Application Briefs

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.

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Cryogenic Supply System Protects Crews from Hazardous Gases

The Cryogenic Refuge Alternative Supply System (CryoRASS), and a smaller liquid air-filled backpack under development at NASA Kennedy Space Center’s (KSC) Biomedical Lab, have the potential to store more than twice the amount of breathable air than traditional compressed gas systems.

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NASA Selects “Game-Changing” Thermal Management Concept

Thermacore was recently selected by NASA Space Technology’s Game Changing Development Program to have one of its thermal management concepts evaluated for potential use in future spacecraft.

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Air-Data System Detects Aircraft Icing

Michigan Aerospace Corporation (MAC) has begun work on a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract with NASA’s Langley Research Center. The contract, “RIDES: Raman Icing Detection System,” extends MAC’s present aircraft-based optical airdata system technology — which uses ultraviolet laser light to measure air speed, direction, temperature, and density — to also detect conditions aloft when ice is likely to form, enabling a multi-hazard sensing capability.

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Ophthalmology Imaging: The Importance of Color Reproduction

Lumenera recently partnered with an ophthalmology diagnostic device manufacturer that required a camera for integration into its product. The goal was to obtain sharp retinal fundus images with accurate color reproduction for documentation, sharing, and storage of their results. A date stamp was also needed for later review and diagnosis.

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Software Tool Analyzes C/C++ Code

GrammaTech, a software developer specializing in software assurance tools and cybersecurity technology, received an award from NASA to prototype a specification editing and discovery tool (SPEEDY) for C/C++ code analysis.

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NASA-Funded Research Converts Waste Heat to Electricity

Scientists have long attempted to convert the enormous amounts of waste heat generated by power plants, data centers, and cars into electricity via thermoelectric power generators (TEPGs). Scientists know how to convert waste heat into electricity. The problem is how to do so in an efficient manner using a material that justifies the cost of the conversion process.

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