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New Material for Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy

Reproducible measurements can be made quickly,without preparation of samples. A chemical method of synthesis and application of coating materials that are especially suitable for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS)has been developed.The purpose of this development is to facilitate the utilization of the inherently high sensitivity of SERS to detect chemicals of interest (analytes) in trace amounts, without need for lengthy sample preparation.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

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Treated Carbon Nanofibers for Storing Energy in Aqueous KOH

Treatment can increase specific capacitance by as much as 400 percent. A surface treatment has been found to enhance the performances of carbon nanofibers as electrode materials for electrochemical capacitors in which aqueous solutions of potassium hydroxide are used as the electrolytes. In the treatment, sulfonic acid groups are attached to edge plane sites on carbon atoms.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

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Designing Application Software for DSP Chips

"Higher-level" programming languages and software help developers quickly set up and test an application. When it comes to building a digital signal processing (DSP) board, it is important not to neglect the requirements of the application code — the code that actually acquires and processes data to provide useful results. Developers can write code using the assembly language native for a chosen DSP chip, or they can use a higher-level language such as C or C++ that a compiler converts into the operating code for a specific DSP chip. Even higher-level tools and software applications let developers perform operations from menus or drag-and-drop lists of functions; the underlying code of the tool or application converts these graphical operations into the operating code for the specific DSP chip.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs

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Product Lifecycle Management System Aligns Manufacturer's Design and Development

An aerospace equipment manufacturer uses PLM to improve collaboration among design and development systems worldwide. Smiths Aerospace, a leading trans-Atlantic aerospace equipment manufacturer, has grown dramatically in recent years through a combination of strategic acquisitions and major program wins. To maintain its key position in the supply chains of all major military and civil aircraft and engine manufacturers, the company needed to align its heterogeneous design and development systems around the world. In addition to aligning these systems,the company also wanted to integrate new divisions into its Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs

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Real-Time Adaptive Color Segmentation by Neural Networks

Changing images would be analyzed to detect features of interest. Artificial neural networks that would utilize the cascade error projection (CEP) algorithm have been proposed as means of autonomous, real-time,adaptive color segmentation of images that change with time.In the original intended application,such a neural network would be used to analyze digitized color video images of terrain on a remote planet as viewed from an uninhabited spacecraft approaching the planet.During descent toward the surface of the planet, information on the segmentation of the images into differently colored areas would be updated adaptively in real time to capture changes in contrast, brightness, and resolution, all in an effort to identify a safe and scientifically productive landing site and provide control feedback to steer the spacecraft toward that site. Potential terrestrial applications include monitoring images of crops to detect insect invasions and monitoring of buildings and other facilities to detect intruders.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs

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Rapid Injection Molding Offers Alternative to Conventional Prototyping

Rapid injection molding produces a fully functional part from a 3D CAD model. Now more than ever, technological advancements drive the product design process.Increasingly powerful CAD programs allow more complex product designs, which in turn drive the demand for more complex prototypes. At the same time,fast-moving competitive markets require frequent design changes, shorter lead times, and tighter budgets. In short,prototyping must be faster, better, and less expensive.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs

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Process for Making Single-Domain Magnetite Crystals

Crystals can be chemically pure and free of defects. A process for making chemically pure, single-domain magnetite crystals substantially free of structural defects has been invented as a byproduct of research into the origin of globules in a meteorite found in Antarctica and believed to have originated on Mars. The globules in the meteorite comprise layers of mixed (Mg, Fe, and Ca) carbonates, magnetite, and iron sulfides. Since the discovery of the meteorite was announced in August 1996, scientists have debated whether the globules are of biological origin or were formed from inorganic materials by processes that could have taken place on Mars. While the research that led to the present invention has not provided a definitive conclusion concerning the origin of the globules, it has shown that globules of a different but related chemically layered structure can be grown from inorganic ingredients in a multistep precipitation process.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs

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