Special Coverage


Product of the Month: November 2014

MSC Software Corp., Newport Beach, CA, has introduced the MSC Apex computer-aided engineering (CAE) platform, a Computational Parts-based CAE system. The platform enables predictive product development in the earlier stages of design. The platform is powered by a CAE-specific direct modeling and meshing engine that accelerates the CAD-to-mesh process. Integrated solver methods allow users to interactively validate parts and subsystem models. The generative behavior of the platform incrementally validates an evolving model and removes iterations inherent in the traditional pre-solve-post paradigm. MSC Apex allows a supply chain to share a product structure while independently managing instances of parts, subsystems, full assemblies, and their corresponding multi-fidelity behavioral representations. The platform is complementary to Patran and MSC Nastran.

Posted in: Products


Mars Rover Technology Adapted to Detect Gas Leaks

In collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced that it is testing state-of-the-art technology adapted from NASA’s Mars rover program. Originally designed to find methane on the Red Planet, this laser-based technology is lightweight and has superior sensitivity to methane, a major component of natural gas. The technology applied on Earth helps guide PG&E crews using a tablet interface to identify possible leak locations, fast-tracking their ability to repair gas leaks.

Posted in: UpFront


Autonomous Vehicles Could Improve Traffic Flow

Autonomous vehicles are getting closer to making their debut on our roads, which is leading researchers to think about how they can assist with traffic flow and fuel consumption. Temple University, with a grant from the National Science Foundation, is researching traffic-flow modeling and how synchronizing autonomous vehicles can enable them to communicate and share information. In order to operate safely, these vehicles have to collect large quantities of data about the environment around them. That data, such as traffic density and flow velocity, could be communicated from one vehicle to another, causing the vehicles to react in a way that alters the flow of traffic.

Posted in: UpFront


Products of Tomorrow: November 2014

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just some of the examples of NASA-developed technology used in products today.

Posted in: Products, Techs for License, Articles


Evaluating Electrically Insulating Epoxies

Epoxies are versatile polymer systems that are “go-to materials” for electrical, electronic, and microelectronic systems, especially in applications where outstanding electrical insulation properties are needed. Their wide usage is due to their excellent adhesion to a wide variety of substrates, superb chemical and heat resistance, and long-term durability. They are serviceable for bonding, sealing, coating, and encapsulating/potting applications.

Posted in: Articles


Integrated Data Acquisition and Measurement Hardware Tests New Launch System

NI PXI DMM and NI PXI multifunction DAQ module National Instruments Austin, TX 1-800-531-5066 www.ni.com Larger than the Saturn V rocket and designed to eventually take crewed missions to Mars, the Space Launch System (SLS) will be the most powerful, versatile rocket ever created. Before its maiden launch in 2017, the rocket will go through testing at various facilities throughout the US, with one of the most impressive being the large structural tests scheduled for 2015 at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.

Posted in: Data Acquisition, Application Briefs


Cabin Pressure Monitors Notify Pilots to Save Lives

Designed for astronauts and pilots, this device could save skydivers and mountain climbers. Typical cruising altitudes for business and commercial aircraft are up to 50,000 feet or more. Occupants could not survive in this environment without pressure inside the aircraft being controlled to maintain oxygen concentrations consistent with those at lower altitudes. A cabin pressure warning system typically lets pilots and crews know when pressure becomes dangerously low, but these can malfunction or be accidentally switched off. The result can be insidious and deadly, as those on the plane become slowly incapacitated by hypoxia — oxygen deprivation — without being aware of it.

Posted in: Articles, Spinoff