May 2014

Tech Needs
Fabrics with an Inherent Thickness

A foam shape must be replaced with a knitted, woven, or nonwoven fabric that derives its thickness from the geometric structure of its components. The current application uses polyurethane foams that range from millimeters to 2 cm thick. The foams offer little or no ventilation in a situation where air...

GOES-R Instruments Set to Observe Space Weather

Two of the six instruments that will fly on NOAA's first Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite - R (GOES-R) satellite have completed integration with the spacecraft. The Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI) and Extreme Ultraviolet and X-ray Irradiance Sensors (EXIS) were installed on the...

News : Propulsion
New Algorithms Enable Self-Assembling, Printable Robots

In two new papers, MIT researchers demonstrate the promise of printable robotic components that, when heated, automatically fold into prescribed three-dimensional configurations.

One paper describes a system that takes a digital specification of a 3-D shape — such as a computer-aided...

News : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Motion-Sensing Keyboard Lets Users Hover and Swipe

Microsoft engineers have developed a new type of augmented mechanical keyboard, sensing rich and expressive motion gestures performed both on and directly above the device. A low-resolution...

News : Test & Measurement
New Rotary Sensor Keeps Conveyor Belts Running Smoothly

Rotary sensors can help determine the position of a moveable body in relation to an axis. They are essential to the smooth running of car engines in the automotive industry, for example. In factories, goods and products are transported from one processing station to the next via conveyor...

News : Semiconductors & ICs
Wireless System Paves Way for 'Electroceutical' Medical Devices

A wireless system uses the same power as a cell phone to safely transmit energy to chips the size of a grain of rice. The technology paves the way for new "electroceutical" devices to treat illness or alleviate pain.

The central discovery is an engineering breakthrough that...

Question of the Week
Will You Use a Smartphone Spectrometer Before You Eat?

SCiO, a handheld molecular sensor, allows users to scan their food to check its nutritional value and alcohol, sugar, or calorie content. The spectroscopy product from the Israeli startup Consumer Physics is paired with a smartphone and shines near-infrared light on the food to stimulate and...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
GPS Tide Gauge Measures Sea Level Change

Using radio signals from satellite navigation systems, Scientists at Chalmers Department of Earth and Space Sciences have developed and tested a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) tide gauge, an instrument that measures the sea level.

The GNSS tide gauge uses radio signals from satellites in...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Robotic Modules Transform into Configurable Furniture

EPFL scientists from the Biorobotics Laboratory (BIOROB) have developed small robotic modules that can change their shape to create reconfigurable furniture.

Like Lego bricks, Roombots pieces can be stacked upon each other to create various structures. Each 22 cm-long piece, which looks...

News : Photonics/Optics
Creating Better Thermal-Imaging Lens From Waste Sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team has found. The team successfully took thermal images of a person through a piece of the...

News : Imaging
Pedestrian Detection System Captures Body Heat

Researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) have designed a new pedestrian detection system for cars that works in low-visibility conditions using infrared cameras to capture body heat. The new driving-aid system uses images captured by far infrared with two thermal cameras to identify...

News : Aerospace
Unmanned Aircraft to Support Scientific Research in Mexico

Specialists from the Institute of Technology and Higher Studies (ITESO) are conducting a program for the design and manufacture of Mexican unmanned aircraft, rockets, and weather balloons. The goal is that they serve as support in scientific research as well as meteorology, and can also...

News : Aerospace
New Technologies Improve Aviation Safety and Efficiency

Researchers with Singapore's A*STAR Aerospace Programme are working on over 50 multidisciplinary projects to pioneer manufacturing techniques, safety inspection devices, and analytical methods to improve flight management.

News : Aerospace
NASA Tests Alternative Jet Engine Fuels

For the second time in as many years, NASA researchers are using a DC-8 and other aircraft to study the effects on emissions and contrail formation of burning alternative fuels in jet engines. The Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions (ACCESS II) project involves flying NASA's DC-8 as...

Question of the Week
Will Robots Make Good Caregivers?

An EU-funded program, called the GiraffPlus Project, uses robotics to help elderly people who want to remain at home. The GiraffPlus robot is part of a system that includes environmental and physiological sensors, which feed back information about the inhabitants' movements and health. A recent Pew Research poll...

News : Aerospace
Solar Wind Ion Analyzer to Investigate Mars Atmosphere Loss

This past November, NASA launched the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission in the hope of understanding how and why the planet has been losing its atmosphere over billions of years.

News : Imaging
Researchers Build Glasses-Free 3-D Projector

Over the past three years, researchers in the Camera Culture group at the MIT Media Lab have steadily refined a design for a glasses-free, multi-perspective, 3-D video screen, which they hope could provide a cheaper, more practical alternative to holographic video in the short term.

