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Iodine-Compatible Hall Effect Thruster
Precision Assembly of Systems on Surfaces (PASS)
Development of a Novel Electrospinning System with Automated Positioning and Control Software
2016 Create The Future Design Contest Open For Entries
Clamshell Sampler
Shape Memory Alloy Rock Splitter
Deployable Extra-Vehicular Activity Platform (DEVAP) for Planetary Surfaces
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The Role of Multi-domain Dynamic Models for Functional Verification in Model-based Systems Engineering

Much has been made of the power of Model-based Systems Engineering (MBSE) as a formal method for capturing and managing design requirements for complex engineering systems. But what does MBSE really mean for the engineering design organization? Whenever a proponent of MBSE speaks with a mechanical or electrical design engineer on the topic, they are likely speaking different languages. Even the phrase “systems engineering” can have very different meanings!

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars

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'On the Fly' 3D Printer Adjusts to Design Changes

In conventional 3D printing, a nozzle scans across a stage: depositing drops of plastic, rising slightly after each pass, and building an object in a series of layers. A new "on-the-fly" prototyping system from Cornell University allows the designer to make refinements while printing is in progress.

Posted in: News

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Optimizing Electronics for Medical Applications

Two years ago, in Medical Design Briefs, Derek Hunt offered some insight into the benefits of Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) technology in the miniaturization of medical devices. CMOS has been around for decades and aside from the size benefits which will be discussed shortly, the technology also brings significant cost savings and performance improvements to the medical world. Readers who are currently engaged in the design of medical electronics already recognize this. It’s actually difficult to design such products today without incorporating CMOS devices. And because medical devices often contain many analog components, there remains one critical decision point designers must address and that is whether to design with standard off-the-shelf standard analog products or engage with a semiconductor company to produce a custom analog chip for the application.

Posted in: Features

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Launch Tie-Down and Release Mechanism for CubeSat Spacecraft

This hardware configuration takes up an extremely small volume inside the CubeSat bus. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California As CubeSats take on increased functionality, including larger solar arrays for increased power demands and large antennas for science and communications needs, the requirements for launch tie-down and release mechanisms are evolving. In the past, some large CubeSat-deployable structures (solar arrays) relied on the confining walls of the CubeSat canister to act as the restraint mechanism. However, this practice is largely eliminated now, with most CubeSat specifications requiring a minimum amount of dwell time (after the CubeSat has been ejected from its parent canister) before the deployable structure can be released and deployed on orbit. Thus, a reliable restraint and release mechanism that does not depend on the geometry of the canister walls must be implemented.

Posted in: Briefs

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Predicting Magnetospheric Relativistic >1 MeV Electrons

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California There is an association between High-Intensity Long-Duration Continuous AE (HILDCAA) activity intervals and the acceleration of relativistic >1 MeV electrons in the magnetosphere. All of the HILDCAAs that occurred in solar cycle 23 (SC23) from 1995 to 2008 led to the acceleration of E>0.6 MeV, >2.0 MeV, and >4.0 MeV electrons in the Earth’s outer radiation belts. What is particularly noteworthy is that the E>0.6 MeV electron acceleration was delayed ~1.0 day after the onset of the HILDCAA event, the E>2.0 MeV electrons delayed ~1.5 days after the onset of the HILDCAA event, and the E>4.0 MeV electrons delayed ~2.5 days after the onset of the HILDCAA event.

Posted in: Briefs

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Terrain Model Registration

Model registration solves target tracking and target handoff problems. Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California This technology is a method for registration of terrain models created using stereovision on a planetary rover. Most 3D model registration approaches use some variant of iterated closest point (ICP), which minimizes a norm based on the distances between corresponding points on an arbitrary 3D surface where closest points are taken to be corresponding points. The approach taken here instead projects the two surface models into a common viewpoint, rendering the models as they would be seen from a single range sensor. Correspondence is established by determining which points on the two surfaces project to the same location on the virtual range sensor image plane. The norm of the deviations in observed depth at all pixels is used as the objective function, and the algorithm finds the rigid transformation, which minimizes the norm. This recovered transformation can be used for visual odometry, rover pose estimation, and feature handoff.

Posted in: Briefs

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Error Budget for Pointing at Surface Features From Close Range

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Traditional error budgets that characterize pointing capability in terms of a single radial angle lack sufficient information to support analysis of pointing error in terms of distance along a nearby surface.

Posted in: Briefs

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