December 2015

News : Aerospace
NASA Takes First Steps Toward Drone Traffic Management

NASA recently successfully demonstrated rural operations of its unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) traffic management (UTM) concept, integrating operator platforms, vehicle performance, and ground infrastructure. The next steps involve further validation through Federal Aviation Administration...

News : Aerospace
New Methods Detect and Predict Fatigue-Related Aircraft Cracks

Researchers are developing tools and technology to detect the formation of cracks in aircraft components and monitor their progression. The team is conducting comprehensive testing and characterization studies to understand and monitor how tiny cracks are initiated and grow in metal...

News : Propulsion
Precision NASA Thruster Keeps Spacecraft Still

The European Space Agency’s LISA Pathfinder spacecraft is on its way to space with the Disturbance Reduction System (DRS), a thruster technology developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The DRS uses colloid micronewton thrusters, the first of their kind, to keep the spacecraft as still as...

News : Photonics/Optics
Nano-Submarine Motors Powered by Light

Each of the single-molecule, 244-atom submersibles built at Rice University has a motor powered by ultraviolet light. With each full revolution, the motor’s tail-like propeller moves the sub forward 18 nanometers. And with the motors running at more than a million RPM, that translates into speed....

News : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Wearable Equipment Supports Human Motion

The Unplugged Powered Suit (UPS), a new model of pneumatic muscle and an active type of assistive equipment incorporating the muscle, is wearable equipment that supports human movement without requiring any electronic devices and tanks. It employs a newly developed pneumatic muscle named Pneumatic Gel...

Products : Electronics & Computers
TVS Diode Arrays

Littelfuse, Inc. (Chicago, IL) has introduced the SPxx-01WTG-C-HV Series (SPxx Series) of general purpose ESD Protection TVS Diode Arrays (SPA® Diodes). These new “high-voltage” 0201-size components are suited for safeguarding the data lines on larger touchscreen modules that are used in large-format tablets and notebooks....

Products : Electronics & Computers
35A POL Converter

TDK Corporation (San Diego, CA) announced the introduction of the 35 Ampere TDK-Lambda iJA series of POL (Point of Load) non-isolated DC-DC converters. Being PMBus™ compliant and featuring digital control, these converters operate from an 8 to 14 VDC input and can provide output voltages from 0.6 to 3.3V, with a precision set...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Harmonics Calculation Software

Teledyne LeCroy (Chestnut Ridge, NY) has introduced a new Harmonics Calculation option for the Motor Drive Analyzer (MDA800) series. This optional software adds advanced harmonic filtering for AC Input and Drive Output Numeric table measurements; Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) measurement parameters for voltage,...

Products : Electronics & Computers
1U All-Flash Array

AccelStor (Taipei, Taiwan) has announced its latest flash appliance, NeoSapphire 3505, a 1U rack-mount storage appliance featuring 500K sustained IOPS performance with 5TB usable storage capacity and high-speed InfiniBand connectivity. Utilizing AccelStor’s FlexiRemap flash-management software technology, the compact 1U...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Self-Healing Sensor Brings ‘Electronic Skin’ Closer to Reality

Flexible sensors have been developed for use in consumer electronics, robotics, health care, and space flight. Future possible applications could include the creation of “electronic skin” and prosthetic limbs that allow wearers to “feel” changes in their environments. One...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
New System Streamlines Mobile Image Processing

As smartphones become people’s primary computers and their primary cameras, there is growing demand for mobile versions of image-processing applications. Image processing, however, can be computationally intensive and could quickly drain a cellphone’s battery. Some mobile applications try to...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Ultrasensitive Sensors Made from Boron-Doped Graphene

An international team of researchers, led by Penn State, has developed ultrasensitive gas sensors based on the infusion of boron atoms into the tightly bound matrix of carbon atoms known as graphene. The group is composed of researchers from six countries and includes the 2010 Noble laureate...

Question of the Week
Will the growing number of drones cause too many headaches for aviation officials?

This week's Question: Hundreds of thousands of the unmanned aircraft are expected to be sold between Black Friday and the end of the year, providing both a boon for the emerging industry and a potential headache for aviation safety officials. Parrot's Bebop...

Articles : Imaging
Thermal Imaging Cameras See Through the Smoke

Scientists, researchers, automation specialists, electrical and building professionals, and security specialists use thermal imaging cameras (TICs) to discover hidden heat patterns and gain new insights in their fields of expertise. Thermal imaging technology, however, can also save lives....

