February 2015

Ultra-Thin Lens Captures Perfect Colors

Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences researchers developed an ultra-thin, completely flat lens made of a glass substrate and tiny, light-concentrating silicon antennas. Color correction is achieved in the single, miniaturized device.

Light shining on the "achromatic metasurface" lens bends...

News : Defense
Propulsion Technology Could Combat Flight Pollution

A breakthrough propulsion technology to provide greener air transport could be developed after the underlying engineering was declared a success. Six universities and two research organizations from across the EU demonstrated the scientific feasibility of a novel propulsion method that...

News : Defense
Mini Models Fire Up to Test Space Launch System

NASA is working with CUBRC Inc. of Buffalo, NY to design, build, and test 2% scale models of the Space Launch System (SLS) propulsion system. Models include two five-segment solid rocket boosters and four core stage RS-25 engines, and a 2% scale model of the entire rocket. The models are fired for...

News : Aerospace
UAVs to Play Critical Role in Precision Agriculture

Researchers are investigating how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be used commercially in agriculture. Their size, cost and capabilities make UAVs useful for a wide range of jobs. Mississippi State University researchers are already using these vehicles, and many others are examining their...

Radio Chip Reduces Power Leakage

To realize the "Internet of things” — the idea that all parts of the human environment, from kitchen appliances to industrial equipment, could be equipped with sensors and processors that exchange data — transmitters must be energy-efficient enough to last for months.

A group researchers at the...

Axle Design Enables Scalable Electric Drive for Vehicles

The future belongs to electric motors, and commercial vehicles are no exception. To date, however, many attempts to develop electric motors for commercial vehicles have stalled at the prototype stage or are extremely expensive. The Electric Scalable Axle Module (ESKAM) project is sponsored...

Football Stadium Stomping Helps Track Real Earthquakes

Scientists with the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network installed instruments to provide real-time monitoring of the Seattle Seahawks’ stadium movement during the 2015 NFL playoffs. The network monitors earthquake and volcanic activity throughout the region. Scientists first got interested...

Octopus Robot Makes Waves with Ultra-Fast Propulsion

Scientists have developed an octopus-like robot that can zoom through water with ultra-fast propulsion and acceleration never before seen in man-made underwater vehicles. The octopus is capable of high speeds by filling its body with water and then quickly expelling it to dart...

Question of the Week
Would you take a one-way trip to Mars?

This week's Question: Mars One, a group that plans to send humans on a one-way trip to Mars, has narrowed its application pool from 200,000 to 100. The finalists will spend the next decade in training, including team-building exercises and isolation. The goal of the Netherlands-based non-profit is to start...

Paper-Like Material Boosts Electric Vehicle Batteries

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering have developed a novel paper-like material for lithium-ion batteries. The spongelike silicon nanofibers are 100 times thinner than human hair. The technology could be used in batteries for electric...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Self-Powered Intelligent Keyboard Could Provide Additional Security

By analyzing such parameters as the force applied by key presses and the time interval between them, a new self-powered, non-mechanical, intelligent keyboard could provide a stronger layer of security for computer users. The self-powered device generates electricity when a...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Piezoelectricity in 2D Semiconductor Holds Promise for Future MEMs

A door has been opened to low-power off/on switches in micro-electro- mechanical systems (MEMS) and nanoelectronic devices, as well as ultrasensitive bio-sensors, with the first observation of piezoelectricity in a free standing two-dimensional semiconductor by a team of...

Products : Electronics & Computers
EMC Tester

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (Santa Rosa, CA) announced that its N9038A MXE EMI receiver is now available with a frequency range of 20 Hz to 3.6 GHz. Designed specifically for EMC testing, the MXE EMI receiver is compliant with the world’s two major sets of requirements: CISPR 16-1-1 for commercial products and MIL-STD-461 for...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Rugged Tablet PC

Advantech (Irvine, CA) has announced the PWS-870, a 10.1” fully-rugged tablet PC with the power of an Intel® Core™ i3/i5/i7 processor. The PWS-870 is IP65 and MIL-STD-810G certified and drop-tested at 4 feet. The glass is second generation Gorilla Glass, and the 10.1” display has options for high- brightness (800cd/m2),...

Products : Electronics & Computers
6U VME i7/i5 Processor Board

Acromag’s (Wixom, MI) XVME-6410 is a high-performance 6U VME single board computer based on the 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 or i5 processor and utilizes the Intel 8-Series QM87 PCH chipset for extensive I/O support. Up to 16GB of high-speed DDR3L removable memory with 1-64GB flash memory optional. Acromag...

Products : Electronics & Computers
USB Protocol Analyzer

Teledyne LeCroy (Santa Clara, CA) has introduced the Voyager M310C USB Protocol Analyzer and Exerciser System. The Voyager M310C is a multifunction platform with integrated USB Exerciser option supporting both host and device emulation up to 10Gbps line speed, which allows the user to transmit custom packets with low-level...

Underwater Robot Monitors Marine Habitats

A new underwater robot designed by University of Washington researchers will monitor the effects of tidal and wave energy on marine habitats.

The instrument package has a range of technologies: a stereo camera to collect photos and video, a sonar system, hydrophones to hear marine mammal activity,...

