Special Coverage

Lightweight, Flexible Thermal Protection System for Fire Protection
High-Precision Electric Gate for Time-of-Flight Ion Mass Spectrometers
Polyimide Wire Insulation Repair System
Distributed Propulsion Concepts and Superparamagnetic Energy Harvesting Hummingbird Engine
Wet Active Chevron Nozzle for Controllable Jet Noise Reduction
Magnetic Relief Valve
Active Aircraft Pylon Noise Control System
Unmanned Aerial Systems Traffic Management

Apparatus Measures Thermal Conductance Through a Thin Sample From Cryogenic to Room Temperature

An apparatus allows the measurement of the thermal conductance across a thin sample clamped between metal plates, including thermal boundary resistances. It allows in-situ variation of the clamping force from zero to 30 lb (133.4 N), and variation of the sample temperature between 40 and 300 K. It has a special design feature that minimizes the effect of thermal radiation on this measurement.

Posted in: Briefs, Test & Measurement


Simple Optoelectronic Feedback in Microwave Oscillators

Phase and frequency stability would be enhanced greatly. A proposed method of stabilizing microwave and millimeter-wave oscillators calls for the use of feedback in optoelectronic delay lines characterized by high values of the resonance quality factor (Q). The method would extend the applicability of optoelectronic feedback beyond the previously reported class of optoelectronic oscillators that comprise two-port electronic amplifiers in closed loops with high-Q feedback circuits.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers


Multifunction, High-Throughput, Simultaneous USB Data Acquisition Module

Data Translation, Marlboro, MA, has introduced the DT9816-S multifunction, high-throughput, simultaneous USB data acquisition module that allows users to sample six analog input channels independently at up to 800 kHz per channel.

Posted in: Products


Integrated Spacesuit Audio System Enhances Speech Quality and Reduces Noise

This technology can also be adapted for teleconferencing, telemedicine, wireless voice communication, and other hands-free communications. A new approach has been proposed for increasing astronaut comfort and speech capture. Currently, the special design of a spacesuit forms an extreme acoustic environment making it difficult to capture clear speech without compromising comfort. The current system, called Communication-Cap-based Audio (CCA), relies on a single microphone placed close to the subject’s mouth. While this results in clear audio, it also has problems: wire fatigue, blind mating, interference with food/drink, need for custom communication caps, and not being able to adjust the microphone during extravehicular activities.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers


New NASA Process Builds Parts One Layer at a Time

Engineers at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA, have developed an environmentally friendly manufacturing process called Electron Beam Freeform Fabrication (EBF3). “You start with a drawing of the part you want to build, you push a button, and out comes the part,” said Karen Taminger, technology lead for the project. EBF3 works in a vacuum chamber, where an electron beam is focused on a constantly feeding source of metal, which is melted and then applied as called for by a drawing — one layer at a time — on top of a rotating surface until the part is complete.

Posted in: UpFront


Composites Software Helps in Design and Fabrication of Crew Module

FiberSIM® composites engineering software Vistagy Waltham, MA 781-250-6800 www.vistagy.com When NASA originally considered employing composites in manned spacecraft, it had to consider concerns that composites might have an unacceptable leak rate and insufficient damage tolerance. On the other hand, composites potentially offered reduced weight and lower lifecycle costs. The NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) put together a team of government and industry structures experts to gain experience in making use of new composite construction and inspection technologies specifically for manned spaceflight structures.

Posted in: Application Briefs


Small X-Band Oscillator Antennas

In some applications, these compact units could be powered by solar cells. A small, segmented microstrip patch antenna integrated with an X-band feedback oscillator on a high- permittivity substrate has been built and tested (see Figure 1). The oscillator antenna is powered by commercial solar photovoltaic cells mounted nearby or on the same substrate. This oscillator antenna is a prototype for demonstrating the feasibility of such devices as compact, low-power-consumption building blocks of advanced, lightweight, phased antenna arrays that would generate steerable beams for communication and remote-sensing applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers


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