Special Coverage

Soft Robot “Walks” on Any Terrain
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Using Microwaves to Produce High-Quality Graphene
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

Implantable Microsystems for Anatomical Rewiring of Brain Circuitry

This implantable device technology improves long-term functional recovery after a traumatic brain injury.

It has been demonstrated that after a stroke-like lesion in the cerebral cortex of non-human primates, the remaining intact tissue undergoes extensive neuro-physiological and neuroanatomical remodeling. The ability of cortical areas remote from the infarct to form new cortico-cortical connections over long distances between the frontal and parietal lobes has been demonstrated. It is likely that these novel connections play a role in functional recovery after cortical injury.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, TSP, Briefs, TSP, Bio-Medical, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy, Diseases, Nervous system, Prostheses and implants, Head injuries
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Use of Recombinant Factor VIIa for Control of Combat-Related Hemorrhage

Recombinant rFVIIa may have a damage-control role, quickly arresting blood loss until the casualty can be evacuated to a hospital.

Blood loss is a major cause of death among combat casualties, accounting for nearly half of all deaths on the battlefield. The great majority of these deaths is due to intracavitary hemorrhage that cannot be controlled by traditional methods such as tourniquets or pressure dressings. Surgery remains the best method for controlling this type of hemorrhage and preventing death, although methods are needed to control bleeding until patients can get surgical intervention.

Posted in: MDB, Briefs, TSP, Bio-Medical, Drug Delivery, Medical, Fluids and secretions, Medical equipment and supplies, Injuries, Military vehicles and equipment, Rescue and emergency vehicles and equipment
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Biotic-Abiotic Interface Between the Body and an Artificial Limb

A modified titanium construct and specially machined surface increase adherence of tissue to a prosthetic limb.

Because of its high mechanical properties, chemical stability, and biocompatibility, titanium is a commonly used material in dental and orthopedic applications. Its excellent biocompatibility allows titanium implants to be directly anchored to bone, or osseo-integrated. The conventional prosthetic replacement in amputees is a stump-socket design, which transfers forces through the prosthetic to an external contact point on the patient. Such a design results in non-uniform distribution of pressure, and can lead to pain, infection, and necrosis of the soft tissues at the point of contact.

Posted in: MDB, Briefs, TSP, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Bio-Medical, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Prostheses and implants, Materials properties, Titanium, Biomechanics
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RF Device for Acquiring Images of the Human Body

This portable, simple system using a ring-shaped antenna array and planar circuit technology can serve as security in airports, mass transit locations, and power plants.

A safe, non-invasive method for forming images through clothing of large groups of people, in order to search for concealed weapons either made of metal or not, has been developed. A millimeter wavelength scanner designed in a unique, ring-shaped configuration can obtain a full 360° image of the body with a resolution of less than a millimeter in only a few seconds. Millimeter waves readily penetrate normal clothing, but are highly reflected by the human body and concealed objects. Millimeter wave signals are non-ionizing and are harmless to human tissues when used at low power levels.

Posted in: MDB, Briefs, TSP, Bio-Medical, Diagnostics, Medical, Antennas, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Integrated circuits, Security systems, Sensors and actuators, Antennas, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Integrated circuits, Security systems, Sensors and actuators, Human factors
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Using Microelectrode Arrays for Cerebral Applications

The fundamental understanding of cerebral systems and associated diseases relies on the electrical recording of single neuron activity. This requires in vivo interfacing with neurons using micrometer-scale electrodes. Traditionally, this challenging task is being performed using: single wire electrodes, probes containing small ensembles of electrodes or, more recently, multi-electrode arrays. These electrode arrangements have the potential to gather signals in three-dimensional space and to provide important laminar information. However, the types of arrays that have been proposed so far are either restricted to sampling in a given plane or have difficulty in collecting data in complex regions, such as those found in highly convoluted cortices. Moreover, state-of-the-art micro-electrode systems are not (yet) suitable for obtaining highly stable signals over extended recording periods. In some cases, the probes are just too bulky to follow cortical motion in chronic applications. Also, the damage inflicted to tissue and the way tissue responds to the presence of a foreign body are presently restrictive to chronic neural recordings. Such a chronic use is, however, highly needed, since it allows the study of changes in population activity at single neuron level and at the interaction level with learning, memory and training.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Electronic equipment, Electronic equipment, Diseases, Medical equipment and supplies, Nervous system
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Designing and Implementing COM Express Modules

Computer-on-Module Express (COM Express) has become a widely accepted way to implement embedded computing solutions in a very compact form factor. The main principle of the COM Express standard is to implement the processor and memory on a small module (basic module size for the type 2 specification is 125 × 95 mm) and then implement specific functions and interfaces for a particular application on the baseboard.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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How Cool Is That? Ensuring Effective Thermal Design

Proper thermal design of any electronics-based system is key to its long-term reliability. NASA engineering expertise in this area is renowned. The International Space Station (ISS) operates in a temperature environment from 250 degrees F (121 °C), down to a minus 250 degrees F (-157 °C), while maintaining a survivable internal temperature. Yet, in the commercial electronics industry many systems engineers have limited knowledge about thermal design. Furthermore, military and industrial customers with wide temperature range applications, want to save money by using commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Design processes, Electronic equipment, Electronic equipment, Thermal management, Thermal management
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Managing a Network of Self-Encrypting Hard Drives

With high-profile data breaches making headlines regularly, organizations are carefully evaluating their options for protecting mobile data. For years, software full disk encryption, (FDE), has been the preferred means of addressing this threat. But widespread adoption has been hampered by the complexity and cost surrounding these software-based FDE deployments.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Cyber security, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Cyber security
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CompactDAQ Chassis

National Instruments (Austin, TX) has introduced the NI cDAQ-9174 four-slot and cDAQ-9178 eight-slot NI CompactDAQ chassis, suitable for mixed-signal data acquisition systems. The 9174 offers a smaller footprint and can measure up to 128 channels in a 16cm × 9cm x 9cm system. The 9178 features external BNC triggers to synchronize with an external device or another system without installing or wiring a digital module. Both systems contain four advanced counters and operate in temperatures from -20 to 55°C. They can withstand up to 30g shock and 3g vibration.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Real-Time Avionics Operating System

The ThreadX® real-time operating systems from Express Logic (San Diego, CA) have been integrated into Avidyne Corporations' DFC90 attitude-based digital flight control systems in Cirrus SR20 and SR22 aircraft. The DFC90 is an integrated flight computer and control panel designed as a slide-in replacement for existing rate-based STEC 55X flight computers. The DFC90 flight control system receives input regarding the aircraft’s attitude, heading, and altitude, as well as input from the pilot and navigation system that specify the desired attitude, heading, altitude, and rate of climb/descent. As the operating system powering Avidyne's flight control system, ThreadX controls all functions in the DFC90.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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