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Editor’s Choice: September 2016

The Smartphone Video Guidance Sensor (SVGS) combines an autonomous rendezvous and docking sensor with an off-the-shelf smartphone to create a low-mass, low-cost sensor for small satellite and CubeSat applications. The SVGS images retroreflectors on the target vehicle using the smartphone camera, and processes the images to determine the range and orientation of the target vehicle. Although implemented on a Google Android smartphone, the sensor could be implemented on Apple iOS platforms. Find out more HERE.

Posted in: UpFront, Aerospace

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Finding NEEMO

A group of astronauts, engineers, and scientists ventured to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean this summer to prepare for future deep space missions and the journey to Mars. Isolating crew members at the bottom of the ocean simulates life and work for astronauts in microgravity environments like the International Space Station (ISS), or in spacecraft that will travel to asteroids and planets in the future.

Posted in: UpFront, Aerospace

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Next Mars Rover Heads Toward 2020 Launch

NASA is ready to proceed with final design and construction of its next Mars rover, currently targeted to launch in the summer of 2020 and arrive on the Red Planet in February 2021. The Mars 2020 rover will collect samples of soil and rock, and cache them on the surface for potential return to Earth by a future mission.

Posted in: UpFront, Aerospace

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Editor’s Choice: August 2016

A high-resolution, real-time, non-scanning 3D imaging laser system uses a simple lens system to simultaneously generate a 1D or 2D topographic profile of an object, surface, or landscape. The system has applications in remote sensing such as LiDAR mapping, and in machine vision and robotic vision. Find out more HERE.

Posted in: UpFront, Aerospace

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A Solar System Internet

NASA has taken a major step toward creating a Solar System Internet by establishing operational Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) service on the International Space Station (ISS). The DTN service will help automate and improve data availability for space station experimenters, and will result in more efficient bandwidth utilization and more data return.

Posted in: UpFront, Aerospace

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Prizes Awarded in Sample Return Robot Challenge

Erica Tiberia is the sole member of a team that was one of five to qualify for the next level of competition. (NASA) Five teams took home prize money after completing Level 1 of NASA’s Sample Return Robot Challenge at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. Part of the agency’s Centennial Challenges prize program, the contest featured 18 teams of citizen inventors. Each winning team was awarded $5,000 for their success, and has earned a shot at Level 2 of the competition, which will take place Sept. 2-5. The challenge has a total prize purse of $1.5 million.

Posted in: UpFront, Aerospace

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Editor’s Choice: July 2016

A device for nondestructive testing of hermetic seals of containers or instrumentation can detect both large and small leaks, as well as the relative leak rate. Its simple design eliminates the need for expensive instrumentation such as a mass spectrometer to analyze leaks and achieve high sensitivity. Low in cost and simple to manufacture, the device has uses in industries from aerospace and automotive, to semiconductors and optical devices, to food and pharmaceutical packaging. Find out more on HERE.

Posted in: UpFront, Aerospace

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