Articles

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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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
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Executive Perspectives: Data Acquisition & Sensing

GRANT MALOY SMITH President and CEO Dewetron, Inc. Wakefield, RI www.dewamerica.com

In 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
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Executive Perspectives: Software

DOMINIC GALLELLO President and CEO MSC Software Corporation Newport Beach, CA www.mscsoftware.com

The 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
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Executive Perspectives: Software

SVANTE LITTMARCK President and CEO COMSOL, Inc. Burlington, MA www.comsol.com

With 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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Executive Perspectives: Internet of Things

ALEX IUORIO Senior Vice President, Supplier Management and Business Development Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas Phoenix, AZ www.em.avnet.com

In a 1926 interview, inventor Nikola Tesla stated: “When wireless [technology] is perfectly applied, the whole Earth will be converted into a huge brain.” Though Tesla’s remark was made four decades before the earliest incarnations of Internet technology were introduced by the U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency, it is an uncanny depiction of the power and potential we see today from the Internet of Things (IoT).

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Electronics & Computers, Internet of things, Sensors and actuators, Wireless communication systems
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Executive Perspectives: Test & Measurement

DR. JAMES TRUCHARD President, CEO, and Co-Founder National Instruments Austin, TX www.ni.com

The world of technology has moved to software — it started in the PC industry, but quickly manifested in the smartphone industry with operating systems like iOS and Android. We now see software making its mark in the test and measurement industry where it is revolutionizing how engineers and scientists solve grand challenges. But it wasn’t always this way. We have seen tremendous innovation in the test and measurement industry over the past four decades.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Test & Measurement, Measurements, Computer software and hardware, Productivity, Test equipment and instrumentation
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