Test & Measurement

Product of the Month: April 2017

Astronics Test Systems, Irvine, CA, has introduced the PXIe-1802 arbitrary waveform generator and the PXIe-1803 digitizer that provide test capabilities and measurement accuracy in a compact PXI form factor for aerospace, defense, communications, and other high-reliability applications. The arbitrary waveform generator offers both speed and performance for output frequencies of up to 125 MHz. With built-in waveforms, high signal quality, and high density and modularity, the instrument delivers dual 14/16-bit waveform generator channels, bandwidths of 90-140 MHz, synchronization, and 250 μV measurement accuracy. The 130/180 MS/s dual-channel digitizer provides speed and performance for input frequencies up to 175 MHz. The dual-channel 14/16-bit digitizer is configurable as separate or fully synchronized channels. Other features include waveform bandwidths of 65-175 MHz (typical), 64M of waveform memory per channel, and relative accuracy of up to 0.006%.

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Posted in: Products, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement
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Optical Device Tester

Anritsu Company (Richardson, TX) has introduced the BERTWave MP2110A, an all-in-one instrument that conducts simultaneous BER measurements and eye pattern analysis to more efficiently evaluate multi-channel optical devices used in optical communications systems, including 100GbE, InfiniBand EDR, and 32G Fibre Channel. The BERTWave MP2110A features a built-in BERT that can be configured with up to 4 channels at up to 28.2 Gbit/s, and up to a 2-channel sampling oscilloscope. This single-instrument design allows the BERTWave MP2110A to conduct simultaneous TRx BER measurements of multi-channel optical modules used by 100GbE standards, such as QSFP28, and other standards, such as InfiniBand EDR and 32G Fibre Channel, as well as simultaneous 2-channel eye pattern analyses.

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Posted in: Products, Products, Data Acquisition, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments
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Reliability Testing of High-Power Devices

Before a new high-power semiconductor device can be used for industrial applications, it must be thoroughly tested to determine if it will survive environmental stresses and continue to meet specifications. This is especially true for the latest wide-bandgap semiconductor materials such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) to ensure they can withstand high voltage and temperatures.

Posted in: Briefs, Test & Measurement, High voltage systems, Semiconductors, Reliability, Test procedures, Thermal testing
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Electronic Device Monitors the Heart and Recognizes Speech

Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder and Northwestern University have developed a tiny, soft, and wearable acoustic sensor that measures vibrations in the human body, allowing them to monitor human heart health and recognize spoken words. The stretchable device captures physiological sound signals from the body, has physical properties matched with human skin, and can be mounted on nearly any surface of the body. The sensor resembles a small Band-Aid®, weighs less than one-hundredth of an ounce, and can gather continuous physiological data.

Posted in: Briefs, Test & Measurement, Measurements, Cardiovascular system, Prostheses and implants, Acoustics, Vibration
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Split Laser System for Environmental Monitoring

Environmental monitoring — the assessment of air, water, and soil quality — is highly important to oil and gas exploration companies, landowners, regulatory agencies, municipalities, and any organization measuring emissions and pollutants. The majority of monitoring technologies, however, are expensive and labor intensive, often requiring sample collection and preparation (i.e., external lab analysis) that can dramatically alter the sample and its inherent components. Of those technologies that do allow for in-situ analysis, few are amenable to measurements under harsh conditions, such as high temperature and/or pressure.

Posted in: Briefs, Test & Measurement, Lasers, Environmental testing, Test equipment and instrumentation, Test procedures
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Measuring Tiny Forces with Light

Photons have no mass, but they have momentum. This allows researchers to use light to push matter around. Scientists at the Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have taken advantage of this property to develop devices that can create and measure minute forces, an area traditionally underserved by the metrology community.

Posted in: Briefs, Test & Measurement, Measurements, Materials properties, Test equipment and instrumentation, Test procedures
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Laser Scanning Technique for Testing Fire-Damaged Concrete

Research at The University of Nottingham (UK) and the University at Ningbo (China) has found that laser scanning is a viable structural safety technique to detect the damaging effects of fire on concrete. Concrete is the most extensively used construction material worldwide with an average global yearly consumption of 1 cubic meter per person. Fire is one of the most serious potential risks to concrete structures such as bridges, tunnels, and buildings.

Posted in: Briefs, Test & Measurement, Lasers, Materials properties, Fire, Risk assessments, Safety testing and procedures
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3D Measurement and Visualization of Displacement and Strain Fields

The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed a metrology workbench for the measurement and visualization of displacement and strain fields in three dimensions. The workbench uses two or more cameras to image a specimen, and includes custom software that implements the 3D Meshless Random Grid method.

Posted in: Briefs, Test & Measurement, Finite element analysis, Computer software and hardware, Optics, Test equipment and instrumentation
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Eddy Current Probe for Surface and Sub-Surface Inspection

This technology can be used in aerospace, manufacturing, materials, and energy applications.

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a novel probe for eddy current sensor applications that improves detection depth and measurement resolution. Although the use of anisotropic magnetoresistive (AMR) sensors in eddy current probes to improve sensitivity at low frequencies and increase the detection depth is known, the high-frequency sensitivity and small size of these sensors is less explored. This new probe incorporates two induction sources (i.e., one high-frequency and one low-frequency) and an AMR sensor; the result is improved resolution in near-surface material characterization, combined with simultaneous deep-flaw detection. Addition of a second high-frequency induction source, oriented to produce a magnetic field orthogonal to the first, allows for near-surface anomaly detection in two dimensions.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement, Computational fluid dynamics, Sensors and actuators, Inspections
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Time-to-Digital Converter

Mouser Electronics, Inc., (Mansfield, TX) is now stocking the TDC7201 time-to-digital converter from Texas Instruments (TI). The TDC7201 is designed for use with ultrasonic, laser, and radar range finding equipment using time-of-flight (TOF) technique. TI’s TDC7201 time-to-digital converter has two built-in time-to-digital converters (TDCs) that can be used to measure distance down to 4 cm and up to several kilometers using a simple architecture. The TDC7201 features a wide measurement range of 0.25 ns to 8 ms and high accuracy of 28 ps. The device has a single shot resolution of 55 ps, (equivalent to 0.825 cm).

Posted in: Products, Products, Data Acquisition, Measuring Instruments
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