January 2013

News
Corps of Engineers Completes Army's Largest Solar Array Installation

The largest solar power system in the U.S. Army is coming online at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The Energy Savings Performance Contract, or ESPC, project, awarded and managed by the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, provides the sprawling desert base...

News
Squirrels and Birds Help Researchers Create Deceptive Robots

Using deceptive behavioral patterns of squirrels and birds, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed robots that are able to deceive each other. The research is funded by the Office of Naval Research and is led by Professor Ronald Arkin, who suggests the...

News
Lab Testing Seeks To Improve Tactical Vehicle Gunner Protection

The best way to evaluate the effectiveness of a product is to put it in the hands of the user, obtain feedback, and make adjustments accordingly. With a newly developed Virtual Environment Test Bed, or VETB, scientists and engineers at the Target Behavioral Research Laboratory at...

News : Energy
Funding Opportunity: Develop Advanced Biomass Supply Chain Technologies

The Department of Energy has announced about $6 million in funding for projects that will develop and demonstrate supply chain technologies to deliver commercial-scale lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks to biorefineries across the country.

News
Remodeled 'Chamber A' Tests Webb Telescope

NASA's "Chamber A" thermal vacuum testing chamber has now been upgraded and remodeled to accommodate the testing of the James Webb Space Telescope.

Chamber A, the largest high-vacuum, cryogenic-optical test chamber in the world, was made famous for testing the space capsules for NASA's Apollo...

News
Researchers Develop CT-Scan Test Rig for Ceramic Composites

Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed the first testing facility that enables CT-scanning of ceramic composites under controlled loads, at ultrahigh temperatures and in real-time.

The scientists...

News
Researchers Create Self-Healing, Stretchable Wires Using Liquid Metal

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed elastic, self-healing wires in which both the liquid-metal core and the polymer sheath reconnect at the molecular level after being severed. The team first created tiny tunnels, called microfluidic channels, in a...

Question of the Week
Do the Benefits of Automation Outweigh the Drawbacks?

The Automate 2013 trade show kicked off last week in Chicago, and some have used the occasion to debate the benefits of automation, as robotic technology is increasingly being used in new industries like food processing and consumer electronics. Many express concern that a growing reliance...

News
NTB Readers Select 2012 Products of the Year

In December, we asked NASA Tech Briefs readers to select the one product from our 12 Products of the Month that they thought was the most significant new introduction to the design engineering community in 2012. Thanks to all of our readers who voted, and here are your winners for the 2012 NASA Tech...

News
Aerial Platform Supports Development of Lightweight Sensors for UAVs

A research team at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is developing an airborne testing capability for sensors, communications devices and other airborne payloads. This aerial test bed, called the GTRI Airborne Unmanned Sensor System (GAUSS), is based on an unmanned...

News
NASA Research Planes Will Help Improve Air Quality Knowledge

Residents in California's San Joaquin Valley will see some unusual air traffic over their region that is designed to some day help improve the air all of us breathe. Two NASA research planes will fly between Bakersfield and Fresno - one as close as 1,000 feet to the ground – to...

News
Strong, Light, Glass Nanofibers Could Impact Aviation Industry

The University of Southampton (UK) is pioneering research into developing the strongest silica nanofibers in the world. Globally, the quest has been on to find ultra-high-strength composites, leading scientists to investigate light, ultra-high-strength nanowires that are not...

News
Spray-Coated Image Sensors Increase Light Sensitivity

Researchers from Technische Universität München (TUM) have developed a new generation of image sensors that are more sensitive to light than the conventional silicon versions.

They consist of electrically conductive plastics, which are sprayed on to the sensor surface in an ultra-thin...

News
Sensor System Uses Metamaterial 'Lens' to Image Scenes

Duke University engineers have developed a novel sensor for airport security scanners and collision avoidance systems. The researchers fabricated a unique metamaterial that acts as a “lens” to image scenes using fewer components than conventional detectors. Because of the properties of...

News
Nanoscale Coating Repels Liquids

A nanoscale coating repels the broadest range of liquids of any material in its class, causing them to bounce off the treated surface, according to the University of Michigan engineering researchers who developed it. In addition to stain-resistant clothes, the coating could lead to breathable garments to protect...

Question of the Week
Would You Wear a Pair of "Smart Glasses?"

At this year's Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas, Vuzix Smart Glasses won top honors in the Wireless Handset Accessories category. The technology, worn like ordinary glasses, features a built-in electronic display, allowing users to check email, watch movies, record video in real time, and load...

