October 2010

News : Energy
New Equation Could Advance Research in Solar Cells and OLEDs

An equation developed in part by researchers at the University of Michigan could do for organic semiconductors what the Shockley ideal diode equation did for inorganic semiconductors: help to enable their wider adoption.

Analysts Add to Creo Conversation

Yesterday, after unveiling Creo, PTC's soon-to-arrive design application suite, the company arranged for a panel of analysts to address attendee questions about the product. The roundtable included Marc Halpern, Research VP at Gartner, Sanjeev Pal, Research Manager at IDC, and John MacKrell, a senior consultant...

News : Energy
Improving and Evaluating LED Lighting for Greenhouse Use

Purdue researchers will collaborate with Rutgers University, the University of Arizona, Michigan State University, and Orbital Technologies Corp. (Madison, WI) on a four-year project to improve and evaluate LED lighting for greenhouse use. The goal is to increase greenhouse yields and...

Lightning Strikes With PTC's Creo

There was a bit of a crowd lining up near Boston's Park Plaza this morning, and if it wasn't for all the business-casual attire, you may have thought another Apple Store was opening up down the street. The event was actually PTC's unveiling of its new product suite: Creo.

Here's the quick...

Products : Green Design & Manufacturing
Four-Channel Constant Current LED Drivers

Allegro MicroSystems (Worcester, MA) offers constant current LED drivers to address requirements of internal and external illumination applications within the automotive market. Allegro’s A6261/A6262/A6264 LED drivers offer four channels of up to 100 mA LED current each, and can be paralleled for...

Products : Energy
IR LED With Integrated Lens

The infrared DRAGON SFH 4236 from OSRAM Opto Semiconductors (Sunnyvale, CA) is designed for applications that require narrow radiation characteristics from limited board space, namely automotive applications such as driver and passenger monitoring systems and blind spot detection systems, as well as camera-based...

Question of the Week
Will you drive this type of robotic car in your lifetime?

This week's Question of the Week addresses another technical development from Google. In early October, the search giant announced that it has been testing robotic cars on U.S. city streets. The vehicles, equipped with a complex array of sensors and cameras that allowed them to steer...

Products : Lighting
High Intensity LED Light Engine

Papailias Incorporated (Northvale, NJ) has introduced a high intensity light engine to replace halogen technology. The Series HI-LED lamp is not a standard LED bulb, but a custom-designed lamp that features a more robust technology. HI-LED lamps are not affected by vibration, impact, heat, dust, or surface oils.

Briefs : Energy
Nickel-Zinc Battery System Technology

Société de Conseil et de Prospective Scientifique (SCPS), located in Rosny-sous-Bois, France, developed a technology that allows the nickel-zinc battery system to work as close as possible to its theoretical performance, with a long cycle life.

Products : Green Design & Manufacturing
AC/DC LED Drivers

RECOM Power Inc. (Brooklyn, NY) has developed a series of constant current LED drivers in the power ranges of 12, 20, and 60 Watts. The new series feature universal AC inputs, power factor correction, and UL-8750 certification.

Question of the Week
Should there be a large-scale freeze on foreclosures?

This week's Question of the Week addresses home foreclosures. Several major home lenders, including JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America, have suspended foreclosures in parts or all of the country because of sloppy paperwork and improper oversight of the many loans that went bad. Some say,...

Products : Lighting
High-Brightness Black Surface LED

The high-brightness black top surface tri-color PLCC-6 family of SMT LEDs from Avago Technologies (San Jose, CA) has a separate heat path for each LED dice, enabling the LED to be driven at higher current. The SMT LEDs are high-reliability devices designed for a wide range of environmental conditions.

News : Electronics & Computers
Silicon Strategy Shows Promise for Lithium-ion Batteries

Scientists from Rice University and Lockheed Martin have discovered a way to use simple silicon to radically increase the capacity of lithium-ion batteries. The researchers are confident that cheap, plentiful silicon combined with ease of manufacture could help push their idea into the...

