Application Briefs

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
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 : Software
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 : Imaging
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...

Application Briefs : 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...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Service Robots Use Flat Motors to Provide Reliable, Safe Motion

Unlike industrial robots for manufacturing, service robots come with their own specification requirements aimed specifically at the end user, and the most discriminating user at that — a human being. That’s why designing and manufacturing service robots takes a particular set of...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Encoders Ensure Position Accuracy of Linear-Torsion Tester

Instron (Norwood, MA) manufactures materials testing equipment and accessories that are used to test samples ranging from components for jet engines to medical syringes. The company’s ElectroPuls systems are used for fatigue testing, which examines the behavior of materials under...

Articles : Aerospace
Computer and Displays Help Control and Maneuver Crew Transportation System
Space-qualified boards and subsystems
Aitech Defense Systems
Chatsworth, CA
888-248-3248
http://rugged.com/space-products

The Boeing Company selected Aitech Defense Systems to provide space-grade products and services to support the...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
CubeSat Launches With 3D-Printed Components
Windform XT 2.0 3D printing material
CRP USA, LLC
Mooresville, NC
704-660-0258
www.crp-usa.net

A team of students from the University of Kentucky and Morehead State University developed the KySat-2 project, a 1U CubeSat that launched into orbit as part of NASA’s ElaNa...

Photonics Tech Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Implementing Color Machine Vision Inspection Systems

Color provides critical information that can improve the reliability of many machine vision inspection applications and make it possible to inspect many products that cannot be inspected in grayscale. Typical examples include ensuring that a tan rather than a taupe automotive interior...

Motion Control and Automation Technology : Motion Control
Motion Solutions for Electric Expansion Valves

Expansion valves are flow-restricting devices present in any refrigeration system. The valve needle remains open during steady state of operation. The size of the opening, or position of the needle, is related to the pressure and temperature of the evaporator. When set and controlled properly, an...

Motion Control and Automation Technology : Motion Control
Hamburg Airport Relies on Drive Technology to Keep Bags Moving

Hamburg Airport in Germany handles nine million pieces of baggage every year. For the baggage handling staff, the reliability of the conveyor system and the prevention of faults are the highest priorities. The breakdown of even a single component of the system would result in a...

Imaging Technology : Imaging
‘Ralph’ Camera Shows Pluto in Color

Thanks to a camera affectionately known as “Ralph,” NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has delivered stunning natural-color images of Pluto and its moons.

Articles : Aerospace
Servo Motors Help Launch Vehicles Optimize Fuel
Servo motors
MICROMO (the FAULHABER Group)
Clearwater, FL
800-807-9166
www.micromo.com

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) builds economical launch vehicles like the Falcon 9 to carry a range of payloads into orbit. One way to control cost is by optimizing fuel...

Articles : Aerospace
Electrical Connectors Provide Signal Integrity for Orion
KA Series PCB connectors and D-Sub Series connectors
Smiths Connectors
Costa Mesa, CA
714-371-1100
www.smithsconnectors.com

Development of NASA’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle was a complex undertaking involving a vast number of subcontractors across...