Test & Measurement

High-Channel-Count, High-Scan-Rate Data Acquisition System for the NASA Langley Transonic Dynamics Tunnel

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia The NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) Transonic Dynamics Tunnel (TDT) has been operational since 1960, investigating a wide range of aeroelastic and non-aeroelastic phenomena. A dedicated aeroelastic test facility, the TDT is a large, variable-pressure, transonic wind tunnel. To support unique types of aeroelastic and dynamic tests, the TDT possesses a dynamic data acquisition system (DAS) with synchronous scanning of all analog channels. Steady (static) values are simply computed as the mean of any signal. The existing TDT DAS is referred to as the Open Architecture Data Acquisition System (OA-DAS). An effort was initiated to replace OA-DAS in order to increase the scan rate, increase the channel count, increase the reliability, increase user friendliness, and improve upon some features while maintaining synchronous scanning and other unique abilities. This effort has been spearheaded by researchers within the Aeroelasticity Branch (AB) co-located with the TDT; hence, the new data system has been named AB-DAS. The new data system will serve as the primary data system and will substantially increase the scan rate capabilities and analog channel count. This synchronous and dynamic system enables high-channel-count buffet and aeroacoustic tests in addition to the range of other testing done at TDT.

Posted in: Briefs, Test & Measurement

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Flow Meters

AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) offers ProSense FMM Series magnetic-inductive flow meters (magmeters) for liquid flow monitoring in industrial processes. The magmeters, available with 1/2" to 2" NPT female process connections, are designed with a 4-digit numeric display with pushbutton setup, a 4-pin M12 quick disconnect, and two outputs. The stainless steel design mounts directly in-line.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Test & Measurement

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Pulsed Test Instrument

Instruments for Industry, a unit of AMETEK Compliance Test Solutions (Edison, NJ) introduced the S21-4KWP-2KWP FLEX solid-state micro wave pulse power amplifier with a frequency range of 1.0 GHz to 2.0 GHz. It supplies 4 kW of pulse power up to 10% duty cycle with a maximum pulse width of 100 uS. The amplifier can be configured into two separate 2-kW pulse amplifiers for lower-power requirements at multiple locations. Safety features include RF and hardware protection circuits such as voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR), over current, voltage protection, and redundant thermal and airflow sensors for the module and full system. The user interface features a backlit screen that shows forward/reverse power indication, system status, and self-diagnostic information. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/61060-401

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Test & Measurement

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