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Three-Axis Gimbal Mount

The high precision, AU300-XZ Motorized Three-axis Gimbal Mount from Optimal Engineering Systems, Inc. (OES) (Van Nuys, CA) features full 360O rotation of each axis. The rigid black anodized aluminum alloy frame handles loads to 10kg (22.5 lbs) and has the clearance (300 mm x 300 mm, 11.8 in. x 11.8 in.) necessary for mounting lasers, cameras, optics, etc. The Azimuth stage rotary table has a compact 214 mm x 214 mm (8.425 in. x 8.425 in.) foot print. Each axis features: Low backlash worm gear drives and precision "V" grove & cross roller bearings for very high resolution of 3.6 arc seconds, and repeatability and positional accuracy to 18 arc seconds. Travel speed of each axis is 10O per second. To learn more, click here

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Researchers Film Droplets Getting Blown Up by X-ray Laser

This illustration shows how an ultrabright X-ray laser pulse (orange beam) vaporizes part of a liquid jet (blue), creating umbrella-shaped films of liquid and sending shock waves through the jet (bright stripes at top and bottom). (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory) Researchers have made the first microscopic movies of liquids getting vaporized by the world’s brightest X-ray laser at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The new data could lead to better and novel experiments at X-ray lasers, whose extremely bright, fast flashes of light take atomic-level snapshots of some of nature’s speediest processes.

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Engineers Set New World Record in Solar Cell Efficiency

A diagram of the spectrum-splitting, four-junction mini-module developed at UNSW. (Courtesy of UNSW) A new solar cell configuration developed by engineers at the University of New South Wales has pushed sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiency to 34.5% – establishing a new world record for unfocused sunlight and nudging closer to the theoretical limits for such a device. The record was set by Dr Mark Keevers and Professor Martin Green, Senior Research Fellow and Director, respectively, of UNSW’s Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics, using a 28-cm2 four-junction mini-module – embedded in a prism – that extracts the maximum energy from sunlight. It does this by splitting the incoming rays into four bands, using a hybrid four-junction receiver to squeeze even more electricity from each beam of sunlight.

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Optics Breakthrough Could Revamp Night Vision

By etching grooves in the film, the light is redirected and almost all of it is absorbed. The absorbing layer is less than 1/2000th the thickness of a human hair. (Credit: Dr. Thomas P. White, Australian National University) A breakthrough by an Australian collaboration of researchers could make infrared technology easy-to-use and cheap, potentially saving millions of dollars in defense and other areas using sensing devices, and boosting applications of technology to a host of new areas, such as agriculture. Infra-red devices are used for improved vision through fog and for night vision and for observations not possible with visible light; high-quality detectors cost approximately $100,000 (including the device at the University of Sydney) and some require cooling to -200°C.

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New Technique Could Improve Detection of Concealed Nuclear Materials

Schematic shows how a fan-like beam of gamma particles created by an ion accelerator would pass through a shielded radioactive material inside a cargo container, and be measured on the other side with Cherenkov quartz detectors. (Courtesy Anna Erickson) Researchers have demonstrated proof of concept for a novel low-energy nuclear reaction imaging technique designed to detect the presence of “special nuclear materials” – weapons-grade uranium and plutonium – in cargo containers arriving at U.S. ports. The method relies on a combination of neutrons and high-energy photons to detect shielded radioactive materials inside the containers.

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Engineers Design Novel Multi-Field Invisible Sensor

Without compromising performance, the copper shell (outer circular ring) cloaks the sensor (inner circle) and renders it invisible in thermal and electrical images. (Photo: NUS) A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has invented a novel camouflage technique that effectively hides thermal and electronic sensors without compromising performance. Led by Assistant Professor Qiu Cheng-Wei from the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at NUS Faculty of Engineering, the team created the world’s first multifunctional camouflage shell that renders sensors invisible in both thermal and electric environments.

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Army Uses Technology to Increase Aerial Delivery Accuracy

Members of the Georgia National Guard during a Pathfinder aerial operation benefiting from the data provided by the Man-Portable Doppler LiDAR system. (U.S. Army Photo) Researchers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory have developed a new system that will enhance the capabilities of U.S. Army Pathfinders as they conduct aerial operations. In response to a Request for Information from the U.S. Army-Africa to remove what is known as the pilot balloon from the battlefield, ARL undertook a program to reduce the size, weight and power of current commercial-off-the-shelf Doppler Light Detection and Ranging, or LiDAR, systems. The pilot balloon is a small, helium-filled balloon that is released and tracked to measure a wind profile in support of personnel and precision airdrop operations.

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