Features

Products of Tomorrow: March 2015

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: Articles, Products, Aviation, Electronics & Computers, Detectors, Sensors

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Smart-Grid-Ready Instrumentation

The term “smart grid” is an umbrella term used to refer to new technologies that aim to address today’s electrical power grid challenges. At a high level, these technologies address challenges associated with grid reliability and reactive maintenance, renewables integration, and disturbance detection. One way to help address these challenges is to push decision-making and intelligence closer to the grid, embedded within flexible instrumentation to achieve faster response times, better bandwidth utilization, and functionality field upgrades that will keep field instruments up-to-date with the latest algorithms and methodologies to monitor and protect the grid.

Posted in: Articles, Electronics & Computers

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System Concept Studies Will Aid NASA in Asteroid Redirect Mission

SSL 1300 commercial satellite bus Space Systems/Loral Palo Alto, CA 650-852-4000 www.sslmda.com NASA continues to advance the journey to Mars through progress on the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), which will test a number of new capabilities needed for future human expeditions to deep space, including to Mars. This includes advanced Solar Electric Propulsion — an efficient way to move heavy cargo using solar power, which could help pre-position cargo for future human missions to the Red Planet.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Robotics

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Data Recorders Prepare Orion for Splashdown Test

Data recorders and software Diversified Technical Systems (DTS) Seal Beach, CA 562-493-0158 www.dtsweb.com It’s no simple task to travel 3,600 miles into space, blaze back through Earth’s atmosphere at 20,000 mph with temperatures approaching 4,000 °F, and then splash-land into the Pacific Ocean. That’s why NASA spent three years dropping the 18,000-pound mockup of the Orion space capsule into a special test pool wired with hundreds of sensors, strain gauges, and accelerometers to measure stresses and structural integrity, as well as the safety of future astronauts onboard.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Data Acquisition, Measuring Instruments

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Vision Algorithms Catch Defects in Screen Displays

Software based on NASA vision research is used in making laptop, cellphone, and TV displays. NASA has sent more than a few robotic missions into space, but it never loses sight of its goal to enable human exploration of the cosmos. A core component of planning for future manned missions is the Human Systems Integration Division, headquartered at Ames Research Center, that focuses on advancing our understanding of how people process information and interact with mechanical and electronic systems.

Posted in: Articles

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Readers Select 2014 Products of the Year

In December, we asked NASA Tech Briefs readers to select the one product from our 12 Products of the Month that you thought was the most significant new introduction to the design engineering community in 2014. Thanks to all of our readers who voted, and here are your winners for the 2014 NASA Tech Briefs’ Readers’ Choice Product of the Year: COMSOL Burlington, MA COMSOL Multiphysics® software version 5.0 features product updates, three new add-on products, and the new Application Builder that lets users build applications for use by engineering and manufacturing departments. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/55587-124   Dewetron Wakefield, RI The TrendCorder series of instruments for basic data acquisition features intuitive, multi-touch operation, enabling them to be operated 100% by touch, including alphanumeric entry, channel setup, and display configuration. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/55587-125   MSC Software Corp. Newport Beach, CA The MSC ApexTM computer-aided engineering (CAE) platform is a Computational PartsTM-based CAE system that enables predictive product development in the earlier stages of design. Integrated solver methods allow users to interactively validate parts and subsystem models. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/55587-126

Posted in: UpFront

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Your Turn to Create the Future

The 13th annual Create the Future Design Contest (www.createthefuturecontest.com), sponsored by COMSOL and Mouser Electronics, and produced by Tech Briefs Media Group, is open for entries. The contest recognizes outstanding innovations in product design worldwide, awarding a Grand Prize of $20,000 USD. There is no cost to enter.

Posted in: Articles, UpFront

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