NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover

NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover is making waves by sending its first hi-resolution images of Mars back to Earth. Perseverance is the fifth Mars Rover and the most technically advanced yet. For the first time in history, the Rover recorded the sound of Mars’s surface; 11 mile-per-hour winds could also be heard. Perseverance had been traveling since July 30 of last year and touched down on the planet’s surface on February 18, 2021. The current mission is scheduled to last for two years. Perseverance aims to study information about the geological processes that created the crust and surface of Mars and how it evolved over time.

Past findings have also indicated sources of water on the planet’s surface. As far as the planet’s environment goes, it has been found to have seasonal temperature changes, polar ice caps, past volcanic activity, found to be very dusty and cold. The idea of life on the planet has been explored in the past. In the last few days, a 360° panoramic view using high-resolution photos of Mars has been constructed and made available to the public. It shows the planet’s surface and the environment in detail never seen before.

Some of the challenges that the Rover faced were things like making sure the equipment could survive the extremely harsh atmosphere of the planet. In fact, at one point, the Rover’s systems went into safe mode shortly after launch. Despite this, the landing was a stunning success, and the ongoing mission continues to be very fruitful. 

What the future holds for Mars, mankind does not yet know. However, with technology on his side, we are very excited to find out just how bright that future could be. To see the panoramic photos in full, please click here.

Imaging Polarimetry 2013 Study

Imaging polarimetry is defined as the measurement and polarization of transverse waves, the biggest of all being electromagnetic waves such as radio or light. This is commonly achieved on electromagnetic waves reflected, refracted, or diffracted by material to characterize the object being used. However, the key question behind the 2013 study being conducted was how can light polarization be measured without moving the particles that make up the light itself? Remote sensors ended up being the hopeful answer to this question by putting them into an imaging polarimeter system. The new system proposed would use a prism.

Specially-fitted optical slits from Lenox Laser were used on the Pantera 6M8 camera onboard a triple-Wollaston imaging-polarimeter. It would be able to help measure the intensity of each polarization projection. The slits also help maintain spatial coherence along the x-axis of an object. This device would also help measure out certain materials and elements in finite detail previously unattainable before. The system also contains a 2-D telescope with a scanning optical relay system designed to study the many wavelengths of light.

With the device’s compact design, it had to be reliable and withstand many different environmental situations and still perform calculations as accurately as possible. The design also had to be practical to be loaded onto space shuttle missions and the like. 

Lenox Laser was very proud to be a part of this massive study. We are very grateful for this opportunity. To learn more about the optical slits that we offer, please click here, and if you would like to read more about the study, click here.

New Wearable Sensor for Saliva and Tear Production

In the medical industry today, many wearable health devices can help people track things like heart health, diabetes, exercise, blood pressure, and so much more. Heart monitors, fitness trackers, Smartwatches, eyewear, and even clothing are just some things that can allow consumers to track their health and well-being. Another handy device could be on the way, thanks to scientists at Penn State University. The device will monitor your health and administer needed medication to assist a patient’s saliva and natural tears. Most importantly, if approved, it would have to be a low-cost option for patients that want to use it. The device would also help manage and possibly detect certain diseases such as oral cancer and infections, oral ulcers, and many types of eye infections. The device functions by using a microneedle to effortlessly and safely deliver the correct dosage of any prescribed medication that the patient may need through the skin, eye, or tongue. This is achieved by micro to nano steel ports on the structure to deliver the medication even as deep as the patient’s individual cells in their body.

As far as Penn State’s involvement in this process, Professor Huanyu Chang in the Penn State Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics hopes to not only expand this potential miracle technology to other medical uses and applications, but he also hopes that it will be a beacon of hope for people in desperate need of relief from painful ailments. The data of different bodily readings could be readily displayed on a patient’s computer, tablet, or smartphone. Not only that, but the patient would have rapid, accurate results in the shortest amount of time possible.

While this exciting new technology is a long way from being perfected, it is hoped that it can be applied to many applications and devices, big or small, when it is it. The ability to quickly see test results and reading will allow doctors to diagnose and treat their patients much sooner than traditional methods.

If you would like to read more about the subject, please click here.

Update on The NASA Messenger

Courtesy of NASA

The NASA Messenger satellite was the seventh discovery mission ever launched by the company and the first-ever fly past Mercury. Its intended purpose was to study the geological environment of the planet as well as its surface. Several days ago, the systems on board the Messenger recorded a meteoroid striking Mercury’s surface. It’s estimated that it measured three feet in length. The Messenger expedition lasted from 2011 to 2015. The Messengers Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer helped capture the possible evidence readings and amounts of sodium and silicon ions within planets solar winds. The meteoroid would come from an asteroid belt some 200 million miles away from Mercury using the information from those particles.

Scientists could do a reverse time-lapse using the particles found in the solar winds and determined that the particles found were younger than initially thought. On the sun side of the planet, it was discovered that the particles were traveling in an extremely tight beam of light like a wave, all at the exact same time and speed. This allowed them to track the sun particles back to their source and found that a cluster of particles erupted on Mercury and scattered nearly 300 miles into the vastness of space. Powerfully charged gases also disperse from rays of light from the solar winds. Hypothetically maybe two or three impacts happened per year during Messenger’s mission lifespan. Unfortunately, none of those were captured in any of the images from the mission.

Messengers’ origins date back all the way from July 1999, when it was first selected as the seventh discovery satellite, to July 2001, when final construction began. August 2004 is when the mission launched. It completed flybys of Earth, Venus, and Mercury starting in August 2005 and ending with the Mercury flyby in September 2009. The satellite completed its mission in 2015. 

Space is a vastly endless sandbox of discovery for modern science. To all those working to discover greatness in space and beyond, Lenox Laser gives our thanks. To see a detailed timeline of the Messenger mission, please click here.

Innovations in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

              With the vaccine for Covid-19 arriving late last year, people are now starting to see a glimmer of hope for the future. The challenge now is keeping up with demand in several markets because there are currently shortages. According to a report recently released by the Washington Post, as of the time writing this, approximately 20.3 million people have received doses of the vaccine. However, all over the world, vaccine distribution is moving at a desperately slow pace. This is what started the idea of using multi-product facilities to speed up the production and distribution of the vaccine as quickly and safely as possible. The first step to this needing to be conquered is updating outdated facilities and equipment. Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing (GRAM), a contract-based manufacturer of sterile injectable drugs based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, is stepping up to aid in this goal.

              One of the significant parts of this initiative is to create massive facilities that are top-of-the-line with the most advanced equipment possible, bringing these facilities into a new era of prosperity. When the virus started, it has been a massive time crunch ever since to get to where we are today. Billions of dollars have been spent on creating and distributing this vaccine. Having updated facilities and converting as many areas as possible to allow it, GRAM believes, could reduce costs and spare precious time. The company is investing in other businesses to bring this innovation to them.

              GRAM will invest in equipment to prevent cross-contamination and improve safety and health protocols and flexibility for all parties involved. As the world’s current state has been in, it is a true marvel to see just how far the medical community has come with innovations, technology, and sustainability. We at Lenox Laser give our heartfelt thanks to all medical workers on the front lines.

If you would like to read more about the future of the pharmaceutical industry, please click here.

1 2 3 4 5 31