Features

Prototype Recovers Lost-At-Sea Images

New hardware built by research engineers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is helping NASA retrieve experimental images otherwise lost at sea. The hardware weighs less than two pounds, and serves as a means of locating NASA’s flight imagery recorders that capture valuable image data of decelerators during deployment and deceleration. The small box contains a GPS receiver, satellite communications modem, batteries, and a dual-band antenna. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) sought the ARL’s help in ruggedizing a locator unit to limit the risk of losing the data, especially in the event of a catastrophic failure.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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Positioning System Will Keep Test Range on Target

NASA has contracted ADC USA to design and build an Experimental Test Range (ETR) Positioning System that consists of positioning components for a state-of-the-art Radar Cross Section (RCS) and Antenna Measurement compact range chamber facility located at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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Actuator Meets NASA Requirements for Asteroid Sample Return

BEI Kimco Magnetics designed a customized moving magnet voice coil actuator (VCA) to meet the requirements for the flatplate Michelson moving mirror application on the Origins-Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRISRex) spacecraft. The OSIRIS-Rex will launch in 2016, rendezvous with the Asteroid Bennu in 2018, and return samples to Earth in 2023. Redundant technology, low-outgassing, and high precision for exact motion control positioning were all essential requirements to the actuator design.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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Camera Systems Rapidly Scan Large Structures

Thermography designed to protect aircraft from effects of aging finds use in power stations, manufacturing plants, and ships. Aging aircraft are an increasing concern. Commercial and government vehicles are being flown past their originally intended service life in order to save money. The answer, however, isn’t merely to build more aircraft. NASA’s Aircraft Aging and Durability (AAD) Project is taking a proactive approach to extending the life of aircraft even before age is a concern. The project targets young aircraft, and develops technologies and materials to mitigate the effects of aging as early — and for as long — as possible.

Posted in: Articles, Spinoff

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NASA’s Technology Transfer “Super Tool”

Businesses and individuals interested in using NASA research to develop new technologies and products now have access to an online tool to make the process of licensing easier. The QuickLaunch tool provides access to a select portfolio of NASA technologies for licensing and commercial development.

Posted in: UpFront

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Inexpensive Nano-Camera Operates at the Speed of Light

A $500 “nano-camera” that can operate at the speed of light has been developed by researchers in the MIT Media Lab. The three-dimensional camera could be used in medical imaging and collision-avoidance detectors for cars, and to improve the accuracy of motion tracking and gesture-recognition devices used in interactive gaming.

Posted in: UpFront

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Editor’s Choice: January 2014

This month’s Editor’s Choice is a charging station for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), which are becoming increasingly important in military surveillance, mine detection, and other applications. Today, most AUVs are powered by batteries that limit travel distance. The Submerged AUV Charging Station would let an AUV travel, stop and charge, and travel again. Read the full article on page 36.

Posted in: UpFront

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