Application Briefs

Application Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Vibration Sensors Add New Touch to Prosthetics

The sense of touch is complex, and an instructor at the University of California – Santa Barbara (UCSB) has the technology to prove it. Yon Visell, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and his students designed an apparatus that captures the unique...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
Solar Orbiter Instrument Filters Powered by Brushed Motor
maxon RE 13 brushed DC motors
maxon precision motors
Fall River, MA
508-677-0520
www.maxonmotorusa.com

In 2018, the European Space Agency (ESA) will send the Solar Orbiter into space. A joint project of the ESA and NASA, the Solar Orbiter will be an...

Application Briefs : Imaging
Using UV LEDs to Cure Fiber Optic Cables

Modern fiber optics have undergone remarkable advances since their development in the 1960s. The growing demand for fiber-optic cable, especially in the telecommunications industry, has led to an increase in high-volume production of optical fiber. New high-irradiance UV LED curing systems widely deployed...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Customized Drone Maps Glaciers

Using a custom-designed drone, a researcher from The Ohio State University mapped glaciers and wetlands in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca mountain range. Despite a discovered drop in glacier growth, the findings from the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) revealed a slightly more optimistic picture of the region’s water...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
Super Pressure Balloon Provides NASA with Valuable Data
Super pressure balloon
Raven Aerostar
Sioux Falls, SD
605-336-2750
www.ravenaerostar.com

A super pressure balloon (SPB) designed by Raven Aerostar, and the largest SPB ever built, surpassed 31 days amid the stratosphere’s harsh elements as part of a NASA...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
New Spacecraft Design for Asteroid Redirect Mission
Geostationary (GEO) satellite
Space Systems/Loral (SSL)
Palo Alto, CA
650-852-4000
www.sslmda.com

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has chosen Space Systems/Loral (SSL) to conduct first-phase design studies for a spacecraft that can travel to an asteroid,...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Motion Control Challenges for Deep-Sea ROVs

Deep-sea remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) present motion control design engineers with some difficult challenges. Applications may include ROV propulsion, position thrusters, dive vanes, rudders, or robotic arms. Some problems are common to all of them.

Application Briefs : Test & Measurement
Reducing Torque Measurement Uncertainty in Turbine Engine Testing

Torque is among the most important of all the measured quantities in applications ranging from characterizing high-power gas turbines, to determining the level of force required to open a screw cap on a medication container. As anyone who studied physics in high school should...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
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...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
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)...

Application Briefs : Imaging
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...

Application Briefs : Imaging
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....

Application Briefs : Electronics & Computers
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...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
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...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
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...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
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...

Application Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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...

Application Briefs : Energy
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.

Application Briefs : Aerospace
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...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
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....

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
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...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
‘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.

Application Briefs : Aerospace
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...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
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...

Articles : Imaging
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.

Application Briefs : Motion Control
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).

Application Briefs : Aerospace
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...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
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...

Application Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Highway Sensor Deployment Gives Valuable Data to ‘Connected’ Drivers

In an effort to improve traffic flow, driver safety, and asset management, the Michigan Department of Transportation (DOT) has installed 17 sensors on a 50-mile stretch of one of the state’s busy Interstate highways. The “connected corridor” deployment will provide...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
Custom System Rides the Rails at NASA Radar Range
Custom linear guide rails
NB Corporation of America
Hanover Park, IL
1-800-521-2045
www.nbcorporation.com

ADC USA, Inc. (Ithaca, NY) develops and supplies high-precision motion systems and instruments for large government laboratories and corporations around the...