shirts for monitoring patients’ vital signs. To date, body-worn antennas encounter problems with comfort, degradation through flexure, and geometrical distortion. Unlike previous attempts, the JSC technology yields dimensionally stable conductive elements that have predictable and stable impedance characteristics and high surface conductivity, allowing operation at radio frequencies. The layout is compatible with conventional computer-aided design methods used to fabricate printed antennas. JSC has applied for patent protection for this technology.
Johnson Space Center has applied for patent protection for this technology.
This technology is being made available through JSC’s Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office, which seeks to transfer technology into and out of NASA to benefit the space program and U.S. industry. NASA invites companies to consider licensing this technology for commercial applications.
If you would like more information about this technology or about NASA’s technology transfer program, please contact:Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office