Features

Machinery & Equipment Category Winner

Hybrid Rotor Compressor for Natural Gas Extraction Jeremy Pitts and Pedro Santos, OsComp Systems, Boston, MANatural gas is a booming industry in the U.S. and represents a bridge energy solution to a renewable energy future. Unfortunately, the key piece of equipment — the compressor — that is being used to extract and process natural gas, uses technology that has re mained fundamentally unchanged in the last century.

Posted in: Articles, Automation, Design processes, Product development, Manufacturing equipment and machinery, Test equipment and instrumentation

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Medical Category Winner

XVIVO Organ Perfusion System Chris Jaynes, Tom Taccini, and Tim Klug, XVIVO Perfusion, Englewood, COIn the United States, only 15% of available donor lungs are transplanted into critical recipients due to the associated damage to the organs from the traumatic death event. The XVIVO Perfusion System (XPS) is a mobile intensive care unit that can repair damaged organs ex vivo (out of the donor’s body) for successful transplantation into a waiting recipient.

Posted in: Articles, Medical, Design processes, Medical equipment and supplies, Product development

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Safety & Security Category Winner

AquaSonus Passive-Sonar Pool Alarm William C. Roberts, Bob Hoenig, and Paula Bailey, AquaSonus.com, Merrimack, NHDrowning is the second leading cause of death for children, and most drownings occur in residential swimming pools. The majority of pool alarms are based on water displacement technology. This technology relies on the waves that result from a child falling into the pool reaching the alarm’s trigger mechanism to sound an alarm. This approach results in a product that responds slowly and is prone to false alarm.

Posted in: Articles, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Design processes, Security systems, Product development, Safety testing and procedures

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Transportation Category Winner

Dynamic Aero-Shroud Oscillating Jet Rebecca Farr, Endwell Daso, Victor Pritchett, and Dr. Ten-See Wang, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, ALApplying supersonic counter-flowing cold gas jets of a certain mass flow rate and pressure at the nose of a supersonic vehicle can reduce drag and aerodynamic heating, and possibly reshape sonic boom signatures.

Posted in: Articles, Transportation, Design processes, Product development

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Sustainable Technologies Category Winner

TO:CMA Spherical Generator Angel Francisco Martinez, Delia Beatriz Martinez, and Trupti Bulbule, Cornell University, Ithaca, NYThe TO:CMA Spherical Generator creates copious amounts of clean electricity out of ocean waves at costs below all major existing renewable energy sources. The design is based on the geometrical rearrangement of the Linear Inductance Permanent Magnet Generator (LIPMG). Three rings of concentric sizes and perpendicular arrangement are housed in a waterproof buoy that will transfer the force of the passing waves into motion of magnets. Electrical current is produced as a result of the motion between the wire loop and the magnets in accordance with Faraday’s Law. For synergy reasons, arrays of these buoys will be installed in between wind turbines of offshore wind farms.

Posted in: Articles, Green Design & Manufacturing, Design processes, Sustainable development, Product development

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Create the Future Design Contest 2011

The 2011 Create the Future Design Contest — sponsored by COMSOL, Inc., PTC, and Tech Briefs Media Group (publishers of NASA Tech Briefs) — recognized innovation in product design in seven categories: Electronics (new this year), Consumer Products, Machinery & Equipment, Medical, Safety & Security, Sustainable Technologies, and Transportation. On the following pages, you’ll meet the Grand Prize Winner, as well as the winners and Honorable Mentions in all seven categories. Congratulations to this year’s winners, and thanks to the more than 900 entrants who submitted their creative design ideas. To view the entries online, visit www.createthefuture2011.com.

Posted in: Articles, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Design processes, Product development

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Sizing Up Circuit Protection for LED Strings

By Teddy To, Littelfuse, Inc., Chicago, IL As light-emitting diodes (LEDs) find their way into more outdoor applications, they are at higher risk for electrostatic discharge (ESD) and other electrical transients. High-brightness (HB) LEDs — those with sapphire or silicone carbide (SiC) substrates and in the future aluminum nitride (AlN) and gallium nitride (GaN) substrates — are especially susceptible, and when the first LED in a string fails, the whole string goes dark. Few engineers know all the considerations of specifying circuit protection for LED strings. For example, a recent category of devices, called open LED protectors, are now available, and are not well understood. This article will discuss when to apply them, how to size them, and how to save cost by protecting multiple strings with a single device.

Posted in: Articles, Lighting, Test & Inspection

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