Features

NASA Imaging Technology Used to Fight Diabetes

This photomicrograph of a sliced rat beta cell has been processed with the modified NASA imaging technology. Insulin granules are the dark black spots surrounded by the white halo area. The colored borders around the granules are labels added to identify and classify them. (NASA/Tim McClanahan)NASA image processing technology used to explore orbital images of Earth is being modified for use in diabetes research. A team from George Washington University (Washington, DC) and Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) modified the technology, which has increased the speed of the research.

Posted in: UpFront

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30 Years of Test & Measurement

In celebration of the 30th Anniversary of NASA Tech Briefs, our features in 2006 highlight a different technology category each month, tracing the past 30 years of the technology, and continuing with a glimpse into the future of where the technology is headed. Along the way, we include insights from industry leaders on the past, present, and future of each technology. This month, we take a look at the past 30 years of Test & Measurement.

Posted in: Articles

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Achieving Positioning Accuracy Goals

The task of choosing the correct mix of motion control components for a successful servo positioning system involves a combination of art, science, and experience. It also includes a little luck, but luck is not needed when you fully comprehend the principle of operation, accuracy, resolution, and repeatability of each component in the system.

Posted in: Features, Articles

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CNC Wood Routers Use Drive for Precision Control

The woodworking industry is as advanced and under pressure to deliver high-quality goods quickly as any. One of the most versatile tools devised to quicken production with flat panels of wood is the wood router, used to rout (hollow out) an area in the face of a piece of wood, and used for 3D design, cabinets, sign making, molds, and general material cutting. The table-like device, similar to a metal mill, consists of a broad-based wooden hand plane with a narrow gantry-carried cutting implement projecting beyond its base plate. To guide its computer numerical controlled (CNC) ATC wood routers, WartHog CNC (Soddy-Daisy, TN) turned to YET US’s (Manchester, NH) XtraDrive servo drive system, integrating it into the routers’ precision and power controls.

Posted in: Applications, Application Briefs

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Drive Utilized in Filament Respooler

Optical fiber, now the mainstay of telecommunications as well as sensor, illumination, and imaging systems, is made by first pulling a large-diameter preform into a long, filimentous fiber. Then divided into bunches, a resin cladding is applied to keep the transmital of light uncontamintated. The finished product is then wound onto large spools to await shipment to customers. Showmark (Downingtown, PA) developed the automatic UniSpooler to customize the amount of cable a customer gets based on need, and uses the Kinemax KI3-15-5 linear drive from Amacoil/Uhling (Aston, PA) to help guide filaments from the supply spool to smaller takeup spool with the desired amount of fiber or wire.

Posted in: Applications, Application Briefs

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Guide Used in Leak-Testing System or Plastic Bottles

Container leaks can range from mildly annoying to potentially dangerous. To avoid faulty containers from ever leaving the production line, producers have installed testing devices as part of the bottle production process to ensure integrity. As many bottle/container manufacturing systems were pre-existing, a unit able to integrate itself into the existing production line without necessitating a long shutdown or costly re-design was seen as ideal. When Air Logic Power Systems Inc, (ALPS, Milwaukee, MI) developed such a unit, the RS-100 Plastic Container Integrity Tester, it chose the PDU2 linear transmission unit from HepcoMotion (Tiverton, UK) and distributed by Bishop-Wisecarver (Pittsburg, CA). Using the PDU2 eliminated many of the bottle handling issues that could potentially slow production by its ability to move in synch with an existing production line.

Posted in: Applications, Application Briefs

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Brushless Motor Drive

Intelligent Motion Systems (IMS, Marlborough, CT) released the MDrivePlus motion control system for brushless motor applications. The unit features 20 microstep resolutions to 51,200 (full step, degrees, metric, and arc minutes), a motion control system-on-a-chip, electronic gearing, 6,385 bytes of program storage, and analog input to 10 VDC. Drive voltage ranges include +12 to +75 VDC and 120 and 240 VAC. The housing is chemical resistant and the unit has a cast aluminum heat sink. Outputs are configured for sourcing or sinking, and the unit features an auxiliary logic power input.

Posted in: Products, Products

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