Method for Ground-to-Satellite Laser Calibration System

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed the Ground-to-Space Laser Calibration (GSLC) system concept for calibrating Earth observing sensors measuring reflected radiance. GSLC is capable of calibrating sensitivity to polarization, degradation of optics, and response to stray light of spaceborne reflected solar sensors. The concept is based on using an accurate ground-based laser system pointing at and tracking the instrument on orbit during nighttime and clear atmosphere conditions. The GSLC system will be applicable to instrument calibration in both low Earth and geostationary Earth orbits.

Posted in: Briefs, Instrumentation, Calibration, Lasers, Satellite communications, Lasers, Satellite communications
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Energy Analysis Method for Hidden Damage Detection

Better understanding of composite damage could eliminate unnecessary repairs and help prevent catastrophic in-service failure.

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a new Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) method for identifying and characterizing hidden damage in composite materials. The new technique requires only single-sided access to the test specimen, and uses trapped energy analysis to detect and characterize damage that was previously ob - scured. Current methods, usually ultrasound or laser ultrasound, cannot characterize imperfections below or hidden by near surface damage. The new method uses 3D custom ultrasonic simulation tools to study ultrasonic guided wave behavior and energy trapping due to multilayer delamination damage (Figure 1).

Posted in: Briefs, Instrumentation, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Composite materials, Non-destructive tests
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Deconvolution Methods and Systems for the Mapping of Acoustic Sources from Phased Microphone Arrays

This technology provides noise location and strength diagnostics for mechanical and aerodynamic systems.

NASA’s Langley Research Center researchers developed DAMAS using an iterative algorithm to deconvolute noise signals, allowing for more accurate quantification of the position and strength of acoustic sources. Recent development of the DAMAS microphone phased array processing methodology allows the determination and separation of coherent and incoherent noise source distributions. The DAMAS technology represents a significant breakthrough in the field of aero-acoustics.

Posted in: Briefs, Instrumentation, Mathematical models, Acoustics, Noise, Acoustics, Noise
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High-Precision Electric Gate for Time-of-Flight Ion Mass Spectrometers

This technology can be used for chromatography and analytical measurements.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has developed a high-precision electric gate (HPEG) time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometer to study the magnetosphere of Jupiter and Europa. The HPEG can provide a precise start pulse when an ion enters the TOF section of an Ion Mass Spectrometer (IMS) to provide a very high mass resolution capability. The design uses a row of very thin, parallel aligned wires that are pulsed in sequence so the ion can pass through the gap of two parallel plates, which are biased to prevent passage of the ion.

Posted in: Briefs, Instrumentation, Measurements, Electric cables, Electric cables, Test equipment and instrumentation
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Method of Adjusting Acoustic Impedances for Impedance-Tunable Acoustic Segments

NASA’s Langley Research Center researchers have developed an adaptive noise-reduction system that optimizes impedance in an aircraft engine. Aerospace and automotive engineers can take advantage of this innovative system that offers a superior approach to noise dampening. Advantages will be seen in improved noise reduction through all stages of the flight, including takeoff and landing. In addition, the system corrects and adapts to mechanical and chemical changes over the life of the engine liner. The technology employs a honeycomb design with a variable control backing that self-adjusts based on real-time aeroacoustics for maximum effectiveness. The technology can be readily incorporated into existing technologies and transitioned to the marketplace. NASA is seeking market insights on commercialization of this new adaptive noise-reduction technology, and welcomes interest from potential producers, users, and licensees.

Posted in: Briefs, Instrumentation, Adaptive control, Adaptive control, Insulation, Noise, Noise, Jet engines
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Nanostructure Neutron Converter Layer Development

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a nanostructure neutron converter layer that can be used for neutron detection. Neutron radiation is a significant risk in long-duration spaceflight and is also a risk in commercial aviation and nuclear reactors. This invention provides for more effective neutron radiation detection than currently available technologies.

Posted in: Briefs, Instrumentation, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Nuclear energy, Nanotechnology, Radiation, Commercial aircraft, Spacecraft
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Mars Science Laboratory ChemCam Sun Safety

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) ChemCam instrument can be damaged when the Sun enters or passes through its field of view (FOV). There is no Sun cover, yet other instruments mounted with boresights pointing in the same direction must observe the Sun for scientific observations and for attitude determination. When in a Suntolerant focus range during rover motion and pointing for observations by other remote sensing instruments, the Sun must be allowed to pass through the ChemCam FOV, and when in a Sun-damage focus range for ChemCam observations, the Sun must never be allowed to enter the FOV, even after a rover system fault. Both of these scenarios depend upon knowledge of the attitude of the rover relative to the motion of the Sun. A Sun search that is guaranteed to be Sun-safe for the ChemCam, even when the location of the Sun is unknown, had to be developed.

Posted in: Briefs, Instrumentation, Attitude control, Optics, Attitude control, Optics, Sun and solar
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High-Speed Cameras Help Digital Image Correlation Show Its Strength

Digital Image Correlation (DIC) using high-speed cameras is gaining in popularity as a method for measuring material deformation and strain. That popularity is based on some real advantages of DIC over traditional sensors, and supported by advances in camera capabilities, integrator software, and new measurement techniques.

Posted in: White Papers, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Physical Sciences, Test & Measurement
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Diffuse Reflectance Probe

The Ocean Optics (Dunedin, FL) Diffuse Reflectance Probe (DR-Probe) measures 45° diffuse reflectance, enhancing UV-Vis and NIR spectroscopy results. The DR-Probe integrates a light source and collection optics into one unit. With the probe’s collection optics fixed in place relative to the light source, the measurement geometry is constant. An included standoff accessory ensures a consistent 40 mm focal length between the probe and the sample. The DR-Probe has rugged, all-metal construction for durability, and its 6W tungsten halogen bulb has a 10,000-hour lifetime.

To learn more, click here

Posted in: Products, Optics, Photonics, Instrumentation
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Signal Source Challenges Facing Quantum Computing and Research

Today there is a huge rush to explore quantum phenomena and develop technologies based on quantum physics. These technologies range from quantum computing to new communications schemes and have the potential to revolutionize the world. In developing these technologies, there are common challenges facing researchers who are using signal sources to stimulate, measure, and get feedback from their quantum experiments.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars, Test & Measurement
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