NASA Instrument Measures Methane

A NASA scientist, who has played a key role in developing and demonstrating a new technique for gathering carbon-dioxide (CO2) measurements, is applying the same general principles to develop a new laser instrument sensitive to another greenhouse gas, methane.

A team, led by the NASA researcher Haris...

Question of the Week
Will selfies replace the password?

This week's Question: New apps, including one created by West Virginia University students in 2014, uses advanced facial recognition and liveness detection capabilities to authenticate smartphone users. A free technology from Hoyos Labs, showcased at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas,...

News : Energy
Public Lighting System Runs on Solar and Wind Energy
Public Lighting System Runs on Solar and Wind Energy

A researcher at the Barcelona College of Industrial Engineering, in collaboration with the company Eolgreen, has developed the first autonomous industrialized public lighting system that...

Public Lighting System Runs on Solar and Wind Energy
News : Materials
Zinc Oxide Materials Power Tiny Energy Harvesting Devices

Many types of smart devices are readily available and convenient to use. The goal now is to make wearable electronics that are flexible, sustainable, and powered by ambient renewable energy. This last goal inspired researchers to explore how the attractive physical features of zinc oxide...

News : Electronics & Computers
Glass as Electrode Makes Batteries More Efficient

Today’s batteries provide a reliable power supply for our smartphones, electric cars and laptops, but are unable to keep up with the growing demands placed on them. Researchers have discovered a material that may have the potential to double battery capacity: vanadate-borate glass. The glass is...

News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
ORCA Prototype Ready to Observe Ocean

If selected for a NASA flight mission, the Ocean Radiometer for Carbon Assessment (ORCA) instrument will study microscopic phytoplankton, the tiny green plants that float in the upper layer of the ocean and make up the base of the marine food chain.

Conceived in 2001 as the next technological step forward...

News : Automotive
Nissan and NASA to Jointly Develop Autonomous Vehicles

Nissan Motor Co., through its North American-based organization, and NASA today announced the formation of a five-year R&D partnership to advance autonomous vehicle systems and prepare for commercial application of the technology. Researchers from Nissan's U.S. Silicon Valley Research...

News : Electronics & Computers
World’s Most Powerful Electrical Testing System Unveiled

Florida State University’s Center for Advanced Power Systems (CAPS) has unveiled a new 24,000-volt direct current power test system, the most powerful of its kind available at a university research center throughout the world. The new system will give CAPS the unparalleled ability to...

News : Photonics/Optics
Optic Fiber Records Temperature in Extreme Environments

Optic fiber is normally used in the field of telecommunications to transmit information using light, but researchers at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid developed a technique that makes it possible to use optic fiber as a thermometer in extreme industrial environments.

News : Aerospace
NASA Teams with Microsoft to Let Scientists “Work” on Mars

NASA and Microsoft have teamed up to develop software called OnSight, a new technology that will enable scientists to work virtually on Mars using wearable technology called Microsoft HoloLens. OnSight will give scientists a means to plan and, along with the Mars Curiosity rover,...

Question of the Week
Will autonomous car trends lead to lost jobs?

This week’s Question: As an increasing number of automakers develop autonomous or semi-autonomous cars, some critics are concerned that the number of vehicles on the road will be reduced and jobs will be lost, especially those in motor vehicle parts manufacturing and professional driving sectors....

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Microcapsule Method Captures Carbon

Researchers has developed a novel class of materials that enable a safer, cheaper, and more energy-efficient process for removing greenhouse gas from power-plant emissions.

The team, led by scientists from Harvard University and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, employed a microfluidic assembly...

Question of the Week
Will virtual traffic lights improve traffic?

This week's Question: Carnegie Mellon University researchers have claimed that they can reduce commute times by placing virtual traffic lights on drivers' windshield. Through connected vehicle technology, the Carnegie Mellon system replaces conventional traffic lights with stop and go signals...

The Human Eye Can See ‘Invisible’ Infrared Light

Any science textbook will tell you that human beings can’t see infrared light. Like X-rays and radio waves, infrared light waves are outside the visual spectrum. But an international team of researchers co-led by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has found...

Scientists Slow the Speed of Light Travelling Through Air

Scientists have long known that the speed of light can be slowed slightly as it travels through materials such as water or glass. However, it has generally been thought impossible for particles of light, known as photons, to be slowed as they travel through free space, unimpeded by...

Single-Chip Optical Encoders

iC-Haus (Bodenheim, Germany) has developed sensor chips for optical position encoders using photodiodes designed especially for blue light. The new iC-PT H-Series chips combine optimized scanning and signal interpolation in a flat 5 x 5 mm² optoQFN package with a plane window. Due to the optimized Phased- Array...

High Output LED Downlights

Hubbell Lighting (Greenville, SC) now offers Prescolite’s MegaLum high output LED downlight in lumen packages ranging up to more than 16,000 lumens. Available in either a downlight (MD8LED) or cylinder (MC10LED) option, the MegaLum is capable of delivering over 16,000 lumens and up to 100 LPW and offers a variety of...

Five-Watt LED G9 Lamp

MaxLite (West Caldwell, NJ) has introduced an energy-efficient replacement for 40-watt halogen T4 G9-based lamps. The five-watt LED retrofits easily into existing G9 sockets in decorative glass pendants, chandeliers and bath bars. Available in dimmable and non-dimmable versions, the lamp delivers up to 450 lumens with a...

