News
C37.90.1: IEEE Standard for SWC Tests for Relays and Relays Systems Associated with Electric Power Apparatus

Two types of design tests for relays and relay systems that relate to the immunity of this equipment to repetitive electrical transients are specified. Test generator characteristics, test waveforms, selection of equipment terminals on...

News : Energy
Wind Turbine Placement Research Facility

Researchers from California Institute of Technology have been conducting a field tests at an experimental two-acre wind farm in northern Los Angeles County. The farm, known as the Field Laboratory for Optimized Wind Energy (FLOWE), houses 24 10-meter-tall, 1.2-meter-wide vertical-axis wind turbines...

News : Energy
Electronic "Bucket Brigade" Could Boost Solar Cell Voltages

If solar cells could generate higher voltages when sunlight falls on them, they’d produce more electrical power more efficiently. Ferroelectrics - materials with an overall electrical polarization - can develop very high photovoltages under illumination. Berkeley Lab researchers have...

Articles : Motion Control
NASA Announces New Launch System

Today, NASA announced the new Space Launch System (SLS), an advanced heavy-lift launch vehicle that will provide an entirely new national capability for human exploration beyond Earth's orbit.

News : Electronics & Computers
MUTE: The Efficient City Car

MUTE, an electric vehicle from the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), is an agile, sporty two-seater for regional road traffic. Its lithium-ion battery is designed to guarantee a range of at least 100 kilometers. When needed, a zinc-air battery serves as a range extender.

Question of the Week
Will robot writers play a valuable role in newsrooms?
Code created by a start-up company called Narrative Science takes data, including sports statistics, company financial reports, and housing sales, and turns it into readable news articles. Supporters of this type of software note an increasing sophistication in the technology's ability to make...
Briefs : Energy
Hybrid Power Management-Based Vehicle Architecture
Hybrid Power Management (HPM) is the integration of diverse, state-of-the-art power devices in an optimal configuration for space and terrestrial applications. The basic vehicle architecture consists of a primary power source, and possibly other power sources, that provides all power to a common...
News : Electronics & Computers
Boost for Energy Storage Systems

Batteries could get an upgrade from an Oak Ridge National Laboratory discovery that increases power, energy density, and safety while reducing charge time. The results could also have significance for applications in stationary energy storage systems for solar and wind power, and for smart grids.

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Data Service Provider Cost Estimation Tool

The Data Service Provider Cost Estimation Tool (CET) and Comparables Database (CDB) package provides to NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise (ESE) the ability to estimate the full range of year-by-year lifecycle cost estimates for the implementation and operation of data service providers required by ESE...

News : Energy
Electricity and Carbon Offsets from Hog Waste

A system constructed by Duke University and Duke Energy on a hog finishing facility converts hog waste into electricity and creates carbon offset credits. Google, which invests in carbon offsets to fulfill its own carbon neutrality goals, announced its endorsement of the project this week.

Question of the Week
Do the benefits of a "cloud-first" strategy outweigh the risks and drawbacks?
This week's Question: While companies debate the merits of cloud computing, the U.S. government has been weighing its own options. By gradually shifting to maintenance-free services that are based on the Internet and run by private companies, Vivek Kundra, the White...
Features : Energy
Inverter Testing and Certification for Global Markets

Inverters/converters are a key element of most renewable energy systems where the power generated is not suitable to either be used locally or to provide power directly to the electric utility. Many renewable sources such as photovoltaics generate DC power, while some renewable sources such...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Dynamic Monitoring of Cleanroom Fallout Using an Air Particle Counter

The particle fallout limitations and periodic allocations for the James Webb Space Telescope are very stringent. Standard prediction methods are complicated by non-linearity and monitoring methods that are insufficiently responsive. A method for dynamically predicting the...

Briefs : Software
Test Generator for MATLAB Simulations

MATLAB Automated Test Tool, version 3.0 (MATT 3.0) is a software package that provides automated tools that reduce the time needed for extensive testing of simulation models that have been constructed in the MATLAB programming language by use of the Simulink and Real-Time Workshop programs. MATT 3.0 runs on...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Crush Test Abuse Stand

The purpose of this system is to simulate an internal short on battery cells by causing deformation (a crushing force) in a cell without penetration. This is performed by activating a hydraulic cylinder on one side of a blast wall with a hydraulic pump located on the other. The operator can control the rate of the crush by...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Fused Reality for Enhanced Flight Test Capabilities