News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Pocket-Sized Anthrax Detector Aids Global Agriculture

A credit-card-sized anthrax detection cartridge developed at Sandia National Laboratories makes testing safer, easier, faster and cheaper. Bacillus anthracis, the bacteria that causes anthrax, is commonly found in soils all over the world and can cause serious, and often fatal, illness in...

News : Test & Measurement
NASA Uses High-Voltage Power Lines to Measure Phenomenon Causing Outages

Heliophysicist Antti Pulkkinen of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and his team are installing scientific substations beneath high-voltage power transmission lines to measure in real time a phenomenon known as geomagnetically induced currents (GICs). In addition to...

News : RF & Microwave Electronics
Unmanned Aircraft Tested as Tool for Measuring Polar Ice Sheets

Scientists studying the behavior of the world's ice sheets — and the future implications of ice sheet behavior for global sealevel rise — may soon have a new airborne tool that will allow radar measurements that previously would have been prohibitively expensive or difficult to...

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printing Aerial Robot Mimics Tiny Bird

Scientists from Imperial College London have developed a 3D-printing Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV) that mimics the way that swiftlets build their nests.

The MAV is a quad-copter, with four blades that enable it to fly and hover. The vehicle, made from off-the-shelf components, carries in its underbelly...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
OCULLAR Provides Around-the-Clock Ocean Measurements

A team led at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., has developed an instrument capable of observing ocean color during normal sunlight conditions and under moonlight — a first-ever capability that will allow scientists to monitor the health and chemistry of the planet’s...

Question of the Week
Will Self-Driven Cars Improve Road Safety?

Using autonomous technology, Google has also been testing its self-driven robotic cars near the company's Silicon Valley headquarters. The vehicles are equipped with navigation software, like Google Maps, and other sensors to avoid obstacles and unexpected events. The cars' technology also features a...

786nm Laser Diode Modules

Lumics GmbH (Berlin, Germany) has broadened its portfolio of single-mode fiber pigtailed butterfly 14-pin modules by adding 786nm to that product line as a standard wavelength. Modules are now available in the following wavelengths: 786, 793, 808, 850, 915, 980, 1012, 1025, 1032, 1064, 1070, and 1080nm. Other customized...

Precision Laser System

Prima Power Laserdyne (Champlin, MN) has announced availability of the LASERDYNE 430 Series of precision laser systems with up to 20 kW QCW (quasi continuous wave) fiber lasers. This laser system is designed for ease of use in cutting, welding and drilling of 2D and 3D components requiring precision and consistency. The...

3D Optical Profilers

Zygo Corporation (Middlefield, CT) recently announced the NewView(TM) 8000 series of 3D optical profilers. The two models of NewView 8000 benchtop profilers are based on non-contact optical technology and powered by ZYGO's Mx(TM) software. The NewView 8000 profilers provide hundreds of surface results and analyses, including...

Wide Angle IP Surveillance Cameras

Toshiba Surveillance & IP Video Products (Irvine, CA) has introduced two new full HDTV (1080p) mini-dome IP cameras featuring 110° horizontal viewing angles to capture up to 20 percent more area than cameras equipped with standard 93° angle lens. The outdoor-ready IK-WR05A and indoor IK-WD05A are...

News : Materials
NASA Simulator Recreates Space Dust

A team of scientists at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, has successfully reproduced, on Earth, the processes that occur in the atmosphere of a red giant star and lead to the formation of planet-forming interstellar dust.

Using a specialized facility, called the Cosmic Simulation...

News : Aerospace
Self-Repairing Plastic Regenerates After Damage

Illinois researchers have developed materials that not only heal, but regenerate. The restorative material is delivered through two, isolated fluid streams (dyed red and blue). The liquid immediately gels and later hardens, resulting in recovery of the entire damaged region.

For regenerating...

INSIDER : Energy
Face-to-Face Molecular Orientation Improves Organic Solar Cell Efficiency

New research from North Carolina State University and UNC-Chapel Hill reveals that energy is transferred more efficiently inside of complex, three-dimensional organic solar cells when the donor molecules align face-on, rather than edge-on, relative to the acceptor. This...

News : Photonics/Optics
Groundbreaking Optical Device Could Enhance Optical Information Processing

At St. Paul's Cathedral in London, a section of the dome called the Whispering Gallery makes a whisper audible from the other side of the dome as a result of the way sound waves travel around the curved surface. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have used...

News : Software
Cyberlearning Platforms Improve Design Collaboration

Two new "cyberlearning" platforms allow non-artists to create illustrations rivaling the work of expert designers. The platforms sidestep a key creative barrier by eliminating the need for drawing skills in developing new designs.

