Features

Dr. Scott Barthelmy, Research Scientist, Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Dr. Scott Barthelmy is the principal investigator for the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT), a sophisticated instrument that detects and precisely locates elusive gamma-ray bursts in the universe. Developed as part of NASA’s Swift mission, the instrument technology is now being considered for a variety of homeland security applications because of its ability to pinpoint and identify nuclear materials – both legal and illegal – in transit or storage. Dr. Barthelmy also created the Gamma-Ray Bursts Coordinates Network (GCN) to distribute data collected on gamma-ray bursts to researchers throughout the world in real time.

Posted in: Who's Who

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Laser Tracker Ensures Accurate Alignment of Ares I Components

FARO® Laser Tracker FARO Technologies Lake Mary, FL 800-736-0234 www.faro.comMaking its first flights to the International Space Station by the middle of the next decade, the Orion crew exploration vehicle is part of the Constellation Program, which will send human explorers back to the Moon, and then to Mars and other destinations in the solar system. Future astronauts will ride into orbit on Ares I, Orion’s launch vehicle, which uses a single, five-segment solid rocket booster. NASA’s first test flight, called Ares I-X, will provide NASA with an early opportunity to test and prove the hardware, facilities, and ground operations associated with the Ares I.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Lasers & Laser Systems, Calibration, Lasers

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Tape Backup Systems Help NASA Archive Enterprise Data

Spectra® T950 tape libraries Spectra Logic Federal Boulder, CO 303-449-6400 www.spectralogic.comNASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA, installed two Spectra® T950 tape libraries with LTO-4 drives and media, which together offer approximately 20,000 data storage slots and up to 32 petabytes of storage capacity, with data compression. By replacing multiple, outdated silos, NASA Ames has freed more than 1,400 square feet of valuable data center floor space.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Data management, Historical reference, Spacecraft

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The Physics of Failure: Predicting Reliability in Electronic Components

A lot has been written about Moore’s Law and the potential limitations of semiconductor design and manufacturing in the future. Can we really continue to double the number of transistors on a given-sized die every eighteen months? For the last 30 years, Moore’s Law has held, but, we may be seeing the real limitations to future semiconductor development and to Moore’s Law — severely shortened operational lifetimes of advanced chips. That, in turn, creates massive reliability problems for critical embedded systems in the future.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs

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Measuring the Color and Appearance of Special-Effect Paint

Manufacturers that design, formulate and apply coatings have struggled for years to find a rigorous and easy-to-use method that reliably measures the color and appearance of special-effect paints. Companies tried to relate measurements taken with handheld spectrophotometers that collect colorimetric data from several in-plane angles to events that occurred in production processes, but these instruments, by their nature, could not collect the essential data points to yield reliable results. Other companies have tried to skirt the problem by creating a coarseness index or “sparkle” metric that relies on photographic images taken in-plane, but this method is easily confused and insufficient for rigorous analysis.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, ptb catchall, Photonics, Measurements, Coatings, colorants, and finishes

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NASA Celebrates Apollo’s 40th Anniversary

Forty years ago this month, on July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong stepped out of the lunar module and took “one small step” in the Sea of Tranquility, calling it “a giant leap for mankind.”

Posted in: UpFront

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Designing the First Fully Sustainable Block in the U.S.

In the near future, a crumbling parking lot in downtown Dallas, Texas will be the location of the first fully sustainable, urban square block in the United States. Re:Vision Dallas is the sixth competition in a series from the San Francisco, California-based organization, Urban Re:Vision – a group of people focused on changing the urban landscape by re-imagining the components which make up a city block.

Posted in: Features, GDM, Articles, Energy, Geothermal Power, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Wind Power, Green Design & Manufacturing, Remediation Technologies

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