January 2010

News : Energy
Engineers Concerned About Algae-Based Biofuel

DOE recently announced that it is awarding $78 million in stimulus money for research and development of algae-based biofuel. Yet researchers from the University of Virginia have found there are significant environmental hurdles to overcome, and propose using wastewater as a solution to some of these...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Study on Superconducting Hydrogen Offers Promise in Field

Researchers from Carnegie Institute for Science have modeled three hydrogen-dense metal alloys and found there are pressure and temperature trends associated with the superconducting state — a big boost in the understanding of how the material could be harnessed.

Question of the Week
Will 3D be the next major TV trend?

This week’s question concerns 3D TV. The recent success of 3D movies such as Avatar has added to an already-growing interest in 3D television and content. TV makers such as Sony, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, and Panasonic showed 3D ready televisions at the recent Consumer Electronics Show and expect...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Wildfire Detection and Monitoring System

A low-cost wildfire detection and monitoring system using mobile communications technology is being developed by researchers at University of Adelaide's School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Paper Strips Detect Toxin in Water

Engineers at the University of Michigan led the development of a new biosensor - a strip of paper infused with carbon nanotubes - that can quickly and inexpensively detect a toxin produced by algae in drinking water.

Question of the Week
Can a global ban on producing nuclear weapons material be enforced?

This week’s question concerns nuclear weapons. Diplomats from 65 countries are meeting at the United Nations Conference on Disarmament in Geneva this week to discuss beginning talks on a possible treaty that would stop nations from producing plutonium and highly enriched...

Do The Russians Know Something We Don't?

Do the Russians know something we don’t?

In the waning days of 2009, the head of Russia’s federal space agency, Dr. Anatoly Perminov, made huge headlines by telling a Russian radio station that their space agency was contemplating sending a mission to Apophis, an 885-foot (270-meter) asteroid...

Question of the Week
Can tablet computers make greater inroads in the PC market?

This week’s question concerns tablet computers. Apple Computer is strongly rumored to soon unveil a tablet computer able to play music and video, read E-books, and provide Internet access. Several PC makers, including Motorola and Hewlett-Packard, also demonstrated tablet computers at...

News : Energy
Desalinating Water Using Solar Pond and Membrane Distillation System

Ecosystems of terminus lakes around the world could benefit from a system being developed at the University of Nevada, Reno that desalinates water using a specialized low-cost solar pond and patented membrane distillation system powered by renewable energy.

News : Energy
Enhanced Lithium Ion Battery Abuse Testing Laboratory

Sandia National Laboratories will use $4.2 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to modify and enhance its existing Battery Abuse Testing Laboratory (BATLab), with the goal of developing low-cost batteries for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Articles : Transportation
Development of a Centrifugal Hydrogen Pipeline Gas Compressor
DOE has prepared a Multi-Year Research, Development, and Demonstration Plan to provide hydrogen as a viable fuel for transportation after 2020, and commissioned Concepts NREC (CN) with the project of developing a centrifugal hydrogen pipeline gas compressor. Phase I of this project has...
News : Energy
Oil Refineries Could Improve Energy Efficiency With New Method

Chemical plants spend from 50 to 70 percent of their energy in "separations," which are usually distillation steps required to separate a raw material into various products. An energy-efficient Purdue University method rearranges the distillation sequence needed to separate crude...

Scan My Body - As Long As It Is Safe

I mentioned in my last blog post I will travel to Anaheim in early February to attend several shows, notably the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show and Medical Design & Manufacturing West . That means once again subjecting myself to the rigors of airport security - whipping out my photo ID, emptying my...

News : Energy
Engineered Tobacco Plants Up Biofuel Potential

Researchers from the Biotechnology Foundation Laboratories at Thomas Jefferson University have found a way to increase the oil in tobacco plant leaves, which may be the next step in using the plants for biofuel.

Gearing Up For Trade Shows

As the holidays fade and the New Year unfolds, it’s back to business for most of us. For NASA Tech Briefs, that includes a bunch of trade shows and conferences our editors will attend over the next few months.

