Features

Ball Splines

Released from THK (Schaumburg, IL), the SLS/SLF Ball Splines feature caged technology, allowing for smooth motion. A synthetic resin cage cradles each ball, separating it from others, while spaces between rolling elements retain the lubricating grease to act as a lubrication system. The units feature a rigidity of ±10%. Outer shaft diameters are available from 15 to 100 mm. Low-noise options are available.

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Linear Actuator

From Exlar (Chanhassen, MN), the Tritex™ Series of electric linear actuators, combining a brushless servomotor, servo amplifier, and position control in one unit. Up to 500 watts of continuous power can be applied to the actuator’s brushless servomotor. The standard product is rated IP54 with optional IP65 rating for wash-down and fluid applications. Mountings include front flange, rear clevis mount, side mount, and trunnion mount. The unit is available in standard IEC metric dimensions. Other features are: 24 and 48 V DC power, 25" per second maximum linear velocity, 1,250 lbf maximum continuous thrust capacity (2,270 lbf peak), and low resolution incremental feedback. Customization is available.

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Ethernet Controller

Galil Motion Control (Rocklin, CA) released the DMC-40x0 Ethernet/RS232 controller family as part of the Accelera line, coming in 1- to 8-axis formats. Accepting encoder input frequencies up to 22 MHz and providing servo update rates up to 32 kHz, the line can complete program instructions in 40 microseconds. The device operates in a standalone configuration or can be interfaced with a PC via the Ethernet 10/100Base-T or RS232 ports. Memory is up to 510 symbolic variables, 16,000 array elements in 30 arrays, and application program space up to 2,000 lines × 80 characters. Mode of motion capability includes: point-to-point positioning, position tracking, jogging, linear and circular interpolation, contouring, electronic gearing, and ECAM. Other features include isolated I/O, eight uncommitted analog inputs and outputs, and PID compensation.

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DC Gearmotor

Midwest Motion Products (Watertown, MN) released the Model No. MMP-S28-400A GP81-046 BR-015 DC gearmotor. The device accepts any 24 V DC source. The gearmotor is reversible; the output is rated for 61 Nm continuous torque at 43 rpm and 100 Nm peak. Motor windings for 36, 48, 60, and 90 V are available. The integrally mounted fail-safe brake requires 24 V DC power and features a holding torque of 15 in-lbs. Mounting is accomplished with four “face mount” M-6 threaded holds, equally spaced on a 65 mm B.C. diameter. Dimensions are 3.2 (max diameter) × 13.3" long, and the unit has a keyed output shaft diameter of 19 × 49 mm long.

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Dr. Murzy Jhabvala, Chief Engineer of the Instrument Systems and Technology Division

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD Dr. Murzy JhabvalaVisible light is only one narrow band of the electromagnetic spectrum, and doesn't always tell scientists what they need to know. Infrared, which is outside the range of human eyesight, has for years been used to delve out mysteries of distant stars or to allow users to see in the dark. NASA scientists have now improved the Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector (QWIP) array infrared technology to gain more detail than ever before. NASA engineer Dr. Murzy Jhabvala led the project.

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Anthony Kelley, Lead Flow Research Engineer, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

As petroleum prices spiral higher, new technologies are being developed to help keep prices down. The balanced flow meter, technology originally developed by NASA for the space shuttle, promises to ease pain at the pump by being more precise and consuming less power than current metering devices. Leading the project is NASA engineer Anthony Kelly.

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Bill Jackson, Deputy Director, NASA Independent Verification and Validation Facility, Fairmont, WV

Bill Jackson Searching for defects amid several thousand lines of code in mission critical software, NASA’s Independent Verification and Validating Facility (IV&V) was open for business in 1994 as a safeguard against mission failure. Reporting to the Goddard Space Flight Center, the IV&V audits software across NASA (and other government agencies) dealing with several different projects concerning satellites and shuttle mission software. The current Deputy Director, Mr. Jackson was Acting Director of IV&V from January to October of 2006.

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