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Three Reasons Why New Businesses Fail

The Business Briefs series of articles takes you through the basics of developing and presenting a design idea, obtaining funding, protecting and licensing your intellectual property, and getting your ideas to market. This month, learn how to avoid the most common pitfalls that cause a startup business to fail.

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Reduce Your Product Launch Time With "Lean" Principles

The Business Briefs series of articles takes you through the basics of developing and presenting a design idea, obtaining funding, protecting and licensing your intellectual property, and getting your ideas to market. This month, learn how Lean Product Development and Marketing can help you avoid costly mistakes when launching your product.

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The Difference and Distance Between Invention and a Business

This issue begins a series of four articles that will focus on converting your invention into a revenue-generating business, the critical information you need to gather to get started, and how to put together the two initial documents to gather funding to start your business: financial projections and your investor pitch.

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An Operational Guide to Bringing Your Invention to Market

The last of a four-part series on converting your invention into a revenue-generating business, this month’s article describes, from an operational viewpoint, the critical steps that an inventor needs to understand to raise investment money and convert their invention into a viable business.

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Relative-Motion Sensors and Actuators for Two Optical Tables

Relative motions can be suppressed or imposed on demand. Optoelectronic sensors and magnetic actuators have been developed as parts of a system for controlling the relative position and attitude of two massive optical tables that float on separate standard air suspensions that attenuate ground vibrations. In the specific application for which these sensors and actuators were developed, one of the optical tables holds an optical system that mimics distant stars, while the other optical table holds a test article that simulates a spaceborne stellar interferometer that would be used to observe the stars.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Improved Position Sensor for Feedback Control of Levitation

In this application, an incandescent light bulb is preferable to a laser. An improved optoelectronic apparatus has been developed to provide the position feedback needed for controlling the levitation subsystem of a containerless processing system. As explained below, the advantage of this apparatus over prior optoelectronic apparatuses that have served this purpose stems from the use of an incandescent lamp, instead of a laser, to illuminate the levitated object.

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Diffusion-Cooled Tantalum Hot-Electron Bolometer Mixers

Lower TC s should translate to lower noise and lower required local-oscillator power. A batch of experimental diffusion-cooled hot-electron bolometers (HEBs), suitable for use as mixers having input frequencies in the terahertz range and output frequencies up to about a gigahertz, exploit the superconducting/normal-conducting transition in a thin strip of tantalum. The design and operation of these HEB mixers are based on mostly the same principles as those of a prior HEB mixer that exploited the superconducting/ normal-conducting transition in a thin strip of niobium and that was described in “Diffusion-Cooled Hot-Electron Bolometer Mixer” (NPO-19719), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 21, No. 1 (January 1997), page 12a.

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