One show I plan to attend is the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show, taking place at the Anaheim...

Products : Energy
Shaft Collars for Solar Arrays

Anodized aluminum shaft collars from Stafford Manufacturing Corp. (Wilmington, MA) are ideally suited for structural and drive applications involved with positioning solar arrays.

Question of the Week
Should whole body imaging be used for airport security?

The first Question of the Week for 2010 concerns airline security. The recent foiled attempt by a Nigerian terrorist to set off a bomb aboard a Northwest Airlines flight landing in Detroit has renewed concerns that current X-ray technology is insufficient in detecting concealed weapons and...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Cryogenic Flow Sensor

An acousto-optic cryogenic flow sensor (CFS) determines mass flow of cryogens for spacecraft propellant management. The CFS operates unobtrusively in a high-pressure, high-flowrate cryogenic environment to provide measurements for fluid quality as well as mass flow rate. Experimental hardware uses an optical...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Multi-Sensor Mud Detection

Robust mud detection is a critical perception requirement for Un manned Ground Vehicle (UGV) auton omous offroad navigation. A military UGV stuck in a mud body during a mission may have to be sacrificed or rescued, both of which are unattractive options. There are several characteristics of mud that may be detectable...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Gas Flow Detection System

This system provides a portable means to detect gas flow through a thin-walled tube without breaking into the tubing system. The flow detection system was specifically designed to detect flow through two parallel branches of a manifold with only one inlet and outlet, and is a means for verifying a space shuttle program...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Mapping Capacitive Coupling Among Pixels in a Sensor Array

An improved method of mapping the capacitive contribution to cross-talk among pixels in an imaging array of sensors (typically, an imaging photodetector array) has been devised for use in calibrating and/or characterizing such an array. The method is applicable to almost all image...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Fiber-Based Laser Transmitter for Oxygen A-Band Spectroscopy and Remote Sensing

A fiber-based laser transmitter has been designed for active remote-sensing spectroscopy. The transmitter uses a master-oscillator- power-amplifier (MOPA) configuration with a distributed feedback diode-laser master oscillator and an erbium-doped fiber amplifier. The...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Low-Profile, Dual-Wavelength, Dual-Polarized Antenna

A single-aperture, low-profile antenna design has been developed that supports dual-polarization and simultaneous operation at two wavelengths. It realizes multiple beams in the elevation plane, and supports radiometric, radar, and conical scanning applications.

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Time-Separating Heating and Sensor Functions of Thermistors in Precision Thermal Control Applications

A method allows combining the functions of a heater and a thermometer in a single device, a thermistor, with minimal temperature read errors. Because thermistors typically have a much smaller thermal mass than the objects they monitor, the...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Cellular Reflectarray Antenna

The cellular reflectarray antenna is intended to replace conventional parabolic reflectors that must be physically aligned with a particular satellite in geostationary orbit. These arrays are designed for specified geographical locations, defined by latitude and longitude, each called a “cell.” A particular cell...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Ethernet-Enabled Power and Communication Module for Embedded Processors

The power and communications module is a printed circuit board (PCB) that has the capability of providing power to an embedded processor and converting Ethernet packets into serial data to transfer to the processor. The purpose of the new design is to address the...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Two-Dimensional Synthetic-Aperture Radiometer

A two-dimensional synthetic-aperture radiometer, now undergoing development, serves as a test bed for demonstrating the potential of aperture synthesis for remote sensing of the Earth, particularly for measuring spatial distributions of soil moisture and ocean-surface salinity. The goal is to use the...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
A One-Dimensional Synthetic-Aperture Microwave Radiometer

A proposed one-dimensional synthetic-aperture microwave radiometer could serve as an alternative to either the two-dimensional synthetic-aperture radiometer described in the immediately preceding article or to a prior one-dimensional one, denoted the Electrically Scanned Thinned Array...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Electrical Switching of Perovskite Thin-Film Resistors

Electronic devices that exploit electrical switching of physical properties of thin films of perovskite materials (especially colossal magnetoresistive materials) have been invented. Unlike some related prior devices, these devices function at room temperature and do not depend on externally...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Electrically Variable Resistive Memory Devices

Nonvolatile electronic memory devices that store data in the form of electrical-resistance values, and memory circuits based on such devices, have been invented. These devices and circuits exploit an electrically-variableresistance phenomenon that occurs in thin films of certain oxides that exhibit...

