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Products of Tomorrow: January 2015

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just some of the examples of NASA-developed technology used in products today.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials, Sensors, Products, Techs for License, Articles

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15 Questions to Ask About Circuit Protection for Wearable Electronics

Have you attended an electronics or design tradeshow lately? Have you visited a big-box retailer or browsed an online electronics vendor? If so, you’ve probably seen many examples of wearable technology, including smart glasses, clothing, wristwear, footwear, neckwear, and headbands. Wearable computing is one of the hottest consumer electronics trends on the market, with global sales expected to grow from $14 billion in 2014 to over $70 billion in 2024, according to IDTechEx.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Power Management, Articles

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Design and Analysis Software Ensures Safety of Launch Vehicle Structures

NX‘and Teamcenter® software Siemens PLM Software Plano, TX 800-498-5351 www.siemens.com/plm One of ATK Aerospace Group’s current projects involves the Space Launch System (SLS). The SLS is the largest rocket ever built for entirely new human exploration missions beyond Earth’s orbit, and will take astronauts farther into space, eventually including missions to Mars. Its first flight is scheduled for 2017.

Posted in: Software, Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), Articles, Application Briefs

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Tiny Camera Lets NASA Inspection Tool “See”

micro ScoutCam‘ 1.2 micro camera Medigus, Ltd. Omer, Israel 011 972 8646 6880 www.medigus.com NASA has incorporated the micro ScoutCam 1.2 into its Visual Inspection Poseable Invertebrate Robot (VIPIR) tool. VIPIR is a robotic, maneuverable, borescope inspection tool being tested as part of the Robotic Refueling Mission, an experiment on the International Space Station that has been demonstrating tools, technologies, and techniques for on-orbit satellite servicing since 2011.

Posted in: Cameras, Imaging, Robotics, Articles, Application Briefs

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Brainwave Monitoring Software Helps Distracted Minds

Software designed to help pilots stay attentive now improves workplace, school, and sports performance. Imagine moving an object using only your mind. Software company Unique Logic’s Time on Task exercise makes that possible, at least on a computer screen. The game is one of the company’s Play Attention educational line, and is designed to teach people how to sustain their attention in order to complete tasks. It involves getting a forklift operator to transport a stack of crates from the ground onto the back of a truck. Instead of using a remote control to dictate the action, you use your concentration — measured by sensors that detect patterns of brainwave activity — to induce the operator to complete the job.

Posted in: Software, Simulation Software, Articles, Spinoff

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3D Printer Creates First Object in Space

The International Space Station’s 3D printer has manufactured the first 3D printed object in space, paving the way to future long-term space expeditions. NASA astronaut Butch Wilmore, commander aboard the ISS, installed the printer and conducted the first calibration test print. The first printed part was a faceplate of the extruder’s casing. This demonstrated that the printer can make replacement parts for itself.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Articles, UpFront

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Heat-Conducting Plastic Blend Developed

The spaghetti-like internal structure of most plastics makes it hard for them to cast away heat, but a University of Michigan (U-M) research team has made a plastic blend that does so 10 times better than its conventional counterparts. Because plastics restrict the flow of heat, their use is limited in technologies like computers, smartphones, cars, or airplanes — places that could benefit from their properties, but where heat dissipation is important.

Posted in: Plastics, Articles, UpFront

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