Features

Laser Vision Helps Package Shippers See Clearly

An analyzer developed for Hubble mirror testing helps FedEx scan packages.

For more than 25 years, the Hubble Space Telescope has provided stunning photos of the universe unequalled in their depth, detail, and distinction. But in its early days, Hubble wasn't capable of sending back such breathtaking photos. Within weeks of launch, the images beamed back to Earth were fuzzy and out of focus. It was determined that Hubble's primary mirror had been ground to the wrong shape and was too flat by 2.2 micrometers, causing reflected light from the edge of the mirror to be focused on a different point than light coming from near the center. It was determined that the device used to create the nonspherical mirror had been incorrectly assembled, and the mirror's manufacturer had failed to notice the problem before Hubble was launched.

Posted in: Articles, Imaging, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Lasers, Optics, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Lasers, Optics, Logistics
Read More >>

Farzin Amzajerdian, Principal Investigator, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

Since 2003, Farzin Amzajerdian has worked on the Navigation Doppler Lidar (NDL), a sensor designed to support safe and precise vehicle landings on Mars and other destinations. The breadbox-sized NDL contains three lasers, a small electronics box, and lenses connected by fiber-optic cables. Amzajerdian will soon oversee the testing of the technology in California's Mojave Desert.

Posted in: Who's Who, Sensors
Read More >>

The Basics of Encoder Selection

Positioning: Resolution and Accuracy

An application’s required positioning resolution dictates the choice of encoder resolution. A well-tuned system can maintain the position within one encoder state (quadcount). Therefore, the encoder resolution in quadcounts (states) should at least correspond to the maximum permissible positioning error. Depending on the response time of the system, a higher encoder resolution should be chosen for the controller to detect deviations faster and counteract quicker.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Calibration, Navigation and guidance systems, Navigation and guidance systems, Reliability, Reliability
Read More >>

Branimir Blagojevic, Technologist, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

During his time with former employer Science and Engineering Services, LLC, Branimir Blagojevic helped build a remote-sensing device that detected biological agents. The technology, originally made for the Department of Defense (DoD), may soon find a place on Mars. Blagojevic currently leads the development of the Bio-Indicator Lidar Instrument (BILI), a device that could be used to spot organic molecules and signs of life on Mars.

Posted in: Who's Who, Detectors
Read More >>

Laser Diode Modules

BEA Lasers (Elk Grove Village, IL) has introduced two new low-profile additions to their rugged MIL Series of laser diode modules. The new MIL RA Model features a right angle, and the new MIL Compact Model features a straight housing. Both new models utilize a low profile 3/8” rugged laser housing, fitted with a M12 connector, 2 meter long PVC jacketed cable, and integrated power supply. The optional sensor-style bracket, or multi-adjustable “LB” bracket, completes the laser system. The new MIL Series laser diode modules are offered with standard 515nm (green) or standard 635nm (red), with 1mW or 5mW.

Posted in: Products, Products, Lasers & Laser Systems
Read More >>

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
Read More >>

Single Photon Counting Module

Excelitas Technologies® (Waltham, MA) has introduced SPCM-NIR, a Single Photon Counting Module specifically selected and performance-optimized for the near-infrared (NIR) wavelength spectrum. This NIR-spectrum enhanced device is designed to support long-range LIDAR, quantum communication and microscopy applications. The Excelitas SPCM-NIR uses a specially selected silicon avalanche photodiode (SLiK) with peak single photon detection efficiency (PDE) at 780nm, typically better than 73%, while maintaining uniformity over a 180 μm diameter active area.

Posted in: Products, Products, Data Acquisition, Measuring Instruments
Read More >>

Single-Frequency Lasers

LASOS (Jena, Germany) has expanded its range of single-frequency laser sources from the ultra-violet through the red. Wavelength-dependent power levels up to 300 mW are available, with spectral linewidth values less than 1 MHz. Products include diode-pumped solid-state devices from the UV through red. These field-proven sources maintain excellent spectral and power performance for applications including Raman, Holography and Precision Metrology.

Click here to learn more

Posted in: Products, Products, Lasers & Laser Systems
Read More >>

Product of the Month: January 2017

HP, Palo Alto, CA, unveiled the HP Z2 Mini Workstation designed for users in CAD and other compute-intensive industries. The workstation is 2.3” high, and 90% smaller than a traditional business-class tower. It has the ability to support six displays and was designed for CAD users requiring smaller hardware. The workstation, running Windows 10 Pro or Linux, comes equipped with Intel® Xeon® processors, NVIDIA® professional graphics, and available HP Z Turbo Drive for handling large files. The workstation features an octagon shape, and incorporates HP Z workstation features throughout, including ISV certification. The ultra-compact workstation provides users with numerous location options including on/under the desk, behind an HP Z display, or on a wall. Custom-designed fans and a cooling system for quiet acoustics provide mission-critical reliability.

For Free Info Visit: http://info.hotims.com/65847-120

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling
Read More >>

New Horizons for Aviation Technology

Thanks to advancements developed by NASA, today’s aviation industry is better equipped than ever to safely and efficiently transport passengers to their destinations. In fact, every U.S. aircraft and air traffic control tower uses NASA-developed technology. Streamlined aircraft bodies, quieter jet engines, drag-reducing winglets, and lightweight composite structures are an everyday part of flying thanks to NASA research that traces its origins back to the earliest days of aviation. But NASA isn’t finished. Here are some new technologies that could change the airline industry of the future.

Posted in: Articles, Aviation, Aircraft structures, Avionics, Avionics, Aircraft operations, Product development, Technical reference, Technical review, Air traffic control
Read More >>

The U.S. Government does not endorse any commercial product, process, or activity identified on this web site.