Articles

NASA Drives Automotive Innovation

Dozens of commercial automotive technologies can trace their origins to NASA missions and research. Here are some important innovations in the auto industry that started as NASA developments.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Automotive, Lubricants, Ergonomics, Seats and seating, Thermal management, Adhesives and sealants, Corrosion, Foams, Insulation, Spacecraft
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SAE 2016 World Congress: Powering Possibilities

The SAE 2016 World Congress, presented by SAE International and taking place April 12-14 in Detroit, will gather experts, management teams, engineers, and executives from the automotive industry to collaborate and address current challenges, seek new windows for discovery and exploration, and promote the multitude of opportunities fundamental for a successful future. This year’s theme, Powering Possibilities, represents a world of untapped discoveries in the automotive industry.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Career and professional development, Collaboration and partnering
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Software Helps Restore Fire-Ravaged Habitats

NASA system uses the cloud to give land managers and wildlife experts a post-fire plan.

The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in addition to coordinating firefighting efforts on federally held lands, is also responsible for the post-fire restoration process that’s meant to limit the harmful fallout.

Posted in: Articles, Spinoff, Aerospace, Computer software and hardware, Fire
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Robots and Humans - Let the Collaboration Begin

A collaborative robot is essentially an industrial robot with additional safety capabilities. These safety features include:

Safety-rated monitored stop (zero speed limiting) Speed and separation monitoring (limiting) Hand-guiding Power and force limiting (PFL)
Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Human machine interface (HMI), Robotics
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Advanced Capabilities of PXI-Based Semiconductor Test Systems

The ongoing challenge for today’s semiconductor test engineers is to identify and create new test solutions that can offer significantly lower test costs as well as address the need for configurable, open-architecture, flexible test solutions that can provide comparable features to proprietary ATE platforms. In particular, for test requirements with low to moderate volumes — such as pilot production, verification, and focused production test applications — the need for flexible and cost-effective ATE solutions is particularly acute. For these applications, test engineers historically have relied upon legacy test systems that have a low acquisition cost, but high operating costs or in-house designed rack-and-stack solutions. However, semiconductor test system solutions based on the PXI platform have made significant advancements in functionality and performance over the past three or four years, offering test engineers a viable alternative for both current and future test needs.

Posted in: Articles, Test & Measurement, Architecture, Semiconductors, Test equipment and instrumentation, Test procedures
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Calibration Requirements for Testing Coupling-Decoupling Networks

Coupling-Decoupling Networks (CDNs) are the unglamorous workhorses that get “hitched up” to an impulse generator in order to perform impulse testing on powered equipment. As such, performance and calibration requirements for CDNs have not been specified to the same level of detail as the impulse generator. This is no longer the case with the Third Edition of IEC 61000-4-5, the international standard for surge immunity testing.

Posted in: Articles, Test & Measurement, Capacitors, Electric power, Test equipment and instrumentation
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NASA Monitoring Technologies Shake Up Earthquake Prediction

The seconds to minutes of advance warning of an earthquake can allow people and systems to take actions to protect life and property from destructive shaking. Earthquake early warning systems use earthquake science and the technology of monitoring systems to alert devices and people when shaking waves generated by an earthquake are expected to arrive at their location. NASA has been one of the agencies at the forefront of earthquake early warning technology for many years, and new monitoring techniques developed by NASA are shaking up the way earthquakes are predicted.

Posted in: Articles, Test & Measurement, Weather and climate, Evacuation and escape, Satellites
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Celebrate Pi Day with NASA Goddard and Discover Pi-Sat

The Innovative Technology Partnerships Office (ITPO) at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (Goddard) in Greenbelt, MD, invites you to celebrate Pi Day on March 14 and discover Pi-Sat. Current technology trends indicate a shift in satellite architectures from large, single satellite missions, to small, distributed spacecraft missions. At the center of this shift is the smallSat/cubesat architecture.

Posted in: Articles, News, Software
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NASA-Developed Platform Integrates Sensors with Smartphones

Carbon-nanotube-based gas detectors paved the way for interchangeable smartphone-savvy sensors.

In 2007, when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a call for a sensor that could equip a smartphone with the ability to detect dangerous gases and chemicals, NASA Ames Research Center scientist Jing Li had a ready response. She had been developing the use of single-walled carbon nanotubes that respond to various gases and compounds for use in NASA applications such as evaluating planetary atmospheres, detecting chemicals around rocket launch pads, and monitoring the performance of life-support systems. Her proposal was awarded funding in 2008, but she needed a way for the device to “sniff” the air for samples, and a system that would allow it to interface with a smartphone.

Posted in: Articles, Spinoff, Aerospace, Computer software and hardware, Sensors and actuators, Nanotechnology, Hazardous materials, Test equipment and instrumentation
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Defining and Measuring “LOOSE TIGHT BUFFER” in Fiber Optic Cables

As the optical fiber and cable industry unfolded, several terms were coined to describe specific properties that were new and different from conventional wire processing. One of those that stayed around was the term “Loose Tight Buffer.”

Posted in: Articles, Imaging, Photonics, Measurements, Fiber optics, Terminology, Test equipment and instrumentation, Test procedures
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