News
Snail Teeth Improve Solar Cells

An assistant professor at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering is using the teeth of a marine snail found off the coast of California to create less costly and more efficient nanoscale materials to improve solar cells and lithium-ion batteries.

David Kisailus, an assistant...

News
Polymer Film Harvests Energy from Water Vapor

MIT engineers have created a new polymer film that can generate electricity by drawing on a ubiquitous source: water vapor. The new material changes its shape after absorbing tiny amounts of evaporated water, allowing it to repeatedly curl up and down. Harnessing this continuous motion could drive...

News
NASA Investigates ‘Trailblazing’ Material for New Sensors

Tiny sensors – made of a potentially trailblazing material just one atom thick and heralded as the “next best thing” since the invention of silicon – are now being developed to detect trace elements in Earth’s upper atmosphere and structural flaws in spacecraft.

Products : Electronics & Computers
TVS Diode Arrays

Littelfuse, Inc. (Chicago, IL) has expanded its SP1005 and SP1007 Series General Purpose TVS Diode Arrays (SPA® Devices) with two new 0402 size devices designed to offer modern integrated circuits (ICs) better protection from electrostatic discharge (ESD). The low dynamic resistances of the SP1005-01ETG and SP1007-01ETG allow...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Signal Generator

Anritsu Company (Richardson, TX) introduces the MG3740A analog signal generator that outputs AM/FM/ΦM test signals for evaluation of narrowband analog radio equipment used in public safety networks and private commercial networks. Excellent -140 dBc/Hz SSB phase noise optimizes the test signals outputted from the MG3740A,...

Products : Electronics & Computers
AC-DC Power Supplies

CUI Inc (Tualatin, OR) has announced the release of five new series of encapsulated AC-DC power supplies ranging from 5 W to 25 W. The VSK-T family is housed in a potted and encapsulated chassis mount package. The units are compact, measuring as small as 76mm x 31.5mm x 24mm (2.99 x 1.24 x 0.94 in) in the 5 W series. The...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Ultra-Low Power Converter

Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (Dallas, TX) has introduced the industry’s lowest power DC/DC step-down converter, which increases the amount of harvested energy an end application can use by as much as 70 percent over alternative devices. TI’s TPS62736 DC/DC converter delivers high power conversion efficiency...

News
Tiny Compound Semiconductor Transistor Could Challenge Silicon’s Dominance

The silicon semiconductor’s days as the king of microchips for computers and smart devices could be numbered, thanks to the development of the smallest transistor ever to be built from a rival material, indium gallium arsenide. The compound transistor, built by a team...

News
NASA Robots Simulate Refueling in Space

During five days of operations, controllers from NASA and the Canadian Space Agency will use the space station's remotely operated Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, or Dextre, robot to simulate robotic refueling in space. The team also will demonstrate tools, technologies and techniques that could one...

News
Marine Robots 'Listen' for Endangered Whales

Two robots equipped with instruments designed to “listen” for the calls of baleen whales detected nine endangered North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of Maine last month. The robots reported the detections to shore-based researchers within hours of hearing the whales (i.e., in real time),...

News
Researchers Use New Approach for Simulating Supernovas

Two University of Texas at Arlington researchers want to bridge the gap between what is known about exploding stars and the remnants left behind thousands of years later. So they’re trying something new – using SNSPH, a complex computer code developed at Los Alamos National...

News
Analysis Helps Assess Future Sea Level Rise from Ice Sheets

Future sea level rise due to the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets could be substantially larger than estimated, according to new research from the University of Bristol. The study is the first of its kind on ice sheet melting to use structured expert elicitation (EE)...

Question of the Week
Should NASA Consider Capturing a Small Asteroid or Comet for Mining Purposes?

This week's Question comes from INSIDER reader Ed Xavier Gonzalez: Should NASA Consider Capturing a Small Asteroid or Comet for Mining Purposes?

News
Engineer Looks to Nature for More Efficient Flight

Ever since the Wright brothers, engineers have been working to develop bigger and better flying machines that maximize lift while minimizing drag. There has always been a need to efficiently carry more people and more cargo. And so the science and engineering of getting large aircraft off the...

News
Space Launch System Provides Engine “Brains” With an Upgrade

America's next heavy-lift rocket needs a strong and reliable engine to launch humans beyond low Earth orbit. That's why engineers with NASA's Space Launch System program, managed at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL, will use the proven RS-25, the space shuttle's...