"Non-experts are becoming more empowered and interested...

Question of the Week
Will 'Lab Food' Change The Way We Eat?

In an effort to alleviate food shortages and leave a lighter footprint, some biotechnology startups have begun developing alternative food products. Hampton Creek Foods, for example, has received $30 million in funding to create a plant-based substitute for eggs. Beyond Meat, another biotech food producer,...

News : Imaging
Earth-Sized Exoplanet Discovered via Observatory Data

The National Science Foundation-funded Gemini observatory helped confirm the first potentially habitable Earth-sized exoplanet. Researchers say this discovery is unique because the planet, called Kepler-186f, resides in a temperate region around its host star where water could exist and could...

News : Motion Control
Wind Tunnel Tests Support Improved Design of B61-12 Bomb

Sandia National Laboratories has finished testing a full-scale mock unit representing the aerodynamic characteristics of the B61-12 gravity bomb in a wind tunnel. The tests on the mock-up were done to establish the configuration that will deliver the necessary spin motion of the bomb...

News : Transportation
Testing Composite Structures for Stronger Bridges

The J. Lohr Structures Laboratory at South Dakota State University helps companies develop new materials and products — self-consolidating concrete columns and pre-stress concrete bridge girders — that bridge a physical gap. Over the past decade, researchers have conducted structural testing...

News : Aerospace
With New Sensors, NASA's Morpheus Preps to Land on its Own

A test flight will challenge a set of sensors to map out a 65-yard square of boulder-sized hazards and pick out a safe place to land. Mounted to an uncrewed prototype lander called Morpheus that flies autonomously several hundred feet above the ground, the sensor system will have 10...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Products of Tomorrow: April 2014

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 : Energy
Power for Extreme Environments

Specifying the ideal power management solution for remote wireless devices found in extreme environments and hard-to-access locations requires more ruggedized solutions. Fortunately, two viable options are now available: lithium thionyl chloride (LiSOCL2) chemistry that can operate for 40+ years, and...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
Flexible Wing Flap Reduces Noise and Drag
Ann Arbor, MI

FlexSys designed and built two experimental flaps for Armstrong Flight Research Center’s Gulfstream G-III Aerodynamics Research Test Bed aircraft. Researchers will replace the airplane’s conventional 19-foot-long aluminum...

Application Briefs : Software
Control Software Navigates Lunar CubeSats
New York, NY

Vermont Technical College’s Lunar CubeSat, measuring only 10 × 10 × 10 cm and weighing 1.1 kg, was launched into a 500-km earth orbit. The small satellite will remain in orbit for about three years to test the systems that...

Application Briefs : Test & Measurement
Lunar Simulants Provide Critical Tests for Moon Missions
NU-LHT lunar simulant
Zybek Advanced Products (ZAP)
Boulder, CO

Lunar simulants are a critical aspect of the return to the Moon and a planned lunar outpost. All mechanical equipment, chemical processes, and human health studies...

NASA Technology

“It all started with ecological life support systems for exploration,” says David Bubenheim, a senior research scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center. Sometimes...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Processing COSMIC/FORMOSAT-3 Data for Slant Total Electron Content Measurements

The COSMIC (Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate) mission has GPS (Global Positioning System) radio occultation dual-band receivers onboard. The received signals slice through the ionosphere, layer by layer, in much the same way as...

Briefs : Software
Gridded Atmosphere Products from GPS Radio Occultation Measurements with Bayesian Interpolation Technique

GPS radio occultation measurements are vital for climate monitoring and atmospheric temperature change detection. However, the data are irregularly distributed in space and time, which makes it inconvenient for many applications.

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Optical Phased Array with Digitally Enhanced Interferometry

A proof-of-concept technique has been developed for measuring and controlling the individual phases of array elements. Electro-optic steering and beam-forming of laser beams is an emerging field with devices such as optical phased arrays that are capable of steering with significantly...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Durability Analysis of a Vehicle by Virtual Test Model (VTM)

The criterion for structural failure must be based on failure modes of the component being designed. If the component is to withstand millions of cycles of load application, criterion for fatigue failure must be used. Fatigue damage caused by repeated dynamic loads depends on the...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Model-Based Prognostics for Batteries

The innovation provides enhanced health management routines for batteries. A mathematical model has been developed to describe battery behavior during individual discharge cycles, as well as over the cycle life. Different prognostic modes for estimating the state of charge, state of life, end of discharge,...

