January 2012

Check out the newly redesigned Jan/Feb issue of Lighting Technology. Cutting-edge research news, industrial lighting application stories, feature articles, products, and new technologies for...

Question of the Week
Should more of an effort be made sending signals to space?

According to a New York Times article, a band of astronomers recently restarted the search for extraterrestrial life, after an appeal for financing. Last spring, the University of California’s Hat Creek observatory, a collection of radio telescopes that listen for radio broadcasts of...

Cables for Military Robotic Applications

The highly flexible and durable flat silicone cables from Cicoil (Valencia, CA) are designed for use on unmanned ground-based military robotic vehicles that require absolute reliability in mission critical and extreme environment conditions. Unlike bulky and stiffer round cables, Cicoil’s flat silicone...

Low-Voltage BLDC Motors and Gearmotors

Dunkermotor (Elgin, IL) has released its 2012 catalog of low-voltage brushless DC and intelligent servo motors. The expanded catalog includes detailed specifications on custom configurable BLDC motors, controls, gearheads, brakes, encoders, and accessories and is available for download.

DC Servo Motors

The 8540 Series brush-commutated DC motors from Pittman (Harleysville, PA) are ideal for high-tech applications found in medical devices, lab instrumentation, and precision automation machinery. The 8540 Series motors are 1.18” in diameter and are available in three lengths - 2.114”, 2.585”, and 3.057”. Depending on the...

Magnetic Encoder

The RSM2800 magnetic encoder from Novotechnik (Southborough, MA) counts turns, measures angles exactly, and remembers shaft positions without power. The RSM2800 is based on Novotechnik’s patented non-contact multi-turn for absolute 5,760° (16 turns) measurement. The wear-free technology combines advanced capabilities with...

Single-Axis Ethernet Motion Controller

Galil Motion Control (Rocklin, CA) offers the DMC-300xx Pocket Motion Controller series single-axis Ethernet motion controller. It combines a high-performance motion controller and an 800-W sine drive in a low-cost, compact 3.9" x 5.0" x 1.5" package. The DMC-300xx is also available as a controller-only...

Integrated PLC and Motion Controller

The A3200 MotionPAC from Aerotech (Pittsburg, PA) is a software-based PLC that is integrated with Aerotech’s A3200 motion controller to increase programming efficiency and decrease development time. The MotionPAC can be used independently for full machine control or in conjunction with AeroBasic™...

A cost-competitive solution for increasing the light extraction efficiency of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) with efficient and stable color rendering index (CRI) for solid-state lighting (SSL)...

News : Energy
Looking at Atmospheric Stability to Predict Wind Power

Power generated by a wind turbine largely depends on wind speed. In a wind farm in which the turbines experience the same wind speeds but different shapes, such as turbulence, to the wind profile, a turbine will produce different amounts of power. Two researchers say that this variable power...

Question of the Week
Should the internet piracy bills be used to combat online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property?

Senate and House leaders announced last week that they are postponing work on two controversial anti-piracy bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the (PIPA) Protect IP Act, in the wake of large online protests that spurred some...

News : Energy
Charged Quantum Dots Increase Solar Cell Efficiency

With military colleagues, a trio of University at Buffalo engineers have shown that embedding charged quantum dots into photovoltaic cells can improve electrical output by enabling the cells to harvest infrared light, and by increasing the lifetime of photoelectrons.

IEPE Accelerometers

Kistler North America (Novi, MI) has introduced a new family of single axis and triaxial lightweight, miniature PiezoBeam(R) IEPE accelerometers with optional TEDS, designed for the multi-channel modal and structural analysis of small or thin-walled structures, components and subsystems, as well as full vehicle testing within...

Oscilloscope Adapter for PCs

Saelig Company (Pittsford, NY) has announced availability of the MSO-28, a new USB-powered, entry-level mixed-signal 60MHz oscilloscope adapter for PCs. This scope adapter combines a two-channel oscilloscope with a synchronous 8 channel logic analyzer, sampling at 200MSa/s (5ns). Simultaneously-clocked analog...

Night Vision Camera

FLIR Systems (Portland, OR) announced the availability of its Tau CNV, a rugged compact and low-power CMOS HD camera for ultra low-light, video rate imaging applications. Incorporating Fairchild Imaging’s sCMOS technology, Tau CNV delivers a dynamic range of 90 db (30,000:1) and ultra-low read noise resulting in low-light...

Protocol Analyzer

Tektronix (Beaverton, OR) has introduced a new comprehensive protocol test platform that allows engineers to analyze, stimulate, stress and characterize high-speed serial links, with support for speeds up to 10Gb/s. With the new TPI4000 Protocol Analyzer Series, customers can use one instrument to perform multiple test...

