Features

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, Aerospace, Electronics

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3D Endoscope Boosts Safety and Cuts Cost of Surgery

NASA’s 3D imaging technology goes from space to brain surgery. In 2007, Dr. Hrayr Shahinian was looking for an engineering team to help him develop an endoscopic device suitable for brain surgery, and capable of both steering its lens and producing a three-dimensional video image. He discovered that the person he was seated next to at a social function was Charles Elachi, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Posted in: Articles, Spinoff, Aerospace

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AEGIS Imaging Software Unearths Mars Rocks

In mid-October, a NASA-developed software called AEGIS was uploaded to the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover. The AEGIS technology, winner of NASA’s 2011 Software of the Year award, will soon allow scientists on the ground to more easily identify interesting rocks and other terrain features on the Red Planet.

Posted in: Articles, Imaging, Photonics

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Hybrid Technology Advances Laser Material Processing

MultiWave Hybrid Technology* combines multiple laser beams with various wavelengths into a single coaxial laser beam. There are existing systems using two different laser wavelengths independently, but this is the first technology capable of combining multiple wavelengths into a single beam, providing a valuable tool for the development of novel material processing technologies.

Posted in: Articles, Imaging, Photonics

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SPIE Photonics West 2016 Preview

The SPIE Photonics West 2016 technical conference and exhibition returns to The Moscone Center in San Francisco, February 13-18, offering attendees the opportunity to explore the latest innovations in lasers, photonics, optics, optoelectronics, biophotonics, biomedical optics, 3D printing and more. As in the past, the event will once again kick off with BiOS, the world’s largest biomedical optics conference, before transitioning into the Photonics West conference and exhibition. Last year’s event hosted more than 21,000 attendees and put the products and services of over 1,250 exhibitors on display. More than 4,800 technical papers will be available to conference participants throughout the week.

Posted in: Articles, Imaging, Photonics

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Thermal Imaging Cameras See Through the Smoke

Scientists, researchers, automation specialists, electrical and building professionals, and security specialists use thermal imaging cameras (TICs) to discover hidden heat patterns and gain new insights in their fields of expertise. Thermal imaging technology, however, can also save lives. Firefighters use thermal imaging cameras every day to see through smoke, locate and rescue victims, identify hot spots, navigate safely, and stay better oriented during response missions.

Posted in: Articles, Imaging

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Tiny Lenses Capture Very Big View

Engineers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have created the first- ever flexible, Fresnel zone plate microlenses with a wide field of view — a development that could allow everything from surgical scopes to security cameras to capture a broader perspective. The advance centers on a method for creating tiny lenses, each the size of a grain of salt, embedded within a flexible plastic polymer. This approach allowed the researchers, led by Hongrui Jiang, the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor and Lynn H. Matthias Professor in electrical and computer engineering at UW-Madison, to bend an array of multiple lenses into a cylindrical structure. An array of these miniscule lenses, each no larger than a head of a pin, can capture an almost complete panorama, producing images from a 170-degree field of view.

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