Application Briefs

Controller Boards Bring 12-Monitor Video Wall to the Track

The P.A. People, specialist contractors within the audio-visual systems sector, were commissioned by the Australian Grand Prix Corporation to deliver a large-scale video wall for access to critical information, including race and driver details, weather forecasts, and closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage.

Posted in: Features, Application Briefs, Imaging

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Solar Powered UAVs

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has been increasing worldwide as demands for agile, rapid, targeted response forces have grown. UAVs provide surveillance and detection capabilities to these smaller forces that are unmatched by other technologies. As the reliance on UAVs increases, the short endurance times of existing UAV solutions become a significant factor. Existing commercial solutions have endurance ranging from 45 minutes to 4 hours, limiting both operational range and loiter capabilities. To increase endurance, UAV manufacturers have begun to target technologies ranging from increased performance batteries, improved control algorithms, fuel cells and other alternative power sources. While solar powered UAVs have long been a desired goal, existing solar technologies have characteristics that have made solar integration difficult and limited their integration.

Posted in: Applications, Photonics, Application Briefs

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Bearing Keeps Spectrometer Stable in Telescope

How do you collect data from stars thousands of light years away while positioning a 300-ton, 10-meter telescope to within a fraction of a human hair? You use a high-tech spectrometer called MOSFIRE (Multi-Object Spectrometer For Infra-Red Exploration), rotating on a custom bearing.

Posted in: Features, Application Briefs

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NASA Uses GPUs to Build More Vivid Flight Simulators

Nearly everyone is familiar with terms like 20/20 vision, but what does that mean when it comes to developing a flight simulator?

Posted in: Features, Application Briefs

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Gait Analysis Based on Inertial and Magnetic Sensors

Motion analysis often is based on stereophotogrammetry, which estimates the three-dimensional coordinates of points on an object by measurements made in two or more photographic images taken from different positions. While it provides very useful and detailed information about walking, the technique’s full capability of quantitative analysis of movement often is not used.

Posted in: Applications, Motion Control, Application Briefs

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Sensors Enable Precise Mounting of X-Ray Telescope Assembly

NASA’s newest orbital X-ray telescope technology uses highperformance capacitive displacement sensors from Lion Precision. The sensors, capable of resolving position to less than 10 nanometers, are used during the mounting of over 10,000 thin glass mirrors into the telescope’s “lens.” Each mirror is about the size of a sheet of paper and only four times thicker. Achieving the required optical specifications for the telescope requires that each of the mirrors be mounted into position with better than 1 μm of accuracy. The mirrors must be able to hold this positional and angular accuracy during launch and deployment in space.

Posted in: Features, Application Briefs

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Simulations Prepare Curiosity Rover for Touchdown on Mars

Using MSC Software’s Adams multibody dynamics software, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) engineers simulated the final sky crane landing sequence of the Curiosity Mars rover. The sky crane landing sequence required the rover to transform from its stowed flight configuration to landing configuration while being lowered to Mars, wheels-down, from the descent stage.

Posted in: Features, Application Briefs

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