Special Coverage

Home

Tiny Laser Sensor Heightens Bomb Detection Sensitivity

A team of researchers led by Xiang Zhang, UC Berkeley professor of mechanical engineering, has found a way to dramatically increase the sensitivity of a light-based plasmon sensor to detect incredibly minute concentrations of explosives. The researchers noted that the sensor could potentially be used to sniff out a hard-to-detect explosive popular among terrorists. The engineers put the sensor to the test with various explosives — 2,4- dinitrotoluene (DNT), ammonium nitrate and nitrobenzene — and found that the device successfully detected the airborne chemicals at concentrations of 0.67 parts per billion, 0.4 parts per billion and 7.2 parts per million, respectively. One part per billion would be akin to a blade of grass on a football field. They noted that these results are much more sensitive than those published to date for other optical sensors.

Posted in: News

Read More >>

Army Develops First-of-Its Kind Phase-Coherent Fiber Laser Array System

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Computational and Information Science Directorate's Intelligent Optics Team, and partners, recently developed, engineered, demonstrated and delivered the world's first known working Adaptive Phase Coherent Fiber Laser Array system, which will better enable soldiers' directed energy weapons and laser communication systems on the battlefield. The development of the system spurred from a collaborative agreement between U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Labs, Optonicus and various academic partners.

Posted in: News

Read More >>

NASA 3D-Printing Process Transitions from Metal to Metal

Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, are implementing a 3D-printing process that transitions from one metal or alloy to another in a single object. "You can have a continuous transition from alloy to alloy to alloy, and you can study a wide range of potential alloys," said R. Peter Dillon, a technologist at JPL. "We think it's going to change materials research in the future."Although gradient alloys have been created in the past in research and development settings, this is the first time these composite materials have been used in making objects, such as a mount for a mirror, said John Paul Borgonia, a JPL mechanical engineer.In their new technique, Hofmann and his colleagues deposit layers of metal on a rotating rod, thus transitioning metals from the inside out, rather than adding layers from bottom to top, as in the more traditional 3-D printing technique. A laser melts metal powder to create the layers. Future space missions may incorporate parts made with this technique.SourceAlso: Learn about a Shape-Memory-Alloy-Based Launch Lock.

Posted in: News

Read More >>

Vision-Correcting Display Replaces Reading Glasses

UC Berkeley computer and vision scientists are developing computer algorithms to compensate for an individual’s visual impairment. The researchers have created vision-correcting displays that enable users to see text and images clearly without wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses.The algorithm, which was developed at UC Berkeley, works by adjusting the intensity of each direction of light that emanates from a single pixel in an image based upon a user’s specific visual impairment. In a process called deconvolution, the light passes through the pinhole array in such a way that the user will perceive a sharp image.The technology could potentially help hundreds of millions of people who currently need corrective lenses to use their smartphones, tablets and computers. More importantly, the displays could one day aid people with more complex visual problems, known as high order aberrations, which cannot be corrected by eyeglasses, said Brian Barsky, UC Berkeley professor of computer science and vision science, and affiliate professor of optometry.SourceAlso: Learn about Strobing to Mitigate Vibration for Display Legibility.

Posted in: News

Read More >>

Three Things You Can’t Measure if Your Oscilloscope Doesn’t Have Enough Memory

Modern oscilloscopes come equipped with a host of different attributes, and many vendors tout their latest additions as “must have” features. With so many attributes and marketing messages, recalling the importance of a long-held attribute such as memory depth can become lost in the noise. However, any engineer who has grappled with shallow memory on an oscilloscope will be vocal about the frustration of the experience. Those who aren’t vocal simply haven’t stumbled on an issue that required it — yet.

Posted in: Articles

Read More >>

ASICs Support Orion’s Onboard Data Network

TTEthernet switch TTTech North America Andover, MA 978-933-7979 www.tttech.com Radiation-tolerant Ethernet backbone ASICs, developed by Honeywell Aerospace and based on TTTech’s TTEthernet switch and end system chip IP cores, are ready for the first NASA Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) test flight later this year. The ASICs are core components of the Onboard Data Network (ODN) and enable the design of advanced integrated system architectures for human-rated spaceflight.

Posted in: Application Briefs

Read More >>

Etching System Enhances NASA’s Device Fabrication Capabilities

VERSALINE® Deep Silicon Etch™ System Plasma-Therm St. Petersburg, FL 727-577-4999 www.plasmatherm.com NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA, recently installed a VERSALINE Deep Silicon Etch system to expand its silicon deep-etching resources. The new etching system targets silicon-based applications that include MEMS, sensors, and resonators. JPL’s Microdevices Laboratory (MDL) serves users with many different requirements, and the system’s mask selectivity, uniformity, vertical profiles, sidewall smoothness, and silicon-on-insulator capabilities will be used to meet their device fabrication needs.

Posted in: Application Briefs

Read More >>

White Papers

An Introduction to LED Capabilities
Sponsored by Photo Research
Simplify designs with 4-point contact ball bearings
Sponsored by Kaydon
PICO Brochure
Sponsored by Nordson EFD
Future Advances in Body Electronics
Sponsored by Freescale
What They Didn’t Teach You in Engineering School About Heat Transfer
Sponsored by Mentor Graphics
6 Ways Software Rendering Boosts Embedded System Graphics
Sponsored by ENSCO Avionics

White Papers Sponsored By: