Motion Control

Aircraft with Hybrid Engine Can Recharge in Flight

Researchers from the University of Cambridge, in association with Boeing, have successfully tested the first aircraft to be powered by a parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system, where an electric motor and gas engine work together to drive the propeller. The demonstrator aircraft uses up to 30% less fuel than a comparable plane with a gas-only engine. The aircraft is also able to recharge its batteries in flight, the first time this has been achieved.

Posted in: News, Aviation, Batteries, Power Management, Motors & Drives, Power Transmission

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Computation of Wing Deflection and Slope from Measured Strain

Patent-pending methodology computes detailed wing loads during actual flight. Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, California A lightweight, robust fiber-optic system is the technology behind a new method to compute wing deflection and slope from measured strain of an aircraft. This state-of-the-art sensor system is small, easy to install, and fast, and offers the first-ever means of obtaining real-time strain measurements that can accurately determine wing deflection and slope during flight. Such measurements are particularly useful for real-time virtual displays of wing motion, aircraft structural integrity monitoring, active drag reduction, active flexible motion control, and active loads alleviation.

Posted in: Articles, Briefs, Aviation, Measuring Instruments

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Two-Stroke Engine Features Low Consumption and Fewer Emissions

Researchers have developed a new two-stroke engine notable for its low consumption and low level of pollutant emissions. The engine is the result of Powerful, a European project focusing on reduction in the engine’s weight and size using only two cylinders instead of the four used in the four-stroke engines currently on the market. Moreover, since it has fewer cylinders, the friction produced in the engine is reduced, increasing its mechanical output and, finally, its overall performance.

Posted in: News, Power Transmission

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Specifying Actuators for Cleanroom Environments

Selecting the right actuator for use in any manufacturing operation involves a host of application-specific variables, including aspects such as the required stroke length, load capacity, acceleration, maximum speed, and positioning repeatability. Add a cleanroom specification to the list and the choice of available options becomes significantly smaller. Consider these questions to help make the best choice for your cleanroom application, whether it’s for the medical device, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or semiconductor manufacturing industry.

Posted in: Articles

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Naval Shipyard Automates Dry Dock Operation

Pearl Harbor Naval Station and Hickam Air Force Base have grown up together around the historic port known as Wai’Momi, adjacent to Honolulu. Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard (PHNSY), located at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, is a one-stop regional maintenance center for the Navy’s surface ships and submarines. It is the only intermediate maintenance facility for submarines in the Middle Pacific.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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Robotic Arm

Global Specialties (Yorba Linda, CA) introduced the R700 Vector Robotic Arm that is fully assembled and ready to be programmed in the C language. The robot comes with pre-written example programs that can be downloaded to the ATMEGA64 microcontroller using the supplied USB interface and RobotLoader software. Custom programs can be written using the free open-source WinAVR software.

Posted in: Products

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Optical Encoders

Avago Technologies (San Jose, CA) announced the AEDR-87xx series of 3-channel reflective optical encoder devices for use in low-power miniaturized motion control systems such as stepper motors, electrical actuators, piezoelectric drives, and portable medical appliances. The devices feature encoding resolution up to 318 lines per inch (LPI), support for 3.3V and 5V supply voltage for low-power applications, and dual analog outputs interfacing directly with an external interpolator for high-precision motion control measurements. The encoders feature three channel outputs including one index digital output; a built-in interpolator for 4x, 8x, and 16x interpolation; built-in automatic LED current regulation; encoding resolution of 318 LPI (up to 1.25 um pitch); and operating temperature range from -20 to +85 °C.

Posted in: Products, Motors & Drives

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