Home

Strat-X

This innovation is potentially useful for scientific experiments at the edge of space or autonomous environmental monitoring in extreme conditions. John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida Experiments in space can be expensive and infrequent, but Earth’s upper atmosphere is accessible via large scientific balloons, and can be used to address many of the same fundamental questions. Scientific balloons are made of a thin polyethylene film inflated with helium, and can carry atmospheric sampling instruments on a gondola suspended underneath the balloon that eventually is returned to the surface on a parachute. For stratospheric flights between 30 and 40 km above sea level, balloons typically reach the float altitude 2-3 hours after launch, and travel in the direction of the prevailing winds.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Machinery & Automation

Read More >>

Hydraulic Pressure Distribution System

This mechanism enhances the performance of mechanically impeding elements in an on-command operational exoskeleton. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Human operation in space over long time periods causes bone and muscle deterioration, so there is a need for countermeasures in the form of physical exercises consisting of working against controlled resistivity. Generally, there are three types of exercise machines that are used by space crews to maintain their fitness: the Crew Exercise Vibration Isolation System (CEVIS), the Treadmill Vibration Isolation System/Second ISS Treadmill (TVIS/T2), and the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED). These machines have the limitations of very large mass (some weigh about a ton), large operational volumes, cumbersome design, and the need to compensate the generated vibrations and large shifting of the center of mass. They also require interrupting the astronauts’ duties to perform the exercises, as well as requiring periodic costly maintenance. The disclosed de vice provides key elements to enabling the design and operation of compact exercise machines that overcome many of the disadvantages of the current exercise machines found on space vehicles/stations.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Machinery & Automation

Read More >>

Introduction to Machine Vision

A guide to automating process & quality improvements Get the basics of how machine vision technology works and why it's the right choice for automating process and quality improvements. The Introduction to Machine Vision whitepaper is the first step to understanding, what is machine vision, what kind of problems does it solve, what components do you need to build a vision system, how to get the most out of your vision system, and more. Read this whitepaper to see why automated inspection is vastly superior to manual techniques.

Posted in: White Papers, Machine Vision, Machinery & Automation

Read More >>

Boosting Machine Vision with Built-in FPGA Image Preprocessing

Since imaging processing tasks can consume major CPU resources in machine vision applications, increasing processing performance within size constraints is, accordingly, a common challenge for solution providers. The following discusses the efficacy of FPGA in addressing such performance shortcomings, presents the image processing tasks most suitable for FPGA, and compares the capabilities of CPU and FPGA in operation. A built -in FPGA image preprocessing solution supporting machine vision app lications is then presented.

Posted in: White Papers, Imaging, Optics, Photonics, Machinery & Automation, Robotics

Read More >>

NASA's Game-Changing Robotics

“Over the years, I’ve asked people, ‘If you had a robot, what would you want it to do for you?’” said Rob Ambrose, principal investigator for NASA’s Game Changing Development Program and chief of the Software, Robotics, and Simulation Division at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. When he asks astronauts, they usually tell him they want the robot to do chores.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Robotics

Read More >>

Walk and Roll Robot

A CAD model of the Walk and Roll Robot. To traverse smooth terrain, the most efficient motion is rolling; however, when a wheeled vehicle encounters obstacles, it has to avoid them, if possible, or choose an alternate path. Legged vehicles can traverse these obstacles by stepping over them, but are not energy-efficient on smooth terrain. The Walk and Roll Robot, developed at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, combines walking and rolling for energy- efficient motions. The robot has a compact design in which all of the components are contained within the body, allowing it to be used for applications in harsh environments where robots traditionally have difficulty with debris, moisture, or dust. Other applications include urban search and rescue missions, and military reconnaissance and exploration. Visit http://technology.nasa.gov/patent/TB2016/GSC-TOPS-43

Posted in: UpFront, Aerospace, Robotics

Read More >>

Testing a Robotic Miner

Resource Prospector sits in the vacuum chamber that simulates the thermal environment and low atmospheric pressure and density the rover will experience on the Moon. The Resource Prospector (RP) rover could be the first robot to mine for resources on another world. Targeted for launch in the early 2020s, RP will search for and characterize sub-surface water, hydrogen, and other volatiles on the Moon. But first, NASA needs to test its resilience to the harsh environments of deep space and extremely cold temperatures on the Moon. During testing in a thermal vacuum chamber at Johnson Space Center, NASA simulated the thermal environment and extremely low atmospheric pressure and density that RP would experience. Learn more about Resource Prospector in the feature article HERE.

Posted in: UpFront, Aerospace, Robotics

Read More >>

The U.S. Government does not endorse any commercial product, process, or activity identified on this web site.