Application Briefs

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


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


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


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


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’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


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

PT-1880 handheld electronic labeler Brother International Bridgewater, NJ 908-704-1700 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


BEI Duncan’s Steer-by-Wire Technology Improves Fuel Efficiency for AGCO Challenger® Tractor

Off-highway tractors slog through mud, muck, and other rough terrain on a daily basis. Achieving high reliability and performance in spite of these harsh conditions requires technology at its best. To improve fuel efficiency and reliability while decreasing manufacturing costs, the AGCO Challenger® track tractor went through a major redesign from the ground up.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Sensors


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