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New Vitamin-A Material Reduces Scarring

To prevent scar formation within blood vessels, a team from Northwestern University has created a biodegradable material with built-in vitamin A. The soft elastic material can be used to treat injured vessels or make medical devices, such as stents and prosthetic vascular grafts.

Posted in: News

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Microelectronics Package for Extreme Environments

The MSK Products Division of Anaren, Inc. is pushing the boundaries of hybrid microelectronic packaging. They have designed, built, and tested a high-temperature, co-fired ceramic (HTCC) electronics package for use in oil and gas drilling, operating over two miles underground. This has proved MSK's ability to push the boundaries for developing microelectronics packages to survive in difficult high-temperature environments. This capability is extremely valuable for oil and gas exploration as well as for high-temperature aerospace applications.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Electronics

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Will "Antipodes" take off?

This week's Question: Canadian industrial designer Charles Bombardier has developed an aircraft concept that, in theory, could send passengers from London to New York in 11 minutes. The "Antipode" would have a scramjet engine and wings fitted with rocket boosters, propelling the aircraft to 40,000 feet and enabling the aircraft to reach Mach 5. To bring the concept to reality, engineers are challenged with addressing sonic booms as well as the materials' resistance to high heat. A proposed aerodynamic technique called long penetration mode (LPM), however, would use a nozzle on the aircraft's nose to blow out air and cool down the surface temperature, while also muffling the noise made from breaking the sound barrier. The design is decades away, according to the researchers. What do you think? Will "Antipodes" take off?

Posted in: Question of the Week

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Development of a Multi-User Modem for Space Telecommunications

This technology has applications in the cellphone industry. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Efficient support of planetary surface missions typically requires an orbiting asset that acts as a relay point to/from Earth. Orbital relay passes are normally 5 to 15 minutes in duration over any specific landed site. When multiple landed assets are co-located or near-located in the same coverage circle of a single relay orbiter, their telecom relay support opportunities will overlap. This will be the case with cooperative lander missions, a lander-rover operations pair, distributed intelligent lander missions, and future deployment of multiple equipment components for support of complex sample return or manned operations. In these situations, the capability of simultaneous support to multiple landers is very valuable for mission performance and operations flexibility. This technology work enables simultaneous telecom support to multiple landers (Mars, Titan, Europa), and provides single-radio, multi-mode support to Entry, Descent & Landing (EDL) and emergency operations (e.g., demodulation + Open Loop Recording).

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Wire Bonding to Pads in Tilted Planes

This technique can be used in industries where devices need to be made smaller and lighter, such as medical, aerospace, automotive, and military. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Scientific imaging arrays need to have their individual imaging elements arranged in a close-spaced mosaic. The typical single imaging element is a silicon chip mounted on a larger support frame. This excess area of the support frame takes away valuable imaging space from the mosaic. This appears as a grid of black (no data) in the overall mosaic image. Making the support frame smaller makes the amount of lost data smaller, and the imaging elements can be spaced more closely together. Eliminating the support frame altogether brings the imaging elements even closer. This is referred to as four-side buttable.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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cFE/CFS Evolution for Multicore Platforms

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland This effort ports the Core Flight Executive (cFE)/Core Flight System (CFS) flight software architecture to multicore processor platforms, and provides mission developers with a common, flightready, flexible software environment that supports single, multi-processor, and multicore systems. Currently the cFE/CFS only supports single-core processors.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Advanced Spacecraft Navigation and Timing Using Celestial Gamma-Ray Sources

This technology can decrease the overall operations cost of exploration missions by increasing the onboard navigation and guidance capabilities. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland The Advanced Spacecraft Navigation and Timing using Celestial Gamma-Ray Sources concept is a novel relative navigation technology for deep-space exploration using measurements of celestial gamma-ray sources. This new Gamma-ray source Localization-Induced Navigation and Timing (GLINT) method incorporates existing designs of autonomous navigation technologies and merges these with the developing science of high-energy sensor components. This new enabling technology for interplanetary self-navigation could provide important mission enhancements to planned operational and discovery missions. It has the potential to decrease the overall operations cost of exploration missions by increasing the onboard navigation and guidance capabilities, and reducing the risk of uncertainty by providing these vehicles the freedom to explore those areas that are most interesting.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Sensors

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