Special Coverage

Home

Zinc Oxide Materials Power Tiny Energy Harvesting Devices

Many types of smart devices are readily available and convenient to use. The goal now is to make wearable electronics that are flexible, sustainable, and powered by ambient renewable energy. This last goal inspired researchers to explore how the attractive physical features of zinc oxide (ZnO) materials could be used to tap into abundant mechanical energy sources to power micro devices. They discovered that inserting aluminum nitride insulating layers into ZnO-based energy harvesting devices led to a significant improvement of the devices’ performance. The group’s findings are expected to provide an effective approach for realizing “nanogenerators” for self-powered electronic systems such as portable communication devices, healthcare monitoring devices, environmental monitoring devices, and implantable medical devices. Source:

Posted in: News, Electronic Components, Energy Harvesting, Renewable Energy, Metals

Read More >>

Glass as Electrode Makes Batteries More Efficient

Today’s batteries provide a reliable power supply for our smartphones, electric cars and laptops, but are unable to keep up with the growing demands placed on them. Researchers have discovered a material that may have the potential to double battery capacity: vanadate-borate glass. The glass is being used as a cathode material, which is made of vanadium oxide (V2O5) and lithium-borate (LiBO2) precursors, and was coated with reduced graphite oxide (RGO) to enhance the electrode properties of the material. The vanadate-borate glass powder was used for battery cathodes, which were placed in prototypes for coin cell batteries to undergo numerous charge/discharge cycles. In tests, the glass electrodes demonstrated a vast improvement in these batteries’ capacity and energy density. Source:

Posted in: News, Batteries, Electronic Components, Energy Efficiency

Read More >>

ORCA Prototype Ready to Observe Ocean

If selected for a NASA flight mission, the Ocean Radiometer for Carbon Assessment (ORCA) instrument will study microscopic phytoplankton, the tiny green plants that float in the upper layer of the ocean and make up the base of the marine food chain.Conceived in 2001 as the next technological step forward in observing ocean color, the ORCA-development team used funding from Goddard’s Internal Research and Development program and NASA’s Instrument Incubator Program (IIP) to develop a prototype. Completed in 2014, ORCA now is a contender as the primary instrument on an upcoming Earth science mission.The ORCA prototype has a scanning telescope designed to sweep across 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) of ocean at a time. The technology collects light reflected from the sea surface that then passes through a series of mirrors, optical filters, gratings, and lenses. The components direct the light onto an array of detectors that cover the full range of wavelengths.Instead of observing a handful of discrete bands at specific wavelengths reflected off the ocean, ORCA measures a range of bands, from 350 nanometers to 900 nanometers at five-nanometer resolution. The sensor will see the entire rainbow, including the color gradations of green that fade into blue. In addition to the hyperspectral bands, the instrument has three short-wave infrared bands that measure specific wavelengths between 1200 and 2200 nanometers for atmospheric applications.The NASA researchers will use ORCA to obtain more accurate measurements of chlorophyll concentrations, the size of a phytoplankton bloom, and how much carbon it holds. Detecting chlorophyll in various wavelengths also will allow the team to distinguish between types of phytoplankton. Suspended sediments in coastal regions could also be detected by the instrument.SourceAlso: Learn about a Ultra-Low-Maintenance Portable Ocean Power Station.

Posted in: News, Optics, Photonics, Sensors, Measuring Instruments

Read More >>

Thermal Storage and Management using Phase Change Material

Phase Change Materials (PCMs) provide significant thermal energy storage by taking advantage of the latent heat required for the solid-to-liquid and liquid-to-gas phase transition.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars, Energy Storage

Read More >>

Photo-Chemical Machining (PCM) of metals…faster & more cost effective than you’d think!

Photo-Chemical Machining (PCM) or photo-etching of metals is a mature process used to create very accurate metal components. This process emerged in the 1960s as an offshoot of the printed circuit board industry. PCM can produce highly complex parts with very fine details, quickly, accurately and economically. Photo etching is a cost effective alternative to stamping, punching, laser cutting, water jet cutting, or electrical discharge machining (EDM) of thin gauge precision parts.

Posted in: Webinars, On-Demand Webinars, Metals

Read More >>

From Model to Simulation Apps with COMSOL

The Application Builder and COMSOL Server™ provide a platform for simulation experts to spread the use of simulation in their organization.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars, Simulation Software

Read More >>

Nissan and NASA to Jointly Develop Autonomous Vehicles

Nissan Motor Co., through its North American-based organization, and NASA today announced the formation of a five-year R&D partnership to advance autonomous vehicle systems and prepare for commercial application of the technology. Researchers from Nissan's U.S. Silicon Valley Research Center and NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, CA, will focus on autonomous drive systems, human-machine interface solutions, network-enabled applications, and software analysis and verification, all involving sophisticated hardware and software used in road and space applications.

Posted in:

Read More >>