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Uniformly Etched Lateral Gratings Applied to Pre-existing Ridge Waveguides

New technology is 100 times smaller and has fewer components with possibly the same performance. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California There is great difficulty in implementing lateral gratings in GaSb-based lasers. Commercially, single-frequency GaSb lasers have been fabricated using metal gratings deposited laterally to the ridge-waveguide (RWG) stripe. The disadvantage of this is that the laser performance is compromised by additional optical loss due to radiation absorption by the metal. Fabricating lasers in this way limits the potential for high-power performance. A better method is to etch gratings into the semiconductor, but generally, patterning these grating structures is difficult because of nonuniformity of the grating pattern and etching difficulty due to sub-micrometer dimensions.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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High-Precision Thin Film Metal Liftoff Technique

This process can be used by industries that need to fabricate microelectronic devices and superconducting sensors. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland The objective of this work was to develop a thin film metal liftoff process that would allow one to accurately pattern two-micron-wide (or wider) features. The goal of this innovation was to pattern thin metal films on silicon substrates. The thin metal films can be deposited using physical vapor deposition techniques. The metallic films to be lifted off were deposited via DC magnetron sputtering, in which the mean free path of the metal atoms to be deposited is on the order of one micron. Thus, the deposited metal could conformally coat structures to fill in gaps that were greater than approximately one micron tall.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Process for 3D Printer Filament Fabrication

Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama Conventional filament extrusion processes are unsuitable for recycling materials on the International Space Station due to requirements for continuous monitoring and tuning, as well as poor filament dimensional control. The Positrusion process recycles scrap or waste thermoplastics into filament for 3D fused filament fabrication (FFF) printers.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Products of Tomorrow: November 2015

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just some of the examples of NASA-developed technology used in products today.

Posted in: Products, Aerospace, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Product of the Month: November 2015

Honeywell, Minneapolis, MN, announced the Amplified Basic Pressure (ABP) sensors for small and low-power devices. The ABP sensors feature wet-media compatibility, as well as sleep mode and temperature output options, making them suitable for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Measuring 8 x 7 millimeters, the sensors’ size enables engineers to save board space. The sensors feature a ±1.5 percent total error band (TEB), and can read pressure ranges from 60 mbar to 10 bar, 6 kPa to 1 MPa, and 1 psi to 150 psi. The sensors minimize the need for additional components, and are available in both analog and digital output I2C or SPI. Moisture sensitivity level of one allows unlimited shelf life when stored at <30 ºC/85% RH. Under most storage conditions, this allows the sensor to be soldered onto the PC board without concerns about solder joint quality due to aging of the sensor terminals. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/55595-120

Posted in: Products, Aerospace, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Green Pulsed Lasers

The new Revolution series of q-switched, green, pulsed lasers from Coherent, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) provides average power up to 80W at a wavelength of 527 nm, with a beam profile featuring an extremely smooth energy distribution. They also deliver pulse rate flexibility; the repetition rate can be smoothly adjusted from single shot to 10 kHz, with an additional option that extends pulse repetition rates up to 40 kHz.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Sensors

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Ice Sensors

New Avionics Corp (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) has announced its Ice*Meister™ Model 9732-PLASTIC Ice Detecting Sensor for Aircraft. The unit consists of a probe, housing, circuit board, and lightweight blue cable. The product, tested at NASA Glenn Research Center, complies with in-flight ice-detection standard SAE AS 5498.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Sensors

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