News
Wrench Uses Laser Light to Push and Pull Particles

Harnessing laser light’s ability to gently push and pull microscopic particles, researchers have created the fiber-optic equivalent of the world’s smallest wrench. This virtual tool can precisely twist and turn the tiniest of particles, from living cells and DNA, to microscopic motors and...

News
Researchers Study Permafrost Soil, Above and Below Ground

A new way to study permafrost soil will lead to a better understanding of the Arctic ecosystem’s impact on the planet's climate. The new approach combines several remote-sensing tools to study the Arctic landscape—above and below ground—in high resolution and over large spatial...

News
Simulated Mars Mission Reveals Astronauts' Needs

A team of researchers has analyzed data on the impact of prolonged operational confinement on sleep, performance, and mood in astronauts from a groundbreaking international effort to simulate a 520-day space mission to Mars. The findings revealed alterations of life-sustaining sleep patterns and...

News
Researchers Build Acrobatic Rovers to Explore Moons and Asteroids

Stanford researchers, in collaboration with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have designed a robotic platform that could take space exploration to new heights. The mission proposed for the platform involves a mother spacecraft...

Question of the Week
Will We Discover "Earth's Twin" This Year?

NASA's Kepler Space Telescope has found more than 2,300 potential planets since its March 2009 launch. Although astronomers have found a number of exoplanets that share one or two key traits with our planet, including size or inferred surface temperature, a true "alien Earth" has yet to be...

News
Army Engineers Design Roadway Threat Detection System

Explosives along roadways remain an unrelenting hazard for deployed soldiers, so U.S. Army engineers have developed a system for detecting possible threats by identifying potential threat locations on unimproved roads. The Shadow Class Infrared Spectral Sensor-Ground, known as SCISSOR-G,...

News
Army Deploys Service-Wide Intelligence System

The Army has been given the green light to fully deploy a combat-proven intelligence system, called the Distributed Common Ground System – Army (DCGS-A), to globally network forces with mission-critical information. The system was approved for full deployment by the Defense acquisition executive...

News
Army Deploys Service-Wide Intelligence System

The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator recently completed its first at-sea test phase aboard the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). The first aircraft of its kind aboard a Naval vessel, the X-47B was put through myriad trials designed to assess the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Single-Photon-Sensitive HgCdTe Avalanche Photodiode Detector

The purpose of this program was to develop single-photon-sensitive shortwavelength infrared (SWIR) and midwavelength infrared (MWIR) avalanche photodiode (APD) receivers based on linear-mode HgCdTe APDs, for application by NASA in light detection and ranging (lidar) sensors....

Briefs : Software
Artificial Intelligence Software for Assessing Postural Stability

A software package reads and analyzes pressure distributions from sensors mounted under a person’s feet. Pressure data from sensors mounted in shoes, or in a platform, can be used to provide a description of postural stability (assessing competence to deficiency) and enables the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Using Silica Whispering- Gallery Mode Resonators

The motivation of this work was to have robust spectroscopic sensors for sensitive detection and chemical analysis of organic and molecular compounds. The solution is to use silica sphere optical resonators to provide surface-enhanced spectroscopic signal.

Briefs : Information Technology
3D Hail Size Distribution Interpolation/Extrapolation Algorithm

Radar data can usually detect hail; however, it is difficult for present day radar to accurately discriminate between hail and rain. Local ground-based hail sensors are much better at detecting hail against a rain background, and when incorporated with radar data, provide a much...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Color-Changing Sensors for Detecting the Presence of Hypergolic Fuels

Hypergolic fuel sensors were designed to incorporate novel chemo chromic pigments into substrates for use in various methods of leak detection. There are several embodiments to this invention that would provide specific visual indication of hypergols used during and after...

Briefs : Materials
Using Pre-Melted Phase Change Material to Keep Payloads in Space Warm for Hours Without Power

Adding phase change material (PCM) to a mission payload can maintain its temperature above the cold survival limit, without power, for several hours in space. For the International Space Station, PCM is melted by heaters just prior to the payload...

Briefs : Materials
Fibrillar Adhesive for Climbing Robots

A climbing robot needs to use its adhesive patches over and over again as it scales a slope. Replacing the adhesive at each step is generally impractical. If the adhesive or attachment mechanism cannot be used repeatedly, then the robot must carry an extra load of this adhesive to apply a fresh layer with...

