Features

Products of Tomorrow: May 2015

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.

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Industry Roundtable: 3D Printing

It seems that every day, designers and engineers are finding exciting new applications for 3D printing, from creating custom prostheses to making tools used for repairs on the International Space Station. 3D printing is considered a revolutionary technology that can transform our lives. But what are the real benefits — and the real consequences — of such a drastic change in manufacturing?

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NASA Spinoff: NASA’s UV Radiation Research Keeps Sun Worshipers Safe

Studying radiation effects on spacecraft led to a personal Sun exposure monitor. To understand the Sun’s impacts on Earth, NASA initiated the Living with a Star program in 2001, and began developing a key research satellite: the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). One of the instruments created for the SDO was the Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE), tasked with measuring extreme ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which plays a key role in atmospheric heating and satellite drag. In 2005, Goddard Space Flight Center scientist Shahid Aslam joined other researchers in developing EVE.

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Editor's Choice: May 2015 - NASA Tech Briefs

A MEMS micro-translation stage features large linear travel capability, and can translate across long distances using just three-phase power. Essentially a linear motor built from a silicon base using microfabrication techniques, the device can be as small as 100 mm and can house lenses, mirrors, absorbers, and sampling compartments for applications in optics, communications, sensors, and biotechnology. Find out more here.

Posted in: UpFront

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A Very Special Delivery

Recently, engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama unboxed some special cargo from the International Space Station: the first items manufactured in space with a 3D printer.

Posted in: UpFront

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Freezing for Survival

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will have to survive the mechanically stressing conditions of launch, and the telescope and scientific instruments will have to survive the thermal shrinkage that occurs when cooling down from room temperature to the cryogenic temperatures at which they operate. This is a significant engineering challenge because the JWST and its instruments operate at extremely cold temperatures, but they are built at room temperature.

Posted in: UpFront

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3D-Printed Functional Antenna Arrays Operate on Exterior of COSMIC-2 Satellites

FDM® (Fused Deposition Modeling™) technology and ULTEM 9085 thermoplastic Stratasys Direct Manufacturing (RedEye, Solid Concepts, and Harvest Technologies) Eden Prairie, MN 866-882-6934 www.redeyeondemand.com In 2006, a satellite mission called the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC-1) was put into orbit. The purpose of the instrument was to collect global ionospheric and atmospheric data of temperature, moisture, and pressure, including hard-to-sample areas such as above oceans and polar regions. The project was led by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), a consortium of more than 70 research universities in the US, and Meteorological Society of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Since its inception, the COSMIC-1 project has contributed to a wide range of scientific investigations and improvements in weather forecasting.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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