Application Briefs

Fault Management Modeling Improves Spacecraft Operability

Ridgetop Group has been selected for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from NASA. Under the agreement, Ridgetop will develop an advanced system that mitigates faults in complex systems, ranging from flight control to electric power distribution, with autonomic recovery requirements.

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Solar Sail Will Demonstrate “Propellant-less Propulsion”

The Sunjammer Mission team — including NASA, lead contractor L’Garde, Space Services Holdings (SSHI), and Micro Aerospace Solutions — is preparing to launch Sunjammer, the largest solar sail ever deployed, named in honor of legendary science fiction author Sir Arthur C. Clarke. In a 1963 novella, Clarke christened a solar sailing ship “Sunjammer,” powered only by the pressure created by photons from the Sun.

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Using CVD Diamond to Cool Hot Devices

Increasing power densities and decreasing transistor dimensions are hallmarks of many of today’s semiconductor devices, including high-voltage power transistors, laser diodes, and RF power amplifiers. GaN devices, such as power converters for photovoltaic cells and cellular base-station power amplifiers, are further enabling higher power densities in smaller die sizes. Both trends are significantly increasing the thermal management challenge within the chip and surrounding package or module.

Posted in: Applications, Photonics, Application Briefs

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Couplings Synchronize Motion in Pipe Bending System

Pines Technology’s (Westlake, OH) Model 250 Heavy Duty CNC bender is a powerful automatic precision system for fast, repeatable bending of tube and pipe up to 10" in diameter. Providing fast setup and changeover advantages, this giant bender has an advanced level of programming to deliver automated high performance and flexibility in tube and pipe bending operations.

Posted in: Applications, Motion Control, Application Briefs

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NASA’s Next Rover Features 3D-Printed Parts

The Desert RATS (Research and Technology Studies) Space Exploration Rover has roamed the Arizona desert, maneuvering the terrain as the wind and temperatures swing from one extreme to another. NASA astronauts and engineers are testdriving the vehicle over rocks, sand, and hills in an environment that simulates Mars’ brutal conditions.

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Motors Power NASA’s Interactive Humanoid Tour Guide

RoboThespian is a programmable, interactive humanoid robot designed to communicate, interact, and entertain. First developed in 2006 by Cornish company Engineered Arts, RoboThespian stands 5'9", with a full range of upper-body movement and human-like eyes. NASA will employ the robot’s third generation as a figurehead — meeting and greeting over 1.5 million visitors per year at its futuristic Cape Canaveral base.

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Data Management to Support Assembly and Integration of Orion

MEI Technologies is part of the ARES Technical Services Corp. team performing work at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston for the Multi- Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) Program Integration Contract. MEI will provide system engineering and integration to support development, assembly, and integration of the Crew and Service Module for the MPCV, known as Orion.

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