Manufacturing & Prototyping

Data Analysis Software

OriginLab, Northampton, MA, released Origin® and OriginPro 2016 data analysis and graphing software that features Apps in Origin to add specific graphing and analysis functionality, a Color Chooser, Smart Plotting with Cloneable Templates to quickly create multi-layer graphs with complex mapping of data plots to worksheet columns, and a dockable Object Manager window to manage layers and data plots in a graph. An enhanced dialog is provided to send graphs to Microsoft PowerPoint.

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Welding Simulator

The Gleeble Welding Simulator from Dynamic Systems, Poestenkill, NY, provides a complete platform for welding simulations and testing capabilities, including weld HAZ simulation, crack susceptibility, and nil-strength determination. The servo system is capable of 200 millimeters per second stroke rate, and the high-speed thermal system offers heating rates up to 10,000 °C/second. The system provides the ability to reproduce a variety of thermal profiles and gradients that materials undergo in actual processes.

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Plastic Enclosures

OKW Enclosures, Bridgeville, PA, offers PACONNECT compact plastic enclosures for wired applications. The cases are offered in three sizes and consist of two case shells that are snapped together. Either end can be fitted with the accessory cable glands or plastic end panels, which can be machined for USB connectors, etc.

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Prototyping Platform

Avnet, Phoenix, AZ, released the ONIXVU440 flexible platform based on the Xilinx Virtex® UltraScaleTM XCVU440 FPGA. The board is designed for rapid prototyping and ASIC emulation of high-performance, highcomplexity systems. It supports three modes of operation: desktop standalone mode, PCIe plug-in card mode, and mezzanine module mode.

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Spring Connectors

Harwin, Salem, NH, offers Spring Contact Connectors including extended C and Positive Stop models in nine heights that maintain a positive force against a mating surface. They are available in different widths for a choice of spring contact forces, and offer “positive stop” to prevent damage caused by over-compression. They feature gold-plated contacts and current rating up to 1.0A, and can withstand up to 10,000 mating cycles.

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Stable, Flat Packaging Concepts for Large Detector Arrays

Applications include packing of back-illuminated and delta-doped arrays without damage to sensitive surfaces.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

A ceramic vacuum chuck is used to hold large detector arrays flat while being attached parallel to a rigid substrate. Once held in the vacuum chuck, the component is typically seized by epoxy against a rigid substrate. The problem that interferes with this operation happens when the epoxy spreads to places where it is not wanted, even into the gap between the component and its vacuum chuck, and over electrical contacts that are intended for wire bonding.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Fastening, Packaging, Ceramics
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Dual-Polarized W-Band Metal Patch Antenna Element for Phased Array Applications

Interlaced transmit/receive all-metal patch elements eliminate the need for discrete isolators and increase efficiency.

W-band active phased array antennas have a very small inter-element pitch (≈2 mm). In this innovation, instead of trying to integrate isolators into the unit cell to separate transmit and receive signals, an interlaced triangular grid of metal patch elements has been developed. The isolation between transmit elements and receive elements has been demonstrated to be on the order of 25 dB or more, precluding the need for discrete isolator circuits. Using metal patch technology, the element and associated interconnect loss has been demonstrated to be 0.5 dB at 94 GHz, which represents an efficiency of 89%.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Antennas, Metals
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High-Temperature Superconducting Bolometric Devices on Amorphous Silicon Nitride Membranes

Applications include defense-related infrared launch detection and night vision.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

There has been a great deal of interest in building bolometers from hightemperature superconductors due to their high transition temperatures and the associated ease of cooling. High-temperature superconducting (high Tc) bolometers are difficult to fabricate because the standard method of thermal isolation is not compatible with these materials. A method is described that allows a standard thermal isolation technique (using amorphous silicon nitride membranes) to be used with high-temperature superconductors.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Fabrication, Conductivity
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Uniformly Etched Lateral Gratings Applied to Pre-existing Ridge Waveguides

New technology is 100 times smaller and has fewer components with possibly the same performance.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

There is great difficulty in implementing lateral gratings in GaSb-based lasers. Commercially, single-frequency GaSb lasers have been fabricated using metal gratings deposited laterally to the ridge-waveguide (RWG) stripe. The disadvantage of this is that the laser performance is compromised by additional optical loss due to radiation absorption by the metal. Fabricating lasers in this way limits the potential for high-power performance. A better method is to etch gratings into the semiconductor, but generally, patterning these grating structures is difficult because of nonuniformity of the grating pattern and etching difficulty due to sub-micrometer dimensions.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Waveguides, Fabrication, Metals
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High-Precision Thin Film Metal Liftoff Technique

This process can be used by industries that need to fabricate microelectronic devices and superconducting sensors.

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

The objective of this work was to develop a thin film metal liftoff process that would allow one to accurately pattern two-micron-wide (or wider) features. The goal of this innovation was to pattern thin metal films on silicon substrates. The thin metal films can be deposited using physical vapor deposition techniques. The metallic films to be lifted off were deposited via DC magnetron sputtering, in which the mean free path of the metal atoms to be deposited is on the order of one micron. Thus, the deposited metal could conformally coat structures to fill in gaps that were greater than approximately one micron tall.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings, colorants, and finishes, Metals, Polymers
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