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

Rapid Automated Modular Microscope System

The Rapid Automated Modular Microscope (RAMM) system from Applied Scientific Instrumentation (Eugene, OR) offers a modular design with automated high-speed XY stages, precision piezo and motorized Z focusing, along with a range of scanning options. It is configurable with infinity-corrected optics, dichroic filter cubes, multi-wavelength excitation and emission filterwheels, shutters, and detectors, including cameras and photomultipliers. A wide range of features can be added, including auto-focus, focus stabilization, tracker, and robotic specimen loader. It is suitable for applications in high throughput screening, genetic sequencing, and experimental research. It is designed using high MTBF components to reduce cost.

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Machine Vision Software

Cognex Corporation (Natick, MA) has introduced a new release of VisionPro®, its hardware-independent machine vision software. Vision- Pro 6.1 includes support for Microsoft® Windows 7 and offers line scan distortion correction that eliminates horizontal lens distortion and equalizes pixel width across the sensor. The software also makes calibrating line scan cameras easier by generating the required data using a set of lines from a still object. Analog and Camera Link frame grabbers are compatible with Windows 7 in VisionPro 6.1, and FireWire DCAM and GigE vision drivers have been updated for Windows 7 compatibility. VisionPro 6.1 also introduces ToolBlock, an enhancement to ToolGroup. It adds new features such as Drag & Drop Terminal, a graphical method for linking multiple vision tools, and Simple Script, which reduces the amount of scripting needed to set up complex applications.

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Plug & Play Driver for Pulsed Laser Diodes

Laser Components (Hudson, NH) offers the LSP40 plug & play driver module, which can be used to accurately control pulsed laser diodes (PLDs). With two resistors, the user is able to regulate the operating current (and thus the laser power) and the pulse length. It requires an operating voltage of 12 VDC and an external trigger signal. The laser current can be set to any value up to 40A, and the pulse length can be set to between 30ns and 150ns. At a reduced current, pulse lengths up to 1μs are achievable.

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Solar PV Encapsulant

DuPont (Wilmington, DE) has collaborated with Oerlikon Solar to produce the DuPont™ PV5223 thin white reflective solar PV encapsulant sheet. This thin 0.45-mm white reflective encapsulant eliminates the need for reflective paint typically used to reflect light back to the active layer. Designed for use with Oerlikon Solar's Micromorph® technology, the PV5223 increases light reflectivity by more than 50% versus paint, achieving 94% reflectivity, and delivers stronger adhesion than clear PVB sheet materials, which translates into longer-life modules.

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Photovoltaic Metallization Paste

DuPont Microcircuit Materials (Research Triangle Park, NC) introduces DuPont™ Solamet® PV16x series photovoltaic metallization pastes for crystalline silicon solar cells. The photovoltaic metallizations are suitable for a wide range of printing line widths and processes, which help to meet a variety of photovoltaic market needs.

Posted in: GDM, Products, Products, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Power
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Funding for R&D to Support U.S. Manufacturing of SSL

Today, DOE announced the availability of up to $15 million in funding to advance research, development, and market adoption of solid-state lighting (SSL) technologies. The department will select two to eight projects that will help accelerate the adoption of LED and OLED products.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Government, Lighting
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Will humans be extinct in 100 years?

This week's question concerns the world-renowned Australian scientist Professor Frank Fenner - who helped to wipe out smallpox - and his prediction that humans will probably be extinct within 100 years. His reasoning includes overpopulation, environmental destruction, and climate change. Fenner stated that homo sapiens will not be able to survive the population explosion and "unbridled consumption," and will become extinct, perhaps within a century, along with many other species.

What do you think? Will humans be extinct in 100 years?

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Energy Harvesting Power Management Unit

Cymbet Corporation (Elk River, MN) introduces the EnerChip™ Energy Processor (EP) CBC915, which works universally across all energy harvesting transducer technologies including photovoltaic, thermoelectric, piezoelectric, and electromagnetic.

Posted in: GDM, Products, Products, Energy, Energy Storage, Solar Power, Thermoelectrics
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Does your online persona accurately reflect who you are in the real world?

This week's question concerns our online "personas". While social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook encourage members to use their real identities, a recent study on the usage habits on these sites has shown there's little correlation between how people act on the Internet and how they are in person. For example, if you're the type who is overly chatty or arrogant on Twitter, this doesn't necessarily reflect on how you may act in the real world.

What do you think? Does your online persona accurately reflect who you are in the real world?

Yes or no?

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Promise for Hydrogen-Fueled Cars

A new process for storing and generating hydrogen to run fuel cells in cars has been invented by chemical engineers at Purdue University. The process uses a powdered chemical called ammonia borane, which has one of the highest hydrogen contents of all solid materials.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Alternative Fuels, Energy, Energy Storage, Green Design & Manufacturing, Recycling Technologies
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