Briefs : Materials
Transformers: Shape-Changing Space Systems Built With Robotic Textiles

Prior approaches to transformer-like robots had only very limited success. They suffer from lack of reliability, ability to integrate large surfaces, and very modest change in overall shape. Robots can now be built from two-dimensional (2D) layers of robotic fabric. This...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Microwave Sinterator Freeform Additive Construction System (MS-FACS)

The harmful properties of lunar dust, such as small size, glass composition, abnormal surface area, and coatings of imbedded nanophase iron, lead to a unique coupling of the dust with microwave radiation. This coupling can be exploited for rapid sintering of lunar soil for use...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Development of a Centrifugal Technique for the Microbial Bioburden Analysis of Freon (CFC-11)

NASA Procedural Requirement 8020.12C entitled “Planetary Protection Provisions for Robotic Extraterrestrial Missions” states that the source-specific encapsulated microbial density for encapsulated organisms (div(0)) in nonmetallic materials ranges...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
DSP/FPGA Design for a High-Speed Programmable S-Band Space Transceiver

Traditional command uplink receivers are very limited in performance capability, take a long time to acquire, cannot operate on both uplink bands (NASA & AFSCN), and only support low-rate communications. As a result, transceivers end up on many programs’ critical paths,...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Memory Circuit Fault Simulator

Spacecraft are known to experience significant memory part-related failures and problems, both pre- and post-launch. These memory parts include both static and dynamic memories (SRAM and DRAM). These failures manifest themselves in a variety of ways, such as pattern-sensitive failures, timing- sensitive failures,...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
On-Chip Power-Combining for High-Power Schottky Diode- Based Frequency Multipliers

A 1.6-THz power-combined Schottky frequency tripler was designed to handle approximately 30 mW input power. The design of Schottky-based triplers at this frequency range is mainly constrained by the shrinkage of the waveguide dimensions with frequency and the...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Ultra-Compact Transputer-Based Controller for High-Level, Multi-Axis Coordination

The design of machines that rely on arrays of servomotors such as robotic arms, orbital platforms, and combinations of both, imposes a heavy computational burden to coordinate their actions to perform coherent tasks. For example, the robotic equivalent of a person...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Magnetically Actuated Seal

This invention is a magnetically actuated seal in which either a single electromagnet, or multiple electromagnets, are used to control the seal’s position. This system can either be an open/close type of system or an actively controlled system.

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot Excavator

The Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot (RASSOR) excavator robot is a teleoperated mobility platform with a space regolith excavation capability. This more compact, lightweight design (

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Hybrid Electrostatic/ Flextensional Mir ror for Lightweight, Large-Aperture, and Cr yogenic Space Telescopes

A lightweight, cryogenically capable, scalable, deformable mirror has been developed for space telescopes. This innovation makes use of polymer-based membrane mirror technology to enable large-aperture mirrors that can be easily launched...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Wind-Driven Wireless Networked System of Mobile Sensors for Mars Exploration

A revolutionary way is proposed of studying the surface of Mars using a wind-driven network of mobile sensors: GOWON. GOWON would be a scalable, self-powered and autonomous distributed system that could allow in situ mapping of a wide range of environmental phenomena in...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Analysis of the Effects of Streamwise Lift Distribution on Sonic Boom Signature

Investigation of sonic boom has been one of the major areas of study in aeronautics due to the benefits a low-boom aircraft has in both civilian and military applications. Current Federal Aviation Administration regulations prohibit supersonic flight over land due to...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
In Situ Solid Particle Generator

Particle seeding is a key diagnostic component of filter testing and flow imaging techniques. Typical particle generators rely on pressurized air or gas sources to propel the particles into the flow field. Other techniques involve liquid droplet atomizers. These conventional techniques have drawbacks that include...

Briefs : Information Technology
System for Contributing and Discovering Derived Mission and Science Data

A system was developed to provide a new mechanism for members of the mission community to create and contribute new science data to the rest of the community. Mission tools have allowed members of the mission community to share first order data (data that is created by the...

Briefs : Software
Remote Viewer for Maritime Robotics Software

This software is a viewer program for maritime robotics software that provides a 3D visualization of the boat pose, its position history, ENC (Electrical Nautical Chart) information, camera images, map overlay, and detected tracks.

Briefs : Information Technology
Stackfile Database

This software provides storage retrieval and analysis functionality for managing satellite altimetry data. It improves the efficiency and analysis capabilities of existing database software with improved flexibility and documentation. It offers flexibility in the type of data that can be stored. There is efficient retrieval...

