Intelligent Motor Control ICs Simplify System Design

A new category of IC called an intelligent motor controller (IMC) is evolving that simplifies the task of designing high performance motor control drives. IMCs are dedicated, highspeed ICs that control multi-phase motors such as brushless DC and AC induction motors, and provide sophisticated control features required by today’s energy-efficient applications such as variable speed, flux vector control, and even sensorless control.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Adaptive control, Electronic control units, Adaptive control, Electronic control units, Electric motors

Starr Ginn, Deputy Branch Chief, Engineering Directorate, Aerostructures Branch, Dryden Flight Research Center

Starr Ginn decided she wanted to work for NASA after interning in their Summer High School Apprenticeship Research Program (SHARP) following her junior year in high school. She is currently the Deputy Branch Chief of the engineering directorate’s aerostructures branch at the Dryden Flight Research Center. An expert in aircraft ground vibration testing and flight flutter testing, she recently designed and developed a unique aircraft jacking system that allows a test specimen to “float” during ground vibration testing.

Posted in: Who's Who

Software Aids Design of Ares V Composite Shroud Structure

NASA’s Ares V space launch vehicle makes significant use of composites, and during flight, the shroud of the Ares V will separate into four petals to release the Lunar Lander. In the design of the structure, the aerodynamic pressure on the shroud is resolved into internally distributed forces. A combination of two software packages — HyperSizer structural sizing software and Abaqus FEA (finite element analysis) software from SIMULIA (Providence, RI) — was used to model and simulate this process.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Software, CAD / CAM / CAE, CAD, CAM, and CAE, Composite materials, Aerodynamics, Launch vehicles

Battery Will Provide Backup Power for Space Shuttles

International Battery is building a battery prototype for NASA that will provide backup power in support of the space shuttle program. NASA is interested in the company’s largeformat, high-energy-density prismatic cells that provide advanced energy storage, as well as their Battery Management System (BMS). The BMS is specifically designed for large-format cells and provides increased safety through individual cell monitoring and continuous cell balancing. The entire system is being deployed as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to maintain backup power for critical ground operations.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Batteries, Lithium-ion batteries, Lithium-ion batteries, Ground support, Supplier assessment, Reusable launch vehicles and shuttles

High-Speed Vision Inspection for Sheet-Based Electronics Materials

Process Photonics (Ottawa, ON, Canada) builds processing systems for the PCB, electronics assembly, and medical device markets. Their ProVisionTM series is a solution that uses vision to inspect panel and sheet-based circuit features. The system concept was devised after a customer expressed interest in replacing multiple existing inspection machines. The customer wanted a unit that was capable of significantly higher resolution and throughput, but also wanted to plan for a system that could perform defect recognition tasks beyond the original system’s capabilities.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Electronics, Materials, Electronic equipment, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Optics, Electronic equipment, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Optics, Automation, Quality control, Quality control, Inspections

Matrox Vision Software Aids Robotic Inspection of Turbines

Turbines housed in aircraft engines are subject to pretty tough conditions. They must perform at speeds of 30,000rpm in temperatures greater than 800 °C for hours at a time.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Software, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Robotics, Gas turbines, Turbojet engines, Inspections

Siemens Processor Helps KUKA Boost Robot Productivity

KUKA Flexible Production Systems is a leading producer of production systems for car bodies and chassis. When KUKA decided to become a Tier I supplier of automobile bodies to Chrysler, they needed to use their extensive knowledge of body shops and find a partner willing to work with them to change the landscape of the North American market.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Robotics, Collaboration and partnering, Production engineering, Productivity, Robotics

NASA Portable Hyperbaric Chamber Technology Finds Home on Earth

NASA has signed a patent license agreement with OxyHeal Medical Systems of National City, CA to improve the medical community’s access to hyperbaric chambers used to treat many medical conditions and emergencies. OxyHeal will develop new products based on technologies NASA originally developed for space. Hyperbaric chambers create an environment in which the atmospheric pressure of oxygen is increased above normal levels. The high concentrations of oxygen can reduce the size of gas bubbles in the blood and improve blood flow to oxygen-starved tissues.

Posted in: UpFront

Multifunction, High-Throughput, Simultaneous USB Data Acquisition Module

Data Translation, Marlboro, MA, has introduced the DT9816-S multifunction, high-throughput, simultaneous USB data acquisition module that allows users to sample six analog input channels independently at up to 800 kHz per channel.

Posted in: Products

Core 2 Duo® Rugged System

General Micro Systems (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) has introduced the “Raider” S705 Core 2 Duo®-based system. Raider is based on the GMS P70x module, a Core 2 Duo processor providing up to 2.16 GHz of power and 4 MB of L2 Cache, and up to 2 GB of 667 MHz DDR-2SDRAM. The S705 is available in a variety of configurations that are completely upgradeable and compatible along the Intel® migration path. To its power and expandability, Raider provides performance levels equal to full-size ATR systems.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers

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