Briefs : Software
Goddard Mission Services Evolution Center Compliance Test Suite

To reduce the cost of building specialized interfaces, missions can adopt Goddard Mission Services Evolution Center (GMSEC) technologies and applications. Assurances need to be made that application implementation should follow the GMSEC messaging standards. The GMSEC Interface...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Mass Spectrometry of Spacecraft Contamination Using the Direct Analysis in Real-Time Ion Source

Mass spectrometry is presented as a powerful tool for the analysis of spacecraft contamination when coupled to the Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART) ionization source. DART technology is based on soft ionization and desorption using metastable...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Application of a Physics-Based Stabilization Criterion to Flight System Thermal Testing

This innovation consists of a procedure and set of equations that allows thermal balance steady-state temperatures to be predicted hours before the balance is reached based on current temperature and rate-of-change measurements. This will allow tests to run...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Battery Fault Detection with Saturating Transformers

A monitoring network has been created that can be added to a battery consisting of many parallel cells. This network allows the health of individual cells, as measured by the current that they produce under load, to be monitored. If one or more cells are producing less current than the others,...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Digitally Controlled, 12-V Precision Current Source for Extreme-Temperature Operation

Many control applications require precision, high-voltage-capable stimulus current drivers for sensor excitation. In particular, a requirement for a stimulus driver that can be primarily integrated into a motor feedback signal conditioning ASIC (application...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Scandate Cathode for High-Power, Long-Life Electric Space Propulsion

Scandate cathodes are able to produce about 20 times the emission of conventional all-tungsten cathodes at the same temperature. Conversely, they operate at about 200 °C lower temperature for the same emission. Scandate cathodes have been studied since at least the 1960s....

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Hybrid Force/Stress Amplified Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting Transducer System

This innovation uses an active materials-based force-amplified mechanism and advanced piezoelectric materials for more efficient energy harvesting from mechanical shock and vibration. The harvested energy is stored in rechargeable batteries. The hybrid force/stress...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Improved Battery Health Monitoring

Battery health monitoring is an emerging technology field that seeks to predict the remaining useful life (RUL) of battery systems before they run out of charge. Such predictive measures require interpretation of large amounts of battery status data within a Bayesian prognostic framework.

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Space Modem GMSK Modulator

A high-rate GMSK (Gaussian Minimum Shift Keying) modulator was developed for space operation. Currently, multi-user modems are under development, and the GMSK modulator provides a way of packing more users within a space environment, especially for Mars exploration.

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Tailored 3D Fiber Architecture to Improve CVI Processing

An improvement has been made to the infiltration of 3D woven and 3D braided preforms that will lead to the manufacture of CMC (ceramic matrix composite) and C–C (carbon-carbon) composites based on 3D fiber architectures that have low residual porosity and smaller void sizes. Tailoring...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D Microwave Print Head System for Melting Materials

There is a need to develop an efficient method for processing lunar regolith in support of future missions to colonize the Moon. A system for heating lunar regolith (“moon soil”) using microwaves for processing has been developed. It relies on an enhanced heating effect based on a large...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Novel Chemistry for Deposition of MgF2 Thin Films

Magnesium fluoride (MgF2) thin films are useful for many different optics applications. In particular, they are useful for ultraviolet anti-reflective and protective coatings. However, in the far UV, one needs a very small, controllable amount of material to get the best optical...

Briefs : Materials
The Flexibility of ITO Films in Electronic Coating Applications

ITO is a doped metal oxide semiconductor that combines two properties that usually are mutually exclusive in most materials: optical transparency and electrical conductivity. It is critical to understand the importance of this combination of optical transparency and electrical...

Briefs : Materials
Electride Mediated Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy

A new sensor substrate supports Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy. A ceramic electride is demonstrated to provide surface enhanced Raman scattering. This provides a sensitive method for monitoring the chemistry and electronic environment at the electride surface. The electride, an ionic...

Briefs : Materials
Patterned Carbon Nanotube Arrays for Displays

Multi-colored electronic displays that are dynamically reconfigurable require substantial electrical power and are limited in the amount of fine detail provided by the physical size of the light sources. For example, where phosphor elements are used, as in a television screen or computer monitor, the...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Pneumatic Sample Acquisition and Transfer System

Sampling, sample handling, and sample transfer to lander platforms of in situ exploration missions involve great technical challenges. These challenges are even harder to address when the planetary bodies have extreme environments. For example, Venus has an ambient temperature of around 460 °C,...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Brine Residual in Containment

Improvements in brine water recovery are critical to advancing NASA’s goals for human exploration of space. Water recovery systems must minimize the need for new supplies of clean water by closing the water loop. To accomplish this, water losses must be minimized or eliminated. A major loss of water is the brine...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Locking Orifice Retaining Nut

Fluid flow systems often require orifices to control pressure drop or flow rate. These orifices are often retained in bolted housings that require seals and introduce potential leak points into the system.

