Features

Waveguide Optics Design Suite

Optiwave Systems Inc. (Ottawa, ON) introduces the OptiBPM 9.0 waveguide optics design suite with integrated simulator dedicated for the design of electro-optic devices in arbitrary materials. The OptiBPM 9.0 includes a simplified method of creating slanted waveguides in the design environment, 3D path monitoring, and a robust bi-directional data interface with the lens design tool ZEMAX.

Posted in: Products, Products

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From NASA to NASCAR: Space-Age Technology Finds Its Way into Auto Racing

Although it may not be obvious to the untrained eye, a number of technical innovations developed for aerospace and defense applications have found their way into the sport of auto racing. Take thermal barriers and driver “cool suits,” for example. Heat coming from the engine, transmission, exhaust system, oil coolers, etc., can cause temperatures inside the fully-enclosed cockpit of a modern stock car to reach 140- 160°F. Because of its close proximity to the exhaust headers, the metal floorboards beneath the gas pedal can heat up to 330°F or more — hot enough to fry an egg...or a driver’s foot.

Posted in: Articles

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Instrument Unit Avionics Selected for NASA’s Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle

Instrument unit avionics The Boeing Company Chicago, IL 312-544-2000 www.boeing.com The Boeing Company has been awarded a NASA contract valued at approximately $265 million to produce the Ares I crew launch vehicle’s instrument unit avionics (IUA). The IUA provides the guidance, navigation, and control hardware for the new Ares I crew launch vehicle, serving as the “brains” behind the rocket’s ascent.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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Head-Worn Display Technology Developed for Emerging Air Transportation System

IS-1200 inertial-optical motion tracker InterSense Bedford, MA 781-541-6330 www.intersense.com NASA’s Langley Research Center has awarded InterSense a follow-on Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to deliver a prototype Head-Worn Display (HWD) featuring the company’s inertial-optical hybrid motion-tracking technology. The system will replace flight deck displays with head-worn technology for commercial pilots, reducing costs and increasing safety. InterSense will deliver a customized IS-1200 system, integrated with a seethrough head mount to provide virtual information displays.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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6-GHz NI USB-5680

National Instruments, Austin, TX, has introduced the 6-GHz NI USB-5680 USB-controlled RMS RF power meter for automated test, measurement, and monitoring in a small footprint. Powered solely from the USB cable, the meter consumes 100 mA of current without an external power supply. The meter combines both the sensor and the A/D converter in one package occupying less than 9.6 cubic inches, and connects directly to a USB port on any PC or PXI controller. It features a frequency range from 50 MHz to 6 GHz, dynamic range of 63 dB, and amplitude accuracy of ±0.18 dB. The meter comes with an executable soft front panel and software libraries for system set-up. It can be used in a standalone configuration with a VXI plugand- play-compatible executable soft front panel to facilitate interactive control. For Free Info

Posted in: Products

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Energy-Efficient Microchip for Long-Lasting Cell Phones and Medical Devices

Researchers at MIT and Texas Instruments have developed a new chip for portable electronics that can be up to 10 times more energy-efficient than present microchips. The chip could lead to cell phones, implantable medical devices, and sensors that last much longer when running from a battery.

Posted in: UpFront

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This Month in NASA History

As NASA celebrates its 50th anniversary, we continue our highlights of technology innovations and important moments in NASA history, leading to our special 50th Anniversary Issue in October.

Posted in: UpFront

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