Application Briefs

Design of a Field-Mapped Beam Homogenizer

Light beam homogenizer designs used for decades are largely based upon lenticular lens arrays that date back to the 1940s and 1950s. A more recent design is from the late 1980s that comprises a pair of crossed-cylindrical lenticular lens structures coupled with a condensing lens. The 1980s design has 10 optical surfaces which represents a significant source of optical loss, long beam path (typically ~ 1.5 meters) and high cost from having so many optical elements. Further, this design requires careful and precise alignment of the light beam in relation to the optics comprising the homogenizer, in particular angular rotation of the lenslets and their positioning in the X-Y plane of the optical axis. These designs are unable to produce a homogenized ring illumination, which is useful for ablating polymer insulation from metal bonding pads in microelectronic fabrication of multichip modules and memory chips.

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

Read More >>

Low-Power FPGAs Aboard NASA’s Mission to Mars to Study Climate History

RTAX-S field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) Actel Mountain View, CA 650-318-4200 www.actel.com Actel’s RTAX-S field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are aboard NASA’s Phoenix mission to Mars, which launched this summer from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The mission will study the history of water and habitability potential in the Martian Arctic. Included in the spacecraft is a Meterological Station (MET) provided by the Canadian Space Agency, which will acquire, process, and transmit temperature and pressure data to scientists back on Earth. MDA, a provider of robotic space systems, led construction of the MET instrument and incorporated Actel’s one-million-gate RTAX1000SCQ352 device into the instrument subsystem.

Posted in: Application Briefs

Read More >>

Electrostatic Detection System Prevents Injuries and Damage During Spacecraft Assembly

Remote Voltage Sensor Quasar Federal Systems San Diego, CA 858-228-3386 www.quasarusa.com Electrostatic charges impact the safety of both workers and spacecraft, and have been recognized as one of the main problems at the NASA spacecraft assembly facilities. Prevention currently depends on time-consuming, handheld electric-field devices scanning each individual worker’s clothing. Quasar Federal Systems has developed a new electrostatic detection system with support from NASA and the University of California Berkeley’s Space Science Laboratory.

Posted in: Application Briefs

Read More >>

Precision Motors Help Guided Parachutes Deliver Cargo

The Onyx guided parachute designed and manufactured by Atair Aerospace (Brooklyn, NY) is an autonomous precision airdrop system. The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) uses motors and planetary gearheads manufactured by Maxon Precision Motor (Fall River, MA) to drive the parachute’s mechanical mechanisms.

Posted in: Applications, Motion Control, Application Briefs

Read More >>

Visualization Software Helps Assess Thin-Film Semiconductor Systems

As thin-film technology advances, it’s increasingly important to monitor the film’s characteristics. That’s because eliminating irregularities in thin films — used primarily to create computer chips — enhances their performance. k-Space Associates (kSA, Ann Arbor, MI) specializes in accurate, precise monitoring methods that allow physicists and engineers to create high-performance thin-film products and improve their research and development workflow.

Posted in: Imaging, Application Briefs

Read More >>

ID Readers Accurately Identify and Trace Printed Circuit Boards

New MP3 players from a global electronics manufacturer like Sony are destined for a demanding consumer market and cannot be compromised in any way. In Malaysia, the company sought a code-reading and traceability solution for the printed circuit boards (PCBs) for these MP3 players.

Posted in: Imaging, Application Briefs

Read More >>

Advanced Solar Array to Power Electric Propulsion Systems

Stretched Lens Array ENTECH Keller, TX 817-379-0100 www.entechsolar.com ENTECH has been awarded a contract from NASA’s Glenn Research Center, which will support the development of an advanced solar array for powering advanced electric propulsion systems in future space missions. The Stretched Lens Array (SLA) is an ultra-light, ultra-high-performance solar array technology.

Posted in: Application Briefs

Read More >>