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Guarded Two-Dimensional Flat Plate Insulation Test Calorimeter with Attach Points

Consistent test results are obtained in a cost-effective, safe, reliable, and practical manner. John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida Insulation systems usually do not operate on their own; they must work together with a structural system that is designed to support the article being insulated. Typically this structure penetrates the insulation, degrading it in some manner, and gives a pathway for the conduction of unwanted heat. High-performance insulation systems that use reflective foils are highly anisotropic (the heat flows more easily in one direction than the others), so disturbing the temperature gradients through the material can cause much greater effects than are due to the disturbances alone.

Posted in: Articles, Briefs, TSP, Data Acquisition, Sensors

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Test, Calibration, and Training Target for a Microwave Sensor

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Human subjects are unsuitable for objective performance testing of victim detection radar because their heart and respiration rates are not controllable or repeatable. There are limitations on human targets from a safety standpoint as well. It is difficult to relate the ground truth to the measured data for a human target without needing additional equipment that must be attached to the human subject. Artificial targets using pneumatics do not provide sufficient fidelity of the radar return for development of identification algorithms.

Posted in: Articles, Briefs, TSP, Sensors

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Test it Like da Vinci

Timeless wisdom and new technologies are revolutionizing the world of testing, and bringing us from vision to finished product faster. Do you see product testing and checking as a necessary evil? Then take some time to change your mind. In the long process from vision to reality of a product, intelligent and efficient testing is indispensable. The latest metrological instruments help to begin developing a product when it only exists in our minds.

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The Touch Screen Revolution

Touch screens are slowly but surely creeping into every aspect of our day-to-day lives. It’s not unlikely that you wake up to a cellphone alarm, adjust the room temperature on a thermostat, change the radio station in the car, and even start the washing machine using only a touch screen. A decade ago, we wouldn’t have used a touch screen for any of these tasks, but today it’s commonplace. To understand the impact of touch screens on test and measurement, you must first know the difference between resistive and capacitive touch screens, and the impact smartphones have had on touch screen implementations.

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The Changing Face of Test

Many aspects of the test and measurement business are different from the way they were relatively few years ago. Perhaps the most obvious example is the people who are using test and measurement instrumentation. A recent industry study shows that 20 percent of electrical engineers now in the global workforce started their careers within the last decade.

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Computed Tomography Systems

JG&A Metrology Center (Detroit, MI) introduced increased flat panel sizes for computed tomography (CT) systems. Cone beam systems now utilize flat panel technology and scan parts up to 14" (350 mm) in diameter. With increases in LDA sizes as well, the CT systems use line detector array technology when scanning parts up to 26" (650 mm) in diameter. The equipment is used to provide 3D internal part inspection using industrial CT equipment.

Posted in: Products, Detectors

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Data Acquisition and Control

Dataforth Corp. (Tucson, AZ) introduced the MAQ20® industrial data acquisition and control system that features an analog resistance input module for channel protection. It interfaces to three types of 3-wire sensors: 100Ω Pt, 120Ω Ni RTDs, and potentiometers up to 5kΩ. The module has six input channels, each of which is protected up to 240 Vrms continuous overload in case of inadvertent wiring errors. Overloaded channels do not adversely affect other channels in the module. Transient protection is per the ANSI/IEEE C37.90.1 standard; input-to-bus isolation is 1500Vrms. The system can individually configure channels for sensor, range, alarm limits, and averaging. While all channels are enabled by default, those not used can be disabled to increase the sampling rate of channels enabled for scanning.

Posted in: Products, Data Acquisition, Sensors

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