Researchers with the UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Sustainable Bioenergy Center (BSBEC) have discovered a family of genes that could help breed...

Ultra-Low Phase Noise Clock Oscillator

Crystek Corporation (Fort Myers, FL) has launched the CCHD-957, a new Ultra- Low Phase Noise HCMOS Clock Oscillator with standby mode, featuring an extremely low close-in phase noise of -100 dBc/Hz @ 10Hz offset and a typical noise floor of -170 dBc/Hz @ 100kHz offset. The CCHD-957 also features a...

Micro Box Computer

MEN Micro Inc. (Ambler, PA) now offers the BC1, a rugged, maintenance-free box computer using AMD’s T52R APU (Accelerated Processing Unit), which integrates the Radeon HD 6310 graphics processor and a 1.5 GHz single-core x86 CPU. The unit comes equipped with two DisplayPorts, each offering a maximum resolution of 2560 x 1600...

Dual-Core Gyroscope

STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland) has introduced the market’s first dual-core gyroscope capable of handling both user-motion recognition and camera image stabilization. ST’s dual-core gyroscope employs separate output paths optimized for the two different functions in a 4x4x1 mm package. Addressing power...

SMT to DIP Adapters

SchmartBoard (San Ramon, CA), a company that makes prototyping electronic circuits easier, has released two new SMT to DIP adapters that use the patented "ez" technology, which makes soldering the surface mount component simple. The two new boards are the first released that support DFN devices. Part number 204-0021-01 gives...

News : Energy
Researchers Design Batteries that Self-Repair

A team of researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory are exploring ways to design batteries that heal themselves when damaged.

The idea is to station tiny microspheres, each smaller than a single red...

Question of the Week
Will there be mass acceptance of the electric and hybrid vehicles before 2025?

Despite uncertainty, automakers are still making a big push for electric vehicles in 2012. Ford, for example, will have five such cars by the end the year, including the 2013 Ford Fusion hybrid and 2013 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in electric, which were both shown at...

News : Energy
Superconducting Current Limiter

A new superconducting current limiter based on YBCO strip conductors has been installed at a power plant. At the Boxberg power plant of the Swedish company Vattenfall, the current limiter protects the grid for own consumption that is designed for 12,000 volts and 800 amperes against damage due to short circuits...

Theorists Quantify Graphene Friction

Graphene, a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon, slows down an object sliding across its surface. New software from the National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST) simulates the tip of an atomic force microscope moving across a stack of graphene sheets. Research using this software indicates that...

News : Energy
Sunflower-Inspired Pattern Increases Concentrated Solar Efficiency

There are only a handful of concentrated solar power (CSP) plants in the world. The technology could potentially generate enough renewable energy to power the entire U.S., provided that land and sunlight are in ample supply. Researchers have now come up with a design that reduces...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Sustainable Remediation Software Tool Evaluation

To advance the acceptance and incorporation of sustainable remediation metrics into the larger body of remedial work, the Center for Sustainable Groundwater and Soil Solutions (CSGSS) within the Savannah River National Laboratory (SNRL) created the Sustainable Remediation Initiative (SRI).

Question of the Week
Do the benefits of hydraulic fracturing outweigh the risks?

According to a seismologist investigating regional earthquakes, a northeast Ohio well used to dispose of wastewater from oil and gas drilling almost certainly caused a series of 11 minor quakes. Some environmentalists are already critical of the drilling method known as hydraulic...

A new geospatial application developed by the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) allows users to map potential renewable energy resources in the United States. The interactive tool is...

News : Energy
Pollution Reducer & Heat Generator

New technology from North Carolina State University and West Virginia University can reduce air pollutant emissions from some chicken and swine barns while also reducing their energy use by recovering and possibly generating heat. A proof-of-concept unit incorporates a biofilter and a heat exchanger to reduce...

Scientists Uncover Tunable Graphene Nanomaterials

Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have usedthe capabilities of the Rensselaer Center for Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI) supercomputer touncover the properties of a promising form of graphene, known as graphenenanowiggles. The graphitic nanoribbons can be segmented into several...

Atomic Weapons Defense Testers Mark Major Milestones

Two remarkable pulsed-power machines used to test the nation’s defenses against atomic weapons have surpassed milestones at Sandia National Laboratories: 4,000 firings, called ‘shots,’ on the Saturn accelerator and 9,000 shots on the HERMES III accelerator.

News : Defense
Lightweight, Solar-Powered Generator

An Office of Naval Research (ONR)-funded solar generator has recently entered full production, with several systems already in the field. The Ground Renewable Expeditionary ENergy System (GREENS) is a portable, 300-watt, hybrid battery generator that uses the sun to produce electric currents.

