Application Briefs

Flight Dynamics Software Supports NASA Mission to Measure Carbon Dioxide

focusLEO Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) flight dynamics software GMV Rockville, MD 301-926-0119 www.gmv.com The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO), managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA, is a mission to measure carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, VA, will provide the OCO project’s spacecraft and real-time mission operations.

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Elastic Memory Composite Hinges Tested on Shuttle

TEMBO® Elastic Memory Composite Hinges (EMCH) Composite Technology Development (CTD) Lafayette, CO 303-664-0394 www.ctd-materials.com Elastic Memory Composite Hinges (EMCH) were developed by CTD for deploying solar arrays, communications, and optical systems in space. They are designed to drive and dampen the deployment of a structure and hold the structure firmly at the end of deployment with no dead band. Combining carbon fiber reinforcement and shape-memory polymers, the hinges are constructed of TEMBO® composites, which replace complex mechanical deployment systems with lighter ones.

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Reactive Solders Improve Fiber Couplers and OE Bonding

Optical and optoelectronic (OE) devices are being rapidly integrated into many facets of everyday life. From telecommunications to sensor applications, these devices are expected to perform accurately and reliably for long periods of time.

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Software-Defined Radio Software Aids Development of Space Telecommunications

NASA’s John Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH, has chosen the Green Hills Platform for Software Defined Radio (SDR) — with Spectrum Signal’s flexComm™ SDR- 4000 communications platform — for the rapid design, development, and refinement of its next-generation Space Telecommunications System Architecture. The Green Hills SDR Platform includes the INTEGRITY® RTOS, a POSIX.1- conformant real-time operating system certified by the IEEE to the POSIX 1003.1 standard; a dual-mode IPv4 networking stack support; and waveform design and development tools.

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Clearer Images on Near Infrared Camera Made Possible with Filters

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is scheduled for launch in 2013 and aims to unravel the history of earlier galaxies, linking the Big Bang to the Milky Way Galaxy. JWST’s Near InfraRed Camera (NIRCam) is a filter-based instrument covering the spectral range of 0.6 to 5.0 microns. The Principle Investigator for NIRCam is Dr. Marcia Reike of the University of Arizona, while the Advanced Technology Center (ATC) of Lockheed Martin is responsible for its manufacture, integration, and testing. Barr Associates recently was selected to design, manufacture, and test 30 filters for the JWST NIRCam. Barr previously provided spaceflight filters for Lockheed Martin ATC, including those for the Solar-B and shuttle glow experiments.

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NASA Institute Studies and Identifies Martian Land Formations

The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) in Houston is part of the Universities Space Research Association, and is a NASAfunded institute that conducts research in the lunar, planetary, and terrestrial sciences on behalf of university science departments and NASA. The most recent project between the University of Houston (UH) and the LPI seeks to identify and characterize the natural landscape structures of Mars, such as the inside of craters, valley networks, and the outside and inside rims of craters and inter-crater plains. Identifying these structures is important because rocks, minerals, and geologic landforms hold clues to past water activity on Mars. Understanding the history of water on Mars is a part of NASA’s long-term Mars Exploration Project.

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Deformable Mirror to Help NASA Search for New Planets

Boston Micromachines, a provider of MEMS-based deformable mirror products for adaptive optics systems, is developing a deformable mirror that will aid NASA in the search for extra-solar planets. The mirror comprises a micromirror array consisting of 331 closely packed ultra-flat hexagonal mirror elements. Each element is capable of tip, tilt, and piston motion with nanometer precision as required for a space-based, hyper-contrast coronagraph imaging telescope.

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