The Tech Teamwork of NASA and NI

Picture of rocket launching on a sunny day

From humble beginnings in James Truchard’s residential garage in Texas, NI has become a massively respected producer of automated test equipment. Since launching in 1976, the company has helped find hardware and software solutions for multiple industries on an international scale. The incredible impact that NI has had on technological innovation is even more evident when considering its long history of working with NASA.

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Methods For Measuring Currents

Closeup of the screen of an analog ammeter

Last week, we published a blog post going over the tools and methods used to measure electrical voltage in various situations. This week, we are taking a look at tests for measuring electrical currents- an essential step in electronic equipment maintenance that can identify the root cause of any failures and malfunctions. We will look at how to use ammeters, the importance of wire size, and how to test currents in power lines, heater motors, and air conditioners.

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Methods For Testing Voltages

Closeup of person holding a yellow digital multimeter to check voltages of wiring

Measurements of electrical voltage are used to determine the possible differences in electric charge between two different points in an electric circuit. This data makes it possible to ascertain how much power is being used by a specific object, compared to how much power is available in the circuit. Since it allows us to ensure that an electrical circuit is operating both correctly and safely, this information is essential for the design, installation, and operation of electrical systems.

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Product Spotlight: The PXIe-1095

Front view of the PXIe-1095 chassis

PXIe (PCI eXtensions for Instrumentation) is a modular instrumentation platform that combines strong CompactPCI features with industry-standard PCI bus technology to provide capabilities for power, communication, and cooling. The platform can be adapted and changed to meet even the most complex instrumentation needs. With 58 W of power and cooling in each slot, the PXIe-1095 chassis allows for increased power and cooling in FPGA workloads.

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Simplifying Circuits with Boolean Algebra

Closeup of tech device that monitors movement on top of written

1 + 1 = 1. While this statement would be false when discussing the real numbers of ordinary algebraic concepts, It makes perfect sense in the context of Boolean Algebra. This mathematical concept is most practically applied when simplifying logic circuits. When the function of a logic circuit can be translated into Boolean form, then the resulting equation can be simplified by applying certain algebraic rules- allowing a circuit with fewer components to perform the same function.

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5G and the Need for Speed

Closeup of LED 5G sign hanging from the ceiling with lights in the background

It’s an undeniable truth that society is becoming increasingly mobile. The integral role that wireless connectivity plays in our day-to-day lives continually creates the need for new applications, which in turn pushes innovation forward at incredible speed. The impact this “race to test” has had on the technology surrounding cell phones is undeniable- in just a few short decades, cellular communication has gone from basic flip phones to powerful smartphones with 5G capabilities.

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Modernizing the EV Battery Test Lab

Closeup of charging cable plugged into a white electric vehicle

Every year, the NI Connect event brings together engineers and business executives from across the globe to discuss the most recent developments in cutting-edge technologies and strategies. At the most recent NI Connect in Munich, NI announced the High Power System-17000, their highest performing EV battery cycler to date. With 150kW of power, the HPS-17000 offers a modular design created to improve scalability, flexibility, and performance.

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The Versatile Applications of LiDAR

Closeup LiDAR topographical map from above

LiDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, was first used for applications in meteorology and astronomy. It grew in popularity in 1971, when the Apollo 15 traveled to the Moon and was the first to employ a LiDAR sensor to gauge the height and topography of a planet’s surface. Since then, LiDAR has proved to be a valuable tool across a variety of applications for multiple industries.

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Standardized Software is Key to Lab Modernization

Two men and a woman engineer collaborating on a project

It is no secret that tech innovation is accelerating at an incredible rate- and as a result, engineers face increasing pressure to expedite each stage of product development. Each new technological advancement not only opens up new markets, but also affects how engineers develop and test their products. For any company working to stay at the forefront of evolving technologies while also meeting client demands as effectively as possible, software standardization is critical for modernizing your lab.

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