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Dr. Murzy Jhabvala, Chief Engineer of the Instrument Systems and Technology Division

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD Dr. Murzy JhabvalaVisible light is only one narrow band of the electromagnetic spectrum, and doesn't always tell scientists what they need to know. Infrared, which is outside the range of human eyesight, has for years been used to delve out mysteries of distant stars or to allow users to see in the dark. NASA scientists have now improved the Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector (QWIP) array infrared technology to gain more detail than ever before. NASA engineer Dr. Murzy Jhabvala led the project.

Posted in: Who's Who

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30 Years of Test & Measurement

In celebration of the 30th Anniversary of NASA Tech Briefs, our features in 2006 highlight a different technology category each month, tracing the past 30 years of the technology, and continuing with a glimpse into the future of where the technology is headed. Along the way, we include insights from industry leaders on the past, present, and future of each technology. This month, we take a look at the past 30 years of Test & Measurement.

Posted in: Articles

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NASA Imaging Technology Used to Fight Diabetes

This photomicrograph of a sliced rat beta cell has been processed with the modified NASA imaging technology. Insulin granules are the dark black spots surrounded by the white halo area. The colored borders around the granules are labels added to identify and classify them. (NASA/Tim McClanahan)NASA image processing technology used to explore orbital images of Earth is being modified for use in diabetes research. A team from George Washington University (Washington, DC) and Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) modified the technology, which has increased the speed of the research.

Posted in: UpFront

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Technique Measures Material Properties

Applied Materials Developed for quality control and wafer metrology in the semiconductor manufacturing market, this non-destructive technology may be highly adaptable to measuring material properties such as a coating’s thickness, thermal and electrical conductivity, and material imperfections. The technology uses two overlapping lasers to measure the thickness of metal on a substrate using the metal’s known heat conductivity and reflectivity. Depending on the metal, thicknesses from 5 μm down to 100 Angstroms can be measured. The technology is sensitive to residues and extremely fine contaminants. Voids, breaks, bridges, or connections between fine metal lines can be detected. If there is a known differential in thermal conductivity between the surface metal deposition and its substrate, metal thickness can be deduced. The nominal laser spot size is 3 μm; measurements may be made to within approximately 20 μm from the edge of a work piece.

Posted in: Techs for License

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Diagnostic and Sorting Technologies

Agrotechnology & Food Innovations BV This non-invasive technology enables accurate plant quality assessments before any physiological change is perceived by the naked eye. Plants, and plant parts, can be assessed at any stage of growth. The technology is based on chlorophyll fluorescence, highly correlated to desired plant qualities. Stems, leaves, fruits, berries, and ears may be assessed — the technology is useful in the hothouse, field, or grocery store. Any plant with chlorophyll can be tested for seed vigor, germination, good growth, and freshness. Impacts from drought, herbicides, and insects are easily detectable long before becoming visible. Screening spot measurements can be done, or more general measurements performed, with an imaging detector on an area roughly 1 x 1.5 m.

Posted in: Techs for License

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Building the Financials to Get Investors Interested

In our last article, we planned out the business chronologically; that is, what we expected to happen and when we thought it would happen. Now, we need to assign costs to the steps in that series of events and roll it up into a standard financial picture that investors, members of your board, employees, and others will understand.

Posted in: Articles

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USB-3101 analog data output device

NMeasurement Computing, Norton, MA, has released the USB-3101 analog data output device that is fully compatible with USB 1.1 and 2.0 ports. The full-speed device is supported under Microsoft(r) Windows(r) operating systems and provides four channels of analog voltage output, eight digital I/O connectors, and one 32-bit event counter. Analog output ranges are ±10V and 0-10V. It is powered by the 5V USB supply from a computer, with no external power required. All I/O connections are made to the screw terminals located along each side of the device. Software support includes InstaCal installation, calibration, and test software; universal programming libraries for LabVIEW and other programming languages; SoftWIRE graphical programming system; DASYLab for data acquisition and control; and MATLAB's Data Acquisition Toolbox for control and communication.

Posted in: Products

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