Articles

Integrating Functional Pneumatic Safety Devices into Control Systems

Over the past several years, controls engineers have become adept at applying control systems to machine safety applications. The issue is that safety is a moving target. There are new and revised international standards to contend with. Furthermore, the supplier community is moving swiftly forward in developing solutions that render the old way of doing things obsolete.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control

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Products of Tomorrow: May 2015

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just some of the examples of NASA-developed technology used in products today.

Posted in: Articles, Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Industry Roundtable: 3D Printing

It seems that every day, designers and engineers are finding exciting new applications for 3D printing, from creating custom prostheses to making tools used for repairs on the International Space Station. 3D printing is considered a revolutionary technology that can transform our lives. But what are the real benefits — and the real consequences — of such a drastic change in manufacturing?

Posted in: Articles, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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NASA Spinoff: NASA’s UV Radiation Research Keeps Sun Worshipers Safe

Studying radiation effects on spacecraft led to a personal Sun exposure monitor. To understand the Sun’s impacts on Earth, NASA initiated the Living with a Star program in 2001, and began developing a key research satellite: the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). One of the instruments created for the SDO was the Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE), tasked with measuring extreme ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which plays a key role in atmospheric heating and satellite drag. In 2005, Goddard Space Flight Center scientist Shahid Aslam joined other researchers in developing EVE.

Posted in: Articles, Products, Spinoff, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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The Strain Gauge Gets an Upgrade

The strain gauge, a device commonly used in the aerospace industry to detect stress and deformation, has its limitations. The three copper wires of the strain gauge often lead to labor-intensive efforts; a large, complicated structure requiring 100 strain measurements, for example, means 300 lead wires. As the implementation becomes more complex, the wire bundle itself gets bigger and heavier. Strain gauges are also susceptible to electronic magnetic interference, and the sensors must be spaced out at distant intervals.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors

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New Control Possibilities for Wireless Switches

Wireless controls have been widely accepted and embraced in the industrial community. Widespread use of monitoring devices in the process industry, the deployment of RFID components in a variety of industry segments, and the demonstrated performance of a large, installed base of the technologies serve as evidence of their viability.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors

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Glaucoma Sensor Monitors Eye Continuously

More than three million Americans are currently living with glaucoma, an eye disorder with few symptoms in its early stages. Globally, the number may increase to almost 80 million by 2020, according to the British Journal of Ophthalmology. Glaucoma eventually leads to damage of the optic nerve.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors

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