Features

May the Force (Shoes) Be With You

Maintaining astronaut bone and muscle health in microgravity is an ongoing concern for NASA. Last month, the ForceShoe, designed by XSENS, was flown to the International Space Station (ISS), where they will help NASA collect data for studying the force placed on crewmembers’ bodies during exercise on the ISS Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED).

Posted in: UpFront

Read More >>

Bioplastic Made from Shrimp Shells Breaks Down in Compost

Researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have introduced a new bioplastic isolated from shrimp shells. It’s made from chitosan, a form of chitin — the second-most abundant organic material on Earth. Chitin, a tough polysaccharide, is the main ingredient in the hardy shells of crustaceans, the armorlike cuticles of insects, and even the flexible wings of butterflies.

Posted in: UpFront

Read More >>

Extended-Wear Patches for Skin Hydration

Moisturizers and active ingredients must be held against human skin in a patch format. To enhance uptake, a new material needs to be designed for extended wear from 1-10 hours. Comfort and physical flexibility are two chief requirements. Ideally, the patch will also reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Proposed materials must cover large or small areas of skin, and conform to the shapes of those areas. Possible solution areas include natural and synthetic yarns or materials, wovens and nonwovens, and extruded or film materials. The materials may be held against the skin by a suitable adhesive.

Posted in: Tech Needs

Read More >>

Monitoring Battery Health in Solar-Charged Systems

In solar-powered, battery-run systems, each unit’s battery stores electricity generated by the solar panel during the day and provides electricity to a load when required. The systems currently are networked, but no method is in place to determine or report battery health. A client seeks ways to pre-emptively warn the customer when a battery is about to reach the end of its useful life. Possible solution areas include algorithmic technologies based on time-varying voltage, current, and other metrics during charge/discharge cycles.

Posted in: Tech Needs

Read More >>

Product of the Month: July 2014

The iQ-200™ instrument from Advanced Thermal Solutions, Norwood, MA, measures the temperatures of solid materials and surrounding air, while also tracking air velocity and air pressure. Measurements are taken simultaneously at multiple points to profile heat sinks, PCBs, and card racks for testing and characterization. The instrument simultaneously captures thermal data from up to 12 thermocouples that can be J, K, T, and E types. Surface temperature data is recorded from -40 to 750 °C. At the same time, air temperature is measured via 16 hot wire anemometer ports using single-sensor technology; there is no need to change sensors when measuring different velocity ranges. The standard range for air velocity measurement is 0-6 m/s; for custom calibrations, the range is from 0 to 50 m/s. Four additional ports support differential or absolute pressure transducers to capture pressure drop data along circuit cards, assemblies, and orifice plates. Pressure measurements are taken from 0 to 1,034 Pa (0 to 0.15 psi).

Posted in: Features, Articles, Products

Read More >>

CCD and CMOS Sensors

What's best for your application? How does one select the best HD video camera and imaging sensor for professional video in applications such as life sciences, surgical imaging, microscopy, industrial imaging, and specialized point-of-view broadcasting where physical camera size is important and exceptional color video characteristics are critical?

Posted in: Features, Photonics, Articles

Read More >>

Laser Scribing of Photovoltaic Materials

Solar technologies use the sun’s energy to provide heat, light, hot water, electricity, and even cooling, for homes, businesses, and industry. Despite sunlight’s significant potential for supplying energy, solar power provides less than 1% of U.S. energy needs.

Posted in: Applications, Photonics, Application Briefs

Read More >>