Special Coverage

Soft Robot “Walks” on Any Terrain
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Using Microwaves to Produce High-Quality Graphene
Transducer-Actuator Systems for On-Machine Measurements and Automatic Part Alignment
Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors
Heavy Lift Wing in Ground (WIG) Cargo Flying Boat
Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines

The Interplanetary Overlay Networking Protocol Accelerator

A document describes the Inter - planetary Overlay Networking Protocol Accelerator (IONAC) — an electronic apparatus, now under development, for relaying data at high rates in spacecraft and interplanetary radio-communication systems utilizing a delay-tolerant networking protocol. The protocol includes provisions for transmission and reception of data in bundles (essentially, messages), transfer of custody of a bundle to a recipient relay station at each step of a relay, and return receipts.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Communication protocols, Data exchange, Communication protocols, Data exchange, Performance upgrades, Spacecraft
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Multichannel Monitor-Stabilizer for Injection-Locked Lasers

Temp Tracker and Temp Tracker 12 ch (single-channel and 12-channel versions) programs are designed for use with an atomic gravity gradiometer. They support the stable operation of the injection-locked slave laser(s) in an autonomous regime. Due to changes of environmental conditions and aging, slave lasers tend to drift from the locking range and need to be relocked. This program checks the injection-locking range for each slave laser and re-centers them with respect to the master lasers, if needed. The master laser is assumed to be locked at an absorption line of Cs.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Physical Sciences, Calibration, Lasers, Lasers, Reliability, Reliability
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Self-Quenching Single-Photon Detector

The detector has applications in nuclear physics instruments, spectroscopy, night-vision devices, and biological instrumentation.

The self-quenching single-photon detector exhibits unique avalanching behaviors. It can automatically quench each of the Geiger mode avalanche events occurring inside the detector, can maintain the capability over a broad bias range, and can output explicit pulses with virtually constant and high value gain.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Research and development
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Reducing Temperature Effects in Optical Resonator Sensors

Influences of temperature fluctuations are suppressed by factors of about 105.

A differential-frequency measurement technique has been devised to reduce the spurious contributions of temperature fluctuations to determinations of physical quantities from readings of optical resonator and interferometric sensors. The technique is applicable mainly to sensors in the form of whispering-gallery mode (WGM) optical resonators. The evanescent electromagnetic fields of such resonators interact with their environments, such that their resonance frequencies change in response to environmental changes (e.g., a change in the index of refraction of the surrounding medium) that one seeks to measure. The resonance frequencies also vary significantly with temperature, with consequent introduction of errors and uncertainties and, hence, effective loss of sensitivity to changes in quantities other than temperature that one seeks to determine.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Physical Sciences, Optics, Sensors and actuators, Optics, Sensors and actuators
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Sensor Technology Leads Manufacturing into Predictive Maintenance

Reactive, avoidable equipment repairs are a leading contributor to lost productivity in industrial manufacturing operations. Parts with an average selling price of just a few dollars can cost manufacturers many times that in repairs and unrealized revenue once they fail. In a worst-case scenario, undetected faults can cascade through the system, causing widespread damage and triggering major and expensive production outages.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Maintenance, Repair and Service Operations, Maintenance, repair, and service operations, Prognostics, Manufacturing equipment and machinery, Reliability, Reliability
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Flexible Digital Servo Drives Speed Machine Control Design

Advances in digital hardware technology and software innovations now allow a single digital servo drive to be configured to work in a variety of machine control architectures.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Electronic control units, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Electronic control units
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QuickSilver Servo Motors Drive Autonomous Vehicles

The design of remotely operated, autonomous battery-powered vehicles places special requirements on motion control systems. High torque at low speeds is needed to climb over obstacles, while higher speed operation is needed for cruise speed. Efficient operation from lower voltages (12V to 48V) reduces battery size and weight requirements, while regenerative drives maximize the operating time and distance by recharging the batteries while braking.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motors & Drives, Regenerative braking, Batteries, Batteries, Electric motors, Autonomous vehicles, Electric vehicles
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Electronic Motion Controller Simplifies Hydraulic Press Controls

What do you do if you’re in the business of producing a wide variety of metal presses to meet special customer requirements? You choose your system components wisely, and flexibility of function plays a large part.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Manufacturing equipment and machinery, Stamping, Metals, Hydraulic control
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Maxon Drive Prevents Bottlenecks for Bottle Cap Maker

Maxon’s MCD EPOS integrated power drive was used by a wine and liquor bottling operation to control the cutting of shrink-wrapped film over the bottleneck and cork or cap.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Cutting, Manufacturing equipment and machinery, Polymers, Drive-by-wire
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Stepper Motor/Drive

The STM Drive+Motor solution from Applied Motion Products (Watsonville, CA) is a stepper drive and motor unit fused into a single device that saves space, wiring and cost, when compared with conventional motor/drive solutions.

Posted in: Products
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