Sensors/Data Acquisition

NASA Sensor Supports Flexible Aircraft Design

A NASA-developed fiber optic sensor provides the kind of detailed feedback that could guide the direction of flexible wings and other next-generation aerospace parts. The multi-core fiber (MCF) contains light reflectors, known as fiber Bragg gratings, that reveal shape and position in three dimensions.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Sensors

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Healthy Sensing: Do You Know When Your Proximity Sensor Is Sick?

The age of the fully connected aircraft is upon us and it isn’t coming a minute too soon to meet the demands of today’s commercial aircraft. The integration of smart components helps to increase revenue and reduce the cost to serve. Honeywell has designed and implemented the patented FAVCO (Fixed Amplitude Variable Current Oscillator) technology, which allows for continuous health monitoring capable of detecting the majority of circuit and sensor faults.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Aerospace, Defense, Sensors

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Energy Harvesting's Emerging Role in a 'Smarter' World

When most individuals hear “energy harvesting,” they often think of alternative energy sources like wind and solar power. There is a distinct difference, however, between alternative energy and energy harvesting, or EH, approaches, based on the amount of power each can generate.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors

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Smartphone Video Guidance Sensor

The need arose to apply the state determination algorithms developed for the Advanced Video Guidance Sensor autonomous rendezvous and docking (AR&D) sensor onto a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS), smartphone-based platform to create a lower-mass, lower-cost sensor for small satellite and CubeSat applications. Prior techniques used for state determination suffer one or more of the following problems: large mass, large volume, high cost, or computationally intensive calculations.

Posted in: Briefs, Tech Briefs, Sensors

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Integrated Temperature and Capacitive Ablation Recession Rate Sensors

Innovators at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have developed new sensors that can be integrated into thermal protection systems (TPS) to protect them from environmental damage. Radiation, shock, and ablation (erosion of the protective outer surface) combine to damage the TPS material, so it becomes crucial to determine the temperature and rate at which the TPS material deteriorates. Glenn has developed an improved method to bulk-manufacture silicon carbide (SiC) devices that enables sensors to be manufactured economically. Additionally, this technique permits the simultaneous production of SiC sensors of different types (e.g., pressure sensors, flow sensors, and accelerometers) from the same SiC wafer. Glenn’s development holds great potential for any industry that requires sensors and monitoring of temperature, corrosion, or environmental damage.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors

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Cryogenic Liquid Level Sensor Apparatus and Method

This technology can be used in many medical, industrial, and pharmaceutical applications. Innovators at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center have developed a highly accurate method for measuring liquid levels using optical fibers. Unlike liquid level gauges currently on the market that rely on discrete measurements to give broad approximations of liquid levels, Armstrong’s innovative fiber optic method provides precise and accurate measurements. Specifically, Armstrong’s novel method is capable of providing measurements at 1/4-inch intervals within a tank. This significant leap forward in precision and accuracy in liquid level sensing offers significant benefits to many industries. Originally designed by NASA to monitor a rocket’s cryogenic fuel levels, this technology can be used in many medical, industrial, and pharmaceutical applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors

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Flexible Thin Metal Film Thermal Sensing System

NASA’s Langley Research Center has extensively studied self-metallized polyimide films for aerospace applications. These thin films have shown promise not only as reflective coatings, but also conductive coatings. NASA believes that its technology may offer advantages to sensor companies, especially thermocouples as the conductive films show a volume resistivity approaching the pure metal. Specifically, NASA offers a process for producing metallized polymer films with thick conductive metal coatings.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors

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