Articles

Testing LEDs in a Climate Controlled Environment

Though they are a relative latecomer to the world of lighting technology, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are quickly making up for lost time. Since their invention in 1962, LEDs have been applied in a wide range of lighting applications, including traffic signals, automotive panel lighting, aviation lighting, remote controls, DVD players and other household appliances, just to name a few. LEDs’ functionality and longevity have led to a substantial and growing market share. In fact, a recent study presented at the University of Chicago says that LEDs will capture 60 percent of the global lighting market over the next decade. However, in order to reach that market share, LED lighting devices are subject to an important technical challenge – consistency in the brightness and quality of the light emitted from LED bulbs.

Posted in: Articles, Lighting
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Simulation of Fluid-Structure Interaction in Hydraulic Pump Design

Axial pumps with cam-driven commutation units — so-called PWK pumps — emerged as a result of a research project conducted in the Department of Hydraulics and Pneumatics at the Gdansk University of Technology. As for all axial hydraulic piston pumps, several cylinder chambers are positioned around the rotating shaft of an axial pump with cam-driven commutation units — called PWK pumps. The rotation of the shaft and the attached swash plate leads to movement of the pistons that alternately decreases and increases the fluid volume of the chambers. A window — which is part of the control sleeve or commutating bushing — connects the chamber between the pistons with the low-pressure and highpressure intake and outtake channels.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Computational fluid dynamics, Pumps, Cams, Hydraulic equipment, Pistons
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Using Laser Direct Structuring (LDS) to Create Robust Hardware Security Devices

Awide range of devices are designed to handle, convey and store sensitive information that requires varying degrees of security from protecting low level administrative to classified and top secret information. In addition, the information and data can reside in an equally wide range of locations and environments from protected and guarded facilities to unsecure desks and offices and over a wide range of environmental conditions including temperature, humidity, shock and vibration.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers
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VPX-SC N-dimensional Supercomputing Architectures Come To The Critical Embedded Systems Market

From the first computers of the 1940s through the machines of the 1990s, all computer systems were CPUbound. In other words, the I/O interfaces could deliver more data than the CPU could process. In the 1990s Moore’s Law took over and clock speeds doubled every 18 months, along with the addition of multi-core processors. So, from 1990 through today, we have been I/O-bound, meaning CPUs can now process more data than the I/O links can deliver. Increases in CPU performance have been revolutionary while the increases in interconnect bandwidth have been incremental for many decades. However, bandwidth increases in RapidIO, InfiniBand, and Ethernet are breaking this bottleneck, giving us the ability to design incredibly powerful embedded supercomputing architectures for today’s dataintensive applications.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers
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A Guide to Stereovision and 3D Imaging

3D imaging technology has come a long way from its roots in academic research labs, and thanks to innovations in sensors, decreasing cost of components, and the emergence of 3D functions in software libraries, 3D vision is now appearing in a variety of machine automation applications. From vision-guided robotic bin-picking to high-precision metrology, the latest generation of processors can now handle the immense data sets and sophisticated algorithms required to extract depth information and quickly make decisions.

Posted in: Articles, Imaging, Computer software and hardware, Imaging and visualization, Sensors and actuators, Robotics
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NASA Technology Transfer: The Impact of Innovation

Over the course of its history, NASA has nurtured partnerships with the private sector to facilitate the transfer of NASA-developed technologies. The benefits of these partnerships have reached throughout the economy and around the globe. The resulting commercial products have contributed to the development of services and technologies in the fields of health and medicine, transportation, public safety, consumer goods, environmental resources, computer technology, and industry.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Research Lab, Collaboration and partnering, Globalization
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Do-It-Yourself Additives Recharge Auto Air Conditioning

NASA spinoff can help your car keep its cool.

Having your car’s air conditioner lose its cool on a hot day can make for an uncomfortable ride. A breakdown in thermal control in space is far more than a matter of comfort; on the Moon, for example, the temperatures can reach a scorching 260 °F during the day. In planning for future space missions, NASA aimed to improve the thermal control systems that keep astronauts comfortable and cool while inside a spacecraft.

Posted in: Articles, Automotive, Air conditioning, Passenger compartments, Cooling, Spacecraft
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3D Visualization in Geospatial Analysis

The past decade has seen an explosion of observations from airborne and satellite-based multiand hyperspectral sensors, as well as from synthetic-aperture radar and LiDAR. Distilling useful information from this wealth of raw data is the domain of geospatial analysis, the collection of analytical, statistical, and heuristic methods for extracting information from georeferenced data. This information is important in serving the needs of a diverse set of industries including environmental conservation, oil and gas exploration, defense and intelligence, agriculture, coastal monitoring, forestry, and mining.

Posted in: Articles, Imaging, Cartography, Imaging and visualization, Data management
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Digital Imaging Systems for Ballistics Testing

Traditionally, the recording of ordnance proofing data has been split into two main areas: instrumentation and high speed photography. Instrumentation was more focused on the collection of analytical data from various instruments, e.g. Doppler radar, yaw screens (for pitch and yaw), and velocity traps (i.e. skyscreens or acoustic triggers), whereas high speed photography was more concerned with obtaining high quality images for later qualitative analysis. The photographic images were obtained using an assortment of high speed film cameras, often requiring a specialist photographic team to survey in, set up and align the camera, illuminate the subject, synchronise the camera to the firing system, process the film records and produce the final images for later manual analysis.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Photonics, Optics, Test equipment and instrumentation
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NASA Begins a New Journey of Exploration

“Tonight, on the planet Mars, the United States of America made history. The successful landing of Curiosity – the most sophisticated roving laboratory ever to land on another planet – marks an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of national pride far into the future. It proves that even the longest of odds are no match for our unique blend of ingenuity and determination. Tonight’s success reminds us that our preeminence – not just in space, but here on Earth – depends on continuing to invest wisely in the innovation, technology, and basic research that has always made our economy the envy of the world. I congratulate and thank all the men and women of NASA who made this remarkable accomplishment a reality – and I eagerly await what Curiosity has yet to discover.” - President Barack Obama, August 6, 2012

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Historical reference, Research and development, Entry, descent, and landing, Spacecraft
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