Sensors/Data Acquisition

'Proximity Hat' Reveals Surroundings in Real Time

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) researchers have developed a "Proximity Hat" that uses head pressure to inform users about their surroundings. The ultrasonic sensors, batteries, and pressure pads can be worn like a hat or headband.

Posted in: News, Detectors, Sensors, Transducers

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Advanced Spacecraft Navigation and Timing Using Celestial Gamma-Ray Sources

This technology can decrease the overall operations cost of exploration missions by increasing the onboard navigation and guidance capabilities. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland The Advanced Spacecraft Navigation and Timing using Celestial Gamma-Ray Sources concept is a novel relative navigation technology for deep-space exploration using measurements of celestial gamma-ray sources. This new Gamma-ray source Localization-Induced Navigation and Timing (GLINT) method incorporates existing designs of autonomous navigation technologies and merges these with the developing science of high-energy sensor components. This new enabling technology for interplanetary self-navigation could provide important mission enhancements to planned operational and discovery missions. It has the potential to decrease the overall operations cost of exploration missions by increasing the onboard navigation and guidance capabilities, and reducing the risk of uncertainty by providing these vehicles the freedom to explore those areas that are most interesting.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Sensors

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Generating a Laser Linear Frequency Modulation Waveform for Application in Coherent Doppler Lidar

A remote laser sensor system using this technique can enhance aircraft navigation and increase efficiency, and reduce the cost of manufacturing large structures. Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia Frequency modulation of a single-frequency laser with a linear triangular waveform is of great interest to many laser remote sensing and interferometry applications. Linear frequency modulation of a continuous-wave (CW) laser beam can make target distance measurements with great precision. If the frequency modulation is perfectly linear with time, such a laser radar (lidar) system will have higher resolution and accuracy compared with pulsed lasers.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors

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Outlier Detection Via Estimating Clusters

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California The Outlier Detection Via Estimating Clusters (ODVEC) software provides an efficient method for real-time or offline analysis of multivariate sensor data for use in anomaly detection, fault detection, and system health monitoring. ODVEC uses models automatically derived from archived system data to identify unusual, out-of-family data samples (outliers) that indicate possible system failure or degradation. It employs novel techniques to efficiently calculate the degree of deviation of current system behavior from a range of previous, similar nominal operations.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors

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Wideband Single-Crystal Transducer for Bone Characterization

Broadband, highly sensitive, single-crystal piezoelectric transducers are applicable for bone characterization, medical ultrasound imaging, ultrasound NDE, and therapeutic applications. John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio The microgravity conditions of space travel create unique physiological demands on the astronauts’ skeletal structures, resulting in a reduction in bone strength from restructuring of the micro-architecture and loss of key minerals. An ultrasound system was developed that is capable of quantitatively correlating a series of measurement parameters to the physiology. The Nautilus transducer is a spiral-wrapped ultrasound transducer fabricated from piezoelectric Mn:PIN-PMN-PT single crystal that uses micromachining to take advantage of unique resonance modes within the crystal. The combination of integration of a single crystal and use of multiple resonances provided a bandwidth superior to commercial devices with the capacity for high sensitivity.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors

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Wireless Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube Microwave Heater System Using RFID-Based Temperature Feedback

This heater can be used in condensation control in inflatable structures, or in aircraft de-icing. Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas This innovation has two main parts — a wireless, flexible film heater containing multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) to convert radiated microwave energy into heat, and a radio frequency identification (RFID) temperature sensor to provide wireless temperature feedback.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Sensors

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Sub-Audible Speech Recognition Based on Electromyographic (EMG) Signals

This technology can be used by medical and emergency service workers, persons with disabilities, and in homeland security, underwater operations, and robotic control. Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California Sub-audible speech is a new form of human communication that uses tiny neural impulses (EMG signals) in the human vocal tract instead of audible sounds. These EMG signals arise from commands sent by the brain’s speech center to tongue and larynx muscles that enable production of audible sounds. Sub-audible speech arises from EMG signals intercepted before an audible sound is produced and, in many instances, allows inference of the corresponding word or sound. Where sub-audible speech is received and appropriately processed, production of recognizable sounds is no longer important. Further, the presence of noise and of intelligibility barriers, such as accents associated with the audible speech, no longer hinder communication.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors

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