News : Energy
Black Silicon Solar Cell Products to be Developed

DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has granted Natcore Technology Inc. a patent license agreement to develop new black silicon products. Natcore and NREL also will enter a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to develop commercial prototypes based on NREL’s...

Articles : Software
Experts On Design & PLM Software

In our annual poll of executives in the Design and PLM Software market, we asked our experts about topics ranging from mobile applications and CAD in the cloud, to improving productivity and enhancing the user experience. Here’s more of what they had to say:

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Energy-Based Tetrahedron Sensor for High-Temperature, High-Pressure Environments

An acoustic energy-based probe has been developed that incorporates multiple acoustic sensing elements in order to obtain the acoustic pressure and threedimensional acoustic particle velocity. With these quantities, the user can obtain various energy-based...

Briefs : Medical
Handheld Universal Diagnostic Sensor

The rHEALTH technology is designed to shrink an entire hospital testing laboratory onto a handheld device. A physician or healthcare provider performs the test by collecting a fingerstick of blood from a patient. The tiny volume of blood is inserted into the rHEALTH device (see figure). Inside the device is a...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Fiber Bragg Grating Sensor System for Monitoring Smart Composite Aerospace Structures

Lightweight, electromagnetic interference (EMI) immune, fiber-optic, sensorbased structural health monitoring (SHM) will play an increasing role in aerospace structures ranging from aircraft wings to jet engine vanes. Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) sensors for SHM...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Health-Enabled Smart Sensor Fusion Technology

A process was designed to fuse data from multiple sensors in order to make a more accurate estimation of the environment and overall health in an intelligent rocket test facility (IRTF), to provide reliable, high-confidence measurements for a variety of propulsion test articles.

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Large-Area Vacuum Ultraviolet Sensors

Pt/(n-doped GaN) Schottky-barrier diodes having active areas as large as 1 cm square have been designed and fabricated as prototypes of photodetectors for the vacuum ultraviolet portion (wavelengths ≈200 nm) of the solar spectrum. In addition to having adequate sensitivity to photons in this wavelength...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Extended-Range Passive RFID and Sensor Tags

Extended-range passive radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags and related sensor tags are undergoing development. A tag of this type incorporates a retroreflective antenna array, so that it reflects significantly more signal power back toward an interrogating radio transceiver than does a...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Hybrid Collaborative Learning for Classification and Clustering in Sensor Networks

Traditionally, nodes in a sensor network simply collect data and then pass it on to a centralized node that archives, distributes, and possibly analyzes the data. However, analysis at the individual nodes could enable faster detection of anomalies or other...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Self-Healing, Inflatable, Rigidizable Shelter

Any manned missions to extraterrestrial locations will require shelter structures for a variety of purposes ranging from habitat to biomass production. Such shelters need to be constructed in such a way as to minimize stowed volume and payload weight. The structures must also be very durable and have...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Improvements in Cold-Plate Fabrication

Five improvements are reported in cold-plate fabrication. This cold plate is part of a thermal control system designed to serve on space missions.

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Real-Time Cognitive Computing Architecture for Data Fusion in a Dynamic Environment

A novel cognitive computing architecture is conceptualized for processing multiple channels of multi-modal sensory data streams simultaneously, and fusing the information in real time to generate intelligent reaction sequences. This unique architecture is capable...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Use of CCSDS Packets Over SpaceWire to Control Hardware

For the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Command and Data Handling subsystem consisted of several electronic hardware assemblies that were connected with SpaceWire serial links. Electronic hardware would be commanded/controlled and telemetry data was obtained using the SpaceWire links....

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Programmable Digital Controller

An existing three-channel analog servo loop controller has been redesigned for piezoelectric-transducer-based (PZTbased) etalon control applications to a digital servo loop controller. This change offers several improvements over the previous analog controller, including software control over...

Articles : Software
INDUSTRY UPDATE: Design and PLM Software

Sharing 3D Designs: Compatibility is the “Word”

In last year’s roundtable, one of our executives predicted that one day, sharing 3D designs would be as easy as sharing Microsoft Word documents today. Ease of use has been a thorn in the sides of software vendors for years, but changes to...

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Air Conditioning Cools Lunar Test Vehicles

NASA tests robotics for lunar electric rovers (LERs) and space exploration in remote locations, such as the Arizona desert, that closely simulate the terrain of the Moon or planets. The LER tests are conducted by a team of NASA engineers also known as the Desert RATS (Desert Research and Technology...

Application Briefs : Test & Measurement
Collision-Prediction Capabilities to Improve NAS Integration
Collision avoidance radar
Numerica Corporation
Loveland, COM

The National Airspace System (NAS) is a complex and shared network of people, procedures, equipment, and infrastructure that ensures safe and timely air...

