Features

Composites Software Helps in Design and Fabrication of Crew Module

FiberSIM® composites engineering software Vistagy Waltham, MA 781-250-6800 www.vistagy.comWhen NASA originally considered employing composites in manned spacecraft, it had to consider concerns that composites might have an unacceptable leak rate and insufficient damage tolerance. On the other hand, composites potentially offered reduced weight and lower lifecycle costs. The NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) put together a team of government and industry structures experts to gain experience in making use of new composite construction and inspection technologies specifically for manned spaceflight structures.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Software, CAD, CAM, and CAE, Design processes, Fabrication, Composite materials, Materials properties, Spacecraft

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Vision System Provides Real-Time Guidance for Unmanned Docking Operations

TriDAR vision system Neptec Design Group Ottawa, ON, Canada 613-599-7602 www.neptec.comNASA is conducting a Detailed Test Objective (DTO) with Neptec’s TriDAR vision system for use in unmanned docking operations. The vision system provides real-time visual guidance for navigation, rendezvous, and docking procedures, and is expected to play a critical role in future space exploration missions.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Cameras, Imaging, Lasers & Laser Systems, Artificial intelligence, Imaging and visualization, Automation, Entry, descent, and landing, Spacecraft

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Designing 3D Capabilities Into Handheld Displays

For 3D viewing to be convenient on small, portable devices, it must be autostereoscopic, thus eliminating the requirement for 3D “glasses.” The display devices must also provide 2D and 3D capability simultaneously, without sacrificing resolution or color vibrancy.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, ptb catchall, Photonics, Architecture, Optics, Displays

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New NASA Process Builds Parts One Layer at a Time

Engineers at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA, have developed an environmentally friendly manufacturing process called Electron Beam Freeform Fabrication (EBF3). “You start with a drawing of the part you want to build, you push a button, and out comes the part,” said Karen Taminger, technology lead for the project. EBF3 works in a vacuum chamber, where an electron beam is focused on a constantly feeding source of metal, which is melted and then applied as called for by a drawing — one layer at a time — on top of a rotating surface until the part is complete.

Posted in: UpFront

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LED Characterization System

As part of the design process, engineers must predict the performance of their LED system and determine if it will meet specifications at real operating temperatures and electrical drive conditions. The ETΦ™ family of LED Characterization Systems (also known as ETO) from Orb Optronix (Kirkland, WA) measures the complete electrical, thermal, and optical characteristics of LEDs.

Posted in: GDM, Products, Products, Lighting

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System Continuously Monitors Power and Thermal Use, Pinpoints Waste Areas

A wireless monitoring system from Arch Rock (San Francisco, CA) provides continually updated information on a data center's electrical usage and thermal status - giving users the knowledge to take energy-conservation measures, while maximizing the operational efficiency and reliability of servers and other computing equipment.

Posted in: GDM, Products, Products, Energy, Energy Efficiency

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Ultracapacitor Provides Enhanced Backup Power

Roughly the size of a postage stamp, the PC-10 ultracapacitor from Maxwell Technologies Inc. (San Diego, CA) has a proprietary electrode for enhancing the reliability of backup power in enterprise storage and powering smart utility meters, among other applications.

Posted in: GDM, Products, Products, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage

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