Application Briefs

Devices Execute Critical Separations for Phoenix Lander

Hi-Shear separation devices Hi-Shear Technology Corp. Torrance, CA 310-326-8110 www.hi-shear.com Hi-Shear separation nuts and pressure cartridges recently were used on the Phoenix Mars lander after being exposed to the cold temperatures and harsh environments of space for nine-and-a-half months. The Phoenix lander landed on Mars on May 25, 2008, and the Hi-Shear devices executed the Critical Cruise Stage Separation, Backshell Separation, and Heatshield Separation for a successful landing and operation on the surface of Mars. The spacecraft targeted the circumpolar region using a robotic arm to dig through the protective top soil layer to the water ice below, and to ultimately bring both soil and water ice to the lander platform for analysis.

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Position Sensors Help Cameras Focus on Mars

Hall Effect position sensors Micropac Industries Garland, TX 972-272-3571 www.micropac.com Micropac’s hermetic Hall Effect devices are being used by Alliance Spacesystems, LLC and Malin Space Science Systems in camera mechanisms on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover. Malin Space Science Systems’ Mast Camera (MastCam) and the Mars Hand-Lens Imager (MAHLI) will use focus, filter wheel, and cover mechanisms produced by Alliance Spacesystems. The Hall Effect position sensors are used in the focusing mechanisms on both cameras.

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QuickSilver Servo Motors Drive Autonomous Vehicles

The design of remotely operated, autonomous battery-powered vehicles places special requirements on motion control systems. High torque at low speeds is needed to climb over obstacles, while higher speed operation is needed for cruise speed. Efficient operation from lower voltages (12V to 48V) reduces battery size and weight requirements, while regenerative drives maximize the operating time and distance by recharging the batteries while braking.

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Electronic Motion Controller Simplifies Hydraulic Press Controls

What do you do if you’re in the business of producing a wide variety of metal presses to meet special customer requirements? You choose your system components wisely, and flexibility of function plays a large part.

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Maxon Drive Prevents Bottlenecks for Bottle Cap Maker

Maxon’s MCD EPOS integrated power drive was used by a wine and liquor bottling operation to control the cutting of shrink-wrapped film over the bottleneck and cork or cap.

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Precision Prism Manufacturing — Art or Science?

Prisms are used in countless optical systems — from the pair of binoculars in your closet to cutting edge targeting systems to retroreflectors on the Moon. In modern, high-end optical systems, precision optics may be required that push the envelope of manufacturability within given cost constraints. Prisms are an integral component in many of these systems and often require manual fabrication in small quantities; however, they save space, mounting time, and materials, presenting opportunities as well as challenges for optical system designers.

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NASA’s Next-Generation Space Suit Built for Orion Spacecraft

Constellation Space Suit Station (CSSS) Oceaneering International Houston, TX 281-228-5300 www.oceaneering.com Oceaneering International has secured a contract from NASA to design and build the agency’s next-generation space suit, known as the Constellation Space Suit System (CSSS). During the initial contract term of six years, Oceaneering will design and build highly reliable, operationally efficient, and simple-to-maintain suits for use during launch, abort, and reentry of the new Orion spacecraft and for all contingency Extravehicular Activity (EVA). The contract includes options to provide ongoing operational and training support, and to design and build suits for use during lunar surface activities.

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