Products: Green Design & Manufacturing
Digital LED Driver ICs With Flicker-Free Dimming

iWatt, Inc. (Los Gatos, CA) released two primary-side-regulated, leading- and trailing-edge-dimmable, AC/DC Digital PWM Controllers targeting 100V/230VAC offline LED lighting applications.

Question of the Week
Is there another "Earth" out there, fit for life as we know it?
This week's question looks at an announcement from scientists operating NASA's Kepler satellite, who reported this week that they had identified 1,235 possible planets orbiting other stars, potentially three times the previously recorded number. Although no Earth-like planet has been...

The High Altitude Airship (HAA) has various application potential and mission scenarios that require onboard energy harvesting and power distribution systems. The power...

Data Device Corporation (Bohemia, NY) introduces a compact (6.3 in X 4.6 in), multi-channel Solid-State Power Controller card with the capability to distribute and control power to four independent 75...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
A²⁰¹Hg⁺ Comagnetometer for ¹⁹⁹Hg⁺ Trapped Ion Space Atomic Clocks

A method has been developed for unambiguously measuring the exact magnetic field experienced by trapped mercury ions contained within an atomic clock intended for space applications. In general, atomic clocks are insensitive to external perturbations that would change...

Gallium nitride (GaN) material holds promise for emerging high-power devices that are more energy efficient than existing technologies – but these GaN devices...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
SpaceCube 2.0: An Advanced Hybrid Onboard Data Processor

The SpaceCube 2.0 is a compact, high-performance, low-power onboard processing system that takes advantage of cutting-edge hybrid (CPU/FPGA/DSP) processing elements. The SpaceCube 2.0 design concept includes two commercial Virtex-5 field-programmable gate array (FPGA) parts protected by...

Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Packet-Optical Integration

The operator’s paradox for the past several years has been that while there is an explosion in data traffic volumes to the tune of 45-65% yearly, the corresponding revenue growth is in the single digits at best....


PTC, Needham, MA, has announced Creo™ design software, which is scheduled for availability mid-year. The software is a suite of scalable, interoperable, open product design applications that includes AnyRole Apps™,...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Multi-Segment Radius Measurement Using an Absolute Distance Meter Through a Null Assembly

This system was one of the test methods considered for measuring the radius of curvature of one or more of the 18 segmented mirrors that form the 6.5 m diameter primary mirror (PM) of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The assembled telescope will be...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Fiber-Optic Magnetic-Field-Strength Measurement System for Lightning Detection

A fiber-optic sensor system is designed to measure magnetic fields associated with a lightning stroke. Field vector magnitudes are detected and processed for multiple locations. Since physical limitations prevent the sensor elements from being located in close...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Non-Contact Thermal Properties Measurement With Low-Power Laser and IR Camera System

As shown by the Phoenix Mars Lander’s Thermal and Electrical Conductivity Probe (TECP), contact measurements of thermal conductivity and diffusivity (using a modified flux-plate or line-source heat-pulse method) are constrained by a number of factors. Robotic...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Photocatalytic Active Radiation Measurements and Use

Photocatalytic materials are being used to purify air, to kill microbes, and to keep surfaces clean. A wide variety of materials are being developed, many of which have different abilities to absorb various wavelengths of light. Material variability, combined with both spectral illumination...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Computer Generated Hologram System for Wavefront Measurement System Calibration

Computer Generated Holograms (CGHs) have been used for some time to calibrate interferometers that require nulling optics. A typical scenario is the testing of aspheric surfaces with an interferometer placed near the paraxial center of curvature. Existing CGH...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
High-Performance Wireless Telemetrye

Prior technology for machinery data acquisition used slip rings, FM radio communication, or non-real-time digital communication. Slip rings are often noisy, require much space that may not be available, and require access to the shaft, which may not be possible. FM radio is not accurate or stable, and is...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Telemetry-Based Ranging

A telemetry-based ranging scheme was developed in which the downlink ranging signal is eliminated, and the range is computed directly from the downlink telemetry signal. This is the first Deep Space Network (DSN) ranging technology that does not require the spacecraft to transmit a separate ranging signal. By contrast,...

