Features

NASA Spinoff: NASA’s UV Radiation Research Keeps Sun Worshipers Safe

Studying radiation effects on spacecraft led to a personal Sun exposure monitor. To understand the Sun’s impacts on Earth, NASA initiated the Living with a Star program in 2001, and began developing a key research satellite: the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). One of the instruments created for the SDO was the Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE), tasked with measuring extreme ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which plays a key role in atmospheric heating and satellite drag. In 2005, Goddard Space Flight Center scientist Shahid Aslam joined other research - ers in developing EVE.

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Editor's Choice: May 2015 - NASA Tech Briefs

A MEMS micro-translation stage features large linear travel capability, and can translate across long distances using just three-phase power. Essentially a linear motor built from a silicon base using microfabrication techniques, the device can be as small as 100 mm and can house lenses, mirrors, absorbers, and sampling compartments for applications in optics, communications, sensors, and biotechnology. Find out more here.

Posted in: UpFront

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A Very Special Delivery

Recently, engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama unboxed some special cargo from the International Space Station: the first items manufactured in space with a 3D printer.

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Freezing for Survival

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will have to survive the mechanically stressing conditions of launch, and the telescope and scientific instruments will have to survive the thermal shrinkage that occurs when cooling down from room temperature to the cryogenic temperatures at which they operate. This is a significant engineering challenge because the JWST and its instruments operate at extremely cold temperatures, but they are built at room temperature.

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3D-Printed Functional Antenna Arrays Operate on Exterior of COSMIC-2 Satellites

FDM® (Fused Deposition Modeling™) technology and ULTEM 9085 thermoplastic Stratasys Direct Manufacturing (RedEye, Solid Concepts, and Harvest Technologies) Eden Prairie, MN 866-882-6934 www.redeyeondemand.com In 2006, a satellite mission called the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC-1) was put into orbit. The purpose of the instrument was to collect global ionospheric and atmospheric data of temperature, moisture, and pressure, including hard-to-sample areas such as above oceans and polar regions. The project was led by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), a consortium of more than 70 research universities in the US, and Meteorological Society of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Since its inception, the COSMIC-1 project has contributed to a wide range of scientific investigations and improvements in weather forecasting.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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Product of the Month: May 2015

Sensirion, Westlake Village, CA, introduced a gas sensor that, according to the company, is the first in the world to be based on multi-pixel technology. This allows the sensor to perceive its surroundings using various receptors that, with the help of intelligent algorithms and pattern recognition, are able to detect the type and concentration of gases. The single sensor is capable of detecting and distinguishing between different gases. It measures 2.45 × 2.45 × 0.75 mm, and can be integrated anywhere. Using the sensor, mobile devices will be able to sense their surroundings in order to measure indoor air quality, determine the alcohol content of a person’s breath, or recognize smells. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/55589-120

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Intelligent Photonic Multi-Sensor Solutions

With the Internet of Things (IoT) quickly rising in front of us, it would be easy to get caught in the trap of thinking that both the trajectory and applications will be somewhat predictable. While hindsight is 20/20, the future can be a little trickier to envision. We can likely all agree that when we saw the first brick-sized wireless telephone, it wasn’t hard to tap our creative problem solving to conclude that subsequent generations were going to get smaller, cheaper and generally “better”. But few people could have envisioned the “smartphone,” let alone Apple’s first edition iPhone. Fewer still looked from that first brick to an age of sensor-driven, cloud-connected apps in the palms of our hands.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Briefs, Photonics

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