News : Materials
Making Conductors by Spreading Them Like Butter on Toast

Scientists from Stanford University and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have made flexible, transparent electrical conductors with record-high performance for use in solar cells, displays, and other devices by spreading polymers on a clear surface with a...

News : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Technique Can Weld “Un-weldable” Metals

Engineers at The Ohio State University have developed a new welding technique that consumes 80 percent less energy than a common welding technique, yet creates bonds that are 50 percent stronger. The new technique could have a huge impact on the auto industry. Despite recent advances in materials...

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Graphene-Based Inks Enable High-Speed Manufacturing of Printed Electronics

A low-cost, high-speed method for printing graphene inks using a conventional roll-to-roll printing process, like that used to print newspapers, could open up a wide range of practical applications, including inexpensive printed electronics, intelligent packaging, and...

News : Nanotechnology
Sponge-Like Material Soaks Up Oil Spills

In hopes of limiting the disastrous environmental effects of massive oil spills, scientists from Drexel University and Deakin University, in Australia, have teamed up to manufacture and test a new material. The boron nitride nanosheet absorbs up to 33 times its weight in oils and organic solvents — a...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
EADIN Lite Communication Network

The distributed engine controls (DEC) task seeks to investigate the capabilities of a distributed network for aircraft engine controls. Traditional aircraft engine control systems use analog systems to communicate with sensors and actuators. The ability to upgrade an engine after manufacture, by swapping out...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Iris DSN-Compatible, CubeSat-Compatible Transponder

No CubeSat-compatible, Deep Space Network (DSN)-compatible communications and navigation transponder exists at the time of this reporting. In order for CubeSats and other small spacecraft to go into deep space, a DSN-compatible capability is needed.

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Cockpit Avionics Upgrade Display Atlas, Generic Display Software, and Electronic Procedure System

Modern avionics permit user interfaces on spacecraft to be performed on computer screens instead of with physical controls. This saves a great deal of weight; however, it presents challenges with representing all the various controls and gauges as...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Multi-Frequency, THz Quantum Cascade Laser Source

Interest in the use of THz detectors outside the laboratory for space, atmospheric, and terrestrial applications has grown immensely in the past half-century. Of particular interest in recent years is the development of the quantum cascade laser (QCL) as a THz frequency source.

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Avionics/Electronics Box Rail Mount System

There is limited space available to install numerous avionics boxes with the caveat that each box is a line replacement unit (LRU). Access to enable the removal of the boxes is limited, and it is critical that no tools and/or loose parts exist to ensure that no damage is done to aft-located components....

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Semiconductor Nanomembrane-Based Flight Sensors and Arrays

There are two broad classes of methods for measuring skin friction (or wall shear): indirect and direct. The direct methods generally employ a movable element of the actual surface surrounded by a very small gap and connected to some type of flexure. One then measures the displacement of...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Dual I²C and SPI Slave Core for FPGA and ASIC Implementations

The I2C/SPI Verilog core consists of a combined register transfer logic (RTL) Verilog code for a general-purpose I2C and serial-to-parallel interface (SPI) slave for implementations targeting field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and application specific...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Automated Break-Out Box for Use with Low-Cost Spacecraft Integration and Test

Electrical checkout and testing is a critical part of the overall space integration and test flow. Verifying proper harness and connector signal interfaces is key to ensuring component health and overall system functionality. Break-out boxes (BOBs) are used to give...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Radiation-Hardened 10BASE-T Ethernet Physical Interface (PHY)

The EXPRESS Logistics Carrier (ELC) system was built by NASA Goddard for installation on the International Space Station (ISS). Four ELC systems are on ISS. Each ELC site includes two data nodes. The ELC requirements call for a radiation-hardened 10BASE-T Ethernet interface at each...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Radiation-Hardened, Quad 12-Bit Digital-to-Analog Converter ASIC

This radiation-hardened, compact, low-power, quad 12-bit digital-to-analog converter (DAC) application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) incorporates science-driven features based on applications in a realistic space environment such as threshold setting, current bias circuits,...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Use of Eccentric Bushings to Precision-Locate Multiple Parts on a Large Mating Structure

Cups/cones are being used to provide a shear load transfer capability on a large separation interface that uses multiple discreet retention and release (R&R) devices (such as frangible nuts, separation nuts, separation bolts, etc.). To both provide good...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Effective Packing of Large Panels via Scrolling and Origami Folding

There is a need for large mirrors that can be launched to various bodies in the solar system in a packed form and unfolded to provide the required dimensions. The solution to the need for foldable panels that can be made as mirrors or other structures including antennas, etc....

