Application Briefs

Using Optical Imaging to Combat Counterfeit Components

Counterfeit parts and materials pose a serious threat to the United States defense supply chain. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012 (Section 818) laid out strict guidelines for DoD prime contractors for detection and avoidance of counterfeit electronic parts1. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) identified six federal supply groups in their supply chains that are at high risk for counterfeiting including electrical and electronic components, bearings, hardware and abrasives, pipes and fittings, engine accessories, and vehicle components2. DLA is championing development of anti-counterfeiting technologies that also provide traceability for the parts in its supply chain. A solution called QuanTEK developed by Chromo Logic LLC, involves novel optical imaging methods and has been found to work on a broad class of the DLA identified high-risk federal supply groups.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Photonics

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CAD-Based Process Analyzes Lidar Interferometer Instrument

Comet software Comet Solutions Cincinnati, OH 513-588-2773 www.cometsolutions.com A Structural-Thermal-Optical-Performance (STOP) analysis is an interdisciplinary analysis used to verify optical requirements. It is performed to identify and solve design issues early before building hardware. In a traditional STOP analysis, data must flow sequentially from engineer to engineer, requiring multiple data handoffs, which are time-consuming. If the STOP analysis shows that design changes are necessary, trade studies can also be time-consuming.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace

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Plasma Etching System Expands Device Processing Capability at JPL

Apex SLR ICP etch system Advanced Vacuum, a Plasma-Therm Co. Saint Petersburg, FL 800-246-2592 www.plasmatherm.com An Advanced Vacuum inductively coupled plasma etch system recently was installed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA, to help expand the fabrication capabilities of JPL’s Microdevices Laboratory (MDL).

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace

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Automation System Retrofit Transforms 175-Ton Hydraulic Forming Press

Southern Manufacturing Group (SMG) of Morrison, TN, makes automotive components and industrial valves. In 2012, the automation system for its 175-ton hydraulic forming press received electrical damage resulting from a lightning strike (Figure 1). Purchasing a new hydraulic forming press would be prohibitively expensive — in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Therefore, SMG needed a company that could repair the forming press in a short timeframe to maintain its production schedule.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control

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Researchers Prepare RoboSimian for Tasks Beyond Disaster Response

RoboSimian, a limbed robot developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), is designed to operate in environments too dangerous or difficult for human intervention, such as disaster areas and oil leak sites. After years of engineering in the lab, JPL’s researchers are preparing the tele-operated RoboSimian platform for use in new, complex environments, from deep waters to outer space.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Sensors

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Energy Harvester Uses RF Waves to Power Air Pollution Sensors

As more connected devices enter the market and see wider adoption by an ever increasing number of industries, the Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly expanding.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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Robot Simulation Software Lets NASA Study Conditions on Planetary Surfaces

Actin™ robot control and simulation software Energid Technologies Cambridge, MA 617-401-7090 www.energid.com For obvious reasons, conditions on lunar and planetary surfaces can understandably be hard to duplicate physically, even in the best case when they are well understood, if only from a distance. This makes digital simulations an essential tool during mission planning and development. Simulation can be used to study the effects of changes in terrain, lighting, reflectance, and other environmental factors on mission success.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Simulation Software, Software

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