Special Coverage

Self-Healing Wire Insulation
Thermomechanical Methodology for Stabilizing Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) Response
Space Optical Communications Using Laser Beams
High Field Superconducting Magnets
Active Response Gravity Offload and Method
Strat-X
Sonar Inspection Robot System
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Photogrammetric-Based Pose Initialization and Propagation for Inertial Navigation Systems

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California The purpose of the Pose Initialization and Propagation (PIP) system is to provide an absolute navigational solution (position, velocity, and attitude) to a moving vehicle without using GPS. This was developed as a navigation system for rocket launches in a GPS-denied environment, but it is applicable to a variety of moving vehicles. It was designed to be integrated with JPL’s Terrain Relative Navigation system as a test of the Mars Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) system. It was successfully used by JPL on Masten Space Systems’ Xombie vehicle in 2014.

Posted in: Briefs, Tech Briefs, Imaging, Photonics

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Multi-Channel Laser Absorption Spectrometer for Combustion Product Monitoring

This instrument can detect fires associated with electrical wiring and electronics packaging materials. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Tunable laser absorption spectrometer (TLAS) sensors enable gas monitoring with high accuracy and gas specificity, and can be optimized for continuous, maintenance-free operation on long-duration manned spacecraft missions. This innovation is a portable, five-channel TLAS instrument designed to continuously monitor ambient concentrations of carbon monoxide, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen fluoride, and carbon dioxide, with low-level detection limits below the standard spacecraft maximum allowable concentrations. Monitoring of these particular hazardous compounds allows tracking of ambient conditions and enables detection of fires associated with electrical wiring and electronics packaging materials.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Tech Briefs, Imaging, Photonics

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Disturbance-Free, High-Resolution Imaging from Space

Telecommunication satellites, astrophysical imaging, remote sensing, surveillance, and reconnaissance from space could all benefit from this innovation. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California All imaging systems from space are affected by disturbances originating in the spacecraft in the form of mechanical noise from thruster and reaction/momentum wheels, and sensor noise. A drag-free system is truly unaffected by any disturbances, as it is in pure freefall. Hence, leveraging drag-free technology can provide a quantum leap in improvement for spaceborne imaging systems.

Posted in: Briefs, Tech Briefs, Imaging, Photonics

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SCaN Optical Link Assessment Tool Version 2

John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio In response to the requirements of the Space-Based Relay Study (SBRS) undertaken by NASA in 2013, as well as the Integrated Radio and Optical Communications (iROC) project being conducted by NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) beginning in 2012, a calculation procedure was required to rapidly assess the operation of optical communication links originating from within deep space (in particular, from around Mars in the case of iROC), as well as within the near-Earth scenarios of LEO and GEO (in the case of SBRS). Such an assessment included the specification of the design components of the optical system to achieve reliable communications as prescribed by one or several metrics that indicate overall system operation. Additionally, it was also desired to be able to dynamically evaluate such optical link operation as the satellite/earth orbital positions evolve during the mission lifetime.

Posted in: Briefs, Tech Briefs, Imaging, Photonics

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The Dusk of Fire-Wire, The Dawn of USB 3.0: Advancements and critical aspects of camera interfaces for next generation vision systems

Before 2011, many system designs were built on the most popular interface at the time: FireWire. This technology is slowly becoming obsolete and is commonly being replaced by USB 3.0, the new predominant interface for industrial and scientific cameras. In this paper we will outline why people are making the upgrade from FireWire to the USB 3.0 interface, and why USB 3.0 is here to stay.

Posted in: White Papers, Imaging, Medical, Optics, Photonics

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THz-TDS and THZ-FDS Imaging Systems

Terasense (San Jose, CA), in collaboration with Toptica Photonics (Victor, NY), has unveiled the first imaging cameras enhanced for time-domain and frequency-domain generation systems. The new cameras, developed for specific use in TDS and FDS systems, operate in the 50 GHz to 0.7 THz frequency range. Both products achieve 50 fps and pixel size dimension of up to 1.5 × 1.5 mm2. Image test results achieved are publicly available on the Terasense website for further analysis and inspection of realtime application. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/61057-205

Posted in: Products, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Photonics

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Frame Grabbers

The FireBird 1xCLD-2PE4 Camera Link frame grabber from Active Silicon (Iver, UK) conforms to both 8-bit/10-tap and 10-bit/8-tap modes. The Gen2 ×4 PCIe bus sustains a 1.7Gbytes/s throughput. Capture is supported from two simultaneous Base Camera Link cameras, as well as single Base, Medium, and Full configurations. Power over Camera Link (PoCL) is provided.

Posted in: Products, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Photonics

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