Features

Editor’s Choice: May 2016

A non-explosive rock splitter uses high-temperature shape memory alloys (SMAs) as the driving member. The SMAs, in the form of cylindrical pellets, generate extremely large forces to fracture rock-like materials and minerals when used with DC voltage heaters placed in boreholes. The devices can be used for breaking rocks where the fracture of large samples is required, or where explosive or impact techniques can’t be used because of the damage they could cause to the underlying sample. Find out more HERE.

Posted in: UpFront

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NASA’s New Rocket Will Feel the Force

At NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, construction is underway in Building 4619, a multipurpose, high-bay test facility that has been a hotbed for all types of testing, including loads, acoustics, vibration, extreme temperatures, high and low pressures, and environments that simulate the cold, black conditions of outer space.

Posted in: UpFront

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Winners Named in Rover Challenge

NASA has announced the winners of the 2016 Human Exploration Rover Challenge, held last month at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Rafaelina E. Lebron Flores of Patillas, Puerto Rico, won first place in the high school division, while Purdue University Calumet-Team 1 of Hammond, IN won the college division.

Posted in: UpFront

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Space Blanket-Inspired Cases Protect Expensive Devices

NASA-developed heat shield technology protects iPads and iPhones from both heat and frigid cold. In the 1960s, NASA was preparing for early forays into space, and worked to devise thin, reflective, metallic material to protect spacecraft from the dangers of solar radiation. This material — metallized polyethylene terephthalate (MPET) — is strong and not only reflects radiation, but also serves as powerful insulation to protect electronics from large swings in temperature.

Posted in: Articles

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Products of Tomorrow: May 2016

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just some of the examples of NASA-developed technology used in products today.

Posted in: Products

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3D Imaging Reveals Battery Degradation in Real Time

Using sophisticated 3D imaging, a team at University College London, The European Synchrotron (ESRF), University of Manchester, Harwell Oxford, Oregon State University, and the National Physical Laboratory visualized a battery’s performance loss and internal structural damage. The images of active commercial Li/MnO2 disposable batteries, captured using X-ray computed tomography, will help to improve cell designs.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Photonics

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Filtering in Machine Vision

There are many different types of filters in machine vision that can be utilized to improve or change the image of the object under inspection. It is important to understand the different technologies behind the various types of filters in order to understand their advantages and limitations. Although there is a wide variety of filters, almost all can be divided into two primary categories: colored glass filters and coated filters.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Photonics

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