Features

The Human Factor in Space

Next month, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly will return to Earth after a record-setting year onboard the International Space Station. During the year, Kelly’s identical twin brother, former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, participated on Earth with him in The Twins Study. The test conducted will provide insight into the subtle effects and changes that occur in spaceflight as compared to Earth by studying two individuals who have the same genetics, but are in different environments for a year. The study will track any degeneration or evolution that occurs in the human body from extended exposure to a microgravity environment. Visit www.nasa.gov/twins-study

Posted in: Articles, UpFront

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Optimizing Drive Systems for Energy Savings

Energy savings are an extremely important topic in virtually every segment of industry today. In general, the largest consumer of power in a converting line or machine is the drive system. As energy costs continue to increase and energy conservation becomes a greater priority, are there technologies or methods that can be implemented to reduce the energy consumption on converting machinery?

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Graphene Supports NASA-Developed Nanosensors

NASA Technologist Mahmooda Sultana has been leading the development of tiny graphene sensors. Because of the material’s extreme sensitivity, graphene-based sensors have a wide range of possible space applications, including the detection of strain in composite materials and the discovery of trace gases in planetary bodies.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors

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Energy Harvesting and the IoT: A New Bull Market

Combining industrial-grade rechargeable lithium batteries with energy harvesting technology delivers reliable power for remote wireless sensors connected to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The romantic notion of grizzled ranchers out riding the range on horseback to shepherd their herd of cattle may soon be a distant memory, as cloud-based sensor technology now permits real-time animal tracking from the comfort of home or office, or by smartphone.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors

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When Sensors Mesh: How Sensor Networks Improve Performance

Innovations in communications and computing hardware and software have made it easier than ever to collect minute details regarding just about any topic of interest. For technology and manufacturing interests, small, low-powered sensors can be embedded in almost any machine for data collection. Thanks to wireless technology, these embedded devices can continuously and unobtrusively provide measurements of performance and environmental data. Analysis of this data offers vast opportunities for fine-tuning performance and process.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors

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Products of Tomorrow: January 2016

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just some of the examples of NASA-developed technology used in products today.

Posted in: Articles, Products

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Next-Generation Electronics Innovations for NASA’s Space and Commercial Future

In 1964, NASA’s Electronics Research Center (ERC) opened in Massachusetts, serving to develop the space agency’s in-house expertise in electronics during the Apollo era. The center’s accomplishments include development of a high-frequency (30-GHz) oscillator, a miniaturized tunnel-diode transducer, and a transistor more tolerant of space radiation. Another development was in the area of holography. At the ERC, holography was “used for data storage, and has permitted a remarkable degree of data compression in the storing of star patterns.”

Posted in: Articles, Electronics

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