Application Briefs

Rotary Motors Customized for Telescope Spectrometer

SQUIGGLE® custom rotary piezoelectric motors New Scale Technologies Victor, NY 585-924-4450 www.newscaletech.comThe Wide-Field Multi Object Spectrometer (WFMOS) is a ground-based astronomical instrument that is scheduled to be commissioned on the Subaru Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii in 2013. The WFMOS, along with corrective optics, will be mounted in place of the secondary mirror of the telescope. An array of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Cobra fiber positioners will feed light from a 1.5-degree field of the sky to a visible spectrometer, for red shift observations of 2,400 cosmological targets simultaneously. The light will be transferred to the spectrograph using 2,400 f/2.4 fibers with 107 μm cores.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motors & Drives, Spectroscopy, Customization, Electric motors, Rotary engines

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High-Speed Cameras Assist in Crash Sled Testing

The Kettering University Crash Safety Center (Flint, MI) conducts vehicle subsystem tests using a pneumatic deceleration sled. The research and testing includes frontal, rear, or side impact occupant protection systems containing airbags, pretensioners, and/or child safety seats. The sled system can carry up to a 2,000-pound payload to a speed up to 42 miles per hour, and reach peak decelerations over 70 Gs. Access to high-quality imagery and dependable on-board and off-board high-speed digital video is as vital to the success of the data collection as is the anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs, also known as “crash dummies”) and their instrumentation (Figure 1).

Posted in: Application Briefs, Cameras, Test & Measurement, Optics, Impact tests, Occupant protection, Test equipment and instrumentation

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Forest City Gear Controls Prosthetic Hand

Forest City Gear of Roscoe, IL, is a turnkey gear manufacturer, responsible to their customers for literally every facet of gear manufacturing, including prototyping, testing, production, finishing, quality and process validation, even packaging and delivery. One customer the gear manufacturer has increased their involvement with is Motion Control, Inc., of Salt Lake City, Utah, a world leader in myoelectric prosthetic devices and the makers of the Utah Arm, considered the most advanced prosthetic elbow/hand in the industry for above-elbow amputees.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Prostheses and implants, Supplier assessment, Gears

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Omron Controls and Drives Improve Animals’ Joint Health

Ferno Aquatic Therapy, Wilmington, OH, designs and manufactures canine and equine underwater treadmill equipment used by veterinarians to provide aquatic therapy, rehabilitation, and conditioning for both dogs and horses. Designed specifically for canine rehabilitation, the Ferno Aqua Paws Plus Under water Treadmill System allows dogs to begin the rehabilitation process earlier than normal. Using the buoyancy, resistance and heat properties of water, the Aqua Paws unit creates a low-impact treadmill workout that helps the animal to increase muscle strength and endurance, providing the foundation for a quicker transition to land-based therapy.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Automation & Controls, Medical, Water, Medical equipment and supplies, Injuries

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Alumina Ceramic “Dog Bone” Helps Chandra Detect High-Energy Events

Fine-grained alumina ceramic charge detector Insaco Quakertown, PA 215-536-3500 www.insaco.comThe Chandra X-Ray Observatory was launched into high elliptical orbit in 1998. The 39-foot-long, 10,000-pound observatory is designed to study high-energy events such as supernovae, black holes, quasars, and stellar coronae. At its core are several extremely precise instruments, including the high-resolution camera spectroscope (HRC-S). The spectroscopic detector consists of three major assemblies: a UV/ION shield, a pair of micro-channel plates, and a cross-grid charge detector (CGCD) made from a 99.98%-pure alumina ceramic made by Astro Met. The CGCD is referred to as the “dog bone” because of its shape.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Detectors, Sensors and actuators, Aluminum alloys, Ceramics

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Communications System Supports the Ames Airspace Operations Lab

Voice-over-IP communications system Quintron Santa Maria, CA 805-928-4343 www.quintron.comQuintron was selected by NASA’s Ames Research Center (ARC) to supply a new Voice-over-IP (VoIP) communications system to support the ARC Airspace Operations Laboratory (AOL) — a research facility to investigate improved operational techniques for Air Traffic Control (ATC) operations. The AOL provides representative ATC personnel operating stations along with “pseudo-pilot” positions to complete the simulation environment. Both the ATC and pseudo-pilot positions will utilize the Quintron VoIP for communications, with overall system configuration managed by the simulation control personnel.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Communications, Internet, Telecommunications, Test facilities

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New Small Form Factor Storage Standard Targets Embedded Systems

To achieve small size, low power consumption and fast time to market requirements, embedded systems designers often look to chipsets found in cell phone handsets or mobile internet devices (MIDs) to cost-effectively meet their design requirements. These components, whether they are off-the-shelf chipsets from Intel, AMD or Freescale, or FPGA’s from Xilinx, Altera, or Actel, that later migrate to custom ASICS, often define the available storage interfaces. These chipsets are widely understood and supported and more often than not, make use of USB, SD, MMC or some other type of serial programmable interface that is not usually defined with traditional storage such as PATA or SATA.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs

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Using Hollow Core Plastic Bragg Fiber to Deliver Ultrashort Pulse Laser Beams

Ultrashort pulse (USP), or “ultrafast,” lasers emit extremely brief pulses of light, generally with duration of a picosecond (10-12 seconds) or less. The pulses are characterized by a high optical intensity that induces nonlinear interactions in various materials, including air.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, ptb catchall, Photonics, Fiber optics, Lasers

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Communications Systems Support NASA’s Unmanned Aircraft

Communications systems and support equipment L-3 Communications Corp. Communications Systems West Salt Lake City, UT 801-594-2000 www.l-3com.com/csw/NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, CA has chosen L-3 Communications Systems West to provide engineering, technical, and product support services for the center’s operation of two Global Hawk unmanned aircraft. The contract supports Dryden’s planned operation of the two aircraft, their associated ground control station, and related systems. L-3 will be responsible for providing specialized analysis, engineering, functional tests, hardware or software development, or testing that requires specific L-3 proprietary data.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Communications, Wireless communication systems, Unmanned aerial vehicles

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Handheld Labeler is Key to International Space Station’s Organizational System

PT-1880 handheld electronic labeler Brother International Bridgewater, NJ 908-704-1700 www.brother-usa.comIn October 2007, the crew of NASA’s International Space Station (ISS) was having difficulty clarifying the often complex layout of the ISS panels and systems. The crew contacted Mission Control and had a NASA worker purchase Brother Ptouch ® 1880 electronic labelers, which were then sent up to the ISS on the next shuttle mission. The PT-1880, an easy-touse handheld labeler, is now an important component of the ISS’s organizational system.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Tools and equipment, Logistics, Identification, Spacecraft

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