Application Briefs

Robot Simulation Software Lets NASA Study Conditions on Planetary Surfaces

Energid Technologies
Cambridge, MA
617-401-7090
www.energid.com

For obvious reasons, conditions on lunar and planetary surfaces can understandably be hard to duplicate physically, even in the best case when they are well understood, if only from a distance. This makes digital simulations an essential tool during mission planning and development. Simulation can be used to study the effects of changes in terrain, lighting, reflectance, and other environmental factors on mission success.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Simulation Software, Software, Computer simulation, Soils, Terrain, Robotics, Spacecraft, Vehicle dynamics
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Radiation Detectors Help NASA Understand Planets from Orbiters and Landers

Brimrose Corporation of America
Sparks, MD
410-472-7070
www.brimrose.com

Brimrose is developing radiation detectors that can improve NASA’s ability to determine surface and subsurface composition of planetary bodies from orbiters and landers. Unlike most radiation detectors, these detectors can perform both gamma and neutron spectroscopy. The new detectors are based on mercurous halide materials. The mercurous halides are new wide-bandgap semiconductor detector materials that can provide radiation detection with low cost, high performance, and long-term stability.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Remote sensing, Sensors and actuators, Remote sensing, Sensors and actuators, Radiation, Spacecraft
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Manufacturing OLED Lighting

Organic Light Emitting Diode (“OLED”) lighting panels are thin planar area light sources that are naturally diffuse, low glare, high color rendering, cool to the touch, highly energy efficient and highly controllable. Together with LED light sources, they compose the solid state lighting technologies that are replacing over 100 years of bulb and tube lighting technologies, just as solid state electronics have replaced the bulbs and tubes used in electronic devices such as radios, computers and displays.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Photonics, Light emitting diodes (LEDs), Light emitting diodes (LEDs)
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‘Internal Fingerprint’ Imaging Offers Deeper Authentication

A new technology developed by researchers from The Langevin Institute (Paris, France) enables subsurface imaging of the finger. The “internal fingerprint,” according to the device’s creators, could provide cheaper, more secure authentication than traditional scanners.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Photonics, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Body regions
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NASA Turns to 3D Metal Printing for SLS Propulsion Program

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)
Stratasys Direct Manufacturing
Valencia, CA
888-311-1017
www.stratasysdirect.com

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center is currently leading the development of the Space Launch System (SLS) program, which is building a heavy-lift launch vehicle to carry human explorers and science payloads to new frontiers. Today, one important technology being explored by the team at Marshall is additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, as it relates to manufacturing hardware and propulsion for the SLS rocket. The center dedicated resources to materials and technologies research, using their latest liquid rocket injector development as one optimal project for testing out the capabilities, costs, and benefits of additive manufacturing processes. One goal of additive manufacturing is to consolidate parts to reduce labor and weight, and create an overall more efficient part with increased complexities that help optimize injectors for future applications.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Manufacturing processes
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NASA Leverages Analytical Modeling to Improve Astronaut Mission Readiness

Probabilistic modeling
Charles River Analytics
Cambridge, MA
617-491-3474
www.cra.com

NASA has contracted with Charles River Analytics to develop a system to measure and assess astronaut workload. The system for Cognitive Assessment and Prediction to Promote Individualized Capability Augmentation and Reduce Decrement, or CAPT PICARD, will measure, assess, and predict cognitive workload to assist astronauts or mission control in responding more effectively. Astronauts sent on manned NASA missions face long periods of minimal cognitive workload followed by sudden, fast-tempo operations. In addition, disrupted sleep, long-term motion exposure, and lack of normal gravity may impair cognitive and psychomotor functioning, resulting in fatigue, stress, and decreased mood.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Analysis methodologies, Simulation and modeling, Human factors
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From 2D to 3D: MARVEL Tool Offers Immersive View Inside the Brain

Thanks to a partnership between a surgeon and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a new camera system could improve minimally invasive surgeries and provide 3D endoscopic images of the brain.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Articles, Imaging, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Medical, health, and wellness
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Embedded Virtualization Enables Highly Integrated “Soft Motion” Platforms on the PC

With the increased processing power that PCs have attained, a complex machine that used to require an expensive and dedicated hardware-based motion control solution can now be accomplished on a multicore PC running on a real-time operating system (RTOS).

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware
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Computers Record and Maintain Video and Data on Space Station

GE Intelligent Platforms
Northamptonshire, England
+44 (0)1327 322821
www.geembedded.com

Two CR11 single-board computers (SBCs) from GE Energy Management’s Intelligent Platforms were deployed and are fully operational onboard the International Space Station (ISS) as part of continuing experiments by the European Space Agency (ESA).

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Data management, Spacecraft
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Steel Chassis Lets Space Vehicles Traverse Grueling Terrain

Off-Road International,
a Racefab Inc. company
Rusk, TX
903-683-1599
www.off-roadinternational.com

The structural panels and chassis for NASA’s latest rovers are being built and analyzed by Off-Road International to traverse unpredictable terrain. The company’s design team was approached to examine the vehicles’ structure utilizing finite element analysis (FEA). Working with NASA engineers, several changes were made before construction began.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Steel, Spacecraft
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