Briefs : Software
Reachability Maps for In Situ Operations

This work covers two programs that accomplish the same goal: creation of a “reachability map” from stereo imagery that tells where operators of a robotic arm can reach or touch the surface, and with which instruments. The programs are “marsreach” (for MER) and “phxreach.” These programs make...

Briefs : Software
JPL Space Telecommunications Radio System Operating Environment

A flight-qualified implementation of a Software Defined Radio (SDR) Operating Environment for the JPL-SDR built for the CoNNeCT Project has been developed. It is compliant with the NASA Space Telecommunications Radio System (STRS) Architecture Standard, and provides the software...

Briefs : Software
RFI-SIM: RFI Simulation Package

RFI-SIM simulates the RFI environment to estimate the interference from terrestrial emitters into spacecraft, or vice versa. A high-fidelity simulation of the RFI environment has been developed by employing all antenna-related and radar systemrelated parameters of multiple emitters, as well as that of the desired...

Briefs : Software
ION Configuration Editor

The configuration of ION (Interplanetary Overlay Network) network nodes is a manual task that is complex, time-consuming, and error-prone. This program seeks to accelerate this job and produce reliable configurations.

Briefs : Information Technology
Dtest Testing Software

This software runs a suite of arbitrary software tests spanning various software languages and types of tests (unit level, system level, or file comparison tests). The dtest utility can be set to automate periodic testing of large suites of software, as well as running individual tests. It supports distributing multiple...

Briefs : Software
IMPaCT — Integration of Missions, Programs, and Core Technologies

IMPaCT enables comprehensive information on current NASA missions, prospective future missions, and the technologies that NASA is investing in, or considering investing in, to be accessed from a common Web-based interface. It allows dependencies to be established between...

Briefs : Information Technology
Integrated Systems Health Management (ISHM) Toolkit

A framework of software components has been implemented to facilitate the development of ISHM systems according to a methodology based on Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM). This framework is collectively referred to as the Toolkit and was developed using General Atomics’ Health MAP™...

Briefs : Information Technology
Ionospheric Simulation System for Satellite Observations and Global Assimilative Model Experiments — ISOGAME

Modeling and imaging the Earth’s ionosphere as well as understanding its structures, inhomogeneities, and disturbances is a key part of NASA’s Heliophysics Directorate science roadmap. This invention provides a design tool for...

Briefs : Information Technology
Estimating Torque Imparted on Spacecraft Using Telemetry

There have been a number of missions with spacecraft flying by planetary moons with atmospheres; there will be future missions with similar flybys. When a spacecraft such as Cassini flies by a moon with an atmosphere, the spacecraft will experience an atmospheric torque. This torque could...

Briefs : Information Technology
flexplan: Mission Planning System for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

flexplan is a mission planning and scheduling (MPS) tool that uses soft algorithms to define mission scheduling rules and constraints. This allows the operator to configure the tool for any mission without the need to modify or re-compile code. In addition, flexplan uses an...

Briefs : Information Technology
Airborne Tomographic Swath Ice Sounding Processing System

Glaciers and ice sheets modulate global sea level by storing water deposited as snow on the surface, and discharging water back into the ocean through melting. Their physical state can be characterized in terms of their mass balance and dynamics. To estimate the current ice mass balance,...

Briefs : Information Technology
PowderSim: Lagrangian Discrete and Mesh-Free Continuum Simulation Code for Cohesive Soils

PowderSim is a calculation tool that combines a discrete-element method (DEM) module, including calibrated interparticle- interaction relationships, with a mesh-free, continuum, SPH (smoothed-particle hydrodynamics) based module that utilizes enhanced,...

Briefs : Information Technology
Basic Operational Robotics Instructional System

The Basic Operational Robotics Instructional System (BORIS) is a sixdegree- of-freedom rotational robotic manipulator system simulation used for training of fundamental robotics concepts, with in-line shoulder, offset elbow, and offset wrist. BORIS is used to provide generic robotics training to...

Briefs : Information Technology
Multiple-Frame Detection of Subpixel Targets in Thermal Image Sequences

The new technology in this approach combines the subpixel detection information from multiple frames of a sequence to achieve a more sensitive detection result, using only the information found in the images themselves. It is taken as a constraint that the method is...

