Sensors/Data Acquisition

Miniature Control Chip Drives James Webb Telescope Signal

SIDECAR ASIC microprocessor-controlled chip
Teledyne Imaging Sensors
Camarillo, CA
805-373-4545
www.teledyne-si.com

The electronics that will convert analog signals to digital signals on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), being built by Northrop Grumman and managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, have been miniaturized to take up less space and to weigh less. The electronics also will provide better images of objects in space when they are sent back to scientists on Earth.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Electronics, Sensors, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Sensors and actuators, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Sensors and actuators
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NASA Satellite Data Interpreted for Medical and Public Health Use

Laboratory for Global Health Observation
University of Alabama at Birmingham, School
of Public Health
Birmingham, AL
205-934-4993
www.regardsstudy.org

A partnership between NASA’s National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) and the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is using NASA satellite imagery and data to determine how environmental factors influence diseases such as malaria and childhood asthma.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Medical, Data Acquisition, Data acquisition and handling, Data acquisition and handling, Medical, health, and wellness, Satellites
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Spherical Sensor Configurations for Three-Dimensional Detecting and Tracking

Spherical Sensor Configurations (SSC) have been designed for detecting and tracking signals in three dimensions. The Spherical Sensor Configurations offer distinct advantages over contemporary imaging systems, significantly enhancing three-dimensional (3D) situational awareness. Sensor systems utilizing a spherical geometry as a foundation (Figure 1) can be designed for a variety of applications.

Posted in: Articles, Detectors, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Sensors and actuators, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Sensors and actuators
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Performance of 1mm² Silicon Photomultipliers

A silicon photomultiplier (SPM) is a new type of semiconductor detector that has the potential to replace the photo- multiplier tube (PMT) detector in many applications. In common with a PMT detector, the output of an SPM is an easily detectable current pulse for each detected photon and can be used in both photon counting mode and as an analogue (photocurrent) detector. However, the SPM also has a distinct advantage over PMT detectors. The photon-induced current pulse from a PMT varies greatly from photon to photon, due to the statistics of the PMT multiplication process (excess noise). In contrast, the current pulse from an SPM is identical from photon to photon. This gives the SPM a distinct advantage in photon counting applications as it allows the associated electronics to be greatly simplified. Identical pulses also mean that the SPM can resolve the number of photons in weak optical pulses, so-called photon number resolution. This is critical in a number of applications including linear-optics quantum computing.

Posted in: Articles, Semiconductors & ICs, Detectors, Semiconductors, Test equipment and instrumentation
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Advanced Position Sensors to Aid NASA in Future Spaceflight

Silicon carbide-based position sensors
INPROX Technology Corp.
Boston, MA
617-573-5158
www.inproxtechnology.com

INPROX Technology Corp. (ITC) has entered into a Space Act Agreement (SAA) with NASA’s John H. Glenn Research Center in Ohio to develop advanced silicon carbide (SiC)- based position sensors aimed at potential uses in future spaceflight, turbine engine controls, and automotive engine applications. Under this SAA, high-temperature SiC electronics from NASA will be prototyped into ITC’s proprietary linear position sensor technology platform.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Sensors, Sensors and actuators, Spacecraft guidance, Sensors and actuators, Spacecraft guidance
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Rugged, Flight-Ready Data Storage Selected for NASA Aircraft Project

ToughDisk® 3500 SATA Rugged Hard Disk
Formation, Inc.
Moorestown, NJ
856-234-5020
www.formation.com

Formation’s ToughDisk® 3500 SATA Rugged Hard Disk has been selected by Conduant Corp. to be used in data recorders for a NASA technology demonstration project. Conduant is integrating 25 terabytes of TD3500 SATA storage into its Big River LTX2 high-speed data recorders, which will collect data on NASA’s WB-57 aircraft, a mid-wing, long-range airplane capable of operating for extended periods of time at altitudes ranging from sea level to over 60,000 feet.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Data Acquisition, Data management, Aircraft
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Head-Worn Display Technology Developed for Emerging Air Transportation System

IS-1200 inertial-optical motion tracker InterSense
Bedford, MA
781-541-6330
www.intersense.com

NASA’s Langley Research Center has awarded InterSense a follow-on Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to deliver a prototype Head-Worn Display (HWD) featuring the company’s inertial-optical hybrid motion-tracking technology. The system will replace flight deck displays with head-worn technology for commercial pilots, reducing costs and increasing safety. InterSense will deliver a customized IS-1200 system, integrated with a seethrough head mount to provide virtual information displays.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Displays/Monitors/HMIs, Sensors, Transportation, Displays, Displays
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NASA-Inspired Shape-Sensing Fibers Enable Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) is a new class of surgical procedures in which the operation is performed with surgical instruments inserted through small incisions in the body. In contrast to open surgery, in which the organ or tissue is exposed through large incisions in the body, MIS procedures generally allow for faster recovery time, less pain and trauma, reduced risk of infection, and shorter hospital stays.

Posted in: Articles, Materials, Medical, Sensors, Surgical procedures, Fibers
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Electrostatic Detection System Prevents Injuries and Damage During Spacecraft Assembly

Remote Voltage Sensor
Quasar Federal Systems
San Diego, CA
858-228-3386
www.quasarusa.com

Electrostatic charges impact the safety of both workers and spacecraft, and have been recognized as one of the main problems at the NASA spacecraft assembly facilities. Prevention currently depends on time-consuming, handheld electric-field devices scanning each individual worker’s clothing. Quasar Federal Systems has developed a new electrostatic detection system with support from NASA and the University of California Berkeley’s Space Science Laboratory.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Sensors, Assembling, Injuries, Spacecraft
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Low-Power FPGAs Aboard NASA’s Mission to Mars to Study Climate History

RTAX-S field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) Actel
Mountain View, CA
650-318-4200
www.actel.com

Actel’s RTAX-S field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are aboard NASA’s Phoenix mission to Mars, which launched this summer from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The mission will study the history of water and habitability potential in the Martian Arctic. Included in the spacecraft is a Meterological Station (MET) provided by the Canadian Space Agency, which will acquire, process, and transmit temperature and pressure data to scientists back on Earth. MDA, a provider of robotic space systems, led construction of the MET instrument and incorporated Actel’s one-million-gate RTAX1000SCQ352 device into the instrument subsystem.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Data Acquisition, Electronic equipment, Electronic equipment, Weather and climate, Spacecraft
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