Mechanical & Fluid Systems

MEMS Deformable Mirrors Enable Imaging of Earth-Sized Extra-Solar Planets

The NASA-sponsored space exploration project, PICTURE (Planet Imaging Concept Testbed Using a Rocket Experiment), seeks to obtain a direct image of an extra-solar giant planet. The PICTURE telescope, which uses a BMC deformable mirror for adaptive optic wavefront control, was launched aboard a NASA sounding rocket in October 2011. Preliminary data show that the MEMS deformable mirror was successful in its operation.

Posted in: Application Briefs, MEMs, Mirrors, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Microelectricmechanical device, Microelectromechanical devices, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Microelectricmechanical device, Microelectromechanical devices, Spacecraft
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MEMS Mirror Will Aid Space-Based Imaging

Microelectromechanical system (MEMS)-based deformable mirror
Boston Micromachines Corp. (BMC)
Cambridge, MA
617-868-4178
www.bostonmicromachines.com

Boston Micromachines was awarded a Phase 1 NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to support space-based imaging research. The company is developing a reliable, fault-tolerant, microelectromechanical system (MEMS)-based deformable mirror.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, MEMs, Mirrors, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Microelectricmechanical device, Microelectromechanical devices, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Microelectricmechanical device, Microelectromechanical devices
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Connectors Provide Signal Reliability for Mars Science Laboratory

Compact PCI (cPCI) Connectors
Hypertronics Corporation
Hudson, MA
978-568-0451
www.hypertronics.com

Hypertronics’ space-grade Compact PCI (cPCI) connectors were selected by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for use on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), which is scheduled to launch in 2009. Incorporating the Hypertac® “Basket of Wires” contact technology, the connectors will be instrumental in all phases of the mission including lift-off, navigation, entry, descent, landing, roaming, and geological survey. Behind these embedded systems are single-board computers connected together through common back planes that handle all control functions and analysis for the MSL rover. All systems and components must exceed the long and difficult journey to Mars, as well as the extreme surface operation of one Martian year, equal to two Earth years.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Joining & Assembly, Architecture, Connectors and terminals, Telecommunications systems, Architecture, Connectors and terminals, Telecommunications systems, Reliability, Reliability, Spacecraft
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Computational Fluid Dynamics Aids Aerospace Apps

Just a few years ago, the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in most aerospace companies was restricted to pure research or troubleshooting problems with existing designs. But in the past few years, newly available CFD tools are fully embedded in the mainstream mechanical design environment and hence much easier, faster and less expensive to use.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Fluid Handling, Aircraft structures, Computational fluid dynamics, Design processes, Systems engineering
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Oil Recycling System Controls Contamination

OilTrac™ fluid maintenance program/oil recycling system
COMO Filtration Systems
Janesville, WI
608-756-3838
www.como.biz
Posted in: Application Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Recycling Technologies, Fluid Handling, Recycling, Lubricating oils
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Custom-Built Machining Centers Create Telescope Mirrors

Custom horizontal machining centers
Mitsui Seiki USA
Franklin Lakes, NJ
201-337-1300
www.mitsuiseiki.com
Posted in: Application Briefs, Mechanical Components, Mirrors, Machining processes, Manufacturing equipment and machinery
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