Application Briefs

Vision System Provides Real-Time Guidance for Unmanned Docking Operations

TriDAR vision system Neptec Design Group Ottawa, ON, Canada 613-599-7602 www.neptec.com NASA is conducting a Detailed Test Objective (DTO) with Neptec’s TriDAR vision system for use in unmanned docking operations. The vision system provides real-time visual guidance for navigation, rendezvous, and docking procedures, and is expected to play a critical role in future space exploration missions.

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Designing 3D Capabilities Into Handheld Displays

For 3D viewing to be convenient on small, portable devices, it must be autostereoscopic, thus eliminating the requirement for 3D “glasses.” The display devices must also provide 2D and 3D capability simultaneously, without sacrificing resolution or color vibrancy.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, ptb catchall, Photonics

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Tool Coil Springs Aid in Hubble Repairs

Canted-Coil™ springs Bal Seal Engineering Foothill Ranch, CA 949-460-2100 www.balseal.com When astronauts embarked on the latest mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, Bal Seal Engineering’s Canted-Coil™ springs went along for the ride in a set of special tools. The springs were incorporated in several major repair operations.

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Fire Suppression System Protects Giant Crawler Transporters

Stat-X fire suppression system Fireaway LLC Minnetonka, MN 952-935-9745 http://statx.com When NASA Kennedy Space Center’s fire safety experts decided to replace the fire suppression system in the giant twin crawler transporters that bring the space shuttle from the assembly building to the launch pad, they selected the Stat-X firefighting system for enclosed spaces, a clean, compact system that suppresses fire with condensed aerosol technology. The system kills fires quickly without harming the environment.

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Fanuc Painting Robot Boosts Production for Metal Finisher

Classic Metal Finishing, based in Jackson, Mich., supplies components for the aerospace, motorcycle, racing, and medical industries. The plant was purchased in February, 2008 by Classic Metal Finishing and Classic Turning. Classic Turning performs high-end CNC machining of components and Classic Metal Finishing performs anodizing and dry film lubricant applications. Classic Metal Finishing’s anodizing line can anodize with two different types for corrosion inhibitor resistance, and can die aluminum in eight different colors. Dry film lubricant is applied to parts to help with high friction tolerance fits and moving assemblies.

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HEIDENHAIN Gauge Facilitates Precision Stereology Research

Stereology, a tool that became popular in the late ‘90s, is used to quantify properties of 3D objects from 2D sections through an object (such as microscope slides of brain tissue). This method is accepted by neuroscientists as the preferred way to estimate numbers of cell populations in brain structures. The MBF Bioscience’s Stereo Investigator system from MBF Bioscience, Williston, VT, is the market’s leading product and utilizes procedures that use small sample sizes that can be collected rapidly and assure findings that will be accurate, unbiased and statistically efficient.

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Magnetic Rotary Encoders Aid Remote Control Vehicle

AB Precision (ABP) prefers to call its Guardian a vehicle (as in MROV - Miniature Remotely Operated Vehicle) rather than a robot. Names aside, the UK-based engineering company’s quadtracked, articulated creation is characterized by dexterity and maneuverability. Its network of ten Renishaw non-contact encoders provide absolute positional feedback to a CPU.

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