Some modifications that could be made, separately or together, have been conceived as improvements of the generic design of a structure of the type described in “Hybrid Inflatable...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Electrostatic Separator for Beneficiation of Lunar Soil

A charge separator has been constructed for use in a lunar environment that will allow for separation of minerals from lunar soil. Any future lunar base and habitat must be constructed from strong, dense materials to provide for thermal and radiation protection. It has been proposed that...

Briefs : Materials
Wider-Opening Dewar Flasks for Cryogenic Storage

Dewar flasks have been proposed as containers for relatively long-term (25 days) storage of perishable scientific samples or other perishable objects at a temperature of –175 °C. The refrigeration would be maintained through slow boiling of liquid nitrogen (LN2). For the purposes of...

Briefs : Materials
Supercapacitor Electrolyte Solvents With Liquid Range Below –80 °C

A previous NASA Tech Brief [“Low-Temperature Supercapacitors” (NPO-44386) NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 32, No 7 (July 2008), page 32] detailed ongoing efforts to develop non-aqueous supercapacitor electrolytes capable of supporting operation at temperatures below commercially...

Briefs : Materials
Silicon Oxycarbide Aerogels for High-Temperature Thermal Insulation

A high-performance, silicon oxycarbide (SiOC) aerogel material is suitable for use as thermal insulation at temperatures approaching 1,200 °C. These aerogel composites were created using cost-effective and commercially available polymeric precursors (the polymethylsiloxane...

Briefs : Materials
Designs and Materials for Better Coronagraph Occulting Masks

New designs, and materials appropriate for such designs, are under investigation in an effort to develop coronagraph occulting masks having broad-band spectral characteristics superior to those currently employed. These designs and materials are applicable to all coronagraphs, both...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Turbulence and the Stabilization Principle

Further results of research, reported in several previous NASA Tech Briefs articles, were obtained on a mathematical formalism for postinstability motions of a dynamical system characterized by exponential divergences of trajectories leading to chaos (including turbulence).

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Improved Cloud Condensation Nucleus Spectrometer

An improved thermal-gradient cloud condensation nucleus spectrometer (CCNS) has been designed to provide several enhancements over prior thermal- gradient counters, including fast response and high-sensitivity detection covering a wide range of supersaturations. CCNSs are used in laboratory...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Better Modeling of Electrostatic Discharge in an Insulator

An improved mathematical model has been developed of the time dependence of buildup or decay of electric charge in a high-resistivity (nominally insulating) material. The model is intended primarily for use in extracting the DC electrical resistivity of such a material from voltage-vs.-...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Terahertz Mapping of Microstructure and Thickness Variations

A noncontact method has been devised for mapping or imaging spatial variations in the thickness and microstructure of a layer of a dielectric material. The method involves (1) placement of the dielectric material on a metal substrate, (2) through-the-thickness pulse-echo measurements...

Briefs : Information Technology
Efficient Algorithmic Interleaver for Turbo Decoder

An efficient bit-interleaving algorithm for a turbo encoder differs from prior such algorithms in that it does not require memory to store permutation mappings and can work with constituent decoders that produce multiple bit reliabilities per decoding stage. The algorithm can be implemented in...

