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Development of a Turnkey Clear Air Turbulence Detection System

Turbulence is determined via three infrasonic microphones. Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia Currently, the only available means of reporting clear air turbulence (CAT) is the pilot report (PIREP), whereby a pilot experiencing turbulence reports their location and associated data. In this report, a system is proposed that would allow the detection of CAT through infrasonic emissions.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Aviation, Detectors

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Editor’s Choice

For 20 years, I’ve been interacting with engineers in all different industries as the Editorial Director of NASA Tech Briefs. I’ve talked with our readers about their work and the products they use. Many of them are CAD users, and many of them are unhappy with some aspect of their CAD software.

Posted in: UpFront, Consumer Product Manufacturing, Computer-Aided Design (CAD)

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Watching Alloys Change Could Lead to Better Metals

If you put a camera in the ice machine and watched water turn into ice, the process would look simple. But the mechanism behind liquids turning to solids is actually quite complex, and understanding it better could improve design and production of metals. A recent investigation aboard the International Space Station (ISS) involved experiments using transparent alloys to observe microstructures that form at the point the material solidifies.

Posted in: UpFront

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3D Printed Jet Engine Debuts

Researchers at Monash University in Australia have produced a 3D printed jet engine. Professor Xinhua Wu, head of the Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing (MCAM), is leading initiatives to develop 3D printing. The Centre is working to provide answers for manufacturers seeking new manufacturing processes that make components lighter and cheaper than traditional ones, but without any reduction in performance.

Posted in: UpFront, Aviation

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Product of the Month: April 2015

Onshape, Inc., Cambridge, MA, introduced Onshape, the first full-cloud 3D CAD system with built-in data collaboration and management that lets all members of a design team work together using any Web browser, phone, or tablet. Using parametric and direct modeling techniques, the CAD system and data live in the cloud and are not copied, so everyone works on the same master at all times, eliminating checkouts, file copies, and overwriting. The product also eliminates installations, license codes and servers, service packs, and add-on PDM systems. Each user works on the same version of Onshape, so teams can access the same documents simultaneously. Access is controlled by the document owner, so each user sees visual indicators when others are working within the same document. Onshape allows users to perform all CAD work — not just view and markup — from a mobile device. The mobile apps are optimized for phones and tablets, allowing flexibility to access, collaborate, and edit CAD data anytime, anywhere, on any device. Both Free and Professional plans are available, with both providing access to full functionality. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/55588-120

Posted in: Products, Computer-Aided Design (CAD)

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Lunar Cold Trap Contamination by Landing Vehicles

Software and methods are developed to assess the magnitude and distribution of lunar surface contamination caused by the engine exhaust of a landing vehicle. John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida The emerging interest in lunar mining poses a threat of contamination to pristine craters at the lunar poles, which act as cold traps for water, and may harbor other valuable minerals. Lunar Prospector type missions will be looking for volatile (molecular) compounds that may be masked by the exhaust gases from landing vehicle engines. The possible self-contamination of the landing site could negate the scientific value of the soil samples taken in the vicinity of the landing site. Self-contamination may also lead to false-positive readings of resources available on the lunar surface. This innovation addresses the software and methods needed to assess the magnitude and distribution of lunar surface contamination caused by the engine exhaust of landing vehicles on known or planned descent trajectories.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Visualization of Terascale Datasets with Imposters

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland The interactive visualization of large astrophysical datasets is a formidable challenge. Cosmological simulations performed on current terascale facilities typically generate datasets up to 100 gigabytes in size. In order to understand the complex three-dimensional structure within these simulations, interactive visualization with rapid rotation and zooming is required, but handling this much data is well beyond the capability of even current high-end graphics workstations. Rendering can be performed on a parallel computer, but the user typically is using such facilities remotely. Both the latency and bandwidth between the user’s workstation and the parallel machine preclude the possibility of interactive rendering.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Mathematical/Scientific Software

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