Products : Lighting
Multi-String Backlight Drivers

Advanced Analogic Technologies, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) introduced its AAT1409/7/5 family of multi-string LED backlight drivers with integrated boost converters and precision current sinks that can support up to 88 LEDs at 360mA total LED current. The drivers reduce the number of backlight PCBs and cost.

Products : Energy
RGB LED Illuminated Pushbuttons

The KP Series of illuminated miniature pushbutton switches from NKK Switches (Scottsdale, AZ) provide design engineers options that complete front panels needing an innovative look and feel. The devices are available with built-in RGB LED illumination, allowing the full color spectrum to be utilized to create...

Question of the Week
Do you plan to buy the Google TV device?

This week's Question of the Week addresses Google TV. Engineers are putting the finishing touches on Google TV, a software platform that aims to bring the complete Internet experience to television sets. Expected in stores later this month, the Google TV device has a remote-control keyboard/pointing...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
High-Quality Photos of National Ignition Facility Testing

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) of Livermore, CA is home to the world's largest and highest-energy laser. On September 29th, the NIF completed its first integrated ignition experiment, where it focused its 192 lasers on a BB-sized capsule containing hydrogen fuel - firing it with 1...

Products : Energy
DC Filter For Photovoltaic Systems

A new standard DC filter called the FMER SOL from Schurter (Santa Rosa, CA) is designed for use on the DC side of the inverter in photovoltaic systems, and ensures EMC compliance and overall reliability of the entire PV system.

Products : Green Design & Manufacturing
LED Driver for Automotive Headlamps

ROHM Semiconductor (San Diego, CA) introduces the Model BD8381EFV-M high-brightness LED driver for automotive forward illumination applications. With this flexible IC, designers can specify the same driver for use in high-beam, low-beam, and daytime running light (DRL) circuits.

Question of the Week
Do you have faith in the news media to provide fair, reliable information?

This week's Question of the Week concerns a recent Gallup poll that revealed that a majority of Americans (57%) say they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. Sixty-three percent of respondents perceived bias.

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Laser Beam Profiling

Most people working with lasers today are trying to do something with the light beam, either as the raw beam or, more commonly, modified with optics. Whether it is printing a label on a part, welding a precision joint or repairing a retina, it is important to understand the nature of the laser beam and its performance. Laser...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Using Ultrafast EMCCD Cameras for Faster DNA Sequencing

To decode the human genome and gain a greater understanding of diseases and their aetiology, advances need to be made in the rate at which the nucleotides that comprise DNA can be sequenced. Approaches to DNA sequencing have moved on considerably since the development of...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
On Calculating the Zero-Gravity Surface Figure of a Mirror

An analysis of the classical method of calculating the zero-gravity surface figure of a mirror from surface-figure measurements in the presence of gravity has led to improved understanding of conditions under which the calculations are valid. In this method, one measures the surface...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Fiber-Coupled Planar Light-Wave Circuit for Seed Laser Control in High Spectral Resolution Lidar Systems

Precise laser remote sensing of aerosol extinction and backscatter in the atmosphere requires a high-power, pulsed, frequency doubled Nd:YAG laser that is wavelength-stabilized to a narrow absorption line such as found in iodine vapor. One...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Transparent LCD Heaters

Dontech (Doylestown, PA) Therma Klear™ transparent heaters provide the warmth necessary to extend the operating temperature of liquid crystal displays (LCDs) in cold environments (e.g. from 0° to below -40°C). A Therma Klear heater is composed of an electrically conductive thin-film coating on a visually transparent...

Articles : Green Design & Manufacturing
From Aircraft Wings to Wind Turbine Blades: NASA Software Comes Back to Earth with Green Energy Applications

You might think a wind turbine would have more in common with a plane’s propeller than an aircraft wing, but wind blades actually behave a lot more like wings than props. This fact has enabled a valuable spinoff from aerospace to wind...