Briefs : Information Technology
Generalized Approach to Prognosis for an Engineering System

This new generalized approach to prognostics can provide an automated early failure prediction of an engineering system or its components, often in time to prevent occurrence of hard failures. This approach has been demonstrated in a proof-of-concept software prototype, shown to...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Amorphous Rover

A proposed mobile robot, denoted the amorphous rover, would vary its own size and shape in order to traverse terrain by means of rolling and/or slithering action. The amorphous rover was conceived as a robust, lightweight alternative to the wheeled rover-class robotic vehicle heretofore used in exploration of Mars. Unlike a...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Space-Frame Antenna

The space-frame antenna is a conceptual antenna structure that would be lightweight, deployable from compact stowage, and capable of deforming itself to a size, shape, and orientation required for a specific use. The underlying mechanical principle is the same as that of the amorphous rover described in the immediately...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Space-Frame Lunar Lander

The space-frame lunar lander is a conceptual spacecraft or spacecraftlike system based largely on the same principles as those of the amorphous rover and the space-frame antenna described in the two immediately preceding articles. The space-frame lunar lander was originally intended to (1) land on rough lunar terrain,...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
In-Situ Focusing Inside a Thermal Vacuum Chamber

Traditionally, infrared (IR) space instruments have been focused by iterating with a number of different thickness shim rings in a thermal vacuum chamber until the focus meets requirements. This has required a number of thermal cycles that are very expensive as they tie up many integration and...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Gear-Driven Turnbuckle Actuator

This actuator design allows the extension and contraction of turnbuckle assemblies. It can be operated manually or remotely, and is extremely compact. It is ideal for turnbuckles that are hard to reach by conventional tools. The tool assembly design solves the problem of making accurate adjustments to the variable...

Articles : Software
CAD and Virtual Prototyping Software: Continuous Development in a Challenging Economy

In our annual poll of executives at leading design and virtual prototyping software companies, we found that in difficult economic times, providing customers with easy-to-use, value-added products is even more important. We asked executives to give their views...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
Aircraft Modification and Integration Enables SOFIA to Fly

Aircraft and airborne system development and modification
L-3 Communications Integrated Systems
Waco, TX

Techs for License
Xyloy™ Injection-Molded Zinc/Aluminum Alloy

Cool Polymers

Xyloy™ is an injection-molded zinc/aluminum alloy processed in conventional plastic injection-molding equipment and molds. The Xyloy technology enables 3D netshaped metal parts right from the mold. Xyloy requires no carriers or binders, and — unlike die-cast metal parts...

Techs for License
Low-Cost Conductive Papers and Nonwovens for Consumer Goods


Inexpensive, easy-to-manufacture conductive papers, tissues, and nonwovens open new areas for resistively heated and disposable electronic consumer goods. The technology allows electric and electronic features previously too expensive for disposables to be built...

Tech Needs
Sensations and Materials for Lip Products

A company seeks unique materials to add to lip products for new lip sensations and experiences (such as cooling, warming, numbing, tingling, and flavors), solutions that can impart prolonged sensate experiences, and solutions that can impart not-yet-known sensations. Products should meet the following...

NASA Tech Needs
Protecting Anodized Aluminum in a Highly Alkaline Environment

A company seeks to protect the surface of an aluminum product when exposed to the harsh alkaline environment inside a dishwasher. The product currently has a hard-anodized surface to protect against abrasion. The company seeks to avoid an exterior coating that can be abraded away....

NASA Tech Needs
Composite Materials — Partnership Opportunities

Organic matrix composite materials have the potential for a significant mass reduction compared to metallic materials for aircraft and spacecraft, and have been a NASA focus for many years. The major technology drivers for these applications include large-scale composites manufacturing, composite...

Stealth Computer Model LPC-395F

Stealth.com (Stealth Computer), Woodbridge, ON, Canada, has introduced the Model LPC-395F rugged, fanless mini computer with up to 500 GBs of integrated removable storage. The mini PC includes frontloaded removable media slots for both hard drive and Compact Flash media. An industry-standard 2.5" SATA hard drive...

Who's Who
Dr. Luz Marina Calle, Lead Scientist and Principal Investigator, Corrosion Technology Laboratory, Kennedy Space Center

Dr. Luz Marina Calle earned her Ph.D. in chemistry from Ohio University and shortly thereafter became a professor of chemistry at Randolph College in Virginia. In 1989, she was selected to participate in NASA’s Summer Faculty...

Application Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Taking COTS to the Next Level in Vetronics Subsystems

Embedded vetronics (vehicle electronics) subsystems for rugged deployed ground vehicles have long benefited from the reduced risk, faster time to market, and long lifecycle support offered by COTS board vendors. Recent advances in open standards developments, namely the OpenVPX/VITA 65...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Cooling Embedded Systems What Are The Options?

