Features

Pre-Launch Processing Enables Advanced Climate Warnings

NASA has awarded Astrotech Corp. and its Astrotech Space Operations (ASO) subsidiary a contract to provide facilities and pre-launch processing services for the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) mission, set to launch later this year.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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Tom Flatley, Computer Engineer, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Tom Flatley, computer engineer and current head of the Science Data Processing Branch at Goddard Space Flight Center, leads a group of engineers and programmers in their development of flight and ground-based science data processing systems and applications, including SpaceCube, CubeSats/SmallSats, modeling/simulation/visualization, and other technologies. NASA Tech Briefs: Why will NASA require improvements in on-board computing power? Tom Flatley: Many of the next-generation instruments currently being developed are going to produce tremendous data volumes, and at extremely high data rates. Their needs are surpassing the capabilities of current flight processing systems, so what we’re trying to do is enable an order of magnitude or more improvement in on-board processing power so that we can handle the large data volumes and high data rates that the next generation of missions will require.

Posted in: Who's Who

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David Wing, Air Traffic Management Researcher, Langley Research Center, Hampton VA

David Wing is the principal investigator for the Traffic Aware Strategic Aircrew Requests (TASAR) concept and software application. The cockpit technology, while taking aircraft traffic, weather, and other data sources into account, will compute trajectory changes during the flight to save pilots time and fuel. NASA Tech Briefs: What is TASAR? David Wing: TASAR is a near-term concept for improving aircraft operations that we’ve developed at NASA Langley. It stands for Traffic Aware Strategic Aircrew Requests. Basically, it’s putting technology on the aircraft in the cockpit that is monitoring the aircraft’s route of flight, and looking for opportunities to optimize that route with lateral and/or vertical changes, either to save time or save fuel or both. And in the process, it’s looking at the environment around the aircraft. First and foremost, we’re focusing on traffic awareness. Using airborne surveillance technology, such as ADS-B [Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast], which is a technology where aircraft broadcast their position over a data link,a TASAR-equipped aircraft can receive and process the positions of other aircraft in the vicinity. The cockpit technology takes that data into account when computing optimum trajectory changes, to ensure those changes don’t interfere with the nearby traffic.

Posted in: Who's Who

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Motorized Zoom Lens

Resolve Optics (Chesham, Bucks, UK) has developed a variant of its Model 207 miniature motorised zoom lens, enabling a manufacturer of remotely operated vehicles (ROV’s) to help improve the deep sea welding capability of their system.

Posted in: Products, Photonics

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Galvanometer-Based Optical Scanner

ScannerMAX (Orlando, FL) recently announced the release of the all new Compact- 506 model optical scanner. The Compact-506 is built upon ScannerMAX’s patented VRAD actuator platform and features a very strong rotor construction and 6mm bearings, allowing it to move small mirrors as well as very large mirrors up to 1-inch in diameter.

Posted in: Products, Photonics

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Handheld Raman Spectrometer

Ocean Optics (Dunedin, FL) has released the IDRaman mini handheld Raman spectrometer, a small, powerful instrument for sample authentication and counterfeit detection, identification and verification. The palm-sized IDRaman delivers fast, accurate Raman analyses ranging from chemical and explosive agent detection in the field to quality assurance and quality control sampling routines in the laboratory.

Posted in: Products, Photonics

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2.8 MP USB 3.0 Scientific Imaging Camera

Point Grey (Richmond, BC) announced a new addition to the Grasshopper3 scientific imaging camera family that features high quality, high resolution CCD sensors with a USB 3.0 interface. The new Grasshopper3 GS3-U3-28S5 camera models are based on color and monochrome versions of the fast and highly sensitive Sony ICX674, a 2/3" CCD featuring 4.54 micron square pixels and capable of sending 1932 x 1452 images at 26 FPS. The ICX674 sensor supports high definition (HD) 1080p30 imaging and uses Sony's EXview HAD CCD II™ technology—a further evolved version of the well-known EXview HAD CCD™ technology—to improve quantum efficiency and increase sensitivity, including into the near infrared. The GS3-U3-28S5 offers quantum efficiency of 67% at 525 nm, a dynamic range of 63 dB, dark current of 1.27 e-/second, and supports long exposures up to 30 seconds.

Posted in: Products, Photonics

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