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Lightweight Internal Device to Measure Tension in Hollow- Braided Cordage
System, Apparatus, and Method for Pedal Control
Dust Tolerant Connectors
Foldable and Deployable Power Collection System
Iodine-Compatible Hall Effect Thruster
Development of a Novel Electrospinning System with Automated Positioning and Control Software
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Connectors Provide Signal Reliability for Mars Science Laboratory

Compact PCI (cPCI) ConnectorsHypertronics CorporationHudson, MA978-568-0451www.hypertronics.com Hypertronics’ space-grade Compact PCI (cPCI) connectors were selected by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for use on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), which is scheduled to launch in 2009. Incorporating the Hypertac® “Basket of Wires” contact technology, the connectors will be instrumental in all phases of the mission including lift-off, navigation, entry, descent, landing, roaming, and geological survey. Behind these embedded systems are single-board computers connected together through common back planes that handle all control functions and analysis for the MSL rover. All systems and components must exceed the long and difficult journey to Mars, as well as the extreme surface operation of one Martian year, equal to two Earth years.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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Small CO2 Sensors Operate at Lower Temperature

Lower operating temperature translates to lower power demand. Solid-electrolyte-based amperometric sensors for measuring concentrations of CO2 in air are being developed for use in detection of fires, environmental monitoring, and other applications where liquid-based electrochemical cells are problematic. These sensors are small (sizes of the order of a millimeter), are robust, are amenable to batch fabrication at relatively low cost, and exhibit short response times (seconds) and wide detection ranges.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Physical Sciences

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Wireless Video Surveillance System Secures Aircraft

AgileMesh/Firetide surveillance systemAgileMeshDallas, TX972-231-2122www.agilemesh.comNASA Dryden Flight Research Center now protects several of its highly specialized research aircraft at its satellite facility with a wireless video surveillance system. The system is a product of AgileMesh, a provider of rapidly deployable video surveillance, and Firetide, a developer of wireless mesh and access networks. The AgileMesh/Firetide system secures a recently leased hangar that houses NASA’s SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) and DC- 8 Airborne Laboratory aircraft, both of which are unique to the nation.The rapidly deployable, solar-powered, and high-resolution wireless system transmits evidence-grade video from the perimeter of the hangar to the on-site security operations center. The video is monitored in real time, allowing personnel patrolling the perimeter to communicate with the operations center and respond to incidents within seconds. Using embedded Firetide mesh technology, the AgileMesh units wirelessly transmit video signals to a head-end node located in the security operations center. The video is stored for 30 days for incident review and investigation. The AgileMesh units were secured to the ground using 20- gallon water containers as anchors, since winds can reach 60 miles per hour in the high desert. The research center is currently deploying a fixed video surveillance system in and around the hangar, and once that system is in place, the AgileMesh units will be used for securing crash scene investigations and during special events such as nearby air shows. For Free Info

Posted in: Application Briefs

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James Webb Telescope Components Pass Tests

Development models for components of the Mid-Infrared Instrument on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) passed a series of temperature and vibration tests that show they can survive the ride to space. Now, engineers have begun building parts of the actual instrument.

Posted in: UpFront

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Effects of Temperature on Polymer/Carbon Chemical Sensors

Experiments were conducted on the effects of temperature, polymer molecular weight, and carbon loading on the electrical resistances of polymer/carbon-black composite films. The experiment were performed in a continuing effort to develop such films as part of the JPL Electronic Nose (ENose), that would be used to detect, identify, and quantify parts-per-million (ppm) concentration levels of airborne chemicals in the space shuttle/space station environments. The polymers used in this study were three formulations of poly(ethylene oxide) [PEO] that had molecular weights of 20 kilodaltons, 600 kilodaltons, and 1 megadalton, respectively.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences

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ML7 BGS sensors

Pepperl+Fuchs, Twinsburg, OH, has introduced the ML7 Background Suppression (BGS) photoelectric sensors that feature a 31 x 11 x 23 mm housing, and a sensing range of up to 350 mm. Background suppression optimizes the detection of variously colored targets without the need for reflectors or thru-beam sensing arrangements. Objects in the background, even directly behind the target, are ignored. The sensors feature automatic cross-talk protection that enables multiple sensors to be mounted side-by-side with no interference. LED indicators provide power and output status, as well as diagnostic information. The sensors also feature 4-in-1™ output technology that automatically detects the connected load, and sinks or sources as needed. The ML7 BGS sensors have an adjustable sensing range that can be customized. Applications include converting, material handling, packaging, and assembly operations that require long sensing ranges. For Free Info

Posted in: Products

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Tele-Supervised Adaptive Ocean Sensor Fleet

A software architecture and system deploys robotic boats to study ocean surface and subsurface phenomena such as coastal pollutants, oil spills, and hurricanes. The Tele-supervised Adaptive Ocean Sensor Fleet (TAOSF) is a multi-robot science exploration architecture and system that uses a group of robotic boats (the Ocean-Atmosphere Sensor Integration System, or OASIS) to enable in-situ study of ocean surface and subsurface characteristics and the dynamics of such ocean phenomena as coastal pollutants, oil spills, hurricanes, or harmful algal blooms (HABs). The OASIS boats are extended-deployment, autonomous ocean surface vehicles. The TAOSF architecture provides an integrated approach to multi-vehicle coordination and sliding human-vehicle autonomy.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Physical Sciences

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