Wireless Switches

New wireless, batteryless limit switches from Steute Industrial Controls (Ridgefield, CT) include an internal electrodynamic energy generator. Displacement of the actuator generates power to send a uniquely coded signal to one or more compatible, easily-programmed receivers. If the limit switch does not receive the confirmation signal within 15 ms, a second signal is transmitted. The receiver accepts up to 10 discrete signals per channel.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Sensors


Advances in Coating Technology Take Shape at NASA Goddard

The Contamination and Coatings Engineering Branch at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, provides system-level support in contamination engineering and thermal coatings engineering from concept to mission end of life. This includes development, implementation, and management of instrument and spacecraft contamination control programs, technical consultation on contamination and coatings issues, thermal coatings applications, material property characterization, and coatings flight qualification.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace


Recycling Technology Converts Plastic Waste to Energy

NASA’s expertise in rocket engine improvement helps optimize plastic recycling process equipment. As good as it feels to throw plastic items into the recycling bin, the fact is most of that plastic goes unrecycled, according to Jim Garrett, a veteran of the oil and gas industry. “It’s a dirty little secret in America that 90 percent of our plastic ends up [in landfills], if not in our oceans.”

Posted in: Articles, Spinoff, Aerospace


Simplified Machine Design Approach for Optimal Servomotor Control

An often asked question from industrial machine builders or integrators is how they can effectively design or implement the conversion of a machine with servo technology to meet performance expectations. This is a specialized task filled with layers of complexity that can prove difficult to execute, even when the scope of work is fully understood.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control


NASA Proxy Maps Reveal Earthquake Damage

On April 25, 2015, a magnitude - 7 . 8 earthquake caused widespread building damage in central Nepal. The Italian Space Agency’s COSMO-SkyMed Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite acquired data over Kathmandu – a 50 x 50 km area – four days after the earthquake. Using the SAR information, Sang-Ho Yun and other researchers of the Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and California Institute of Technology produced a damage proxy map showing areas of potential building damage.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors


Inertial Sensors Get in the Driver’s Seat

Tiny devices improve safety, comfort in ADASTwo decades have passed since automotive manufacturers began using the first microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) accelerometer to measure strong acceleration and trigger the deployment of airbags (see Figure 1). The inaugural inertial sensor paved the way for more widespread use of accelerometers in today’s advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

Posted in: Articles, Sensors


Control Solutions Synchronize Operation of Space Launch System Heavy Transporters

Control panels, embedded PCs, automation software, and servomotors and drives Beckhoff Automation Savage, MN 952-890-0000 www.beckhoffautomation.comLarge NASA production facilities, such as the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) in New Orleans, are among the largest manufacturing facilities in the world, with more than 1,870,000 square feet of floor space for assembly and manufacturing space that NASA shares with commercial aerospace and U.S. government contractors. A major activity at MAF is the assembly of core stage components for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket program. The most powerful rocket ever built, the SLS will be capable of carrying the highest payload mass in history. When fully assembled, the SLS measures 322 feet high with a launch weight of 5.5 million pounds, and a payload capacity of 77 tons. NASA uses Wheelift® Self-Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMTs), manufactured by Doerfer Companies of Waverly, IA, to move the rocket components.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace


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