Features

Home Air Purifiers Eradicate Harmful Pathogens

An air scrubber used in space station plant growth helps you breathe easier at home. In the 1990s, NASA scientists were thinking of what astronauts would need to survive long-term missions to the Moon and other planets. One important requirement was a dependable source of food, which could be accomplished by astronauts growing their own produce in space-age greenhouses. But cultivating crops in a sealed-off environment results in the buildup of an undesirable gas called ethylene. Plants release the odorless, colorless fume into the air, which has the unfortunate effect of accelerating decay, hastening the wilting of flowers and the ripening of fruits and vegetables.

Posted in: Articles, Spinoff

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Blurring the Boundaries: IP and Machine Vision Cameras Converge

In modern production facilities, users are more frequently combining two different strands of camera technology. Classic machine vision cameras manage inspection tasks and yield management, while network cameras (also called IP cameras) handle process monitoring and bringing production to a standstill when necessary.

Posted in: Features, Imaging, Articles

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Defining the Smart Camera

Smart cameras have been used in industrial applications for roughly two and a half decades, but advances in processor technologies have made the devices much more accessible and popular within the past 7 years, especially in areas such as machine vision and surveillance. However, when the term smart camera is mentioned, a wide variety of ideas still come to mind among individuals because there is no widespread agreement upon the definition of what a smart camera technically is. It is generally agreed upon that the basics of a smart camera include not only the image sensor, but also some type of processing chip: a CPU, DSP, FPGA, or other type of processing device (see Figure 1).

Posted in: Features, Imaging, Articles

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SAE 2014 World Congress Preview

Creating New Possibilities The SAE 2014 World Congress, which takes place April 8-10 at Cobo Hall in Detroit, assembles the best talent in the automotive industry — experts, management teams, engineers, and executives — to collaborate and address current challenges, celebrate evolution and achievement over the last 100+ years, and promote the opportunities that are fundamental for a successful future.

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Steering Toward the Future

Faced with rising fuel prices and growing environmental concerns, the automotive industry is reinventing itself — and simulation is playing a critical role. The global automotive industry faces incredible pressures today. The skyrocketing costs of traditional fuels — along with worldwide supply uncertainties — are forcing automakers to not only increase the efficiency of current fuels, but to explore new fuel sources and engine designs that will drive increased efficiency.

Posted in: Articles

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Demystifying Spectroscopy

Spectroscopy techniques date back to Isaac Newton’s first studies of light and today provide researchers with a better understanding of what happens at the atomic and molecular level when matter interacts with light. Advances in electro-optics, high-speed array detectors, inexpensive optical fibers and powerful computers have spurred the growth of miniature spectroscopy. This miniaturization has increasingly made optical spectroscopy the sensing technique of choice for many real-world applications.

Posted in: Features, Photonics, Articles

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System-on-Module for Pre-Packaged Convenience

Increasing design complexity, coupled with compressed time to market, has been an engineering reality for some time. A system-on-module (SOM) addresses both of these real engineering issues. An engineer who chooses to use a SOM trades a very complex, chip-down circuit design for a much simpler SOM connector interface.

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