Briefs : Software
Key Decision Record Creation and Approval Module

Retaining good key decision records is critical to ensuring the success of a project or operation. Having adequately documented decisions with supporting documents and rationale can greatly reduce the amount of rework or reinvention over a project’s, vehicle’s, or facility’s lifecycle....

Briefs : Software
Enhanced Graphics for Extended Scale Range

Enhanced Graphics for Extended Scale Range is a computer program for rendering fly-through views of scene models that include visible objects differing in size by large orders of magnitude. An example would be a scene showing a person in a park at night with the moon, stars, and galaxies in the...

Briefs : Software
Debris Examination Using Ballistic and Radar Integrated Software

The Debris Examination Using Ballistic and Radar Integrated Software (DEBRIS) program was developed to provide rapid and accurate analysis of debris observed by the NASA Debris Radar (NDR). This software provides a greatly improved analysis capacity over earlier manual processes,...

Briefs : Software
Data Distribution System (DDS) and Solar Dynamic Observatory Ground Station (SDOGS) Integration Manager

The DDS SDOGS Integration Manager (DSIM) provides translation between native control and status formats for systems within DDS and SDOGS, and the ASIST (Advanced Spacecraft Integration and System Test) control environment in the SDO MOC (Solar...

Briefs : Software
Eclipse-Free-Time Assessment Tool for IRIS

can be used to perform an Eclipse-Free-Time (EFT) assessment of IRIS (Infrared Imaging Surveyor) mission orbits. EFT is defined to be those time intervals longer than one day during which the IRIS spacecraft is not in the Earth’s shadow. Program IRIS_EFT implements a special perturbation of orbital...

Briefs : Software
Automated and Manual Rocket Crater Measurement Software An update has

An update has been performed to software designed to do very rapid automated measurements of craters created in sandy substrates by rocket exhaust on liftoff. The previous software was optimized for pristine lab geometry and lighting conditions. This software has been enhanced...

Briefs : Software
MATLAB Stability and Control Toolbox Trim and Static Stability Module

MATLAB Stability and Control Toolbox (MASCOT) utilizes geometric, aerodynamic, and inertial inputs to calculate air vehicle stability in a variety of critical flight conditions. The code is based on fundamental, non-linear equations of motion and is able to translate results...

Briefs : Software
Patched Conic Trajectory Code

PatCon code was developed to help mission designers run trade studies on launch and arrival times for any given planet. Initially developed in Fortran, the required inputs included launch date, arrival date, and other orbital parameters of the launch planet and arrival planets at the given dates. These parameters...

Briefs : Software
Ring Image Analyzer

Ring Image Analyzer software analyzes images to recognize elliptical patterns. It determines the ellipse parameters (axes ratio, centroid coordinate, tilt angle). The program attempts to recognize elliptical fringes (e.g., Newton Rings) on a photograph and determine their centroid position, the short-to-long-axis ratio, and...

Briefs : Software
SureTrak Probability of Impact Display

The SureTrak Probability of Impact Display software was developed for use during rocket launch operations. The software displays probability of impact information for each ship near the hazardous area during the time immediately preceding the launch of an unguided vehicle.

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Implementation of a Non-Metallic Barrier in an Electric Motor

Electric motors that run in pure oxygen must be sealed, or “canned,” for safety reasons to prevent the oxygen from entering into the electrical portion of the motor. The current canning process involves designing a metallic barrier around the rotor to provide the separation. This...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
MicroProbe Small Unmanned Aerial System

The MicroProbe unmanned aerial system (UAS) concept incorporates twin electric motors mounted on the vehicle wing, thus enabling an aerodynamically and environmentally clean nose area for atmospheric sensors. A payload bay is also incorporated in the fuselage to accommodate remote sensing instruments.

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Heat Exchangers for the Mars Science Laboratory Rover

The addition of the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) to the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover requires an advanced thermal control system that is able to both recover and reject the waste heat from the MMRTG as...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Uniform Dust Distributor for Testing Radiative Emittance of Dust-Coated Surfaces

This apparatus distributes dust (typical of the Martian surface) in a uniform fashion on the surface of multiple samples simultaneously. The primary innovation is that the amount of dust deposited on the multiple surfaces can be controlled by the time that the...

Briefs : Materials
Highly Stable and Active Catalyst for Sabatier Reactions

Highly active Ru/TiO2 catalysts for Sabatier reaction have been developed. The catalysts have shown to be stable under repeated shutting down/startup conditions. When the Ru/TiO2 catalyst is coated on the engineered substrate FeCrAlY felt, activity enhancement is more...

