Features

Scan System

SCANLAB AG (Puchheim, Germany) has introduced a new high-end scan system, called excelliSCAN, that utilizes galvo scanners with ultra-precise digital angle sensors and a completely new SCANahead servo control to enable dynamic laser processing unencumbered by the existing limitations of conventional servos with tracking error. excelliSCAN’s new mechanical design provides enhanced stability, more compactness and optimal heat removal under dynamic load.

Posted in: Products, Products, Photonics

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Two-Axis Gear-Drive Gimbal

AMG-GR gear-driven motorized gimbals from Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) provide economical, high-accuracy elevation- over-azimuth positioning. The AMG-GR standard circular cells range from 100 mm to 300 mm in diameter. Cell mounting options include a centered (balanced) cell or a front-surface reflection option where the front of the optic is located on the axes of rotation. Special configurations can accommodate non-circular optics, cameras, sensors, and round optics larger than 300 mm in diameter. The modular design permits each gimbal mirror cell to be easily modified or replaced with different shaped cells to accommodate sensors or other asymmetrically-shaped payloads.

Posted in: Products, Products, Photonics

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3D Machine Vision Using Laser Triangulation

Applications for 3D machine vision are rapidly expanding in a variety of industries for several reasons. The first is that vision systems can lower production costs by increasing yields and/or reducing scrap product and wasted raw material. One example of this would be extruded products from various materials (rubber, plastic, metal), where it’s vital to know as soon as the process goes out of specification.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Articles, Applications, Photonics

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Hyperspectral Sensing for Defense and Security Applications

The successful exploitation of hyperspectral imaging sensors depends on the availability of accurate and complete spectral signature libraries. Coupled with the appropriate spectral signature library, images collected with hyperspectral sensors provide the means to survey large areas identifying and characterizing materials, detecting a wide range of camouflaged targets, and detecting disturbed surfaces.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Photonics

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Ion Thruster System Powers Spacecraft to Deep-Space Destinations

Ion thruster system and power processing units Aerojet Rocketdyne Sacramento, CA 916-355-4000 www.rocket.com Aerojet Rocketdyne is developing NASA’s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster-Commercial (NEXT-C) Gridded Ion Thruster System. Managed at NASA’s John H. Glenn Research Center, the NEXT-C Gridded Ion Thruster System is designed to power government and commercial spacecraft to deep-space destinations faster, farther, and more fuel efficiently than any other propulsion technology currently available.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Articles

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System Tests Flight Control of Dream Chaser Spacecraft

DynoLAB™ data acquisition and control system SAKOR Technologies Okemos, MI 517-332-7256 www.sakor.com SAKOR Technologies has supplied a test system to Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) to be used to test the atmospheric flight control system for the Dream Chaser® spacecraft. Dream Chaser is a lifting-body, reusable, crewed or uncrewed vehicle. It is owned and operated by Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), and is designed as a space utility vehicle for low-Earth orbit.

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High-Performance Data Acquisition on USB

A common belief among engineers is that in order to get the best performance, a PC-based data acquisition module must plug into the PCI bus. Properly implemented, however, a data acquisition module can use the PC’s USB port to pump data into a PC as fast as PCI-based cards. The keys to achieving this performance are a hardware USB interface on the module, and optimized driver software for the host system.

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