Sensors/Data Acquisition

Wireless Sensor Technology for Real-Time Applications

The ability to make real-time decisions based on pressure, temperature, or flow measurements while a process is running can provide significant advantages in a measurement and control system. These advantages can be expressed in different ways such as cost savings through improved resource management, or reduced reliability upon mobile workers. While measurement data can be used to dynamically control a process, it can also be displayed over a network to allow remote monitoring of the process status in real time. Rising pressures, temperatures, or vibration intensity can easily be adjusted if the appropriate personnel are aware of faulty conditions. As data is collected for process control or a SCADA system, it can also be archived for future reference when a review of process trends could provide additional improvements.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors, Measurements, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators
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Lightning Monitoring System Helps Protect Shuttle

Genesis HighSpeed data acquisition products
HBM
Marlborough, MA
800-578-4260
www.hbm.com/highspeed

In order to protect the space shuttle from lightning strikes while it is outside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), being transported to the launch pad, and while on the pad waiting to launch, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center employs a lightning protection system that measures induced currents and voltages at multiple points using sensors surrounding the shuttle. The system consists of a metal lightning rod on top of the launch pad that intercepts nearby lightning, and a series of metal wires attached to the lightning rod that route electricity away from the shuttle.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Data Acquisition, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Lightning protection, Reusable launch vehicles and shuttles
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Monitoring Carbon Composite Structures With Optical Fiber Sensors

Fiber reinforced polymer composites are revolutionizing the design of large, high-performance structures in the aerospace, marine and power generation industries due to their advantages in areas such as corrosion resistance, specific strength and tailorability. The use of carbon fiber reinforced composites, the most common and lightest of the “non-exotic” composite materials, is now very widespread. The maiden flight of The Boeing Company’s new 787 Dreamliner, the first commercial aircraft to use composites for most of its construction in December of 2009, is a stark example of just how far carbon fiber composite materials have come in the last 50 years: from hockey sticks, tennis rackets and R&D labs, to carrying us from here to there at 500+ mph.

Posted in: Articles, Optics, Photonics, Sensors, Fiber optics, Sensors and actuators, Fiber optics, Sensors and actuators, Composite materials, Polymers, Performance tests
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Monitoring Carbon Composite Structures With Optical Fiber Sensors

Fiber reinforced polymer composites are revolutionizing the design of large, high-performance structures in the aerospace, marine and power generation industries due to their advantages in areas such as corrosion resistance, specific strength and tailorability. The use of carbon fiber reinforced composites, the most common and lightest of the “non-exotic” composite materials, is now very widespread. The maiden flight of The Boeing Company’s new 787 Dreamliner, the first commercial aircraft to use composites for most of its construction in December of 2009, is a stark example of just how far carbon fiber composite materials have come in the last 50 years: from hockey sticks, tennis rackets and R&D labs, to carrying us from here to there at 500+ mph.

Posted in: Products, Application Briefs, Fiber Optics, Optics, Sensors, Fiber optics, Sensors and actuators, Fiber optics, Sensors and actuators, Composite materials
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Magnetic Nanoparticles and Devices for Biomedical Uses

A program comprising several collaborative research efforts has been dedicated to advancing the art of utilization of magnetic nanoparticles for biomedical purposes. The research has been performed by three teams, each focusing on different aspects of the art:

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, TSP, Briefs, TSP, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Bio-Medical, Medical, Sensors, Biological sciences, Medical equipment and supplies, Nervous system, Nanomaterials, Head injuries
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Near-Infrared Cameras Indicate Signature of Water on the Moon

InGaAs shortwave infrared (SWIR) cameras
Sensors Unlimited, Goodrich Corp.
Princeton, NJ
609-520-0610
www.sensorsinc.com

Shortwave infrared (SWIR) cameras from Sensors Unlimited were instrumental in NASA’s LCROSS mission to find water on the Moon. The cameras were selected for the mission more than three years ago, and were integrated into the imaging payload of the shepherding spacecraft.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Sensors, Optics, Optics, Water, Spacecraft
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Vibrating Quartz Sensor Characterizes Liquid Samples

A novel analytical technology characterizes liquids for healthcare applications. As a drop of liquid evaporates on a vibrating quartz sensor, it undergoes distinctive phase changes representing the unique chemical and physical characteristics of the sample. This unique “fingerprint” represents information that is not readily available from any combination of analytical methods currently in use.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Sensors, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Fluids and secretions, Vibration, Vibration, Test equipment and instrumentation
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Fluorogenic Cell-Based Biosensors for Monitoring Microbes

Fluorogenic cell-based sensor systems for detecting microbes (especially pathogenic ones) and some toxins and allergens are undergoing development. These systems harness the natural signaltransduction and amplification cascades that occur in mast cells upon activation with antigens. These systems include (1) fluidic biochips for automated containment of samples, reagents, and wastes and (2) sensitive, compact fluorometers for monitoring the fluorescent responses of mast cells engineered to contain fluorescent dyes. It should be possible to observe responses within minutes of adding immune complexes. The systems have been shown to work when utilizing either immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies or traditionally generated rat antibodies — a promising result in that it indicates that the systems could be developed to detect many target microbes. Chimeric IgE antibodies and rat immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies could be genetically engineered for recognizing biological and chemical warfare agents and airborne and food-borne allergens. Genetic engineering efforts thus far have yielded (1) CD14 chimeric antibodies that recognize both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and bind to the surfaces of mast cells, eliciting a degranulation response and (2) rat IgG2a antibodies that act similarly in response to low levels of canine parvovirus.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Sensors
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Fire Suppression System Protects Giant Crawler Transporters

Stat-X fire suppression system
Fireaway LLC
Minnetonka, MN
952-935-9745
http://statx.com

When NASA Kennedy Space Center’s fire safety experts decided to replace the fire suppression system in the giant twin crawler transporters that bring the space shuttle from the assembly building to the launch pad, they selected the Stat-X firefighting system for enclosed spaces, a clean, compact system that suppresses fire with condensed aerosol technology. The system kills fires quickly without harming the environment.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Detectors, Fire suppression, Fire suppression, Ground support, Air transportation facilities, Safety testing and procedures, Spacecraft
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HEIDENHAIN Gauge Facilitates Precision Stereology Research

Stereology, a tool that became popular in the late ‘90s, is used to quantify properties of 3D objects from 2D sections through an object (such as microscope slides of brain tissue). This method is accepted by neuroscientists as the preferred way to estimate numbers of cell populations in brain structures. The MBF Bioscience’s Stereo Investigator system from MBF Bioscience, Williston, VT, is the market’s leading product and utilizes procedures that use small sample sizes that can be collected rapidly and assure findings that will be accurate, unbiased and statistically efficient.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Data Acquisition, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Biological sciences, Medical equipment and supplies, Nervous system
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