Application Briefs

InGaAs SWIR Imagers Optimize Semiconductor Inspection

As the volume of consumer electronics increases, semiconductor fabrication plants are manufacturing larger and larger wafers to handle the demand (e.g., 300 mm substrates). The escalating value of these larger wafers is driving the industry to employ more advanced imaging technologies for quality control. Inspecting the raw material substrate for flaws before processing and detecting defects during processing is critical to keeping costs down. New and improved inspection techniques save the semiconductor manufacturing industry hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

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

Read More >>

Diving Equipment Helps Expedition Team Uncover Microbial Adaptation to Harsh Environments

CODE Rebreathers and SSV Lifejackets Aqua Lung Vista, CA 760- 597-5000 The High Lakes Project (HLP) is funded by a grant from the NASA Astrobiology Institute to the SETI/NAI team. The HLP is an endeavor involving a team of expert scientists, mountainclimbers, and divers that will explore the ecosystems of three high-altitude-summit lakes in Bolivia and Chile. The physical and environmental conditions around and in these lakes — characterized by a thin atmosphere, temperature swings, and intense ultraviolet radiation — are uniquely analogous to ancient Martian lakes about 2.7 billion years ago. Learning about how microbial organisms adapt to such harsh environments is a critical step in preparing for life on Mars. The HLP also aims to understand how rapid climate change affects life and habitats, which is relevant to Martian exploration and to Earth’s current evolution.

Posted in: Application Briefs

Read More >>

Power Complex Protects NASA Test Equipment

Centralized Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) Lee Technologies Fairfax, VA 703-968-0300 NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, MS, is NASA’s primary site for rocket propulsion testing. It is also home to the Applied Research and Technology Project Office (ARTPO), which supplies project management to support NASA’s science and technology goals. Recently, Stennis awarded Lee Technologies a contract to construct a centralized uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and emergency generator. Under the terms of the contract, Lee Technologies will partner with Z Corporation in Burlington, MA, to construct the power complex at Stennis.

Posted in: Application Briefs

Read More >>

Lead Screws Used in Diamond Analyzer

Traditionally, once they are shaped, but before they are mounted, diamonds are rated by the “4 Cs” — clarity, color, carat, and cut. Modern gemology, however, grades finished diamonds by a more accurate standard: light performance. The quality of how a diamond innately captures and “plays” with light separates a superior gemstone from a flawed one. Supporting 10 million people and recording a profit of $1,010 billion in 2006, but facing a global supply crunch and competition from gem-quality synthetic diamonds, the diamond industry must get superior stones on the market quickly and reliably. For quality assurance, many firms have turned to the BrillianceScope™ Analyzer from GemEx (Mequon, WI) to measure the light performance of finished diamonds in a comparative test against some of the industry’s highest-rated stones. GemEx utilized the RGS™ Rapid Guide Screws from Kerk Motion Products (Hollis, NH) to maintain the precision of the BrillianceScope’s testing mechanism.

Posted in: Applications, Motion Control, Application Briefs

Read More >>

Scales Work as Part of Thermonuclear Ignition Target Assembly

Scheduled for completion in 2009, the National Ignition Facility Project (NIF), part of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL, Livermore, CA), is a component of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Stockpile Stewardship Program, whose mission is to maintain the safety, reliability, and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear stockpile without underground nuclear testing, banned since 1992. To continue research into thermonuclear ignition, NIF began the Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) Program for high-energy density physics. To this end, NIF constructed a complex system of lasers ending in a chamber ten meters in diameter to house tiny fuel capsules called “targets” that are subjected to a high-energy pulse, setting off a small thermonuclear burst. The target assembly machine, part of NIF’s thermonuclear testing system, is custom built by ABTech (Swanzey, NH), using the LIP 481R linear scales from HEIDENHAIN Corp. (Schaumburg, IL).

Posted in: Applications, Motion Control, Application Briefs

Read More >>

Automakers Use Thermal Vision Systems for Flawless Coatings

Automotive production plants continually face two common problems in the application of coatings: imperfect coverage and contaminants. Thermal vision systems provide a solution.

Posted in: Imaging, Application Briefs

Read More >>

Infrared Night Vision Expands What Drivers Can “See”

The U.S. military has employed infrared vision technology for years. But it has only been the past several years that thermal imaging, or infrared, technology has been made commonly available by automakers. With the introduction of Night Vision on the 2000 Cadillac DeVille, General Motors (GM) became the first automaker to bring the safety benefits of extended night vision to drivers. Today, Night Vision is available on Cadillac’s current models.

Posted in: Imaging, Application Briefs

Read More >>