Special Coverage

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
Mechanoresponsive Healing Polymers
Variable Permeability Magnetometer Systems and Methods for Aerospace Applications
Evaluation Standard for Robotic Research

White LED Backlight Driver

Alpha & Omega Semiconductor, Sunnyvale, CA, has expanded its EZBoost™ family with a white LED backlight driver, the AOZ1950. The AOZ1950 provides backlighting solutions for portable devices using medium-sized LCD panels such as netbooks, media players, and navigation devices. The AOZ1950 is a high performance current-mode boost regulator that operates from an input voltage range of 2.7V to 5.5V. Its integrated AOS Trench MOSFET boost switch allows the device to generate a regulated output voltage as high as 55V with an input switch current of 750mA. www.aosmd.com

Posted in: Products, Lighting
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Greening the Golden Arches

By Gary Trott, Cree, Durham, NC

www.cree.com

L ast July, Ric Richards — a fast-food franchisee — opened the first green McDonald’s in North Carolina, proving that it can be affordable and effective to build a sustainable fast-food restaurant. One of the key green elements to the Cary, NC-based McDonald’s is energy-saving, high-quality LED lighting.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Lighting
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Bright and Economical LEDs Enable Mobile Projection

3M, St. Paul, MN www.3m.com

OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, Sunnyvale, CA www.osram-os.com

Micro projectors from 3M that can be connected to mobile phones and cameras include LEDs from OSRAM Opto Semi-conductors. The small, bright, energy-saving diodes were the key to developing the micro projectors, which could not be implemented with other light sources. Depending on lighting conditions, the LEDs project images of more than a meter.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Lighting
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Sliding Mode Pulsed Current Averaging IC Drivers for High-Brightness Light Emitting Diodes

Fewer external components and high power efficiency

SynDiTec Inc., San Jose, CA

This project developed new light emitting diode (LED) driver ICs associated with specific (uniquely operated) switching power supplies that optimize performance for High Brightness LEDs (HBLEDs). The drivers utilize a digital control core with a newly developed nonlinear, hysteretic/sliding mode controller with mixed-signal processing. The drivers are flexible enough to allow both traditional microprocessor interface as well as other options such as “on the fly” adjustment of color and brightness.

Posted in: Briefs, Lighting
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Development of Advanced LED Phosphors by Spray-based Processes for Solid-State Lighting

Improving the efficiency of the phosphor improves the efficiency of the LED

Cabot Corp., Boston, MA

The overarching goal of this project was to develop luminescent materials using aerosol processes for making improved LED devices for solid-state lighting. In essence, this means improving white light emitting phosphor-based LEDs by improvement of the phosphor and phosphor layer. The efficiency of these LEDs is based on the combined efficiency of the LED, phosphor, and the interaction between the two.

Posted in: Briefs, Lighting
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PPM Receiver Implemented in Software

A computer program has been written as a tool for developing optical pulse-position-modulation (PPM) receivers in which photodetector outputs are fed to analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and all subsequent signal processing is performed digitally. The program can be used, for example, to simulate an all-digital version of the PPM receiver described in “Parallel Processing of Broad-Band PPM Signals” (NPO-40711), which appears elsewhere in this issue of NASA Tech Briefs. The program can also be translated into a design for digital PPM-receiver hardware.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Computer software and hardware, Wireless communication systems
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"Powder to Power"

Today, Bloom Energy Corporation (Sunnyvale, CA) announced the availability of the Bloom Energy Server™, a patented solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology that provides clean, affordable, and continuous onsite electricity from renewable or traditional fuel sources.

Posted in: GDM, Products, Products, Alternative Fuels, Biomass, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Wind Power, Green Design & Manufacturing
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Highly Absorbing, Flexible Solar Cells Created With Silicon Wire Arrays

Using arrays of long, thin silicon wires embedded in a polymer substrate, California Institute of Technology scientists have created a new type of flexible solar cell that enhances the absorption of sunlight and efficiently converts its photons into electrons. The solar cell uses a fraction of the expensive semiconductor materials required by conventional solar cells.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Power
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Is hands-free texting while driving a safe alternative?

This week's question concerns the ongoing debate over texting while driving. A research team at Clemson University recently developed an application called VoiceTEXT that allows drivers to speak text messages and keep their eyes on the road at the same time. Drivers using VoiceTEXT can put their cell phones in Bluetooth mode and connect it to their car. A voice command is given through the car's speaker system or through the Bluetooth headset that delivers a text message.

What do you think? Is hands-free texting while driving a safe alternative?

Posted in: Question of the Week
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Eco-friendly Nanocatalyst

A new nanotech catalyst developed by McGill University chemists Chao-Jun Li, Audrey Moores, and their colleagues offers industry an opportunity to reduce the use of expensive and toxic heavy metals. Li describes the new catalyst as, “use a magnet and pull them out!”

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Green Design & Manufacturing, Recycling Technologies, Remediation Technologies
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