News
New Sensors Map Lightning Strikes

To better predict severe weather, a device developed at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) has become a valuable tool in researchers' quest to determine how lightning is spawned in clouds.

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics

Bending light beams to your whim sounds like a job for a wizard or a complex array of bulky mirrors, lenses and prisms, but a few tiny liquid bubbles may be all that is necessary to open the...

News
Programmable DNA Glue Guides Self-Assembling Devices

A team of researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University has found a way to self-assemble complex structures out of bricks smaller than a grain of salt. The self-assembly method could help solve one of the major challenges in tissue engineering:...

News
New Sensors Map Lightning Strikes

To better predict severe weather, a device developed at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) has become a valuable tool in researchers' quest to determine how lightning is spawned in clouds.

News
Inflatable Antennae Gives CubeSats Greater Reach

"CubeSats,” and other small satellites, are making space exploration cheaper and more accessible: The minuscule probes can be launched into orbit at a fraction of the weight and cost of traditional satellites.

Question of the Week
Will Wearable Computing Become Mainstream?

Bluetooth HD earmuffs, made by activewear company 180s, will debut this fall. The Bluetooth product, which warms your ears while also hiding speakers and a microphone, is another example of wearable computing — a technology area that includes trendy devices like smartwatches and Google Glass. Many...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics

There are several ways to “trap” a beam of light — usually with mirrors, other reflective surfaces, or high-tech materials such as photonic crystals. But now researchers at MIT have discovered...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics

Precision Glass & Optics (PG&O) (Santa Ana, CA) has announced a line of Littrow dispersion prisms for laser cavities and other optical systems, such as spectrographs. PG&O offers a wide range of coated...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics

IDS Imaging Development Systems (Woburn, MA) announced that it is shipping its new uEye™ XS, the world's smallest machine vision camera with autofocus. Measuring a compact 23 x 26.5 x 21.5 mm (.9" x 1.04" x...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics

Optical Surfaces’ (Surrey, UK) beam expanders incorporate off-axis mirrors which provide an unobstructed output and highly efficient transmission. Beam expanders are the optical tool of choice for increasing the...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics

McPherson’s (Chelmsford MA) vacuum ultraviolet spectrometer, Model 234/302, is now complete with sensitive, cooled, scientific grade CCD detectors. The compact 200mm focal length spectrometer has...

News
Army Plans To Remove Tons Of Toxins From Lethal Rounds

An enemy convoy transporting a supply of fuel rumbles across the desert floor, an ideal target for armor-piercing incendiary projectiles. These projectiles are most useful for "after-armor effects," such as an incandescent flash immediately after penetrating a hard target. The resulting...

News
Army extends Global Information Grid Network To Company Level

As the U.S. mission in Afghanistan changes and forces conduct more dispersed operations, new tactical communications equipment for vehicles at the company level will help extend the network over vast distances to keep soldiers connected and commanders informed.

News
Researchers Develop Next-Generation Electronic Warfare Tools

When U.S pilots encounter enemy air defenses, onboard electronic warfare (EW) systems protect them by interfering with incoming radar signals – a technique known as electronic attack (EA) or jamming. Conversely, electronic protection (EP) technology prevents hostile forces from using...

Blog

NASA’s post-Shuttle era has demonstrated that the agency continues to achieve amazing engineering feats – not the least of which is the Mars rover Curiosity, which has met the main goal of its 2-year...

News
Fog Harvester Pulls Water from Thin Air

A fog-harvesting system developed by MIT and Chilean researchers could provide potable water for the world’s driest regions.

News
First Human-to-Human Brain Interface: Researcher Controls Colleague's Motions

University of Washington researchers have performed what they believe is the first noninvasive human-to-human brain interface, with researcher Rajesh Rao able to send a brain signal via the Internet to control the hand motions of fellow researcher Andrea Stocco.

Podcasts
Garry Lyles, Chief Engineer, Marshall Space Flight Center, AL

Garry Lyles is Chief Engineer for the Space Launch System Program office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. In 2012, the National Space Club named Lyles the Astronautics Engineer of the Year in honor of his decades of advancing the nation’s human spaceflight systems.

Briefs: Information Technology

Permanent magnet machines are used in many industrial applications because of their ability to produce high power densities. The market for such machines has been...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Fast, High-Precision Readout Circuit for Detector Arrays

The GEO-CAPE mission described in NASA’s Earth Science and Applications Decadal Survey requires high spatial, temporal, and spectral resolution measurements to monitor and characterize the rapidly changing chemistry of the troposphere over North and South Americas. High-frame-rate focal...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
A System for Measuring the Sway of the Vehicle Assembly Building

A system was developed to measure the sway of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at Kennedy Space Center. This system was installed in the VAB and gathered more than one total year of data. The building movement was correlated with measurements provided by three wind towers in...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
ISS Ammonia Leak Detection Through X-Ray Fluorescence

Ammonia leaks are a significant concern for the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS has external transport lines that direct liquid ammonia to radiator panels where the ammonia is cooled and then brought back to thermal control units. These transport lines and radiator panels are...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Hydrometeor Size Distribution Measurements by Imaging the Attenuation of a Laser Spot

The optical extinction of a laser due to scattering of particles is a well-known phenomenon. In a laboratory environment, this physical principle is known as the Beer-Lambert law, and is often used to measure the concentration of scattering particles in a fluid...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

Testing of victim detection radars has traditionally used human subjects who volunteer to be buried in, or climb into a space within, a rubble pile. This is not only uncomfortable, but can be...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

The Mixed Signal Radio Frequency Interface Front (MSRFIF) end is an energy harvesting product that can work from low frequencies (60 Hz or less) up to 250 MHz. Since analog signal processing may be needed for...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Quasi-Linear Circuit

This work involved developing space qualifiable switch mode DC/DC power supplies that improve performance with fewer components, and result in elimination of digital components and reduction in magnetics. This design is for missions where systems may be operating under extreme conditions, especially at elevated temperature...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
High-Speed, High-Resolution Time-to-Digital Conversion

This innovation is a series of time-tag pulses from a photomultiplier tube, featuring short time interval between pulses (e.g., 2.5 ns). Using the previous art, dead time between pulses is too long, or too much hardware is required, including a very-high-speed demultiplexer. A faster method...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Li-Ion Battery and Supercapacitor Hybrid Design for Long Extravehicular Activities

With the need for long periods of extravehicular activities (EVAs) on the Moon or Mars or a near-asteroid, the need for long-performance batteries has increased significantly. The energy requirements for the EVA suit, as well as surface systems such as rovers,...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Ultrasonic Low-Friction Containment Plate for Thermal and Ultrasonic Stir Weld Processes

The thermal stir welding (TSW) process is finding applications in fabrication of space vehicles. In this process, workpieces to be joined by TSW are drawn, by heavy forces, between “containment plates,” past the TSW tool that then causes joining of the...

Videos