Application Briefs

Thrusters Support Communications Satellite Launch

Monopropellant (hydrazine) thrustersAerojet RocketdyneSacramento, CA 916-355-4000 www.rocket.com Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp company, played a vital role in placing the second of three next-generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS-L) into orbit for NASA. In the second stage of launch, a single RL10A-4-2 engine ignited to place the TDRS-L into orbit, helped by 12 Aerojet Rocketdyne monopropellant (hydrazine) thrusters in four modules on the United Launch Alliance Atlas V Centaur upper stage, providing roll, pitch, and yaw control, as well as propellant settling burns during ascent. The RL10A-4-2 engine delivers 22,300 pounds of thrust to power the Atlas V upper-stage, using cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants during its operation. ARDe, a New Jersey-based subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne, provides the pressure vessels on the first and second stages of the launch vehicle. TDRS-L will use a single R-4D 100-lbf thruster for orbit insertion.

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Spectrometer Gratings Enable Mars Sample Analysis

Volume-phase, holographic-grating Raman spectrometer Wasatch Photonics Logan, UT 435-752-4301 www.wasatchphotonics.com Raman laser spectroscopy technology from Wasatch Photonics will be used to detect possible evidence of past or present life on Mars, and to garner insights into the history of water on the Red Planet.

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Oxygen Containers Transport Tank Assembly to ISS

Oxygen shipping containers Americase Waxahachie, TX 800-972-2737 www.americase.biz Americase designed, developed, and completed the first HM224B/DOT31FP shipping containers for the NORS (Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System) program, a part of NASA’s Orbital Replacement Unit Project. Working in concert with The Boeing Company in Huntsville, AL, Americase created containers that will resupply the International Space Station with nitrogen and oxygen.

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Water Impact Simulation Ensures Safer Landing for NASA Astronauts

The water landing of a craft like the Orion Crew Module is a very complex and changeable event, subject to the dynamics of the vehicle’s structure and sub-structures, such as its heat shield and atmospheric and water conditions. To maintain the spacecraft’s structural integrity and increase safety of the crew, a clearer understanding of the dynamic loads generated during water impact was required.

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Frame Grabber Deployed in Robomotive Humanoid Robot

Robomotive and other humanoid robots equipped with 3D vision sensors are playing an increasing role in industrial automation, including in smaller binpicking set-ups where parts are constantly changing.

Posted in: Imaging, Application Briefs

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Hyperspectral Imaging What is it? How does it work?

Hyperspectral imaging has grown increasingly popular over the past ten years in military, industrial, and scientific arenas. The ability to precisely characterize the color of a viewed item, whether a camouflaged vehicle, a bruise on an arm or on fruit, or a wide swath of vegetation, allows the user to make informed decisions only dreamed of in the past. What once required large, delicate, and expensive laboratory spectrometers is now being done in real time aboard satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles, and portable handheld units.

Posted in: Photonics, Application Briefs

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Video Routing System Upgrades Mission Control Center

PESA has announced the completion of a video routing system upgrade to NASA’s Mission Control Center (MCC) at the agency’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston. Lockheed Martin, a prime contractor for NASA, commissioned PESA to provide hardware and system training for its Cheetah Video Distribution System (VDS).

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