Articles

Choosing the Right Hardware for Testing in Harsh Environments

Testing in rugged applications often includes testing in extreme temperature ranges, which can add constraints to hardware. Cold-start engine testing, for example, uses a test cell that can drop to -40 °C and requires continuous data acquisition such as temperature, pressure, and other various measurements. Placing hardware that is not built to withstand this range into harsh environments can cause components within the hardware to work incorrectly and result in incorrect data or damage to the hardware.

Posted in: Articles, Test & Measurement, Cold weather, Hardware, Test equipment and instrumentation
Read More >>

Human Spaceflight Takes a Giant Leap

NASA is developing the capabilities needed to send humans to an asteroid by 2025, and to Mars in the 2030s. While robotic explorers have studied Mars for more than 40 years, NASA’s path for the human exploration of Mars begins in low Earth orbit aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Astronauts on the ISS are proving many of the technologies and communications systems needed for human missions to deep space, including Mars. The ISS also advances understanding of how the body changes in space, and how to protect astronaut health.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Human factors, Life support systems, Medical, health, and wellness, Spacecraft
Read More >>

Suiting Up for the Future

NASA is developing the next generation of suit technologies that will enable deep-space exploration by incorporating advancements such as regenerable carbon dioxide removal systems and water evaporation systems that more efficiently provide crewmembers with core necessities such as breathing air and temperature regulation. Mobility and fit of a pressurized suit are extremely important in keeping astronauts productive, so NASA is focusing on spacesuit designs to help crews work more efficiently and safely during spacewalks.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Oxygen equipment, Thermal management, Oxygen equipment, Thermal management, Spacesuits
Read More >>

Modified Monitor Provides Glasses-Free 3D for Pilots and Gamers

NASA technology enables monitors that switch between 2D and 3D imaging.

When flying the increasingly crowded skies, pilots need to have an arsenal of information: altitude, airspeed, fuel level, distance to their destination, and the location of other planes in the sky. All of this information is presented in a series of two-dimensional instruments, panels, and readouts, meaning the pilot has to mentally assemble the information and translate that into the 3D world to better understand the relationship among air, ground, and traffic. NASA has long been interested in making it as easy as possible for pilots and astronauts to have the best information available to ensure safe flights, knowing that humans are imperfect creatures.

Posted in: Articles, Spinoff, Aerospace, Aircraft displays, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Aircraft displays, Imaging, Imaging and visualization
Read More >>

Precise Measurements on Earth Enable Further Exploration in Space

Measurement is the first step to success. If you can’t measure something accurately, it can’t be understood or improved. That is especially true for the spacecraft rockets and engines designed to operate under extreme temperatures and pressures at liftoff, or space stations the size of a six-bedroom house that must support people living and working in space for years.

Posted in: Articles, Test & Measurement, Measurements, Test equipment and instrumentation, Spacecraft
Read More >>

Next-Generation Infrared Technologies Solve High-Speed Automotive Testing Challenges

Higher-speed IR cameras can improve design phase testing.

Product research and development on internal combustion engines, brake rotors, tires, and high-speed airbags are just a few of the areas that truly benefit from high-speed, high-sensitivity thermal characterization testing. Unfortunately, traditional forms of contact temperature measurement such as thermocouples are not practical to mount on moving objects, and non-contact forms of temperature measurement such as spot guns — and even current infrared (IR) cameras — are simply not fast enough to stop motion on these high-speed targets in order to take accurate temperature measurements.

Posted in: Articles, Test & Measurement, Optics, Optics, Test equipment and instrumentation, Thermal testing
Read More >>

Making Sense from Sensors: How to Build a Sensor Fusion Engine

The presence of more than 1 billion sensor-rich smartphones and the intense interest surrounding the Internet of Things has drawn wide attention to all the potential and possibilities of sensor fusion engines. Availability of context data and general real-world data in digital format opens up many opportunities.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors, Mathematical models, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Sensors and actuators, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Sensors and actuators
Read More >>

NASA's Game-Changing Robotics

“Over the years, I’ve asked people, ‘If you had a robot, what would you want it to do for you?’” said Rob Ambrose, principal investigator for NASA’s Game Changing Development Program and chief of the Software, Robotics, and Simulation Division at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. When he asks astronauts, they usually tell him they want the robot to do chores.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Robotics, Maintenance, Repair and Service Operations, Maintenance, repair, and service operations, Product development, Robotics, Spacecraft
Read More >>

Primer Stops Corrosion Without Requiring Rust Removal

Coating used on launch pads protects bridges, condominiums, and other structures from corrosion.

In the mid-1990s, Surtreat Holding LLC, based in Pittsburgh, PA, developed two corrosion inhibitors that worked by chemical means, and were designed to be applied to the surface of concrete, where they would migrate to the steel rebar inside. By 1996, the formulas still had not been formally tested and validated.

Posted in: Articles, Coatings & Adhesives, Air transportation facilities, Coatings Colorants and Finishes, Coatings, colorants, and finishes, Corrosion, Iron
Read More >>

NASA’s Infrared Sensor Spots Near-Earth Asteroids

The Near-Earth Object Camera (NEOCam) is part of a proposed NASA mission to find potentially hazardous asteroids. In a Q&A with Photonics & Imaging Technology, NEOCam principal investigator Amy Mainzer ex plains how the NEOCam chip, a stamp-sized mega pixel infrared sensor, detects the faint heat emitted by near-Earth objects circling the Sun.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Imaging, Photonics, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Sensors and actuators, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Sensors and actuators, Spacecraft
Read More >>

The U.S. Government does not endorse any commercial product, process, or activity identified on this web site.