Webcasts

Darmindra Arumugam, Senior Research Technologist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

In outdoor locations, firefighters and emergency responders can use GPS technology to track one another. Indoor environments like high-rises and steel-reinforced structures, however, frequently block radio signals. With the development of POINTER (Precision Outdoor and Indoor Navigation and Tracking for Emergency Responders), Darmindra Arumugam has addressed the sensing challenge, and provided a potentially game-changing tool for search and rescue teams.

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Farzin Amzajerdian, Principal Investigator, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

Since 2003, Farzin Amzajerdian has worked on the Navigation Doppler Lidar (NDL), a sensor designed to support safe and precise vehicle landings on Mars and other destinations. The breadbox-sized NDL contains three lasers, a small electronics box, and lenses connected by fiber-optic cables. Amzajerdian will soon oversee the testing of the technology in California’s Mojave Desert.

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Branimir Blagojevic, Technologist, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

During his time with former employer Science and Engineering Services, LLC, Branimir Blagojevic helped build a remote-sensing device that detected biological agents. Blagojevic currently leads the development of the Bio-Indicator Lidar Instrument (BILI), a device that could be used to spot organic molecules and signs of life on Mars.

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Jason Dworkin, Project Scientist, OSIRIS-REx, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

On September 8, NASA launched OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer). The probe will spend two years in space, chasing down an asteroid known as Bennu. Discoveries from the mission could help scientists understand clues to the origins of life.

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Edward Chow, AUDREY Program Manager, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

Edward Chow leads the development of AUDREY, the Assistant for Understanding Data through Reasoning, Extraction, and sYnthesis. The artificial-intelligence system captures a variety of sensor data, including gases, temperature, and GPS signals. By sending alerts through a mobile device or head-mounted display, AUDREY could soon be used to guide first responders through dangerous conditions.

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Stevan Spremo, Project Manager, COTSAT-1, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Stevan Spremo is the project manager of COTSAT-1, or Cost Optimized Test of Spacecraft Avionics and Technologies. The ongoing development project aims to build a fully functional spacecraft for $500,000 in parts and $2 million labor. The prototype is the first of what could be a series of rapidly produced, low-cost flight vehicles.

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Dr. Patrick Fink, Chief Technologist, Wireless Communication Systems Branch, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX

Dr. Patrick Fink leads technology development of radio frequency identification (RFID) systems. The RFID technology will support NASA’s efforts to track its various inventories on the International Space Station, from personal supplies to equipment components. A new smart container innovation tracks individual items, regardless of placement.

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Joe Munchak, Research Meteorologist, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Using the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory satellite, launched in 2014, NASA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency researchers have taken the first 3D images of raindrops and snowflakes. The GPM snapshots will help research meteorologist Joe Munchak determine precipitation rates and support the improvement of weather models.

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