Products : Lighting
LED Lights with Symbol Marking

Wilbrecht LEDCO (St. Paul, MN) has added symbol/legend marking options to its 100/600 series of panel LEDs for custom applications. Custom and universal symbols, such as battery light or oil level, can be used for easy identification. A simple stamp printing process allows a pictogram or short word to be printed in...

Scientists Unlock Secret of Ultrafast Imaging of Complex Systems in 3-D at Near Atomic Resolution

It is becoming possible to image complex systems in 3-D with near-atomic resolution on ultrafast timescales using extremely intense X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) pulses. One important step toward ultrafast imaging of samples with a single X-ray...

Laser-Generated Surface Structures Create Extremely Water-Repellent Metals

Scientists at the University of Rochester have used lasers to transform metals into extremely water repellent, or super-hydrophobic, materials without the need for temporary coatings. Super-hydrophobic materials are desirable for a number of applications such as rust...

Thermal Imaging Camera

The FLIR Systems (Meer, Belgium) A6700sc features a highly sensitive 640x512 pixel resolution Indium Antimonide (InSb) detector that produces temperature- calibrated IR imagery for research and science applications. A6700sc cameras have been designed to stream temperature-calibrated data over Gigabit Ethernet to a PC for...

NIR Single Photon Counting OEM Module

AUREA Technology (Besancon, France) has launched its newly designed fast Near Infrared (NIR) [900 nm-1700 nm] Single Photon Counting OEM Module, SPD_NIR_OEM_120MHz. Due to its Geiger-mode InGaAs avalanche photodiode SPAD and its new enhanced embedded electronics, it provides gated-mode operation up to 120...

Pyroelectric Detectors

LASER COMPONENTS Pyro Group (Olching, Germany) produces pyroelectric DLaTGS detectors - three series are available: One for users who would like to combine their detectors with their own electronics (LCDT-5000 series); the LCTDT-5100 series is designed for low-fre¬quency applications in the range of 10-100 Hz, and the...

Four-Channel Intelligent LED Controllers

Saelig Company Inc. (Fairport, NY) has announced the LED-Warrior04, a 4 channel, intelligent, programmable LED constant-current driver with DALI, DMX512, and I2C interfaces on board. Other bus protocols or wireless options can be added via the I2C interface. For each of the four channels, the forward...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Test it Like da Vinci

Do you see product testing and checking as a necessary evil? Then take some time to change your mind. In the long process from vision to reality of a product, intelligent and efficient testing is indispensable. The latest metrological instruments help to begin developing a product when it only exists in our minds.

Application Briefs : Test & Measurement
Creating a Unique Solution to Test Indoor Climate Systems
Creating a Unique Solution to Test Indoor Climate Systems

In the past, controlling the indoor climate in homes consisted of a thermostat regulating the heat, and ventilating the homes by opening the windows. New energy performance...

Creating a Unique Solution to Test Indoor Climate Systems
Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Mechanically Induced Nucleation Improves Crystalline Quality During Melt Growth of Semiconductors

For certain semiconductors with important applications, the existing bulk crystal growth technique from the melt usually results in poor-quality multi-crystalline ingots that cause the typically low yield of the commercial growth process. The...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Fabrication of a Nanopipette Array for Biosensing

Development of biosensors is an active field due to a wide range of applications in lab-on-a-chip, diagnostics of infectious diseases, cancer diagnostics, environment monitoring, biodetection, and others. One of the strategies used for selective identification of a target is to preselect a probe...

Briefs : Software
Predictive Computations of Single-Phase Turbulent Flows

This software computes a single-phase turbulent flow. The solution is independent of the grid spacing on which it is computed, and on the discretization order used for the differential equations. Grid spacing and discretization-order independence can be achieved by reformulating the...

Briefs : Software
Predictive Computation of Two-Phase Turbulent Flows with Phase Change

This software computes two-phase turbulent flows with phase change, and the solution is independent of the grid spacing on which it is computed and on the discretization order used for the differential equations. Grid spacing and discretization-order independence can be...

Briefs : Software
Physics-Model-Based Wiring Fault Detection Toolbox for MATLAB

This software provides a toolbox of MATLAB functions for detecting precursor wiring faults, such as chafing, in shielded impedance-controlled cable using measurements from off-the-shelf time domain reflectometry or vector network analyzer hardware. It advances the state-of-the-art in...

Briefs : Software
PEGASUS 5.2: Automated Pre-Processing of Overset CFD Grids

The Pegasus software is used as a pre-processor for overset-grid computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations. The main features of the software include: automated hole cutting algorithms; a projection scheme for fixing small discretization errors in overset surfaces; efficient...

Briefs : Software
ACES ToolSuite

The NASA Langley Aeronautics Systems Analysis Branch (ASAB) is heavily involved in research studies to evaluate new and emerging concepts targeted at improving the National Airspace System (NAS). The primary tool used by ASAB to perform these studies is the Airspace Concept Evaluation System (ACES), a medium-fidelity, NAS-wide...

Briefs : Software
Modeling for Partitioned and Multicore Flight Software Systems

The current flight software approach is monolithic in nature. Every module has tentacles that reach deep within dozens of other software modules. Because of these interdependencies between modules, functionality is difficult to extract and reuse for other missions.