Briefs : Materials
Better Proton-Conducting Polymers for Fuel-Cell Membranes

Polyoxyphenylene triazole sulfonic acid has been proposed as a basis for development of improved proton-conducting polymeric materials for solidelectrolyte membranes in hydrogen/air fuel cells. Heretofore, the proton-conducting membrane materials of choice have been exemplified by a...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
SOFIA Closed- and Open-Door Aerodynamic Analyses

Work to evaluate the aerodynamic characteristics and the cavity acoustic environment of the SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) airplane has been completed. The airplane has been evaluated in its closed-door configuration, as well as several open-door configurations (see...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Ultra-Miniature Lidar Scanner for Launch Range Data Collection

The most critical component in lidar is its laser scanner, which delivers pulsed or CW laser to target with desirable field of view (FOV). Most existing lidars use a rotating or oscillating mirror for scanning, resulting in several drawbacks.

Briefs : Physical Sciences
CCD Camera Lens Interface for Real-Time Theodolite Alignment

Theodolites are a common instrument in the testing, alignment, and building of various systems ranging from a single optical component to an entire instrument. They provide a precise way to measure horizontal and vertical angles. They can be used to align multiple objects in a desired...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Peregrine 100-km Sounding Rocket Project

The Peregrine Sounding Rocket Program is a joint basic research program of NASA Ames Research Center, NASA Wallops, Stanford University, and the Space Propulsion Group, Inc. (SPG). The goal is to determine the applicability of this technology to a small launch system. The approach is to design, build, and...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Sonic Thermometer for High-Altitude Balloons

The sonic thermometer is a specialized application of well-known sonic anemometer technology. Adaptations have been made to the circuit, including the addition of supporting sensors, which enable its use in the high-altitude environment and in non-air gas mixtures.

Briefs : Information Technology
Explanation Capabilities for Behavior-Based Robot Control

A recent study that evaluated issues associated with remote interaction with an autonomous vehicle within the framework of grounding found that missing contextual information led to uncertainty in the interpretation of collected data, and so introduced errors into the command logic of the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Shape and Color Features for Object Recognition Search

A bio-inspired shape feature of an object of interest emulates the integration of the saccadic eye movement and horizontal layer in vertebrate retina for object recognition search where a single object can be used one at a time. The optimal computational model for shape-extraction-based...

Briefs : Information Technology
A DNA-Inspired Encryption Methodology for Secure, Mobile Ad Hoc Networks

Users are pushing for greater physical mobility with their network and Internet access. Mobile ad hoc networks (MANET) can provide an efficient mobile network architecture, but security is a key concern. The figure summarizes differences in the state of network security for...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Corner-Cube Retroreflector Instrument for Advanced Lunar Laser Ranging

A paper describes how, based on a structural-thermal-optical-performance analysis, it has been determined that a single, large, hollow corner cube (170-mm outer diameter) with custom dihedral angles offers a return signal comparable to the Apollo 11 and 14 solid-corner-cube...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Electrospray Collection of Lunar Dust

A report describes ElectroSpray Ionization based Electrostatic Pre cip itation (ESIEP) for collecting lunar dust particles. While some HEPA filtration processes may remove a higher fraction (>99.9 percent) of the particles, the high efficiency may not be appropriate from an overall system standpoint,...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Fabrication of a Kilopixel Array of Superconducting Microcalorimeters With Microstripline Wiring

A document describes the fabrication of a two-dimensional microcalorimeter array that uses microstrip wiring and integrated heat sinking to enable use of high-performance pixel designs at kilo - pixel scales (32×32). Each pixel is the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Spacecraft Attitude Tracking and Maneuver Using Combined Magnetic Actuators

A paper describes attitude-control algorithms using the combination of magnetic actuators with reaction wheel assemblies (RWAs) or other types of actuators such as thrusters. The combination of magnetic actuators with one or two RWAs aligned with different body axis...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Coherent Detector for Near-Angle Scattering and Polarization Characterization of Telescope Mirror Coatings

A report discusses the difficulty of measuring scattering properties of coated mirrors extremely close to the specular reflection peak. A prototype Optical Hetero - dyne Near-angle Scatterometer (OHNS) was developed. Light from a...

