Features

Organic Photovoltaic Technology

Cytec Industries (Woodland Park, NJ) and IMEC (Leuven, Belgium) have collaborated to develop a commercially viable technology for organic photovoltaic devices with enhanced stability and extended lifetime. The operational lifetime of organic solar cells must be improved to extend beyond 5 years. Intrinsic stability issues of organic solar cells will be addressed by stabilizing the nanomorphology of the active material blend. The ingress of extrinsic degradation sources of oxygen and water vapor will be suppressed by the development of an appropriate barrier, encapsulation technology.

Posted in: Products, Products
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Specialty Fibers for Er:YAG Lasers

Infrared Fiber Systems (Silver Spring, MD) produces HPTM Fiber, a Germanium Oxide glass fiber for use with Er:YAG and Er:YSGG lasers. Transmission range is from visible to 3.0 microns, with typical absorption of 0.5 dB/m at 2.94 microns and 0.25 dB/m at 2.79 microns. HP Fiber is non-toxic, has good flexibility, high mechanical strength, and can handle up to 20 watts of laser power.

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Fiber Optic Switches

New fiber optic switches from Leoni (Nurnberg, Germany) offer reproducibility in the range of 0.1%, they can act up to 50 Hz, and they have ed as well. Up to 16 output channels can be provided by cascading switches. All types of quartz fibers, from single-mode types up to 16 output channels, can be inserted.

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Light Guide Foils

CoActive Technologies KDM (Newton, MA) has expanded its family of light guide foils to include devices with a thickness of less than 200μm. The light guide foils are designed to evenly distribute light from side-firing LEDs, providing bright, uniform illumination of keypads for handheld electronic devices. Backlight coloring can be software-controlled through the use of multiple sets of colored or RGB LEDs, while use of multiple light guide foils provides a zoned illumination effect. Light guide foils are constructed with poly-carbonate or TPU film materials. Typical luminance is >20Cd/m2 from two LEDs at 5mA/LED.

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High-Speed Nanopositioner

The new Nano-LPQ piezo nanopositioner from Mad City Labs (Madison, WI) is the lowest profile high speed XYZ nanopositioner available and offers 75 × 75 × 50μm travel with picometer position noise under closed loop control. The Nano-LPQ features equal millisecond response times in XYZ, an integrated sample holder, analog and digital control with added scan synchronization features, and compatibility with LabViewTM and C++. It comes with Mad City Labs’ Nano-RouteTM 3D software.

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Return on Investment of Model-Based Design: Increasing Innovation Capacity

Jon Friedman Aerospace Industry Marketing Manager The MathWorks Natick, MA

Given the current economic conditions, companies must continue to deliver existing products as they develop the products of tomorrow, without increasing the engineering staff. To accomplish this paradoxical challenge, innovative companies have adopted Model-Based Design over traditional development methods.

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Electric Actuators Deliver Energy Efficient, Low Maintenance Solutions

Machine designers and end users find themselves balancing sometimes opposing priorities such as improving energy efficiency while minimizing adverse impact on the environment, at the same time ensuring performance (e.g., precision, reliability) is not compromised. A key trend towards meeting the challenges has been to shift from hydraulic actuation towards electric actuation, especially in applications characterized by high degree of responsiveness, space constraints, high uptime/low maintenance, low energy consumption, and minimal environmental impact.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Sensors and actuators, Energy conservation, Electric drives
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Designing Electro-Optical Sensors Using Collaborative Systems Engineering Technology

About 25% of space-borne electro-optical (EO) sensor programs in both the civil and National Security Space (NSS) communities have experienced reduced on-orbit reliability, as well as cost and schedule overruns of 100% or more1-3. Many of these EO sensor program over-runs can be largely attributed to delays, errors, and inadequate communication that occur at the many handoff points between team members and contractors in the current design process. This leads to the late discovery of technical problems, making them more expensive and time-consuming to fix.

Posted in: Articles, Features, ptb catchall, Photonics, Optics, Sensors and actuators, Cost analysis
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Gary Martin, Director, New Ventures & Communications Directorate, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Gary Martin began his career with NASA in the Microgravity Sciences and Applications Division in 1990 where he served as Branch Chief for Advanced Programs from 1992 – 1994 and Deputy Director from 1994 – 1996. In 2002 he was named NASA’s first – and as it turned out, only – space architect. Martin currently heads up the New Ventures & Communications Directorate at Ames.

Posted in: Who's Who
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Tool Coil Springs Aid in Hubble Repairs

Canted-Coil™ springs Bal Seal Engineering Foothill Ranch, CA 949-460-2100 www.balseal.com

When astronauts embarked on the latest mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, Bal Seal Engineering’s Canted-Coil™ springs went along for the ride in a set of special tools. The springs were incorporated in several major repair operations.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Optics, Photonics, Springs, Optics, Tools and equipment, Fasteners, Spacecraft
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