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Frost S.A.,NASA | Gorospe G.E.,SGT | Wright C.H.G.,University of Wyoming | Barrett S.F.,University of Wyoming
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2015

We report on a fiber optic sensor based on the physiological aspects of the eye and vision-related neural layers of the common housefly (Musca domestica) that has been developed and built for aerospace applications. The intent of the research is to reproduce select features from the fly's vision system that are desirable in image processing, including high functionality in low-light and low-contrast environments, sensitivity to motion, compact size, lightweight, and low power and computation requirements. The fly uses a combination of overlapping photoreceptor responses that are well approximated by Gaussian distributions and neural superposition to detect image features, such as object motion, to a much higher degree than just the photoreceptor density would imply. The Gaussian overlap in the biomimetic sensor comes from the front-end optical design, and the neural superposition is accomplished by subsequently combining the signals using analog electronics. The fly eye sensor is being developed to perform real-time tracking of a target on a flexible aircraft wing experiencing bending and torsion loads during flight. We report on results of laboratory experiments using the fly eye sensor to sense a target moving across its field of view. © 2015 SPIE.

« CPUC approves SDG&E pilot EV grid integration project; 3,500 charging stations at 350 sites, dynamic pricing | Main | Daihatsu to become wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor; strengthening small car operations » On 22 January 2016, Siemens handed over the combined cycle power plant equipped with a Siemens H-class gas turbine at the Lausward location in the Düsseldorf (Germany) harbor area to the customer and operator, the utility company Stadtwerke Düsseldorf AG. The turnkey plant sets three new records in world-wide comparison. During the test run before acceptance, unit “Fortuna” achieved a maximum electrical net output of 603.8 megawatts (MW), which is a new record for a combined cycle plant of this type in a single-shaft configuration. A new world record of around 61.5% for net power-generating efficiency was also achieved, enabling Siemens to beat its own efficiency record of 60.75% set in May 2011 at the Ulrich Hartmann power plant located in Irsching in the south of Germany. Unit “Fortuna” can also deliver up to around 300 MW for the district heating system of Düsseldorf—a further international peak value for a power plant equipped with only one gas and steam turbine. This boosts the plant’s fuel utilization up to 85%, while reducing CO emissions to a mere 230 gram per kilowatt-hour. The increase in the capacity and efficiency levels is the result of consistent ongoing developments, for example in the design of components, in the materials used, in the overall construction of the plant, and in the perfect interworking of all plant components. The gas turbine can run at full load in less than 25 minutes after a hot start, enabling it to also be used as a backup for renewables-based power production. This flexibility supports the operator in efforts to achieve economical operations in a challenging environment for conventional power plants. Because of the plant’s close proximity to the downtown area of the city, special importance was attached to minimum emissions, optical integration into the cityscape, and lowest achievable noise levels: On the opposite shore of the Rhine, across from the plant, the noise level is less than 25 decibels—quieter than a whisper. To date Siemens has 76 H-class gas turbines under contract worldwide. With 17 units in commercial operation, the SGT-8000H fleet has already reached more than 195,000 hours of operation. In terms of the average emissions of power generation for all coal-fired power plants throughout the European Union, a natural-gas-fired combined cycle power plant such as this one, with an electrical efficiency of 61.5%, theoretically saves approximately 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO ) annually. This corresponds to the amount of CO emitted by 1.25 million passenger cars, each driving 15,000 kilometers a year.

Duda K.A.,SGT | Duda K.A.,U.S. Geological Survey | Abrams M.,Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Proceedings of the IEEE | Year: 2012

When lives are threatened or lost due to catastrophic disasters, and when massive financial impacts are experienced, international emergency response teams rapidly mobilize to provide urgently required support. Satellite observations of affected areas often provide essential insight into the magnitude and details of the impacts. The large cost and high complexity of developing and operating satellite flight and ground systems encourages international collaboration in acquiring imagery for such significant global events in order to speed delivery of critical information to help those affected, and optimize spectral, spatial, and temporal coverage of the areas of interest. The International CharterSpace and Major Disasters was established to enable such collaboration in sensor tasking during times of crisis and is often activated in response to calls for assistance from authorized users. Insight is provided from a U.S. perspective into sensor support for Charter activations and other disaster events through a description of the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER), which has been used to support emergency situations for over a decade through its expedited tasking and near real-time data delivery capabilities. Examples of successes achieved and challenges encountered in international collaboration to develop related systems and fulfill tasking requests suggest operational considerations for new missions as well as areas for future enhancements. © 2012 IEEE.

Mandl D.,NASA | Frye S.,SGT | Cappelaere P.,Vightel Corporation | Handy M.,NASA | And 13 more authors.
IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing | Year: 2013

The Earth Observing One (EO-1) satellite was launched in November 2000 as a one year technology demonstration mission for a variety of space technologies. After the first year, it was used as a pathfinder for the creation of SensorWebs. A SensorWeb is the integration of a variety of space, airborne and ground sensors into a loosely coupled collaborative sensor system that automatically provides useful data products. Typically, a SensorWeb is comprised of heterogeneous sensors tied together with an open messaging architecture and web services. SensorWebs provide easier access to sensor data, automated data product production and rapid data product delivery. Disasters are the perfect arena to test SensorWeb functionality since emergency workers and managers need easy and rapid access to satellite, airborne and in-situ sensor data as decision support tools. The Namibia Early Flood Warning SensorWeb pilot project was established to experiment with various aspects of sensor interoperability and SensorWeb functionality. The SensorWeb system features EO-1 data along with other data sets from such satellites as Radarsat, Terra and Aqua. Finally, the SensorWeb team began to examine how to measure economic impact of SensorWeb technology infusion. This paper describes the architecture and software components that were developed along with performance improvements that were experienced. Also, problems and challenges that were encountered are described along with a vision for future enhancements to mitigate some of the problems. © 2008-2012 IEEE.

Frost S.A.,NASA | Goebel K.,NASA | Celaya J.,SGT
AIAA Infotech at Aerospace Conference and Exhibit 2012 | Year: 2012

Significant technology advances will enable future aerospace systems to safely and reliably make decisions autonomously, or without human interaction. The decision-making may result in actions that enable an aircraft or spacecraft in an off-nominal state or with slightly degraded components to achieve mission performance and safety goals while reducing or avoiding damage to the aircraft or spacecraft. Some key technology enablers for autonomous decision-making include: a continuous state awareness through the maturation of the prognostics health management field, novel sensor development, and the considerable gains made in computation power and data processing bandwidth versus system size. Sophisticated algorithms and physics based models coupled with these technological advances allow reliable assessment of a system, subsystem, or components. Decisions that balance mission objectives and constraints with remaining useful life predictions can be made autonomously to maintain safety requirements, optimal performance, and ensure mission objectives. This autonomous approach to decision-making will come with new risks and benefits, some of which will be examined in this paper. To start, an account of previous work to categorize or quantify autonomy in aerospace systems will be presented. In addition, a survey of perceived risks in autonomous decision-making in the context of piloted aircraft and remotely piloted or completely autonomous unmanned autonomous systems (UAS) will be presented based on interviews that were conducted with individuals from industry, academia, and government.

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