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Executive Perspectives: Data Acquisition & Sensing

GRANT MALOY SMITH President and CEO Dewetron, Inc. Wakefield, RI www.dewamerica.com In 40 years, data acquisition products have evolved from paper-based chart recorders and analog tape machines, to computer-based instruments. As a result, the relatively slow pace of improvements in performance that typified data recorders for nearly a century is now swept along on the fast-moving current of computer technology advances.

Posted in: Articles, Data Acquisition, Sensors

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Remote-Controlled Robot Inspects Suspicious Packages

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques (FHR) have created a sensor suite that will help emergency services more effectively detect improvised explosive devices. The system records the shape of suspicious packages and creates 3D images of their contents.

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GRAVITE Pull Server

Government Resource for Algorithm Verification, Independent Test, and Evaluation (GRAVITE) system is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) system, developed and deployed by Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) Ground Project to support Calibration and Validation (Cal/Val), Data Quality Monitoring, and Algorithm Investigation, Tuning and Integration. GRAVITE enables novice and expert users to discover and obtain data easily by using standard protocols. The Pull Server is a component of the GRAVITE version 3.0 (GV3.0) system. It provides a mechanism to download remote data file(s) using easy-to-understand download rules. When there are few rules pertaining to the same remote location, it can be grouped using a product paradigm. A download rule can be defined with only three pieces of information: remote server, source, and target location. The source and target location can be specified using calculated fields as well as regular expressions. The rules are then converted into a “wget” statement, which is a popular utility for downloading remote files. This solves most of the compatibility issues with connecting to a remote server.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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High-Performance Data Acquisition on USB

A common belief among engineers is that in order to get the best performance, a PC-based data acquisition module must plug into the PCI bus. Properly implemented, however, a data acquisition module can use the PC’s USB port to pump data into a PC as fast as PCI-based cards. The keys to achieving this performance are a hardware USB interface on the module, and optimized driver software for the host system.

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Free Space Optical Receiver for Data Detection and Radio Science Measurements

This technique is intended to save power, bandwidth, and scheduling demands on the spacecraft. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California For deep space communication systems, the decision of whether or not to suppress the transmitted carrier has always been an issue. For certain missions that use high data rates, the available bandwidth might be a limiting factor. In such cases, it is preferred to use a completely suppressed carrier system that is more bandwidth efficient.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Data Acquisition, Sensors

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Precision Miniature Attitude Determination and Control System

The system is designed to function with a high degree of autonomy. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland The MAI-400SS Space Sextant is a turnkey Attitude Determination And Control System (ADACS) for CubeSats and nanosatellites. It is an enhanced version of the MAI-400, which is a precision CubeSat ADACS incorporating three reaction wheels, three electromagnets, and an ADACS computer in a ½-U module. This Space Sextant version incorporates two star trackers to improve overall pointing knowledge to 0.02° or better. The star trackers feature “Lost In Space” attitude determination requiring no a priori information.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Combined Detection and Tracking of Moving Objects in Aerial Surveillance Images

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California This software implements a new probabilistic framework for integrated multi-target detection and tracking of small moving objects in image sequences, with specific application to tracking people in aerial images, in which image stabilization is inherently noisy.

Posted in: Briefs

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