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Instrumentation

News: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Visual Microphone Identifies Structural Defects

A new technique from Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers estimates material properties of physical objects, such as stiffness and weight, from video.

The method could have application in the field of nondestructive testing, determining materials’ physical properties without...

To the naked eye, buildings and bridges appear fixed in place, unmoved by forces like wind and rain. But in fact, these large structures do experience imperceptibly small vibrations...

Two NASA experiments designed to help reduce fuel consumption and emissions will fly this spring on a specially outfitted Boeing 757 airplane called the ecoDemonstrator. One includes 31 small devices that...

The first full joint testing between NASA and the U.S. Navy of the Orion spacecraft recovery procedures off the coast of California was suspended after the team experienced...

NASA researchers, working with the Air Force Research Laboratory and FlexSys of Ann Arbor, MI, successfully completed initial flight tests of a new morphing wing...

A new method of continuously monitoring the status of machinery is a mobile tablet-based system that supplies information on the operational state of industrial machinery and plant...

As urban populations increase, so too does the complexity involved in maintaining basic services like clean water and emergency services. But one of the biggest barriers to...

The Explosive Destruction System (EDS), designed by Sandia National Laboratories for the U.S. Army, has begun safely destroying stockpile chemical munitions.

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Low Er-Doped Yttrium Gallium Garnet (YGG) as Active Media for Solid-State Lasers at 1651 nm

The typical approach for producing laser output at the 1651-nm wavelength is via nonlinear frequency conversion. Lasers based on nonlinear conversion are complex, and it is very difficult to provide stability over time and over a wide range of operating...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Dual-Cavity Rayleigh Scattering Measurement System

Molecular-based optical diagnostics techniques capable of obtaining simultaneous measurements of multiple fluid properties are critically important for characterizing hypersonic air-breathing engines, such as scramjet engines and scramjet-rocket combined cycle engines. Correlations between those...

Briefs: Aerospace
Miniature Laser Magnetometer

Space missions using magnetometers have been very successful. However, science missions now require higher levels of accuracy and stability in order to refine existing understanding and improve modeling. In most space missions that require high-accuracy vector measurement of magnetic fields, a separate scalar...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Cryogenic Slosh Apparatus

Commercially available components are integrated into an assembly that can be used to measure the slosh dynamics of cryogenic liquids. The apparatus consists of a linear motion table that is properly instrumented to record high fidelity position, force, and acceleration measurements of all linear and rotation responses...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Negative-Ion Time Projection Chamber Polarimeter for Measuring Polarization of Bright Transient Astrophysical Sources

A negative ion time projection chamber (NI-TPC) was developed that is suitable for measuring the polarization of bright transient events. The polarization of the astrophysical source is determined by imaging photoelectron tracks...

News: Communications
Self-Powered Sensors Communicate Building Defects

Michigan State University researchers have developed a technology that allows sensing, communication, and diagnostic computing — all within the building material of a structure.

Using energy harvested from the structure itself, the "substrate computing" system features sensors that...

A system for using sound waves to spot potentially dangerous cracks in pipes, aircraft engines, and nuclear power plants has been developed by a University of Strathclyde researcher. A study...

Articles: Information Technology
Smart-Grid-Ready Instrumentation

The term “smart grid” is an umbrella term used to refer to new technologies that aim to address today’s electrical power grid challenges. At a high level, these technologies address challenges...

Features: Imaging
The Hubble Space Telescope

On April 24, 1990, something happened that forever altered mankind’s view of the universe. It was on that day that the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.

Products: Software
Source Measure Instrument

Keithley Instruments, Cleveland, OH, introduced the Model 2460 SourceMeter® Source Measure Unit (SMU) instrument with a capacitive touchscreen graphical user interface. It offers power sourcing up to...

Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
A Continuous-Flow, Microfluidic, Microwave-Assisted Chemical Reactor

In industrial synthetic chemistry laboratories, reactions are generally carried out using batch-mode methodologies, stepwise reactions, and purifications to generate a final product. Each step has an associated yield of both the reaction itself and of the final purification...

Data acquisition plays a critical role in improving vehicle component performance and overall system reliability. Measuring engine parameters, including...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Guarded Flat Plate Insulation Test Cryostat

The guarded flat plate insulation test cryostat (Cryostat-500) is a boil-off calorimeter comprising a flat-bottom test apparatus for measuring the absolute thermal performance of an insulation test article. Typical dimensions allow accepting test specimens 200 mm in diameter by up to 30 mm thick. The...

Articles: Information Technology
Network Interface Links Sensor-Web Instruments

NASA Airborne Science operates a fleet of aircraft in conjunction with orbiting satellites for Earth observations. In 2004, NASA started planning missions to employ constellations of instruments...

Articles: Test & Measurement
Protecting Data Signals Through Isolation

Many of us believe that if we don’t have ground loops we don’t need to isolate analog I/O signals. Yet there are five very real – and very different – reasons to isolate every one of your...

The shapes of waveforms generated by commercially available analytical separation devices, such as some types of mass spectrometers and differential mobility spectrometers are, in general,...

An alternative approach to apertureless near- field optical spectroscopy involving an atomic-force microscope (AFM) entails less complexity of equipment than does a prior approach....

Briefs: Imaging
Hyperspectral Fluorescence and Reflectance Imaging Instrument

The system is a single hyperspectral imaging instrument that has the unique capability to acquire both fluorescence and reflectance high-spatial-resolution data that is inherently spatially and spectrally registered. Potential uses of this instrument include plant stress monitoring,...

A system that comprises optical and electronic subsystems has been developed as an infrastructure for a spectroradiometer that measures time- dependent spectral radiance of the daylight...

The ultra-stable beacon source (USBS) provides a laser-beam output with a very low angular jitter and can be used as an absolute angular reference to simulate a beacon in...

Articles: Aerospace
Fly-by-Wireless: A Less-Wire and Wireless Revolution for Aerospace Vehicle Architectures

Every ounce of weight brought to the lunar surface costs 40 to 60 times that in fuel needed at liftoff from the Earth. Part of that weight penalty is due to wires, but the cost of wires is much more than weight. Wired connectivity drives up the price of...

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