Features

NASA Energy Concept Could Harness the Power of Ocean Waves

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) researchers who developed a new way to power robotic underwater vehicles believe a spin-off technology could help convert ocean energy into electrical energy on a much larger scale. The researchers hope that clean, renewable energy produced from the motion of the ocean and rivers could potentially meet an important part of the world’s demand for electricity.

Posted in: Features, GDM, Articles, Energy, Hydroelectric Power, Renewable Energy

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High-Performance Computing Tools in Neural Imaging

High-performance computing (HPC) has transformed science and engineering over the past 20 years, but some fields have yet to fully realize its benefits due to software limitations. This article discusses software approaches to increase productivity in the life science discipline of neural imaging. Like other imaging-based endeavors, neural imaging faces daunting quantities of raw data, proprietary image formats, lossy vs. non-lossy compression, detector noise, complex object segmentation, and visualization challenges.

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Machine Vision Guides Robot Motion

Machine vision can quickly and accurately determine the location of parts so they can be inspected, measured, or manipulated by a robot. An example is using machine vision to guide a robot unpacking one-gallon cans from a large pallet of cans. Machine vision components — cameras, vision processors, and software — were provided by DALSA, and Faber Industrial Technologies developed the can-picking robot and integrated the robot with the machine vision.

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Hermetic Feedthroughs Critical for Flywheel Energy Storage

Next-generation flywheels are made possible by advances in material science in rotor technology, as well as the application of magnetic bearings running in a vacuum environment. While the movement of the rotating flywheel into a vacuum eliminates parasitic drags, such as windage friction losses, mechanical bearings are not suited to operate in a vacuum or for the high speed requirements of the new designs.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control

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Motion Control Advancements Ease Medical Procedures

Whether performing an intricate surgery, positioning a patient, or taking a tissue sample, today’s biomedical devices are taking advantage of advanced motion control devices to ensure accurate control and movement in biomedical applications. Robots are making it possible to perform surgical procedures not only with higher precision than before, but in less time and with less pain and suffering for the patient. Moreover, improvements in the design and packaging of motors and other control components are making it possible to shrink biomedical devices and make it easier to perform procedures in tight, confined spaces.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control

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Dr. Peter Shirron, Senior Research Scientist, Cryogenics and Fluids Group, Goddard Space Flight Center

Dr. Peter Shirron, a senior research scientist with NASA’s Cryogenics and Fluids Group, led the team of researchers credited with developing the first continuous duty multi-stage adiabatic demagnetization refrigerator (ADR) used to cool sophisticated space-borne detector arrays to temperatures below 2 Kelvin.

Posted in: Who's Who

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Mass Flow Controllers Ensure Astronauts Have Medical Fluids On Demand

Quantim Coriolis mass flow controller Brooks Instrument Hatfield, PA 215-362-3527 www.brooksinstrument.com Transporting medical fluids that are manufactured on Earth into space is expensive and logistically challenging, so researchers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center sought a way to manufacture medical fluids in space. The Quantim Coriolis mass flow controllers from Brooks Instrument were chosen by NASA contractor ZIN Technologies for measuring water flow through a purification system to a standard IV bag that was prefilled with salt crystals and a magnetic lab stirrer. The Quantim devices are making their way into space to ensure that astronauts have medical fluids on demand for emergency needs. An initial prototype of the medical fluid generation system, called IVGEN (IntraVenous fluid Generation), is currently being installed into a laboratory glovebox on the International Space Station. The prototype consists of an accumulator for pumping potable water, a filter unit with the flow controller installed, a data collection and control unit, a mixing module, and an IV bag with salt crystals. In operation, potable water is transferred into a bladder inside the accumulator. Nitrogen is pumped into the accumulator, forcing the water through the flow controller, and then through a series of filters and into the IV bag. The mass flow controller works in zero gravity and passed a 6.8G RMS workmanship vibration test. The device proved to be rugged enough for the long trip to the space station, and its flow rate range from 15-25 mL/min is very important for this application. The results from the first test conducted on the station will be returned to Earth and tested for proper filtering and mixing with the salt crystals. Once IVGEN is proven to be successful, the system will be scaled accordingly to meet the requirements of manned missions to the Moon and Mars. For Free Info Click Here

Posted in: Application Briefs

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