Application Briefs

Simulation Software is Key to Orion’s Heat-Shield Success

Tecplot 360 EX data visualization and analysis software
Tecplot, Inc.
Bellevue, WA
800-763-7005
www.tecplot.com

NASA chose Tecplot 360 EX for use in the design of the heat shield for the Orion spacecraft. Orion’s heat shield, a protective blanket built with high-tech fibers and ceramics, is crucial to mission success. The outer layer of the heat shield is designed to burn away as it heats up during re-entry into the atmosphere, thus maintaining the integrity of the inner layer and helping to ensure the survivability of the spacecraft.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Computational fluid dynamics, Computer simulation, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Thermal management, Thermal management, Spacecraft
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Cryogenic Seal for Space Launch System Handles Extreme Pressure Conditions

OmniSeal® RACO™ Spring-Energized Seals
Saint-Gobain Seals
Garden Grove, CA
800-544-0080
www.seals.saint-gobain.com

Saint-Gobain Seals produced a cryogenic seal measuring more than six feet wide for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) project. Although this launch system replaced the retired space shuttle, it was built using proven hardware from the space shuttle era and previous successful exploration programs, as well as cutting-edge tooling and manufacturing technology in order to reduce development time and cost. SLS’ first mission, Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1), will go into space in late 2018, and uses Saint-Gobain seals.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Springs, Hardware, Seals and gaskets, Launch vehicles
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Cambridge Researchers Take Computer Vision for Test Drive

Google's driverless car, like many autonomous vehicles in development, is packed with sensors, radars, lasers, and cameras. To lighten the load of sensing devices in self-driving autos, researchers at Cambridge University have hit the streets with a system that uses only computer vision.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Photonics, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Autonomous vehicles
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Using Optical Imaging to Combat Counterfeit Components

Counterfeit parts and materials pose a serious threat to the United States defense supply chain. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012 (Section 818) laid out strict guidelines for DoD prime contractors for detection and avoidance of counterfeit electronic parts1. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) identified six federal supply groups in their supply chains that are at high risk for counterfeiting including electrical and electronic components, bearings, hardware and abrasives, pipes and fittings, engine accessories, and vehicle components2. DLA is championing development of anti-counterfeiting technologies that also provide traceability for the parts in its supply chain. A solution called QuanTEK developed by Chromo Logic LLC, involves novel optical imaging methods and has been found to work on a broad class of the DLA identified high-risk federal supply groups.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Photonics, Optics, Optics, Supply chain management, Counterfeit parts
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ATX Motherboard

ADLINK Technology, Inc. (San Jose, CA) released its latest industrial ATX motherboard, the IMB-M43, powered by 6th Generation Intel® Core™ i7/i5/i3 processors and providing up to five PCIe slots. The PCIe slots can be assigned to four PCIe 3.0 x4 lanes plus one PCIe 3.0 x8 lane, two PCIe 3.0 x4 lanes plus two PCIe 3.0 x8 lanes, and two PCIe 3.0 x4 lanes plus one PCIe 3.0 x16 lane to fulfill different tasking requirements. A Gen 9 graphics engine delivers a 30% increase in graphics performance to accelerated hardware media codecs and enhanced display resolution for Ultra HD 4K. The ADLINK IMB-M43 also features a unique power design ensuring stable power supply for each USB port at 5V +-5%, with all USB ports able to achieve full loading even from a 300W supply.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Performance upgrades
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CAD-Based Process Analyzes Lidar Interferometer Instrument

Comet software
Comet Solutions
Cincinnati, OH
513-588-2773
www.cometsolutions.com

A Structural-Thermal-Optical-Performance (STOP) analysis is an interdisciplinary analysis used to verify optical requirements. It is performed to identify and solve design issues early before building hardware. In a traditional STOP analysis, data must flow sequentially from engineer to engineer, requiring multiple data handoffs, which are time-consuming. If the STOP analysis shows that design changes are necessary, trade studies can also be time-consuming.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Analysis methodologies, CAD / CAM / CAE, CAD, CAM, and CAE, Lidar, Lidar
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Plasma Etching System Expands Device Processing Capability at JPL

Apex SLR ICP etch system
Advanced Vacuum, a Plasma-Therm Co.
Saint Petersburg, FL
800-246-2592
www.plasmatherm.com

An Advanced Vacuum inductively coupled plasma etch system recently was installed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA, to help expand the fabrication capabilities of JPL’s Microdevices Laboratory (MDL).

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Fabrication, Metals, Polymers, Semiconductors
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Automation System Retrofit Transforms 175-Ton Hydraulic Forming Press

Southern Manufacturing Group (SMG) of Morrison, TN, makes automotive components and industrial valves. In 2012, the automation system for its 175-ton hydraulic forming press received electrical damage resulting from a lightning strike (Figure 1). Purchasing a new hydraulic forming press would be prohibitively expensive — in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Therefore, SMG needed a company that could repair the forming press in a short timeframe to maintain its production schedule.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Maintenance, Repair and Service Operations, Maintenance, repair, and service operations, Automation, Forming, Hydraulic equipment
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Researchers Prepare RoboSimian for Tasks Beyond Disaster Response

RoboSimian, a limbed robot developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), is designed to operate in environments too dangerous or difficult for human intervention, such as disaster areas and oil leak sites. After years of engineering in the lab, JPL’s researchers are preparing the tele-operated RoboSimian platform for use in new, complex environments, from deep waters to outer space.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Sensors, Human factors, Robotics, Hazards and emergency management, Hazards and emergency operations, Marine vehicles and equipment, Spacecraft
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Energy Harvester Uses RF Waves to Power Air Pollution Sensors

As more connected devices enter the market and see wider adoption by an ever increasing number of industries, the Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly expanding.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Energy, Energy Harvesting, Sensors, Internet of things, Sensors and actuators, Internet of things, Sensors and actuators, Air pollution
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