Tech Briefs

Synchrotron High-Speed Magnet Monitoring Using Ethernet-Based System

Synchrotron monitoring instruments that interface to Ethernet data communication systems can reduce cost and improve accuracy. Since the 1930s, synchrotrons have become essential in the widely diverse fields of scientific research and engineering development, including chemistry, biology, material science, and microelectronic engineering. Some synchrotron radiation applications include:

Posted in: Briefs, Test & Measurement

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Integrated Structural Analysis and Test Program

An integrated structural-analysis and structure-testing computer program is being developed in order to: • Automate repetitive processes in testing and analysis; • Accelerate pre-test analysis; • Accelerate reporting of tests; • Facilitate planning of tests; • Improve execution of tests; • Create a vibration, acoustics, and shock test database; and • Integrate analysis and test data.

Posted in: Briefs, Test & Measurement

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Organic Light-Emitting Diode Displays for High-End Audio Systems

OLEDs improve resolution, definition, and user ergonomics.Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology comprises organic thin films that, when placed between two conductors, can serve as a display. This technology requires very little power and produces radiant, self-luminous displays that do not require backlighting, resulting in thin, very compact displays. Furthermore, they offer crystal clear resolution in any lighting environment.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences

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Using Laser-Induced Incandescence To Measure Soot in Exhaust

This system incorporates several improvements over prior LII soot-measuring systems. An instrumentation system exploits laser-induced incandescence (LII) to measure the concentration of soot particles in an exhaust stream from an engine, furnace, or industrial process that burns hydrocarbon fuel. In comparison with LII soot-concentration-measuring systems that have been described in prior NASA Tech Briefs articles, this system is more complex and more capable.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences

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Software Enables Advanced Modeling of Backlights for Flat Panel Displays

This enhanced illumination design and analysis program, called LightTools® 5.1, enables easy and accurate modeling of sophisticated backlights for flat panel displays. It can simulate the surface textures used for backlights, with built-in flexibility to vary the shape, size, and spacing of the texture elements.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences

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Thermal and Compressed-Air Storage System Provides Alternative to UPS Batteries

Three mature energy-storage technologies are combined in a new system to replace lead-acid batteries. Virtually all businesses and industries are vulnerable to electric power disturbances such as outages, sags, swells, and harmonics. These problems are less of an issue for data centers, protected behind their walls of Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems. But the typical battery-backed UPS is too fragile for use in less protected environments. UPS batteries must be maintained in a narrow temperature range and fail prematurely when subjected to a steady diet of step loads and motor drives. About six years ago, flywheel-based UPS products became commercially available. These devices store energy as rotational inertia, and are rugged enough to survive on the factory floor. However, flywheels have relatively short ride-through energy and are best-suited for use in locations with backup generators.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components

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Carbon-Fiber Brush Heat Exchangers

High thermal conductance between uneven surfaces could be achieved with low clamping force. Velvetlike and brushlike pads of carbon fibers have been proposed for use as mechanically compliant, highly thermally conductive interfaces for transferring heat. A pad of this type would be formed by attaching short carbon fibers to either or both of two objects that one desires to place in thermal contact with each other. The purpose of using a thermal-contact pad of this or any other type is to reduce the thermal resistance of an interface between a heat source (e.g., a module that contains electronic circuitry) and a heat sink (e.g., a common finned heat sink).

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components

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