Briefs : Software
ATLAS Collaborative Spacecraft and Mission Software Design Tool

This software conducts preliminary design studies for spacecraft missions. It supports a collaborative work environment that allows multiple engineers to work simultaneously on the same design. When designing a spacecraft or mission, it is important that each engineer has concurrent...

Briefs : Information Technology

In the context of systems health management, simulations serve many uses. For one, the underlying physical models can be used by model-based health management tools to develop diagnostic and prognostic models. These simulations should incorporate both nominal and faulty behavior with the ability to inject various faults into the system....

Briefs : Software
Building Blocks for the Rapid Development of Parallel Simulations

Scientists need to be able to quickly develop and run parallel simulations without writing low-level message passing codes using compiled languages such as C/C++/Fortran. Traditionally, high-level languages that support rapid development, such as MATLAB, IDL, Mathematica, and...

Briefs : Software
Automated Multibody Response (AMBER)

AMBER is an automated tool for performing transient loads analysis of structural systems composed of one or more flexible bodies. Each body is initially supplied in Craig-Bampton form. Two basic solution approaches are available: traditional system assembly and multibody. The traditional approach is better...

Briefs : Automotive
Automotive Circuit Protection Using High-Reliability TVS Diodes

Designing automotive electronics presents numerous technical challenges, including the need to protect against electrical hazards. The three major sources of electrical hazards in automotive systems are electrostatic discharge (ESD), switching loads in power electronics circuits,...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
A Resistive, High-Voltage, Differential Input Interface in a 3.3-V BiCMOS 0.5-μm Process for Extreme Environments

Wide-temperature and extreme-environment electronics are crucial to future missions. These missions will not have the weight and power budget for heavy harnesses and large, inefficient warm boxes. In addition, extreme-environment...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Precision Current Input With Well-Defined Current Limiting for Extreme Environment Applications

Wide temperature and extreme environment electronics are crucial to future missions. These missions will not have the weight and power budget for heavy harnesses and large, inefficient warm boxes. In addition, extreme environment electronics, by their...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Algorithm for Estimating PRC Wavefront Errors from Shack-Hartmann Camera Images

Phase retrieval (PR) and Shack-Hartmann Sensor (SHS) are the two preferred methods of image-based wavefront sensing widely used in various optical testbeds, adaptive optical systems, and ground- and space-based telescopes. They are used to recover the phase...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Photo-Thermo-Refractive Glass Co-Doped with Luminescent Agents for All-Solid-State Microchip Lasers

A proposed solid-state technology possesses photosensitivity that enables volume hologram recording and a high efficiency of luminescence, enabling stimulated emission. These features were used to record volume Bragg gratings and to demonstrate...

Briefs : Software
Large Computer-Generated Hologram with Software-Generated Calibration Wavefront Map

This technology enables accurate calibration of a large Computer Generated Hologram (CGH) fabricated without great accuracy, such that the CGH still measures an aspheric surface to an excellent accuracy of a couple of nm rms. The goal is the creation of software...

Briefs : Materials
Modeling Transmission Effects on Multilayer Insulation

Recent experimental results within the NASA community have shown apparent degradation in the performance of multilayer insulation (MLI) when used in low-temperature applications, e.g., in liquid hydrogen tanks. There was speculation that this degradation was due to the appearance of...

Briefs : Materials
Woven Thermal Protection System

Woven thermal protection system (WTPS) is a new approach to producing TPS materials that uses precisely engineered 3D weaving techniques to customize material characteristics needed to meet specific missions requirements for protecting space vehicles from the intense heating generated during atmospheric entry....

Briefs : Materials
Innovative, Low-CTE, Lightweight Structures with Higher Strength

A series of lightweight (density below 2.0 gm/cm3) composites has been manufactured that have controllable properties. The core composite has been improved to provide higher strength (similar to aluminum), extremely low density, receptivity to exterior coatings, and...

Briefs : Materials
Negative Dielectric Constant Material Based on Ion-Conducting Materials

Metamaterials, or artificial negative index materials (NIMs), have generated great attention due to their unique and exotic electromagnetic properties. A negative dielectric constant material, which is an essential key for creating the NIMs, was developed by doping ions into...

Briefs : Materials
Insulating Materials and Precursor Formulations, and Method of Forming

Methods were developed for forming an insulating material that combines a polysilazane, a cross-linking compound, and a gas-generating compound to form a reaction mixture, and curing the reaction mixture to form a modified polysilazane. The gas-generating compound may be...

Briefs : Materials
Selective Clay Placement Within a Silicate Clay-Epoxy-Blend Nanocomposite

The dispersion of a layered silicate into an epoxy matrix often increases the material strength and stiffness, but reduces resin toughness. This innovation is a method to selectively place organically modified clay within specific regions of an epoxy blend, where the clay...

Briefs : Propulsion
Evaluation of Rail Gun Technology for Launch Assist of Air-Breathing Rockets

A prototype horizontal electromagnetic rail launcher has been demonstrated along with a corresponding theory. This system builds out of published work in augmented rail guns, but modifies this technology so that the motor can operate for seconds rather than...

