Special Coverage


Diode Laser Platform

Spectra-Physics, a Division of Newport Corp. (Tucson, AZ), has released a 900- to 980-nm diode laser platform based on epitaxial design. The diode laser platform provides CW power conversion efficiency to 71% for 940-nm single emitters (15°C case temperature). More than 68.5% peak PCE at 25°C may be achieved from 100-μm-wide, 3-mm-long single emitters designed for 8-W output power applications.

Posted in: Products, Products


Design Analysis in Product Innovation

Sponsored by SolidWorks Recorded August 17, 2006 Product innovation has recently come to the forefront as one of the truly sustainable competitive advantages a company can develop in the product development process. One common roadblock to the innovative process is the time and cost to prototype the endless variety of design options that can result from aggressive brainstorming. Design analysis, a proven technology for validating products in virtual prototype environment, typically using finite element analysis (FEA) methods, can help overcome this roadblock. Design analysis is as much about process as it is end results and in this podcast, Vince Adams, Product Manager for Analysis Products at SolidWorks Corporation discusses important aspects of this technology as it relates to product innovation. Interviewer: Linda Bell Editor and Associate Publisher NASA Tech Briefs Speaker: Vince Adams Product Manager for Analysis Products SolidWorks Corporation Click here to proceed to podcast

Posted in: Podcasts


Regulating Glucose and pH, and Monitoring Oxygen in a Bioreactor

Glucose and oxygen concentrations are monitored, and glucose concentration and pH are adjusted as needed. Figure 1 is a simplified schematic diagram of a system that automatically regulates the concentration of glucose or pH in a liquid culture medium that is circulated through a rotating-wall perfused bioreactor. Another system, shown in Figure 2, monitors the concentration of oxygen in the culture medium.

Posted in: Briefs


Mobile Robot for Exploring Cold Liquid/Solid Environments

This tethered robot could float, swim, crawl, and sample environmental materials. The Planetary Autonomous Amphibious Robotic Vehicle (PAARV), now at the prototype stage of development, was originally intended for use in acquiring and analyzing samples of solid, liquid, and gaseous materials in cold environments on the shores and surfaces, and at shallow depths below the surfaces, of lakes and oceans on remote planets. The PAARV also could be adapted for use on Earth in similar exploration of cold environments in and near Arctic and Antarctic oceans and glacial and sub-glacial lakes.

Posted in: Machinery & Automation, Mechanics, Briefs, TSP


System Would Acquire Core and Powder Samples of Rocks

A sampling system would be built around an ultrasonic/sonic drill corer. A system for automated sampling of rocks, ice, and similar hard materials at and immediately below the surface of the ground is undergoing development. The system, denoted a sample preparation, acquisition, handling, and delivery (SPAHD) device, would be mounted on a robotic exploratory vehicle that would traverse the terrain of interest on the Earth or on a remote planet. The SPAHD device would probe the ground to obtain data for optimization of sampling, prepare the surface, acquire samples in the form(s) of cores and/or powdered cuttings, and deliver the samples to a selected location for analysis and/or storage.

Posted in: Machinery & Automation, Briefs, TSP


Producing Quantum Dots by Spray Pyrolysis

Sizes of quantum dots are determined by sizes of sprayed drops. An improved process for making nanocrystallites, commonly denoted quantum dots (QDs), is based on spray pyrolysis. Unlike the process used heretofore, the improved process is amenable to mass production of either passivated or non-passivated QDs, with computer control to ensure near uniformity of size.

Posted in: Machinery & Automation, Briefs


Improved Fabrication of Lithium Films Having Micron Features

Dry chemicals and a dry process are used to prevent undesired reactions. An improved method has been devised for fabricating micron-dimension Li features. This approach is intended for application in the fabrication of lithium-based microelectrochemical devices — particularly solid-state thinfilm lithium microbatteries.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP