Aircraft carrier catapult instrument robotically measures the critical gap width of steam-powered catapult launch cylinders

Aircraft carrier catapult instrument robotically measures the critical gap width of steam-powered catapult launch cylinders

Creare designed and manufactured a specialized robotic instrument for measuring the gap width of steam-powered catapult launch cylinders onboard aircraft carriers, a critical dimension that must be monitored to ensure reliable aircraft launch. There are four catapults on modern U.S. carriers, and obtaining accurate gap width measurements for an aircraft carrier fleet that spans the globe has been a challenge for the Navy. Creare’s entirely wireless and fully autonomous instrument obtains data on the health and status of the catapult cylinders to aid in condition-based maintenance. After developing and field testing several prototype versions of the instrument, Creare produced and delivered eight complete systems to the Navy. These systems have reduced the time required to make the gap width measurements by 94% and have simplified logistics by eliminating the need for onboard heavy support equipment. Since 2007, these systems have been used successfully all over the world on every active aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy fleet, and have also been successfully used on the French Navy’s carrier. There has not been a single failure of any kind with these units.

Creare has developed the world’s smallest hybrid turbomolecular/molecular drag vacuum pump to support portable, battery-powered analytical equipment such as mass spectrometers. This miniature turbo/drag pump is about the size of a D-cell flashlight battery. This pump, about the size of a D-cell flashlight battery, weighs only 150 grams, and can develop an ultimate pressure in the 10-8 Torr range.

Creare delivered a space-qualified pump for the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument that is the key analytical measurement suite on the Mars Science Laboratory mission launched on November 26, 2011. We are currently working on space qualifying another pump for use on the European Space Agency ExoMars mission scheduled for launch in 2018. We also develop small, low-power, vacuum pumps for portable mass spectrometers that can be used for homeland security, atmospheric sampling, and monitoring of weapons of mass destruction.

Click here for more information on Vacuum Pumps.

Many of Creare’s biomedical projects include study of the behavior of the human body under conditions ranging from simply rolling over to repeated vibration exposure.   We often construct anatomic models to mimic the response of the actual human body in a highly repeatable manner that can be carefully studied. We have developed complex anatomic phantoms that enable our clients to simulate physiologic processes in the laboratory or field. These models and phantoms can contain multiple simulated organs with realistic mechanical and electrical properties.

Examples of these anatomic phantoms include:

  • Head phantoms that simulate the response of the head, skull, and inner ear to sound
  • Abdominal phantoms that simulate colon motion as subjects change body orientation during CT screening for colorectal cancer
  • Head phantoms capable of generating electroencephalograph (EEG) signals.

To support this work we have developed expertise in image segmentation (automated extraction of specific organs from three-dimensional CT images), rapid prototyping, and novel methods of material fabrication and molding. Contact us for more information on how we can develop a specialized phantom for your application.