Machine Design

Looking Back

10 YEARS AGO — JUNE 4, 1998 X-ray telescope counts down to liftoff:

Technicians have finished assembling the world’s most powerful X-ray telescope, NASA’s Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility. AXAF is slated for launch aboard Space Shuttle mission STS-93 in December. The telescope has 10 the resolution and 50 to 100 the sensitivity of any previous X-ray telescope. Scientists will be able to study sources of X-rays, such as colliding galaxies and black holes with the instrument.

30 YEARS AGO — JUNE 8, 1978
Laser rangefinder readied for battle tank: A technician at Hughes Aircraft Co. adjusts the boresight of a laser rangefinder for the Army’s new XM1 main battle tank. The new “mini” rangefinder, designed to provide inst ant aneous range information to the tank’s fire-control computer, is smaller and more efficient than its predecessors. Hughes will manufacture the first 110 laser rangefinders for delivery to Chrysler Corp., builder of the tank. Hughes is also manufacturing an infrared night-vision and fire-detection subsystems for the XM1.

50 YEARS AGO — JUNE 12, 1958
Fast inspection of high-speed cams solves a major problem in computer production at IBM. Inspection of a 12 3-in.-diameter printing cam involves precise measurement of 4,320 points a round t he cam diameter. Tolerances run to 0.0001 in. Formerly a 12-hr job, inspection takes 12 min on the new cam analyzer. Three electronic gage heads reference the revolving cam to the master. Dimension differences are picked up by gages and recorded by supporting equipment. IBM designed mechanical portions of the new machine. Gaging components were supplied by Airborne Instruments Laboratory, Mineola, N.Y.

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