Test & Measurement

Victim Simulator for Victim Detection Radar

This simulator can be placed for long periods of time in environments that would be unsafe for a human subject. Testing of victim detection radars has traditionally used human subjects who volunteer to be buried in, or climb into a space within, a rubble pile. This is not only uncomfortable, but can be hazardous or impractical when typical disaster scenarios are considered, including fire, mud, or liquid waste. Human subjects are also inconsistent from day to day (i.e., they do not have the same radar properties), so quantitative performance testing is difficult. Finally, testing a multiple-victim scenario is difficult and expensive because of the need for multiple human subjects who must all be coordinated.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Physical Sciences, Test & Measurement

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Beat-to-Beat Blood Pressure Monitor

This invention is applicable to all segments of the blood pressure monitoring market, including ambulatory, home-based, and high-acuity monitoring. This device provides non-invasive beat-to-beat blood pressure measurements and can be worn over the upper arm for prolonged durations. Phase and waveform analyses are performed on filtered proximal and distal photoplethysmographic (PPG) waveforms obtained from the brachial artery. The phase analysis is used primarily for the computation of the mean arterial pressure, while the waveform analysis is used primarily to obtain the pulse pressure. Realtime compliance estimate is used to refine both the mean arterial and pulse pressures to provide the beat-to-beat blood pressure measurement.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Physical Sciences, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

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Automated Lab-on-a-Chip Electrophoresis System

Robotic analysis in defense or security operations that require sample handling or dilution can utilize this technology. Capillary electrophoresis is an analytical technique that can be used to detect and quantify extremely small amounts of various biological molecules. In the search for biochemical traces of life on other planets, part of this search involves an examination of amino acids, which are the building blocks of life on Earth. The most sensitive method for detecting amino acids is the use of laser induced fluorescence. However, since amino acids do not, in general, fluoresce, they first must be reacted with a fluorescent dye label prior to analysis. After this process is completed, the liquid sample then must be transported into the electrophoresis system. If the system is to be reused multiple times, samples must be added and removed each time. In typical laboratories, this process is performed manually by skilled human operators using standard laboratory equipment. This level of human intervention is not possible if this technology is to be implemented on extraterrestrial targets.

Posted in: Briefs, Test & Measurement

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Cryogenic Chamber for Servo-Hydraulic Materials Testing

A compact cryogenic test chamber can be cooled to approximately 5 to 6 Kelvin for materials testing. The system includes a temperature controller and multiple sensors to measure specimen temperature at different locations. The testing chamber provides a fast and easy method to perform materials testing at lower than liquid nitrogen temperature (77 K). The advantage of this chamber is that lower than 77 K temperatures are achievable, and the temperature can be controlled and stabilized during a test.

Posted in: Briefs, Test & Measurement

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Multimodal Friction Ignition Tester

Responses of material specimens to vibrational friction in pressurized oxygen are recorded. The multimodal friction ignition tester (MFIT) is a testbed for experiments on the thermal and mechanical effects of friction on material specimens in pressurized, oxygen-rich atmospheres. In simplest terms, a test involves recording sensory data while rubbing two specimens against each other at a controlled normal force, with either a random stroke or a sinusoidal stroke having controlled amplitude and frequency. The term “multimodal” in the full name of the apparatus refers to a capability for imposing any combination of widely ranging values of the atmospheric pressure, atmospheric oxygen content, stroke length, stroke frequency, and normal force. The MFIT was designed especially for studying the tendency toward heating and combustion of nonmetallic composite materials and the fretting of metals subjected to dynamic (vibrational) friction forces in the presence of liquid oxygen or pressurized gaseous oxygen — test conditions approximating conditions expected to be encountered in proposed composite-material oxygen tanks aboard aircraft and spacecraft in flight.

Posted in: Briefs, Test & Measurement

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Rover Attitude and Pointing System Simulation Testbed

The MER (Mars Exploration Rover) Attitude and Pointing System Simulation Testbed Environment (RAPSSTER) provides a simulation platform used for the development and test of GNC (guidance, navigation, and control) flight algorithm designs for the Mars rovers, which was specifically tailored to the MERs, but has since been used in the development of rover algorithms for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) as well.

Posted in: Briefs, Test & Measurement

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Desktop Application Program To Simulate Cargo-Air-Drop Tests

The DSS Application is a computer program comprising a Windows version of the UNIX-based Decelerator System Simulation (DSS) coupled with an Excel front end. The DSS is an executable code that simulates the dynamics of air-dropped cargo from first motion in an aircraft through landing. The bare DSS is difficult to use; the front end makes it easy to use. All inputs to the DSS, control of execution of the DSS, and postprocessing and plotting of outputs are handled in the front end. The front end is graphics-intensive.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Test & Measurement

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