Articles

Autonomous Driving — In a ‘Flash’

By combining CMOS technology with avalanche photodiodes, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS (Duisburg, Germany) have developed a potentially cost-effective sensor prototype that aims to support driverless car applications. The “Flash LiDAR” could play a valuable role alongside the cameras, radars, and other components within autonomous vehicles.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Photonics, Lidar, Sensors and actuators, Product development, Semiconductors, Autonomous vehicles

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ViDAR Optical Radar Provides New Maritime Search Capability

ViDAR, developed by Sentient Vision Systems in Melbourne Australia, provides autonomous, real-time, wide-area search capability, optically, from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or manned aircraft. ViDAR, which stands for Visual Detection and Ranging, essentially acts as an optical radar, using high-megapixel video or infrared cameras to search the ocean over significantly greater operational coverage areas than can be achieved with current optical sensor approaches.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Photonics, Optics, Surveillance, Performance upgrades, Product development, Fixed-wing aircraft, Unmanned aerial vehicles

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A New Clinical Challenge: Making Sense of Heart Failure

Cardiologist Dr. John Boehmer spends many of his days assisting individuals who have heart disease, a condition affecting approximately 5.7 million US adults, according to the American Heart Association.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Sensors, Cardiovascular system, Diagnosis, Diseases

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NASA Navigation Sensor May Land in Applications Beyond Mars

Although a NASA-built sensor being tested in the Mojave Desert this summer will be used to support the safe landing of rovers on Mars, one of the technology's lead researchers sees other commercial possibilities. Principal Investigator Farzin Amzajerdian and his team at NASA's Langley Research Center developed the Navigation Doppler Lidar, a bread-box-sized sensor system that could someday play a role in aircraft navigation and even driverless car applications.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Sensors, Lidar, Spacecraft guidance, Autonomous vehicles, Entry, descent, and landing, Unmanned aerial vehicles

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PLCs Improve Control of Radio Broadcasts

PLCs are slowly replacing the outdated hardware and software used at many remote transmitter sites in radio and TV broadcasting applications.Broadcasting employs the latest technology in many areas, but controlling the broadcast hardware connected to the antenna and the related transmission power, source, and facilities is usually still a low-tech operation. Typically, a broadcast engineer will drive to the unattended transmitter, translator, or repeater site to flip switches and make other manual adjustments (Figure 1).

Posted in: Application Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Software, Antennas, Electric cables, Radio equipment, Reliability

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Fabricating Optical Mirrors for Use in Outer Space Measurements

There are many ways to manufacture an optic depending on the complexity of the component and the application. From choosing the best substrate, to detailing the numerous operations required to make the optic, all the while considering tight tolerances and other specifications. This article highlights the precision needed to successfully fabricate the mirrors for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment’s (HETDEX’s) Visible Integral Field Replicable Unit Spectrographs (VIRUS) unit which was designed to measure dark energy in outer space.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Optics, Measuring Instruments, Mirrors, Measurements, Fabrication

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Making VR a NASA Reality

NASA researchers want to prove that a virtual reality headset like the Oculus Rift is not just a toy. Josh Kinne, a deputy project manager at NASA Langley Research Center, sees a future role for virtual and augmented reality in the agency’s research and development, CAD design, and data visualization efforts.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Optics, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Simulation Software, CAD, CAM, and CAE, Computer simulation, Virtual reality

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