Application Briefs

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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Intelligent Photonic Multi-Sensor Solutions

With the Internet of Things (IoT) quickly rising in front of us, it would be easy to get caught in the trap of thinking that both the trajectory and applications will be somewhat predictable. While hindsight is 20/20, the future can be a little trickier to envision. We can likely all agree that when we saw the first brick-sized wireless telephone, it wasn’t hard to tap our creative problem solving to conclude that subsequent generations were going to get smaller, cheaper and generally “better”. But few people could have envisioned the “smartphone,” let alone Apple’s first edition iPhone. Fewer still looked from that first brick to an age of sensor-driven, cloud-connected apps in the palms of our hands.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Briefs, Photonics, Sensors and actuators, Product development

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NASA, UCF Professor Send Sensor to Stratosphere

Planetary Atmospheres Minor Species Sensor (PAMSS) University of Central Florida Orlando, FL www.ucf.eduUsing a high-altitude balloon, NASA and a team led by University of Central Florida physics professor Robert Peale sent an experimental sensor about 20 miles above the Earth. The flight demonstrated the sensor’s ability to function in the perilous conditions found in the stratosphere, where the temperature can plummet to -75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Sensors, Remote sensing, Sensors and actuators, Environmental testing, Gases

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Waggle Platform Offers Possible Key to the ‘Smart City’

Data Collection Platform Argonne National Laboratory Lemont, IL www.anl.govAs urban populations expand, some experts envision “smarter” cities, where hundreds or thousands of strategically placed sensors will record and monitor all types of measurements, including waterway pollutants, air pressure, and temperature. The barrier to the “smart city,” however, is quick and easy access to data. The sensors require a computing platform to process the data being received.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Sensors, Cloud computing, Data exchange, Embedded software, Internet of things, Sensors and actuators

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NASA Sensors Detect Aircraft Icing Hazards

Atmospheric Icing Sensors Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/homeNASA’s Glenn Research Center scientists are sending up weather balloons to read weather data and validate the agency’s ground-based sensors. The launch will provide better detection of potential icing hazards around the nation’s airports.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Sensors, Sensors and actuators, Icing and ice detection

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Autonomous Robots Keep Warehouse Running Green

YLOG, a startup company in Austria, uses an intelligent and very environmentally friendly logistics system that is winning an increasing number of customers. The technology makes use of individual, freely moving Autonomous Intelligent Vehicles (AiVs) that detect each other, observe right-of-way rules, recognize one-way routes, and complete their tasks fully autonomously without intervention from or coordination by a central computer.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Articles, Green Design & Manufacturing, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Automation, Robotics, Logistics, Robotics, Autonomous vehicles

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Precision Measurement and Inspection Ensure Quality of SLS Rocket Panels

Reverse engineering and inspection software Verisurf Software Anaheim, CA 714-970-1683 www.verisurf.com In spaceflight, the first eight minutes are critical. This is when the greatest opposing forces of thrust and gravity are impacting the launch vehicle. The new NASA Space Launch System (SLS) will weigh 5.5 million pounds at liftoff, or roughly the weight of eight fully loaded 747 jets. Everything comes down to weight and the integrity of design and fabrication to insure success. Today, it costs $10,000 to send one pound of payload into orbit; since the entire launch vehicle makes the trip to low-Earth orbit, its net weight is a big consideration. The lighter the launch vehicle, the greater the payload can be.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Articles, Aerospace, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Lasers & Laser Systems, Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Mathematical/Scientific Software, Software, Manufacturing processes, Inspections, Launch vehicles

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System Concept Studies Will Aid NASA in Asteroid Redirect Mission

SSL 1300 commercial satellite bus Space Systems/Loral Palo Alto, CA 650-852-4000 www.sslmda.com NASA continues to advance the journey to Mars through progress on the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), which will test a number of new capabilities needed for future human expeditions to deep space, including to Mars. This includes advanced Solar Electric Propulsion — an efficient way to move heavy cargo using solar power, which could help pre-position cargo for future human missions to the Red Planet.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Research Lab, Robotics, Solar energy, Human factors, Robotics, Spacecraft

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Data Recorders Prepare Orion for Splashdown Test

Data recorders and software Diversified Technical Systems (DTS) Seal Beach, CA 562-493-0158 www.dtsweb.com It’s no simple task to travel 3,600 miles into space, blaze back through Earth’s atmosphere at 20,000 mph with temperatures approaching 4,000 °F, and then splash-land into the Pacific Ocean. That’s why NASA spent three years dropping the 18,000-pound mockup of the Orion space capsule into a special test pool wired with hundreds of sensors, strain gauges, and accelerometers to measure stresses and structural integrity, as well as the safety of future astronauts onboard.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement, Event data recorders, Flight tests, Spacecraft

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3D Vision System Aids 560-Mile Piloted Drive

Audi completed a long-distance test drive of its Audi A7 Sportback semi-autonomous concept vehicle, finishing the journey at the International CES 2015 consumer electronics show in Las Vegas. The “piloted driving” — Audi’s take on combining autonomous driving with individual control — began in Stanford, California and ended two days and 560 miles later on January 6, 2015.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Cameras, Imaging, Video, Automation, Sensors, Imaging and visualization, Road tests, Autonomous vehicles, Concept vehicles

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