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Assessing the Friction Stir Welding Process With Mathematical Modeling

A multiphysics model allows engineers to determine a weld’s thermal properties and strength. Patented in 1991, friction stir welding (FSW) has since been used widely to create strong joints in aluminum alloys. The aircraft industry has started to adapt this technology, and now the largest manufacturers, including Airbus, are studying how to cut manufacturing costs with it. First, though, they want mathematical modeling to help them fully understand the process before making massive investments in retooling their manufacturing lines.

Posted in: Software, Briefs

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Interface for Physics Simulation Engines

DSS-Prototyper is an open-source, real-time 3D virtual environment software that supports design simulation for the new Vision for Space Exploration (VSE). This is a simulation of NASA’s proposed Robotic Lunar Exploration Program, second mission (RLEP2). It simulates the Lunar Surface Access Module (LSAM), which is designed to carry up to four astronauts to the lunar surface for durations of a week or longer. This simulation (see figure) shows the virtual vehicle making approaches and landings on a variety of lunar terrains. The physics of the descent engine thrust vector, production of dust, and the dynamics of the suspension are all modeled in this set of simulations.

Posted in: Software, Briefs

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Designing Rolling-Element Bearings

Bearing Analysis Tool (BAT) is a computer program for designing rolling-element bearings for cryogenic turbomachines. BAT provides a graphical user interface (GUI) that guides the entry of data to develop mathematical models of bearings. The GUI breaks model data into logical subsets that are entered through logic-driven input screens. The software generates a three- dimensional graphical model of a bearing as the data are entered. Most data-entry errors become immediately obvious in the graphical model. BAT provides for storage of all the data on a shaft/bearing system, enabling the creation of a library of proven designs. Data from the library can be transferred to subsequent projects by use of simple cut-and-paste routines.

Posted in: Software, Briefs, TSP

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NASA Briefs

Johnson Space Center (Houston, TX) has invented photocatalytic/ magnetic composite particles as an improved method of photocatalysis for removing chemical and biological pollutants from air and water. Read more here.

Posted in: Blog

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Tech Needs of the Week

A company seeks an aerosol that can be easily launched using a pulsed jet fogger, has reflectivity or other optical properties, and is safe for human cutaneous and pulmonary contact. Visually reflective aerosols are sought with emitted or reflected light that can be manipulated using laser or other optical sources. Click here for more info.

Posted in: Blog

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Small Strength



Posted in: Blog

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Current Attractions

Each month, NTB highlights tech briefs related to a particular area of technology in a special section called Technology Focus. Here are some of the technologies featured in the October issue focus on Sensors. Wirelessly Interrogated Position or Displacement Sensors Researchers at NASA's Langley Research Center have developed two simple position or displacement sensors based on inductance-capacitance resonant circuits. The sensors are both powered and interrogated wirelessly, and without making contact with other objects. Their mode of operation doesn't depend on maintenance of environmental conditions, so they can be used in harsh conditions such as cryogenic temperatures and radioactivity. (Page 20)

Posted in: Blog

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