As the cooling challenges in embedded system applications have multiplied due to increased processing performance, smaller package and system footprints, and the requirement to operate in more rugged environments, new thermal management options and industry standards continue to evolve. Designers of...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
The Inner Workings of Solid State Flash: SLC versus MLC

Because all solid state flash products are not created equal and flash storage is finding its way into more and more embedded computing applications, system designers should understand the critical tradeoffs between competing technologies when evaluating flash products. Most commonly, the...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
VITA 66 & 67 Bringing Fiber Optic and Mixed Signal Capability to VPX

Today’s rugged embedded computing industry demands the best of technology and reliability. Driven by requirements for higher performance solutions, platforms continually evolve. Standards organizations, such as the VSO (VMEbus Standards Organization), are diligently working...

Products : Electronics & Computers
PrPMC/XMC Module

Extreme Engineering Solutions (Middleton, WI) has introduced XPedite7201, a conduction- or aircooled PrPMC/XMC module, targeting the Intel® Atom™ processor running at up to 1.6 GHz at under 10W. This card comes with PCI Express or PCI interconnect and a Gigabit Ethernet port with integrated magnetics. XPedite7201 is ideal for...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Triaxial Cable Kits

Keithley Instruments (Cleveland, OH) has introduced triaxial cable kits for semiconductor device probers that are capable of handling I-V, C-V, and pulsed I-V signals. Model 4210-MMPC-C is optimized for use with Cascade Microtech probers, and Model 4210-MMPC-S for use with SUSS Microtech probers. The cables are designed for...

Products : Electronics & Computers
ESMexpress Modules

The XM2 from MEN Micro (Ambler, PA) is based on the latest Intel Core 2 Duo SP9300 processor with a clock frequency of up to 2.26 GHz. The advanced Intel processor, combined with the ruggedization and low development costs of the ESMexpress standard, make the XM2 a costeffective choice for a variety of harsh, mobile, and...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Cryptographic Authentication ICs

The AT88SA family of low-cost, ultralow- power authentication ICs from Atmel® Corporation (San Jose, CA) have an embedded SHA-256 engine and 256-bit cryptographic key. The first device in the family, the AT88SA102S, is a general purpose CrytpoAuthentication™ IC designed to protect consumers from counterfeit...

Products : Electronics & Computers
GPS and Cellular-Based Tracking Device

Laird Technologies (Chesterfield, MO) has been awarded a supply contract to provide the Stealth II GPS tracking device to Trackn powered by Enfotrace (Irvine, CA). The Stealth II is a selfcontained GPS and cellularbased tracking device that can quickly and effectively locate any vehicle or mobile asset. The...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Point-of-Load DC/DC Converters

Murata Power Solutions (Mansfield, MA) now offers the Okami™ SIP 10A and 16A output current models of nonisolated single point-of-load (PoL) DC/DC converters. A range comprising four 10A models and four 16A models is available with either positive or negative on/off polarity and an optional sequence/track feature...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Software Verification Tool Suite

LDRA (San Bruno, CA) has released v8.0 of the LDRA tool suite, an automated end-to-end solution for software verification support. By integrating requirements management into the LDRA tool suite using TBreq, LDRA’s tool for next-generation management and complete automation of requirements traceability,...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Wide Angle 2.4 GHz Antenna

The HG2405P-135 wide angle, 2.4 GHz antenna from L-com (North Andover, MA) is designed for installation in offices, health facilities, educational settings, industrial sites, and retail complexes. With a footprint of 3" × 6", the HG2405P-135 is suitable for very compact installations and is ideal for WiFi, PCS, DCS,...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Multi-Core RTOS

QNX Software Systems (Ottawa, Canada) has released the QNX® Neutrino® RTOS Secure Kernel v6.4.0, which has been certified to the stringent security requirements of the Common Criteria ISO/IEC 15408 Evaluation Assurance Level 4+. The certification to Common Criteria EAL 4+ indicates that the QNX Neutrino RTOS Secure Kernel...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Panel PC Temperature/Voltage Supervisor

