Hybrid Technology Advances Laser Material Processing

MultiWave Hybrid Technology* combines multiple laser beams with various wavelengths into a single coaxial laser beam. There are existing systems using two different laser wavelengths independently, but this is the first technology capable of combining multiple wavelengths into a single beam, providing a valuable tool for the development of novel material processing technologies.

Posted in: Articles, Imaging, Photonics, Lasers, Product development, Cutting, Polymers, Steel

SPIE Photonics West 2016 Preview

The SPIE Photonics West 2016 technical conference and exhibition returns to The Moscone Center in San Francisco, February 13-18, offering attendees the opportunity to explore the latest innovations in lasers, photonics, optics, optoelectronics, biophotonics, biomedical optics, 3D printing and more. As in the past, the event will once again kick off with BiOS, the world’s largest biomedical optics conference, before transitioning into the Photonics West conference and exhibition. Last year’s event hosted more than 21,000 attendees and put the products and services of over 1,250 exhibitors on display. More than 4,800 technical papers will be available to conference participants throughout the week.

Posted in: Articles, Imaging, Photonics, Imaging and visualization, Lasers, Optics, Additive manufacturing

Thermal Imaging Cameras See Through the Smoke

Figure 2. A firefighter uses FLIR’s K2 to navigate safely and stay better oriented during response missions.Scientists, researchers, automation specialists, electrical and building professionals, and security specialists use thermal imaging cameras (TICs) to discover hidden heat patterns and gain new insights in their fields of expertise. Thermal imaging technology, however, can also save lives. Firefighters use thermal imaging cameras every day to see through smoke, locate and rescue victims, identify hot spots, navigate safely, and stay better oriented during response missions.

Posted in: Articles, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Fire

Tiny Lenses Capture Very Big View

Engineers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have created the first- ever flexible, Fresnel zone plate microlenses with a wide field of view — a development that could allow everything from surgical scopes to security cameras to capture a broader perspective. The advance centers on a method for creating tiny lenses, each the size of a grain of salt, embedded within a flexible plastic polymer. This approach allowed the researchers, led by Hongrui Jiang, the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor and Lynn H. Matthias Professor in electrical and computer engineering at UW-Madison, to bend an array of multiple lenses into a cylindrical structure. An array of these miniscule lenses, each no larger than a head of a pin, can capture an almost complete panorama, producing images from a 170-degree field of view.

Posted in: Articles, News, Optics, Photonics

New Electron Microscopy Method Sculpts 3-D Structures at Atomic Level

Electron microscopy researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a unique way to build 3-D structures with finely controlled shapes as small as one to two billionths of a meter. The new technique demonstrates how scanning transmission electron microscopes, normally used as imaging tools, are also capable of precision sculpting of nanometer-sized 3-D features in complex oxide materials.

Posted in: Articles, News, Imaging

Onion-Like Layers Help New Nanoparticle Glow

A new, onion-like nanoparticle could open new frontiers in bioimaging, solar energy harvesting and light-based security techniques.

Posted in: Articles, News, Energy, Solar Power, Imaging

Products of Tomorrow: December 2015

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just some of the examples of NASA-developed technology used in products today.

Posted in: Articles, Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Imaging and visualization, Medical, health, and wellness, Commercial aircraft

Multiphysics Software Models Mean Flow Augmented Acoustics in Rocket Systems

Combustion instability in solid rocket motors and liquid engines is a complication that continues to plague designers and engineers. Many rocket systems experience violent fluctuations in pressure, velocity, and temperature originating from the complex interactions between the combustion process and gas dynamics. During severe cases of combustion instability, fluctuation amplitudes can reach values equal to or greater than the average chamber pressure. Large amplitude oscillations lead to damaged injectors, loss of rocket performance, damaged payloads, and, in some cases, breach of case/loss of mission. Historic difficulties in modeling and predicting combustion instability haves reduced most instances of most rocket systems experiencing instability into a costly fix through testing or scrapping of the system entirely.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Simulation and modeling, Computer software and hardware, Combustion and combustion processes, Rocket engines

Top Prizes Awarded in the Create the Future Design Contest

Top prizes in the 2015 Create the Future Design Contest were awarded on November 6 in New York City. The Grand Prize winner, and winners in seven categories, took home awards for their innovative design ideas.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Design processes, Robotics

Supercritical Wing Design Cuts Billions in Fuel Costs

NASA-developed wing design is used worldwide by commercial airlines.

Langley Research Center aeronautics engineer Richard T. Whitcomb was 34 when he did something no other single person could do. Whitcomb overcame the aviation challenge of the day — the so-called sound barrier. However, he was still working to improve flight efficiency at speeds approaching that barrier, now with a seemingly counterintuitive wing design, almost the inverse of what were then conventional wings. He called it the “supercritical” airfoil.

Posted in: Articles, Spinoff, Aerospace, Wings, Design processes

The U.S. Government does not endorse any commercial product, process, or activity identified on this web site.