Designing Versatile COTS Data Acquisition Systems

Designing a versatile data acquisition (DAQ) system begins by comparing features of the signal of interest to the capabilities of current state-of-the-art A/D converters. Specifically, signal bandwidth and maximum signal frequency are compared to the A/D maximum sampling rate and bandwidth. The specifications in Table 1 are typical of current A/Ds.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Design processes, Data acquisition and handling, Data acquisition and handling

Moving Machine Vision to 64-Bits

A nearly geometric growth in the data requirements for many machine vision applications is pushing 32-bit processing to its limits. The challenge is not in processing power, however, but in addressing memory buffers as systems fill them with ever-increasing volumes of data. Moving vision systems to 64-bit operation can solve the data challenge, but will require fully-updated hardware and software support.

Posted in: Articles, Features, ptb catchall, Photonics, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Data exchange, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Data exchange

Jeff Ding, Aerospace Welding Engineer at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

Jeff Ding introduced friction stir welding (FSW) to NASA in 1995. He currently holds 6 U.S. patents for FSW, including one for an automatic retractable pin tool that solves the troublesome “keyhole” problem. He is also credited with inventing two new solid state welding processes called thermal stir welding (TSW) and ultrasonic stir welding (USW). Ding was Marshall Space Flight Center’s Inventor of the Year in 2000, was awarded the Medal for Exceptional Technology Achievement in 2003, and recently received the 2009 Federal laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer.

Posted in: Who's Who

Composites Software Helps in Design and Fabrication of Crew Module

FiberSIM® composites engineering software
Waltham, MA

When NASA originally considered employing composites in manned spacecraft, it had to consider concerns that composites might have an unacceptable leak rate and insufficient damage tolerance. On the other hand, composites potentially offered reduced weight and lower lifecycle costs. The NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) put together a team of government and industry structures experts to gain experience in making use of new composite construction and inspection technologies specifically for manned spaceflight structures.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Software, CAD / CAM / CAE, CAD, CAM, and CAE, Design processes, Fabrication, Composite materials, Materials properties, Spacecraft

Vision System Provides Real-Time Guidance for Unmanned Docking Operations

TriDAR vision system
Neptec Design Group
Ottawa, ON, Canada

NASA is conducting a Detailed Test Objective (DTO) with Neptec’s TriDAR vision system for use in unmanned docking operations. The vision system provides real-time visual guidance for navigation, rendezvous, and docking procedures, and is expected to play a critical role in future space exploration missions.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Cameras, Imaging, Lasers & Laser Systems, Artificial intelligence, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Artificial intelligence, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Automation, Entry, descent, and landing, Spacecraft

Designing 3D Capabilities Into Handheld Displays

For 3D viewing to be convenient on small, portable devices, it must be autostereoscopic, thus eliminating the requirement for 3D “glasses.” The display devices must also provide 2D and 3D capability simultaneously, without sacrificing resolution or color vibrancy.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, ptb catchall, Photonics, Architecture, Optics, Architecture, Optics, Displays, Displays

New NASA Process Builds Parts One Layer at a Time

Engineers at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA, have developed an environmentally friendly manufacturing process called Electron Beam Freeform Fabrication (EBF3). “You start with a drawing of the part you want to build, you push a button, and out comes the part,” said Karen Taminger, technology lead for the project. EBF3 works in a vacuum chamber, where an electron beam is focused on a constantly feeding source of metal, which is melted and then applied as called for by a drawing — one layer at a time — on top of a rotating surface until the part is complete.

Posted in: UpFront

LED Characterization System

As part of the design process, engineers must predict the performance of their LED system and determine if it will meet specifications at real operating temperatures and electrical drive conditions. The ETΦ™ family of LED Characterization Systems (also known as ETO) from Orb Optronix (Kirkland, WA) measures the complete electrical, thermal, and optical characteristics of LEDs.

Posted in: GDM, Products, Products, Lighting

System Continuously Monitors Power and Thermal Use, Pinpoints Waste Areas

A wireless monitoring system from Arch Rock (San Francisco, CA) provides continually updated information on a data center's electrical usage and thermal status - giving users the knowledge to take energy-conservation measures, while maximizing the operational efficiency and reliability of servers and other computing equipment.

Posted in: GDM, Products, Products, Energy, Energy Efficiency

Ultracapacitor Provides Enhanced Backup Power

Roughly the size of a postage stamp, the PC-10 ultracapacitor from Maxwell Technologies Inc. (San Diego, CA) has a proprietary electrode for enhancing the reliability of backup power in enterprise storage and powering smart utility meters, among other applications.

Posted in: GDM, Products, Products, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage

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