The AeroPods design for steadying and damping payloads includes the use of a tail boom and fin combination. It is a novel design and provides a relatively simple alternative to the traditional methods for suspending equipment from kites or blimps. The AeroPod is superior to the traditional Picavet pulley-style suspension system for kite-flight because its light weight, simple to construct, and has no moving parts. Furthermore, the AeroPod design is advantageous to the traditional tethered blimp suspension technique where tether motion is translated directly to the sensor system because the AeroPod is free of direct motions of the tether.
Powder Handling Device for Analytical Instruments
Powder Handling Device for Analytical Instruments
This invention is a system and associated method for causing a fine-grained powder in a sample holder to undergo at least one of three motions (vibration, rotation or translation) at a selected motion frequency in order to expose a statistically relevant population of grains in random orientation to a diffraction or fluorescent source. One or more measurements of diffraction, fluorescence, spectroscopic interaction, transmission, absorption and/or reflection can be made on the sample, using x-rays or light in a selected wavelength region. In one embodiment, the invention allows the relaxation of sample preparation and handling requirements for powder X-ray Diffraction (pXRD). The sample, held between two thin plastic windows, undergoes granular convection similar to a heated liquid, causing the individual grains to move past a collimated X-ray beam in random orientation over time. The result is an X-ray diffraction pattern having the correct diffracted intensities without a requirement for specialized mechanical motions. A major improvement over conventional sample preparation and handling techniques for pXRD is the potential to characterize larger grain-size material, resulting in a significant relaxation of the constraints on sample preparation (grinding). The powder handling system as described extends the range of useful grain sizes for XRD/ X-ray fluorescence (XRF) from a few micrometers (m) to several hundred m. Inclusion of the powder handling system enables automated instruments such as CheMin, a robotic XRD/XRF instrument designed and developed by NASA, to analyze as-received or coarsely powdered samples on NASAs Mars Science Laboratory rover, or in extreme, toxic or hazardous environments on Earth.
materials and coatings
Open Pit Mine
Shape Memory Alloy Rock Splitters (SMARS)
Glenn's revolutionary SMARS device is fabricated from nickel-titanium-halfnium (NiTiHf), nickel-titanium-zirconium compositions, or a combination. These compositions contain a secondary, nanometer-sized precipitate phase, which is produced through processes of compositional control and ageing heat treatments. Glenn's novel materials and processes have yielded a SMA composition that produces much higher stresses than other SMAs on the commercial market. The SMARS device is composed of 1) SMA material as the actuating member; 2) a casing heater placed around the SMA member; 3) a DC or AC power source to provide current through the heater; 4) pointed tips for acute penetration into rock formations; and 5) a hand-press to reset the SMA element after each use. In the rock-splitting process, a hole equal to the diameter of the SMA element is drilled in the portion of the rock where the fracture is desired. Next, the pre-compressed SMA is inserted into the hole, and AC or DC current is applied to energize the devices heaters. Once the heater achieves the critical transformation temperature, the SMA will begin to expand within seconds. Since its expansion is constrained by the rock walls, the SMA will eventually exert up to 1500 MPa of stress, splitting the rock apart. When the current is removed and the heater cools, the SMA material returns to its pre-compressed state. At this point, the material can be recovered, so the process is repeatable after reshaping. The SMA actuating members were also designed to achieve displacement greater than the materials strain output. Glenns SMARS device provides high-powered rock fracturing that is controllable, reliable, and comparatively simple without the use of explosives, hydraulics, or chemicals.
Nested Focusing Optics for Compact Neutron Sources
Nested Focusing Optics for Compact Neutron Sources
Conventional neutron beam experiments demand high fluxes that can only be obtained at research facilities equipped with a reactor source and neutron optics. However, access to these facilities is limited. The NASA technology uses grazing incidence reflective optics to produce focused beams of neutrons (Figure 1) from compact commercially available sources, resulting in higher flux concentrations. Neutrons are doubly reflected off of a parabolic and hyperbolic mirror at a sufficiently small angle, creating neutron beams that are convergent, divergent, or parallel. Neutron flux can be increased by concentrically nesting mirrors with the same focal length and curvature, resulting in a convergence of multiple neutron beams at a single focal point. The improved flux from the compact source may be used for non-destructive testing, imaging, and materials analysis. The grazing incidence neutron optic mirrors are fabricated using an electroformed nickel replication technique developed by NASA and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (Figure 2). A machined aluminum mandrel is super-polished to a surface roughness of 3-4 angstroms root mean square and plated with layers of highly reflective nickel-cobalt alloy. Residual stresses that can cause mirror warping are eliminated by periodically reversing the anode and cathode polarity of the electroplating system, resulting in a deformation-free surface. The fabrication process has been used to produce 0.5 meter and 1.0 meter lenses.
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