Briefs : Aerospace
Using Harmonics to Control Flutter in Wings with Electrical Motors

As aeronautics engineers develop innovative distributed electric propulsion systems, they face new challenges in ensuring that these innovative aircraft are safe as well as fuel efficient. In particular, these systems involve a large number of electrically driven fan motors...

Briefs : Motion Control
Micropulse Detonation Rocket Engine for Nano-Satellite Propulsion

An efficient propulsion system would use a micropulse detonation rocket engine (–PDRE) for nano-satellite maneuverability in space. Technical objectives are to design, build, and conduct a small detonation tube experiment in order to explore the feasibility of using –PDRE for...

Briefs : Aerospace
Experimental Testbed for 1-MW Turboelectric Distributed Propulsion Aircraft

Researchers at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center are developing a concept aircraft for testing turbo-electric distributed propulsion (TeDP) experiments. TeDP generally involves providing thrust to an aircraft via wing-mounted ducted electric fans, which consist...

Briefs : Propulsion
Propellant Loading Visualization Software

Complex pressure systems are utilized during testing in the propulsion branch as well as during the propellant loading stage of a mission. Keeping track of the state of such a system becomes more difficult as the complexity of such a system increases, and when extensive procedures are being followed. A...

Briefs : Medical
Versatile Platform for Nanotechnology Based on Circular Permutations of Chaperonin Protein

The controlled organization of inorganic materials into multi-dimensional addressable arrays is the foundation for logic and memory devices, as well as other nonlinear optical and sensing devices. Many of these devices are currently fabricated using...

Briefs : Medical
Zero-G Condensing Heat Exchanger with Integral Disinfection

A concept for a unique zero-g condensing heat exchanger that has an integral ozone-generating capacity has been conceived. This design will contribute to the control of metabolic water vapor in the air, and also provide disinfection of the resultant condensate, and the disinfection of...

Briefs : Medical
Concurrent O2 Generation and CO2 Control for Advanced Life Support

A life support system generates oxygen in low oxygen and/or hazardous environments such as mining, chemical/biological attacks, nuclear fallout, or space exploration. Based on proven technology, this O2/CO2 control system has the potential to significantly...

Briefs : Medical
Gene Expression Signatures for Colon Carcinogenesis and Radiation-Induced Cellular Transformation

Monitoring colon health and transformation into a diseased tissue, including inflammation and cancer, is difficult using conventional techniques, as individuals are required to undergo invasive procedures. However, by using exfoliated cells, it is...

Briefs : Software
Habitat Demonstration Unit Core Avionics Software

The Habitat Demonstration Unit Core Avionics Software (HDU-CAS) is designed to provide the required functionality for an engineering prototype of a highly autonomous space habitat element, and to provide an opportunity for new software technologies to be tested in an environment that provides...

Briefs : Information Technology
Multicore ROCKSTER

ROCKSTER (Rock Segmentation Through Edge Regrouping) is a rock detection algorithm that analyzes 2D geologic scenes and identifies rocks and other targets of interest. A multicore ROCKSTER enables long-range autonomous rover traverse science to be performed efficiently and to make use of multicore or parallel computing...

Briefs : Information Technology
Non-Binary Protograph-Based LDPC Codes with Near-Capacity Thresholds

Binary protograph codes are state-of-the-art codes over the binary field Galois Field GF(2). These codes were invented by JPL in 2003 and proposed to CCSDS (Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems) recently as a channel-coding standard for space communications. It is...

Briefs : Software
Dynamically Configurable Pipeline

The Dynamically Configurable Pipeline is a concept for the rapid implementation of pipelined computational algorithms in configurable hardware such as field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). The approach, especially in its phase-coherent incarnation, allows a high level of sharing of floating-point resources...

Briefs : Communications
Frame Synchronization Without Attached Sync Markers

In communications systems, there must be a method to identify the beginning of a message at the receiving end, to know when the data stream of a specified structure begins. This is conventionally done by inserting attached sync markers (ASMs) between codewords, and looking for these ASMs in the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Scalable ParaView for Extreme Scale Visualization

Work has been focused on identifying bottlenecks in visualization pipelines that make the visualization and analysis of large datasets in real time difficult to attain. The innovators leveraged ParaView, an open-source visualization application and framework, to provide custom solutions for users...

Briefs : Information Technology
Explicit Filtering Leading to Grid-Spacing-Independent and Discretization-Order-Independent Large Eddy Simulation Solutions

Numerical simulations for turbulent flows using the most promising methodology, Large Eddy Simulation (LES), are grid-spacing and discretization-order dependent. This means that the solution is not trustworthy and cannot be...

Briefs : Information Technology
Explicit Filtering Leading to Grid-Independent and Discretization-Order-Independent Large Eddy Simulation

To validate simulations, one must trust that they are independent of the numerical aspects. A very promising, relatively new methodology for simulating turbulent flows, called Large Eddy Simulation (LES), has some issues in this respect. The...

Briefs : Aerospace
Mars Science Laboratory Second-Chance Flight Software

Mars lander spacecraft, beginning with Mars Pathfinder (MPF), have been designed to tolerate flight computer resets during the entry, descent, and landing (EDL) phase despite having only a single flight computer. This capability was enabled by a predictable, non-dynamic EDL architecture. The...

