Articles

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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NASA Sensors Detect Aircraft Icing Hazards

Atmospheric Icing Sensors Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/home NASA’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

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Waggle Platform Offers Possible Key to the ‘Smart City’

Data Collection Platform Argonne National Laboratory Lemont, IL www.anl.gov As 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.

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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.edu Using 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.

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