Intelligent Control Increases Motion System ROI

The economic realities of the industrial marketplace are driving machine builders and integrators to get creative and build more intelligence into their machines in order to increase productivity and lower lifecycle cost. This is done by minimizing time to communicate with the motion controller, and by setting up and optimizing the closed-loop controls that squeezes the last few unneeded time cycles from a machine operation. Therefore, by looking at how a motion controller connects, controls, and can optimize a system, the best performance per dollar invested can often be accomplished.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Adaptive control, Performance upgrades, Industrial vehicles and equipment

Robert Romanofsky, Senior Scientist, Antenna and Optical Systems Branch

Dr. Robert Romanofsky has over 75 publications and holds five patents in the fields of microwave device technology, high-temperature superconductivity, and the use of thin ferroelectric films in microwave applications. A recipient of NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal, Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal, the Federal Executive Board “Wings of Excellence” award, and the Rotary National Stellar Space Award, he currently serves as senior engineer for the Antenna and Optical Systems Branch at the NASA Glenn Research Center where he works on advanced antenna systems designs.

Posted in: Who's Who

Demystifying Optical Ethernet Networks

The TDM-to-packet network transformation has been underway in transport/ telecommunications networks for some years now, fueled primarily by two trends: (a) the advent of triple-play (voice, video, data) for enterprise and residential customers and, lately, the explosion in video and mobile data services, and (b) the evolution in both packet- and transport-network equipment.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Optics, Photonics, Architecture, Fiber optics, Telecommunications systems

Spectrometer Helps NASA Detect Water in Excavated Moon Matter

QE65000 Spectrometer Ocean Optics Dunedin, FL 727-733-2447 www.oceanoptics.com

An Ocean Optics QE65000 spectrometer has contributed measurements to the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission, helping NASA scientists to officially confirm the presence of water on the Moon. The spectrometer, dubbed ALICE, was custom re-engineered by Aurora Design & Technology to withstand the extreme temperature, radiation, shock, and vibration of space.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Test & Measurement, Spectroscopy, Soils, Water, Test equipment and instrumentation

Near-Infrared Cameras Indicate Signature of Water on the Moon

InGaAs shortwave infrared (SWIR) cameras Sensors Unlimited, Goodrich Corp. Princeton, NJ 609-520-0610 www.sensorsinc.com

Shortwave infrared (SWIR) cameras from Sensors Unlimited were instrumental in NASA’s LCROSS mission to find water on the Moon. The cameras were selected for the mission more than three years ago, and were integrated into the imaging payload of the shepherding spacecraft.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Sensors, Optics, Water, Spacecraft

Connector Improves Reliability, Cuts Cost on Engine Production Line

HARTING North America was recently asked to solve some of the problems associated with power distribution and motion control on a vehicle manufacturer’s long conveyor and engine block production line. The line’s system integrator needed to reduce installation costs to be competitive with other potential suppliers, and the end customer was looking for higher reliability and ease of maintenance.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Connectors and terminals, Production, Engines, Reliability

NASA Drops Chopper to Test New Technology

How do you make a helicopter safer to fly? You crash one. NASA aeronautics researchers at Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA, recently dropped a small helicopter from a height of 35 feet to see whether an expandable honeycomb cushion called a deployable energy absorber could lessen the destructive force of a crash. On impact, the helicopter’s skid landing gear bent outward, but the cushion attached to its belly kept the rotorcraft’s bottom from touching the ground. Researchers must analyze the test results before they can say for sure whether the deployable energy absorber worked as designed.

Posted in: UpFront

Development of a Centrifugal Hydrogen Pipeline Gas Compressor

DOE has prepared a Multi-Year Research, Development, and Demonstration Plan to provide hydrogen as a viable fuel for transportation after 2020, and commissioned Concepts NREC (CN) with the project of developing a centrifugal hydrogen pipeline gas compressor. Phase I of this project has been completed and is described in this article.
Posted in: Features, GDM, Articles, Alternative Fuels, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Government, Green Design & Manufacturing, Transportation

Shaft Collars for Solar Arrays

Anodized aluminum shaft collars from Stafford Manufacturing Corp. (Wilmington, MA) are ideally suited for structural and drive applications involved with positioning solar arrays.

Posted in: GDM, Products, Products, Energy, Renewable Energy, Solar Power

Stealth Computer Model LPC-395F

Stealth.com (Stealth Computer), Woodbridge, ON, Canada, has introduced the Model LPC-395F rugged, fanless mini computer with up to 500 GBs of integrated removable storage. The mini PC includes frontloaded removable media slots for both hard drive and Compact Flash media. An industry-standard 2.5" SATA hard drive slides directly into the machine without opening the chassis. The system also supports a front-loaded CF memory card. The computer features Intel ATOM N270 processor technology, dual Gigabit LAN, four USB 2.0 ports, two Serial RS- 232 ports, 1 DVI port, and audio ports with optional WiFi 802.11g. It supports up to 2 GB in memory, and has an optional solid-state hard drive for high shock and vibration environments. The computer can operate from 12-19 VDC and is compatible with Microsoft Windows 7/Vista/XP, and Linux.

Posted in: Products

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