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Hybrid Mechanical Electrostatic Actuator for Deformable Mirrors

A hybrid mechanical/electrostatic force actuator has been developed for use in deformable mirror applications. Some deformable mirrors, designed to correct errors in optical systems, use electrostatic forces between the flexible mirror surface and a backplane to control the shape of...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Reconfigurable Structural Joint

This technique allows for rapid joining of reconfigurable structures. Currently, permanent structural joints are made in factory settings or in situ. However, reconfigurable structures require appropriate structural joints that must be made in situ, and must join/disjoin without inflicting any damage on the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Lithium-Ion Battery Technologies with High Energy Density

There is a need to advance the development of high energy density batteries, along with other efficient alternative energy sources. The need for batteries having a higher energy capacity, versus a lower weight, is simple to understand when stated in a battery’s Watt hour per kilogram...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Low-Cost Communications Concept for Smallsats: Opportunistic MSPA

Multiple Spacecraft Per Antenna (MSPA) techniques have been used for well over a decade to increase the efficient utilization of ground network assets while decreasing the antenna fees allocated to the missions. In the Deep Space Network’s traditional MSPA service, two missions...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Spatial Standard Observer

This invention relates to the devices and methods for the measurement and/or for the specification of the perceptual intensity of a visual image, or the perceptual distance between a pair of images. Grayscale test and reference images are processed to produce test and reference luminance images. A luminance filter...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Use of Selective Oxidation Catalyst for Amperometric Sensing Electrode

A modified oxidation catalyst material can be used to build a carbon-monoxide-sensing electrode for amperometric sensors to overcome the typical cross-sensitivity of these sensors toward hydrogen. The technology will have applications in the emerging hydrogen fuel cell...

Briefs : Software
NASA Experiment Designer: A Tool for Running Scientific Workflows

The NASA Experiment Designer (NED) is a client-server application that enables end-to-end support for driving long-running scientific computer simulations such as climate and weather models. The tool provides a friendly, single point of entry for configuring parameters associated...

Briefs : Software
SensorWeb Campaign Manager API Client

This software was designed to automate delivery of tasking requests to a central queue, enabling integrated observation scenarios across multiple assets. It is a JAVA code application that enables machine-to-machine access between a client platform and the Campaign Manager application program interface (API)...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Simple Subset Wizard

The Simple Subset Wizard (SSW) was developed for the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) to simplify the myriad ways of ordering or obtaining subsets of satellite data from EOSDIS’ different data centers. It provides a simple, coherent interface to a variety of subsetters at ten of the centers. The...

Briefs : Software
Kameleon-Plus: Data Access, Interpolation, and Fieldline Tracing Library for Space Weather Simulation Data

This library provides an abstraction layer that an end user can access, interpolate, and perform fieldline integration for space weather simulation data. Normally, accessing and interpolating space weather simulation data requires knowledge...

Briefs : Software
Software for Lossless Data Compression

Lossless data compression has been employed in space to reduce communication bandwidth requirements for onboard storage for more than 15 years. A widely used space compression standard is the recommendation published by the Consultative Committee on Space Data Systems (CCSDS). The standard describes a...

Briefs : Software
Asynchronous Message Service (AMS) Software Libraries

This software implements the protocols described in the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) publication CCSDS 735.1-B-1. The purpose of the protocols is to enable the exchange of messages among a group of applications. The protocols provide several mechanisms for message...

Briefs : Software
Software for Executing International Standard CCSDS 123B

Advanced remote-sensing instruments in recent years often employ multiple wavelengths for maximal science return. Many of them comprise hundreds to over a thousand spectral bands. These instruments multiply the data volume and stress the communication bandwidth. With previously deployed...

Briefs : Software
TASAR and TAP: Airborne Trajectory Management Enabled by Traffic-Aware Software

This innovation consists of the Traffic Aware Strategic Aircrew Request (TASAR) concept and the associated Traffic Aware Planner (TAP) software. TASAR is intended to enable pilots to discover trajectory improvement opportunities while en route that will result in...

Briefs : Software

Module::Build::Database was developed as part of the Atmospheric Composition Processing System, which works with the Science Investigator-Led Processing System for the Ozone Monitoring Instrument. The technology allows the user to distribute changes to the schema in a database alongside software that relies on the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Safety Analysis of Conflict Prevention Algorithms

Different types of information are used to help aircraft maintain separation standards. At the lowest level, information is needed to indicate if separation standards will be violated in the near future, called a conflict. Once a conflict is detected, then conflict resolution information may be...