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Six-Degree-of-Freedom Control With Only Eight Thrusters

Typical spacecraft thruster configurations are often unable to provide full six-degree-of-freedom control and may have unwanted interaction between their attitude control and trajectory control functions, have undesirably high instantaneous electrical power demands, and use more thrusters...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Precise Direct Control of Pressure or Vacuum Using a Digitally Controlled Actuator

A closed/semi-open pressure or vacuum system uses an electric screw mechanical actuator that can be digitally controlled and monitored, and which receives feedback directly from an external or internal source. This innovation can adjust for media temperature...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Irreversible Entropy Production Rate in High-Pressure Turbulent Reactive Flows

To model high-pressure reactive flows, the most promising methodology is large eddy simulation (LES) in which one solves the large scales of the problem and models the small scales. There is currently no guidance as to the relative importance of small scales...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Piezoelectric Actuator for a 2-inch Isolation Cryogenic Valve

This project is focused on the development of a high-force, high-speed piezoelectric actuator for control of a 2-inch (≈5-cm) isolation valve application in a cryogenic vacuum environment. The piezo motor actuators on the two cryogenic isolation valves were successfully tested at...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Torque Plug Actuator Design for Sample Return Sample Tubes

During the transportation of any sample material, it is important to ensure that no damage or contamination of the sample occurs while in transit. This concept is extremely important within the sample caching rover sample return architecture. Adequately sealing the sample tubes is...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Stable, Flat Packaging Concepts for Large Detector Arrays

A ceramic vacuum chuck is used to hold large detector arrays flat while being attached parallel to a rigid substrate. Once held in the vacuum chuck, the component is typically seized by epoxy against a rigid substrate. The problem that interferes with this operation happens when the epoxy...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Dual-Polarized W-Band Metal Patch Antenna Element for Phased Array Applications

W-band active phased array antennas have a very small inter-element pitch (≈2 mm). In this innovation, instead of trying to integrate isolators into the unit cell to separate transmit and receive signals, an interlaced triangular grid of metal patch elements has...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
High-Temperature Superconducting Bolometric Devices on Amorphous Silicon Nitride Membranes

There has been a great deal of interest in building bolometers from hightemperature superconductors due to their high transition temperatures and the associated ease of cooling. High-temperature superconducting (high Tc) bolometers are difficult...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Uniformly Etched Lateral Gratings Applied to Pre-existing Ridge Waveguides

There is great difficulty in implementing lateral gratings in GaSb-based lasers. Commercially, single-frequency GaSb lasers have been fabricated using metal gratings deposited laterally to the ridge-waveguide (RWG) stripe. The disadvantage of this is that the laser...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
High-Precision Thin Film Metal Liftoff Technique

The objective of this work was to develop a thin film metal liftoff process that would allow one to accurately pattern two-micron-wide (or wider) features. The goal of this innovation was to pattern thin metal films on silicon substrates. The thin metal films can be deposited using physical vapor...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Process for 3D Printer Filament Fabrication

Conventional filament extrusion processes are unsuitable for recycling materials on the International Space Station due to requirements for continuous monitoring and tuning, as well as poor filament dimensional control. The Positrusion process recycles scrap or waste thermoplastics into filament for 3D...

Briefs : Communications
Confidence Intervals for the Bit Error Rate of Coded Communications Systems

The bit error rate (BER) is a wellunderstood metric for measuring communications system performance. When a system is not amenable to analytical performance analysis, a Monte Carlo simulation is often used to determine the performance. In such simulations, it is...

Briefs : Communications
Final High-Fidelity Down-Conversion Source for Secure Communications Using On-Demand Single Photons

Secure communication over long distances requires robust encryption. While current encryption algorithms exist using classical methods, there are no unconditionally secure methods of distributing encryption keys classically. However, by exploiting...

Briefs : Communications
Space Telecommunications Radio System Memory Test Application

This software provides a portable, flexible memory testing application meeting the NASA Space Telecommunications Radio System (STRS) specification. As an STRS-compliant application, the tester application is portable to any STRS-compliant hardware/software platform. Thanks to...

