Articles

Using Static Analysis and Code Verification to Improve Embedded Software

Modern software development and test processes encompass a wide range of best practices and development methodologies. Personal preferences and lessons learned — both good and bad — dictate most workflows. Customized tools and scripts are frequently cobbled together with internal and external automation tools. However, at the core there are a set of proven development and test methods that enable deployment of high quality software with, ideally, no defects. Adherence to coding standards, performing software verification early in the development process, checking against an established set of quality metrics, and identifying software operations that are known good or known to contain faulty code will bring quality and consistency to critical embedded software.

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Machine Vision Fundamentals: How to Make Robots ‘See’

Machine vision combines a range of technologies to provide useful outputs from the acquisition and analysis of images. Used primarily for inspection and robot guidance, the process must be done reliably enough for industrial automation. This article provides an introduction of how today’s machine vision technology guides basic robotic functions.

Posted in: Imaging, Machine Vision, Articles

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The Role of Software in Acoustic Micro Imaging

Acoustic micro imaging uses a moving transducer that pulses ultrasound into materials and receives the return echoes from material interfaces. Images made from the echo signals may show anomalies such as delaminations or other cracks, since gaps send back stronger echoes than well-bonded interfaces.

Posted in: Imaging, Articles

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Cool and Green: Vehicle Thermal Management

Air conditioning is a ‘must-have’ for most new cars. But the fluorocarbon refrigerant HFC-134a – the global standard – is one of the ozone-depleting greenhouse gases causing global warming. With these concerns, the European Union has passed regulations phasing out the compound beginning in 2011 and mandating the use of alternatives with less environmental impact.

Posted in: Features, Articles, Greenhouse Gases

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Microinverters Are Launching a Solar Renewable Revolution

Given that solar-photovoltaic (PV) generating technology has been around for decades, one might think its general application in commercial and consumer circles might be a little more pervasive. After all, it is clean, safe, and relatively simple. Ask any expert and it’s likely you’ll get a litany of reasons why it has not gained more general acceptance — implementation costs, tricky installation aspects, long ROI, performance, and reliability are just a few. Fortunately, there is a game-changing technology — microinverters — that is ready to push solar PV’s acceptance and application past many of the current barriers.

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Jet Propulsion Laboratory

This feature is the first in a series of monthly profiles of NASA’s ten field centers located across the country. Each month, we’ll highlight a NASA center’s unique facilities, capabilities, and areas of research, as well as specific missions and projects underway at each center. If you are interested in partnering with a particular center, or in licensing specific technology, check out the More Information section at the end of each profile for contact information.Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a division of the California Institute of Technology, is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) of NASA. The Laboratory has a wide-ranging charter for solar system exploration, Earth observation, astrophysical research, and technology development. It is located on 176 acres in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains near Pasadena, CA, and employs approximately 5,000 scientists, engineers, and support personnel. JPL also operates and manages NASA’s Deep Space Network, a worldwide system of antennas that communicates with spacecraft and conducts radar and radio astronomy studies.

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Laser Beam vs. Electron Beam Welding Which process works best for what?

Proponents of laser beam welding (LBW) and electron beam (EBW) welding each pronounce the singular praises of their favored technology, but often the best solution for a customer is to use both technologies together. Both processes are well suited to joining components with complex geometries, and capable of meeting the most stringent demands for metallurgical characteristics of the final assembly.

Posted in: Articles, Features, ptb catchall, Photonics

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