News

Hot Products on the CAD/CAE Market

ALGOR (Pittsburgh, PA) has released ALGOR V20 integrated CAD/FEA modeling software. New features include design scenarios, allowing a single FEA model to contain numerous analyses; a software wizard for creating bolts and fasteners; design studies and size optimization; and improved meshing capabilities. Click here for more information. MSC.Software Corp. (Santa Ana, CA) announced MD Adams mechanical dynamics software suite, which adds integrated multi-body dynamics, structural, and controls systems simulation capabilities. It enables extensions to system simulation including control systems and frequency response prediction. Click here for more information. Alibre (Richardson, TX) offers Alibre Design 9.2 3D parametric CAD Software that is compatible with Windows Vista. It also features expanded PDF publishing, including support for Adobe Systems' Adobe Acrobat 3D. Click here for more information. SpaceClaim Corp. (Concord, MA) has released SpaceClaim Professional 2007 open 3D mechanical design software that features a flexible design environment, geometric inferencing for real-time design hints, an integrated parts and assembly workspace, and an open XML data model. Click here for more information.

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MIT Creates Software to Track Supplies to the Moon

By 2020, NASA plans to establish a long-term human presence on the Moon, which means that necessities such as fuel, food and oxygen, and spare parts would have to get from the Earth to the Moon as predictably as an Earth-based delivery system - especially when the delivery point is 240,000 miles away. MIT researchers and professors Olivier L. de Weck and David Simchi-Levi created SpaceNet software for modeling interplanetary supply chains. Although "supply chain" usually refers to the flow of goods in and out of manufacturing facilities and retail stores, an interplanetary supply chain would operate much the same way. The system is based on a network of nodes on planetary surfaces, in stable orbits around the Earth, the moon, or Mars, or at well- defined points in space where the gravitational force between the two bodies cancel each other out. These nodes act as a source, point of consumption, or transfer point for space exploration logistics. SpaceNet simulates the flow of vehicles, crew, and supply items through the trajectories of a space supply network, taking into account how much fuel and time are needed for single missions as well as multi-year campaigns in which a cargo shipment might have to be prepositioned by one set of vehicles or crewmembers while being used by another. Click here for more information on SpaceNet software.

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NASA-Funded GPS Monitoring Software Now in Commercial Use

At NASA, the Global Positioning System (GPS) is a vital resource for scientific research aimed at understanding and protecting Earth. NASA employs the band of GPS satellites for mapping Earth's ionosphere and developing earthquake-prediction tools. But traditional GPS still can't communicate beyond latitudes of 75 degrees, meaning that most of Greenland and Antarctica cannot receive GPS signals. NASA partnered with NAVSYS Corp. of Colorado Springs, CO, to enhance the technology for better surveying of urban areas prone to signal blockages. The result of this collaboration led to a new aerial mapping and targeting system called GI-Eye, a software platform that integrates GPS with inertial and digital camera data to collect high-resolution imagery for precise visual navigation and geolocation of target coordinates. The GI-Eye technology has been integrated into FLIR Systems' Star SAFIRE III airborne electro-optic thermal imaging system. Currently, there are about 800 of these units on more than 35 types of aircraft. The long-distance, 360-degree, day or night scoping abilities of the System have made it popular for aerial surveillance associated with search and rescue, reconnaissance, law enforcement, border patrol, news gathering, land-use planning, and environmental monitoring. Click here for the full story.

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Event Alerts

MIT Professional Institute Short Courses Come to MIT this summer and choose from 36 short courses designed especially for professionals. Earn a certificate and CEUs. Offerings include biotechnology, chemical engineering, data modeling and analysis, IT, lean fundamentals, mechanical & electrical engineering, nanotechnology, lasers & optics, technology policy, and other topics of vital interest to todayÂ’s engineers and scientists. For more information, click here. Free Webinar Evaluate Realistic Behavior of Laminated Composites using ABAQUS April 24 or April 26 Register now.

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Soft-Bodied Robots

Engineers at the Biomimetic Devices Laboratory (BDL) at Tufts University (Medford, MA) are developing biologically-based technologies that use soft materials to incorporate them into a new type of highly flexible robot. These machines could have applications in biomedical diagnosis and surgery, emergency rescue, exploration, and for monitoring or repairing space vehicles. Devices based on these technologies may improve the versatility and performance of conventional hard-bodied robots. Prototypes look and move much like caterpillars. The BDL robots have a skin made of a silicone rubber, and wriggle forward via springs. As a current is passed through a spring, it contracts, bending the robot. For more information, click here.

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Current Attractions

Defense Tech Briefs (DTB) provides engineers with a one-stop source for the latest advances and tech transfer opportunities from Defense Department R&D programs. Commercially promising inventions resulting from this work are reported in DTB magazine, published bi-monthly and mailed with NASA Tech Briefs. Here are some of the technologies featured in the April issue: Application of CFD to a Slender-Bodied, Finned Projectile In an application of computational fluid dynamics (CFD), flow fields about a slender-bodied finned projectile and the resulting aerodynamic forces and moments on the projectile were computed. The computations are exemplary of those needed for predicting aerodynamic performances in order to optimize designs of advanced projectiles, missiles, and rockets. (Page 14) Continuous-Wave Atom Laser This apparatus is intended to serve as a prototype of sources of coherent matter waves for future atom-interferometric field and motion sensors. The major part of the apparatus is a magnetic guide comprising two hollow, water-cooled 3.175-mm-diameter wires in a vacuum chamber. It is planned to incorporate a potential well into the guide near the output end for the purpose of forming a continuous-wave Bose-Einstein condensate in the well. (Page 26) Read these and previously published tech briefs here.

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Technologies of the Week

A fabric (non reflective) is available that can emit its own light. It is created with threads of every type and nature and can emit light in different colors. View this technology here. A fabric is available having increased cut resistance. It is made from a fiber-forming polymer and a hard filler having a Mohs Hardness Value greater than about 3. The filler is included in an amount of about 0.05% to about 20% by weight. View this technology here. The Technologies of the Week describe inventions offered for license through the yet2.com marketplace. Search over $2.5 billion of licensable technologies at www.yet2.com.

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