Briefs : Communications
Functional Enhancements to the FPGA Implementation of the Advanced Orbiting System Data Link Protocol

Dynamic frame sizing was added to the existing AOS Packet Service FPGA implementation. This capability provides in-flight system calibration functionality, allowing the spacecraft and ground station the means to optimize a communication link by...

Briefs : Communications
Communication System and Method Over High-Latency, Low-Bandwidth Networks

In high-latency, low-bandwidth networks such as those employed when communicating with an extraterrestrial object via wireless communication over hundreds or thousands of miles, it may be difficult or expensive to communicate large quantities of information in a reliable...

Briefs : Communications
CASH: Framework for Streamlined, Daily Updates

Secure, efficient, and effective communication is critical for the multinational Cassini mission to Saturn. Cassini teams share information through the use of internal Web pages. The challenge was to develop dynamic Web pages that did not require special understanding of HTML complexities and the...

Briefs : Communications
SCaN Optical Link Budget Tool

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...

Briefs : Medical
Universal Cell-Directed Nanotheranostics

The present invention relates to the field of nanotechnology and, more particularly, to the field of delivery of active agents such as therapeutic and/or imaging agents using micro/nanoscale particles. Porous particles, such as porous silicon particles and porous silica particles, have a number of...

Briefs : Medical
Fluid Preservation System (FPS)

Biological samples contain labile molecules that deteriorate rapidly ex-vivo. Terrestrially, biological samples are preserved either by freezing them (–80 °C) or by including preservation chemicals. While chemical preservation may be ideal for certain molecules, their functionality is selective and can, while...

Briefs : Medical
Using Electromagnetic Time-Variance Magnetic Fields to Generate and Re-Grow Cartilage

Adevice provides electromagnetic pulses at a predetermined frequency that will result in cartilage cell regeneration and regrowth for patients with arthritis, which reduces or eliminates joint cartilage. The device can be wrapped around the joints in a patient...

Briefs : Medical
Computer-Aided Design Tools to Support Human Factors Design Teams

The purpose of this work was to develop a database of human model behavior primitives, which are basic scripts that can be chained together to create simulations of humans performing certain tasks. This is unique in that the human model behaviors were collected using motion...

Briefs : Medical
Advanced-Capabilities Medical Suction Device

NASA has long recognized the difficulty in providing emergency medical care to astronauts in space. Many aspects of space travel make medical care inherently difficult, and sufficient storage space for medical equipment severely limits the ability to carry a full complement of diagnostic and...

Briefs : Medical
Use of Osteoclast-Inhibiting Compounds to Prevent Radiation-Induced Bone Loss

This technology features a method for preventing or treating radiation-associated loss of bone mass, bone density, or bone strength in a subject. This technology involves administering to the subject an amount of anti-resorptive or osteoclast-inhibiting compound...

Briefs : Information Technology
Automated Generation of Failure Modes and Effects Document from a Simple SysML Model

This software queries a model of system in the MagicDraw program and uses that information to create an Excel spreadsheet that represents a basic FMEA (Failure Modes and Effects Analysis). It automates the generation of an FMEA; the user only has to open...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Space Network Access System (SNAS)

SNAS is a single, universally accessible, standards-based, full-featured customer interface for performing Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) planning, scheduling, and real-time service monitoring and control. It consolidates functionality of multiple legacy customer interface systems into a...

Briefs : Software
Educational Software for OctaSat Nanosatellite Training Kit

Nanosatellites are very small satellites that can conduct various space missions using microelectronics, primarily in near-Earth orbits. Aerospace engineering students need to learn about the working principles and control of nanosatellites. However, the cost of an actual nanosatellite...

Briefs : Software
NASA App

The NASA App showcases a huge collection of the latest NASA content in a mobile optimized format, including images, videos on-demand, NASA Television, mission information, news and feature stories, tweets, ISS sighting opportunities, satellite tracking, Third Rock Radio, featured educational content, and much more for iOS and Android...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Program to Categorize and Count Observations Performed by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

CreateMEPReport.pl software is designed to read through a description of observations scheduled to be taken by the instruments onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft to categorize the observations, and then present totals for the...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Anomaly Detection in Large Sets of High-Dimensional Symbol Sequences (sequenceMiner)

SequenceMiner was developed to address the problem of detecting and describing anomalies in large sets of high-dimensional symbol sequences. sequenceMiner works by performing unsupervised clustering (grouping) of sequences using the normalized longest common...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Time-Scaled Activity Diagram Simulator

The Time-Scaled Activity Diagram Simulator software simulates and animates time-tagged events as an overlay on activity and internal block diagrams in MagicDraw as a plugin application. “Events” are quite generic and include atomic actions, compound actions, signal and message exchanges, invocations,...

