Articles

Water Treatment Technologies Inspire Healthy Beverages

Purification techniques for astronaut drinking water find use in probiotic drinks.

At NASA’s Johnson Space Center in the mid-1990s, Mike Johnson assisted the scientists who were developing technology to convert urine into drinking water. The research conducted by the Advanced Water Recovery Systems Development team has proven vital to space exploration. Thanks in part to their work, astronauts in low Earth orbit make the most of their resources, and those who will take part in future missions — like a trip to an asteroid or Mars — can count on having drinkable water for the journey.

Posted in: Articles, Green Design & Manufacturing, Water reclamation, Water treatment, Technical reference, Technical review
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Network Interface Links Sensor-Web Instruments

NASA Airborne Science operates a fleet of aircraft in conjunction with orbiting satellites for Earth observations. In 2004, NASA started planning missions to employ constellations of instruments flying on those platforms that would mutually interact and communicate as a network with stations on the ground. These sensor webs would simultaneously collect data from multiple perspectives to better describe hurricanes, polar ice conditions, and other geophysical dynamics. Data from various spectra and locations could be correlated in real time to form detailed composites of events in progress.

Posted in: Articles, Homepage, Electronics & Computers, Instrumentation, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Data exchange, Satellite communications, Sensors and actuators, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Data exchange, Satellite communications, Sensors and actuators
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Sensor-Web Experiments Advance Earth Science

NASA funds more atmospheric research by far than any other government agency or private concern internationally. More than 100 different instruments have been developed and flown in support of NASA airborne science missions during more than three decades of investigation, most of which were designed, built, and are maintained by various NASA field centers, by universities, or by other government agencies such as NOAA.

Posted in: Articles, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Data acquisition and handling, Sensors and actuators, Data acquisition and handling, Sensors and actuators, Weather and climate, Aircraft, Satellites
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Using Vacuum Technology to Cool CCDs

Imagine a CCD camera operating on a long exposure and seeing only 1 electron per pixel every 16 minutes. That equates to dark current of less than 0.000001 electrons/pixel/sec. Imagine the same camera delivering less than 1.75 electrons readout noise with minimal hot spots and blemishes while delivering a peak QE of 77%. To hit these specs it would need to be cooled significantly.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Photonics, Optics, Optics, Thermal management, Thermal management, Cooling
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Spacesuit Materials Add Comfort to Undergarments

Phase change materials for spacesuits are being used in “cool” underwear.

More than two decades ago, NASA started looking for a new way to keep astronauts comfortable in their space gloves. During a spacewalk, temperatures can range between 250 °F and -250 °F. One of the technologies NASA looked at to help maintain a “just right” temperature was phase change materials (PCMs). At a designated high temperature, PCMs absorb and hold heat to produce a cooling effect. At a designated low temperature, PCMs release their stored heat to produce a warming effect in an area.

Posted in: Articles, Materials, Human factors, Thermal management, Thermal management, Product development, Fabrics, Smart materials, Spacesuits
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Alternate Methods for Testing LED Tube Lights

LED tube lights, designed as replacements for T8/T10/T12 fluorescent bulbs, represent a significant portion of the growing commercial LED lighting market. According to the United States Department of Energy (DOE), commercial forces are driving the development of LED technology, which is expected to represent 36 percent of luminaire sales for the general illumination market by 2020.

Posted in: Articles, Lighting
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Adhesives for Optoelectronics

The beginning of the 21st century finds optoelectronics being one of the key disciplines on technological development. Substantial progress in computer technology, communication, imaging, illumination technology, sensor technology, medical technology or production technology is based on the availability of high-performance optoelectronic components. In particular, applications in consumer electronics presuppose an ever-increasing power density and continuous miniaturization of the components, while driving down costs per power unit. This goal can only be achieved through powerful mass production concepts.

Posted in: Articles, Lighting
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Army Explores Potential Of Light-Emitting Monolayers To Benefit Soldiers

Recently Penn State researchers working with the Army Research Office showed that tungstenite, or WS2, formed from layers of sulfur and tungsten atoms, has light-emitting properties that could be useful to plenty of Army applications, like optical sensors or even lasers. University scientists saw an extraordinary glow from the honeycomb edges of monolayered triangular islands of WS2 for the first time and knew this would be groundbreaking. The discovery was one of several milestones for a small team of experts from four universities working on a Multi-Disciplinary University Research Initiative, or MURI, project.

Posted in: Articles, Lighting
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New Manufacturing Technique Could Lead to Brighter, Smarter, More Efficient LEDs

Ming Ma, a doctoral student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has developed a new method to manufacture lightemitting diodes (LEDs) that are brighter, more energy efficient, and have superior technical properties than those on the market today. His innovation holds the promise of hastening the widespread adoption of LEDs and reducing the overall cost, energy consumption, and environmental impact of illuminating our homes and businesses.

Posted in: Articles, Lighting
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Researchers Demonstrate New Way to Control Light in Semiconductor Nanocrystals

As demand for computing and communication capacity surges, the global communication infrastructure struggles to keep pace. The problem is that light signals transmitted through fiber-optic lines must still be processed electronically, creating a bottleneck in telecommunications networks.

Posted in: Articles, Lighting
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