Application Briefs

High-Flex Cable Assembly to Aid Robot Arm in Mars Exploration Program

High-Flex Cables Cicoil Corp. Valencia, CA 661-295-1295

Cicoil has provided a custom-formed high-flex cable to the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), scheduled to launch in 2011 as part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. The program is a long-term robotic exploration of Mars that will assess whether Mars’ environment can support, or has supported, microbial life. The mission essentially seeks to determine the planet’s potential for habitability.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Robotics, Electric cables, Robotics, Spacecraft

Avionics Databus to Promote Systems Integration on Orion Vehicle

TTEthernet TTTech North America Carlsbad, CA 760-603-9393

TTEthernet, a high-bandwidth databus developed by TTTech and Honeywell, will be deployed on Orion, the Earth crew entry vehicle scheduled to make its first flights within the next few years, as part of NASA’s Constellation program to send human explorers back to the moon, Mars, and other destinations in the solar system. Orion, launched atop an Ares I rocket, will be capable of carrying crew and cargo to the International Space Station. The spacecraft will rendezvous with a lunar landing module and an Earth departure stage in low-Earth orbit to carry crews to the Moon using advanced technologies, including TTEthernet. The high-bandwidth avionic databus capability will allow it to support future technology insertion as the Constellation program progresses.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aviation, Architecture, Avionics, Systems management, Spacecraft

Imaging System Enables Early Detection of Diabetic Retinopathy

People whose bodies cannot produce effective or sufficient insulin are said to have diabetes. This chronic disease has several serious long-term effects that are well documented: kidney failure, heart disease, foot disease that may require amputation, neuropathy (sensory loss), and blindness. Vision loss caused by diabetes is known as diabetic retinopathy. Retinopathy is define as non-inflammatory disorders in the retina. In diabetics, this condition manifests itself in the form of lesions, tears, or scratches on the retina. In the last few years, Montreal ophthalmologist Dr. Michael Flanders has noticed an increase in the number of patients with this condition. “There are more patients than before who are coming through my office and hospital clinics who have diabetic retinopathy,” he said.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Diagnosis, Diseases, Medical equipment and supplies

Greening the Golden Arches

By Gary Trott, Cree, Durham, NC

L ast July, Ric Richards — a fast-food franchisee — opened the first green McDonald’s in North Carolina, proving that it can be affordable and effective to build a sustainable fast-food restaurant. One of the key green elements to the Cary, NC-based McDonald’s is energy-saving, high-quality LED lighting.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Lighting

Bright and Economical LEDs Enable Mobile Projection

3M, St. Paul, MN

OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, Sunnyvale, CA

Micro projectors from 3M that can be connected to mobile phones and cameras include LEDs from OSRAM Opto Semi-conductors. The small, bright, energy-saving diodes were the key to developing the micro projectors, which could not be implemented with other light sources. Depending on lighting conditions, the LEDs project images of more than a meter.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Lighting

Demystifying Optical Ethernet Networks

The TDM-to-packet network transformation has been underway in transport/ telecommunications networks for some years now, fueled primarily by two trends: (a) the advent of triple-play (voice, video, data) for enterprise and residential customers and, lately, the explosion in video and mobile data services, and (b) the evolution in both packet- and transport-network equipment.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Optics, Photonics, Architecture, Fiber optics, Telecommunications systems

Spectrometer Helps NASA Detect Water in Excavated Moon Matter

QE65000 Spectrometer Ocean Optics Dunedin, FL 727-733-2447

An Ocean Optics QE65000 spectrometer has contributed measurements to the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission, helping NASA scientists to officially confirm the presence of water on the Moon. The spectrometer, dubbed ALICE, was custom re-engineered by Aurora Design & Technology to withstand the extreme temperature, radiation, shock, and vibration of space.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Test & Measurement, Spectroscopy, Soils, Water, Test equipment and instrumentation

Near-Infrared Cameras Indicate Signature of Water on the Moon

InGaAs shortwave infrared (SWIR) cameras Sensors Unlimited, Goodrich Corp. Princeton, NJ 609-520-0610

Shortwave infrared (SWIR) cameras from Sensors Unlimited were instrumental in NASA’s LCROSS mission to find water on the Moon. The cameras were selected for the mission more than three years ago, and were integrated into the imaging payload of the shepherding spacecraft.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Sensors, Optics, Water, Spacecraft

Connector Improves Reliability, Cuts Cost on Engine Production Line

HARTING North America was recently asked to solve some of the problems associated with power distribution and motion control on a vehicle manufacturer’s long conveyor and engine block production line. The line’s system integrator needed to reduce installation costs to be competitive with other potential suppliers, and the end customer was looking for higher reliability and ease of maintenance.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Connectors and terminals, Production, Engines, Reliability

Aircraft Modification and Integration Enables SOFIA to Fly

Aircraft and airborne system development and modification L-3 Communications Integrated Systems Waco, TX 254-799-5533

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Optics, Performance upgrades, Fixed-wing aircraft

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