Articles

Spinoff: Wireless Platform Integrates Sensors with Smartphones

The platform, developed using NASA nanotechnology, paved the way for interchangeable smartphone 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, Ames Research Center scientist Jing Li had a ready response. Four years earlier, she led a team that wrote a paper on the use of carbon nanotube sensors for gas and organic vapor detection.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Nanotechnology, Sensors, Sensors and actuators, Chemicals, Gases, Nanotechnology

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Software Models Electromagnetics of Wireless Power Transfer

Imagine coming home and dropping your phone, laptop, and Bluetooth® headset on your kitchen table so that they all recharge simultaneously. What if you could drive your electric car into a garage, park above a mat, and know it will be charged in the morning? What if there was a new medical implant to replace the one you wear — and the new version does not include power cords or the need to replace batteries?

Posted in: Articles, Electronics & Computers, Simulation Software, Software, Charging stations, Computer software and hardware, Electromagnetic compatibility, Wireless communication systems, Magnetic materials

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Improving Weapons with Simulation

As engineers design new weapons or modify existing ones, reducing time and money on development can be critical in providing soldiers with improved weapons without undue delay. A new sight may be planned for the M4 rifle, but how well does a prototype design work, and where would be the best place to mount it for the best accuracy and ease of use? Or new, nonlethal weapons may be needed, but will they perform as expected at different ranges?

Posted in: Articles, Simulation Software, Computer simulation, Defense industry

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Simulating Material Migration

Accurately tracking and predicting the subsurface migration of specific materials over time and over multiple phases is critical to efficient and effective strategy development and deployment in a growing number of applications. STOMP (Sub surface Transport Over Multiple Phases) is a general-purpose tool that provides multidimensional analysis of subsurface flow and reactive transport phenomena. It was originally designed to support environmental remediation of subsurfaces contaminated with volatile organic compounds and/or radioactive material.

Posted in: Articles, Materials, Simulation Software, Computer simulation, Materials properties

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Optimizing Fuel Filters via Simulation

Cars contain numerous filters for air, fuel, and oil. Those who develop these filters are confronted with many requirements. The products must withstand intense temperature fluctuations and vibrations, fit into a predefined installation space, and comply with increasingly stringent quality standards, all while development times get shorter.

Posted in: Articles, Simulation Software, Computer simulation, Optimization, Fuel filters

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Designing for 3D Printing

3D printing has progressed over the past decade to include multimaterial fabrication, enabling production of powerful, functional objects. While many advances have been made, it still has been difficult for non-programmers to create objects made of many materials (or mixtures of materials) without a more user-friendly interface.

Posted in: Articles, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Simulation Software, CAD, CAM, and CAE, Rapid prototyping, Additive manufacturing

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Camera-Equipped Vehicles ‘See the Light’ in Cities

Imagine if every police car, bus, and garbage truck gathered important infrastructure data as they made their usual routes through the city.In different field tests around the world, re searchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cam bridge, MA) mounted a camera-and-sensor system to the tops of vehicles. As the cars traveled up and down streets, sophisticated software recognized and recorded the presence and strength of street lights. The software estimated pole heights and distinguished between the street lamp’s output and other points of illumination.

Posted in: Articles, Automotive, Optics, Imaging and visualization, Optics, Sensors and actuators, Intelligent transportation systems

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