Application Briefs

Communications Systems Support NASA’s Unmanned Aircraft

Communications systems and support equipment L-3 Communications Corp. Communications Systems West Salt Lake City, UT 801-594-2000 www.l-3com.com/csw/ NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, CA has chosen L-3 Communications Systems West to provide engineering, technical, and product support services for the center’s operation of two Global Hawk unmanned aircraft. The contract supports Dryden’s planned operation of the two aircraft, their associated ground control station, and related systems. L-3 will be responsible for providing specialized analysis, engineering, functional tests, hardware or software development, or testing that requires specific L-3 proprietary data. The contract includes re-manufacturing components or equipment and specific operational support related to preflight preparation, mission, flight, and post-flight support. L-3 also will be responsible for supporting deployments of the aircraft to other NASA or customer facilities, and domestic or foreign operational deployment locations. The autonomously operated Global Hawk aircraft are for use in high-altitude, long-duration Earth science missions. The ability of the Global Hawk to autonomously fly long distances, remain aloft for extended periods of time, and carry large payloads brings a new capability to the science community for measuring, monitoring, and observing remote locations of Earth not feasible or practical with piloted aircraft, most other robotic or remotely operated aircraft, or space satellites. The aircraft’s 11,000-nautical-mile range and 30-hour endurance, together with satellite and line-of-site communication links to the ground control station, allow for eventual worldwide operation. Dedicated satellite communication links will provide researchers with direct access to their onboard instrument packages during missions. Researchers will have the ability to monitor instrument function from the ground control station and evaluate selected data in real time. Dryden will use the autonomously operated unmanned aircraft for missions supporting NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and the Earth science community that need high-altitude, long-endurance, long-distance airborne capability. For Free Info Click Here.

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Real-Time Data Distribution for Industrial Automation Systems

The quest to bring lockstep efficiency to labor intensive factory production at first relied on mechanical ingenuity. Over time, as reliable and cost-effective microprocessor technology became available, assembly lines were retooled to use the new electronics to achieve greater automation and productivity. Today, pervasive network technology, including the Internet, is bringing about another evolutionary change in industrial automation. No longer is it sufficient for individual machines to perform their specific tasks independently. Instead, individual parts of a larger process must be aware of each other; they must exchange data in realtime, and adapt to changes in the process or environment. Additionally, it is increasingly necessary to exchange data outside of the traditional industrial network and beyond the factory floor, and to include enterprise LANs and the Internet. Up-tothe- minute information on manufacturing processes needs to be available to analysts, inventory managers, and others within the office environment.

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Imaging Technique Improves Quality Control of Pharmaceuticals

A focal plane array designed for the Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle has helped a scientist see farther into the infrared spectrum. National Institutes of Health (NIH) researcher E. Neil Lewis picked up a mercury-cadmium telluride (MCT) array from Ted Heilweil, a colleague at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and placed it on the step-scanner of his infrared microscope.

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Radiation Detection Hardware Part of Living With a Star Experiment

Space dosimeter card Space Micro Inc. San Diego, CA 858-332-0700 www.spacemicro.com Space Micro’s space dosimeter card has been successfully integrated at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (Greenbelt, MD) into the Living with a Star (LWS), Space Environments Testbed (SET) experiment hardware. This hardware was designed by Clemson University, and was delivered to Goddard in 2007. Space Micro manufactured and tested the space-qualified card per Goddard space quality standards.

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Supercomputer Aids NASA’s Journey to the Moon and Mars

SGI® Altix® ICE systemSilicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI)Sunnyvale, CA800-800-7441www.sgi.comSGI has supplied NASA's Advanced Supercomputing facility at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA with Pleiades, the world’s third-fastest supercomputer. The 51,200-core SGI® Altix® ICE 8200EX system can generate a theoretical peak of 609 trillion operations per second (TeraFLOPS). Pleiades supplements Columbia, the 14,336-core SGI® Altix®system.

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Measurement Systems Aid NASA in Study of Space Station Solar Array Anomaly

Surface and roundness measurement systems Taylor Hobson West Chicago, IL 630-621-3099 www.taylor-hobson.com NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama is using the Form Talysurf PGI 1230 Surface Measurement and the Talyrond 295 Roundness/Cylindricity Measurement Systems from Taylor Hobson to perform critical surface analysis of a damaged bearing assembly from the International Space Station (ISS). The results are expected to help NASA experts determine the cause of the damage to the Solar Alpha Rotary Joint (SARJ), a 10-footdiameter ring that allows the station’s solar panel array to rotate and track the Sun.

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Communications and Tracking Services Support Near-Earth Missions

Telemetry, tracking, and command services ITT Corporation White Plains, NY 914-641-2000 www.itt.com ITT Corporation has been selected by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to perform telemetry, tracking, and command services for near-Earth missions under the Space Communications Network Services (SCNS) contract. Under this contract, ITT will support NASA’s Space and Near Earth Networks, which provide most of the communications and tracking services for a wide range of Earth-orbiting spacecraft, including the International Space Station, the space shuttle, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Earth Observing System Satellites.

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