Special Coverage

Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines
Vibration Tables Shake Up Aerospace and Car Testing
Supercomputer Cooling System Uses Refrigerant to Replace Water
Computer Chips Calculate and Store in an Integrated Unit
Electron-to-Photon Communication for Quantum Computing

Method Improves Accuracy of Imaging Data

Research by the University of Chicago provides scientists looking at single molecules or into deep space a more accurate way to analyze imaging data captured by microscopes, telescopes, and other devices. The method, known as single-pixel interior filling function (SPIFF), detects and corrects systematic errors in data and image analysis used in many areas of science and engineering.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors, Imaging and visualization, Data management, Research and development
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Automation System Manages Critical Gas Distribution Process

Part of the TDK group of companies, Headway Technologies (Milpitas, CA) is a semiconductor manufacturer of memory and drive head technologies, and designs and manufactures recording heads for high-performance hard disk drives.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors, Semiconductor devices, Automation, Gases
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LTAS Source Slaving Selector (LS3) Analyzer

The objective of the Launch Trajectory Acquisition System (LTAS) Source Slaving Selector (LS3) Analyzer application is to convert recorded data files — which are generated by the LTAS Source Slaving Selector (LS3) application in binary format — to human-readable text files as per a variety of options set by the user via a graphical user interface (GUI).

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Trajectory control, Displays, Data management
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Ad Hoc Selection of Voice Over Internet Streams

This flexible system is applicable to a wide variety of systems, including office communications and telemedicine.

NASA seeks interested parties to license the Ad Hoc Selection for Voice Over Internet (VoIP) Streams technology developed by engineers at Johnson Space Center. This technology features the ability to select specific audio streams from one or more sources and then convert them into a multicast to the user's audio player. This selection ability benefits the user by allowing a wide range of information and/or data to be monitored from a remote location using existing network technologies in near real time. For example, a user with a personal computer equipped with special-purpose audio player software first needs to launch the program and provide an identification and a password. Once both access control checks are completed, the audio software graphic is displayed, including audio stream and volume control buttons. The user can now select up to 21 streams to monitor simultaneously.

Posted in: Briefs, Communications, Communication protocols, Computer software and hardware, Internet, Telecommunications systems
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Products of Tomorrow: May 2017

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that innovation.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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Deep-Space Positioning System

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has developed a compact, low-power, self-contained instrument that provides the equivalent of GPS throughout the solar system without the aid of an artificially provided infrastructure. The state-of-the-art X-ray navigation instrument is also able to determine the position of a spacecraft anywhere in the solar system, but it cannot provide this information relative to the Earth, the Sun, or any other remote target body (the equivalent of GPS providing a user's position relative to a vehicle, a second user, or any other moving target). JPL's uniquely capable deep-space positioning system determines the position and the target-relative position of a spacecraft anywhere in the solar system using optical navigation, which makes it ideally suited for any spacecraft requiring deep-space navigation services.

Posted in: Briefs, Communications, Navigation and guidance systems, Radiation, Spacecraft
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WX Subsystem Weather Station

This instrument can be used by any organization that needs to monitor weather or the effects of weather.

The WX Subsystem Weather Station was designed for use as part of the Weather Instrumentation (WX) Subsystem for the Constellation Program (CxP) to be implemented in the Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center. The weather stations need to be rugged, robust, and reliable. Although this equipment is not to be located in hazardous zones, it is still required to withstand harsh environmental conditions typical of the launch environment. Health management considerations are incorporated in the design so the user can be notified remotely when sensors, power supplies, dataloggers, etc. require service or maintenance.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Weather and climate, Durability, Reliability, Test equipment and instrumentation
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Novel Threading Enables New Approach to Golf Clubs

Fastener threading technology used on shuttle engines reduces vibration in golf clubs.

Spinoff is NASA's annual publication featuring successfully commercialized NASA technology. This commercialization has contributed to the development of products and services in the fields of health and medicine, consumer goods, transportation, public safety, computer technology, and environmental resources.

Posted in: Articles, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Collaboration and partnering, Vibration, Fasteners
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Representation and Analysis of System Behavior Using Monotonic Signals

NASA has developed a new method for analyzing complex system behavior that also may be viewed as a type of data visualization and decision support tool. Large complex control systems may have thousands or even millions of sensors, each providing some type of signal that ultimately integrates into a larger organization. For each signal, behavior is represented by a sequence of pairs, with each pair containing a change value (monotonic) and a time interval length over which each of these changes occurs. Signal amplitudes and first derivatives serve as markers for these time intervals. This approach permits a finer scale characterization of the signal(s). The novelty of this approach is in using human visual interpretation in combination with computer signal analysis to monitor the behavior of complex systems in an enhanced manner.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Finite element analysis, Electronic control systems, Imaging and visualization, Systems management
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Product of the Month: May 2017

Spectrum Instrumentation Corp., Hackensack, NJ, introduced the DN6.44x, a range of 12 highspeed, 14- and 16-bit LXI-based digitizers with up to 24 fully synchronized channels. The 16-bit ADC models offer sampling rates of either 130 MS/s or 250 MS/s, and the 14-bit units feature sampling rates of 500 MS/s. The units are suitable for applications where arrays of receivers, sensors, detectors, rectifiers, antennas, and other electronic devices are to be used and tested. Each channel is equipped with its own front-end amplifier that features six input ranges (from ±200 mV to ±10 V full scale), switchable input impedance (50 Ω and 1 MΩ), and programmable positive input offset for unipolar signals. Analog bandwidth is as high as 250 MHz (for 500 MS/s models), enabling the units to capture electronic signals in the DC to 200-MHz frequency range. The instruments are equipped with onboard acquisition memory of 512 MSamples per channel, and feature an industrial chassis with integrated cooling, a replaceable dust filter, and low-noise power supplies.

Posted in: Products, Electronics & Computers
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