Briefs : Information Technology
General-Use Nodal Network Solver (GUNNS)

Crewed space vehicle training has always required highfidelity models of vehicle systems. Many of these systems, particularly of the “flow” variety, benefit from modeling the system as a whole, rather than relying only on the interactions between individual components. In general, system properties...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Modularized SIR-to-NetCDF Conversion Command-Line Tool

This innovation reads in a proprietary formatted binary data format known as Scatterometer Image Reconstruction (SIR), and converts these data files to netCDF-classic format. This software is provided as a command-line tool for Linux/UNIX-based systems, and includes built-in regression...

Imaging Technology : Imaging
Stereoscopic Planar Laser-Induced Fluorescence Imaging for Time-Resolved 3D Movies in Hypersonic Flow

Understanding and predicting transition from laminar to turbulent flow in hypersonic boundary layers is an active and important field of research because transitional and turbulent heating can be four or more times higher than laminar heating on...

Imaging Technology : Imaging
Modified-Wolter-Schwarzschild X-ray Telescope

X-ray survey missions require nested grazing incidence telescopes with a large field of view (1° or larger) and moderately high resolution across the field of view. This cannot be accomplished using flat focal plane detectors. The telescopes have excellent on-axis resolution, but unacceptable...

Briefs : Imaging
Machine Vision-Based Pose Estimation System

During on-orbit servicing of non-cooperative satellites, the relative position of the satellite with respect to the servicing vehicle is needed. Non-cooperative satellites do not have devices to assist the pose estimation (such as markers or reflector), so a system that uses the natural features of the...

Imaging Technology : Imaging
Solar Doppler Shift-Based Solar Tracker

This solar tracker integrates a camera with a field of view (FOV) large enough to easily image the entire solar disc — co-boresited with a narrow-band spectrometer that measures the frequency of a Doppler shifted line — with an algorithm designed to drive zero Doppler shift rotation axis of the...

Briefs : Imaging
Beam Shaping for CARS Measurements in Turbulent Environments

Taking measurements in a scramjet engine is particularly challenging because of the harsh testing environment. Any probe inserted in the flow would generate shock waves, strongly perturbing the flow. Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy (CARS) is a non-intrusive laser-based...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Tiny Lenses Capture Very Big View

Engineers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have created the first- ever flexible, Fresnel zone plate microlenses with a wide field of view — a development that could allow everything from surgical scopes to security cameras to capture a broader perspective. The advance centers on a method for creating...

News : Imaging
New Electron Microscopy Method Sculpts 3-D Structures at Atomic Level

Electron microscopy researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a unique way to build 3-D structures with finely controlled shapes as small as one to two billionths of a meter. The new technique demonstrates how scanning...

Articles : Energy
Onion-Like Layers Help New Nanoparticle Glow

A new, onion-like nanoparticle could open new frontiers in bioimaging, solar energy harvesting and light-based security techniques.

News : Test & Measurement
Infrared Camera Detects Industrial Gas Leaks

A new low-cost infrared camera makes it possible to quickly and efficiently detect gas leaks that can occur in different industrial facilities. The system can detect gas leaks that are normally invisible to the human eye thanks to a camera that recognizes the infrared signature of these compounds...

News : Energy
Camera Reveals Details Invisible to the Naked Eye

Researchers at the University of Washington and Microsoft Research developed HyperCam, a lower-cost hyperspectral camera that uses both visible and invisible near-infrared light to “see” beneath surfaces and capture unseen details. Hyperspectral imaging is used today in everything from...

News : Photonics/Optics
Optical System Enables Imaging of Ultrafast Phenomena

A new, all-optical method for compressing narrow electron pulses to a billionth of a billionth of a second could improve real-time movies of chemical reactions and other ultrafast processes.

News : Imaging
NASA's EPIC Camera Captures Developing Tropical Lows

NASA's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) captured three developing tropical low-pressure areas in the Indian Ocean. The EPIC instrument flies aboard NOAA's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite. EPIC views the entire sunlit face of the Earth from sunrise to sunset in 10...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Products of Tomorrow: December 2015

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just...

