Special Coverage

Transducer-Actuator Systems for On-Machine Measurements and Automatic Part Alignment
Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors
Heavy Lift Wing in Ground (WIG) Cargo Flying Boat
Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines
Vibration Tables Shake Up Aerospace and Car Testing
Supercomputer Cooling System Uses Refrigerant to Replace Water

Reducing Inaccuracies in Force/Haptic Feedback Systems

This novel algorithm automatically compensates for the errors introduced by physical factors, enabling the control system to adjust the applied force accurately.

Researchers at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center have developed a new technology to reduce inaccuracies in force/haptic feedback devices and systems. Used at NASA in aircraft simulations for force feedback pilot controls, these systems involve a servomotor applying precise force to a specific point based on very accurate measurements. However, because the force instrumentation often cannot be placed directly at the point of interest, a mechanical assembly is used, linking the force transducer to the target point. Unfortunately, this mechanical assembly introduces inaccuracies due to its own forces of gravity, friction, and inertia.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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PLOT3D 4.1

PLOT3D is an interactive graphics program designed to help scientists visualize computational fluid dynamics (CFD) grids and solutions. Today, supercomputers and CFD algorithms can provide scientists with simulations of such highly complex phenomena that obtaining an understanding of the simulations has become a major problem. Tools that help the scientist visualize the simulations can be of tremendous aid.

Posted in: Briefs, Software
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Curved Sensor Improves Image Quality Captured with Digital Cameras

This sensor demonstrates significantly sharper images and a practical approach for curving off-the-shelf image sensors.

In dark environments, it is often difficult to get a clear, high-quality image. To address this problem, a method was developed for spherically curving the flat image sensors found in digital cameras. The curved sensors could be used to create better cameras for surveillance, head-mounted displays, and advancements in autonomous vehicle navigation.

Posted in: Briefs, Imaging
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Electrochemical Method for Removing Pollutants from Water

This method removes even extremely low levels of organic contaminants such as pesticides, chemical waste products, and pharmaceuticals.

When removing very dilute concentrations of pollutants from water, existing separation methods tend to be energy- and chemical-intensive. A new method was developed that could provide a selective alternative for removing even extremely low levels of unwanted compounds. The method relies on an electrochemical process to selectively remove organic contaminants such as pesticides, chemical waste products, and pharmaceuticals, even when these are present in small, yet dangerous concentrations. The approach also addresses key limitations of conventional electrochemical separation methods such as acidity fluctuations and losses in performance that can happen as a result of competing surface reactions.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing
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Structural Health Monitoring System/Method Using Electroactive Polymer Fibers

Potential applications include impact, delamination, and fatigue crack sensing.

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a novel polymer material that can be utilized as a real-time structural health monitoring sensor. The material is electroactive and generates a signal in response to a mechanical force. The material is also highly elastic, which allows for a large range of measurable strain levels, and is highly durable.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors
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Product of the Month: August 2017

Harwin, Salem, NH, announced the SYCAMORE surface-mount socket that provides pin retention and durability for high-volume applications manufactured using automated systems. The capacitor's design features three points of contact, providing continuity and robustness. Key markets include gas detection systems, metering systems, and other applications that require modules and devices such as field-replaceable parts or temperature-sensitive components to be mounted to a printed circuit board. The single-part SMT socket design features a profile of 0.3 mm above the PCB. Available in top and bottom entry versions, it accepts 1.0 or 1.50 mm-diameter pins, and is open-ended for unlimited mating pin depth. It is manufactured from beryllium copper, and contacts are gold-plated to ensure high conductivity over a temperature range of -50 to +125 °C.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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Algorithm Enables Five-Dimensional Imaging in Living Organisms

This technique is faster, less expensive, and more accurate than current methods, and works with cellphone images.

Researchers use fluorescent imaging to locate proteins and other molecules in cells and tissues by tagging the molecules with dyes that glow under certain kinds of light — the same principle behind “black light” images. Fluorescent imaging can help scientists and researchers understand which molecules are produced in large amounts in cancer or other diseases. This information may be useful in diagnosis or in identifying possible targets for therapeutic drugs.

Posted in: Briefs, Imaging
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Do you see augmented reality as a way of improving design processes?

A report last week concluded that the augmented reality (AR) market is expected to grow from $2.39 billion in 2016 to $61.39 billion by 2023. The research from the Hadapsar, India-based analyst firm MarketsandMarkets cites increasing demand for AR devices and applications in healthcare, retail, and e-commerce sectors.

AR plays a potential role for design engineers looking to model a product directly into an environment. What do you think? Do you see augmented reality as a way of improving design processes?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Displays/Monitors/HMIs, Imaging, Visualization Software, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM)
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Precision High Voltage: Demystifying Accuracy and Resolution Challenges in Mass Spectrometry

Regardless of discipline, application, or instrument architecture, high voltage is required to successfully convert molecular mass to a gas-ion state—measured accurately every time–from acceleration through separation, detection, measurement, and analysis. Learn high-voltage fundamentals and receive expert advice to achieve high-accuracy, high-resolution sample analyses with precision high-voltage power.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars, Energy
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The Advantages of High-Voltage Standard-Product Power Supplies  

Despite the sophisticated nature of product development involving systems with high-voltage components, designers often face the pressures of fast cycle times. This webinar presentation covers the fundamentals of high-voltage power and discusses how you can specify up-front designs with standard-product high-voltage power supplies.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars, Energy
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