Test & Measurement

Micro-Force Sensing Nanoprobe

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland The NGXO (Next Generation X-Ray Optics) project has several problems relating to how to bond a very thin glass mirror to a metallic structure without distortion. One problem is that all epoxies shrink (at the micron level) when they cure. This shrinkage distorts the optical quality of the mirror unacceptably. Another problem is how to correlate finite element models of thin glass mirrors to verify that they are accurately predicting the distortions that a real glass will see due to enforced displacements, such as those applied by epoxy shrinkage. The forces required to simulate epoxy shrinkage and to balance a mirror on a bed of actuators are in the 100-1000 micro-newton range. The displacements are on the order of a few microns. These tiny forces and displacements cannot be easily measured or actuated with typical lab equipment.

Posted in: Briefs, Test & Measurement

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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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