NASA Institute Studies and Identifies Martian Land Formations

The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) in Houston is part of the Universities Space Research Association, and is a NASAfunded institute that conducts research in the lunar, planetary, and terrestrial sciences on behalf of university science departments and NASA. The most recent project between the University of Houston (UH) and the LPI seeks to identify and characterize the natural landscape structures of Mars, such as the inside of craters, valley networks, and the outside and inside rims of craters and inter-crater plains. Identifying these structures is important because rocks, minerals, and geologic landforms hold clues to past water activity on Mars. Understanding the history of water on Mars is a part of NASA’s long-term Mars Exploration Project.

Posted in: Application Briefs


Deformable Mirror to Help NASA Search for New Planets

Boston Micromachines, a provider of MEMS-based deformable mirror products for adaptive optics systems, is developing a deformable mirror that will aid NASA in the search for extra-solar planets. The mirror comprises a micromirror array consisting of 331 closely packed ultra-flat hexagonal mirror elements. Each element is capable of tip, tilt, and piston motion with nanometer precision as required for a space-based, hyper-contrast coronagraph imaging telescope.

Posted in: Application Briefs



United Electronics Industries, Canton, MA, has introduced the UEILogger series of data loggers and recorders. The logger "Cube" contains the logger engine and either three or six I/O slots. The logger is matched to the user's application by installing the appropriate I/O boards from more than 20 different available boards. A single 4 x 4.1 x 5.8" logger cube can provide up to 150 A/D channels or 288 digital I/O. The logger requires no programming, and the logging application is configured using a Windows-based application that sets up the logger and extracts data from the logger's memory. The software allows users to set input and output ranges, sample/update rates, and signal conditioning from pull-down menus. The program may be downloaded via the unit's standard Ethernet port or stored on the SD card. The logger supports sample rates up to 100 samples per second on each I/O channel or port. Data is logged onto standard SD cards; a 2-Gig SD card is included that holds more than 500 million 16-bit A/D readings.

Posted in: Products


Ginger N. Flores, LOCAD Project Manager, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Diagnosis on Earth is a fairly simple procedure, done at any hospital or medical center. In space flight, however, where doctors and even basic medical equipment may be lacking, falling ill is a serious matter for both astronaut and ground control. Using horseshoe crab blood as a reactive agent, the Lab-On-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System (LOCAD-PTS) is a handheld device developed by NASA researchers to help identify microorganisms. Ginger N. Flores is the LOCAD project manager.

Posted in: Who's Who


Incorporating Intelligent Energy Savings and Predictive Maintenance in a Soft Start

Electric motors consume approximately one quarter of the electricity in the U.S. and are the main motive force in our commercial buildings, industrial facilities, and appliances. Everyone knows reducing energy consumption has become a priority for the U.S. Many new methods of reducing electricity are being considered, including new electric motor efficiency technologies.

Posted in: Features, Motion Control, Articles


Slide Guide Used in Fluorescence Microscope

In the USA and other developed countries, cancer is responsible for 25% of all deaths. In spite of the most recent advances in cancer research, by far the best curative treatment for the disease is early detection. Such technology revolves around quick identification of malignant cells, necessitating clean, crisp images for oncologists. The CellTracks Analyzer II by Immunicon (Huntington Valley, PA) is a semi-automated fluorescence microscope system used to count and characterize fluorescently labeled cells that are immuno-magnetically selected and aligned. The SEBS-B type miniature slide guide, from NB Corp. of America (Wood Dale, IL), is tapped as part of the microscope’s system of axes.

Posted in: Applications, Motion Control, Application Briefs


High Flow Valve Used in Optic Processing Line

As the race to fulfill the ever-increasing demand for fiber optic assemblies began, the need for a fully automatic assembly line has come into focus. Individual filaments must be connected in such a way that the light traveling from strand to strand is not degraded. Owens Design (Fremont, CA) developed the custom Fiber Optic Assembly Line to join optic fibers and connectors. Using SMC’s (Indianapolis, IN) Series VQ5000 5-port solenoid valve as part of the feeder system, the assembly produces five types of fiber optic transducers.

Posted in: ptb catchall, Applications, Motion Control, Application Briefs


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