Application Briefs

Vibration Sensors Monitor Engine Health in Latest Space Shuttle Launch

Model 7704M7 vibration sensors Endevco Corp. San Juan Capistrano, CA 949-493-8181 www.endevco.com On August 8, 2007, three Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs) from Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne lifted the space shuttle Endeavor into orbit and on its way to the International Space Station. The three SSMEs were fitted with Advanced Health Management (AHMS) controllers, using Endevco Model 7704M7 vibration sensors, to actively monitor engine health and performance.

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Embedded Design and Technology Trends in the Military

A presidential election... the continuance or end of deploying troops in Iraq...Phoenix spacecraft landing on Mars...2008 could be an exciting year, so let’s take a moment to look at a few trends that could affect the military embedded Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) market.

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DisplayPort Technology — Heir Apparent to VGA?

For the last 20 years we have connected our monitors to our computer systems having the confidence that upon turn-on, we could surf or create with never a consideration of whether the display would operate satisfactorily. VGA (Video Graphics Adaptor) technology enabled us to do that with CRTs as well as with flat panel displays. Now, however, the viewing benchmarks are being reset, as are system design considerations. There’s a new interface on the horizon called DisplayPort!

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, ptb catchall, Photonics

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NASA Advanced Life Support Systems Group Uses Water Reclamation Prototype

DynaJets® and DynaSwirl® cavitating jet technologies DynaFlow Jessup, MD 301-604-3688 www.dynaflow-inc.com Water is a critical product of any life support system. An estimated 12,000 kg of expendables are required to sustain a single person in space for one year, of which water comprises 86%. It is therefore imperative that water be recycled in an efficient manner. Technology used on the International Space Station consisting of conventional physico-chemical processes has a water recovery efficiency of 80 to 90%. But the level of resupply and use of expendables remains too large for longduration remote space applications.

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Spectrometer Selected for NASA Mission to Search out Lunar Water

QE65000 spectrometer Ocean Optics Dunedin, FL 727-733-2447 www.oceanoptics.com Scheduled to launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida in October of 2008, the LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) mission will venture to the Moon’s south pole. The mission will carry equipment from Ocean Optics named ALICE to help analyze the makeup of the lunar craters, with the goal of locating water below the Moon’s surface. The LCROSS mission will send a rocket crashing into the Moon at twice the speed of a bullet in order to study the resulting ejecta cloud. The impact is expected to generate a 2.2-million-pound plume of matter, which another spacecraft carrying ALICE will fly through, looking for signs of water and other compounds. Measuring the reflectivity of the plume, ALICE will enable scientists to distinguish between water vapor, water ice, and hydrated minerals with molecularly bound water.

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Improving Lens Performance With Transmitted Wavefront Error Testing

During design and manufacturing, optical systems and lenses are toleranced and tested to ensure the smallest possible performance error. Matching most optics manufacturing companies’ capabilities, lenses are traditionally toleranced with individual surface specifications — surface power and irregularity, or form, error. These tolerances and the associated tests control performance of a single surface, not the entire lens. Because lens designs are built around transmission characteristics such as spot size and RMS wavefront error, the performance of the entire lens, not the individual surfaces, is the true target. Transmitted wavefront error (TWE), which is the error in transmission of light through a lens, is the true target. For aspheric surfaces, traditional single-surface, three-dimensional surface form metrology is not easy. Aside from testing the true target, it may be easier and faster to make use of TWE for aspheric lenses. Using innovative metrology and developing a feed-forward manufacturing strategy, tolerancing and testing TWE can reduce risk in optical designs, improve performance and reduce cost and lead time.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, ptb catchall, Photonics

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Brake System Development Accelerated With 3D Modeling

Tractair Ltd., based in Brough, UK, designs, manufactures and installs air and hydraulic brake systems for special applications. The company works closely with the design engineers of major international tractor manufacturers and other OEMs to ensure that the braking systems are fully integrated. The company has been closely involved in the development of air brakes for agricultural and other off-road vehicles since 1985 and continues to adapt available technologies to meet the demands of increasing loads and speeds handled by agricultural and construction vehicles, both on and off the highway.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control

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