Electronics
Agile Aperture Antenna Tested on Aircraft to Maintain Satellite Connection
Posted in Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics, Power Management, Software, Test & Measurement, Measuring Instruments, Communications, Wireless, Aerospace, Aviation, RF & Microwave Electronics, Antennas, News on Monday, 21 July 2014
Two of Georgia Tech's software-defined, electronically reconfigurable Agile Aperture Antennas (A3) were demonstrated in an aircraft during flight tests. The low-power devices can change beam directions in a thousandth of a second. One device, looking up, maintained a satellite data connection as the aircraft changed headings, banked and rolled, while the other antenna looked down to track electromagnetic emitters on the ground.
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Creating Soft Robotics with a Sewing Machine
Posted in Electronic Components, Electronics, Materials, Coatings & Adhesives, Metals, Plastics, Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Diagnostics, News, MDB on Monday, 21 July 2014
New stretchable technologies and soft robotics being explored by engineers at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, could lead to innovations such as robots with human-like sensory skin and synthetic muscles, as well as wearable electronics. But to do so, they say, you would need a low-cost, highly stretchable electrical conductor to interconnect sensors and other components.
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Developing World's First Memory Restoration Device
Posted in Electronic Components, Electronics, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Diagnostics, News, MDB on Wednesday, 16 July 2014
Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Livermore, CA, were awarded up to $2.5 million to develop an implantable neural device with the ability to record and stimulate neurons within the brain to help restore memory from the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
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Nano-Pixels Promise Flexible, High-Res Displays
Posted in Electronics & Computers, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics, Imaging, Displays/Monitors/HMIs, Materials, Semiconductors & ICs, Nanotechnology, News on Friday, 11 July 2014
A new discovery will make it possible to create pixels just a few hundred nanometers across. The "nano-pixels" could pave the way for extremely high-resolution and low-energy thin, flexible displays for applications such as 'smart' glasses, synthetic retinas, and foldable screens.

Oxford University scientists explored the link between the electrical and optical properties of phase change materials (materials that can change from an amorphous to a crystalline state). By sandwiching a seven=nanometer-thick layer of a phase change material (GST) between two layers of a transparent electrode, the team found that they could use a tiny current to 'draw' images within the sandwich "stack."

Initially still images were created using an atomic force microscope, but the researchers went on to demonstrate that such tiny "stacks" can be turned into prototype pixel-like devices. These 'nano-pixels' – just 300 by 300 nanometers in size – can be electrically switched 'on and off' at will, creating the colored dots that would form the building blocks of an extremely high-resolution display technology.

Source

Also: Learn about Slot-Sampled Optical PPM Demodulation.
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Shrinking the Gap in Nanowire Technology
Posted in Electronics, Materials, Metals, Plastics, Medical, Nanotechnology, News, MDB on Wednesday, 09 July 2014
A team of engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are using Shrinky Dinks material, a polystyrene that shrinks under high heat, to close the gap between nanowires in an array to make them useful for high-performance electronics applications. The group published its technique in the journal, Nano Letters.
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'Sensing Skin' Detects Damage in Concrete Structures
Posted in Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Materials, Sensors, Detectors, Test & Measurement, Communications, Semiconductors & ICs, News on Tuesday, 24 June 2014
Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Eastern Finland have developed new “sensing skin” technology designed to serve as an early warning system for concrete structures, allowing authorities to respond quickly to damage in everything from nuclear facilities to bridges.

“The sensing skin could be used for a wide range of structures, but the impetus for the work was to help ensure the integrity of critical infrastructure such as nuclear waste storage facilities,” says Dr. Mohammad Pour-Ghaz, an assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the work.

The skin is an electrically conductive coat of paint that can be applied to new or existing structures. The paint can incorporate any number of conductive materials, such as copper, making it relatively inexpensive.

Electrodes are applied around the perimeter of a structure. The sensing skin is then painted onto the structure, over the electrodes. A computer program then runs a small current between two of the electrodes at a time, cycling through a number of possible electrode combinations.

Every time the current runs between two electrodes, a computer monitors and records the electrical potential at all of the electrodes on the structure. This data is then used to calculate the sensing skin’s spatially distributed electrical conductivity. If the skin’s conductivity decreases, that means the structure has cracked or been otherwise damaged.

The researchers have developed a suite of algorithms that allow them to both register damage and to determine where the damage has taken place.

Source

Also: Learn about Designing Composite Repairs and Retrofits for Infrastructure.
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Treating PTSD with Removable Brain Implant
Posted in Electronic Components, Electronics, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, News on Monday, 23 June 2014
Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) recently received $5.6 million from the Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop an implantable neural interface that can record and stimulate neurons within the brain to treat neuropsychiatric disorders. The technology will help doctors to better understand and treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, and other conditions.
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