Briefs : Information Technology
Multi-User Investigation Organizer

InvestigationOrganizer (IO) is a Web-based information system that integrates the generic functionality of a database, a document repository, a semantic hyper-media browser, and a rule-based inference system with specialized modeling and visualization functionality to support mishap investigations. The semantic...

Briefs : Information Technology
Unit Conversion Macro for TecPlot Solutions for CFD

The invention is a TecPlot macro, which is a computer program in the TecPlot programming language that processes CFD (computational fluid dynamics) solutions in TecPlot format. The TecPlot data is in SI units (International System of Units) [same as CFD solutions]. This invention converts the...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Products of Tomorrow: February 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
NACA to NASA: 100 Years of Aeronautics Innovation

Streamlined aircraft bodies, quieter jet engines, techniques for preventing icing, drag-reducing winglets, lightweight composite structures, and so much more are an everyday part of flying thanks to NASA research that traces its origins back to the earliest days of aviation.

Articles : Aerospace
NACA Technology: Then and Now

“Be patient, if you want to see the concrete benefits of space research. I am confident that the benefits are there. We at NASA have been given a big job— planning and executing the nation’s civilian space program. But I would first like to dispose of a question that is asked of me quite often: Why venture at...

Articles : Aerospace
Tech Briefs Interview: NASA’s Kathy Lueders

At the annual meeting of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) in Detroit on January 14, 1959, NASA’s first Administrator, Dr. T. Keith Glennan, said: “I can imagine a remote future when spaceflight, in some form, might become nearly as commonplace as air travel is today.”

Application Briefs : Imaging
Video Wall Monitors Space Station Science
Video Wall Monitors Space Station Science
Clarity™ Matrix LCD Video Wall System
Planar Systems
Beaverton, OR

A Clarity Matrix video wall system was installed at NASA’s Payload...

Video Wall Monitors Space Station Science
Application Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Power Management System Keeps SpaceCube Flying
UltraCMOS®-based power management card
Peregrine Semiconductor Corp.
San Diego, CA

Selected for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s SpaceCube 2.0 Hybrid Science Data Processor, Peregrine’s UltraCMOS®-based power...

NASA Spinoff : Research Lab
Testing Devices Garner Data on Insulation Performance
Testing Devices Garner Data on Insulation Performance

NASA Technology

Whether you wanted to know how certain insulation would work on a Mars-bound spacecraft or on an Earth-based refrigerator, you would want to test its performance...

Testing Devices Garner Data on Insulation Performance
Products : Software
Product of the Month: February 2015
Product of the Month: February 2015

Luxion, Irvine, CA, released KeyShot® 5.1 real-time ray tracing and global illumination software for rendering and lighting of models and assemblies. New features include procedural textures...

Product of the Month: February 2015
Products : Electronics & Computers
Digital Controller

ZMDI, Dresden, Germany, released the ZSPM2000 configurable digital PWM controller with integrated MOSFET driver for smart digital point-of-load (POL) solutions. The controller operates as a synchronous step-down converter in a single-rail, single-phase configuration. It features an integrated power-stage driver, and digital...

Products : Communications
Serial Communication Cards

ACCES I/O Products, San Diego, CA, announced mPCIe-ICM Series PCI Express Mini Card isolated serial communication cards that measure 30 × 51 mm and feature a selection of four or two ports of isolated RS-232 serial communications. Features include 1.5kV isolation provided port-to-computer and 500V isolation...

Products : Test & Measurement
Source Measure Instrument

Keithley Instruments, Cleveland, OH, introduced the Model 2460 SourceMeter® Source Measure Unit (SMU) instrument with a capacitive touchscreen graphical user interface. It offers power sourcing up to 105V, 7A DC/7A pulse, 100W max, with 0.012% basic measurement accuracy and 6½-digit resolution. It combines...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Circuit Design Tool

Sunstone Circuits, Mulino, OR, announced DFMplus, a Design to Manufacturing tool that allows potential issues to be fixed in the PCB design phase. The tool helps users verify PCB designs before ordering. The tool features a preview of possible failure points, provides efficient transfer of design file data into manufacturing,...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Google Glass for Industrial Automation

A new concept uses Google Glass for operating machinery, with all of the benefits delivered by wearable computing in an industrial environment. With Google’s Web-enabled glasses, status or dialog messages can be projected via a head-up display directly into a person’s field of vision. Online information...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Energy Efficiency in Machine Tools

Discussions of the efficient use of energy have become more frequent in many sectors of industry. Machine tools comprise numerous motors and auxiliary components whose energy consumption can vary strongly during machining. The main spindle drive, for example, and the coolant system work near their rated power...

Briefs : Motion Control
Robust Gimbal System for Small-Payload Manipulation

Spaceborne gimbal systems are typically bulky with large footprints. Such a gimbal system may consist of a forked elevation stage rotating on top of the azimuth motor, and occupy a large volume. Mounting flexibility of such a system may be limited.

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
A Phase-Changing Pendulum to Control Spherical Robots and Buoy Sensors

A novel mechanical control system has been proposed for spherical robots to be used as multifunctioning sensor buoys in areas with ambient forces such as winds or currents. The phase-changing pendulum has been specifically designed for Moballs, a self-powered and controllable...

