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
Conventional wisdom holds that MIT, Cal Tech, and Stanford are three of the country’s best undergraduate engineering schools. Unfortunately, when conventional wisdom visits the topic of best engineering schools, it too often leaves out some of the most distinguished programs that don’t happen to offer PhD-level degrees.
Airbus Defence and Space has 3D printed titanium brackets for communications satellites. The redesigned, one-piece 3D-printed brackets have better thermal resistance than conventionally manufactured parts, can be produced faster, cost 20% less, and save about 1 kg of weight per satellite.
A group of researchers at the Seoul National University have discovered a way to take material from cigarette butts and turn it into a carbon-based material that’s ideal for storing energy and creating a powerful supercapacitor.
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