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Researchers Build 'Invisible' Materials with Light

Metamaterials have a wide range of potential applications, including sensing and improving military stealth technology. Before cloaking devices can become reality on a larger scale, however, researchers must determine how to make the right materials at the nanoscale. Using light is now shown to be an enormous help in such nano-construction. A new technique uses light like a needle to thread long chains of particles. The development could help bring sci-fi concepts, such as cloaking devices, one step closer to reality.The technique developed by the University of Cambridge team involves using unfocused laser light as billions of needles, stitching gold nanoparticles together into long strings, directly in water for the first time. The strings can then be stacked into layers one on top of the other, similar to Lego bricks. The method makes it possible to produce materials in much higher quantities than can be made through current techniques. SourceAlso: See other Sensors tech briefs.

Posted in: News

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Coming Soon - The Stealth E-Bike: Challenges in Developing the First Fully Integrated Drive System for E-Bikes

Developing an E-Bike that looks and drives like a conventional bike raises significant engineering challenges. Yet this is what the team at FAZUA has achieved with their proof-of-concept bike, using electrical assistance from their evation drive system. The drive system, containing all engine components like engine, electronics and battery, is placed in the downtube of a bike and can be removed by just one click at any time. Within seconds, an e-bike is converted into a lightweight bike as a bezel is put at its place. The next generation prototype, which will attain a pre-series status, is currently in development with the aid of CAD construction and simulation software.

Posted in: Upcoming Webinars

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Discover The Advantages Of Pure Fused Silica Capillary Tubing In Medical Applications

A wide range of medical devices incorporate tubing for the controlled delivery of therapeutic agents. Other devices employ capillary tubing for mass flow control of ancillary fluids and gases where the rate of delivery is of critical importance to the particular medical procedure. In this white paper, Molex explores the special advantages of pure fused silica tubing in medical applications; including what makes it unique, specific design advantages, how it compares to metal and PEEK tubing, and more. Read it now!

Posted in: Medical, White Papers, MDB

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The Final Step In Prototyping: Enhancing Your Metal Parts For Accelerated Speed To Market

Electropolishing is often referred to as a “reverse plating” process. Electrochemical in nature, electropolishing uses a combination of rectified current and a blended chemical electrolyte bath to remove flaws from the surface of a metal part.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, White Papers

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Spongelike Structure Converts Solar Energy into Steam

A new material structure developed at MIT generates steam by soaking up the sun.The structure — a layer of graphite flakes and an underlying carbon foam — is a porous, insulating material structure that floats on water. When sunlight hits the structure’s surface, it creates a hotspot in the graphite, drawing water up through the material’s pores, where it evaporates as steam. The brighter the light, the more steam is generated.The new material is able to convert 85 percent of incoming solar energy into steam — a significant improvement over recent approaches to solar-powered steam generation.“Steam is important for desalination, hygiene systems, and sterilization,” says Hadi Ghasemi, a postdoc in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, who led the development of the structure. “Especially in remote areas where the sun is the only source of energy, if you can generate steam with solar energy, it would be very useful.”SourceAlso: See other Energy tech briefs.

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Astronauts to Test Free-Flying Robotic 'Smart SPHERES'

Three bowling ball-size free-flying Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) have been flying inside the International Space Station since 2006. These satellites provide a test bed for development and research, each having its own power, propulsion, computer, navigation equipment, and physical and electrical connections for hardware and sensors for various experiments.Aboard Orbital Sciences Corp.'s second contracted commercial resupply mission to the space station, which arrived to the orbital laboratory on July 16, NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, sent two Google prototype Project Tango smartphones that astronauts will attach to the SPHERES for technology demonstrations inside the space station. By connecting a smartphone to the SPHERES, the technology becomes "Smart SPHERES, " a more "intelligent" free-flying robot with built-in cameras to take pictures and video, sensors to help conduct inspections, powerful computing units to make calculations and Wi-Fi connections to transfer data in real time to the computers aboard the space station and at mission control in Houston.In a two-phase experiment, astronauts will manually use the smartphones to collect visual data using the integrated custom 3-D sensor to generate a full 3-D model of their environment. After the map and its coordinate system are developed, a second activity will involve the smartphones attached to the SPHERES, becoming the free-flying Smart SPHERES. As the free-flying robots move around the space station from waypoint to waypoint, utilizing the 3-D map, they will provide situational awareness to crewmembers inside the station and flight controllers in mission control. These experiments allow NASA to test vision-based navigation in a very small mobile product.SourceAlso: Learn about Automatic Lunar Rock Detection and Mapping.

Posted in: News

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Coming Soon - SansEC: Electrical Sensors with No Electrical Connections

SansEC is a NASA-developed wireless sensor technology that is damage tolerant and requires no electrical connections. Unlike other sensors, a SansEC sensor can be designed for measurements unrelated to each other - like temperature and fluid level - and easily switch from one to another or do both simultaneously.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars

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