NASA Spinoff

IonoSTAGE Ensures Accuracy of Pilots’ GPS

FAA software relies on NASA-developed programs to help pilots avoid ionospheric storms. To permit safe and reliable aircraft navigation over North America using the Global Positioning System (GPS), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has developed the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), which improves the accuracy, availability, continuity, and integrity of GPS

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Improved Calibration Shows Images’ True Colors

Camera calibration techniques for monitoring propulsion tests are used to improve quality of satellite images. In satellite images, the true color of a body of water, or anything else they depict, is not precise. Radiometric calibration, which improves the color accuracy of an image and enables it to be used to

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NASA Spinoff: NASA’s UV Radiation Research Keeps Sun Worshipers Safe

Studying radiation effects on spacecraft led to a personal Sun exposure monitor. To understand the Sun’s impacts on Earth, NASA initiated the Living with a Star program in 2001, and began developing a key research satellite: the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). One of the instruments created for the SDO was the

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Vision Algorithms Catch Defects in Screen Displays

Software based on NASA vision research is used in making laptop, cellphone, and TV displays. NASA has sent more than a few robotic missions into space, but it never loses sight of its goal to enable human exploration of the cosmos. A core component of planning for future manned missions is

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Brainwave Monitoring Software Helps Distracted Minds

Software designed to help pilots stay attentive now improves workplace, school, and sports performance. Imagine moving an object using only your mind. Software company Unique Logic’s Time on Task exercise makes that possible, at least on a computer screen. The game is one of the company’s Play Attention educational line, and

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Thermal Materials Protect Priceless Personal Keepsakes

Thermal protection technology used on the shuttles keeps valuables safe from fire. Most of us cannot comprehend the task of building something to withstand temperatures over 4,000 °F, but NASA can. The space shuttles endured such temperatures when returning to Earth’s atmosphere because of aerodynamic heating, or heating due to the

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Cabin Pressure Monitors Notify Pilots to Save Lives

Designed for astronauts and pilots, this device could save skydivers and mountain climbers. Typical cruising altitudes for business and commercial aircraft are up to 50,000 feet or more. Occupants could not survive in this environment without pressure inside the aircraft being controlled to maintain oxygen concentrations consistent with those at lower

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Satellite Data Monitors Nation’s Forests

Data obtained from NASA satellites helps scientists monitor damage caused by wildfires, drought, and other natural disturbances. Joe Spruce’s last name is a fitting one: Spruce is a research scientist at NASA’s Stennis Space Center working with the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service to monitor forests and other vegetation across

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Solar Refrigerators Store Life-Saving Vaccines

NASA’s battery-free solar technology powers vaccine refrigerators in hot, rural communities. NASA’s photovoltaic (PV) technology has advanced many of its missions. This renewable source of energy is produced when certain photo-emissive materials, such as silicon, eject electrons upon absorbing photons from sunlight. These free electrons can be captured, and the resulting

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Spacecraft Seat Standards Lead to Comfort in Your Car

NASA standards for optimum neutral body posture in spacecraft have led to ergonomic car seats. In the beginning, safety outweighed comfort in spacecraft designs for human space travel. Capsules like Gemini and Apollo were small, and most of the flight activities were performed while the crew was strapped to their seats.

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