Features

Binder Solutions for the Manufacture of Molds and, Cores in Metal Castings

Binders used for molding are typically self-setting, so that after mixing two or more binder components into sand, there is a short delay before the mixture starts to set hard. Binders used for core-making are typically gas-cured. A company seeks an environmentally acceptable binder system that could be based on inorganic, “clean” organic, or hybrid derivatives, and offers an immediate advantage over current systems in terms of health, safety, and environmental issues. Respond to this TechNeed at: www.techbriefs.com/tn/200906d.htmlEmail: nasatech@yet2.com Phone: 781-972-0600

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs, Tech Needs

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NASA Announces 2008 Inventions of the Year

Ames Research Center (Moffett Field, CA) and Langley Research Center (Hampton, VA) have won the 2008 NASA Government and Commercial Invention of the Year Awards, respectively. The Ames invention is a high-speed 3D laser scanner with real-time processing. Langley’s method for making highperformance resins for infusion and transfer molding processes is used in a high-temperature resin called PETI-330.

Posted in: Articles, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Lasers, Molding, Materials properties, Resins

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Protecting Data Signals Through Isolation

Many of us believe that if we don’t have ground loops we don’t need to isolate analog I/O signals. Yet there are five very real – and very different – reasons to isolate every one of your analog signals! If you’ve had problems on past applications, chances are you experienced one of the following: Signal crosstalk Common-mode voltage DC common-mode rejection AC common-mode rejection Over-range and input protection issues. Isolating power sources and sensor signals is the most effective way to address these problems; understanding how measurement inputs become corrupted in the first place will illustrate this.

Posted in: Articles, Information Sciences, Instrumentation, Amplifiers, Architecture, Communication protocols

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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.

Posted in: Articles, Imaging, Computer software and hardware, Imaging and visualization, Medical equipment and supplies, Nervous system

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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.

Posted in: Articles, Machine Vision, Robotics, Artificial intelligence, Computer software and hardware, Identification, Robotics, Parts

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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, Magnetic materials, Bearings, Flywheels

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