Briefs : Information Technology
CT-CURS: Unwrapping/Re-slicing Software for Cylindrical Objects Inspected Using Computed Tomography

Ultra-thin-wall metallic cylinders are extremely difficult to analyze for flaws from top-view X-ray computed tomography (CT) slices and volume renderings. A protocol has been developed using software to unwrap and re-slice the ultra-thinwall...

Briefs : Information Technology
Trajectory Specification for High-Capacity Air Traffic Control

The doubling or tripling of airspace capacity that will be needed over the next several decades will require that tactical separation guidance be automated for appropriately equipped aircraft in high-density airspace. Four-dimensional (4D) trajectory assignment (three-dimensional...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Barrel Distortion Correction Image Processing Algorithm for Fish-Eye Lenses

Immediately following firing of the solid rocket booster (SRB) separation motors during STS-134 ascent, an unknown object resembling a headless bolt was captured by one of the SRB onboard cameras. This object had a length-to-width ratio of approximately 4:1 and appeared...

Briefs : Information Technology
Whole Symbol Moments SNR Estimator Analysis and Implementation

A data-dependent algorithm was developed for estimating symbol signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) with a non-integral number of samples per symbol. The classical split symbol SNR estimator algorithm was adapted to incorporate the whole symbol by removing the data polarity.

Briefs : Information Technology
Identification of Abnormal Noise Temperature Patterns in Deep Space Network Antennas Using Fuzzy Logic

The communication between NASA space mission operations teams and their respective spacecraft in outer space is accomplished via the Deep Space Network (DSN). To ensure proper operations in returning telemetry data to mission operations,...

Briefs : Information Technology
Controllable V-Notch in Spacecraft Antenna Pattern for Spacecraft Pointing and Orientation Determination

A spacecraft high-gain antenna (HGA) was designed with a sharp Vnotch in its far-field cross-pole pattern to determine the spacecraft pointing and attitude relative to the Earth receiving antenna station. The notch depth, relative to the...

Briefs : Materials
Puncture Self-Healing Polymer for Aerospace Applications

A document discusses a puncture self-healing polymer for space exploration that is capable of puncture healing upon impact. Puncture healing occurs instantaneously, providing mechanical property retention in lightweight structures.

Briefs : Information Technology
Quick Thrust Profile Design Analysis for Verifying Spacecraft Operational Capabilities

A paper describes a process for imposing safety constraints on a spacecraft trajectory design. The conventional process has the ACS (Attitude Control System) team define geometric constraints, then the NAV (Navigation) team produces a compliant thrust...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Co-Optimized, Blunt-Body Re-entry Vehicle Design Process

A document describes a design optimization method for determining optimal shapes for vehicles with mid-range lift-to-drag ratios that are entering or re-entering planetary atmospheres. The design space includes consideration of hypersonic aerothermodynamic properties (for minimizing...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
COEDI Instrument Design Development for the GEOCAPE Mission

A document describes a coastal ocean color instrument for geostationary orbit that meets the science requirements within a size, mass, and cost package that is acceptable within current budgetary constraints. This work advances the instrument design concept for the Coastal Ocean...

Briefs : Information Technology
Numerical Evaluation of Near-Hypersingular Integrals

A document discusses a method for simple and efficient numerical integration (quadrature) of integrals characterized by a near-hypersingularity. Near-hypersingular integrals arise in gradients of Newton-type potentials when the fields at a desired observation point are close to the source. The...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Intercalibration of Measurements from Microwave Sensors

A study discusses a robust intercalibration technique using a well validated radiative transfer code that can be applied to the higher-frequency sounding channels for the NASA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. Intercalibration of these high-frequency sounding channels will...

Product of the Month

Mentor Graphics Corp., Wilsonville, OR, has introduced the first phase of a new systems design enterprise platform for printed circuit board (PCB) systems. The Xpedition™platform combines an intuitive design environment with designer-driven automation. The Xpedition PCB layout technology enables placement planning for...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Advances in Manufacturing Fiber Optic Gyroscopes

Since it was first proposed in 1975, the fiber optic gyroscope (FOG) has steadily improved in performance and manufacturability. Now a mainstream, high-volume manufactured product with performance approaching Ring Laser Gyros (RLG), FOGs offer substantial advantages over competitive technologies...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Beyond Smart Vision

With the proliferation of smart vision (SV) cameras and platforms it is understandable that automation engineers begin to define vision technology capabilities based on the performance and features of these popular and easy to implement products. Although they are effective for addressing a broad range of common vision...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Product of the Month: Non-Contact Laser Beam Monitoring System

Ophir Photonics (North Logan, UT) announced the newest version of BeamWatch™, a non-contact, focus spot size and position monitor for very high power YAG and fiber lasers used in material processing applications. Because there is no contact with the laser beam, the system has no...

