Application Briefs

Spectroscopy of Planetary Systems Made Possible by Focal Plane Detector

NIRSpec STM Focal Plane Detector ITT Corp. White Plains, NY 914-641-2000 www.itt.com The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is scheduled for launch in 2013 with the goal of discovering the first galaxies that formed in the early Universe. On board the JWST is ITT Corp.’s Near Infrared Spectrometer (NIRSpec) Structural Thermal Model (STM) focal-plane detector packaging that will allow scientists to perform spectroscopy on planetary systems and further the studies on the origins of life.

Posted in: Application Briefs

Read More >>

New Testing Equipment Helps NASA Prepare for Telescope Launch

LabVIEW FPGA National Instruments Austin, TX 888-280-7645 www.ni.com NASA’s next-generation successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), features the Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec), which is equipped with more than 250,000 microshutters designed to observe thousands of distant galaxies to better understand the origins of the universe. The microshutters are microelectromechanical system (MEMS) devices that physically open and close for light exposure, similar to shutters on a camera. Engineers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland have tested the microshutters using National Instruments' LabVIEW FPGA to control the shutters in a test chamber.

Posted in: Application Briefs

Read More >>

Magnetostrictive Sensor System Helps High-Performance Car Brake Quickly

The Bugatti Veyron is the world’s fastest street-legal motor vehicle, a high-end passenger car that can reach speeds of more than 200 miles per hour. These high speeds require extra braking power, which comes from raising an aerodynamic rear wing and generating additional braking forces. The Veyron can decelerate from 230 mph to 0 in only 7.5 seconds, largely due to the extra down force achieved with the rear wing, which is raised within 0.4 seconds to a 55° angle.

Posted in: Applications, Motion Control, Application Briefs

Read More >>

Creating Motion Control and Drive Electronics With an FPGA-based System

Complex machines in semiconductor manufacturing often have tough performance requirements for motion control. When traditional PLCor PC-based motion controllers fail to meet these requirements, machine builders turn to custom board development — a time-consuming and expensive process. Recent advances in embedded technologies have made it possible to use FPGA-based COTS platforms to not only meet those requirements, but also to get to market faster by using graphical system design.

Posted in: Applications, Motion Control, Application Briefs

Read More >>

Simulation Software Enables Development and Validation of NASA Probe Bus and Probe Carrier

MSC Nastran and MSC Adams Enterprise Simulation Software MSC.Software Corp. Santa Ana, CA 714-540-8900 www.mscsoftware.com NASA’s MIDEX Mission THEMIS (Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms) aims to resolve one of the oldest mysteries in space physics: namely, to determine what physical process in near-Earth space initiates the violent eruptions of the aurora that occur during substorms in the Earth’s magnetosphere. THEMIS is a 2-year mission consisting of five identical probes that will study the violent colorful eruptions of Auroras.

Posted in: Application Briefs

Read More >>

Imaging Software Provides Access to Critical Mission Images Across NASA

Presto Imaging Software Inmagic Woburn, MA 781-287-6277 www.inmagic.com With every space shuttle mission, hundreds of individuals across NASA need to access extensive photographs, video footage, and other imaging assets in order to monitor launch results, review design decisions, and ensure mission safety. Additional video footage and still images shot on orbit enables NASA engineers to compare pre-flight and in-flight images in order to assess functionality and highlight areas that warrant further scrutiny. Until recently, only the Image Analysis Team (IAT) staff could view these baseline images, and sometimes with delays due to the complexity of accessing them.

Posted in: Application Briefs

Read More >>

Encapsulated Video “Brick” Bolsters Video Surveillance Along Boarder

Increasingly dependent on continuous video monitoring and recording, even today’s more sophisticated security surveillance systems are often plagued by reliability problems. In some ways, more complex video systems are susceptible to signal and other dependability problems simply because they are multifaceted. Systems integrators may know what cameras and recorders to use in a given situation, but they also need to consider how subcomponents could play a critical role under certain conditions. A noisy switch or incompatible distribution amplifier (DA) can compromise the integrity of a video security system yet go undiagnosed or even undetected until the horse is already out of the barn.

Posted in: Application Briefs

Read More >>