Manufacturing & Prototyping

Silicon Micromachined Microlens Array for THz Antennas

There is strong demand for a multi-pixel heterodyne detector array for Earth observation, astrophysics, future planetary, and ground applications. A 5×5 silicon microlens array was developed using a silicon micromachining technique for a silicon-based THz antenna array. The feature of the silicon micromachining technique enables one to microfabricate an unlimited number of microlens arrays at one time with good uniformity on a silicon wafer. This technique will resolve one of the key issues in building a THz camera, which is to integrate antennas in a detector array. The conventional ap proach of building single-pixel receivers and stacking them to form a multi-pixel receiver is not suited at THz because a single-pixel receiver already has difficulty fitting into mass, volume, and power budgets, especially in space applications.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs, TSP

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Method for Reduction of Silver Biocide Plating on Metal Surfaces

Silver ions in aqueous solutions (0.05 to 1 ppm) are used for microbial control in water systems. The silver ions remain in solution when stored in plastic containers, but the concentration rapidly decreases to non-biocidal levels when stored in metal containers. The silver deposits onto the surface and is reduced to non-biocidal silver metal when it contacts less noble metal surfaces, including stainless steel, titanium, and nickel-based alloys.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs

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Micromachined Active Magnetic Regenerator for Low- Temperature Magnetic Coolers

Fabrication improvements are evaluated and introduced. A design of an Active Magnetic Regenerative Refrigeration (AMRR) system has been developed for space applications. It uses an innovative 3He cryogenic circulator to provide continuous remote/distributed cooling at temperatures in the range of 2 K with a heat sink at about 15 K. A critical component technology for this cooling system is a highly efficient active magnetic regenerator, which is a regenerative heat exchanger with its matrix material made of magnetic refrigerant gadolinium gallium garnet (GGG).

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs, TSP

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The Thermal Hogan — A Means of Surviving the Lunar Night

A document describes the Thermal Hogan, a new shelter concept that would be used on the Moon to moderate the extreme nighttime temperatures, allowing survival of equipment with minimal heater power. It is lightweight, has few mechanical parts, and would be relatively easy to deploy on the Moon.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs, TSP

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Phase Change Material Thermal Power Generator

An innovative modification has been made to a previously patented design for the Phase Change Material (PCM) Thermal Generator, which works in water where ocean temperature alternatively melts wax in canisters, or allows the wax to re-solidify, causing high-pressure oil to flow through a hydraulic generator, thus creating electricity to charge a battery that powers the vehicle. In this modification, a similar thermal PCM device has been created that is heated and cooled by the air and solar radiation instead of using ocean temperature differences to change the PCM from solid to liquid. This innovation allows the device to use thermal energy to generate electricity on land, instead of just in the ocean.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs, TSP

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Turning Great Designs Into Great Products: The Changing World of Mechanical Design

As the nature of product development shifts to keep up with the pace of global innovation, manufacturers must understand that using the wrong tools can cripple a company's ability to innovate and deliver quality products on time. This whitepaper provides an overview of manufacturing tools like mechanical computer aided design (MCAD), product data management (PDM), electronic design automation (EDA) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) and describes how to bridge the gap between engineering and manufacturing.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, White Papers

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HIG™: Combining the Benefits of Inductive and Resistive Heating

Harmonic Inductive Gain (HIG™) is a rapidly growing technology that is changing the game in what has previously been a stagnating technology; inductive heating. HIG utilizes a pulsed output signal rich in high frequency harmonics to deliver an intensely changing magnetic field in place of a sinusoidal signal generated from large currents. This approach allows for efficiency gains that permit air-cooled power supplies and coils to be realized. Modulation of the output pulse allows for precise control over output power with 1W precision regardless of coil configuration, coil type, or load type; affording full flexibility in coil design. The resultant system is incredibly versatile and intelligent offering the same ‘plug and play’ design flexibility as resistive heating while maintaining the highest level of efficiency and reliability available with induction.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, White Papers

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