Features

System Concept Studies Will Aid NASA in Asteroid Redirect Mission

SSL 1300 commercial satellite bus Space Systems/Loral Palo Alto, CA 650-852-4000 www.sslmda.com NASA continues to advance the journey to Mars through progress on the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), which will test a number of new capabilities needed for future human expeditions to deep space, including to Mars. This includes advanced Solar Electric Propulsion — an efficient way to move heavy cargo using solar power, which could help pre-position cargo for future human missions to the Red Planet.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Robotics

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Data Recorders Prepare Orion for Splashdown Test

Data recorders and software Diversified Technical Systems (DTS) Seal Beach, CA 562-493-0158 www.dtsweb.com It’s no simple task to travel 3,600 miles into space, blaze back through Earth’s atmosphere at 20,000 mph with temperatures approaching 4,000 °F, and then splash-land into the Pacific Ocean. That’s why NASA spent three years dropping the 18,000-pound mockup of the Orion space capsule into a special test pool wired with hundreds of sensors, strain gauges, and accelerometers to measure stresses and structural integrity, as well as the safety of future astronauts onboard.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Data Acquisition, Measuring Instruments

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Vision Algorithms Catch Defects in Screen Displays

Software based on NASA vision research is used in making laptop, cellphone, and TV displays. NASA has sent more than a few robotic missions into space, but it never loses sight of its goal to enable human exploration of the cosmos. A core component of planning for future manned missions is the Human Systems Integration Division, headquartered at Ames Research Center, that focuses on advancing our understanding of how people process information and interact with mechanical and electronic systems.

Posted in: Articles

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Readers Select 2014 Products of the Year

In December, we asked NASA Tech Briefs readers to select the one product from our 12 Products of the Month that you thought was the most significant new introduction to the design engineering community in 2014. Thanks to all of our readers who voted, and here are your winners for the 2014 NASA Tech Briefs’ Readers’ Choice Product of the Year: COMSOL Burlington, MA COMSOL Multiphysics® software version 5.0 features product updates, three new add-on products, and the new Application Builder that lets users build applications for use by engineering and manufacturing departments. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/55587-124   Dewetron Wakefield, RI The TrendCorder series of instruments for basic data acquisition features intuitive, multi-touch operation, enabling them to be operated 100% by touch, including alphanumeric entry, channel setup, and display configuration. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/55587-125   MSC Software Corp. Newport Beach, CA The MSC ApexTM computer-aided engineering (CAE) platform is a Computational PartsTM-based CAE system that enables predictive product development in the earlier stages of design. Integrated solver methods allow users to interactively validate parts and subsystem models. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/55587-126

Posted in: UpFront

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Your Turn to Create the Future

The 13th annual Create the Future Design Contest (www.createthefuturecontest.com), sponsored by COMSOL and Mouser Electronics, and produced by Tech Briefs Media Group, is open for entries. The contest recognizes outstanding innovations in product design worldwide, awarding a Grand Prize of $20,000 USD. There is no cost to enter.

Posted in: Articles, UpFront

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Product of the Month: March 2015

Instron, Norwood, MA, introduced the AVE 2 strain measurement system that conforms to testing standards such as ISO 527, ASTM D3039, and ASTM D638. The video extensometer utilizes patented measurement technology, and adapts to the normal fluctuations of indoor environmental conditions. It can be adapted to any testing machine that uses a ±10V analog input. Designed to reduce errors from thermal and lighting variations, the device uses the real-time 490-Hz data rate while achieving a 1-micron accuracy. It allows for testing under multiple environmental conditions and can be used for strain measurement with Digital Image Correlation (DIC). The device measures both modulus and strain-to-failure of most materials including plastics, metals, composites, textiles, films, and bio-materials.

Posted in: Products, Measuring Instruments

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Researcher Spotlight: Atom­Thick Material Offers 2D Imaging Possibilities

Rice University scientists have developed a two-­dimensional, atom­-thick, light-­sensitive material called CIS, a single­-layer matrix of copper, indium, and selenium atoms. Sidong Lei, a graduate student, also built a prototype — a three-­pixel charge­-coupled device (CCD) sensor — to prove the material’s ability to capture an image. The optoelectronic memory material may be the basis for future flat imaging devices and two­-dimensional electronics.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors

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