Articles

A New Era in Automotive Design Requires a New Era in Simulation Tools

Automotive design is going through one of its most profound changes since the gasoline engine eclipsed steam power. Fuel prices and growing environmental concerns have made efficiency the biggest prerogative in vehicle design since the gas shocks of the early 1970s. President Obama’s 2011 agreement with 13 large automakers to increase the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards from 27.5 miles per gallon for cars and light trucks today, to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, will affect vehicle design priorities throughout the automotive industry.

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SAE World Congress Preview “Achieving Efficiency”

The 2013 SAE World Congress and Exhibition, taking place April 16-18 at Cobo Center in Detroit, represents an unparalleled opportunity to explore new technology through both technical sessions and the Innovators Only Exhibition. This year’s Host Company is Chrysler, and ZF will serve as Tier One Strategic Supplier for the event. Last year, more than 9,000 engineers, engineering managers, auto industry executives, and government officials from 45 different countries attended the SAE World Congress (sae.org/congress).

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High-Pressure Systems Suppress Fires in Seconds

Propulsion technology for rocket engines helps firefighters extinguish hydrocarbon-based fuel fires. Orbital Technologies Corp. (ORBITEC) of Madison, WI, has been a longtime NASA partner, working with the Agency on numerous projects, many through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. ORBITEC collaborated with Marshall Space Flight Center to develop products such as a cool-wall vortex combustion chamber that represents a new method of rocket engine design. By feeding liquid or gas oxidizer into the combustion chamber in a manner that generates a swirling vortex flow, the design confines the mixing and burning of the propellant to the core of the chamber, keeping the walls free from volatile thermal stresses. ORBITEC applied this innovation to an advanced vortex hybrid rocket engine that combines solid and liquid fuel to power a low-cost, highly reliable, and versatile propulsion option.

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Building an Immersive Training Platform for Infantry Soldiers

Developing an effective immersive training tool requires a fine balance of technology capabilities with human factors. Achieving a training goal to build squad leadership skills, squad-level communication, and mission rehearsal for an entire squadron brings together several components, including advanced body sensors that must translate physical movements, avatar actions, and high-resolution headmounted displays (HMDs) to immerse the user in the virtual world.

Posted in: Features, Articles, Imaging

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Modular Software & Metallography: Automating the Analysis Process

Today’s micro-imaging analysis software systems provide users with a module-based approach that allows imaging and measurement to be customized to specific workflow environments. This type of interface flexibility also enables higher levels of automation and standardization — facilities no longer need to rely on small groups of microscopy experts to handle their imaging and analysis tasks. Today, guided, automated functionality based on specific software modules allows larger numbers of staff members to manage the creation, analysis, and distribution of material images. These modules are particularly useful in metallography applications, guiding users through every step of the image analysis process.

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3D Printing: A New Mindset in Product Design

What is 3D Printing? The terms “3D printing” and “additive manufacturing” refer to processes that automatically build objects layer-by-layer from computer data. The technology is already well used in many sectors including transportation, healthcare, military, and education. Uses include buildingconcept models, functional prototypes, factory tooling (such as molds and robotarm ends), and even finished goods (such as aircraft internal components). The aerospace and medical industries in particular have developed advanced applications for 3D printing. 3D printing is sometimes referred to as “rapid prototyping,” but this term does not encompass all current uses for the technology. Materials used in 3D printing include resins, plastics, and, in some cases, metal.

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Optical Thin Films on Complex Substrate Geometries

Anext-generation low pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD) optical thin film coating process is permitting the manufacture of interference filter coatings, such as single wavelength, dual band and broadband AR, cold mirror, dichroic, and conductive. The enhanced thin film IsoDyn™ process, designed by Deposition Sciences, Inc. (DSI) is now being used to produce conformal coatings on complex substrate geometries. This capability allows for a myriad of new applications that may require uniform, multilayer coatings on complex shapes, ranging from simple ball lenses to almost any imaginable optical shape.

Posted in: Features, Photonics, Articles

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