Articles

The Future of Exploration Starts With 3D Printing

Last year, engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL, tested an additive manufacturing process that is being used to make some of the parts for NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), more efficiently and affordably without compromising performance and safety. Selective laser melting (SLM) is a 3D printing process used to create complex parts for the engine and other components of the rocket. Four RS-25 engines and two solid rocket boosters will power the core stage of the SLS.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Additive manufacturing, Launch vehicles
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Space Blanket-Inspired Cases Protect Expensive Devices

NASA-developed heat shield technology protects iPads and iPhones from both heat and frigid cold.

In the 1960s, NASA was preparing for early forays into space, and worked to devise thin, reflective, metallic material to protect spacecraft from the dangers of solar radiation. This material — metallized polyethylene terephthalate (MPET) — is strong and not only reflects radiation, but also serves as powerful insulation to protect electronics from large swings in temperature.

Posted in: Articles, Spinoff, Aerospace, Electronic equipment, Thermodynamics, Materials properties, Metals, Polymers, Radiation protection
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3D Imaging Reveals Battery Degradation in Real Time

Using sophisticated 3D imaging, a team at University College London, The European Synchrotron (ESRF), University of Manchester, Harwell Oxford, Oregon State University, and the National Physical Laboratory visualized a battery’s performance loss and internal structural damage. The images of active commercial Li/MnO2 disposable batteries, captured using X-ray computed tomography, will help to improve cell designs.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Imaging, Photonics, Batteries, Imaging and visualization, Performance tests
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Filtering in Machine Vision

There are many different types of filters in machine vision that can be utilized to improve or change the image of the object under inspection. It is important to understand the different technologies behind the various types of filters in order to understand their advantages and limitations. Although there is a wide variety of filters, almost all can be divided into two primary categories: colored glass filters and coated filters.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Imaging, Photonics, Imaging and visualization, Optics, Automation, Glass
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Rittal Hosts President Obama at Germany’s Hannover Fair

"We want to build on the spirit of innovation in the USA," said President Barack Obama in his opening speech at the Hannover Messe trade fair in Germany. Following the official opening, President Obama, accompanied by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, was given a tour of the Rittal Corporation booth. Rittal is the world’s largest enclosure manufacturer and a leader in thermal management of electrical, electronic, and IT equipment.

Posted in: Articles, News, Electronics & Computers, Government, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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The Synergy of Engineering

At the Hannover Messe trade fair in Germany, Eplan Software & Service, with its affiliate company Cideon, introduced Syngineer, an innovative communication and information platform that integrates mechanical engineering, software engineering, and controls engineering through one mechatronic structure. Eplan, a sister company of Rittal Corporation in the Friedhelm Loh Group, offers Syngineer as a solution for simplifying synchronization across all three disciplines, accelerating design engineering and development.

Posted in: Articles, News, Communications, Electronics & Computers, Software
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Scientists Create Reflection-Removing Camera

In recent years, computer scientists have been investigating a range of techniques for removing reflections from digital photographs shot through glass. Some have tried to use variability in focal distance or the polarization of light; others, like those at MIT, have exploited the fact that a pane of glass produces not one but two reflections, slightly offset from each other. This led to them developing a system that fires light into a scene and gauges the differences between the arrival times of light reflected by nearby objects — such as panes of glass — and more distant objects.

Posted in: Articles, News, Cameras, Imaging
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Researchers Develop New Lens for Terahertz Radiation

Terahertz radiation is a relatively unexplored slice of the electromagnetic spectrum, but it holds the promise of countless new imaging applications as well as wireless communication networks with extremely high bandwidth. The problem is that there are few off-the-shelf components available for manipulating terahertz waves. Now, researchers from Brown University’s School of Engineering have developed a new type of lens for focusing terahertz radiation (which spans from about 100 to 10,000 GHz). The lens, made from an array of stacked metal plates with spaces between them, performs as well or better than existing terahertz lenses, and the architecture used to build the device could set the stage for a range of other terahertz components that don’t currently exist. The work was led by Rajind Mendis, assistant professor of engineering (research) at Brown, who worked with Dan Mittleman, professor of engineering at Brown.

Posted in: Articles, News, Imaging
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New Material Increases Lifetime of Solar-Powered Electrons

Nobody wants a laptop computer that stops working when a cloud passes by. Storing sunlight as fuel that can be later used to drive fuel cells requires new materials. Scientists demonstrated just such a material by combining two oxides on the atomic scale.

Posted in: Articles, News, Energy, Energy Storage, Materials
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IoT Drives Demand for Automotive Circuit Protection Solutions

In the past, automobiles were made up of many independent electronic systems. Even the assembly lines that were used to manufacture the vehicles required the operation and management of multiple independent systems. However, the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) has changed automotive electronics and assembly dramatically. The connectivity that used to only be available in the home or office is now available in modern automobiles. The car itself has now become the center of communication.

Posted in: Articles, News, Automotive, Communications
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