Features

A Fast “Train” to Success

In Sochi, Russia on February 23, Steven Holcomb, Steve Langton, Curt Tomasevicz, and Chris Fogt captured the Olympic bronze medal for the USA in the four-man bobsled designed by Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project Inc., a North Carolina-based company created by former NASCAR champion Geoff Bodine. The Night Train 2® sled was the passion of Bodine and his engineer, Bob Cuneo.

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NASA’s Technology Transfer “Super Tool”

Businesses and individuals interested in using NASA research to develop new technologies and products now have access to an online tool to make the process of licensing easier. The QuickLaunch tool provides access to a select portfolio of NASA technologies for licensing and commercial development.

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Inexpensive Nano-Camera Operates at the Speed of Light

A $500 “nano-camera” that can operate at the speed of light has been developed by researchers in the MIT Media Lab. The three-dimensional camera could be used in medical imaging and collision-avoidance detectors for cars, and to improve the accuracy of motion tracking and gesture-recognition devices used in interactive gaming.

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Editor’s Choice: January 2014

This month’s Editor’s Choice is a charging station for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), which are becoming increasingly important in military surveillance, mine detection, and other applications. Today, most AUVs are powered by batteries that limit travel distance. The Submerged AUV Charging Station would let an AUV travel, stop and charge, and travel again. Read the full article on page 36.

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App of the Month: Moon Tours

Moon Tours is the mobile version of the NASA’s Lunar Mapping and Modeling Portal (LMMP), a repository for over 600 geospatial lunar data products and imagery. These include digital elevation maps, slope maps, rock and hazard maps, mineralogy maps, and imagery from the Apollo missions to the latest data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Users can calculate the distance between two locations on the Moon, search for the names of features such as craters and hills, and view lunar terrain data rendered in real-time 3D. Free for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/moon-tours/id696977262?mt=8

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On-the-Fly Disaster Relief Apps

Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Qatar Computing Research Institute have developed new tools that allow people with minimal programming skill to rapidly build cellphone applications that can help with disaster relief. The tools are an extension of the App Inventor open-source software that enables nonprogrammers to create applications for devices running Google’s Android operating system by snapping together color-coded graphical components.

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If They Can Make it There...

A custom 3D printer made by Mountain View, CA-based company Made in Space is the first off-Earth manufacturing device scheduled for arrival at the International Space Station (ISS) in 2014. The 3D Printing in Zero-G Experiment will validate the capability of additive manufacturing in zero gravity.

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