Briefs : Information Technology
Metric Learning to Enhance Hyperspectral Image Segmentation

Unsupervised hyperspectral image segmentation can reveal spatial trends that show the physical structure of the scene to an analyst. They highlight borders and reveal areas of homogeneity and change. Segmentations are independently helpful for object recognition, and assist with...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Sheet Membrane Spacesuit Water Membrane Evaporator

A document describes a sheet membrane spacesuit water membrane evaporator (SWME), which allows for the use of one common water tank that can supply cooling water to the astronaut and to the evaporator. Test data showed that heat rejection performance dropped only 6 percent after being subjected...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Motor Qualification for Long-Duration Mars Missions

Qualification of motors for deep space under extreme thermal environments to be encountered during the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission is required to verify the reliability and validate mission assurance requirements. The motor assembly must survive all ground operations, plus the nominal...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Advanced Materials and Manufacturing for Low- Cost, High-Performance Liquid Rocket Combustion Chambers

A document describes the low-cost manufacturing of C103 niobium alloy combustion chambers, and the use of a high-temperature, oxidation-resistant coating that is superior to the standard silicide coating. The manufacturing process involved...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Ultra-Compact, Superconducting Spectrometer-on-a-Chip at Submillimeter Wavelengths

Small size, wide spectral bandwidth, and highly multiplexed detector readout are required to develop powerful multi-beam spectrometers for high-redshift observations. Currently available spectrometers at these frequencies are large and bulky. The grating sizes for...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Rad-Tolerant, Thermally Stable, High-Speed Fiber-Optic Network for Harsh Environments

Future NASA destinations will be challenging to get to, have extreme environmental conditions, and may present difficulty in retrieving a spacecraft or its data. Space Photonics is developing a radiationtolerant (rad-tolerant), high-speed, multichannel...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
UV Resonant Raman Spectrometer With Multi-Line Laser Excitation

A Raman spectrometer employs two or more UV (ultraviolet) laser wavelengths to generate UV resonant Raman (UVRR) spectra in organic samples. Resonant Raman scattering results when the laser excitation is near an electronic transition of a molecule, and the enhancement of Raman...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Towed Subsurface Optical Communications Buoy

The innovation allows critical, high-bandwidth submarine communications at speed and depth. This reported innovation is a subsurface optical communications buoy, with active neutral buoyancy and streamlined flow surface veins for depth control. This novel subsurface positioning for the towed...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
High-Collection-Efficiency Fluorescence Detection Cell

A new fluorescence cell has been developed for the laser induced fluorescence (LIF) detection of formaldehyde. The cell is used to sample a flow of air that contains trace concentrations of formaldehyde. The cell provides a hermetically sealed volume in which a flow of air containing...

Features : Photonics/Optics
Trends In Fused Components For Fiber Lasers

High-power fiber lasers have been increasingly used for material processing, metal cutting, and welding applications due to high wall-plug efficiency, compactness, and superb long term reliability[ 1, 2]. Fused fiber components enable reliable, efficient, high-power fiber laser systems...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Photonics Design Automation

Fuelled by an increasing demand for bandwidth combined with a continued drive towards cost and size reduction, larger scale photonics integrated circuits are now clearly breaking through. For example, fiber optics networks are rapidly embracing 40Gbps and 100Gbps data rates, where the transmitters and receivers often...

Products : Photonics/Optics
3D Imaging Sensor

FSI Technologies (Lombard, IL) has added a new 3D imaging sensor to its machine vision product line. The GS Family of 3D imaging sensors provides support to a whole new range of robot control and inspection applications. The GS 3D sensors, when used in conjunction with the PowerEye machine vision system, can be used in...

Products : Photonics/Optics
C-mount Spectrometer Adapters

A new series of adapters, simplifying integration of c-mount cMOS and CCD cameras with McPherson (Chelmsford, MA) high performance spectrometers, is now available. Easy and secure c-mount adapters are suitable for cryogenic, TEcooled, deep depletion, near infrared In- GaAs, and sensitive Silicon visible range...

Products : Photonics/Optics
2.8 MP GigE Vision Camera

Point Grey (Richmond, BC, Canada) recently announced the addition of new 2.8 megapixel models to its Flea®3 line of GigE Vision digital cameras. Building on Point Grey’s experience with Sony CCD technology, the Flea3 FL3-GE- 28S4 monochrome and color models use the all-new, highly sensitive Sony ICX687 EXview HAD CCD...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Cool Bypass Switches

STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland) has introduced its latestgeneration high-efficiency cool bypass switches for photovoltaic modules, enabling an even higher percentage of harvested energy to reach end-users and further reducing the cost per Watt of renewable energy. The new devices can save up to 1% of the energy...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Multi-Channel Laser Modules

