Articles

Linear Encoders Enable More Accurate Observation of the Sun

HEIDENHAIN Corporation
Schaumburg, IL
www.heidenhain.com

Scientists know surprisingly little about what happens on the Sun. Solar researchers want to change this with the new Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) on the island of Maui, Hawaii. The Kiepenheuer Institute for Solar Physics (KIS) in Freiburg, Germany is developing a Visible Tunable Filter (VTF) for this project. With a mirror diameter of four meters, it will be the largest solar telescope in the world, and therefore will provide a very detailed view of the Sun’s surface. The filter adjustment is controlled by HEIDENHAIN linear encoders with an accuracy of under one nanometer.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Lasers & Laser Systems, Photonics
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Carbon Nanotube-Based Coatings Provide Extremely-High Surface Emissivity

Santa Barbara Infrared (SBIR) and Surrey NanoSystems (SNS) have partnered to produce a line of extended-area blackbody sources with exceptionally-high emissivity and radiometric accuracy. The emitter plates in these sources feature a carbon nanotube (CNT) based coating with remarkable light-trapping properties. This ultra-black coating was developed by SNS to satisfy a broad range of applications requiring surfaces with extremely low reflectance. The resulting blackbody sources provide more accurate infrared (IR) radiometric calibration than previously achievable by drastically reducing errors due to reflected IR light from the surrounding environment. The coating also works to reduce stray light in optical and IR imaging systems.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Photonics
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Flexible Liquid Lens Simplifies Inspection

When you buy a new car, you can choose from a wide range of exterior and interior features, transmission and dynamics, and safety bundles, to configure your individual vehicle. From the point of view of engine manufacturing, this entails a wide range of designs and sizes. To meet demands for high quality, the manufacturer must test their engines according to industry-specific guidelines and quality standards. Industrial vision systems make an important contribution to quality assurance and increased efficiency in engine manufacturing. There used to only be a small range of products, whereas nowadays fully automated evaluation of a wide variety of large components and complex geometries is required. A single component may call for as many as 100 features to be inspected in different positions.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Photonics
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Ensuring Part Quality in Industrial Metal Additive Manufacturing

Concept Laser
Grapevine, TX
For more info click here

Now that metal additive manufacturing (AM) is creating fully functional industrial parts, many OEMs are taking a closer look at how the technology might support their individual production goals. Interest has also been piqued by the commitment to AM of some major companies. “I think the news about the GE Leap engine fuel nozzle really resonated throughout industry,” said Doug Hedges, President and COO of Sintavia LLC, a metal AM service provider for aerospace, defense, and other industries. “That got everyone's attention, and certainly increased the pace of inquiries for us.” The nozzle, produced internally at GE, was the first 3D-printed part certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly inside a commercial jet engine.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Metals, Additive manufacturing, Metallurgy, Parts, Quality assurance, Quality assurance
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Data Optimization Technology Helps Wind Farm Operator Examine Costs

Seeq
Seattle, WA
For more info click here

Avangrid Renewables is a subsidiary of Avangrid, Inc., and part of the Spain-based Iberdola Group, the largest wind energy company in the world. Avangrid collects a wide variety of data from many different sources. In the past, it faced challenges in gaining useful insight from these data. Particularly problematic was determining and documenting lost generation across its wind turbine fleet time due to voluntary generation curtailment to meet contractual obligations. Inability to do so can lead to lost revenue.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Energy, Data Acquisition, Optimization, Data acquisition and handling, Data acquisition and handling, Wind power, Cost analysis, Agricultural vehicles and equipment
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Safer, Cleaner, Corrosion-Protecting Metal Coatings

LumiShield
Pittsburgh, PA
For more info click here

Corrosion-related issues cost the U.S. economy $276 billion a year. The Energy Department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) teamed up with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to create a cost-effective technology to reduce that impact. The work resulted in the creation of LumiShield, a new CMU/NETL spinoff that signed a licensing agreement with the laboratory for the ionic liquid solvent for aluminum electroplating process.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Metals, Plating, Aluminum, Coatings Colorants and Finishes, Coatings, colorants, and finishes, Corrosion resistant alloys, Materials properties
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Motor Control Technology Boosts Performance of Remotely Piloted Aircraft

PC Krause and Associates
West Lafayette, IN
For more info click here

With support from the Air Force Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Program, PC Krause and Associates (PCKA) has developed a system that could meet a wide range of small aircraft electrical power and propulsion system needs. The company was aiming for its new modular motor drive system to fill the gap between existing commercial equipment and custom solutions at a cost that is viable for most remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) platforms.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Fly-by-wire control systems, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Fly-by-wire control systems, Electric motors, Military aircraft, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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Robotic Vision Keeps an Assembly Plant at Home

A major manufacturer of electromechanical products had been operating six separate indexing assembly machines, each producing one of a family of more than 75 different products at about 40 parts per minute. The machines frequently sat idle as demand fluctuated for the various products. Labor expenses were high since each machine required a dedicated operator. The manufacturer considered moving the six machines and their entire production offshore to reduce labor expenses and save floor space at its European facility.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Photonics, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Manufacturing equipment and machinery, Robotics, Inspections
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Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors

The effectiveness of airborne search and rescue, navigation, and situational awareness tasks is predicated on the availability of high-resolution imagery that provides pilots with a clear picture and the widest possible field of view. While the human eye is extremely high resolution with an unmatched ability to detect high-spatial-frequency (HSF) objects across a wide field of regard, human vision can easily fatigue, is subject to environmental conditions, and is vastly degraded at night.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Photonics, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Sensors and actuators, Surveillance, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Sensors and actuators, Surveillance, Thermodynamics, Thermodynamics, Rescue operations, Aircraft
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3D Printing Enables Customized Magnets

Polymer-bonded magnets are valuable for many sensor applications that require the production of unique and reproducible field profiles, not necessarily fields with the highest strength.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Sensors, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Additive manufacturing, Magnetic materials, Polymers
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