The new Intelligent Thermal And Power Supervisor (ITAPS) from Ocular, Inc. (Dallas, TX) allows the company’s industrial panel PCs to be deployed over the extended temperature range of -20°C to +60°C. ITAPS monitors and manages power and temperature to prevent data corruption, ensuring reliable system...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Transceiver Recording and Playback System

The new RTS 2701 from Pentek (Upper Saddle River, NJ) is a complete dual-channel transceiver recording and playback system in a standard 19-inch, rack-mount server chassis that can be placed in a rack or used on a desktop. As a powerful Windows XP workstation, the system allows customers to run their own...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Secure System Virtualization Software

Green Hills Software (Santa Barbara, CA) recently enhanced its Platform for Secure Networking by adding secure virtualization and new reference platforms. The Green Hills approach to system virtualization enables a complete Linux operating system and its applications ecosystem to securely and seamlessly...

Products : Electronics & Computers
GPU Tools

NVIDIA (Santa Clara, CA) has introduced what it claims is the most powerful and advanced graphics visualization product lineup in the company’s history. Spanning the range from entry-level to standalone visual computing systems, the new series includes:

Products : Electronics & Computers
Extended Temperature COTS Filters

LCR Electronics (Norristown, PA) now offers a line of single phase COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) filters that operates over an extended temperature range of -40°C to +85°C (-40°F to +185°F). The new RoHS-compliant Single Stage F9100 Filters and Double Stage F9200 Filters are ideal for high ambient...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Multiparallel Three-Dimensional Optical Microscopy

Multiparallel three-dimensional optical microscopy is a method of forming an approximate three-dimensional image of a microscope sample as a collection of images from different depths through the sample. The imaging apparatus includes a single microscope plus an assembly of beam splitters and...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Sub-Aperture Interferometers

Sub-aperture interferometers — also called wavefront-split interferometers — have been developed for simultaneously measuring displacements of multiple targets. The terms “sub-aperture” and “wavefront-split” signify that the original measurement light beam in an interferometer is split into multiple...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Vacuum-Compatible Wideband White Light and Laser Combiner Source System

For the Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) Spectrum Calibration Development Unit (SCDU) testbed, wideband white light is used to simulate starlight. The white light source mount requires extremely stable pointing accuracy ( lights were coupled to a photonic crystal fiber...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Stabilization of Phase of a Sinusoidal Signal Transmitted Over Optical Fiber

In the process of connecting widely distributed antennas into a coherent array, it is necessary to synchronize the timing of signals at the various locations. This can be accomplished by distributing a common reference signal from a central source, usually over optical...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Optical Tapers as White-Light WGM Resonators

A theoretical analysis has revealed that tapered optical waveguides could be useful as white-light whispering-gallerymode (WGM) optical resonators. The compactness and the fixed-narrow-frequency- band nature of the resonances of prior microdisk and microsphere WGM resonators are advantageous in...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Laser-Sintering 3D Manufacturing Made Simple

Laser-sintering has evolved significantly since its commercial introduction in the 1980s. Born out of the rise of rapid prototyping technology, laser-sintering is now the design-driven catalyst for global innovation in such industries as aerospace, medical device design, automotive and consumer.

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Fine-Water-Mist Multiple-Orientation-Discharge Fire Extinguisher
A fine-water-mist fire-suppression device developed at John H. Glenn Research Center can be discharged uniformly in any orientation via a high-pressure gas propellant. Research in recent years has shown that fine water mist can be an effective alternative to ozone-destructive Halons.
Briefs : Energy
Fuel-Cell Water Separator
NASA Glenn Research Center has designed, built, and tested an innovative fuel-cell water separator that not only removes liquid water from a fuel cell’s exhaust ports, but does so with no moving parts or other power-consuming components. The separator employs the potential and kinetic energies already present in the...
Dr. Luz Marina Calle, Lead Scientist and Principal Investigator, Corrosion Technology Laboratory, Kennedy Space Center

Dr. Luz Marina Calle earned her Ph.D. in chemistry from Ohio University and shortly thereafter became a professor of chemistry at Randolph College in Virginia. In 1989, she was selected to participate in NASA’s Summer Faculty...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Inexpensive Packaged Subharmonic Down-Converter MMICs

Two packaged monolithic microwave integrated-circuit (MMIC) mixers have been designed to operate as subharmonically pumped frequency down-converters in receivers of satellite- or ground-based digital communication systems. One operates a radio frequency (RF) between 17 and 20 GHz, the other...

