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Waggle Platform Offers Possible Key to the ‘Smart City’

Data Collection Platform Argonne National Laboratory Lemont, IL www.anl.gov As urban populations expand, some experts envision “smarter” cities, where hundreds or thousands of strategically placed sensors will record and monitor all types of measurements, including waterway pollutants, air pressure, and temperature. The barrier to the “smart city,” however, is quick and easy access to data. The sensors require a computing platform to process the data being received.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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NASA, UCF Professor Send Sensor to Stratosphere

Planetary Atmospheres Minor Species Sensor (PAMSS) University of Central Florida Orlando, FL www.ucf.edu Using a high-altitude balloon, NASA and a team led by University of Central Florida physics professor Robert Peale sent an experimental sensor about 20 miles above the Earth. The flight demonstrated the sensor’s ability to function in the perilous conditions found in the stratosphere, where the temperature can plummet to -75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Sensors

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Glaucoma Sensor Monitors Eye Continuously

More than three million Americans are currently living with glaucoma, an eye disorder with few symptoms in its early stages. Globally, the number may increase to almost 80 million by 2020, according to the British Journal of Ophthalmology. Glaucoma eventually leads to damage of the optic nerve.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors

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Trillion-Frame-Per-Second Camera Captures Ultrafast Phenomena

Researchers from Japan have developed a new high-speed camera that can record events at a rate of more than 1-trillion-frames-per-second. The STAMP (Sequentially Timed All-optical Mapping Photography) technology holds promise for the study of complex, ultrafast phenomena.Keiichi Nakagawa, a research fellow at the University of Tokyo, experienced the need for a camera while studying how acoustic shock waves changed living cells. Scientists believe mechanical stress, like that caused by acoustic waves, may increase bone and blood vessel growth, but they had no tools for capturing the dynamics of such a fast, transient event as a shock wave passing through a cell.STAMP relies on a property of light called dispersion. The technology splits an ultrashort pulse of light into a barrage of different colored flashes that hit the imaged object in rapid-fire succession. Each separate color flash can then be analyzed to string together a moving picture of what the object looked like over the time it took the dispersed light pulse to travel through the device. Currently, the team is constructing an improved STAMP system that acquires 25 sequential images. Nakagawa believes the number of frames could eventually be increased to 100 with current technology.The camera could be used to explore a wide range of ultrafast phenomena for the first time, including image electronic motion, the laser ignition of fusion, the phase transition of materials, and the dynamics of a Coulomb explosion, an event in which intense electromagnetic fields can force a small amount of solid material to explode into a hot plasma of ionized atomic particles. SourceAlso: Read other Imaging Tech Briefs.

Posted in: News

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New Control Possibilities for Wireless Switches

Wireless controls have been widely accepted and embraced in the industrial community. Widespread use of monitoring devices in the process industry, the deployment of RFID components in a variety of industry segments, and the demonstrated performance of a large, installed base of the technologies serve as evidence of their viability.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors

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The Strain Gauge Gets an Upgrade

The strain gauge, a device commonly used in the aerospace industry to detect stress and deformation, has its limitations. The three copper wires of the strain gauge often lead to labor-intensive efforts; a large, complicated structure requiring 100 strain measurements, for example, means 300 lead wires. As the implementation becomes more complex, the wire bundle itself gets bigger and heavier. Strain gauges are also susceptible to electronic magnetic interference, and the sensors must be spaced out at distant intervals.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors

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Samarium Oxide Glaze

Developed for high-energy pulsed Q-switching infrared laser applications, a new, high-absorption samarium oxide glaze from Morgan Advanced Materials (Windsor, UK) means it is now able to offer three grades of glaze for laser systems. The samarium glaze absorbs radiation at the Nd-YAG lasing wavelength of 1064nm, and its further transitions near 940nm, 1120nm, 1320nm and 1440nm. A significant amount of fluorescent radiation at the lasing wavelength escapes laterally from the laser rod into the surrounding pumping cavity. Absorbing this radiation prevents it from being reflected back into the laser rod, which would in turn stimulate decay from the upper laser transition level, thereby limiting the number of excited ions which can occupy that level.

Posted in: Products, Photonics

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