I love everything to do with space and space travel. I remember the hairs standing up on the back of my neck when I watched the first men land on the moon in 1969 (I still "choke up" when I see that video). I really envy those who get to work on missions to other planets, such as deep space probes to the moons of Jupiter. At the recent Design West 2013 Conference and Exhibition, it was thrilling to hear Luke Dubord, an avionics systems engineer from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, give his keynote presentation about the Mars Curiosity Rover (see Slideshow: Max at Design West 2013).
The other amazing thing is how much new information we are constantly discovering. Less than 100 years ago, when Einstein first published his theory of General Relativity in 1916, it was generally believed that ours was the only galaxy in the universe. Today, the most current estimates are that there are 100 to 500 billion galaxies in the universe. Furthermore, we now know that these galaxies are organized in such a way as to resemble a three-dimensional fabric "woven" from cosmic threads (see The awesome majesty of the universe).
The reason I'm waffling on about this is that I just now heard that Littelfuse, Inc., a global leader in circuit protection, has created a NASA Exploration & Discovery Experience for the engineering community as part of its 2013 Speed2Design promotion.
Last year, for the inaugural Speed2Design event, Littelfuse took lucky winners behind the scenes for an IndyCar weekend race experience. Winners participated in face-to-face TechTalks with IndyCar engineers responsible for building and maintaining racing's premiere performance machines.
Now, in 2013, Littelfuse is once again taking engineers behind the scenes, this time at NASA for a truly unique Exploration & Discovery experience. Speed2Design participants will be chosen at random during the next few months. There's no cost to winners; a travel voucher, lodging, and event expenses will all be covered by Littelfuse.
Winning design engineers will get an opportunity to go behind the scenes to spend time with NASA engineers at two premiere NASA facilities. Littelfuse will host Speed2Design TechTalk events at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., on August 15 and Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, on October 24. Over the next few months, Littelfuse will randomly select 10 winners from those who enter the promotion to participate in each Speed2Design event. You can learn more and enter at the Littelfuse Speed2Design website.
"NASA Johnson Style" (a "Gangnam Style" parody)
The winners will spend time in a peer-to-peer discussion with NASA engineers currently working on technological breakthroughs in small spacecraft, intelligent robotics, 3D printing, bioengineering, and the NASA Space Portal. Hospitality events are also included the night before and day of the event.
Speed2Design Exploration & Discovery events were created by Littelfuse to allow the design community an exclusive opportunity to meet and talk with engineers working on some of the most exciting and advanced technology being developed today. "We created the 2013 Speed2Design Exploration & Discovery experience to bring engineers face-to-face with some of the most impressive technology on the planet," Cathy Whittaker, Director, Global Marketing Communications. "The design engineers we work with appreciate the technology challenges, demands and reliability required of the electronics that go into modern spacecraft and support systems. This year's Speed2Design events offer design engineers an opportunity to get an 'up close and personal' look at the world's most advanced technologies and to talk to space exploration experts who create these innovations."
About NASA Technology Exchange The NASA Ames Technology Partnerships Division facilitates transfer of NASA Ames Research Center technologies and capabilities into NASA's Mission Directorates, Programs, and Projects through investments and partnerships with industry, academia, government agencies, and national laboratories. These activities increase NASA's connection to emerging technologies in external communities and make NASA's technology portfolio available to industry and academia to support NASA's strategic goals. Technology transfer through dual-use partnerships and licensing also creates many important socio-economic benefits within the broader community.
The Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office (TTO) at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) facilitates the transfer and commercialization of NASA-sponsored research and technology as well as the use of JSC's unique research and development capabilities and facilities. The office works with entrepreneurs, companies, and investors, helping them license NASA-developed technologies so they can bring them to the marketplace. The office also works to develop partnerships with companies, universities, other federal agencies, and national labs that will leverage the partner's expertise and facilities as well as JSC's. Partnerships enable JSC to leverage technology being developed externally and infuse it into NASA programs.
About Speed2Design The Littelfuse Speed2Design program provides support and solutions for time-pressured electronic engineers around the world who are seeking answers and information about proper circuit protection technology, selection and best practices in design. The Speed2Design "rapid-response center" website provides design-related content that includes tutorials, selector guides, design kits, webcasts, sample circuits and FAQs. Interactive elements enable engineers to share their experiences or consult with others to solve their design problems including a Q&A forum, blogs and live chat.
About Littelfuse Founded in 1927, Littelfuse, Inc., the worldwide leader in circuit protection, offers the industry's broadest and deepest portfolio of circuit protection products and solutions. Littelfuse devices protect products in virtually every market that uses electrical energy, from consumer electronics to automobiles to industrial equipment. In addition to its Chicago, Illinois, world headquarters, Littelfuse has more than 30 sales, distribution, manufacturing and engineering facilities in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Technologies offered by Littelfuse include Fuses; Gas Discharge Tubes (GDTs); Positive Temperature Coefficient Devices (PTCs); PulseGuard ESD Suppressors; SIDACtor Devices; Silicon Protection Arrays (SPA Diodes); Switching Thyristors; TVS Diodes and Varistors. The company also offers a comprehensive line of highly reliable Electromechanical and Electronic Switch and Control Devices for commercial and specialty vehicles and Sensors for automobile safety systems, as well as Protection Relays and underground Power Distribution Centers for the safe control and distribution of electricity.
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David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.