Application Briefs

Ion Thruster System Powers Spacecraft to Deep-Space Destinations

Ion thruster system and power processing units Aerojet Rocketdyne Sacramento, CA 916-355-4000 www.rocket.com Aerojet Rocketdyne is developing NASA’s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster-Commercial (NEXT-C) Gridded Ion Thruster System. Managed at NASA’s John H. Glenn Research Center, the NEXT-C Gridded Ion Thruster System is designed to power government and commercial spacecraft to deep-space destinations faster, farther, and more fuel efficiently than any other propulsion technology currently available.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Articles, Aerospace, Rocket engines, Spacecraft

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3D Machine Vision Using Laser Triangulation

Applications for 3D machine vision are rapidly expanding in a variety of industries for several reasons. The first is that vision systems can lower production costs by increasing yields and/or reducing scrap product and wasted raw material. One example of this would be extruded products from various materials (rubber, plastic, metal), where it’s vital to know as soon as the process goes out of specification.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Articles, Applications, Photonics, Imaging and visualization, Production

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Software Helps NASA Simulate Performance of James Webb Telescope

Femap™ engineering simulation software Siemens PLM Software Plano, TX 972-987-3000 www.siemens.com/plm Scheduled for launch in 2018, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Observatory will operate 1.5 million kilometers above the Earth. Its mission is ambitious: examining every phase of cos mic history. The telescope will look back light years into the past.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Articles, Aerospace, Simulation and modeling, Computer software and hardware

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Advanced Holography Offers 3D Fire Measurements

In a propellant fire, large molten aluminum drops form at the burning surface. The drops are lofted into the environment and can severely damage anything that they fall on. Liquid breakup must be understood to predict the scale and intensity of such fires.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Briefs, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Aluminum alloys, Fire

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Cameras Provide Critical Data for NASA Rocket’s First Flight

On March 11, NASA tested the powerful five-segment booster for NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System. To provide critical data for the rocket’s first flight, eight cameras with more than 40 different settings — including varying exposures — were set up near the forward portion of the booster. During the two-minute test, the cameras were computer-controlled and cycled through pre-programmed settings.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Briefs, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Launch vehicles

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Thermoplastic Racks Open Up New Motion Control Applications

Rack and pinions are linear actuators that play a critical role in a wide range of linear motion control applications. While rack and pinions are commonly thought of as a timeless technology, several new developments have helped provide significant performance improvements in specific applications. One new approach, the Roller Pinion System, replaces the traditional rack and pinion with bearing-supported rollers, increasing positional accuracy, speed and durability.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Sensors and actuators

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3D-Printed Functional Antenna Arrays Operate on Exterior of COSMIC-2 Satellites

FDM® (Fused Deposition Modeling™) technology and ULTEM 9085 thermoplastic Stratasys Direct Manufacturing (RedEye, Solid Concepts, and Harvest Technologies) Eden Prairie, MN 866-882-6934 www.redeyeondemand.com In 2006, a satellite mission called the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC-1) was put into orbit. The purpose of the instrument was to collect global ionospheric and atmospheric data of temperature, moisture, and pressure, including hard-to-sample areas such as above oceans and polar regions. The project was led by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), a consortium of more than 70 research universities in the US, and Meteorological Society of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Since its inception, the COSMIC-1 project has contributed to a wide range of scientific investigations and improvements in weather forecasting.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Antennas, Manufacturing processes, Satellites

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