Special Coverage

Home

Coming Soon - Next Generation Non-Destructive Material Analysis - How Handheld FTIR Spectroscopy is Changing Damage and Contamination Analysis, Coating Evaluation, and Material Identification

Handheld FTIR spectroscopy provides a range of new capabilities for non-destructive testing of composites, coatings and polymers. This technique allows the user to take the instrument directly to the object requiring analysis, regardless of its location or size—eliminating the need to transport an object or sample to a traditional lab. Measurements can be made in situ and in real-time, enabling greater flexibility in understanding what and where to measure. It also means that it is not necessary to excise a sample from the object, making handheld FTIR a truly non-destructive testing solution.

Posted in: Upcoming Webinars

Read More >>

Water Impact Simulation Ensures Safer Landing for NASA Astronauts

The water landing of a craft like the Orion Crew Module is a very complex and changeable event, subject to the dynamics of the vehicle’s structure and sub-structures, such as its heat shield and atmospheric and water conditions. To maintain the spacecraft’s structural integrity and increase safety of the crew, a clearer understanding of the dynamic loads generated during water impact was required.

Posted in: Application Briefs

Read More >>

Programmable Metamaterial Damps Vibrations

Researchers from Empa and ETH Zurich have produced a material prototype that damps vibrations completely and specifically conducts certain frequencies.  The working model consists of a one-meter by one-centimeter aluminum plate that is one millimeter thick. The sheet-metal strip vibrates at different frequencies. In order to control the wave propagation, ten small aluminum cylinders (7 mm thick, 1 cm high) are attached to the metal. Between the sheet and the cylinders sit piezo discs, which can be stimulated electronically and change their thickness quickly. The model enables the researchers to control how waves are allowed to propagate in the sheet-metal strip. Such a “metamaterial” could fundamentally revolutionize mechanical engineering and plant construction. In the future, the material could react to current vibration readings and adapt its vibration properties at lightning speed. SourceAlso: See other Materials tech briefs.

Posted in: News

Read More >>

Handheld Camera Detects Nuclear Radiation

A handheld radiation camera developed by University of Michigan engineering researchers offers nuclear plant operators a faster way to find potentially dangerous hot spots and leaky fuel rods.The new 'Polaris-H' detector lays a gamma-ray map over an image of a room, pinpointing radiation sources with unprecedented precision. At least four U.S. nuclear power plants are using versions of the camera, which is now available commercially through the U-M spinoff company H3D."This technology enables people to 'see' radiation," said Zhong He, a professor of nuclear engineering and radiological sciences at U-M and CEO of H3D. "This should enable the early detection of leaks by locating abnormal radiation, a much better understanding of radiation sources to protect workers, and it could be a tool for the cleanup effort of nuclear waste and fallout, such as in Fukushima in Japan."SourceAlso: Learn about a Wide-Range Neutron Detector for Space Nuclear Applications.

Posted in: News

Read More >>

Coming Soon - High-Speed Imaging: More Than Just Pretty Pictures

We have all seen slow-motion replays in sports broadcast, as well as on TV commercials and popular YouTube channels. Myths have been debunked, water balloons popped, and bullets shot. Watching slow-motion replay of very fast phenomena has led to deeper scientific understanding and breakthrough discoveries. But, there is more to high-speed imaging that slow-motion playback. Camera systems can be integrated with data acquisition to allow the correlation of external measurements to visual feedback; motion analysis tools in playback software can use data in the image to calculate speed, acceleration, angles, and more. And, tracking points in a slow-motion playback can lead to additional visual insights.

Posted in: Upcoming Webinars

Read More >>

Will You Use A Speed-Reading App?

Spritz, a Boston-based software developer, claims that users of its technology can read up to 1,000 words per minute (wpm) via its new technology. At that rate, readers could finish a 300-page novel (like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, as the Huffington Post noted) in less than 90 minutes. The app, optimized for small screens and set to be released soon with the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Samsung Gear 2, presents just one word at a time, each aligned by an "Optimal Recognition Point." The technology keeps the eye focused on the fixation point typically found just left of center in a word.

Posted in: Question of the Week

Read More >>

NASA Data Helps Growers During California's Drought

Following two consecutive years of drought conditions, 2014 is shaping up to be one of the driest years on record in California. Since 1982, the California Department of Water Resources (CDWR) has operated more than 140 monitoring stations that provide daily measurements of agricultural weather conditions and the amount of water lost to the atmosphere by a well-water grass surface. Data from this network is distributed through the California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS), operated by CDWR. To date, this information has been shown to have great value as a tool for irrigation managers to determine the water requirements for their crops.

Posted in: News

Read More >>