Products : Photonics/Optics
1-Chip CMOS HD Video Camera

Toshiba Imaging Systems Division (ISD) (Irvine, CA) has released the IK-HR3H, a feature-rich, 1-chip CMOS, 2.1 megapixel video camera that provides optimal color accuracy and advanced noise reduction technology via a 1⁄3-inch, 1080p high definition sensor. The ultra-small remote head (only 1.08 in. × 1.08 in. ×...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Multispectral Photodiode Array

PIXELTEQ (Largo, FL) has released its PixelSensor™ 8-band multispectral photodiode array, packing eight wavelength-selective photodiodes into a compact 9mm square sensor. The PixelSensor photodiode splits the visible spectrum into eight discrete color bands. Its standard 20-pin LCC package can be surface or...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Configurable Fiber Laser Workstation

IPG Photonics Corporation (Oxford, MA) has introduced the IX-200-F, an advanced fiber laser micromachining system for general purpose, R&D and batch-scale production applications. IPG’s IX-200-F is a fully enclosed and interlocked CDRH Class 1 system, configurable with a wide range of IPG fiber lasers...

Products : Photonics/Optics
20-Element Photodiode

Opto Diode (Newbury Park, CA) a division of ITW, has announced the second in the AXUV series of multi-element photodiodes. The new 20-element AXUV20ELG features a 22-pin, dual in-line package with 100 percent internal quantum efficiency (QE). Bolometry, the measurement of minute amounts of radiant energy, is a key...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Off-Axis Parabolic Mirror

Optical Surfaces Ltd. has been selected to supply a mounted 600mm diameter off-axis parabolic mirror to the Samsung Thales R&D Center in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. The high precision (surface accuracy lambda / 20) off-axis parabolic mirror will be used by Samsung’s optical system design team as a universal...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Compact Recorder

MIKROTRON (Unterschleissheim, Bavaria) has announced the MotionBLITZ® CVR, a compact recorder that captures up to 12 seconds of 2,336 × 1,728-pixel video recorded at 560 frames per second (fps) and up to 14.8 seconds at 1080P at 900 fps. The MotionBLITZ® CVR offers even more advantages when coupled with its...

Products : Photonics/Optics
6 MP CMOS Image Sensor

The KAC-06040 Image Sensor from Truesense Imaging (Rochester, NY) is a 6 megapixel (2832 x 2128) 1-inch optical format device that provides 10-bit full resolution output at up to 160 fps. It joins the 12 megapixel KAC-12040 Image Sensor as the latest member of the TRUESENSE 4.7 micron CMOS Image Sensor Family, a platform...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Short Pulse, UV Fiber Laser

The newest short pulse, UV fiber laser from Coherent, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) is called the Daytona HE. With output at 355 nm, it produces nanosecond and shorter pulses with peak powers of >45 kW (at repetition rates up to 525 kHz) and high pulse energies of >70 μJ (at up to 325 kHz repetition rate). Combined...

Articles : Lighting
Liquid Cooling Technology for LEDs

Best quality LED A-lamp light bulbs provide a superior, energy-efficient alternative to incandescent bulbs, which have essentially been banned as of January 1, 2014. LED bulbs offer the same amount of light as an incandescent while using up to 80 % less energy. There still remains, however, a wide discrepancy...

Articles : Lighting
Finding the Optimal Lighting Solution for Line-Scan Applications

In machine vision systems, acquiring images of moving targets is a challenge and consequently the best image requires three fundamentals to be well defined:

an excellent camera; an appropriate lens; an appropriate illumination.

All three items are the key to enable subsequent...

Application Briefs : Lighting
LED Street Lights Reduce Energy Consumption by 72% at Power Station

When the NRG power plant in El Segundo, Calif., was redesigned, two towers were demolished which caused extensive light from the plant to bother local neighbors. In an effort to get rid of this light pollution and update old lighting fixtures at the same time, NRG turned to...

Application Briefs : Lighting
Production Company Uses LED Street Lights To Illuminate Dark Parking Lot

Imagina US is a pioneer production company in the U.S. Hispanic TV industry that has a newly built headquarters in Miami, Florida. Owners were seeking low-wattage outdoor lighting for the facility’s parking lots. At first, the owners were looking at 400-watt metal halide...

Application Briefs : Lighting
Customized Goniophotometer System Tests High Intensity Obstruction Lights

Hughey & Phillips (H&P) designs and manufactures flashing and steady state anti-collision lighting used on above-ground obstructions like communication towers, antennas, buildings, wind turbines, grain elevators, smoke stacks, bridges and other man-made structures...

