Articles

Global Car Platforms: Automotive Design With the World in Mind

Hours before most commuters start their engines and head to work, James Hughes is already calling the other side of the world from his office in Dearborn, MI. Because of a six-hour time difference between most of his engineering sites abroad, including the Ford Merkenich small car center in Cologne, Germany, many of his meetings begin prior to 6 am ET.

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Create the Future Design Contest Winners: Where Are They Now?

The Create the Future Design Contest was launched in 2002 by the publishers of NASA Tech Briefs to help stimulate and reward engineering innovation. The competition has attracted more than 7,000 product design ideas that have the potential to change the way we live and work. As the 2011 contest opens for entries this month (enter at www.createthefuture2011.com), we caught up with a few past winners to learn now their inventions have advanced. Integrated Motor/PumpDavid Torrey of Advanced Energy Conversion (AEC) was the Grand Prize winner in the 2006 Create the Future contest. The integrated fluid pump is an important element in advancing the state of the art in fluid handling for high-performance applications such as the transportation and fuel cell areas. The mixed-flow pump design provides a power-dense electric machine that improves thermal performance of the electric motor due to direct liquid cooling of the windings.

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Software Development and Integration Services Support NASA Simulation and Flight Research

Software and hardware design, development, and testingUnisysBlue Bell, PA215-986-4011www.unisys.comNASA has chosen Unisys to provide application development and systems integration services to support the simulation and flight research projects at the NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) in Hampton, VA. The Langley Simulation and Aircraft Technical Services contract has a three-year base period, with one two-year option, exercisable at the discretion of the government. This award extends the company’s 35-year relationship with NASA.

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Diagnostic Models for Failure Analysis and Operations

Diagnostic models provide significant analytical and operational benefits to improve the dependability and efficiency of NASA systems.The Constellation Program and the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) funded the development of diagnostic models using the TEAMS (Testability Engineering and Maintenance System) tool for the Ares, Orion, and Ground Operations Projects to demonstrate operational uses for ground processing and launch operations. These models were found useful not only for operational pre-launch checkout, but also for analysis of failure effects, failure detection coverage, and fault isolation effectiveness. TEAMS, a commercial model-based tool from Qualtech Systems, Inc. (East Hartford, CT), performs fault diagnostics (isolation and identification). Fault isolation means identifying the location of the fault (cause) that is compromising system functions. Fault identification means identifying the failure mode (mechanism) that is causing system failure. Diagnostics refers to both fault isolation and identification functions.

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Synchronizing Hydraulic Axes in a Pultrusion Machine

Many hydraulically operated machines perform adequately with on/off “bang-bang” valves, but some need special controls to avoid maintenance problems and deliver quality production output. This is particularly true when multiple hydraulic axes need to be synchronized. In these cases, designers should use an electro-hydraulic motion controller with multi-axis synchronization capability.

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Multicore Tools for Embedded Systems — Staying Ahead of the Game —

Building a multicore system means dealing with non-determinism. Interactions between tasks running on different cores can occur in a different order, and at a different rate from one run to the next. This makes it harder to reproduce, find, and fix bugs. It also lowers the probability that validations and QA have caught all problems.

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Redesigning COTS Servers for Military Applications

Military and ISR operations are inundated with vast amounts of data collected from an expanding network of sources, including sensor data from UAS, satellites, and remote monitoring stations. Critical information must be processed quickly and reliably, and delivered in real time to command centers and forces on the battlefield. Processing this plethora of information requires a multitude of computers, many of which are outdated or on proprietary platforms. To remain sustainable, systems used for enterprise computing, field operations, warfighting, and command and control, must be continually upgraded or replaced. Many of these systems need to be integrated, consolidated, and securely linked to multiple networks.

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