. 24/7 Space News .
Cars and Planes Are Safer Thanks to This Tool Developed for Shuttle
by Naomi Seck for GSFC News
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Aug 06, 2018

To investigate the tragic 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia accident and understand how to prevent a future one, a team at Glenn Research Center used high-speed cameras and stereo photogrammetry software to analyze impact. The system, used here in 2004 to test a fiberglass surface on Space Shuttle Enterprise, had to be custom-built to meet NASA's needs.

On Feb. 1, 2003, just minutes before Space Shuttle Columbia was due to touch down, the spacecraft suffered a catastrophic failure - all because of a piece of foam that had broke off and knocked into the leading edge of the wing during launch 17 days earlier.

Getting to that answer - and ensuring that it couldn't happen again-took months of investigation and the creation of new tools that didn't exist yet. One of those tools, a system of paired high-speed cameras and software that measures impact, has since proven useful here on the ground, ensuring safety and high performance in everything from high-end running shoes to "built Ford tough" trucks.

Stereo photogrammetry is "like using your two eyes to know where something is in 3D space," explains John Tyson, president of Trilion Quality Systems, the company that built the high-speed system NASA used. "With two cameras, we can precisely measure if something comes closer to you or goes further away, and can estimate the distances it's traveling."

The technique was not new in 2003, when the Columbia investigation began, explains Matthew Melis from NASA's Glenn Research Center, but it "didn't have the ability to work at 30,000 frames per second," which is the speed needed for "a ballistic event on par with what Columbia experienced."

There were two problems to solve, Melis explains: they needed a technique for calibrating and synchronizing the high-speed cameras, and they needed an efficient way to transfer the images from the high-speed cameras into the software. Typically, cameras would save video directly to the computer, but high-speed cameras downloaded video to an onboard memory drive.

What's Inside
Melis approached Trilion, the sole U.S. distributor of German-developed ARAMIS stereo photogrammetry software, asking the company, "What can you guys do to get us hooked up to high speed?" The timeline was short, because NASA was eager to get answers and make the changes needed to return the Shuttle safely to flight.

"We spent about two months getting it working," Tyson says, Since then, Trilion has continued to improve and streamline its high-speed system. Now, Tyson says, high-speed ARAMIS systems represent about 20 percent of Trilion's business, and "it all started with NASA Glenn."

One of the most important uses of high-speed stereo photogrammetry, or as Trilion calls its system, high-speed digital image correlation, is for materials testing. By understanding the materials better, Tyson says, manufacturers are able to improve performance and safety. For example, "years ago, cars were all just made of steel," Tyson says. "Today there might be 50 different materials inside your car, each doing something different. That's increased the safety of vehicles significantly, just by changing the materials."

When Adidas wanted to design a new high-performance running shoe, it used the high-speed ARAMIS system to analyze Olympic marathoners' feet as they hit the ground. "One of the things they saw was that a normal shoe constrains the ball of your foot and your Achilles tendon - as you're running, your shoe is pushing against that tendon," Tyson says. "So they made a V-shaped opening at the back of their shoe so the tendon is free to move."

The shoe company also tested different materials to choose one that would allow the ball of the foot to expand with impact. "They studied the actual foot and then designed a shoe that would match the true motions of the athletes."

Bona Fides
Boeing used Trilion's systems to confirm its Dreamliner 787 was structurally sound. Ford used results from the system to ensure an aluminum F-150 truck body wouldn't compromise the toughness of its signature trucks.

In addition to providing detailed and accurate measurements across a surface, Tyson says, the high-speed ARAMIS system saves money. According to an estimate from Boeing, he says, using ARAMIS was 10 times cheaper than buying and replacing sensors and required a fiftieth of the labor.

It has sometimes been challenging to convince a new customer that a pair of cameras can measure tiny movements as accurately as sensors, Tyson says, but that's where the company's NASA bona fides have been a big help.

"There's no question that that's a big gold star on what we do: that we helped the Space Shuttle fly again."

NASA has a long history of transferring technology to the private sector. Each year, the agency's Spinoff publication profiles about 50 NASA technologies that have transformed into commercial products and services, demonstrating the wider benefits of America's investment in its space program. Spinoff is a publication of the Technology Transfer Program in NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate.

Related Links
NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate.
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

Blasting tiny craters in glass, creating material to miniaturize telecommunication devices
Washington DC (SPX) Aug 07, 2018
Modern communication systems often employ optical fibers to carry signals across or between devices. The integrated optics in these devices combine more than one function into a single circuit. However, signal transmission requires long optical fibers, which makes it difficult to miniaturize the device. Instead of long optical fibers, scientists have started testing planar waveguides. In the Journal of Applied Physics, from AIP Publishing, investigators from the University of Leeds report on a las ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Top Five Technologies Needed for a Spacecraft to Survive Deep Space

Flight Tests to Prove Commercial Systems Fit for Human Spaceflight

Samsung to invest billions in new tech to drive fresh growth

Engine flaw delays Boeing test of crew capsule to 2019

Aerojet Rocketdyne boosters complete simulated air-launch tests

China's newest micro-rocket has fast production cycle

India Working on Augmenting Power of Electric Propulsion for Heavier Satellites

PLD SPACE signs a 25-year concession for rocket engine testing at Teruel Airport

Scientists looking for ways to grow crops on Red Planet

Mars makes closest approach to Earth in 15 years

Evidence of subsurface Martian liquid water bolstered

Life on Mars: Japan astronaut dreams after lake discovery

China solicits international cooperation experiments on space station

China developing in-orbit satellite transport vehicle

PRSS-1 Satellite in Good Condition

China readying for space station era: Yang Liwei

Bangladesh PM opens satellite ground stations

Seventh set of Iridium NEXT satellites performing well during pre-operational testing

Telesat signs consortium deal with Thales and SSL new LEO constellation

Thales and SSL form consortium to further design and develop Telesat's LEO constellation

New photodetector camera to deploy during Robotic Servicing Demonstration Mission

Raytheon to open new radar testing plant

A new classification of symmetry groups in crystal space proposed by Russian scientists

Lasers write better anodes

Exoplanets where life could develop as on Earth

Exoplanet detectives create reference catalog of spectra and geometric albedos

NASA's TESS spacecraft starts science operations

How Can You Tell If That ET Story Is Real

High-Altitude Jovian Clouds

'Ribbon' wraps up mystery of Jupiter's magnetic equator

The True Colors of Pluto and Charon

Radiation Maps of Jupiter's Moon Europa: Key to Future Missions

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.