Articles : Aerospace
Multiphysics Software Models Mean Flow Augmented Acoustics in Rocket Systems

Combustion instability in solid rocket motors and liquid engines is a complication that continues to plague designers and engineers. Many rocket systems experience violent fluctuations in pressure, velocity, and temperature originating from the complex interactions...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
NASA Turns to 3D Metal Printing for SLS Propulsion Program
Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)
Stratasys Direct Manufacturing
Valencia, CA
888-311-1017
www.stratasysdirect.com

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center is currently leading the development of the Space Launch System (SLS) program, which is building a...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
NASA Leverages Analytical Modeling to Improve Astronaut Mission Readiness
Probabilistic modeling
Charles River Analytics
Cambridge, MA
617-491-3474
www.cra.com

NASA has contracted with Charles River Analytics to develop a system to measure and assess astronaut workload. The system for Cognitive Assessment and...

Articles : Aerospace
Top Prizes Awarded in the Create the Future Design Contest

Top prizes in the 2015 Create the Future Design Contest were awarded on November 6 in New York City. The Grand Prize winner, and winners in seven categories, took home awards for their innovative design ideas.

Articles : Aerospace
Supercritical Wing Design Cuts Billions in Fuel Costs

NASA-developed wing design is used worldwide by commercial airlines.

Langley Research Center aeronautics engineer Richard T. Whitcomb was 34 when he did something no other single person could do. Whitcomb overcame the aviation challenge of the day — the so-called sound barrier....

Articles : Aerospace
Vote for Tech Briefs' 21st Annual Readers' Choice Awards

Each December, we ask our readers to cast their vote for the annual NASA Tech Briefs Readers’ Choice Product of the Year Awards. Each month, our editors choose a Product of the Month that has exceptional technical merit and practical value for our design engineering readers.

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Product of the Month: December 2015

Keysight Technologies, Santa Rosa, CA, introduced series E36100 compact DC power supplies that offer LAN and USB interfaces and reliable power for testing and validating designs. Five models feature up to 100 V or 5 A output. Design and validation engineers can use the supplies to power devices under test...

Imaging Technology : Imaging
High-Speed ‘Electron Camera’ Captures Motion — One Quadrillionth of a Second at a Time

Using a method known as ultrafast electron diffraction (UED), a scientific instrument at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, located in Menlo Park, CA, reveals nature’s high-speed processes, including phase changes and...

Imaging Technology : Imaging
Finding the Right Lens: The Factors to Focus On

A sharp image requires more than just a good camera; it also takes the right lens. Several aspects must be considered to make sure that the camera and lens work perfectly together and fit a specific application.

Application Briefs : Imaging
From 2D to 3D: MARVEL Tool Offers Immersive View Inside the Brain

Thanks to a partnership between a surgeon and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a new camera system could improve minimally invasive surgeries and provide 3D endoscopic images of the brain.

Motion Control and Automation Technology : Motion Control
Choosing the Right Potentiometer for Reliable Sensing

A potentiometer sensor is an electromechanical component that consists of a resistor where the voltage divider value can be measured at any position by means of sliding contacts between the applied voltage values. Physically, a potentiometer consists, at a minimum, of a resistance track, a...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Embedded Virtualization Enables Highly Integrated “Soft Motion” Platforms on the PC

With the increased processing power that PCs have attained, a complex machine that used to require an expensive and dedicated hardware-based motion control solution can now be accomplished on a multicore PC running on a real-time operating system (RTOS).

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Imaging Software

ARM-based Z series Smart Cameras from Vision Components (Ettlingen, Germany/ Hudson, NH) are now available with HALCON Embedded software. The software features an integrated development environment and a comprehensive library for blob analysis, morphology, matching, measuring, and identification.

Products : Imaging
CMOS Cameras

The Imaging Source (Charlotte, NC) has announced new industrial cameras equipped with the Sony Full HD WDR Sensor IMX174. The cameras are available as GigE (PoE) and USB 3 versions in monochrome and color. At full HD, the devices achieve a maximum frame rate of 54 fps; at VGA resolution up to 120 fps. Barcode software, for on-screen...

Imaging Technology : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Multi-Screen Imaging

The Transcoder Gateway from Pleora Technologies (Kanata, ON, Canada) transmits GigE Vision and USB3 Vision video to any playback device, including tablets and smartphones. While preserving the high-quality video required for processing and analysis, the image feed is converted into the H.264 compression format and...

