Special Coverage

Active Aircraft Pylon Noise Control System
Unmanned Aerial Systems Traffic Management
Method of Bonding Dissimilar Materials
Sonar Inspection Robot System
Applying the Dynamic Inertia Measurement Method to Full-Scale Aerospace Vehicles
Method and Apparatus for Measuring Surface Air Pressure
Fully Premixed, Low-Emission, High-Pressure, Multi-Fuel Burner
Self-Healing Wire Insulation

Protocol for Communication Networking for Formation Flying

This protocol provides for adaptation to changing formation geometry and communication requirements. An application-layer protocol and a network architecture have been proposed for data communications among multiple autonomous spacecraft that are required to fly in a precise formation in order to perform scientific observations. The protocol could also be applied to other autonomous vehicles operating in formation, including robotic aircraft, robotic land vehicles, and robotic underwater vehicles.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences


Planning Complex Sequences Using Compressed Representations

Computation time and memory needed to generate schedules are greatly reduced. A method that notably includes the use of compressed representations interleaved with non-compressed (time-line) representations of a general scheduling problem has been conceived as a means of increasing, by orders of magnitude, the speeds of computations needed for scheduling complex sequences of activities that include cycles wherein subsets of the activities and/or sequences are repeated. The method was originally intended to be used in scheduling large campaigns of scientific observations by instruments aboard a spacecraft. A typical such campaign could include observations of millions of targets, many observations to be made during long repeated passes. The method would also be useful on Earth for scheduling complex sequences of activities that include cycles. The method is best summarized in the context of the original intended application, wherein the scheduling problem is formulated as that of selecting, from a candidate set of observations, those observations that cover as many target points as possible without oversubscribing energy and memory budgets. Inasmuch as observation opportunities repeat, the theoretical framework for evaluation of candidate solutions includes a cycle bound.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences


Self-Supervised Learning of Terrain Traversability From Proprioceptive Sensors

This system enables a vehicle to scan its surroundings and adapt to conditions by learning about them on the fly. Robust and reliable autonomous navigation in unstructured, off-road terrain is a critical element in making unmanned ground vehicles a reality. Existing approaches tend to rely on evaluating the traversability of terrain based on fixed parameters obtained via testing in specific environments. This results in a system that handles the terrain well that it trained in, but is unable to process terrain outside its test parameters.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences


Modular Battery Charge Controller

A John H. Glenn Research Center-developed controller features distributed charge control and a masterless communication bus, enhancing its robustness for use in battery energy-storage applications. The modular battery charge controller is required in battery chemistries that need cell-level charge control for safety.

Posted in: Briefs, GDM, Briefs, Batteries, Electronics & Computers, Energy, Energy Storage


The Opportunity of Economic Uncertainty

By Susan OrrSenior DirectorStrategic MarketingThomasNetNew York, NYThere’s no question that the economic slowdown has taken an enormous toll on the industrial and manufacturing sectors. But despite the downturn, the glass, in my view, remains half full for industrial businesses, including the many firms that we talk with every day. Companies are telling us they’ve been able to keep sales level with last year’s — or even increase them — by diversifying into new markets, and attracting more overseas clients. They’re making better use of the Internet to extend their reach, and it’s working. How can your company, too, stay “recession-resistant” during the downturn, and position itself for new growth? As a first step, take stock of your unique selling proposition (USP), and how that translates into a unique value proposition (UVP) that will appeal to new buyers. Then, make sure that your Web site reflects these differentiators. Research shows that 50 percent of industrial buyers choose suppliers based on what they see on their sites.What Sets You Apart? To identify your USP, ask yourself: What are our core competencies as they relate to meeting customers’ needs? What do we offer that is integral to our customers’ ability to do business? How can we deliver added value and turn our customers’ ideas into reality? In answering questions like these, you will identify new ways that you can differentiate your company’s products or services. And along with differentiation comes discovery of your UVP. Think about repositioning your core competencies as UVPs in terms of solving problems for your customers. These may include: Delivering cost efficiencies. Delivering products faster. Offering customized products for unique applications. Enhancing customer service benefits.Taking Your UVP to the Web When you understand your company’s UVP, you are in a position to more effectively communicate it over the Web. Industrial Specialties Manufacturing of Englewood, CO — which supplies miniature pneumatic, vacuum, and fluid circuitry components to OEMs and distributors all over the world — has successfully followed this strategy. The company offers 150,000 individual products for a broad range of markets — from medical, laboratory and research to automotive. Its UVPs include an exceptional focus on the customer, as evidenced by its ability to fill large and small orders, including those with highly customized requirements, on time and with tremendous accuracy. By enhancing its site with a comprehensive online catalog, complete with parametric search, item comparison, and RFQ capabilities, ISM increased sales 15 percent from March 2008 to March 2009, and improved penetration in key markets.Use VSET to Maximize Site Impact In addition to reinforcing their UVP, Industrial Specialties Manufacturing used a ThomasNet strategy called VSET to improve the effectiveness of its site. VSET involves four “steps”: Verify – Ensure that your site makes it easy for prospects to immediately determine that you have what they are searching for. Research demonstrates that companies only have 5 to 8 seconds to do this before prospects hit the “back” button. Search – Give buyers the flexibility to look for your products in multiple ways. Evaluate – Provide enough detailed information for prospects to make buying decisions, such as side-by-side comparison capabilities and downloadable CAD drawings. Take Action – Offer multiple ways for buyers to request additional information or make a purchase, from a phone number on every page to shopping cart technology.UVP + VSET = Momentum As history has demonstrated, companies who take leadership positions and create high profiles in their respective markets during times of economic uncertainty are the ones who ultimately move up in a downturn. Let your UVP help build your momentum over the Web. For more information, contact Susan Orr at SOrr@ThomasNet.com or visit http://info.hotims.com/22922-122.

Posted in: Articles


Introduction to Linear Actuators

Students trained in classic mechanical engineering are taught to construct a system using conventional mechanical components to convert rotary into linear motion. Converting rotary to linear motion can be accomplished by several mechanical means using a rotary motor, rack and pinion, belt and pulley, and other mechanical linkages, which require many components to couple and align. Although these methods can be effective, they each carry certain limitations.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control


HAWE Hydraulic Valves Improve Maintenance for Conveyor Application Systems

HAWE Hydraulics, Charlotte, NC, offers proportional valves and controls typically used by companies manufacturing machine tools, lifting platforms, mobile cranes, construction machinery, forestry, material handling, shipbuilding, wind and solar power, offshore technology, and waste recyclers. All of HAWE’s pressurized components are made of steel, and are known for their compact design, resistance to high pressure, and reliability and durability.

Posted in: Application Briefs


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