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Linear Position Sensors

H. G. Schaevitz Alliance Sensors Group (Moorestown, NJ) introduced the LR-19 series inductive linear position sensors. The contactless devices are designed for factory automation and a variety of industrial or commercial applications such as motor sport vehicles, automotive testing, solar cell positioners, wind turbine...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Stepper Motor

Lin Engineering (Morgan Hill, CA) released the Xtreme Torque E5618 stepper motor that has been designed to reduce stalling, skipped steps, and provide efficient torque. The new design allows users to stay within the same frame size. The NEMA 23 stepper has a holding torque of 150 oz-in and is suited for applications with heavier...

Products : Semiconductors & ICs
Motor Driver ICs

Toshiba America Electronic Components (San Jose, CA) offers four motor driver ICs, ranging from precision stepper motor drivers to sensorless brushless DC motor drivers. The TB67S269FTG bipolar stepping motor driver has a maximum rating of 50V and 2.0A. Three brushless DC motor drivers — the TB67B001FTG, TB67B008FTG, and...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control

CUI (Tualatin, OR) offers the AMT31 modular encoder series that generates standard U/V/W commutation signals for vectoring current to brushless motors. Positional information is generated using a patented capacitive code generation system coupled with a proprietary ASIC. The encoder is designed for use in brushless dc motor applications...

Products : Motion Control
AC Drive

The VACON® 100 FLOW from VACON (Milwaukee, WI) is an AC drive designed to improve flow control for multi-pump applications in which several pumps are used in place of a single one. The drive offers control of flow and pressure for a maximum of eight pumps (or fans) without the need for an external controller —...

Products : Motion Control
Table Motors

Siemens AG (Munich, Germany) offers the Simotics DP motors based on the 1LE1 motor platform. The ventilated roller table motors are designed for applications in the steel industry where they must meet requirements for vibration and shock according to Class 3M4. Versions of the motors are optimized for use with converters of the...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Motion Controller

FANUC America Corp. (Rochester Hills, MI) offers the Power Motion i-MODEL A motion controller for multi-axes general motion applications. The controller is an integrated solution supporting up to 32 axes of motion control, combined with high-speed programmable logic controllers supporting up to 2,048 input and 2,048 output...

Products : Motion Control
Linear Actuators

Parker’s Electromechanical Automation Division (Irwin, PA) released the High Moment Rodless (HMR) electromechanical linear actuator series that features five different frame sizes, two different drive train options, an IP54 protective cover option, and multiple motor mounting, carriage, and sensor options. The actuators...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Rod-Style Actuator

The RSA-HT high-force rod-style actuator from Tolomatic (Hamel, MN) can also be considered as a replacement for hydraulic applications and offers maximum force capabilities of 12,900 lbf (57.38kN). Features include an IP67 option, standard purge/breather port, and a lubrication system. The actuator includes a grease zerk for...

Products : Motion Control
Controller Systems

Velmex (Bloomfield, NY) offers VXM controller systems for power systems that drive motorized products including slides and rotary tables. The controller is a 2-phase, unipolar stepper motor controller that can drive and control precise movements, multi-axis, and velocity. The system is capable of controlling up to four motors,...

Products : Motion Control
Brushless DC Motor and Control

Groschopp (Sioux Center, IA) offers a brushless DC motor and control package consisting of brushless DC motors and gearmotors. The motors feature closed loop controls to deliver commutated power and variable speed control, maintaining speed regulation over a wide range of loads. The motors feature 2,600 to 3,800...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Method for Performing GPS L1 C/A Measurements in Wideband Jamming and Interference

For effective range safety, global positioning system (GPS) metric tracking must be robust to interference with, and jamming of, GPS signals. The conventional approach to mitigating interference and jamming is to use a Controlled Reception Pattern Antenna (CRPA)....

Briefs : Software
JWST IV&V Simulation and Test (JIST) RT Logic T501 Emulator

In order to develop a software-only test environment for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) mission, a solution was needed to send commands and receive telemetry between the TCTS (Telemetry and Command Test Set) and CMM-S card. The as-is solution requires the utilization of...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Cooling Test Samples With a Combined Convective and Conductive System to Rapidly Reach 77 K

In this innovation, a team successfully developed and implemented a combined convective and conductive cooling system that permits rapid cooling. Using a spray system, liquid nitrogen (LN2) was injected into a test article enclosure located in...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Guarded Two-Dimensional Flat Plate Insulation Test Calorimeter with Attach Points

Insulation systems usually do not operate on their own; they must work together with a structural system that is designed to support the article being insulated. Typically this structure penetrates the insulation, degrading it in some manner, and gives a pathway...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Test, Calibration, and Training Target for a Microwave Sensor

Human subjects are unsuitable for objective performance testing of victim detection radar because their heart and respiration rates are not controllable or repeatable. There are limitations on human targets from a safety standpoint as well. It is difficult to relate the ground truth...

Articles : Test & Measurement
The Touch Screen Revolution

Touch screens are slowly but surely creeping into every aspect of our day-to-day lives. It’s not unlikely that you wake up to a cellphone alarm, adjust the room temperature on a thermostat, change the radio station in the car, and even start the washing machine using only a touch screen. A decade ago, we wouldn’t...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
The Changing Face of Test

Many aspects of the test and measurement business are different from the way they were relatively few years ago. Perhaps the most obvious example is the people who are using test and measurement instrumentation. A recent industry study shows that 20 percent of electrical engineers now in the global workforce started...

