Features

Modified Monitor Provides Glasses-Free 3D for Pilots and Gamers

NASA technology enables monitors that switch between 2D and 3D imaging. When flying the increasingly crowded skies, pilots need to have an arsenal of information: altitude, airspeed, fuel level, distance to their destination, and the location of other planes in the sky. All of this information is presented in a series of two-dimensional instruments, panels, and readouts, meaning the pilot has to mentally assemble the information and translate that into the 3D world to better understand the relationship among air, ground, and traffic. NASA has long been interested in making it as easy as possible for pilots and astronauts to have the best information available to ensure safe flights, knowing that humans are imperfect creatures.

Posted in: Articles, Spinoff, Aerospace

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Precise Measurements on Earth Enable Further Exploration in Space

Measurement is the first step to success. If you can’t measure something accurately, it can’t be understood or improved. That is especially true for the spacecraft rockets and engines designed to operate under extreme temperatures and pressures at liftoff, or space stations the size of a six-bedroom house that must support people living and working in space for years.

Posted in: Articles, Test & Measurement

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Next-Generation Infrared Technologies Solve High-Speed Automotive Testing Challenges

Higher-speed IR cameras can improve design phase testing. Product research and development on internal combustion engines, brake rotors, tires, and high-speed airbags are just a few of the areas that truly benefit from high-speed, high-sensitivity thermal characterization testing. Unfortunately, traditional forms of contact temperature measurement such as thermocouples are not practical to mount on moving objects, and non-contact forms of temperature measurement such as spot guns — and even current infrared (IR) cameras — are simply not fast enough to stop motion on these high-speed targets in order to take accurate temperature measurements.

Posted in: Articles, Test & Measurement

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Making Sense from Sensors: How to Build a Sensor Fusion Engine

The presence of more than 1 billion sensor-rich smartphones and the intense interest surrounding the Internet of Things has drawn wide attention to all the potential and possibilities of sensor fusion engines. Availability of context data and general real-world data in digital format opens up many opportunities.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors

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NASA's Game-Changing Robotics

“Over the years, I’ve asked people, ‘If you had a robot, what would you want it to do for you?’” said Rob Ambrose, principal investigator for NASA’s Game Changing Development Program and chief of the Software, Robotics, and Simulation Division at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. When he asks astronauts, they usually tell him they want the robot to do chores.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Robotics

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Primer Stops Corrosion Without Requiring Rust Removal

Coating used on launch pads protects bridges, condominiums, and other structures from corrosion.In the mid-1990s, Surtreat Holding LLC, based in Pittsburgh, PA, developed two corrosion inhibitors that worked by chemical means, and were designed to be applied to the surface of concrete, where they would migrate to the steel rebar inside. By 1996, the formulas still had not been formally tested and validated.

Posted in: Articles, Coatings & Adhesives

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NASA’s Infrared Sensor Spots Near-Earth Asteroids

The Near-Earth Object Camera (NEOCam) is part of a proposed NASA mission to find potentially hazardous asteroids. In a Q&A with Photonics & Imaging Technology, NEOCam principal investigator Amy Mainzer ex plains how the NEOCam chip, a stamp-sized mega pixel infrared sensor, detects the faint heat emitted by near-Earth objects circling the Sun.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Imaging, Photonics

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