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Measuring Radiation Patterns of Reconfigurable Patch Antennas on Wafers

Tests can be performed relatively inexpensively and without sawing wafers.An apparatus and technique have been devised for measuring the radiation pattern of a microwave patch antenna that is one of a number of identical units that have been fabricated in a planar array on a high-resistivity silicon wafer. The apparatus and technique are intended, more specifically, for application to such an antenna that includes a DC-controlled microelectromechanical system (MEMS) actuator for switching the antenna between two polarization states or between two resonance frequencies.

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Photodiode-Based, Passive Ultraviolet Dosimeters

Outputs of photodiodes are fed to coulometers.Simple, passive instruments have been developed for measuring the exposure of material specimens to vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) radiation from the Sun. Each instrument contains a silicon photodiode and a coulometer. The photocharge generated in the photodiode is stored in the coulometer. The accumulated electric charge measured by use of the coulometer is assumed to be proportional to the cumulative dose of VUV radiation expressed in such convenient units as equivalent Sun hours (ESH) [defined as the number of hours of exposure to sunlight at normal incidence]. Intended originally for use aboard spacecraft, these instruments could also be adapted to such terrestrial uses as monitoring the curing of ultraviolet-curable epoxies.

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Portable Electromyograph

Signals from 16 differential EMG electrodes can be recorded for 8 hours.A portable electronic apparatus records electromyographic (EMG) signals in as many as 16 channels at a sampling rate of 1,024 Hz in each channel. The apparatus (see figure) includes 16 differential EMG electrodes (each electrode corresponding to one channel) with cables and attachment hardware, reference electrodes, an input/output-and-power-adapter unit, a 16-bit analog-to-digital converter, and a hand-held computer that contains a removable 256-MB flash memory card. When all 16 EMG electrodes are in use, full-bandwidth data can be recorded in each channel for as long as 8 hours. The apparatus is powered by a battery and is small enough that it can be carried in a waist pouch.

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Small Active Radiation Monitor

This is a significant advancement over the passive dosimeters that presently monitor astronaut exposure to radiation.A device, named small active radiation monitor, allows on-orbit evaluations during periods of increased radiation, after extravehicular activities, or at predesignated times for crews on such long-duration space missions as on the International Space Station. It also permits direct evaluation of biological doses, a task now performed using a combination of measurements and potentially inaccurate simulations. Indeed the new monitor can measure a full array of radiation levels, from “soft” x-rays to “hard” galactic cosmic-ray particles. With refinement, it will benefit commercial (nuclear power-plant workers, airline pilots, medical technicians, physicians/dentists, and others) and military personnel as well as the astronauts for whom thermoluminescent dosimeters are inadequate.

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Apparatus Characterizes Transient Voltages in Real Time

Only the most relevant data are recorded. The figure shows a prototype of a relatively inexpensive electronic monitoring apparatus that measures and records selected parameters of lightning induced transient voltages on communication and power cables. The selected parameters, listed below, are those most relevant to the ability of lightning induced transients to damage electronic equipment.

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Measuring Humidity in Sealed Glass Encasements

This noninvasive technique helps in the preservation of valuable documents.

Posted in: Test & Measurement, Briefs, TSP

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Adaptable System for Vehicle Health and Usage Monitoring

Safety can be increased, while costs and downtime can be reduced. Aircraft and other vehicles are often kept in service beyond their original design lives. As they age, they become susceptible to system malfunctions and fatigue. Unlike future aircraft that will include health-monitoring capabilities as integral parts in their designs, older aircraft have not been so equipped.

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