Smart-Grid-Ready Instrumentation

The term “smart grid” is an umbrella term used to refer to new technologies that aim to address today’s electrical power grid challenges. At a high level, these technologies address challenges associated with grid reliability and reactive maintenance, renewables integration, and disturbance detection. One way to help address these challenges is to push decision-making and intelligence closer to the grid, embedded within flexible instrumentation to achieve faster response times, better bandwidth utilization, and functionality field upgrades that will keep field instruments up-to-date with the latest algorithms and methodologies to monitor and protect the grid.

Posted in: Articles, Electronics & Computers


Vision Algorithms Catch Defects in Screen Displays

Software based on NASA vision research is used in making laptop, cellphone, and TV displays. NASA has sent more than a few robotic missions into space, but it never loses sight of its goal to enable human exploration of the cosmos. A core component of planning for future manned missions is the Human Systems Integration Division, headquartered at Ames Research Center, that focuses on advancing our understanding of how people process information and interact with mechanical and electronic systems.

Posted in: Articles


Your Turn to Create the Future

The 13th annual Create the Future Design Contest (, sponsored by COMSOL and Mouser Electronics, and produced by Tech Briefs Media Group, is open for entries. The contest recognizes outstanding innovations in product design worldwide, awarding a Grand Prize of $20,000 USD. There is no cost to enter.

Posted in: Articles, UpFront


Researcher Spotlight: Atom­Thick Material Offers 2D Imaging Possibilities

Rice University scientists have developed a two-­dimensional, atom­-thick, light-­sensitive material called CIS, a single­-layer matrix of copper, indium, and selenium atoms. Sidong Lei, a graduate student, also built a prototype — a three-­pixel charge­-coupled device (CCD) sensor — to prove the material’s ability to capture an image. The optoelectronic memory material may be the basis for future flat imaging devices and two­-dimensional electronics.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors


Synthetic Vision Systems Improve Pilots' Situational Awareness

Visual Flight Rules (VFR) define a minimum of clear weather conditions under which a pilot can operate an aircraft using visual cues, such as the horizon and buildings. Under VFR, a pilot is expected to “see and avoid” obstacles and aircraft, and essentially only needs to see out of the window.

Posted in: Articles, Aviation, Machine Vision


The Hubble Space Telescope

25 Years of Challenges and Triumphs By Bruce A. Bennett On April 24, 1990, something happened that forever altered mankind’s view of the universe. It was on that day that the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Cameras, Optical Components, Photonics


Interview with Jim Odom, Hubble Project Manager 1983-1986

Jim Odom served as project manager on the Hubble Space Telescope from 1983 to 1986. As the world celebrates Hubble’s 25th anniversary, Mr. Odom shared some of his experiences on the project.

Posted in: Articles, Podcasts, Features, Cameras, Photonics