AKELA Laser Corporation (Monmouth Junction, NJ) announced the release of its single and multi-channel laser diode modules in wavelengths from 635nm to 1950nm. The second in a series of releases over the next 6 months, these modules offer integrated cooling and drive electronics for plugand- play use. Suitable for both...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Chip-Based Video Camera

Lattice Semiconductor Corporation (Bridgewater, NJ) recently demonstrated a LatticeECP3-based video camera supporting NIT’s NSC1005 Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) 720p image sensor. The NSC1005 high dynamic range image sensor from NIT (Verrieres le Buisson, France) is available mounted on a headboard, called the Widy Board,...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Silicon Solar Cells

Imec (Leuven, Belgium) has developed a 20.04% large-area industrial-level silicon solar cell. Imec’s PERC-cell is compatible with the requirements of industrial photovoltaic production. It is a large-area (125mm x 125mm) Cz p-type silicon cell with a simple homogeneous emitter and Ag-single screen-printed front side...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Infrared Image Sensor

ON Semiconductor (Phoenix, AZ) has collaborated with Teledyne Imaging Sensors (Camarillo, CA) to manufacture an Extremely Large Stitched Read Out Integrated Circuit (ELS ROIC) for astronomy. The H4RG-15 image sensor, designed by Teledyne, is the latest generation of a 20-year effort sponsored by the National Science...

Products : Photonics/Optics
USB 3.0 CMOSIS-Sensor- Based Cameras

Lumenera Corporation (0ttawa. Ontario, Canada) has introduced a new line of cameras that pair CMOSIS sensors with a USB 3.0 interface. This new product line features six distinct color, monochrome and NIR enhanced cameras based on the CMOSIS CMV4000 (Lt425) and CMV2000 (Lt225) megapixel sensors. Product...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Epoxy Based UV Curable System

With outstanding light transmission properties and optical clarity, Master Bond (Hackensack, NJ) UV15 is widely used for a variety of bonding, coating and sealing applications in the optical, electronic and optoelectronic industries. This epoxy based UV curable system is 100% reactive and does not contain any...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Surface Mount Photodiode with Daylight Filter

Opto Diode (Newbury Park, CA), a division of ITW, has introduced the ODD-900-001, a surface-mount photodiode with a daylight filter. The new photodiode offers low capacitance and short switching time in a surface-mount package, making it ideally suited for industrial photoelectric control...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Galvo and Controller Combination

Aerotech’s (Pittsburgh, PA) Nmark AGV-HP advanced galvanometers use innovative optical feedback technology to increase resolution to greater than 24 bits. Both the standard AGV and higher performance AGV-HP series scanners may be directly driven by Aerotech’s Nmark CLS galvo controller, which offers a full...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Tunable Lenses

Edmund Optics (EO) (Barrington, NJ) has introduced new CMount Focus-Tunable Lenses. When a control current is applied to the lens, its focal range is adjusted from +80 to +200mm. This variable tuning range - the ability to adjust focal length - allows the user to replace multi-lens focus or zoom systems, saving space, time and...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Product of the Month: the IRIS Color 3D Printer

Mcor Technologies, Dunleer, Ireland, has introduced the IRIS color 3D printer that prints in more than one million hues simultaneously, creating photorealistic physical objects from 3D data. The IRIS delivers True Colour, printing different hues simultaneously, including pure black. The machine’s...

Articles : Software
Software is the Driving Innovation for Consumer Electronics

You may not realize it, but many of the bells and whistles in the products that you engage with on a daily basis are actually powered by software.

Application Briefs : Lighting
Light-Control Systems Help NASA Go ‘Net Zero’

The Propellants North Administrative and Maintenance Facility at Kennedy Space Center, located in Cape Canaveral, FL, achieves net-zero energy use. To offset the costs of electricity provided by a local utility, the center powers itself with renewable resources. The new facility is NASA’s first...

Application Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Sensors Monitor Curiosity’s Drilling Arm

With the successful landing last August, NASA’s Curiosity rover is maneuvering the surface of Mars, analyzing samples of soil. Two sensors were developed by FUTEK for Curiosity. The first is a cryogenic multi-axial load and torsion sensor responsible for monitoring the rover’s drilling arm and its...

Articles : Materials
Alloy-Enhanced Fans Maintain Fresh Air in Tunnels

The Partnership for Next Gen eration Vehicles (PNGV) is not a NASA initiative to develop powerful new rockets and spacecraft, even though it may sound like one. PNGV was a partnership established by the Clinton Administration between the federal government and the U.S. Council for Automotive...