Products : Test & Measurement
Computed Tomography Systems

JG&A Metrology Center (Detroit, MI) introduced increased flat panel sizes for computed tomography (CT) systems. Cone beam systems now utilize flat panel technology and scan parts up to 14" (350 mm) in diameter. With increases in LDA sizes as well, the CT systems use line detector array technology when scanning...

Products : Test & Measurement
Data Acquisition and Control

Dataforth Corp. (Tucson, AZ) introduced the MAQ20® industrial data acquisition and control system that features an analog resistance input module for channel protection. It interfaces to three types of 3-wire sensors: 100Ω Pt, 120Ω Ni RTDs, and potentiometers up to 5kΩ. The module has six input...

Products : Test & Measurement
Digital Meter

The New Technology Meter (NTM) digital meter from OTEK Corp. (Tucson, AZ) measures and controls processes while operating with less than 50mW of power. It features a full tricolor bargraph with 2% resolution and four alarm set points. The meter includes isolated serial I/O, isolated O.C.T. or SPDT relays, and isolated analog output...

Products : Test & Measurement
Passive Oscilloscope Probes

The models 702902 and 702906 from Yokogawa Corporation of America (Newnan, GA) are 10:1 passive oscilloscope probes that operate over a temperature range from -40 to + 85 °C. They are suited for accelerated testing and validation methods where temperature cycling is part of the test procedure. The 702902 is designed...

Products : Test & Measurement
Temperature and Voltage Measurement

Omega Engineering (Stamford, CT) offers the OMB-DAQ-2408-2AO 24-bit, multifunction, USB data acquisition models for temperature and voltage measurement that feature up to 16 single ended (SE)/8 differential (DIFF) analog inputs. Each device includes 8 digital I/O and two counter inputs, as well as two analog...

Products : Test & Measurement
Signaling Test Set

The UXM integrated signaling test set from Keysight Technologies (Santa Rosa, CA) was designed for functional and RF design validation in the 4G era. It features integrated capabilities for LTE-Advanced design validation, bidirectional data throughput at 300 Mbps downlink (DL)/100 Mbps uplink (UL), and category 4/6/7 support...

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Data Acquisition Board

Measurement Computing (Norton, MA) offers the USB-2020 high-speed, two-channel data acquisition board that provides simultaneous sampling at rates up to 20 MS/s per channel. Users can sample data from both channels at an overall rate of 40 MS/s to the 64-megasample onboard memory, or continuously stream data to a host...

Products : Electronics & Computers

The LabMaster 10-100Zi 100-GHz oscilloscope from Teledyne LeCroy (Chestnut Ridge, NY) achieves 100 GHz and 240 GS/s. The 100-GHz technology is designed for engineers working on communication systems, high-bandwidth electrical components, and scientific research. The modular and flexible platform allows users to build oscilloscopes...

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Data Acquisition Module

ADLINK Technology (San Jose, CA) announced the USB-1210 USB 2.0 data acquisition module that supports four 16-bit channels of simultaneous sampling at up to 2 MS/s per channel, and ensures zero data loss in long-term data acquisition by way of 256- MS deep onboard FIFO (First In, First Out). The 4-channel USB DAQ with...

Products : Test & Measurement
Temperature Scanner Indicators

The Sensor Connection, a division of Harold G. Schaevitz Industries LLC (Troy, MI), offers the model PMD-MXT temperature scanner indicator. The 32-channel microprocessor-based temperature scanner provides continuous monitoring of up to 32 channels of thermocouple or RTD sensors. The 14-mm-tall digit-red LED display...

Products : Test & Measurement
Vector Signal Analyzer

National Instruments (Austin, TX) introduced the PXIe-5668R 26.5-GHz microwave vector signal analyzer (VSA) and a 20-GHz continuous wave signal generator. The VSA delivers low noise floor, high linearity, and low phase noise, and delivers up to 765 MHz of instantaneous bandwidth. Engineers can analyze wide-bandwidth...

Products : Test & Measurement
Data Acquisition Card

Innovative Integration (Simi Valley, CA) introduced Atropos, an XMC I/O module with low-noise clock generation and distribution for data acquisition and communications timing applications. The module has four output clocks and four output triggers, as well as a clock/reference input and a trigger input. Multiple cards can...

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Detection Scanner

The R2000 Detection laser scanner from Pepperl+Fuchs (Twinsburg, OH) features a 360-degree gapless measurement angle with angular resolution within 0.071 degrees, scan frequency to 30 Hz, and object detection to 1 mm. An eye-safe visible red laser enables alignment and detection of very small objects or reflectors. The scanner...

Who's Who
David Blake, Senior Research Scientist, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

David Blake developed the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffraction instrument that is currently deployed on the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity. The powder-handling device inside CheMin won Blake the 2010 NASA Commercial Government Invention of the...

David Blake, Senior Research Scientist, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

David Blake developed the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffraction instrument. The powder-handling device, now featured on the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity, won Blake the 2010 NASA Commercial Government Invention of the Year award. His...

Question of the Week
Would You Cook with ‘Julia?’