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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CAD-Based Process Analyzes Lidar Interferometer Instrument

Comet software Comet Solutions Cincinnati, OH 513-588-2773 www.cometsolutions.com A Structural-Thermal-Optical-Performance (STOP) analysis is an interdisciplinary analysis used to verify optical requirements. It is performed to identify and solve design issues early before building hardware. In a traditional STOP analysis, data must flow sequentially from engineer to engineer, requiring multiple data handoffs, which are time-consuming. If the STOP analysis shows that design changes are necessary, trade studies can also be time-consuming.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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Plasma Etching System Expands Device Processing Capability at JPL

Apex SLR ICP etch system Advanced Vacuum, a Plasma-Therm Co. Saint Petersburg, FL 800-246-2592 www.plasmatherm.com An Advanced Vacuum inductively coupled plasma etch system recently was installed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA, to help expand the fabrication capabilities of JPL’s Microdevices Laboratory (MDL).

Posted in: Application Briefs

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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?

Posted in: Articles

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Automation System Retrofit Transforms 175-Ton Hydraulic Forming Press

Southern Manufacturing Group (SMG) of Morrison, TN, makes automotive components and industrial valves. In 2012, the automation system for its 175-ton hydraulic forming press received electrical damage resulting from a lightning strike (Figure 1). Purchasing a new hydraulic forming press would be prohibitively expensive — in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Therefore, SMG needed a company that could repair the forming press in a short timeframe to maintain its production schedule.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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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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