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NASA Engineers Develop 3D Printed Rocket Injectors

NASA engineers pushed the limits of technology by designing a rocket engine injector — a highly complex part that sends propellant into the engine — with design features that took advantage of 3D printing. To make the parts, the design was entered into the 3-D printer's computer. The printer then built each part by layering metal powder and fusing it together with a laser, a process known as selective laser melting.The additive manufacturing process allowed rocket designers to create an injector with 40 individual spray elements, all printed as a single component rather than manufactured individually. The part was similar in size to injectors that power small rocket engines and similar in design to injectors for large engines, such as the RS-25 engine that will power NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) — the heavy-lift, exploration class rocket under development to take humans beyond Earth orbit and to Mars. "We wanted to go a step beyond just testing an injector and demonstrate how 3D printing could revolutionize rocket designs for increased system performance," said Chris Singer, director of Marshall's Engineering Directorate. "The parts performed exceptionally well during the tests."Using traditional manufacturing methods, 163 individual parts would be made and then assembled. With 3D printing technology, only two parts were required, saving time and money and allowing engineers to build parts that enhance rocket engine performance and are less prone to failure.Source Also: Learn about the Peregrine 100-km Sounding Rocket Project.

Posted in: News

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Researchers Create See-Through Solar Concentrator

A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy.The device is called a transparent luminescent solar concentrator and can be used on buildings, cell phones, and any other device that has a clear surface.And, according to Richard Lunt of MSU’s College of Engineering, the key word is “transparent.”The solar harvesting system uses small organic molecules developed by Lunt and his team to absorb specific nonvisible wavelengths of sunlight.The “glowing” infrared light is guided to the edge of the plastic where it is converted to electricity by thin strips of photovoltaic solar cells.“Because the materials do not absorb or emit light in the visible spectrum, they look exceptionally transparent to the human eye,” said Richard Lunt of MSU’s College of Engineering.SourceAlso: Learn about High-Efficiency Nested Hall Thrusters for Robotic Solar System Exploration.

Posted in: Materials, Plastics, Solar Power, Renewable Energy, Energy, Semiconductors & ICs, News

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Piezoelectric Simulations with COMSOL Multiphysics

Piezoelectric materials are integral to the design of sensors, transducers, resonators, and actuators. This webinar introduces the simulation and modeling of such devices, which benefits the design process by enabling better understanding of the interactions between structural, piezoelectric, and conductive or dielectric materials.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars

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Prepping Advanced Driver Assistance for Mainstream Vehicles

Forward-facing cameras, integrated with vehicle controls, are being used to recognize pedestrians, signs, and other cars and motorcycles. Automatic brake mechanisms — often connected to a combination of radar, camera, and sensors — can halt a vehicle as it approaches an object ahead. New mounted cameras have the ability to register road markings and keep drivers within their own lanes.

Posted in: Imaging, Articles

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Microscope Camera

The Imaging Source (Charlotte, NC) 13-megapixel microscope camera is equipped with a distortion-free 5.3-mm (35-mm equivalent) auto-focus lens, allowing capture through the ocular, not just a region of interest. The camera can take the place of the ocular or can be screwed into the Cmount. Other features include: Sony Exmor CMOS, 1/2.5” sensor; full image circle capture; full HD at up to 30 FPS; focal length of 5.3 mm; and USB 3.0 interface.

Posted in: Imaging, Products

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Microscope Confocal Module

Andor Technology Ltd. (Belfast, Northern Ireland), an Oxford Instruments company, has announced the Revolution DSD2, a compact, laser-free confocal module. With the addition of Andor’s CMOS camera technology, the module delivers a large field of view and high dynamic range. The DSD2 uses a broadband white light source instead of lasers, enabling the image of any fluor by selection of filters.

Posted in: Imaging, Products

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Gigabit Ethernet Camera

PHOTONIS Digital Imaging (Frisco, TX) offers a Gigabit Ethernet camera optimized for low-light conditions. The NOCTURN model provides GigE Vision® functionality and features standard connectivity options for video management and dissemination in military ground vehicles and other localized surveillance networks.

Posted in: Imaging, Products

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