Special Coverage

Supercomputer Cooling System Uses Refrigerant to Replace Water
Computer Chips Calculate and Store in an Integrated Unit
Electron-to-Photon Communication for Quantum Computing
Mechanoresponsive Healing Polymers
Variable Permeability Magnetometer Systems and Methods for Aerospace Applicationst
Evaluation Standard for Robotic Research
Small Robot Has Outstanding Vertical Agility
Smart Optical Material Characterization System and Method
Lightweight, Flexible Thermal Protection System for Fire Protection
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Aircraft Configured for Flight in an Atmosphere Having Low Density

The autonomous airplane can be folded in a confined volume, transported, and deployed in terrestrial or extraterrestrial venues.NASA Langley Research Center researchers have developed an airplane capable of being stowed in a confined volume and deployed in a high-altitude environment for extended-duration flight operations in a low-density atmosphere. Engineers, scientists, and end users can take advantage of this innovation that provides previously unattainable high-altitude flight operations. The airplane is delivered to a specified altitude folded in a container or rocket. Once released, the plane unfolds and executes a pull-up maneuver to stabilize altitude. In addition, the current suite of onboard scientific instrumentation includes magnetometers, a mass spectrometer, and variable-use cameras. NASA is seeking market insights on commercialization of the new airplane design, and welcomes interest from potential producers, users, and licensees.

Posted in: Briefs, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Airframes, Aircraft instruments, Product development, Storage, Entry, descent, and landing

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Hot Isostatic Pressing of 60-Nitinol

The material 60-Nitinol (60wt%Ni-40wt%Ti) has a unique combination of physical properties, including high hardness, low apparent elastic modulus, and resistance to saltwater corrosion. These properties give the material tremendous potential for use in aerospace and defense-related components such as bearings, gears, and other apparatuses. Various methods of primary processing are being explored for fabrication of high-performance components that are free of metallurgical defects that might lead to premature failure. Hot isostatic pressing (HIP) is one process under consideration. The steps in the HIP process include (a) filling a sealed canister of the appropriate dimensions with powder, (b) heating the canister under vacuum to remove volatile and gaseous contents, (c) applying heat and pressure to the evacuated and sealed canister to consolidate the contents, and (d) removing the canister.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Fabrication, Materials properties, Reliability

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ViDAR Optical Radar Provides New Maritime Search Capability

ViDAR, developed by Sentient Vision Systems in Melbourne Australia, provides autonomous, real-time, wide-area search capability, optically, from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or manned aircraft. ViDAR, which stands for Visual Detection and Ranging, essentially acts as an optical radar, using high-megapixel video or infrared cameras to search the ocean over significantly greater operational coverage areas than can be achieved with current optical sensor approaches.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Photonics, Optics, Surveillance, Performance upgrades, Product development, Fixed-wing aircraft, Unmanned aerial vehicles

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Fourier Transform Spectrometer System

NASA's Langley Research Center and Science Applications International Corporation have developed a method of processing data from Fourier transform spectroscopy (FTS) measurements that improves upon existing methods. This method is simpler, more accurate, faster, and less expensive than previous methods. It uses less hardware and can be used with all wavelengths.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics, Architecture, Spectroscopy, Data management

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2.2-Micron, Uncooled, InGaAs Photodiodes and Balanced Photoreceivers up to 25-GHz Bandwidth

These photodiodes have applications in LiDAR sensors, telecommunications links, and pulsed laser systems.Traditional applications for 2-micron photodetectors have been largely dominated by passive remote sensing where detectors having bandwidth of even one megahertz are deemed sufficient. The onus in such applications is to achieve low dark current through active cooling. The advent of high-power, 2-micron-wave-length lasers have made coherent LiDARs viable for active sensing applications. Such a system needs photodetectors that can handle high local oscillator optical power and have large bandwidth. Through a combination of high coherent gain and small integration time, a large signal-to-noise ratio can be achieved. Operation at high optical power levels reduces the significance of photodiodes’ dark current. As a result, uncooled operation at room temperature is feasible, simplifying the overall instrument design.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics, Optics, Remote sensing, Cooling

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Coming Soon - Sterility Validation 101: Ensuring a Robust Sterilization Validation Program from Start to Finish

The mapping of a successful sterilization validation program for medical devices can be challenging. From assessing the impact of your manufacturing environment, to your packaging design and choice of sterilization methods, many factors will impact how you validate your sterilization process. While parts of the program are simple, others are very complex, and it can be difficult to know where to begin and what is required.

Posted in: Webinars, Upcoming Webinars, Medical

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Coming Soon - Stray Light Analysis and Design of Optical Imaging Systems

Stray light is an age-old problem for optical systems. Fortunately, software tools available today for the optical designer enable quick and accurate characterization of stray light.

Posted in: Upcoming Webinars, Imaging

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