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Energy Storage Technology to Power the Future in Space Exploration

By Carolyn Mercer, NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH NASA is focused on building a human outpost on the lunar surface. To reach this goal, there is a critical need to develop energy storage technologies to power the future lunar outpost. In particular, technology is required for outpost power generation for the lunar lander that will deliver outpost hardware, and for advanced extravehicular activity (EVA) suits. In every case, human-safe, reliable operation and low mass are critical to ensure the viability of extended stays on the lunar surface while minimizing the launch mass and the mass carried by astronauts and lunar rovers.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs

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ATEasy 7.0

Geotest - Marvin Test Systems, Irvine, CA, has introduced ATEasy 7.0, the latest version of its application development framework for functional test, automated test equipment (ATE), data acquisition, process control, and instrumentation systems. It provides the tools to develop, deploy, and maintain software components including instrument drivers, test programs, user interfaces, and a customizable test executive. Enhancements include a new window for debugging a multi-threaded application, a binary and text format option that saves in both file formats, new math functions, and a new Library Wizard that creates a Library DLL project. The platform enables users to create re-usable components modeled after real-world test systems. The Test Executive includes the tools necessary to execute, log, and debug tests. Additional modules are included that provide test sequencing and fault analysis. For Free Info .

Posted in: Products

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NASA Challenges Students to Design a Supersonic Airliner

A new NASA competition challenges high school and college students to research and design a small, supersonic airliner that could enter commercial service in the next decade. During the 2008-2009 academic year, individuals and teams of high school students will prepare well-documented short papers describing what needs to be accomplished to make supersonic flight available to commercial passengers by 2020. Advanced-curriculum high school students and college students will prepare longer papers that depict a highly efficient, environmentally friendly commercial aircraft that would emit only low sonic booms, and be ready for initial service in 2020.

Posted in: UpFront

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NASA and Ocean Tomo Establish Groundbreaking Partnership to Commercialize NASA Technologies

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (Greenbelt, MD) and Ocean Tomo Federal Services, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ocean Tomo, LLC (Chicago, IL), announced a partnership to commercialize NASA-funded technologies. The partnership will focus on maximizing the value of NASA Goddard inventions by facilitating transfer of over 40 technologies to the private sector for commercial application. “A major component of NASA Goddard’s Innovative Partnerships Program’s mission is to transfer NASA technology to the commercial marketplace,” said Nona Cheeks, Chief of NASA Goddard’s IPP Office, which facilitated the licensing arrangement. “We look forward to working with Ocean Tomo to create greater awareness of the technological innovations available at NASA Goddard.” Ocean Tomo plans to offer the right to license NASA’s technologies through its IP transaction platforms, including Live Public Auction, Private Brokerage, and Patent/Bid-Ask™ as well as IPX International™. “While both NASA and Ocean Tomo stand to benefit from the agreement, the ultimate beneficiary,” said Cheeks, “is the taxpayer. This groundbreaking collaboration between Goddard and Ocean Tomo accelerates the commercialization of NASA technologies into new and advanced products that help improve quality of life,” she added. For more information, contact Darryl Mitchell, technology transfer manager in Goddard’s IPP Office, at 301- 286-5169, Darryl.R.Mitchell@nasa.gov; or Connie Chang at 240-482-8204, cchang@oceantomo.com.

Posted in: UpFront

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Robert W. Moorehead, Director of Space Flight Systems, John H. Glenn Research Center

Robert W. Moorehead served as NASA’s chief investigator for the Space Shuttle Challenger accident in 1986 and managed the Space Station Freedom program from 1989 to 1993. He has also held the title of NASA’s Chief Engineer, developing system architectures for the Space Shuttle’s replacement. He is currently Director of Space Flight Systems at the John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

Posted in: Who's Who

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Four-Pass Coupler for Laser-Diode-Pumped Solid-State Laser

A smaller laser slab can be made to perform comparably to a larger one. A four-pass optical coupler affords increased (in comparison with related prior two-pass optical couplers) utilization of light generated by a laser diode in side pumping of a solid-state laser slab. The original application for which this coupler was conceived involves a neodymium- doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) crystal slab, which, when pumped by a row of laser diodes at a wavelength of 809 nm, lases at a wavelength of 1,064 nm.

Posted in: Photonics, Briefs, TSP

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Varying the Divergence of Multiple Parallel Laser Beams

Lenses mode-matched to the laser beams would be moved axially within an afocal optical subassembly. A provision for controlled variation of the divergence of a laser beam or of multiple parallel laser beams has been incorporated into the design of a conceptual free-space optical-communication station from which the transmitted laser beam(s) would be launched via a telescope. The original purpose to be served by this provision was to enable optimization, under various atmospheric optical conditions, of the divergence of a laser beam or beams transmitted from a ground station to a spacecraft. Beyond the original purpose, the underlying design concept could be beneficial for terrestrial free-space laser communication, ranging, and scientific instrumentation applications in which there are requirements to vary the divergences of laser beams.

Posted in: Photonics, Briefs

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