Features

Super Pressure Balloon Provides NASA with Valuable Data

Super pressure balloon Raven Aerostar Sioux Falls, SD 605-336-2750 www.ravenaerostar.com A super pressure balloon (SPB) designed by Raven Aerostar, and the largest SPB ever built, surpassed 31 days amid the stratosphere’s harsh elements as part of a NASA mission, demonstrating the scientific balloon’s extended flight duration and ability to maintain constant altitudes. The balloon carried a two-and-a-half-ton NASA payload.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace

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New Spacecraft Design for Asteroid Redirect Mission

Geostationary (GEO) satellite Space Systems/Loral (SSL) Palo Alto, CA 650-852-4000 www.sslmda.com NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has chosen Space Systems/Loral (SSL) to conduct first-phase design studies for a spacecraft that can travel to an asteroid, remove a boulder, and redirect it into a lunar orbit to prepare it for a visit by astronauts in the 2020s.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace

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Motion Control Challenges for Deep-Sea ROVs

Deep-sea remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) present motion control design engineers with some difficult challenges. Applications may include ROV propulsion, position thrusters, dive vanes, rudders, or robotic arms. Some problems are common to all of them.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control

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Reducing Torque Measurement Uncertainty in Turbine Engine Testing

Torque is among the most important of all the measured quantities in applications ranging from characterizing high-power gas turbines, to determining the level of force required to open a screw cap on a medication container. As anyone who studied physics in high school should recall, torque is the tendency of a force to rotate an object about an axis, fulcrum, or pivot. Loosely speaking, torque is a measure of the turning force on an object such as a bolt or a flywheel. For example, pushing or pulling the handle of a wrench connected to a nut or bolt produces a torque (turning force) that loosens or tightens the nut or bolt. However, measuring torque accurately can be far from straightforward. This article offers an overview of one approach to reducing uncertainty in torque measurement using an example of turbine engine testing to illustrate the process.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Test & Measurement

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Editor’s Choice: April 2016

Saliva is an easily accessible body fluid that contains important biological markers that can be used to monitor the health of an individual. A saliva collection device called the Saliva Procurement and Integrated Testing (SPIT) booklet was developed for use in remote locations, and doesn’t require any special storage conditions. The booklets contain filter paper pages that are used to collect saliva samples over a specified time. The samples are dried at room temperature, and are stable for up to six months. Find out more HERE.

Posted in: UpFront, Aerospace

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The State of Earth

U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day in 1970. Over the years, Earth Day grew in popularity and in 2009, the United Nations officially named April 22 as International Mother Earth Day. Earth Day (www.earthday.org) is now celebrated by over one billion people in nearly 200 countries.

Posted in: UpFront, Aerospace, Greenhouse Gases

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It’s Time to Create the Future

The 14th annual Create the Future Design Contest (www.createthefuturecontest.com), sponsored by COMSOL and Mouser Electronics, and produced by Tech Briefs Media Group, is open for entries. The contest recognizes outstanding innovations in product design worldwide, awarding a Grand Prize of $20,000. There is no cost to enter.

Posted in: UpFront, Aerospace

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