Features

Readers Select 2014 Products of the Year

In December, we asked NASA Tech Briefs readers to select the one product from our 12 Products of the Month that you thought was the most significant new introduction to the design engineering community in 2014. Thanks to all of our readers who voted, and here are your winners for the 2014 NASA Tech Briefs’ Readers’ Choice Product of the Year: COMSOL Burlington, MA COMSOL Multiphysics® software version 5.0 features product updates, three new add-on products, and the new Application Builder that lets users build applications for use by engineering and manufacturing departments. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/55587-124   Dewetron Wakefield, RI The TrendCorder series of instruments for basic data acquisition features intuitive, multi-touch operation, enabling them to be operated 100% by touch, including alphanumeric entry, channel setup, and display configuration. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/55587-125   MSC Software Corp. Newport Beach, CA The MSC ApexTM computer-aided engineering (CAE) platform is a Computational PartsTM-based CAE system that enables predictive product development in the earlier stages of design. Integrated solver methods allow users to interactively validate parts and subsystem models. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/55587-126

Posted in: UpFront

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Your Turn to Create the Future

The 13th annual Create the Future Design Contest (www.createthefuturecontest.com), sponsored by COMSOL and Mouser Electronics, and produced by Tech Briefs Media Group, is open for entries. The contest recognizes outstanding innovations in product design worldwide, awarding a Grand Prize of $20,000 USD. There is no cost to enter.

Posted in: Articles, UpFront

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Product of the Month: March 2015

Instron, Norwood, MA, introduced the AVE 2 strain measurement system that conforms to testing standards such as ISO 527, ASTM D3039, and ASTM D638. The video extensometer utilizes patented measurement technology, and adapts to the normal fluctuations of indoor environmental conditions. It can be adapted to any testing machine that uses a ±10V analog input. Designed to reduce errors from thermal and lighting variations, the device uses the real-time 490-Hz data rate while achieving a 1-micron accuracy. It allows for testing under multiple environmental conditions and can be used for strain measurement with Digital Image Correlation (DIC). The device measures both modulus and strain-to-failure of most materials including plastics, metals, composites, textiles, films, and bio-materials.

Posted in: Products, Measuring Instruments

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Researcher Spotlight: Atom­Thick Material Offers 2D Imaging Possibilities

Rice University scientists have developed a two-­dimensional, atom­-thick, light-­sensitive material called CIS, a single­-layer matrix of copper, indium, and selenium atoms. Sidong Lei, a graduate student, also built a prototype — a three-­pixel charge­-coupled device (CCD) sensor — to prove the material’s ability to capture an image. The optoelectronic memory material may be the basis for future flat imaging devices and two­-dimensional electronics.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors

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Synthetic Vision Systems Improve Pilots' Situational Awareness

Visual Flight Rules (VFR) define a minimum of clear weather conditions under which a pilot can operate an aircraft using visual cues, such as the horizon and buildings. Under VFR, a pilot is expected to “see and avoid” obstacles and aircraft, and essentially only needs to see out of the window.

Posted in: Articles, Aviation, Machine Vision

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3D Vision System Aids 560-Mile Piloted Drive

Audi completed a long-distance test drive of its Audi A7 Sportback semi-autonomous concept vehicle, finishing the journey at the International CES 2015 consumer electronics show in Las Vegas. The “piloted driving” — Audi’s take on combining autonomous driving with individual control — began in Stanford, California and ended two days and 560 miles later on January 6, 2015.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Cameras, Video, Machinery & Automation, Sensors

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CMOS Smart Camera

VC F series intelligent cameras from Vision Components (Ettlingen, Germany) provide a 4 x 1 GHz computing power. Equipped with a programmable GPU, the systems use the VC Linux operating system. The cameras feature either one or two remote 1/1.8" CMOS sensors connected by a 30 mm or 80 mm cable; the two-sensor version is also suited for stereo camera applications. Depending on the model, the sensors provide a 1,280 × 1,024 (WVGA) or 1,600 × 1,200 pixel resolution. A 1 GBit Ethernet interface enables integration into automation environments. The VC F series includes two USB interfaces and an HDMI output.

Posted in: Products, Cameras

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