Features : Photonics/Optics
Transforming Gaussian Beams into Uniform, Rectangular Intensity Distributions

The majority of laser types in current use produce output beams with circular or elliptical crosssections, with either Gaussian or near- Gaussian intensity profiles. This Gaussian intensity distribution is acceptable, and often beneficial for many applications in which...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Designing Optical Systems With Off-The-Shelf Products

Utilization of COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) products is now almost a bylaw of government and military design projects and is becoming of increasing interest in commercial designs, as well. Optical systems are no exception; the use of stock optics can provide tremendous advantages in terms...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
High-Speed Digital Interferometry

Digitally enhanced heterodyne interferometry (DI) is a laser metrology technique employing pseudo-random noise (PRN) codes phase-modulated onto an optical carrier. Combined with heterodyne interferometry, the PRN code is used to select individual signals, returning the inherent interferometric sensitivity...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Integrated Optics Achromatic Nuller for Stellar Interferometry

This innovation will replace a beam combiner, a phase shifter, and a mode conditioner, thus simplifying the system design and alignment, and saving weight and space in future missions. This nuller is a dielectric-waveguidebased, four-port asymmetric coupler. Its nulling performance...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Near-Infrared Photon-Counting Camera for High-Sensitivity Observations

The dark current of a transferred-electron photocathode with an InGaAs absorber, responsive over the 0.9-to-1.7-μm range, must be reduced to an ultralow level suitable for low signal spectral astrophysical measurements by lowering the temperature of the sensor incorporating...

NASA Tech Needs
Long-Term Data Acquisition, Command, and Control of Spaceflight-Quality Laser Systems

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is a leader in developing satellite-based laser technology for remote sensing measurements of the Earth and other planetary bodies. Laser performance for such missions must be highly efficient and stable over long periods of...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Goniometric Radiometer

The LD8900 Goniometric Radiometer from Ophir Photonics Group (Logan, UT) makes X-Y, holographic, and 3D measurements without moving either the detector or the source. The design allows the farfield profiler to characterize and confirm the divergence of light passing through holographic materials, such as those used for...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Thermal Surveillance Cameras

Vumii (Atlanta, GA) has added four thermal camera lines to its imaging solutions portfolio: CompactSec™, EyeSec™, DualSec™, and RangeSec™. The IP-enabled CompactSec thermal camera is available in three models: 8.5mm lens for 65° field of view; 19mm lens for 28° field of view; and 35mm lens for 15° field of...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Color Sensors

TAOS (Plano, TX) has announced the TCS3x71 and TCS3x72 Series of Digital Color RGB and Proximity Sensors. When coupled with IR LED, the sensors also provide proximity detection within a range of lighting conditions and through a variety of attenuating materials. The TCS3x72 Series is the industry’s first color sensor with an IR...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Laser Diode Module

Power Technology (Little Rock, AR) offers a violet laser diode module with 250mW of output power at 405nm. The module meets OEM analytical and general scientific laser application needs, including laser-induced fluorescence, microscopy, spectroscopy, lithography, data storage, flow cytometry, cancer detection, remote optical...

Products : Photonics/Optics
CW and Pulsed Laser Diode Driver

Analog Modules (Longwood, FL) has released its CW and pulsed laser diode driver, Model 784. The 50A, 2.5V driver requires +5VDC input power. Pulsewidths vary from 600ns to CW, with power capabilities up to 125W with adequate cooling. The 784 is manufactured as a RoHS-compliant assembly, but military versions are...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Industrial Sensors

The FB series M18 plastic DC photoelectric sensors from AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) are diffuse, polarized reflective and through-beam models. The 18mm devices have sensing distances ranging from 70mm to eight meters. All models feature M12 quick-disconnects and are available in NPN and PNP output logic configurations.

Products : Photonics/Optics

The Polymer System EP37-3FLF from Master Bond (Hackensack, NJ) resists cryogenic temperatures and thermal cycling. The two-component epoxy, which features a low exotherm, functions as a potting, encapsulating, and casting system, especially where wider cross section thicknesses are specified. Serviceable over the range of 4K to 250°F,...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Forensic Analytical Microscope

The CRAIC Elixir™ microscope from CRAIC Technologies (San Dimas, CA) offers multiple forensic analytical techniques. Forensic scientists can use the tool to conduct microspectroscopy, high-resolution imaging, Raman microspectroscopy, and glass refractometry. The microscope offers accurate and rapid analysis of...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Vacuum UV Imaging Spectrometer

Vacuum spectrometers from McPherson (Chelmsford, MA) have a 670mm focal length. The spectrometers feature stainless steel housings and components for ultra-high-vacuum applications. The instruments readily achieve 10E-6 torr vacuum during operation with elastomer (Viton™ or Buna-N) seals. The McPherson models...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Source Measurement Unit

Keithley Instruments (Cleveland, OH) has announced the Model 2401 SourceMeter® instrument, which is optimized for high-precision test applications such as current vs. voltage (I-V) characterization of photovoltaic (solar) cells, high brightness LEDs (HBLEDs), low voltage materials, and semiconductor devices, as well as...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Submillimeter Achromats and Doublets

Bern Optics (Westfield, MA) has released submillimeter achromatic lenses as small as 0.20mm in diameter. The achromatic doublet, a compound lens consisting of two elements cemented together, can be custom engineered, ground, and polished to micron tolerances. In addition to careful control of the grinding and...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Multispectral Imaging Camera

The SpectroCam™ Multispectral Imaging (MSI) Camera from Ocean Thin Films (OTF) (Largo, FL) combines a scientific-grade CCD array with a precision rotating optical filter wheel. With a single-point spectrometer, users can analyze spectral differences from sample to sample and then, by selecting discrete filters in...

