Special Coverage

Soft Robot “Walks” on Any Terrain
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Using Microwaves to Produce High-Quality Graphene
Transducer-Actuator Systems for On-Machine Measurements and Automatic Part Alignment
Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors
Heavy Lift Wing in Ground (WIG) Cargo Flying Boat
Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines

Centennial Challenges

The NASA Regolith Excavation Cha llenge was held on August 2 and 3 on the campus of the California Poly - technic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. The competition required teams to build a roving excavator that could autonomously navigate, excavate, and transfer 150 kg of simulated lunar regolith (lunar soil) into a collector bin within 30 minutes. Excavating lunar regolith will be an important part of any construction projects or processing of natural resources on the Moon. NASA is looking for new ideas for excavation techniques that do not require excessively heavy machines or large amounts of power.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs

The Brighter Side of Globalization for Manufacturers: New, Innovative Product Development Models

By Fielder Hiss
Director of Product
Dassault Systèmes
SolidWorks Corp.
Concord, MA

Global competition is an oft-cited reason for any number of ills in manufacturing, from job loss to price erosion. Viewed through another prism by savvy companies, however, globalization is something else altogether — specifically, a competitive advantage.

Posted in: Articles, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Globalization, Product development

Dr. Jonathan Trent, Bioengineering Research Scientist, Ames Research Center

Dr. Jonathan Trent is an expert in the use of extremophile proteins to create nanoscale electronic devices. An extremophile is a life form capable of surviving in the harshest conditions on earth including severe heat, bitter cold, and extremely acidic or alkaline environments. The recipient of a 2006 Nano 50 Award as one of the leading innovators in the field of nanotechnology, Dr. Trent also leads the GREEN (Global Research into Energy and the Environment at NASA) Team at Ames Research Center.

Posted in: Who's Who

Object Recognition Using Feature-and Color-Based Methods

The combination of methods works better than does either method alone.

An improved adaptive method of processing image data in an artificial neural network has been developed to enable automated, real-time recognition of possibly moving objects under changing (including suddenly changing) conditions of illumination and perspective. The method involves a combination of two prior object-recognition methods — one based on adaptive detection of shape features and one based on adaptive color segmentation — to enable recognition in situations in which either prior method by itself may be inadequate.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Neural networks, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Neural networks

Root Source Analysis/ValuStream™ — a Methodology for Identifying and Managing Risks

Root sources of uncertainty are taken into account in a rigorous, systematic way.

Root Source Analysis (RoSA) is a systems-engineering methodology that has been developed at NASA over the past five years. It is designed to reduce costs, schedule, and technical risks by systematically examining critical assumptions and the state of the knowledge needed to bring to fruition the products that satisfy mission-driven requirements, as defined for each element of the Work (or Product) Breakdown Structure (WBS or PBS). This methodology is sometimes referred to as the ValuStream method, as inherent in the process is the linking and prioritizing of uncertainties arising from knowledge shortfalls directly to the customer’s mission driven requirements. RoSA and ValuStream are synonymous terms.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Risk management

Ensemble: an Architecture for Mission-Operations Software

Several issues are addressed by capitalizing on the Eclipse open-source software framework.

“Ensemble” is the name of an open architecture for, and a methodology for the development of, spacecraft mission-operations software. Ensemble is also potentially applicable to the development of non-spacecraft mission-operations-type software.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Information Sciences, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Flight management systems, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Flight management systems, Spacecraft


Creaform, Levis, QE, Canada, offers the VIUscan™, the latest addition to the Handyscan 3D line of handheld scanners, which are used for the design, manufacturing, and inspection of any type of parts or assembly. VIUscan is a selfpositioning, high-resolution, portable 3D color scanner that creates an exact representation of an object, and generates files that can be exported to most CAD platforms. The scanner features simultaneous texture and geometry acquisition, real-time rendering, true color acquisition via a built-in lighting system, adjustable uniform texture resolution, and automatic texture mapping. The texture and geometry of an object are automatically acquired in the same reference system and aligned together, eliminating an additional alignment step normally required after scanning. Resolution parameters enable users to increase or decrease the texture and geometry resolution, independent of one another. It requires no external reference system and no external tracking or positioning devices. A topmounted button lets users switch between color-textured geometry scanning or geometry scanning only.

For Free Info Click Here.

Posted in: Products

Technology Uses In-Building Wi-Fi to Determine Location of Wireless Devices

LOCADIO technology pairs readings of IEEE 802.11× received signal-strength indication (RSSI) with probabilistic analysis of building floor plans to deduce where a wirelessenabled device is in a building. It can locate a wireless device within a room to an accuracy of about 1.5 meters. LOCADIO is “hardware-agnostic” in that it is not tethered to any specific brand of system hardware. LOCADIO complements GPS and RFID technologies, in that it operates indoors, can be implemented for a relatively few wireless-enabled devices, and works at ranges greater than RFID.

Posted in: Techs for License

On-Orbit Multi-Field Wavefront Control With a Kalman Filter

A document describes a multi-field wavefront control (WFC) procedure for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) on-orbit optical telescope element (OTE) fine-phasing using wavefront measurements at the NIRCam pupil. The control is applied to JWST primary mirror (PM) segments and secondary mirror (SM) simultaneously with a carefully selected ordering. Through computer simulations, the multi-field WFC procedure shows that it can reduce the initial system wavefront error (WFE), as caused by random initial system misalignments within the JWST fine-phasing error budget, from a few dozen um to below 50 nm across the entire NIRCam Field of View, and the WFC procedure is also computationally stable as the Monte-Carlo simulations indicate.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Physical Sciences, Calibration, Computer simulation, Optics, Optics, Reliability, Reliability

Advanced Particle Separation Technology Uses Coriolis Force and Specific Gravity

This technology selectively separates fine and small particles that have a desired particle size range by using the particles’ specific gravity and their various sedimentation rates in a rotating vessel of vibrating liquid. By adjusting the frequency and amplitude of the vibration, and by controlling the rotation of the vessel, the technology can enlarge what may be a close-to-equal settling ratio for small particles of high specific gravity and larger particles of low specific gravity, so as to achieve accurate separation by cross-sectional dimension or specific gravity.

Posted in: Techs for License

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