Features

Testing Devices Garner Data on Insulation Performance

A NASA-developed instrument tests insulation for everything from racecars to refrigerators. According to James Fesmire, senior principal investigator of the Cryogenics Test Laboratory at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, “When we talk about cryogenic tanks and deep spacecraft protection, we can easily talk about hot water heaters and engine compartments for NASCAR at the same time.”

Posted in: Articles, Measuring Instruments

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NASA, Then and Now

Next month marks the 100th anniversary of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), NASA’s predecessor. Born on March 3, 1915, NACA changed the face of U.S. aviation, establishing a legacy of innovative aeronautical research that continues at NASA today.

Posted in: Articles, UpFront, Aviation

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Tissue-Building Technique Could Someday Build Organs

A new instrument developed at Brown University could someday build replacement human organs the way electronics are assembled today. In this case, the parts are 3D microtissues containing thousands to millions of living cells. The device is called “BioP3” for pick, place, and perfuse. Because it allows assembly of larger structures from small living microtissue components, future versions of BioP3 could be used to manufacture organs such as livers, pancreases, or kidneys.

Posted in: Articles, UpFront

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Product of the Month: February 2015

Luxion, Irvine, CA, released KeyShot® 5.1 real-time ray tracing and global illumination software for rendering and lighting of models and assemblies. New features include procedural textures and options, SØrensen Leather materials, and improvements that enable users to edit patterns, and render all cameras and viewsets. The new version supports touch-enabled devices and retina displays. Six new textures are available, including brushed, camouflage, lattice circular, spots, and lattice polygon. The software supports PTC Creo 3.0 with direct import and a free downloadable plug-in that maintains all color assignments and assembly structure while allowing users to select simplified representations. It supports devices with a multi-touch interface running Windows.

Posted in: Products, Electronics & Computers

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Digital Controller

ZMDI, Dresden, Germany, released the ZSPM2000 configurable digital PWM controller with integrated MOSFET driver for smart digital point-of-load (POL) solutions. The controller operates as a synchronous step-down converter in a single-rail, single-phase configuration. It features an integrated power-stage driver, and digital communication and control via the PMBus™ interface. Other features include digital-control algorithms, anti-cross-conduction, and power-saving features.

Posted in: Products

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Serial Communication Cards

ACCES I/O Products, San Diego, CA, announced mPCIe-ICM Series PCI Express Mini Card isolated serial communication cards that measure 30 × 51 mm and feature a selection of four or two ports of isolated RS-232 serial communications. Features include 1.5kV isolation provided port-to-computer and 500V isolation port-to-port on all signals at the I/O connectors. The cards provide ±15kV ESD protection on all signal pins, and use 128-byte transmit/receive FIFO buffers to decrease CPU loading and protect against lost data in multitasking systems.

Posted in: Products, Electronic Components

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Source Measure Instrument

Keithley Instruments, Cleveland, OH, introduced the Model 2460 SourceMeter® Source Measure Unit (SMU) instrument with a capacitive touchscreen graphical user interface. It offers power sourcing up to 105V, 7A DC/7A pulse, 100W max, with 0.012% basic measurement accuracy and 6½-digit resolution. It combines the functionality of a power supply, true current source, 6½-digit multimeter, electronic load, and trigger controller in one half-rack instrument. Other features are a full-color 5" touchscreen, graphical plotting, quickset modes, and instrument control software.

Posted in: Products

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