Briefs : Materials
Extended Shelf Life for PMR Polyimide Resins and Prepregs

An improved class of formulations for PMR polyimide resins retards the imidization that undesirably occurs during handling and storage. While imidization is desired at the final (deliberate polymerization) stage of production of a polyimide, imidization results in premature aging when it...

Briefs : Materials
Silica-Filled EPDM Rubbers as Ablative Insulating Materials

Silica-filled polymers made from ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) have been found to be useful as ablative thermal-insulation materials. These polymers have been investigated as candidates to replace some previously developed polymeric ablative rocket-engine insulating materials...

Briefs : Materials
Statistical Sampling of Tide Heights Study

The goal of the study was to determine if it was possible to reduce the cost of verifying computational models of tidal waves and currents. Statistical techniques were used to determine the least number of samples required, in a given situation, to remain statistically significant, and thereby reduce...

Application Briefs : Imaging
Wafer-Level Lens Alignment

Over one billion cell phones with cameras are sold every year, and this number has been increasing annually at a rate of about 15 percent for the past 7 years. Approximately 80 percent of cell phones now have embedded cameras, with about 20 percent of new cell phones having two cameras – one on the back for taking...

Products : Photonics/Optics
High-Resolution Thermal Imager

L-3 Infrared Products (Dallas, TX) has launched the first commercially available high-resolution Thermal-Eye Series 17-640 thermal imager. The 17-640 features a high-performance amorphous silicon uncooled IR sensor with a fast response time and advanced imaging processing. Its reduced size also increases...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Photovoltaic Measurement System

Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA) has introduced the Oriel IQE-200™, an instrument that permits simultaneous measurements of the external quantum efficiency (EQE) and the internal quantum efficiency (IQE) of solar cells, detectors, or any photon-to-charge converting devices. The photovoltaic cell measurement...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Solid-State Laser for Micromachining

Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) now offers a frequency tripled, diode-pumped, solid-state laser that performs cost-sensitive micromachining tasks such as scribing sapphire substrates used in the fabrication of GaN LEDs. The AVIA™ 355-5 is a Q-switched Nd:YVO4 laser that delivers 5W of 355 nm output at 50 kHz and...

Products : Photonics/Optics
High-Sensitivity Machine Vision Cameras

The Falcon VGA300 HG, 1M120 HG, and 1.4M100 HG cameras from DALSA Corporation (Ontario, Canada) feature high-quality DALSA CMOS image sensors and are suitable for electronics inspection, semiconductor inspection, industrial metrology (gauging), and other machine vision applications. The 1M120 HG offers 1...

Products : Photonics/Optics
InGaAs Camera/Detector Line

The Nunavut™ InGaAs Camera/Detector Line from BaySpec (Fremont, CA) enables low light spectroscopy in the near-infrared region. Optimal cooling of the detector allows for improved low-light spectral measurements, offering an improvement of >250× signal/noise performance.

Products : Photonics/Optics
Laser Safety Shutter

Electro-optical Products Corp. (Fresh Meadows, NY) has developed a laser safety (interlock) shutter that returns to the “off” position in case of power failure. The shutter consists of a blade mounted on a rotary solenoid with a limited rotation angle. When the shutter is powered, the blade moves to an “on” position...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Industrial 50W Picosecond Laser

RPMC Lasers (O’Fallon, MO) has introduced an industrial 50W picosecond laser suitable for manufacturers who need to drill or cut thin materials to produce components that should not be subjected to heat. Because the RAPID lasers have such short pulses, heat generated by the beam will not migrate into...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Variable Focus Industrial Laser Module

