Special Coverage

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
Vibration Tables Shake Up Aerospace and Car Testing
Supercomputer Cooling System Uses Refrigerant to Replace Water

Servo Drive

The Bassoon servo drive from Elmo Motion Control (Westford, MA) has an absolute encoder and delivers up to 1.9 kW of continuous power, or 3.8 kW peak. The fully programmable drive can operate in position, velocity, and current modes and controls brushed dc, brushless ac, and linear motors. The drive is easily set up via the CANopen protocol DS-301 and DSP-402. It measures 4.13 × 1.73 × 3 in.

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High Speed Motion Recorder

The SBOC-M/SBOI-M compact vision system from Festo (Hauppauge, NY) provides simplified fault localization and reliable analysis and diagnosis of high-speed motion sequences.

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Conveyor Brake

Designed for decline conveyors with a fail-safe requirement, the EC100 RollerDrive from Interroll Corp. (Wilmington, NC) has a mechanical rotor locking break that prevents drifting on inclines while ensuring smooth operation, low-noise emission, and an extended operating lifetime. The EC100B brake mechanism requires no special control, as two wires are simply attached to the main power bus. The new technology comprises a mechanical rotor-locking break, which is spring-loaded and does only cycle with main power. The brake does not cycle with each start and stop of the conveyor. As long as the power bus is on, the magnetic force created by the solenoid keeps the rotor free.

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DC Brush Gear Motor

The quiet-running Peristaltic Pump Gear Motor (PPGM) from Crouzet North America (Vista, CA) generates half the noise of comparable motors. The motor is available in 16 and 30-watt models and features a gearbox torque of 0.5Nm normal and an operating voltage of 24V. The 16W version is also available with an operating voltage of 12V.

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Parallel Gripper

SCHUNK Inc. (Morrisville, NC) has expanded its EGN series of servo electric two-finger parallel grippers to include sizes 80 and 160 in addition to the existing size 100. The new sizes have a stroke per finger of 8 and 16 millimeters, respectively.

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Going Green in the Workplace with LEDs

In August 2007, Cree’s management made a bold decision to replace the existing fluorescent lighting technology at its Durham, NC facility with new energy-saving, environmentally friendly LED lighting technology. The group started with the company’s headquarters building, but eventually plans to replace more than 7,000 existing fluorescent light fixtures covering more than 800,000 square feet campus-wide. Phase one replaced 200 existing fixtures in 7,000 square feet of space in the visitor lobby, waiting areas and conference rooms. All the exterior parking lot lighting was also converted from high-pressure sodium to LED lighting. Both parts of phase one had to be completed by early November 2007, just 3 months later.

Posted in: Articles, Features, ptb catchall, Photonics, Exterior lighting, Light emitting diodes (LEDs), Light emitting diodes (LEDs), Energy conservation, Interior lighting, Interior lighting, Suppliers
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Precision Prism Manufacturing — Art or Science?

Prisms are used in countless optical systems — from the pair of binoculars in your closet to cutting edge targeting systems to retroreflectors on the Moon. In modern, high-end optical systems, precision optics may be required that push the envelope of manufacturability within given cost constraints. Prisms are an integral component in many of these systems and often require manual fabrication in small quantities; however, they save space, mounting time, and materials, presenting opportunities as well as challenges for optical system designers.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, ptb catchall, Photonics, Optics, Optics, Fabrication, Parts
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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, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Calibration, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Lasers, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Lasers
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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, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Product development, Performance tests
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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, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Electromagnetic compatibility, Electromagnetic compatibility, Thermal management, Thermal management, Reliability, Reliability
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