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Lightweight Internal Device to Measure Tension in Hollow- Braided Cordage
System, Apparatus, and Method for Pedal Control
Dust Tolerant Connectors
Foldable and Deployable Power Collection System
Iodine-Compatible Hall Effect Thruster
Development of a Novel Electrospinning System with Automated Positioning and Control Software
2016 Create The Future Design Contest Open For Entries
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Design, Fabrication, and Test of WFIRST/AFTA GRISM Assembly

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland This work originated with the Wide Field InfraRed Survey Telescope (WFIRST) slitless spectrometer design (GRISM assembly), which attempted to follow the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) method of employing a singleelement GRISM as a slitless spectroscope. However, WFIRST’s field of view (FOV) is ~100x of HST’s wide field camera, and the spectral resolution is ~5x higher with a relatively faster f/8 system. The design turned out to be extremely difficult using only one diffractive surface. Even with many freeform optical elements, and putting a grating on a toroid surface, the image performance was still not satisfactory.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Imaging, Photonics

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Spinal Ultrasound Just-in-Time Training Tool

This software facilitates ultrasound imaging of the cervical and lumbar spine by crewmembers in-flight. Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas Back pain and injury are recognized risks that can affect the well-being and performance of crewmembers during missions, as well as their long-term health. Spine elongation is a documented effect of microgravity, back pain is a common occurrence in early flight, and the post-flight incidence of spinal injury is higher than the population average. These observations suggest that spinal unloading results in a transition to a new set point for the spine, and causes discomfort and an increased risk of injury.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Imaging, Photonics

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Wide-Spectrum Organic Mass Spectrometer Using Far-Ultraviolet Ionization

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas Two-step laser desorption/photoionization mass spectrometry (L2MS) represents a powerful tool for the organic analysis of astromaterials. The technique has high sensitivity and requires little to no sample preparation.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Imaging, Photonics

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Product of the Month: Multi-Functional Goniometer

Lambda Research Corporation (Littleton, MA), the US distributor of opsira metrology equipment and designer and publisher of illumination and optical design software, has introduced the robogonio from opsira. The robogonio is the first robot-driven, multi-functional goniometer that incorporates six-axis measurement of angular-dependent photometric and radiometric parameters to combine the advantages of different conventional goniometer types into one device.

Posted in: Products, Products, Photonics

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Using Radiation-Hardened Optoelectronic Devices

Optoelectronic components must be protected from the radiation they are exposed to in military, space and nuclear environments to prevent malfunction and damage. Radiation hardening electronics makes them resistant to this damage by letting them retain characteristics, and keeps imaging and electrical performance consistent with pre-radiation values. This is especially critical for components used in applications like a satellite or a nuclear reactor that cannot be accessed and must work properly for many years.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Photonics

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How Quantum Dots and Ultra HD Are Changing the Way TV Displays Are Made

Chances are you’re familiar with HDTV. Most of us have one of these in our living rooms. In fact, according to a recent study, more than 80% of US residents probably have at least one HDTV in their homes. And there’s a good possibility these sets are LCDs. They may be a few years old but they’re thin, look great hanging on the wall and basically do their job well. Some of these HDTVs also have 3D capabilities but the required glasses have long been lost to the couch cushions or the dog ate them or they just never made it out of the packaging due to lack of content support by broadcasters.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Photonics

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Understanding Lens Design Limitations

By understanding lens design limitations, it can be much easier to select the right combination of components in order to optimize an imaging system. Edmund Optics, Barrington, New Jersey Every lens has an absolute upper performance limit dictated by the laws of physics. This limitation is controlled by the working f/# of the lens and the wavelength( s) of light that pass through the lens. Known as the Diffraction Limit, this limitation is given in line pairs/mm and determines the theoretical maximum resolving power of the lens. Even a perfect lens that is not limited by design will be diffraction limited. This limit is the point where two Airy patterns are no longer distinguishable from each other. To calculate the diffraction limit, a simple formula that relates it to the f/# of the lens and the wavelength of light can be used. (See Figure 1)

Posted in: Briefs, Optics

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