Features

NASA Spinoff Keeps Drivers “Ice Free”

In the late 1990s, NASA Ames Research Center in California invented an anti-icing fluid that kept ice from building up on airplane wings. The fluid, when applied to a dry surface, prevented the ice from even forming a surface bond; if applied before ice formed, it served as a deicer. The formula contains propylene glycol, which has a very low freezing point, and a thickener that helps it adhere to the surface. Ice gathers on top of the surface, and can be wiped off with little effort.

Posted in: UpFront

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Flight Dynamics Software Supports NASA Mission to Measure Carbon Dioxide

focusLEO Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) flight dynamics software GMV Rockville, MD 301-926-0119 www.gmv.com The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO), managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA, is a mission to measure carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, VA, will provide the OCO project’s spacecraft and real-time mission operations.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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Elastic Memory Composite Hinges Tested on Shuttle

TEMBO® Elastic Memory Composite Hinges (EMCH) Composite Technology Development (CTD) Lafayette, CO 303-664-0394 www.ctd-materials.com Elastic Memory Composite Hinges (EMCH) were developed by CTD for deploying solar arrays, communications, and optical systems in space. They are designed to drive and dampen the deployment of a structure and hold the structure firmly at the end of deployment with no dead band. Combining carbon fiber reinforcement and shape-memory polymers, the hinges are constructed of TEMBO® composites, which replace complex mechanical deployment systems with lighter ones.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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Technology Takes a Front Seat in Automakers’ Latest Models

While the latest news surrounding the U.S. auto industry continues to be focused on slumping sales and production cutbacks, automakers continue to turn out cars that highlight the latest technologies in the areas of safety, engine efficiency and performance, and alternative fuels. The U.S. “Big Three” — Ford, General Motors, and DaimlerChrysler — along with Toyota, Honda, and other Japanese automakers, are introducing more models with hybrid or alternative-fuel engines, and safety features that enable parents to track their teenage drivers and cars to talk to each other.

Posted in: Articles

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Julia W. Loftis, Associate Chief for Information Systems Technology

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD Julia W. LoftisWhile a single, peer-to-peer rover can cover a large territory and gather a wealth of information, an entire fleet of rovers could cover even more ground. However, controlling multiple platforms poses a much different set of criteria. To answer the need to control and communicate with multiple vehicles doing a similar task, the Adaptive Sensor Fleet (ASF) software was developed by NASA researchers, and is able to coordinate several platforms at once. Julia Loftis oversaw the strategic planning of the project.

Posted in: Who's Who

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Maple Mathematical Software

Maplesoft™, Waterloo, ON, Canada, has introduced Maple™ 11 mathematical software with a smart document environment that automatically captures technical knowledge in an electronic form that seamlessly integrates calculations, explanatory text and math, graphics, images, and sound. These live documents can be reused or shared across an organization. The smart document environment also includes the ability to use natural math notation in titles, legends, and labels, and annotation capabilities such as sketching, adding text and math, and drawing lines, shapes, and arrows.

Posted in: Products

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Thulium Puts Power Behind Eyesafe Fiber Lasers

One of the key advantages of fiber laser technology stems from the high conversion efficiency of the multimode pump radiation into high-brightness, single-mode laser light within the doped fiber lasing medium. Ytterbium-doped fiber lasers operating around 1μm often achieve around 80% pump- to-laser conversion efficiency and corresponding wall plug efficiencies over 25%, depending on the pump diodes used in the laser. As a result, high-power CW fiber lasers are more compact and require less cooling than a traditional solid-state laser of similar power.

Posted in: Articles, Features, ptb catchall, Photonics

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