Application Briefs

Fabricating Custom Components from Stock Optics

Two quantities are perennially in short supply on engineering projects: time and money. When it comes to producing custom optical components in less time, for less money, one feasible approach is to modify off-the-shelf components to meet customers’ unique requirements. This tactic is particularly valuable in the prototyping stage or for one-of-a-kind instruments, when a full production run would be unjustifiably expensive and take an unreasonably long time.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Articles, Applications, Optical Components, Photonics, Optics, Customization, Fabrication, Coatings, colorants, and finishes, Parts
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Infrared ‘Optical Biopsy’ Reveals Tumors and Lesions

A new medical imaging method being developed at Rutgers University could help physicians detect cancer and other diseases earlier than before, speeding treatment and reducing the need for invasive, time-consuming biopsies.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Optics, Medical, health, and wellness, Diagnostics
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Reverse Engineering Helps NASA Analyze Icing Conditions

ROMER Absolute Arm with integrated laser scanner Hexagon Metrology North Kingstown, RI 800-274-9433 www.hexagonmetrology.us

While air travel is considered the safest form of transportation, research continues to better understand ice buildup and its affects on aerodynamics. At NASA’S Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH, engineers in the Icing Branch have been studying the mechanics of ice buildup since the 1940s.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement, Transportation, Analysis methodologies, Icing and ice detection
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Data Acquisition System Helps NASA Improve Aircraft Crash Performance

Data acquisition system DTS (Diversified Technical Systems) Seal Beach, CA 562-493-0158 www.dtsweb.com

Aircraft impact testing and hard landing tests are an important part of research for understanding crash dynamics and improving occupant safety at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA. DTS small, onboard data acquisition systems (DAS) are used in many tests at Langley, since they are rugged enough to survive harsh impacts and still accurately deliver critical test data.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Data Acquisition, Crashes, Data acquisition, Data acquisition (obsolete)
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Naval Shipyard Automates Dry Dock Operation

Pearl Harbor Naval Station and Hickam Air Force Base have grown up together around the historic port known as Wai’Momi, adjacent to Honolulu. Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard (PHNSY), located at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, is a one-stop regional maintenance center for the Navy’s surface ships and submarines. It is the only intermediate maintenance facility for submarines in the Middle Pacific.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Maintenance, repair, and service operations, Automation, Marine vehicles and equipment
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Ruggedized Displays Improve Automotive Safety

Navigation and entertainment screens in cars are becoming ever-larger and, in some cases, the central control point for drivers and passengers. Many manufacturers consider using glass to cover the displays. It gives the same pleasing surface feel and high-quality look that users of tablets and smartphones have come to expect. However, glass also bears the additional risk that in the event of a crash it may splinter and injure the occupants.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, Photonics, Displays, Glass
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Integrated Data Acquisition and Measurement Hardware Tests New Launch System

NI PXI DMM and NI PXI multifunction DAQ module National Instruments Austin, TX 1-800-531-5066 www.ni.com

Larger than the Saturn V rocket and designed to eventually take crewed missions to Mars, the Space Launch System (SLS) will be the most powerful, versatile rocket ever created. Before its maiden launch in 2017, the rocket will go through testing at various facilities throughout the US, with one of the most impressive being the large structural tests scheduled for 2015 at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Data Acquisition, Hardware, Data acquisition, Data acquisition (obsolete), Launch vehicles
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Solar Powered LEDs Offer Security to Mesa Residential Community

Howard Industrial Sales, Chandler, AZ

When residents of the Park Centre Casitas residential community in Mesa, Arizona, got together and hired a security company to survey the property and suggest ways to keep it safe, the security company suggested adding perimeter lighting.

Posted in: Application Briefs, LEDs, Lighting
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LEDs Reduce Energy Consumption for Monte Carlo Resort’s Street of Dreams

Light Efficient Design, Cary IL

Light Efficient Design, a division of TADD, LLC, recently completed an LED retrofit project in the busy “Street of Dreams” retail area of the Monte Carlo Casino and Resort. Monte Carlo, one of 10 MGM resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, replaced 96 500-watt halogen lamps with 50-watt LED lamps in a retail area covering 8,950 square feet. The dramatic decrease in watt usage has created tremendous energy savings.

Posted in: Application Briefs, LEDs, Lighting
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NASA Launch Pads Protected Against Lightning-Induced Power Surges

Circuit protection components Littelfuse Chicago, IL 773-628-1000 www.littelfuse.com

Circuit protection is an essential part of any electrical or electronic product or system design. As the complexity of the product or system grows, circuit protection design becomes increasingly crucial. As circuitry is increasingly miniaturized, it’s more important than ever to protect it from damaging power surges. For engineers whose work is critical to the safety of a NASA mission, protecting the lives of crewmembers depends to no small extent on protecting delicate digital circuitry from hazards like electrostatic discharges and lightning-induced surges.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Electronics, Power Management, Lightning protection, Spacecraft
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