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Molecular Scale Pump with Turbo Pumping Capacity Because the cost of building and maintaining cleanrooms is very expensive, the physical size of components is always critical. We define the cleanroom industry here broadly to include semiconductor manufacture, laboratory equipment, medical devices, nano- technology, and biotechnology applications, to name a few. This turbo molecular vacuum pump provides a higher exhaust capacity than existing turbo molecular pumps without a corresponding increase in the physical size and weight of the pump. Additionally, it creates less vibration than other pumps having the same capacity. For more information, click here. The Technology Business Briefs portray licensing or selling opportunities intermediated by NextTechs. NextTechs Technologies, LLC is a Global Technology Investment Bank engaged in technology offers and needs intermediation in over 41 industries and 141 research disciplines. Search NextTechs' Technology Portfolio here.

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NTB Product of the Year Winners

Each month, the editors of NASA Tech Briefs (NTB) select a Product of the Month, and from those 12, we ask our readers to select a Product of the Year. On April 23, at a special reception and dinner in New York City, the top three products that were chosen by our readers as the most significant in 2006 will be recognized: Dewetron (Charlestown, RI), for the DA-130 ruggedized notebook computer. Z Corporation (Burlington, MA), for the ZScanner(TM) 700 handheld, self-positioning 3D scanner. Adobe Systems (San Jose, CA), for the Adobe(R) Acrobat(R) 3D software. For more information about the 2006 Product of the Year winners, see page 8 of the April issue of NTB, or click here.

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Nikon Small World Contest

Photomicrographers have less than two weeks to enter the 33rd Annual Nikon Small World Competition, the world's pre-eminent photographic competition celebrating photography through the microscope. April 30th is the last day to submit entries into the pool of amateur and professional images taken through a light microscope. Entrants with the top 20 photos will receive prizes of Nikon equipment, with first- and second- prize winners receiving $3,000 and $2,000 worth of equipment, respectively. Additionally, the winning images will be featured at museums across the country as part of the Nikon Small World Museum Tour. Rules and entry forms are available here.

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Earthquake Sensor

An engineer at Washington University in St. Louis has successfully performed the first test of wireless sensors in the simulated structural control of a model laboratory building. The demonstration is the first step toward implementing wireless sensors for structural control in real buildings and structures, enabling less manpower requirements and far less remodeling of existing structures. The wireless sensors are attached to the sides of buildings to monitor the force of sway when shaking occurs. The information is transmitted to a computer program, which then sends a message to magnetorheological (MR) dampers that are within the building's structure. Filled with a fluid that includes suspended iron particles, the MR dampers lessen the shaking by becoming solid when an electrical current is run through them, aligning all of the iron particles. For more information, click here.

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Tech Needs of the Week

A method is needed to determine the cloud ceiling height up to at least 3,000' cloud coverage and visibility up to at least 5 miles using a small, low-power automatic sensor. The device would operate periodically to provide cloud and visibility measurements for these assessments. To respond to this Tech Need, click here. Technologies are needed to provide better performance for MOS image sensors (or CMOS image sensors) used in camera applications. MOS image sensors potentially provide superior image capture compared to CCD as currently used in consumer video, still, and cell phone cameras. 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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"Create the Future" Design Contest Winners

The winners of the fifth annual Emhart Teknologies "Create the Future" Design Contest have been announced. The awards will be presented on April 23 during a dinner reception at the beautiful Water Club in New York City. The contest, co-sponsored by NASA Tech Briefs, COMSOL, and SolidWorks Corp., attracted an unprecedented number of entries from engineering professionals, students, and the general public from the United States and 40 other countries around the globe. The following innovations were selected to receive the contest's grand prize and first prize: The Grand Prize of a hybrid automobile or $20,000 will be presented to David A. Torrey of Advanced Energy Conversion LLC (AEC, Malta, NY) for the AEC Integrated Motor/Pump. The pump provides for the dual use of parts by integrating the rotor of the electric motor with the impeller of the pump in a common housing. Average energy requirements may be significantly reduced by employing controlled flow as allowed by variable speed pump operation independent of engine speed. First-Prize winner Buck Albritton of GearMax (Ashland, VA) will receive a Panasonic 42" plasma TV for his Grip Handle tool. Co-developed with Gene Albritton, the tool allows the user to carry heavier loads with a better grip, while saving their back. The tool is placed against the load at a comfortable position for lifting, the movable grip pad slides next to the load, and the load is ready to lift by the handle. For more information on all of the contest winners, click here. Be sure to check out the special contest winners' section beginning on page 11 of the April issue of NASA Tech Briefs.

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NASA Tech Briefs FREE CAD Webinar

On June 6, 2007, NASA Tech Briefs will present a FREE webinar on "Virtual Testing at the CAD Stage with Simulation Software," sponsored by Noran Engineering. In order to successfully compete in the global marketplace, your product design process needs to be the best in its class, delivering innovative products of the highest quality, at the lowest cost, with the shortest possible design cycle time. This free webinar will examine how progressive engineering departments are accomplishing this by using analysis software at the CAD design stage to virtually test parts and validate structural, thermal, and dynamic performance before they make the first article. To register for this free webinar, click here.

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