Briefs : Lighting
First Single-Molecule LED Developed

The ultimate challenge in the race to miniaturize light emitting diodes (LED) has finally been met. A team led by the Institut de Physique et de Chimie des Matériaux de Strasbourg (IPCMS, CNRS/Université de Strasbourg), in collaboration with UPMC and CEA, has developed the first-ever single-molecule LED.

Briefs : Lighting
Two-Dimensional Material Shows Promise for Optoelectronics

A team of MIT researchers has used a novel material that’s just a few atoms thick to create devices that can harness or emit light. This proof-of-concept could lead to ultra-thin, lightweight, and flexible photovoltaic cells, light emitting diodes (LEDs), and other optoelectronic...

Briefs : Lighting
Improving the Efficiency of Green-Blue-Ultraviolet Light-Emitting Diodes

Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have suggested a method that could significantly increase the efficiency of green-blue-ultraviolet light-emitting diodes based on GaInN/GaN, AlGaN/GaN, and AlInN/GaN quantum wells. Their approach could enable advances...

News : Lighting
Scientists Build Thinnest-Possible LEDs To Be Stronger, More Energy Efficient

Most modern electronics, from flat-screen TVs and smartphones to wearable technologies and computer monitors, use tiny light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. These LEDs are based on semiconductors that emit light with the movement of electrons. As devices get smaller and...

News : Lighting
LED Drivers Use Less Energy, Produce More Light With Gallium Nitride Transistors

Researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF have found a way to make LED lamps even more compact while supplying more light than commercially available models. The key to success is transistors made of the semiconductor material gallium...

News : Lighting
Artificial Metamaterial Could Speed Up Underwater Communications

University of California, San Diego electrical engineering professor Zhaowei Liu and colleagues have taken the first steps in a project to develop fast-blinking LED systems for underwater optical communications. Earlier this year, Liu and his colleagues showed that an artificial...

News : Lighting
Novel LEDs Pave The Way To Cheaper Displays

Researchers from the universities of Bonn and Regensburg have developed a novel type of organic light-emitting diode (OLED). These lights are suitable for the design of particularly energy-efficient cheap displays, which find applications in smart phones, tablet PCs or TVs. Applications in lighting...

Products : Lighting
Wire-to-Board Connector

ERNI (Richmond, VA) has developed a compact and economical wire-to-board interconnect solution with high current density in a small, 2.0mm pitch form factor. The iBridge™ single-row cable connector system delivers up to 5A per contact at 20 °C when paired with an appropriate discrete wire. The male iBridge connectors...

Products : Lighting
Based LEDs

Visual Communications Company (VCC) (Poway, CA) has introduced based LEDs designed to serve as drop-in replacements for outmoded T1-3/4 and T3-1/4 incandescent lamps. Available in a range of base designs, including wedge, bayonet, midget flange, and midget groove, the LEDs feature average lifespans of 100,000 hours.

Products : Lighting
Ballast Control ICs

International Rectifier (El Segundo, CA) has introduced a control IC for magnetic ballasts used in fluorescent lamps. Available in a compact SO8 package, the IRS2538DS integrates a 600V half-bridge control circuit, bootstrap MOSFET, and protection features. The IRS2538DS also includes pre-heat, ignition, and running lamp...

Products : Lighting
Chip-on-Board (COB) LEDs

Everlight Electronics Co. Ltd. (Taipei, Taiwan) has expanded its high performance JU series of chip-on-board (COB) LEDs to include 7, 10 and 15 W types in addition to the existing 4W version. The JU series now consists of four JU1215 (15×12×1.6mm) and one JU2024 (20×24×1.6mm) type/s with powers ranging from 4 watts...

Products : Lighting
LED Drivers

SL Power Electronics (Ventura, CA) has introduced its new LE Series of LED drivers. Available in 10 models from 75 to 300 watts, the constant current LED drivers enable highly efficient LED lighting for applications that require more than eight hours per day of operating life. Featuring a wide input voltage range of 90 to 305 VAC, up...

Products : Lighting
Aluminum Body LED Work Light

The EPL-FL1524-LED-120X12- C1D2-50 hazardous area LED work light from Larson Electronics (Kemp, TX) provides operators with a far more durable and reliable high performance alternative to standard incandescent and fluorescent work lights. This LED drop light is designed similarly to a standard fluorescent drop light,...

Who's Who
Michelle Munk, Principal Investigator, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

Michelle Munk is Entry, Descent and Landing Principal Investigator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate. Most recently, Munk was the subsystem lead and the Deputy Project Manager for the Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent, and Landing Instrumentation (MEDLI)...


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