Special Coverage

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
Computer Chips Calculate and Store in an Integrated Unit
Electron-to-Photon Communication for Quantum Computing

DC Gearmotor

Midwest Motion Products (Watertown, MN) has released the Model MMP-D22-376H-24V GP52-195 BR-005 DC gearmotor with integral brake. Accepting any 24V DC source, including battery power, the encoder-compatible gearmotor/brake measures 2.25" in diameter and 9" in length. It has a keyed output shaft of 12 mm diameter by 25 mm long. Mounting is accomplished with four facemount M5 threaded holes, equally spaced on a 40-mm-diameter B.C. Output of the reversible gearmotor is rated for 215 in/lbs of continuous torque at 10 RPM, and 443 in/lbs peak.

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Servomotor Brakes

Nexen (Vadnais Heights, MN) has introduced the Eclipse line of servomotor brakes designed to mount to servomotors up to 20 horsepower. The spring-engaged brakes are equipped with a split-hub, zero-backlash clamp collar for attachment to the servomotor shaft. The flange-mounted brakes can be used with standard servomotors for integrated brake motor modular functionality. They come in a variety of input and output flange/shaft combinations.

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Linear Stages

Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) has introduced the PRO Series of side-sealed, hard-cover, ball-screw-driven linear stages available in 68 standard models with travels from 50 to 1500 mm. A variety of travels, widths, speeds, and load capabilities is available. The hard-cover design provides protection from debris, and the side seals keep dirt and particulates out of the stage and protect the bearing surfaces from contamination. The tabletop can be outfitted with an optional brush assembly to remove particles collected on the hard cover.

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Mechanically Commutated Drive

Maxon Motor (Fall River, MA) offers the RE 50 mechanically commutated drive that features an ironless rotor for detent-free running, and a combination of a two-pole neodymium permanent magnet with winding technology for high torque and acceleration. The drive measures 50 × 108 mm and is available with four different windings. It reaches a nominal torque of up to 0.38 Nm, a nominal speed of 2800 to 5700 rpm, and efficiency of more than 90%. Low nominal voltage of 24.70 VDC makes the drive suitable for battery operated applications such as electric vehicles, transport equipment, mobile systems, and robots.

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Servo Amplifier

Sanyo Denki America (Torrance, CA) offers the SANMOTION R high-speed EtherCAT interface AC servo amplifier that provides 100 Mbps communication. Multi-function software includes a motion simulation function that runs the same codes as the actual amplifier, allowing it to go directly from simulation to live usage without reprogramming. The amplifier does not require an interface board or additional hardware, and is connected with Ethernet cables to the Ethernet port of a PC. EtherCAT communication provides the ability to place both input and output data in the same data frame area to decrease communication cycle time. The device includes two inputs and two outputs; output capacities of 15A, 30A, and 50A; and input voltage of AC200V. It is compatible with AC servomotors of up to 1.5kw. Protocol is CANOpen over EtherCAT.

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Magnetic Encoder

Avago Technologies (San Jose, CA) has introduced the AEAT-601B compact, integrated, incremental magnetic encoder for speed detection, knob control, and rotary encoder applications. Housed in a protective plastic housing, it provides a resolution of 256 cycles per revolution and angular detection in a complete rotation of 360 degrees. The encoder has three-channel output enabling an index channel for each full rotation. It provides a closed-loop feedback system and is suited for use in systems such as motor and valve control systems, pan and tilt systems for security cameras, and thread winding machines. Features include contactless sensing technology, operating temperature range from -40 to 125 °C, three-channel output, single 5V supply, and direct connectivity through cable output.

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Rotary Stage

The M660 high-speed, direct-driven piezomotor rotary stage from PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P. (Auburn, MA) is designed using PILine® piezomotor drive technology. The stage reaches top speeds of 720 degrees/sec and resolution to 40 μrad. A self-locking ceramic drive holds the position steady at rest, and a directly coupled precision optical encoder provides phase lag-free, backlash-free feedback to the servo controller. A USB interface, software, and driver package enable integration into existing applications.

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Monitoring Carbon Composite Structures With Optical Fiber Sensors

Fiber reinforced polymer composites are revolutionizing the design of large, high-performance structures in the aerospace, marine and power generation industries due to their advantages in areas such as corrosion resistance, specific strength and tailorability. The use of carbon fiber reinforced composites, the most common and lightest of the “non-exotic” composite materials, is now very widespread. The maiden flight of The Boeing Company’s new 787 Dreamliner, the first commercial aircraft to use composites for most of its construction in December of 2009, is a stark example of just how far carbon fiber composite materials have come in the last 50 years: from hockey sticks, tennis rackets and R&D labs, to carrying us from here to there at 500+ mph.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Products, Fiber Optics, Optics, Sensors, Fiber optics, Sensors and actuators, Composite materials
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Focusing Light Beams To Improve Atomic-Vapor Optical Buffers

Atomic-vapor optical buffers could be made to perform more nearly optimally.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Specially designed focusing of light beams has been proposed as a means of improving the performances of optical buffers based on cells containing hot atomic vapors (e.g., rubidium vapor). There is also a companion proposal to improve performance by use of incoherent optical pumping under suitable conditions.

Posted in: Briefs, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Optics
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Digitally Enhanced Heterodyne Interferometry

This design mitigates cyclic error and improves measurement sensitivity.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Spurious interference limits the performance of many interferometric measurements. Digitally enhanced interferometry (DEI) improves measurement sensitivity by augmenting conventional heterodyne interferometry with pseudo-random noise (PRN) code phase modulation. DEI effectively changes the measurement problem from one of hardware (optics, electronics), which may deteriorate over time, to one of software (modulation, digital signal processing), which does not. DEI isolates interferometric signals based on their delay. Interferometric signals are effectively time-tagged by phase-modulating the laser source with a PRN code. DEI improves measurement sensitivity by exploiting the autocorrelation properties of the PRN to isolate only the signal of interest and reject spurious interference. The properties of the PRN code determine the degree of isolation.

Posted in: Briefs, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics, Measurements, Optics
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