Products : Photonics/Optics
HD Zoom Lens

Resolve Optics Ltd (Chesham, UK) offers the adaptable Z10-HDCF compact f/1.8 highdefinition zoom lens. The motorized 10x HD zoom lens is 87.5mm long and 45mm square. The Z10-HDCF, which is lighter than 500g, is also able to focus upon objects up to 450mm from the lens. A camera mount incorporates topside and back focus adjustment. A...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Laser Diode Driver

The laser diode drivers iC-NZN and iC-NZP from iCHaus Corp. (Bodenheim, Germany) operate laser diodes in both CW and spike-free pulse mode, with up to 155 MHz. The devices allow either the optical output power (APC) or laser diode current (ACC) to be controlled. Blue laser diodes can also be operated with iC-NZN. The maximum...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Single-Photon Counter

AUREA Technology (Besancon, France) has introduced the SPD_B, a single-photon counting module used for short near infrared wavelengths [1,000 to 1,350 nm]. The SPD_B is an ultra-low-noise, highquantum- efficiency, and low-timing-jitter near-infrared single photon counter. The SPD_B includes a Geiger-mode InGaAs avalanche...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Hybrid Sensor

OSRAM Opto Semiconductors (Sunnyvale, CA) has released a “3 in 1” SFH 7773 digital sensor that combines an IR LED emitter and detector chips together, eliminating the need to install a separate IR emitter to enable the proximity sensor function. Apertures are integrated into the package to reduce crosstalk. The SFH 7773 detects...

Techs for License
Mirror Switches Between Reflective and Transparent States

A flexible mirror film electrically switches between reflective and transparent states. By applying (+) voltages, hydrogenation occurs and creates transparency. When (-) voltages are used, the switchable mirror returns to its original reflective state within 10 seconds. The technology...

Techs for License
Hovering Aerial Vehicles Use Wireless Energy Supplied from Ground

New electrically charged, polarized, proprietary alloys create thrust to lift small aircraft, commonly referred to as Personal Ultralight Vehicles (PAVs), without the need of a propeller, jet, balloon, or rockets. The ion electric air propulsion is considered a clean technology...

NASA Tech Needs
Manufacturing Methods to Deposit Inorganic Material Layers on Metal Substrates

A company seeks alternative ways of preparing crucibles for the vapor deposition process. Currently, up to a kilogram of an alkalihalide salt is melted electrically in a tantalum crucible within a vacuum chamber, and the vapor is deposited on a metal substrate. The...

NASA Tech Needs
At-Home Medical Diagnostic and Monitoring Technologies

New home-use and point-of-care diagnostic medical technologies are needed. The diagnostics kits should monitor diseases not easily measured. Testing may be done within the device, or the device may be a tethered testing head that reports to a central diagnostics facility. The product can be...

Products : Photonics/Optics
2011 Products of the Year

For each of the eight issues of PTB, the editors chose a Product of the Month. That product exhibits exceptional technical merit and practical value for our readers. At the end of the year those eight products were...

Who's Who
Sam Ortega, Program Manager, NASA Centennial Challenges, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Sam Ortega, manager of the NASA Centennial Challenges Program, leads progressive aerospace initiatives, encouraging the participation of independent teams, individual inventors, student groups, and private companies. Most recently, the...

Sam Ortega, Program Manager, NASA Centennial Challenges, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Sam Ortega, manager of the NASA Centennial Challenges Program, leads progressive aerospace initiatives, encouraging the participation of independent teams, individual inventors, student groups, and private companies. Most recently, the...

News : Lighting
Zinc Oxide Microwires Improve LED Performance Through Piezo-Phototronic Effect

Zinc oxide microwires were used by Georgia Tech researchers to improve the efficiency at which gallium nitride light-emitting diodes (LEDs) convert electricity to ultraviolet light. By applying mechanical strain to the microwires, the researchers created a...

News : Lighting
High-Efficiency OLEDs on Plastic

Researchers in the University of Toronto's Department of Materials Science & Engineering have developed what they say are the world’s most efficient organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) on plastic. This result enables a flexible form factor as well as a less expensive alternative to traditional OLED...

