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The ScanWorks(R) hand-held 3D laser scanner from Perceptron (Plymouth, MI) was named Photonics Tech Briefs Product of the Month for April. The instrument features a scanning rate of up to 458,000 points per second and can maintain a dense point resolution of approximately 14 microns. The device projects the sensor's field of view onto the target scanning area to visualize the best scanning strategy, and may be used on dark or highly reflective surfaces. The scanning software includes a MS Windows XP-style interface, intelligent sensor calibration, real-time point shading, and automatic exposure control.

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Technology Business Brief

New CNT Array Adhesion Tape and the Opportunity to Collaborate Company is seeking industry support for further testing and development of its carbon nanotube (CNT) adhesive. Developed in conjunction with the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the University of California-Berkeley, this company is looking for industry investment to support tests on the adhesion strength and mechanical stability of its nano adhesive.

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PTB Product of the Year Awards



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Hexagonal Pixels and Indexing Scheme for Binary Images

For some purposes, this scheme is superior to rectangular pixels. A scheme for resampling binaryimage data from a rectangular grid to a regular hexagonal grid and an associated tree - structured pixel - indexing scheme keyed to the level of resolution have been devised. This scheme could be utilized in conjunction with appropriate image - data - processing algorithms to enable automated retrieval and/or recognition of images. For some purposes, this scheme is superior to a prior scheme that relies on rectangular pixels: One example of such a purpose is recognition of fingerprints, which can be approximated more closely by use of line segments along hexagonal axes than by line segments along rectangular axes. This scheme could also be combined with algorithms for query - image - based retrieval of images via the Internet.

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Celestial Software Scratches More Than the Surface

While NASA is preparing to send humans back to the Moon by 2020 and then eventually to Mars, the average person can explore the landscapes of these celestial bodies much sooner, without the risk and training and without even leaving the comfort of home.

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Finding Minimum-Power Broadcast Trees for Wireless Networks

Algorithms for identifying viable trees have been derived. Some algorithms have been devised for use in a method of constructing tree graphs that represent connections among the nodes of a wireless ommunication network. These algorithms provide for determining the viability of any given candidate connection tree and for generating an initial set of viable trees that can be used in any of a variety of search algorithms (e.g., a genetic algorithm) to find a tree that enables the network to broadcast from a source node to all other nodes while consuming the minimum amount of total power. The method yields solutions better than those of a prior algorithm known as the broadcast incremental power algorithm, albeit at a slightly greater computational cost.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Automation of Design Engineering Processes

A method facilitates ISO 9001 compliance and eliminates voluminous, difficult-to-manage paper files. A method, and a computer program that helps to implement the method, have been developed to automate and systematize the retention and retrieval of all the written records generated during the process of designing a complex engineering system. It cannot be emphasized strongly enough that “all the written records” as used here is meant to be taken literally: it signifies not only final drawings and final engineering calculations but also such ancillary documents as minutes of meetings, memoranda, requests for design changes, approval and review documents, and reports of tests. One important purpose served by the method is to make the records readily available to all involved users via their computer workstations from one computer archive while eliminating the need for voluminous paper files stored in different places. Another important purpose served by the method is to facilitate the work of engineers who are charged with sustaining the system and were not involved in the original design decisions. The method helps the sustaining engineers to retrieve information that enables them to retrace the reasoning that led to the original design decisions, thereby helping them to understand the system better and to make informed engineering choices pertaining to maintenance and/or modifications of the system. The software used to implement the method is written in Microsoft Access. All of the documents pertaining to the design of a given system are stored in one relational database in such a manner that they can be related to each other via a single tracking number. In addition to improving the management of records of the design process, the method can be utilized to improve the design process itself in a number of ways that include the following:

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