Special Coverage

Iodine-Compatible Hall Effect Thruster
Precision Assembly of Systems on Surfaces (PASS)
Development of a Novel Electrospinning System with Automated Positioning and Control Software
2016 Create The Future Design Contest Open For Entries
Clamshell Sampler
Shape Memory Alloy Rock Splitter
Deployable Extra-Vehicular Activity Platform (DEVAP) for Planetary Surfaces
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Synchronizing Hydraulic Axes in a Pultrusion Machine

Many hydraulically operated machines perform adequately with on/off “bang-bang” valves, but some need special controls to avoid maintenance problems and deliver quality production output. This is particularly true when multiple hydraulic axes need to be synchronized. In these cases, designers should use an electro-hydraulic motion controller with multi-axis synchronization capability.

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Fiber Optic Technology: Shining New Light On An Old Concept

While it may appear state-of-the-art on the surface, fiber optic technology is a fairly simple method of conducting light that has been around for some time. The principle of guiding light by refraction was first demonstrated in the mid 19th century, and has been developing for use in practical applications ever since.

Posted in: Articles, Features, ptb catchall, Photonics

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2010 Create the Future Design Contest Winners E-Book

The 2010 Create the Future Design Contest, sponsored by COMSOL, Inc., PTC, and Tech Briefs Media Group (publishers of NASA Tech Briefs), recognized innovation in product design in six categories: Consumer Products, Machinery & Equipment, Medical, Safety & Security, Sustainable Technologies, and Transportation. On the following pages, you’ll meet the Grand Prize Winner, as well as the winners and Honorable Mentions in all six categories. Congratulations to this year’s winners, and thanks to the nearly 1,000 entrants who submitted their creative design ideas. To view the contest entries e-book, click here.

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Industry Update: CAD and Virtual Prototyping Software

In our annual poll of executives at leading CAD and virtual prototyping software companies, optimism about the market in 2011 was widespread. Trends predicted to favorably impact the CAD market this year include new capabilities for cloud computing, online CAD, mobile applications, and other technologies designed to help users be more productive with easier-to-use tools.A Stagnant Market?A number of the executives we polled indicated that the CAD market has become a “mature” market, meaning that the number of truly innovative improvements in the technology has leveled off. “For several years, the CAD market had been on a fairly steady and maturing path, with incremental improvements to how CAD tools operated,” according to Joan Hirsch, vice president of product design solutions for Siemens PLM Software. “However,” she added, “over the past few years, there has been somewhat of a revolution taking place. While it may have seemed that the introduction of breakthrough technologies was over for CAD, we believe recent advancements like synchronous technology have opened a new chapter in how products are designed.”

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Using Fan-poled Crystals to Tune Ti:S Lasers

Titanium:Sapphire (Ti:S)-based laser systems have revolutionized ultrafast research from biological imaging to high energy physics. Ti:S has a very broad gain bandwidth (680-1080 nm) but many applications require even broader tuning ranges covering UV, visible, and longer IR wavelengths. Frequency doubling, tripling, and quadrupling extend access to the 190-540 nm range. Ultrafast optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) pumped by Ti:S lasers reach beyond 1080 nm and fill in the “Ti:S gap” (540 to 680 nm).

Posted in: Articles, Features, ptb catchall, Photonics

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Making Multicore Work With Minimal Pain Points

All major microprocessor vendors are introducing multicore architectures to deliver the latest installment of performance improvements and cost savings as required to remain competitive in the silicon marketplace. Indeed, multicore processors offer increases in processing throughput, savings in power consumption, and reductions in heat dissipation. However, some effort is required to fully exploit multicore benefits. Unfortunately, the transition to a multicore architecture is often best described by the old adage, “no pain, no gain.”

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PCI-Express Cards to Support Ares-1 Launch Vehicle

BU-67106K PCI-Express cardsData Device Corp.Bohemia, NY651-484-6544 www.ddc-web.comTo support the Ares-1, an in-line, two-stage rocket configuration topped by the Orion crew vehicle and its launch abort system, Data Device Corp. will supply NASA’s System Integration and Software Development Labs with BU-67106K MIL-STD-1553 PCI-Express cards.

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