Photonic Products (Hertfordshire, UK) has released a new range of variable focus industrial laser diode modules that offer high boresight accuracy of The modules also feature either a standard elliptical output beam or line generating optics with a 45°, 60°, or 90° full fan angle line to give...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Hi-Speed DM37 Deformable Mirror

ALPAO (Biviers, France) has developed the Hi-Speed DM37, with optimized temporal response, large stroke, and high linearity. Designed for applications requiring large corrections with a small optical beam, this entry-level mirror is interfaced with Matlab, Labview, and C/C++. Advanced users who wish to write their...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Continuously Variable Apodizing Filters

Edmund Optics (Barrington, NJ) has introduced continuously variable apodizing filters designed to eliminate undesirable intensity variations and create an even illumination profile in optical systems. The Bull’s Eye type filter features a high optical density in the center that decreases continuously to...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Fiber-Coupled, Multi-Bar Module

A fiber-coupled, multi-bar module from DILAS (Tucson, AZ) delivers 300W through a cladding mode free QBH high-power 200-μm core diameter fiber with a low numerical aperture of 35%. The modules are packaged in up to 10-bar configurations and designed based on industry-standard conductively cooled bars, which are...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Auto Focus Modules for CCD/CMOS Cameras

New Scale Technologies (Victor, NY) has introduced custom auto focus modules that install directly on board-mounted cameras and accept standard threaded lens assemblies. The compact lens motion module uses New Scale’s tiny SQUIGGLE® motor, TRACKER™ position sensor, and integrated electronics to...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Scalable SPM Array for Large Area Detection

The SPMArray from sensL (Cork, Ireland) is the first four-side scalable low-light-detecting silicon photomultiplier array for use in markets such as medical imaging, homeland security, radiation detection, analytical instruments, and high-energy physics. The four-side scalable low light detector...

Products : Photonics/Optics
PIXCI SI1 Frame Grabber

EPIX (Buffalo Grove, IL) has introduced a PIXCI SI1 frame grabber that allows image and control data transfer with minimal buffering over any PCI Express slot for low latency image capture and analysis. Featuring 190 MB/sec sustained data transfer rates and burst transfers at 250 MB/sec, the PIXCI SI1 captures images over...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Fiber Laser Marker

TRUMPF (Farmington, CT) has unveiled the TruMark 5020, a new fiber laser marker that is suited for applications on metals and plastics with high speed and edge quality requirements. With high pulse frequencies and pulse-to-pulse stability, this laser marker is able to convert pulse frequencies of up to 1 MHz into a...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Thin-Film Thermal Charger Application

Nextreme Thermal Solutions (Durham, NC) and Infinite Power Solutions (Denver, CO) have developed a thermal charger with the ability to continuously recharge the IPS THINERGY ™ Micro-Energy Cell (MEC) using an eTEG thermoelectric power generator from Nextreme. The prototype thermal charger uses an array of...

High-Energy Fiber Laser

Fianium (Eugene, OR) has introduced the FP1060-HE high-energy fiber laser that delivers pulse energies in excess of 10 μJ and pulse durations below 20 ps. The laser platform is suitable for challenging materials including polymers, glasses, organic tissue, and reflective metals. The system features an external modulator...


On-Demand Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Heavy-Duty Engine Design for a Transitioning Market

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

High-Powered Directed Energy Laser Projects: Destroy the Target,...

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

Optical Coating Design

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Rapid Decompression and Sealed Containers: Why Choose Magnet...

Upcoming Webinars: Motion Control

Advantages of Smart Servo Steppers vs. Smart Brushless Servos

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Large Cable, Large Problems: Considerations for Innovation


Articles: Materials

Lightweighting in Aerospace Component and System Design

NASA Spinoff: Electronics & Computers

Sterilizing Fogger Cleans Ambulances with a Breeze

Articles: Motion Control

Advantages of Servo Motor and Direct Drive Technology

Application Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Multiple Sensors Aid in Development of an Electrical Vertical Takeoff and Landing Aircraft

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Gap Welding Preforms