Motor Controller Provides Custom Electronic Control Solution

A Fortune 200 company needed a turnkey, DC voltage, agency-compliant electronic control solution capable of providing motion control with memory position capabilities and auto run/sense features for a multi-motor application involving four motors. Particularly important to the design criteria was the development of an interactive system of wireless remote control capabilities and other user interface devices, including iPhone and iPad interconnect devices. It was a complicated job, and the company would need to partner with experts who could deliver a time- and cost-effective solution.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motors & Drives


NASA Sensor Supports Flexible Aircraft Design

A NASA-developed fiber optic sensor provides the kind of detailed feedback that could guide the direction of flexible wings and other next-generation aerospace parts. The multi-core fiber (MCF) contains light reflectors, known as fiber Bragg gratings, that reveal shape and position in three dimensions.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Sensors


Multiphysics CAE of a Shock Absorber

Figure 1. CAE simulation of a shock absorber. Shock absorbers are important parts of vehicles. The shock absorber is used to observe the vibrations from shock loads due to irregularities of the road surface, and operates without affecting the stability, steering, or handling of the vehicle. Generally, for light vehicles, cylindrical coil springs are used as suspension elements. The application described in this article attempts to analyze performance of a shock absorber with different suspension springs. This analysis includes comparative modeling and analysis of solid height, damping performance, oscillation capabilities of closed coil conical and cylindrical compression springs, and a suggested suitable design for improved performance.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control


Machine Vision System Measures ‘Drops’ in Citrus Grove Health

A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher has developed a machine vision system to measure the quantity of a citrus grove’s dropped and decayed oranges. The fallen fruit provides an indication of a so-far incurable disease that has been spreading through Florida’s trees since its first appearance in the state in 2005.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, Imaging, Photonics


Creating Advanced Dosimeters Requires Thorough Inspection of Small Components

The McMaster University students will launch the small satellite into low Earth orbit to study the effects of ionizing radiation on the human body. Recent advancements in space technology have resulted in space exploration becoming a rapidly growing field, and the desire for human space exploration is drastically increasing. Previous manned missions include flights to low Earth orbit (LEO), such as to the International Space Station (ISS); however, upcoming flights are planned to go beyond LEO, such as to asteroids and eventually Mars. A major consideration in such missions is that the space environment is significantly different from that of Earth, especially with respect to the radiation environment. This drastic difference results in concerns regarding radiation dose.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Test & Measurement


Machined Parts Accelerate Design Tests for NASA

Machined aluminum parts and glass-filled nylon parts made with selective laser sintering Proto Labs, Inc. Maple Plain, MN 877-479-3680 www.protolabs.comUniversity student Mel Du was searching for a source to manufacture metal parts for a student research challenge project he was working on for NASA. The project centered on designing, building, and testing an asteroid-sample retrieval and containment device for a simulated space mission. As part of the development stage, the team at San Antonio, TX-based Trinity University produced several prototypes on the school’s in-house, production-model, fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printer.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace


Control Solutions Synchronize Operation of Space Launch System Heavy Transporters

Control panels, embedded PCs, automation software, and servomotors and drives Beckhoff Automation Savage, MN 952-890-0000 www.beckhoffautomation.comLarge NASA production facilities, such as the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) in New Orleans, are among the largest manufacturing facilities in the world, with more than 1,870,000 square feet of floor space for assembly and manufacturing space that NASA shares with commercial aerospace and U.S. government contractors. A major activity at MAF is the assembly of core stage components for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket program. The most powerful rocket ever built, the SLS will be capable of carrying the highest payload mass in history. When fully assembled, the SLS measures 322 feet high with a launch weight of 5.5 million pounds, and a payload capacity of 77 tons. NASA uses Wheelift® Self-Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMTs), manufactured by Doerfer Companies of Waverly, IA, to move the rocket components.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace


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