Application Briefs

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: Application Briefs, Photonics, Imaging and visualization
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Integrated Motion Solution Keeps Laser Marking Machine Costs Down

As the demands of traceability and compliance are put on manufacturers, using a laser provides permanent marking of a variety of information, including 2D bar codes, serial numbers, company information, and logos.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Supply chain management, Identification, Packaging
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Modular Cleanroom Boosts Lunar Mission

Simplex Isolation Systems developed a modular softwall cleanroom for the LADEE (Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer) mission, launched in September 2013 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Test facilities, Satellites
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VoIP Technology Enables Flight Center Upgrade

Quintron Systems will upgrade NASA Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) technology as it expands to IPbased mission command voice. To prevent expensive and difficult reconfiguration of the mission control room consoles, a new user station design allows direct-fit replacement of the existing, older DICES stations in use for many years. In addition, the use of three touchscreen panels will improve user features inherent in the DICES VoIP system architecture. Inclusion of appropriate circuitry and connectors will also allow DFRC to re-use existing high-investment legacy headsets.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Telecommunications, Consoles
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Pre-Launch Processing Enables Advanced Climate Warnings

NASA has awarded Astrotech Corp. and its Astrotech Space Operations (ASO) subsidiary a contract to provide facilities and pre-launch processing services for the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) mission, set to launch later this year.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Satellites, Spacecraft
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LED Panels Illuminate Stained Glass Window

The newly-renovated Church of the Covenant in Cleveland, Ohio, has a large, ornate rose stained-glass window that faces the Seidman Cancer Center at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center across Euclid Avenue. In a joint partnership project between the church and hospital entitled, “Hands Across the Healthway,” the neighbors wanted to find a way to illuminate the stained glass window so that recovering patients can view the illumination.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Lighting
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Silicon vs. Gallium Arsenide Which Photovoltaic Material Performs Best

Solar technologies are all measured and specified under standard test conditions. The conditions state that the solar panel be tested at 25°C and be subjected to 1000 W/m2 of light energy – closely approximating the power of the sun in broad daylight. This approach works well when you are comparing solar materials made from the same base technology. However, today there are a variety of solar technologies, and comparing only the specifications under standard test conditions gives you just part of the answer. In fact, in the real world, a solar panel rarely ever sees “standard” conditions. The National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) recently performed a study of silicon vs. gallium arsenide over a period of 3 months in order to compare these two technologies in the real world.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, Photonics, Solar energy
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Prototype Recovers Lost-At-Sea Images

New hardware built by research engineers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is helping NASA retrieve experimental images otherwise lost at sea. The hardware weighs less than two pounds, and serves as a means of locating NASA’s flight imagery recorders that capture valuable image data of decelerators during deployment and deceleration. The small box contains a GPS receiver, satellite communications modem, batteries, and a dual-band antenna. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) sought the ARL’s help in ruggedizing a locator unit to limit the risk of losing the data, especially in the event of a catastrophic failure.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Imaging and visualization, Satellite communications, Hardware
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Positioning System Will Keep Test Range on Target

NASA has contracted ADC USA to design and build an Experimental Test Range (ETR) Positioning System that consists of positioning components for a state-of-the-art Radar Cross Section (RCS) and Antenna Measurement compact range chamber facility located at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Test & Measurement, Antennas, Spacecraft guidance
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Actuator Meets NASA Requirements for Asteroid Sample Return

BEI Kimco Magnetics designed a customized moving magnet voice coil actuator (VCA) to meet the requirements for the flatplate Michelson moving mirror application on the Origins-Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRISRex) spacecraft. The OSIRIS-Rex will launch in 2016, rendezvous with the Asteroid Bennu in 2018, and return samples to Earth in 2023. Redundant technology, low-outgassing, and high precision for exact motion control positioning were all essential requirements to the actuator design.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Spacecraft
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