Application Briefs

Computer and Displays Help Control and Maneuver Crew Transportation System

Space-qualified boards and subsystems Aitech Defense Systems Chatsworth, CA 888-248-3248 http://rugged.com/space-products

The Boeing Company selected Aitech Defense Systems to provide space-grade products and services to support the Commercial Crew Transportation System (CCTS) and Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft, part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Articles, Aerospace, Computer software and hardware, Human machine interface (HMI), Displays, Spacecraft
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CubeSat Launches With 3D-Printed Components

Windform XT 2.0 3D printing material CRP USA, LLC Mooresville, NC 704-660-0258 www.crp-usa.net

A team of students from the University of Kentucky and Morehead State University developed the KySat-2 project, a 1U CubeSat that launched into orbit as part of NASA’s ElaNa IV mission from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Articles, Aerospace, Fibers, Satellites
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Implementing Color Machine Vision Inspection Systems

Color provides critical information that can improve the reliability of many machine vision inspection applications and make it possible to inspect many products that cannot be inspected in grayscale. Typical examples include ensuring that a tan rather than a taupe automotive interior component is installed, and checking the position of a black label on a black single-serving coffee cup.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, Photonics, Imaging and visualization, Automation, Inspections
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Motion Solutions for Electric Expansion Valves

Expansion valves are flow-restricting devices present in any refrigeration system. The valve needle remains open during steady state of operation. The size of the opening, or position of the needle, is related to the pressure and temperature of the evaporator. When set and controlled properly, an expansion valve will keep the evaporator active throughout its operation.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Thermal management, Cooling
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Hamburg Airport Relies on Drive Technology to Keep Bags Moving

Hamburg Airport in Germany handles nine million pieces of baggage every year. For the baggage handling staff, the reliability of the conveyor system and the prevention of faults are the highest priorities. The breakdown of even a single component of the system would result in a backlog and unacceptable delays.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Ground support
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Servo Motors Help Launch Vehicles Optimize Fuel

Servo motors MICROMO (the FAULHABER Group) Clearwater, FL 800-807-9166 www.micromo.com

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) builds economical launch vehicles like the Falcon 9 to carry a range of payloads into orbit. One way to control cost is by optimizing fuel burned during launch to minimize waste. The SpaceX team ensures top performance with the help of a special fuel-trim valve, powered by servo motors from MICROMO. Rockets like the Falcon 9 and Falcon 1 at SpaceX burn a fuel known as RP-1, a highly refined form of kerosene that must be mixed with oxygen in order to burn. On the launch vehicle, 4" pipes run from tanks of RP-1 and liquid oxygen (LOX) to combine prior to entering the combustion chamber. RP-1 fuel won’t burn without oxygen, but as long as oxygen is present, the two do not need to be combined in a precise ratio. The problem is that if the ratio of LOX to RP- 1 varies from the optimum mix, either the oxygen will run out before the fuel, or the fuel before the oxygen. Once combustion stops, the material left becomes dead weight, turning from propellant to liability. To ensure this doesn’t happen, the fuel-trim valve adjusts the mixture in real time.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Articles, Aerospace, Propellants, Engines, Launch vehicles
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Electrical Connectors Provide Signal Integrity for Orion

KA Series PCB connectors and D-Sub Series connectors Smiths Connectors Costa Mesa, CA 714-371-1100 www.smithsconnectors.com

Development of NASA’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle was a complex undertaking involving a vast number of subcontractors across multiple technology disciplines. Smiths Connectors was selected by Lockheed Martin, NASA’s prime contractor, to provide space-grade connectors with the proven capability to perform in the harsh environment of deep space missions.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Articles, Aerospace, Connectors and terminals, Spacecraft
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The Increasing Use of Electrical Actuators in the Aerospace and Defense Industry

Hydraulic and pneumatic systems have traditionally been the market leader in providing power in the aerospace and defense industry because of their low cost and high power density. But in recent years, attention has been focused on the limitations of hydraulic actuators, including their weight, performance, and high maintenance requirements, as well as concerns over their vulnerability due to security issues and other risks.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Electrical systems, Sensors and actuators, Electric power, Lightweighting
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Motion Controller Automates Hydrostatic Pressure Testing

A flexible hydrostatic test system for the oil and gas industry must precisely measure a wide range of pressures. Because the items tested vary widely, most testing is done manually. A test engineer sets appropriate parameters, and a skilled operator adjusts the pumping system for the specimen under test. After the technician sets up the test, he or she is usually seated at the pressure source and controls the specified pressure. The human interaction lacks precision and repeatability; each time the test is performed, there is a variation in results. In extreme cases, the maximum rated pressure is exceeded, causing damage.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Test & Measurement, Human factors, Test equipment and instrumentation, Test procedures, Mining vehicles and equipment
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System Tests Flight Control of Dream Chaser Spacecraft

DynoLAB™ data acquisition and control system SAKOR Technologies Okemos, MI 517-332-7256 www.sakor.com

SAKOR Technologies has supplied a test system to Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) to be used to test the atmospheric flight control system for the Dream Chaser® spacecraft. Dream Chaser is a lifting-body, reusable, crewed or uncrewed vehicle. It is owned and operated by Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), and is designed as a space utility vehicle for low-Earth orbit.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Articles, Aerospace, Flight control systems, Test equipment and instrumentation, Spacecraft
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