The European space effort is moving into another phase, with the launch of the first Vega rocket scheduled for late next year. When it lifts off from French Guyana, on-ground safety will be handled by Vitrociset S.p.A., an Italian company that includes NI controllers in its hardware.
The Vega Control Center manages the countdown and handles all electrical operations on the launcher. In the event of problems, it addresses the many facets of safety that can occur in a complex mission like a rocket launch.
“If there’s a problem, we have to figure out what it is and what the best technique for handling it is. We have double and triple redundancy,” says Marco Bordin, senior engineering manager. The hardware is PXI based, and programming is handled by LabVIEW.
A larger version of this model may lift off late next year
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
Engineers at the University of San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering have designed biobatteries on commercial tattoo paper, with an anode and cathode screen-printed on and modified to harvest energy from lactate in a person’s sweat.
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