Articles

Economic Development Done Right

NASA and MIT pioneer new technologies for lightweight aircraft. Greek mythology tells of the inventor Daedalus using wings of his own fashioning to escape from imprisonment on the island of Crete. In 1988, a similar adventure was launched, though in this case, carbon-fiber composites, gears, and driveshafts were featured instead of wax and feathers.

Posted in: Features, Articles

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Using Multispectral Imaging for Ecological Observations

With an airborne camera capable of making precise and detailed ecological observations, biologists at Applied Ecological Services (Brodhead, WI) are bringing satellite imagery closer to earth.

Posted in: Features, Articles, Imaging

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USB 3.0: Addressing New Challenges in Machine Vision

Users of machine vision systems often have one common goal in mind: increasing system efficiency. Greater efficiency translates into high productivity. On the factory floor, higher speed in an automated optical inspection system, for example, contributes directly to profit.

Posted in: Features, Articles, Imaging

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Transitioning Application Platforms to Sandy Bridge

Intel’s new Sandy Bridge microarchitecture is changing how software applications run and perform on server platforms. In order for applications to tap the full power of these new devices, developers will need to update not only their application software, but also the hardware platforms on which those applications run. Changes to Intel’s Xeon® E3 and E5 series of microprocessors include new instructions used to accelerate common encryption tasks and floating point calculations, as well as increased core counts and cache per CPU. Paramount to adoption is the critical thinking that developers need to consider to successfully transition to the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture.

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Strong-ARMing The Market

Embedded market applications have entered a new era thanks to extensive software support as well as the shrinking of borders between different processor technologies enabling the software ecosystem to expand to additional technology platforms. Consequently, the standard form factors at the board and module level must also be enhanced to fully realize the multiple interface options available with new processor platforms.

Posted in: Semiconductors & ICs, Articles

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Factors to Consider When Selecting and Specifying LVDT Linear Position Sensors

Fitting the right type of linear position sensor to an application requires at least a working knowledge of the attributes of this electromechanical device. Starting with the basics, the LVDT (linear variable differential transformer) is a common type of linear position sensor widely used in electromechanical systems today. It consists of two basic elements: a stationary coil assembly and a movable core or armature. While most LVDTs are fundamentally AC-in/AC-out devices, some have electronics built-in to make them DC-in/DC-out devices. This gives rise to the terms “AC-LVDTs” and “DC-LVDTs”.

Posted in: Features, Motion Control, Articles

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Transportation Category Winner (Winner of an HP Workstation)

Re-Thinking Automotive Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems Ivan Batinic ATPS, Inc., San Martin, CA The ATPS system is a new approach to implementing vehicular Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) that is more economical and ecological than existing systems. A passive, non-electronic sending unit (inside the tire) eliminates RF electronics, thermal compensation issues, raising of the RF noise-floor, and wasteful consumption of limited lithium resources for batteries. The TPMS is comprised of two fundamental components per wheel/tire assembly: an in-tire transducer, and an external, statically mounted chassis sensing component. Signal processing is performed by direct 2- or 3-wire sensor interfaces.

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