Test & Measurement

NASA Simulator Recreates Space Dust

A team of scientists at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, has successfully reproduced, on Earth, the processes that occur in the atmosphere of a red giant star and lead to the formation of planet-forming interstellar dust.Using a specialized facility, called the Cosmic Simulation Chamber (COSmIC), scientists now are able to recreate and study dust grains similar to the grains that form in the outer layers of dying stars. Scientists plan to use the dust to gather clues to better understand the composition and the evolution of the universe.In the past, the inability to simulate space conditions in the gaseous state prevented scientists from identifying unknown matter. Because conditions in space are vastly different from conditions on Earth, it is challenging to identify extraterrestrial materials. Thanks to COSmIC, researchers can successfully simulate gas-phase environments similar to interstellar clouds, stellar envelopes, or planetary atmospheres environments by expanding gases using a cold jet spray of argon gas seeded with hydrocarbons that cools down the molecules to temperatures representative of these environments.COSmIC integrates a variety of state-of-the-art instruments to allow scientists to recreate space conditions in the laboratory to form, process, and monitor simulated planetary and interstellar materials. The chamber is the heart of the system. It recreates the extreme conditions that reign in space where interstellar molecules and ions float in a vacuum at densities that are billionths of Earth's atmosphere.SourceAlso: Learn about Coatings for Lunar Dust Removal.

Posted in: Materials, Test & Measurement, Monitoring, Aerospace, News

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An Alternative to Check Fixtures

Discover how the world’s leading manufacturers are using portable CMM’s to eliminate the need for check fixtures – significantly reducing storage, maintenance and rework costs. Additionally, learn how the portable CMM solution yields actionable, quantifiable data that manufacturers can use in a six sigma and/or lean manufacturing environment to improve their products and become more profitable.

Posted in: Test & Measurement, White Papers

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An Introduction to Stress Analysis and Transducer Design Using Strain Gauges

The usual way of assessing structural parts of machines, buildings, vehicles, aircraft, etc. is based on strength of material calculations.

Posted in: Test & Measurement, White Papers

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Wind Tunnel Tests Support Improved Design of B61-12 Bomb

Sandia National Laboratories has finished testing a full-scale mock unit representing the aerodynamic characteristics of the B61-12 gravity bomb in a wind tunnel. The tests on the mock-up were done to establish the configuration that will deliver the necessary spin motion of the bomb during freefall and are an important milestone in the Life Extension Program to deliver a new version of the aging system.

Posted in: Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Test & Measurement, Aerospace, Defense, News

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Testing Composite Structures for Stronger Bridges

The J. Lohr Structures Laboratory at South Dakota State University helps companies develop new materials and products — self-consolidating concrete columns and pre-stress concrete bridge girders — that bridge a physical gap. Over the past decade, researchers have conducted structural testing on large- and full-scale test specimens for private companies and government entities.

Posted in: Materials, Composites, Test & Measurement, Transportation, News

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Making Waste History: 3D Measurement Technology Bumps Bottom-line Growth

Reducing downtime, eliminating costly scrap and generally becoming more efficient have become necessities in today’s competitive marketplace. That’s where 3D technology comes in. Robust, portable 3D measurement tools allow companies to quickly and easily verify product quality and collect comprehensive high-resolution data. This white paper uncovers the secret to understanding the technology that’s improving the way companies do business.

Posted in: Test & Measurement, White Papers

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Processing COSMIC/FORMOSAT-3 Data for Slant Total Electron Content Measurements

New leveling algorithm uses GPS multipath signals to provide an improved leveling of ionospheric measurements. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California The COSMIC (Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate) mission has GPS (Global Positioning System) radio occultation dual-band receivers onboard. The received signals slice through the ionosphere, layer by layer, in much the same way as peeling off the layers of an onion. In order to use GPS signals for ionospheric measurements, they must be edited, phase leveled, and the hardware biases removed. The leveling algorithm used for ground-based GPS receivers is inadequate for space-based receivers due to substantially different multipath characteristics.

Posted in: Test & Measurement, Briefs

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