Test & Measurement

Fusible Alloy Thermometer

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland This work was based on the need for a relatively small passive detector of maximum temperature reached by an object that can be visually inspected. The device requirements are to be hermetically sealed for contamination control, give a clear indication of maximum temperature achieved (non-reversible) with a ~10 °C resolution, have an essentially unlimited shelf-life and insensitivity to radiation, be passive without any electronics or mechanisms, provide good thermal conductivity, and be low-cost. Prior detectors have an unclear lifetime, contamination outgassing properties, and radiation tolerance. These could be used at much higher temperatures than plastic methods (>>100 °C), though out of scope for the tests performed to date.

Posted in: Briefs, Test & Measurement, Measurements, Thermodynamics, Alloys


Small-Volume Pressurized Sample Handling System

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A method was developed for effective, efficient, non-destructive, in-situ sample processing. Pressure vessels are used for sample delivery and collection, a shaker is used to keep the particles suspended, a back pressure of argon gas is used to keep the system under pressure to regulate the flow, and flow restrictors and frits are used that never come into contact with the sample slurry to avoid clogs.

Posted in: Briefs, Test & Measurement, Soils, Containers, Non-destructive tests


Selecting the Right Material for 3D Printing

This industrial 3D printing white paper explores the properties of thermoplastic and metal materials available with direct metal laser sintering, selective laser sintering and stereolithography technologies. It also includes a quick-reference guide of material attributes that can steer you toward the proper grade. Download your free copy today!

Posted in: White Papers, Electronics, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Test & Measurement


NASA Measures Raindrop Sizes from Space

For the first time, scientists have three-dimensional snapshots of raindrops and snowflakes around the world, thanks to the joint NASA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. With the new global data on raindrop and snowflake sizes, scientists can improve rainfall estimates from satellite data and numerical weather forecast models.

Posted in: News, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring


Advanced Capabilities of PXI-Based Semiconductor Test Systems

The ongoing challenge for today’s semiconductor test engineers is to identify and create new test solutions that can offer significantly lower test costs as well as address the need for configurable, open-architecture, flexible test solutions that can provide comparable features to proprietary ATE platforms. In particular, for test requirements with low to moderate volumes — such as pilot production, verification, and focused production test applications — the need for flexible and cost-effective ATE solutions is particularly acute. For these applications, test engineers historically have relied upon legacy test systems that have a low acquisition cost, but high operating costs or in-house designed rack-and-stack solutions. However, semiconductor test system solutions based on the PXI platform have made significant advancements in functionality and performance over the past three or four years, offering test engineers a viable alternative for both current and future test needs.

Posted in: Articles, Test & Measurement, Architecture, Semiconductors, Test equipment and instrumentation, Test procedures


Calibration Requirements for Testing Coupling-Decoupling Networks

Coupling-Decoupling Networks (CDNs) are the unglamorous workhorses that get “hitched up” to an impulse generator in order to perform impulse testing on powered equipment. As such, performance and calibration requirements for CDNs have not been specified to the same level of detail as the impulse generator. This is no longer the case with the Third Edition of IEC 61000-4-5, the international standard for surge immunity testing.

Posted in: Articles, Test & Measurement, Capacitors, Electric power, Test equipment and instrumentation


NASA Monitoring Technologies Shake Up Earthquake Prediction

The seconds to minutes of advance warning of an earthquake can allow people and systems to take actions to protect life and property from destructive shaking. Earthquake early warning systems use earthquake science and the technology of monitoring systems to alert devices and people when shaking waves generated by an earthquake are expected to arrive at their location. NASA has been one of the agencies at the forefront of earthquake early warning technology for many years, and new monitoring techniques developed by NASA are shaking up the way earthquakes are predicted.

Posted in: Articles, Test & Measurement, Weather and climate, Evacuation and escape, Satellites


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