A complementary metal oxide/semiconductor (CMOS) image detector now undergoing development is designed to exhibit less cross-talk and greater full-well capacity than do prior CMOS...

Briefs: Software
JWST Wavefront Control Toolbox

A Matlab-based toolbox has been developed for the wavefront control and optimization of segmented optical surfaces to correct for possible misalignments of James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) using influence functions. The toolbox employs both iterative and non-iterative methods to converge to an optimal solution by...

Briefs: Software
Java Image I/O for VICAR, PDS, and ISIS

This library, written in Java, supports input and output of images and metadata (labels) in the VICAR, PDS image, and ISIS-2 and ISIS-3 file formats. Three levels of access exist.

Briefs: Software
X-Band Acquisition Aid Software

The X-band Acquisition Aid (AAP) software is a low-cost acquisition aid for the Deep Space Network (DSN) antennas, and is used while acquiring a spacecraft shortly after it has launched. When enabled, the acquisition aid provides corrections to the antenna-predicted trajectory of the spacecraft to compensate for...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Range 7 Scanner Integration With PaR Robot Scanning System

An interface bracket and coordinate transformation matrices were designed to allow the Range 7 scanner to be mounted on the PaR Robot detector arm for scanning the heat shield or other object placed in the test cell. A process was designed for using Rapid Form XOR to stitch data from...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
High-Operating-Temperature Barrier Infrared Detector With Tailorable Cutoff Wavelength

A mid-wavelength infrared (MWIR) barrier photodetector is capable of operating at higher temperature than the prevailing MWIR detectors based on InSb. The standard high-operating-temperature barrier infrared detector

(HOT-BIRD) is made with an InAsSb...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Methods of Antimicrobial Coating of Diverse Materials

Methods of coating diverse substrate materials with antimicrobial agents have been developed. Originally intended to reduce health risks to astronauts posed by pathogenic microorganisms that can grow on surfaces in spacecraft, these methods could also be used on Earth — for example, to...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Antimicrobial-Coated Granules for Disinfecting Water

Methods of preparing antimicrobial-coated granules for disinfecting flowing potable water have been developed. Like the methods reported in the immediately preceding article, these methods involve chemical preparation of substrate surfaces (in this case, the surfaces of granules) to enable...

Briefs: Materials
A Model of Reduced Kinetics for Alkane Oxidation Using Constituents and Species for N-Heptane

The reduction of elementary or skeletal oxidation kinetics to a subgroup of tractable reactions for inclusion in turbulent combustion codes has been the subject of numerous studies. The skeletal mechanism is obtained from the elementary mechanism by...

Briefs: Materials
Thermally Conductive Tape Based on Carbon Nanotube Arrays

To increase contact conductance between two mating surfaces, a conductive “tape” has been developed by growing dense arrays of carbon nanotubes (CNTs, graphite layers folded into cylinders) on both sides of a thermally conductive metallic foil. When the two mating surfaces are brought...

Briefs: Materials
Lightweight, Ultra-High-Temperature, CMC-Lined Carbon/Carbon Structures

lished engineering material used extensively in aerospace. The beneficial properties of C/C include high strength, low density, and toughness. Its shortcoming is its limited usability at temperatures higher than the oxidation temperature of carbon — approximately 400 °C....

Briefs: Materials
Two Catalysts for Selective Oxidation of Contaminant Gases

Two catalysts for the selective oxidation of trace amounts of contaminant gases in air have been developed for use aboard the International Space Station. These catalysts might also be useful for reducing concentrations of fumes in terrestrial industrial facilities — especially...

Briefs: Materials
Nanoscale Metal Oxide Semiconductors for Gas Sensing

A report describes the fabrication and testing of nanoscale metal oxide semiconductors (MOSs) for gas and chemical sensing. This document examines the relationship between processing approaches and resulting sensor behavior. This is a core question related to a range of applications of...

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