Articles : Lighting
Coordinated Circuit Protection for LED Lighting

As lighting technologies transition from power-hungry incandescents to coldcathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs), and now to light-emitting diodes (LEDs), it is clear that while end-users are willing to pay more for greener light there is an inherent expectation that longer life and improved...

Articles : Lighting Technology
The Cold Hard Facts

Highly regarded for their maintenance-free, energy-efficient operation, and environmental friendliness in a wide range of industrial applications, light-emitting diode (LED) lighting solutions are quickly becoming a sought-after alternative to high-intensity discharge (HID) and fluorescent lighting in cold storage...

Briefs : Lighting
Quantum Dot Light Enhancement Substrate

Acost-competitive solution for increasing the light extraction efficiency of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) with efficient and stable color rendering index (CRI) for solid-state lighting (SSL) was developed and demonstrated. Solution processable quantum dot (QD) films were integrated into OLED...

Briefs : Lighting
Dark Red Luminescent Material for LEDs

The use of a material development method known as high-throughput experimentation (HTE), which allows for the screening of large composition areas of complex material systems, has led to the discovery of a dark red luminescent material for light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The new luminescent material can be...

Application Briefs : Lighting
Reducing Energy Costs at a California Waste Facility

Waste Connections, Inc. is an integrated solid waste services company that provides solid waste collection, transfer, disposal, and recycling services in mostly exclusive and secondary markets. They serve over two million residential, commercial, and industrial customers from a network of...

Techs for License : Lighting
Multi-Color Quantum Well-Based LEDs

A process to enhance the electron-hole wave functions overlap – resulting in high-efficiency quantum well light-emitting diodes (LEDs) emitting in the green and yellow wavelengths – has been developed. This proposed technique changes the polarity of the structure and diminishes the piezoelectric effect. It...

Techs for License : Lighting
Transparent, Solar-Powered Lighting Module With Integrated Energy Storage

This invention integrates an organic light-emitting diode (OLED), a power-generation device (photovoltaic or PV cell), and an energy-storage device (lithium-ion battery or LIB) to power a grid-free lighting module. PV/LIB/LED voltage and capacity matching ensure maximal...

Products : Lighting
Polycarbonate Diffuser Sheet

The Makrolon® Lumen XT diffuser sheet from Sheffield Plastics (Sheffield, MA), a Bayer MaterialScience LLC Business, was developed specifically as a diffusion lens for LED lighting. It offers three distinct light diffusion levels that can be matched with other design elements to help achieve the desired lighting...

Products : Lighting Technology
Surface-Mountable LED Component

The Micro SM4 from Bridgelux (Livermore, CA) reduces component count, cost, complexity, and size of lighting systems — enabling a high performance LED solution for diffuse and directional lighting, such as 20-40 W incandescent, 20-35 W halogen, B10-style (candelabra), and low-wattage compact fluorescent lamp...

Products : Lighting Technology
LED Downlight Holder

IDEAL Industries, Inc. (Sycamore, IL) has introduced the LED-LOK™ downlight holder that mates with all puck-style LED light engines and is designed for OEMS with features that enable luminaire design freedom. Plated electrical contacts provide reliable hot mating and a thermoplastic hous ing handles environmental extremes...

Products : Lighting Technology
LED Panel-Mount Assembly

New weather-resistant panel-mount assemblies from Bivar (Irving, CA) offer a variety of options to accommodate a range of challenging environments. They are available in steel, brass, and anodized aluminum packages; are extraordinarily bright; have a wide viewing angle; and can accommodate a variety of input voltages....

Products : Lighting
LED Flat Panel Downlight Assembly

Global Lighting Technologies (GLT) Inc. (Brecksville, OH) offers a 2 × 2 ft.2 LED flat panel downlight assembly as an efficient replacement for fluorescent lay-in troffers used in recessed ceiling lights. The OL2 ceiling light employs GLT’s edge lighting technology, with 100 LEDs spaced along two...

Products : Lighting Technology
High-Brightness Oval Through-Hole LED

Avago Technologies (San Jose, CA) has introduced the HLMP-Lx75, HLMP-Hx74/75, and HLMP-Ax74/75 series of high-brightness oval throughhole LEDs for electronic signage applications. The LEDs’ matched RGB radiation pattern is designed to maintain consistent light and uniform color mixing from all viewing...

Articles : Aerospace
Speech Recognition Interfaces Improve Flight Safety

NASA Technology

“Alpha, Golf, November, Echo, Zulu.” “Sierra, Alpha, Golf, Echo, Sierra.” “Lima, Hotel, Yankee.”

It looks like some strange word game, but the combinations of words above actually communicate the first three points of a flight plan from Albany, New...


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Heavy-Duty Engine Design for a Transitioning Market

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Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

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