Test & Measurement

Automating Roadbed Testing Before Paving

The normal road construction process involves subgrade (the existing soil) preparation followed by placement of an aggregate layer, and then the pavement surface layer (asphalt or concrete). In practice, most highways are designed using a set of assumptions that is sufficiently conservative to ensure that the roadway will meet its minimum specifications over its design life. The cost of the pavement layer can be optimized by testing the firmness of the prepared roadbed before paving. The testing process validates the basic design assumptions, and enables the amount of pavement to be tailored or optimized for each segment of the road. Ingios Geotechnics (Northfield, MN) was formed to develop and manufacture equipment to automate the process.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Automotive, Test & Measurement

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A 40-Year Legacy and Excitement for the Future

As I approach retirement after 40 years as CEO of National Instruments (NI), I am reminded of the great progress and innovations the test and measurement industry has witnessed over that time. We have gone from an industry driven by vacuum tube technology in the era of General Radio, to a time where the transistor ruled with Hewlett-Packard, to today where software truly is the instrument — a transition that NI helped shepherd.

Posted in: Articles, Software, Test & Measurement

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Force Sensors in Robotic Design

From the operating room to the manufacturing floor, the robotic industry continues to grow and mature. As demand for robotic devices increases, so do the technology requirements.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Machinery & Automation, Robotics, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Test & Measurement

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Neutralizing Nature: Controlling the Environment in Aerospace

If your goal is to send a billion-dollar satellite into space or to maintain precision defense systems aboard aircraft tasked with defending the nation, environmental variations aren't so much the spice of life as an endless minefield of potential hazards that could destroy your mission. In the unforgiving aerospace sector, the idea is not to celebrate nature but to neutralize it, creating artificial environments that remain precisely clean and stable, wherever the equipment or payload you're assembling, transporting and sending aloft happens to be.

Posted in: White Papers, Aeronautics, Defense, Test & Measurement

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Smart Buoy Measures Water Pollutants

The current way of using the multi-algae sensor; in the future, it will be operated automatically from buoys, together with other sensors. (Photo: bbe Moldaenke) Extensive water monitoring is indispensable for drinking water supply and water protection. Researchers have developed a smart monitoring system that combines various technologies in a depth-profile-measuring multi-sensor buoy for monitoring water bodies and algae growth. Conventional monitoring strategies are frequently based on a multitude of independently acting sensor systems. This aggravates and slows down integrated data evaluation.

Posted in: News, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement

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Ultrasensitive Sensors Keep Driverless Cars Safer

Sensor chips are implemented in CMOS technology. (© Photo Fraunhofer IMS) News of the first serious accident involving an automated electric vehicle made headlines recently. Researchers are counting on light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology, in combination with other components, to fulfill the requirements for independent steering, braking, and acceleration.

Posted in: News, Sensors, Test & Measurement

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Military Sensor Inspires Instrument to Search for Life on Mars

This artist’s rendition shows how BILI could operate on Mars. (NASA) A sensing technique used by the U.S. military currently to remotely monitor the air to detect potentially life-threatening chemicals, toxins, and pathogens has inspired a new instrument that could “sniff” for life on Mars and other targets in the solar system.

Posted in: News, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement

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