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


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


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


Tech Briefs 40th Anniversary: Executive Perspectives

We asked executives to offer perspectives on milestones in their industry or technology area that occurred during the past 40 years. Did their industry exist 40 years ago, and if not, what brought about its creation? Maybe it experienced its greatest growth during that time. And what are their expectations for the coming years?

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Design processes, Computer software and hardware, Internet of things, Product development, Robotics, Test equipment and instrumentation


Executive Perspectives: Data Acquisition & Sensing

GRANT MALOY SMITH President and CEO Dewetron, Inc. Wakefield, RI www.dewamerica.comIn 40 years, data acquisition products have evolved from paper-based chart recorders and analog tape machines, to computer-based instruments. As a result, the relatively slow pace of improvements in performance that typified data recorders for nearly a century is now swept along on the fast-moving current of computer technology advances.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Data acquisition and handling, Sensors and actuators


Executive Perspectives: Software

DOMINIC GALLELLO President and CEO MSC Software Corporation Newport Beach, CA www.mscsoftware.comThe foundation stones of CAE were laid in the 1960s during the race for space. Because of the obvious defense implications, this was a national imperative. It was a time of virtually unlimited government funding for advancing engineering methods — long nights and weekends, with country first and family second.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Software, Computer simulation, Computer software and hardware


Executive Perspectives: Software

SVANTE LITTMARCK President and CEO COMSOL, Inc. Burlington, MA www.comsol.comWith the birth some 50 years ago of computers based on integrated circuits and semiconductors, engineers had a tool that could potentially produce numerical solutions to differential equations based on the laws of science — equations that realistically modeled the physics at hand, not just a simplified version that modeled the physics in a perfectly ideal case. At that point, numerical analysis became practically very important.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Software, Mathematical analysis, Simulation and modeling, Computer software and hardware


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