Application Briefs : Communications
Emergency Notification System Enables Coordinated Communication Across Facilities
The Communicator! NXT emergency
notification system
PlantCML, an EADS North America company
Franklin, TN

NASA will use PlantCML’s Communicator! NXT emergency notification system to improve its...

Application Briefs : Software
3D Scanning and Processing Software Spots Tile Damage on NASA Shuttle Discovery
Geomagic Studio 3D scanning and processing software
Geomagic Inc.
Research Triangle Park, NC

Ceramic tiles used on the underside of the NASA Discovery shuttle protect the spacecraft and its astronauts from...

ZPrinter 3D Printers

Z Corporation, Burlington, MA, has introduced the ZPrinter® 150 monochrome and ZPrinter® 250 multicolor commercial-class 3D printers. The printers feature resolution of 300 × 450 dpi, minimum feature size of 0.016", vertical build speed of 0.8"/hour, and build size of 9.3 × 7.3 × 5". The printers...

Tech Needs
Portable Diagnostic Scanning Systems for Remote Environments

A company seeks miniaturized (less than 50 lbs.) portable equipment to perform magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT), X-ray, and other non-ultrasound diagnostic scans. The equipment must produce a minimum of ionizing radiation and is intended for medical care...

Tech Needs
Printable Electrical Heating Element or Film Bonded to Metal Surface

A firm is seeking materials that can be printed, sprayed, or transferred onto a metal surface (copper, stainless steel, brass, aluminum, nickel, chrome) as a film so that, when connected to a power source, become hot and heat the metal surface to ~400 °F. The heating film or...

Techs for License
Preflight Determination of Passengers' Weight in Civil Aviation

This system and method provide accurate determination of a passenger’s weight to an airline prior to flight. This allows for fuel consumption saving, increases revenues of freight loading, and improves crew and aircraft performance in diverse emergencies. The system processes...

Techs for License
High-Temperature, Ceramics-Based Composite Material

This invention is a manufacturing process of a high-temperature, ceramics-based composite material that features excellent heat and oxidation resistance and frictional properties. The composite material is a dense SiC-infiltrated composite material, a dense carbon-fiber-reinforced...

NASA Tech Needs
Parametric Design and Analysis to Support Model-Based Systems Engineering Using SysML

What is commonly called Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) proposes to replace traditional document-centric approaches to systems engineering with model-centric approaches in which the complete definition of the system or product is captured in a single...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Hybrid Architecture Active Wavefront Sensing and Control

A method was developed for performing relatively high-speed wavefront sensing and control to overcome thermal instabilities in a segmented primary mirror telescope [e.g., James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) at L2], by using the onboard fine guidance sensor (FGS) to minimize expense and...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Aerogel-Positronium Technology for the Detection of Small Quantities of Organic and/or Toxic Materials

The Ps-aerogel system [Ps is positronium (an electron-positron-hydrogen-like atom)] has been evaluated and optimized as a potential tool for planetary exploration missions. Different configurations of use were assessed, and the results provide...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Carbon-Nanotube-Based Chemical Gas Sensor

Conventional thermal conductivity gauges (e.g. Pirani gauges) lend themselves to applications such as leak detectors, or in gas chromatographs for identifying various gas species. However, these conventional gauges are physically large, operate at high power, and have a slow response time.

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Graphene-Based Reversible Nano-Switch/ Sensor Schottky Diode

This proof-of-concept device consists of a thin film of graphene deposited on an electrodized doped silicon wafer. The graphene film acts as a conductive path between a gold electrode deposited on top of a silicon dioxide layer and the reversible side of the silicon wafer, so as to...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Inductive Non-Contact Position Sensor

Optical hardware has been developed to measure the depth of defects in the Space Shuttle Orbiter’s windows. In this hardware, a mirror is translated such that its position corresponds to the defect’s depth, so the depth measurement problem is transferred to a mirror-position measurement problem. This is...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
High-Temperature Surface-Acoustic-Wave Transducer

