Application Briefs

Motors Keep Telescope Operating in Record-Low Antarctic Temperatures

At Concordia Station in Antarctica, there is a telescope mount that has been operating for a few years. Recently, there was a new record temperature at the Dome C site: -84.6 °C, or -199 °F. Not many things operate well in such conditions, but the telescope mount — which has to move continuously — used for scientific studies by the Laboratoire Universitaire d’Astrophysique de Nice (LUAN) is one of them.

Posted in: Applications, Motion Control, Application Briefs

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Robots and Vision Combine for Accurate Sheet Metal Cutting

In the general construction industry, many different parts are cut from sheet metal and then welded together on a large machine or vehicle. The trouble arises when the sheets are placed on the cutting table; the larger and heavier they are, the more difficult they are to position on the table. Without proper alignment, the sheet is likely to be cut outside acceptable tolerances, which results in waste and has a negative impact on the welding process. When sheets vary along the X, Y, and Z axes, the issue of exact positioning becomes even more problematic.

Posted in: Applications, Motion Control, Application Briefs

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Visible Imager Technology for Euclid’s Dark Energy Mission

The European Space Agency is funding e2v’s development of an image sensor for the visible instrument in the Euclid space telescope. Euclid is a candidate mission for one of two launch opportunities in 2018. If selected, the mission aims to map the dark universe with two complementary methods: a galaxy red-shift survey and weak gravitational lensing using near infrared and visible instruments.

Posted in: ptb catchall, Applications, Photonics, Application Briefs

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Vision System Finds and Aligns Electronic Components

Nordson Asymtek, headquartered in Carlsbad, CA, provides automated fluid dispensing systems, which are used in the assembly and packaging of semiconductors, printed circuit boards, flat panel displays, electronic components, and medical/biotech products. The dispensing system, however, requires machine vision alignment tools so that components can be easily located. For processes like underfill, which secures a flip chip to the substrate circuit board, and encapsulation, where a chip must be protected from corrosion, precision is essential.

Posted in: Imaging, Application Briefs

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General Dynamics to Supply Next-Generation Deep Space Network Antennas

Beam waveguide antennasGeneral Dynamics SATCOMTechnologiesNewton, NC828-464-4141www.gdsatcom.comGeneral Dynamics SATCOM Technologies has been chosen by NASA s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to build two additional 34-meter (112-foot-wide) beam waveguide antennas as part of NASA’s modernization and transformation plan to continue scientific studies of the Earth as well as explore distant bodies in the solar system. The new antennas will be located at the Deep Space Network (DSN) facility in Canberra, Australia. The new antennas are part of a NASA plan to replace large, aging antennas that currently enable communications with NASA’s interplanetary flight missions.

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Semiconductor Laser Technology Chosen for

Single-frequency semiconductor laserRedfern Integrated Optics (RIO)Santa Clara, CA408-970-3500www.rio-inc.comNASA has chosen Redfern Integrated Optics to further develop a single-frequency, narrow-linewidth semiconductor laser suitable for spaceflight operation. RIO’s external-cavity semiconductor laser technology is based on the hybrid integration of an indium phosphide (InP) gain chip and a planar lightwave circuit (PLC) with Bragg gratings. Packaged in a standard 14-pin compact “butterfly” package, the laser is characterized by a single-frequency output in the 1550-nm spectral region with a linewidth less than 2 kHz, low phase noise, low relative intensity noise (RIN), and high immunity to vibrations in a wide range of operating temperatures.

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Crew Test Module Provides Launch Escape System

New Shepard rocket-propelled vehicleBlue OriginKent, WA253-872-0411www.blueorigin.comBlue Origin has received funding from NASA’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) initiative to develop a composite crew test module and a launch escape system for its commercial spaceflight vehicle. The New Shepard system is a rocket-propelled, vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing vehicle designed to routinely fly multiple astronauts into suborbital space. In addition to providing the public with opportunities to experience spaceflight, the New Shepard system will also provide frequent opportunities for researchers to fly experiments into space and a microgravity environment.

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