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System Tests Flight Control of Dream Chaser Spacecraft

DynoLAB™ data acquisition and control system SAKOR Technologies Okemos, MI 517-332-7256 www.sakor.com SAKOR Technologies has supplied a test system to Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) to be used to test the atmospheric flight control system for the Dream Chaser® spacecraft. Dream Chaser is a lifting-body, reusable, crewed or uncrewed vehicle. It is owned and operated by Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), and is designed as a space utility vehicle for low-Earth orbit.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Articles

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High-Performance Data Acquisition on USB

A common belief among engineers is that in order to get the best performance, a PC-based data acquisition module must plug into the PCI bus. Properly implemented, however, a data acquisition module can use the PC’s USB port to pump data into a PC as fast as PCI-based cards. The keys to achieving this performance are a hardware USB interface on the module, and optimized driver software for the host system.

Posted in: Articles

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Product of the Month: July 2015

ZF Electronics Corp., Pleasant Prairie, WI, announced CHERRY energy-harvesting products that include an energy harvesting generator, as well as a snap-action micro-switch and rocker switch. The energy-harvesting generator is able to generate its own power, store the power in a chip, and transmit a signal via RF technology without the use of wires or batteries. The generator can be housed in a standard CHERRY switch product or a custom assembly. The AFIS wireless snap switch and momentary rocker switch provide data transfer via RF technology, eliminating the need for complex wire assemblies, and enabling use in inaccessible locations. The required energy is generated by mechanical actuation of the switch, eliminating the need for batteries. Flexible pairing allows operation of several switches with one receiver and vice-versa, and the switch “Unique ID” provides clear identification while operating several switches at once. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/55591-120

Posted in: Products

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NASA Releases Global Climate Change Projections

NASA has released data showing how temperature and rainfall patterns worldwide may change through the year 2100 because of growing concentrations of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere. The data shows projected changes worldwide on a regional level in response to different scenarios of increasing carbon dioxide simulated by 21 climate models.

Posted in: UpFront

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RoboSimian Drives, Walks, and Drills

The ape-like RoboSimian robot, developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, took fifth place in the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Finals. RoboSimian squared off against 22 other robots in the international robotics competition, which promoted the development of robots that could respond to disaster scenarios too dangerous for humans.

Posted in: UpFront

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Image Processing Software Environment (QuIP)

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California The QuIP interpreter is a software environment for QUick Image Processing that features an interactive scripting language designed to facilitate use by non-expert users through features such as context-sensitive automatic response completion. The package includes a number of script packages that implement high-level functions such as analysis of eye images for human gaze tracking, medium-level functions such as feature tracking, and low-level functions such as image filtering. The environment also includes facilities for displaying images onscreen, drawing and overlaying graphics, and constructing graphical user interfaces using the scripting language. QuIP can be acquired at: http://scanpath.arc.nasa.gov/quip/.

Posted in: Briefs

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CubeSat-Compatible, High-Resolution, Thermal Infrared Imager

This imager will consolidate many of the best features in a single technology. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland A small, adaptable, and stable thermal imaging system was developed that can be flown on an aircraft, deployed on the International Space Station as an attached payload, launched on a ride-share as an entirely self-contained 3U CubeSat, flown on a small satellite, or be a co-manifested satellite instrument. When the instrument design is proven, multiple copies of it could be assembled and aligned into an instrument array to enable large-swath thermal imaging from space, all to provide more detailed spatial and temporal data for biomass burning and land surface temperature studies than has heretofore been available from orbit. The instrument has an Earth-observing expected noise equivalent differential temperature (NEDT)

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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