Sound-Off: The Imaging Advantages of Blue Light vs. White Light

Digital Image Correlation (DIC) is a non-contact optical method of measuring deformation and strain on a given material. Measurement accuracy, however, depends on contrast, illumination, and light intensity.

Posted in: News, Cameras, Imaging, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement
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A Balancing Act: How Months in Space Impact Astronauts' Performance

When you arrive back on Earth after a year in space, you’re going to feel it.

NASA and Jacob Bloomberg, senior scientist in the Houston, TX- headquartered Johnson Space Center, have been trying to quantify exactly what those effects will be — and how 12 months of microgravity impact an astronaut’s ability to perform simple operational tasks like opening a hatch or climbing a ladder.

Posted in: News, Patient Monitoring, Monitoring
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Sound-Off: How to Set Pass/Fail Thresholds for Self-Driving Vehicles

As Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technology evolves, how do you test autonomous cars that ‘learn from their mistakes?’

Posted in: News, Automotive, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement
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Hydraulic Carts Streamline Structural Tests for Aircraft

The Flight Loads Laboratory (FLL) at Armstrong Flight Research Center tests the strength and endurance of aircraft structures using hydraulic actuators to apply forces that simulate the stresses of takeoff, flight, and landing. The contract to build the FLL’s next-generation hydraulic controller system went to Moog Inc., an East Aurora, NY-based company that specializes in motion control systems. The company designed a multi-function mobile cart that not only houses the hydraulics for up to eight actuators, but also includes most of the necessary electronics, which were previously housed in the control room.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Test & Measurement
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Smart Buoy Measures Water Pollutants

Extensive water monitoring is indispensable for drinking water supply and water protection. Researchers have developed a smart monitoring system that combines various technologies in a depth-profile-measuring multi-sensor buoy for monitoring water bodies and algae growth. Conventional monitoring strategies are frequently based on a multitude of independently acting sensor systems. This aggravates and slows down integrated data evaluation.

Posted in: News, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement
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Ultrasensitive Sensors Keep Driverless Cars Safer

News of the first serious accident involving an automated electric vehicle made headlines recently. Researchers are counting on light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology, in combination with other components, to fulfill the requirements for independent steering, braking, and acceleration.

Posted in: News, Sensors, Test & Measurement
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Military Sensor Inspires Instrument to Search for Life on Mars

A sensing technique used by the U.S. military currently to remotely monitor the air to detect potentially life-threatening chemicals, toxins, and pathogens has inspired a new instrument that could “sniff” for life on Mars and other targets in the solar system.

Posted in: News, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement
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NASA Measures Raindrop Sizes from Space

For the first time, scientists have three-dimensional snapshots of raindrops and snowflakes around the world, thanks to the joint NASA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. With the new global data on raindrop and snowflake sizes, scientists can improve rainfall estimates from satellite data and numerical weather forecast models.

Posted in: News, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring
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NASA Tests Asteroid Sampling Instrument

The first of five instruments for a spacecraft that will collect a sample from an asteroid and bring it back to Earth has arrived at Lockheed Martin for installation onto NASA’s Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx). The Thermal Emission Spectrometer (OTES) will conduct surveys to map mineral and chemical abundances and to take the asteroid Bennu’s temperature.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Instrumentation
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ORCA Prototype Ready to Observe Ocean

If selected for a NASA flight mission, the Ocean Radiometer for Carbon Assessment (ORCA) instrument will study microscopic phytoplankton, the tiny green plants that float in the upper layer of the ocean and make up the base of the marine food chain.

Conceived in 2001 as the next technological step forward in observing ocean color, the ORCA-development team used funding from Goddard’s Internal Research and Development program and NASA’s Instrument Incubator Program (IIP) to develop a prototype. Completed in 2014, ORCA now is a contender as the primary instrument on an upcoming Earth science mission.

The ORCA prototype has a scanning telescope designed to sweep across 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) of ocean at a time. The technology collects light reflected from the sea surface that then passes through a series of mirrors, optical filters, gratings, and lenses. The components direct the light onto an array of detectors that cover the full range of wavelengths.

Instead of observing a handful of discrete bands at specific wavelengths reflected off the ocean, ORCA measures a range of bands, from 350 nanometers to 900 nanometers at five-nanometer resolution. The sensor will see the entire rainbow, including the color gradations of green that fade into blue. In addition to the hyperspectral bands, the instrument has three short-wave infrared bands that measure specific wavelengths between 1200 and 2200 nanometers for atmospheric applications.

The NASA researchers will use ORCA to obtain more accurate measurements of chlorophyll concentrations, the size of a phytoplankton bloom, and how much carbon it holds. Detecting chlorophyll in various wavelengths also will allow the team to distinguish between types of phytoplankton. Suspended sediments in coastal regions could also be detected by the instrument.

Source

Also: Learn about a Ultra-Low-Maintenance Portable Ocean Power Station.

Posted in: News, Imaging, Optics, Photonics, Sensors, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement
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