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

Lightweight Spreader for SBCs

Advanced Digital Logic (San Diego, CA) has introduced the ADL945PC-LTSPREADER, a lightweight spreader for the ADL945PC family of single board computers. The ADL945PC-LTSPREADER is designed for any application where weight is important, such as mass conscious applications, UAV applications, handheld applications, etc. The ADL945PC-LTSPREADER has thermal performance in excess of 98% of the original ADL945PC-SPREADER (293162), but at a mass savings of nearly 45%. Like all of the thermal solutions offered for the PC/104 lines, the flat-plate mounting pattern on the ADL945PC is bolt-up compatible with all other 855 and 945 class thermal interface products.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Widely Tunable Mode-Hop-Free External-Cavity Quantum Cascade Laser

This technology is suitable for spectroscopic applications, multi-species trace-gas detection, and measurements of broadband absorbers.

The external-cavity quantum cascade laser (EC-QCL) system is based on an optical configuration of the Littrow type. It is a room-temperature, continuous-wave, widely tunable, mode-hop-free, mid-infrared, EC-QCL spectroscopic source. It has a single-mode tuning range of 155 cm–1 (≈8% of the center wavelength) with a maximum power of 11.1 mW and 182 cm–1 (≈15% of the center wavelength), and a maximum power of 50 mW as demonstrated for 5.3 micron and 8.4 micron EC-QCLs, respectively. This technology is particularly suitable for high-resolution spectroscopic applications, multi-species trace-gas detection, and spectroscopic measurements of broadband absorbers.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Physical Sciences, Lasers, Lasers
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Non-Geiger-Mode Single-Photon Avalanche Detector With Low Excess Noise

Applications include quantum key distribution for the financial industry and photon-starved optical communications needs.

This design constitutes a self-resetting (gain quenching), room-temperature operational semiconductor single-photon-sensitive detector that is sensitive to telecommunications optical wavelengths and is scalable to large areas (millimeter diameter) with high bandwidth and efficiencies.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Physical Sciences, Optics, Sensors and actuators, Telecommunications, Optics, Sensors and actuators, Telecommunications, Semiconductors
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Using Whispering-Gallery-Mode Resonators for Refractometry

Refractive and absorptive properties are inferred by correlating predictions with measurements.

A method of determining the refractive and absorptive properties of optically transparent materials involves a combination of theoretical and experimental analysis of electromagnetic responses of whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) resonator disks made of those materials. The method was conceived especially for use in studying transparent photorefractive materials, for which purpose this method affords unprecedented levels of sensitivity and accuracy. The method is expected to be particularly useful for measuring temporally varying refractive and absorptive properties of photorefractive materials at infrared wavelengths. Still more particularly, the method is expected to be useful for measuring drifts in these properties that are so slow that, heretofore, the properties were assumed to be constant.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Analysis methodologies, Optics, Optics, Materials properties
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USB CompuScope

GaGe, Lockport, IL, has introduced the USB CompuScope family of high-performance USB digitizers that includes three models featuring up to two input channels, up to 1.1 GS/s maximum sampling per channel, 12- or 14-bit vertical resolution, 128 MS of acquisition memory, and up to 1.2 GHz of input analog bandwidth. The digitizers provide high signal fidelity and feature Effective Number Of Bits (ENOB) performance values of over 10 or 11 at a 70-MHz signal frequency, depending on the model. Each model comes equipped with a USB cable, a 100/220V power cable, and a lightweight carrying case. The digitizers connect to a laptop computer, providing an ultra-portable digitizer solution. Each model operates under the GageScope standalone oscilloscope software, or from any GaGe CompuScope Software Development kit. The devices incorporate SP Devices’ patented interleaving technology.

Posted in: Products
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NASA Tests Devices to Increase Truck Fuel Efficiency

Saving the nation $10 billion annually in diesel fuel costs may be possible in a few years, thanks to new devices developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and now being tested at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California.

Posted in: UpFront
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Real-Time Analysis and Reporting of Water-Borne Microorganisms

A company seeks a technology that enables monitoring of the microorganism content of stored potable water in real time, and reporting the water’s status to assure its continued potability even after storage times as long as a year. The apparatus must be small and lightweight, require minimal power, operate at ambient pressures from sea level (14.7 psi) down to 8 psi, require little or no maintenance, and not require extensive specialized training to operate or maintain.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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Technologies for Printed Electronics

An organization seeks printing technologies to produce higher-current miniature circuitry. Approaches of interest include reducing use of expensive inks, eliminating a plating step, and increasing adhesion to a variety of substrates. An additional area of interest is to enable multilayer structures for more complex circuitry. The company would consider an alternate ink material that may have lower viscosity but can produce the trace thickness capable of handling sufficient current; higher silver loadings (on the order of 40-60%); or an inexpensive seed ink that could be electroplated (or used with electroless deposit), and then electroplated afterwards.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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Co-Extrusion Process Prevents Ingredient Co-Mingling

This co-extrusion process helps turn a batch process into a continuous production process, thus speeding the production line and enabling production of materials that otherwise might be difficult or impossible to produce using conventional extrusion and post-extrusion processing.

Posted in: Techs for License
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Shape-Memory Diaphragm Shutter Valve for Fluid Flow Interception and Icing Prevention

This valve for gases, liquids, or powdery materials has an extremely simple and low-cost structure. Opening and closing functions are generated by using shape-memory wires, which move a diaphragm shutter element. The shape memory can reshape the diaphragm to lift away from the closed position. Then, with the change of temperature or current, it can return back to the closed position. This open/shut movement can be simple for on/off fluid requirements. It can also be rapid to effect displacement of a fluid. Particular positioning of shape-memory elements guarantees deicing functionality as resistance along the alloy can generate heat to prevent freezing.

Posted in: Techs for License
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