The feasibility of using Fused Reality-based simulation technology to enhance flight test capabilities has been investigated. In terms of relevancy to piloted evaluation, there remains no substitute for actual flight tests, even when considering the fidelity and effectiveness of modern...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Enhancement to Non-Contacting Stress Measurement of Blade Vibration Frequency

A system for turbo machinery blade vibration has been developed that combines time-of-arrival sensors for blade vibration amplitude measurement and radar sensors for vibration frequency and mode identification. The enabling technology for this continuous blade...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Thermography to Inspect Insulation of Large Cryogenic Tanks

Thermography has been used in the past to monitor active, large, cryogenic storage tanks. This approach proposes to use thermography to monitor new or refurbished tanks, prior to filling with cryogenic liquid, to look for insulation voids. Thermography may provide significant cost and...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
UAVSAR Active Electronically Scanned Array

The Uninhabited Airborne Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) is a pod-based, L-band (1.26 GHz), repeatpass, interferometric, synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) used for Earth science applications. Repeat-pass interferometric radar measurements from an airborne platform require an antenna that can be...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Positively Verifying Mating of Previously Unverifiable Flight Connectors

Current practice is to uniquely key the connectors, which, when mated, could not be verified by ground tests such as those used in explosive or non-explosive initiators and pyro valves. However, this practice does not assure 100-percent correct mating. This problem could be...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Radiation-Tolerant Intelligent Memory Stack — RTIMS

This innovation provides reconfigurable circuitry and 2-Gb of error-corrected or 1-Gb of triple-redundant digital memory in a small package. RTIMS uses circuit stacking of heterogeneous components and radiation shielding technologies. A reprogrammable field-programmable gate array (FPGA), six...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Ultra-Low-Dropout Linear Regulator

A radiation-tolerant, ultra-low-dropout linear regulator can operate between –150 and 150 ºC. Prototype components were demonstrated to be performing well after a total ionizing dose of 1 Mrad (Si). Unlike existing components, the linear regulator developed during this activity is unconditionally stable over...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Excitation of a Parallel Plate Waveguide by an Array of Rectangular Waveguides

This work addresses the problem of excitation of a parallel plate waveguide by an array of rectangular waveguides that arises in applications such as the continuous transverse stub (CTS) antenna and dual-polarized parabolic cylindrical reflector antennas excited by a...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) Simulator

The Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) Simulator is a portable training aid, or demonstration tool, designed to physically illustrate real-time critical-safety concepts of electrical lockout/tagout. The objective is to prevent misinterpretations of what is off and what is on during maintenance and repair of complex electrical...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
FPGA for Power Control of MSL Avionics

A PLGT FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) is included in the LCC (Load Control Card), GID (Guidance Interface & Drivers), TMC (Telemetry Multiplexer Card), and PFC (Pyro Firing Card) boards of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft. (PLGT stands for PFC, LCC, GID, and TMC.) It provides the interface...

Briefs : Software
Sptrace

Sptrace is a general-purpose space utilization tracing system that is conceptually similar to the commercial “Purify” product used to detect leaks and other memory usage errors. It is designed to monitor space utilization in any sort of “heap,” i.e., a region of data storage on some device (nominally memory; possibly shared and...

Briefs : Software
Interplanetary Overlay Network Bundle Protocol Implementation

The Interplanetary Overlay Network (ION) system’s BP package, an implementation of the Delay-Tolerant Networking (DTN) Bundle Protocol (BP) and supporting services, has been specifically designed to be suitable for use on deep-space robotic vehicles. Although the ION BP...

Briefs : Software
S-Band POSIX Device Drivers for RTEMS

This is a set of POSIX device driver level abstractions in the RTEMS RTOS (Real-Time Executive for Multiprocessor Systems real-time operating system) to SBand radio hardware devices that have been instantiated in an FPGA (field-programmable gate array). These include A/D (analog-to-digital) sample capture,...

Briefs : Software
STRS SpaceWire FPGA Module

An FPGA module leverages the previous work from Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) relating to NASA’s Space Telecommunications Radio System (STRS) project. The STRS SpaceWire FPGA Module is written in the Verilog Register Transfer Level (RTL) language, and it encapsulates an unmodified GSFCcore (which is written in...

Briefs : Software
Geodetic Strain Analysis Tool

A geodetic software analysis tool enables the user to analyze 2D crustal strain from geodetic ground motion, and create models of crustal deformation using a graphical interface. Users can use any geodetic measurements of ground motion and derive the 2D crustal strain interactively. This software also provides a...

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