Space Technology Hall of Fame

Computer Technology

Traveling-Wave Tube Amplifier

First developed in the 1930s, Traveling-Wave Tube Amplifiers (TWTAs) were designed to amplify radio frequency signals. It was in the early 1960s that NASA and L3 teamed up to evolve the technology so it would meet the transmission needs of space missions. The first TWTA flew on a satellite in 1962, and they have been…

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NASA Structural Analysis Computer Software

Inducted In: 1988, Computer Technology

In the early years of the space program, it took thousands of man-hours and months to analyze and solve structural problems in the design of aircraft and space vehicles using conventional mathematical methods. Today designers and engineers are able to analyze and solve thousands of structural problems in a matter of hours. An extremely complex…

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Active Pixel Sensor

Since the 1970’s when charged coupled devices (CCD’s) were first developed, camera and video companies have been seeking to improve the technology. CCD’s provide good image quality, but they are expensive, power hungry, and with the required accessory chips, bulky. Recognizing the shortcomings of CCD technology, and with the continuing need for lightweight imaging systems…

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Video Image Stabilization and Registration (VISAR)

Inducted In: 2001, Computer Technology

Dr. David Hathaway and Paul Meyer of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center have worked on several criminal cases with the police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Hathaway, a solar physicist is usually busy studying images of violent explosions on the Sun and Meyer, an atmospheric scientist, examines hazardous weather conditions on Earth.…

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Data Matrix Symbology

Inducted In: 2001, Computer Technology

Product identification technology pioneered by NASA for tracking Space Shuttle parts is being used to mark everything from groceries to automobile parts.The application of compressed symbology, a two-dimensional symbol marking system to parts marking was developed at the Marshall Space Flight Center for the Space Shuttle Program, where millions and millions of parts, some as…

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Virtual Window

Inducted In: 2003, Computer Technology

NASA is always seeking ways to enhance its understanding of great masses of data, such as fluid flow around air- and space-craft surfaces. Visual 3-D representations are particularly useful to analyze such data. However, a disadvantage of most 3-D systems is that they require the user to wear special glasses. NASA sought the development of…

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