Techs for License
Multiple-Input DC Converter Distributes Power from Battery

The Direct Electric Power Converter (D-EPC), a semiconductor switching circuit, controls power distribution among multiple DC power sources without using a DC-DC converter. During every pulse-width-modulation (PWM) cycle, the DEPC alternately activates one of the multiple inverter...

Techs for License
Piezo Technology Offers Precise Actuation, Generates Less Heat

“VIVA” piezo technology enables a valve to be direct-operated. The piezo element is protected from the fluid stream to eliminate potential for clogging or contamination failure. The valve is directly shifted by the VIVA arm, and requires only a standard 40-micron air filter...

NASA Tech Needs
Non-Invasive Intra-Cranial Pressure Monitoring

Because manned spaceflight still imposes unknown stresses on the human body, NASA is seeking non-invasive technological approaches for intra-cranial pressure measurement. A baseline must be established on the ground, and then periodic measurements will be taken during flight — possibly over...

NASA Tech Needs
Better Foam Generation

Foam is a key indicator of efficacy and performance for a range of consumer pharmaceutical and food products. A company seeks cost-effective physical and mechanical technologies for enhanced foam generation and stability. Devices that are able to generate a high volume of foam from low-concentration, surfactant-based...

Who's Who
Chuck Jorgensen, Chief Scientist for Neuro Engineering, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Chuck Jorgensen, Chief Scientist for the Neuro Engineering Lab at NASA Ames Research Center, in Moffett Field, CA, currently studies biolelectrical interfacing and the detection of human emotion and visualization. His research in subvocal speech was a...

Briefs : Lighting
Photons Emitted by Quantum Dots Can be Made Indistinguishable Through Quantum Frequency Conversion

An international collaboration led by researchers from the NIST Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology has demonstrated the ability to make photons emitted by quantum dots at different frequencies identical to each other by shifting their...

Briefs : Lighting
Self-Assembled Monolayers Create P-N Junctions in Graphene Films

The electronic properties of graphene films are directly affected by the characteristics of the substrates on which they are grown or to which they are transferred. Researchers are taking advantage of this to create graphene p-n junctions by transferring films of the promising...

Briefs : Lighting
New Platform Developed to Measure and Exploit Optomechanical Interactions

Researchers from the NIST Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology and Caltech have developed a new design platform for measuring and exploiting strong interactions between light confined in a nanoscale structure and an adjacent nanomechanical system. The versatile...

Briefs : Lighting
Researchers Develop New Method to Light Roundabouts

Roundabouts, also known as traffic circles, are increasing in number across the U.S. These intersections generally increase traffic throughput while reducing the severity of automobile accidents. However, as relatively new traffic features, modern roundabouts are sometimes described as...

News : Lighting
New Technology Could Make Fluorescent Lights A Thing Of The Past

That annoying buzz created by overhead fluorescent light bulbs in your office or residence hall may soon be a thing of the past thanks to the work of Wake Forest scientists who have developed a flicker-free, shatterproof alternative for large-scale lighting. The lighting, based on...

News : Lighting
Low-Level Light Therapy Could Be Used to Treat Alzheimer’s Patients

Among Americans over 80, who represent the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, half are debilitated with a neurodegenerative disorder. Of this group, 5.4 million now have Alzheimer’s Disease, and according to recent data released by the Alzheimer’s Association,...

Application Briefs : Lighting
U.S. Department of State Retrofits Harry S. Truman Building With New Lighting Controls

The Harry S. Truman Building is the State Department’s Washington, D.C. headquarters. Its main corridor spans two city blocks and contains more than 150 lighting fixtures. But that’s just a sliver of the building, which contains 34,000 fluorescent lights...

Articles : Lighting
Creating White Light Using LEDs

When it comes to creating white light using LEDs, there are many different methods, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages. First, the most common and traditional is chip-level conversion, where the converting material is integrated directly onto a blue LED die or fills up the LED package...

Articles : Lighting
The Rebirth of the Incandescent Light Bulb

The incandescent light bulb, first commercialized by Thomas Edison in 1879, was a remarkable invention for its day. Edison found that when an electric current was passed through a carbon filament, the filament would glow, or incandesce. The incandescent light bulb was improved over the next three...

Podcasts
Chuck Jorgensen, Chief Scientist for Neuro Engineering, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Chuck Jorgensen, Chief Scientist for the Neuro Engineering Lab at NASA Ames Research Center, in Moffett Field, CA, currently studies biolelectrical interfacing and the detection of human emotion and visualization. His research in subvocal speech was...

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