Products : Imaging
USB3 Cameras

Basler (Ahrensburg, Germany/Exton, PA) has released the Basler pulse. Weighing 60 g and measuring 38.8 × 28.2 mm (diameter × length), the camera is available with either global or rolling shutter CMOS sensors, resolutions of up to 5 MP, and frame rates of up to 54 fps. The metal housing includes a tripod socket and a CS-mount lens...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Imaging Filters

TECHSPEC® Imaging Filters from Edmund Optic® (Barrington, NJ) pass or block specific UV, visible, or IR wavelengths and provide wide angles of incidence. Optimized for use with popular LEDs, the RoHS-compliant filters feature an optical density of >3.0. TECHSPEC Imaging Filters, manufactured using an ionbeam sputtering...

Imaging Technology : Manufacturing & Prototyping
High-Speed Cameras

Vision Research (Wayne, NJ) has updated its UHS-Series line of 1-megapixel (1Mpx) cameras. The Phantom v2512, v2012, v1612, and v1212 cameras are now available with either 72GB, 144GB, or 288GB of memory. Vision Research’s 1TB and 2TB CineMag IV allow users to quickly record data to a large amount of non-volatile storage....

Imaging Technology : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Radiation-Hard Lenses

The new Model 346 non-browning lens from Resolve Optics Ltd. (Chesham, UK) operates with color sensors in areas subject to radiation. The lens uses special glass that withstands long-term exposure to radiation up to a dose of 100 million radians and temperatures to 55°C without discoloration. Able to operate at f/2, the...

Products : Imaging
Line-Scan Cameras

Teledyne DALSA (Waterloo, ON, Canada) has expanded its Linea™ line scan cameras to include a new 8k GigE Vision model. The Linea 8k uses Teledyne DALSA’s CMOS sensor with 7.04 × 7.04 μm pixel size. The camera achieves a maximum line rate of up to 45 kHz. Cycling mode allows users to cycle through preset camera parameters,...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Smart Cameras

The EyeCheck Thermo smart camera from EVT (Karlsruhe, Germany) features 8 inputs/outputs and a tolerance of up to 24V. Available resolutions include 320 × 240 (EC Thermo 800) and 640 × 480 (EC Thermo 1000). The camera’s uncooled microbolometer LWIR array has a spectral band of 8 to 14 μm. Other features include a programmable...

Imaging Technology : Imaging
High-Speed Cameras

The FASTCAM Mini AX200 from Photron (San Diego, CA) features 1,024 × 1,024 pixel resolution at 6,400 frames per second (fps). The 12-bit CMOS sensor with 20 μm square pixels square aspect ratio supports microscopy and fiber-optic applications. Weighing 3.3 lbs and measuring 4.7 × 4.7 × 3.7", the FASTCAM Mini AX200 includes...

Imaging Technology : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Frame Grabbers

AVC-2 frame grabbers from VRmagic (Mannheim, Germany) transmit converted digital signals in real time via composite, Y/C, or Svideo, in monochrome or color mode. The VRmAVC-2 is supplied with power via its USB connection and is available as an OEM model and model with housing. The integrated 64 MB memory ensures a stable...

Products : Imaging
CMOS Cameras

Andor Technology (Belfast, Ireland/Concord, MA) has announced the Zyla 4.2 PLUS Scientific CMOS (sCMOS) camera. The Zyla 4.2 PLUS delivers a sustained 53 fps at full resolution through a USB 3.0 interface. New on-camera intelligence offers linearity improvements, providing quantitative measurement across the full dynamic...

Products : Imaging
CMOS Cameras

SMARTEK Vision (Cakovec, Croatia/New London, CT) has added GCP2061 and GCP2046 models to its Giganetix Plus camera series. The new industrial cameras are equipped with the Sony Pregius Exmor IMX250 and IMX252 sensors. With a high dynamic range of 70.9 dB and a readnoise value of 2.3 e-, the models support outdoor and...

Who's Who
Dr. Santo A. Padula, Materials Research Engineer, Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH

Dr. Santo Padula has developed testing techniques to support the development of advanced materials like metallic foams and shape memory alloys (SMAs). SMAs are metals that “remember” their original shape. With the application of heat, a deformed SMA...

Podcasts
Dr. Santo A. Padula, Materials Research Engineer, Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH

Dr. Santo Padula has developed testing techniques to support the development of advanced materials like metallic foams and shape memory alloys (SMAs). SMAs are metals that “remember” their original shape. With the application of heat, a deformed SMA...

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