Special Coverage

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 Applicationst
Evaluation Standard for Robotic Research
Small Robot Has Outstanding Vertical Agility
Smart Optical Material Characterization System and Method
Lightweight, Flexible Thermal Protection System for Fire Protection
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PIXCI SI1 Frame Grabber

EPIX (Buffalo Grove, IL) has introduced a PIXCI SI1 frame grabber that allows image and control data transfer with minimal buffering over any PCI Express slot for low latency image capture and analysis. Featuring 190 MB/sec sustained data transfer rates and burst transfers at 250 MB/sec, the PIXCI SI1 captures images over a software- selectable pixel clock range of 25-70 MHz (typical). Higher pixel clock frequencies offer faster frame rates, shorter exposure times, and cable lengths up to 8 meters. Lower pixel clock frequencies enable slower frame rates, longer exposure times, and the use of longer cables. Bit packing allows more images to be captured to memory or hard drive; 12-bit images are reduced in size by 25 percent, while 10-bit images are reduced by 37.5 percent. The frame grabber supports 64-bit memory addressing for writing long-duration image sequences into terabytes of memory.

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Fiber Laser Marker

TRUMPF (Farmington, CT) has unveiled the TruMark 5020, a new fiber laser marker that is suited for applications on metals and plastics with high speed and edge quality requirements. With high pulse frequencies and pulse-to-pulse stability, this laser marker is able to convert pulse frequencies of up to 1 MHz into a correspondingly high processing speed. For safety, the product includes a mechanical lock that prevents the laser beam from discharging between two marking procedures. The TruMark 5020 also features a modular design with the scanner, laser head, and power supply unit connected via plug-in connectors. The product comes with integrated laser power measurement and laser power calibration to maintain laser marking consistency.

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Thin-Film Thermal Charger Application

Nextreme Thermal Solutions (Durham, NC) and Infinite Power Solutions (Denver, CO) have developed a thermal charger with the ability to continuously recharge the IPS THINERGY ™ Micro-Energy Cell (MEC) using an eTEG thermoelectric power generator from Nextreme. The prototype thermal charger uses an array of 16 HV14 modules in power generation mode to provide the 4.1 volts of electricity needed to charge the MEC to a fully charged state in approximately 20 minutes. Four HV14 power generators can replace one AA battery. Nextreme’s eTEG™ HV14 has demonstrated output power levels of >16 mW at ΔT of 70°C and >45mW at T of 120°C. With modules measuring 1.8 mm x 1.5 mm, the eTEG HV14 has corresponding output power densities of ~ 0.6 and 1.6 W/cm². Nextreme’s eTEG devices generate electricity via the Seebeck Effect, where an electrical current is produced from a temperature gradient across the device.

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High-Energy Fiber Laser

Fianium (Eugene, OR) has introduced the FP1060-HE high-energy fiber laser that delivers pulse energies in excess of 10 μJ and pulse durations below 20 ps. The laser platform is suitable for challenging materials including polymers, glasses, organic tissue, and reflective metals. The system features an external modulator that allows pulse repetition rates from single shot to 20 MHz and enables highly flexible pulse shaping and burst-mode operation. The peak power may be enhanced to greater than 5MW by compressing the pulses below 500 fs. Optional frequency conversion to green or UV wavelengths is also available.

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LED Systems Target Plant Growth

Living in space long term will require a sustainable environment. Plants provide fresh food, clean air, and clean water that will assist this effort, but plants need light to grow, and light requires energy. Here on Earth, most plants get this light from the obvious abundant source, the Sun. The Sun’s solar radiation is ideal for growing plants here on Earth, but it presents some problems for plant growth in space. For starters, the lengths of the days are different depending upon the location of the garden. For growing plants on spacecraft, this problem is compounded, as the vehicle position is constantly changing and is usually not positioned for optimal plant growth. Thus, NASA has been developing methods for growing crops in space using artificial light sources.

Posted in: NTB, Spinoff

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Burnishing Techniques Strengthen Hip Implants

When compressed air mixes with jet fuel and is ignited in a turbine engine, the temperature can reach 3,000 °F. As a result of this fiery exhaust, the turbine spins and then forces the air through the back of the engine, and the jet moves forward. While extremely hot air assists in propelling a plane, it can also take a toll on the turbine blades and propeller hubs.

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Systems Analyze Water Quality in Real Time

If you are planning a day at your local park or even a weekend camping trip, you would simply pack all the food, drink, and supplies you need. Similarly, astronauts on short-term space missions can get away with packing the provisions they need to survive in space. But long-term space travel — a round-trip journey to Mars, for example — is no picnic. Depending on the mission, astronauts would need enough food to last for several months or years; a means to clean the air and water; and some efficient way of dealing with waste. Given cost and space limitations, packing supplies on this scale may not be feasible, meaning astronauts need a system that provides a steady source of sustenance while at the same time purifying and recycling waste. The best solution, then, for future deep space explorers: Develop a green thumb.

Posted in: NTB, Spinoff

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