Features

Board Versus Box: The Age-Old DAQ Dilemma

Since the beginning of PC-based data acquisition and control in the 1980s, one question has remained a constant consideration for all who would specify a new DAQ system. Is this application better served by an external I/O “box” connected to the PC via some communications link, or an internal “board” system plugged into a slot within the computer? If anything, this question has become more complicated as technology has progressed.

Posted in: Articles, Articles

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Adopting Aerospace Development and Verification Standards for Software

An ever-increasing reliance on software control has meant that many companies from non-aerospace business sectors (automotive, nuclear power, MRI scanners, financial systems) that do not have a traditional requirement for sophisticated software development processes now find themselves compelled to undertake safety-critical and safety-related analysis and testing. With the need for increased software quality across different industries, a tendency has emerged for companies to look outside their own market sector for best practice approaches, techniques or standards. Examples of such industry crossover have been seen in the automotive and avionics industries with the adoption of elements of the DO-178B standard by the former and a similar adoption of the Motor Industry Software Reliability Association (MISRA) standards by the latter.

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Simultaneous Ultra Fast Framing and Streak Imaging

The ability to record simultaneous framing images and streak images has long been a requirement in the research fields of detonation, electrical discharge, biomedical and many other applications. Early systems incorporating both framing and streak cameras used external beam splitting optics with light gathering limitations that required critical alignment of the external splitting optics. Later systems incorporated framing cameras and streak cameras, built into one mainframe, using available beam splitters. This allowed for simultaneous framing and streak, however, this type of beam splitter limited access to streak optics, and primarily limited the performance of the streak camera due to the smaller format streak tubes.

Posted in: Articles, Features, ptb catchall, Photonics

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Robert W. Moorehead, Director of Space Flight Systems, John H. Glenn Research Center

Robert W. Moorehead served as NASA’s chief investigator for the Space Shuttle Challenger accident in 1986 and managed the Space Station Freedom program from 1989 to 1993. He has also held the title of NASA’s Chief Engineer, developing system architectures for the Space Shuttle’s replacement. He is currently Director of Space Flight Systems at the John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

Posted in: Who's Who

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Position Sensors Help Cameras Focus on Mars

Hall Effect position sensors Micropac Industries Garland, TX 972-272-3571 www.micropac.com Micropac’s hermetic Hall Effect devices are being used by Alliance Spacesystems, LLC and Malin Space Science Systems in camera mechanisms on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover. Malin Space Science Systems’ Mast Camera (MastCam) and the Mars Hand-Lens Imager (MAHLI) will use focus, filter wheel, and cover mechanisms produced by Alliance Spacesystems. The Hall Effect position sensors are used in the focusing mechanisms on both cameras.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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Devices Execute Critical Separations for Phoenix Lander

Hi-Shear separation devices Hi-Shear Technology Corp. Torrance, CA 310-326-8110 www.hi-shear.com Hi-Shear separation nuts and pressure cartridges recently were used on the Phoenix Mars lander after being exposed to the cold temperatures and harsh environments of space for nine-and-a-half months. The Phoenix lander landed on Mars on May 25, 2008, and the Hi-Shear devices executed the Critical Cruise Stage Separation, Backshell Separation, and Heatshield Separation for a successful landing and operation on the surface of Mars. The spacecraft targeted the circumpolar region using a robotic arm to dig through the protective top soil layer to the water ice below, and to ultimately bring both soil and water ice to the lander platform for analysis.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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Seven Practical Steps for Designing Networking Enclosures

The design of enclosures to house networking servers and components should be guided by one overriding concern — heat. Servers, in particular, generate a great deal of heat, so an enclosure must be capable of dissipating that heat to ensure that the components deliver their expected life.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs

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