News

VITA Announces Partnership with ABP International

VITA, the trade association dedicated to fostering ANSI-accredited, open- system architectures in a variety of critical embedded system applications, announced that ABP International (ABPI) has become a VITA Media Partner (VMP) focusing on the technologies, products, and trends directly associated with VITA's goals and objectives. ABPI publishes market-leading design engineering magazines including Embedded Technology, which reaches over 69,000 board and embedded system buyers. ABPI also produces Defense Tech Briefs, the largest-circulation engineering magazine for the mil/aero market, and NASA Tech Briefs, the world's largest-circulation OEM design engineering magazine. VITA's Media Partners program provides detailed and timely reporting on the latest VITA technologies, markets, members, products, services, and open standards. VITA's Media Partners are the communications and market analysis arm of VITA, communicating technology and business changes to the marketplace, thus keeping manufacturers and users keenly informed of the aspects of these changes. For more information about VITA, click here. For more information about ABPI's publications, click here.

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Revolutionary Stove Could Help Reduce Poverty

Led by the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at The University of Nottingham (U.K.), a research team is using thermoacoustic technology for the first time to convert biomass fuels into energy to power a combination stove, refrigerator, and generator. Part of the ~$4M SCORE (Stove for Cooking, Refrigeration, and Electricity) project, the research will address the energy needs of rural communities in Africa and Asia, where access to power is extremely limited. The concept of the proposed device is based on proven thermoacoustic engines and refrigerators developed for applications such as combustion-fired natural gas liquefaction and radioisotope-fueled electric power generation. Thermoacoustics refers to the generation of sound waves through the non- uniform heating of gas. Using this technology is a more efficient way of using wood as a fuel than using an open fire to cook. For more information, click here.

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Tech Needs: Delivery System for Controlled Release of Actives

A technology is needed to enable delivery of active compositions/components triggered at a specific time and/or in a specific place. The delivery mechanism could be triggered by a large range of conditions, and can comprise a new chemistry formulation, modification of an existing delivery format, or possibly even a physical structural device or combination. To respond to this Tech Need, click here. A new active that could be used in several different delivery modes and forms is needed to remove household odors. The active must eliminate and remove odors caused by bathroom odor, mold and mildew, pets, and by kitchen garbage. The active would work on a broad set of compounds, such as sulfides, amines, heterocycles, short-chain fatty acids, and aromatics. To respond to this Tech Need, click here. The Technology Needs of the Week are anonymous requests for technology, distributed through the yet2.com marketplace, that you and your organization may be able to fulfill. Responding to a Tech Need is the first step to gaining an introduction with a prospective "buyer" for your technology solution.

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NASA-Funded Robotic Sub Explores Earth's Deepest Sinkhole

Scientists have begun the final leg of a five-year, NASA-funded mission to reach the bottom of Cenote Zacatón in Mexico, the world's deepest known sinkhole. Using the Deep Phreatic Thermal Explorer (DEPTHX), scientists aim to learn more about Cenote Zacatón's physical dimensions, the geothermal vents that feed it, and the forms of life that exist in its depths. DEPTHX -- an autonomous submarine that creates 3D maps of previously unexplored areas as it swims along and then uses those same maps to navigate back to the surface -- is designed to survey and explore life in extreme regions on Earth and potentially in outer space. DEPTHX's technology could be applied to future space probes of Europa, where scientists believe that deep cracks and holes in the ice offer a chance of finding extraterrestrial life. The technology has also been approved for a new NASA mission to explore one of Antarctica's ice-bound polar lakes. For more information, click here.

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New on the Market: Incremental Encoders and Linear Shafts

Alpha Gear Drives (Bartlett, IL) released the low-backlash Alphira(TM) Servo Planetary Gearheads for low-end applications. For cyclic and continuous operation, and with a 20,000-hour service life, the unit comes in four sizes and features five reduction ratios. Click here to learn more. Applied Motion Products (Watsonville, CA) released the ST10-S Stepper Drive, which delivers up to 10.0 A with 24-80 VDC input. The unit can be controlled by a step and direction input, or by a host controller. Self-Test and Auto Setup features measure/configure motor parameters and anti-resonance technology. Click here to learn more. BEI Industrial Encoders (Goleta, CA) introduced the L15 incremental encoder featuring a design flexibility of up to 40,640 cycles per turn. The internal, electronic multiplication boosts output resolution up to 16 times. A maximum of 162,560 counts is available. Click here to learn more. Misumi USA (Schaumburg, IL) released a precision linear shaft featuring a consistent hardening depth and a light pre-load to minimize clearance design between the shaft and bushing. The unit has an outside diameter of 3 to 50 mm and lengths from 10 to 1,500 mm. Click here to learn more.

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"Fly-By-Wire" Flap Actuator System Developed for Light Jet

Eaton Corporation (Irvine, CA) partnered with Embraer (Brazil) in the development of a "fly-by-wire" wing flap actuator system, developed specifically for the new Embraer Phenom 100 Very Light Jet (VLJ). Fuselage construction began in March. Traditional mechanical flap systems feature flexible metal shafts connected between each of the flap or slat actuators mounted in the aircraft wing, all driven by a central power drive unit. The Embraer system utilizes a brushless DC motor integrated directly within each actuator assembly. System synchronization is accomplished electronically, replacing the flex shafts with electrical wiring. For more information, click here.

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Coming Attractions: Linear Scales in Thermonuclear Ignition System

Motion Control Technology™, a bi-monthly supplement to NASA Tech Briefs, contains a section called Applications, which reports on motion control components being used in the field. Here's an Insider sneak peek at one of the technologies covered in the upcoming June issue: Scales Work as Part of Thermonuclear Ignition Target Assembly The National Ignition Facility (NIF), part of Lawrence Livermore National Lab (Livermore, CA), constructed a system of lasers ending in a chamber ten meters in diameter to house tiny fuel capsules that are subjected to a high-energy pulse, setting off a small thermonuclear burst. The target assembly machine, built by ABTech (Swanzey, NH), used linear scales from HEIDENHAIN Corp. (Schaumburg, IL). With an accuracy of up to 4 millionths of an inch, the 5-axis assembly station is an air-bearing machine that includes mechanical arms with the ability to slide into position without friction. The system is capable of positioning the target shell halves in locations within 0.1 µm. The scales are exposed linear encoders capable of small, precise measured steps to 0.005 µm. The system is completed with a high-resolution camera and surgical microscope that provide views of the mating components. The new target design has allowed NIF to create thermonuclear ignitions mimicking conditions found in the Sun or an exploding nuclear event. The primary mission of NIF will be to attain fusion ignition in the laboratory, exploring fusion's potential as a clean, long-term energy source. Look for this application in the June issue of Motion Control Technology. Click here to view previously published Applications Click here to learn more about HEIDENHAIN

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