Aircraft-engine rotating equipment usually operates at high temperature and stress. Non-invasive inspection of microcracks in those components poses a challenge for the non-destructive evaluation community. A low-profile ultrasonic guided wave sensor can detect cracks in situ. The key feature of...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Grid-Sphere Electrodes for Contact With Ionospheric Plasma

Grid-sphere electrodes have been proposed for use on the positively biased end of electrodynamic space tethers. A grid-sphere electrode is fabricated by embedding a wire mesh in a thin film from which a spherical balloon is formed. The grid-sphere electrode would be deployed from compact...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Robust Optimization Design Algorithm for High-Frequency TWTs

Traveling-wave tubes (TWTs), such as the Ka-band (26-GHz) model recently developed for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, are essential as communication amplifiers in spacecraft for virtually all near- and deep-space missions. This innovation is a computational design algorithm that,...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Optimal and Local Connectivity Between Neuron and Synapse Array in the Quantum Dot/Silicon Brain

This innovation is used to connect between synapse and neuron arrays using nanowire in quantum dot and metal in CMOS (complementary metal oxide semi-conductor) technology to enable the density of a brainlike connection in hardware. The hardware...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Enabling IP Header Compression in COTS Routers via Frame Relay on a Simplex Link

NASA is moving toward a network-centric communications architecture and, in particular, is building toward use of Internet Protocol (IP) in space. The use of IP is motivated by its ubiquitous application in many communications networks and in available commercial...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Ka-Band SiGe Receiver Front-End MMIC for Transponder Applications

A fully integrated, front-end Ka-band monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) was developed that houses an LNA (low noise amplifier) stage, a down-conversion stage, and output buffer amplifiers. The MMIC design employs a two-step quadrature down-conversion architecture,...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Method and Circuit for In-Situ Health Monitoring of Solar Cells in Space

This innovation represents a method and circuit realization of a system designed to make in-situ measurements of test solar-cell operational parameters on orbit using readily available high-temperature and high-ionizing-radiation-tolerant electronic components. This...

Briefs : Software
BGen: A UML Behavior Network Generator Tool

BGen software was designed for auto-generation of code based on a graphical representation of a behavior network used for controlling automatic vehicles. A common format used for describing a behavior network, such as that used in the JPL-developed behavior-based control system, CARACaS [“Control...

Briefs : Software
Platform for Post-Processing Waveform-Based NDE

Signal- and image-processing methods are commonly needed to extract information from the waves, improve resolution of, and highlight defects in an image. Since some similarity exists for all waveform-based nondestructive evaluation (NDE) methods, it would seem that a common software platform...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Electrochemical Hydrogen Peroxide Generator

Two-electron reduction of oxygen to produce hydrogen peroxide is a much researched topic. Most of the work has been done in the production of hydrogen peroxide in basic media, in order to address the needs of the pulp and paper industry. However, peroxides under alkaline conditions show poor...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Fabrication of Single, Vertically Aligned Carbon Nanotubes in 3D Nanoscale Architectures

Plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) and high-throughput manufacturing techniques for integrating single, aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into novel 3D nanoscale architectures have been developed. First, the PECVD growth technique ensures...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Process To Create High-Fidelity Lunar Dust Simulants

A method was developed to create high-fidelity lunar dust simulants that better match the unique properties of lunar dust than the existing simulants. The new dust simulant is designed to more closely approximate the size, morphology, composition, and other important properties of lunar dust...

Briefs : Materials
Lithium-Ion Electrolytes Containing Phosphorous-Based, Flame-Retardant Additives

Future NASA missions aimed at exploring Mars, the Moon, and the outer planets require rechargeable batteries that can operate over a wide temperature range (–60 to +60 °C) to satisfy the requirements of various applications. In addition, many of these...

Briefs : Materials
Straight-Pore Microfilter With Efficient Regeneration

A novel, high-efficiency gas particulate filter has precise particle size screening, low pressure drop, and a simple and fast regeneration process. The regeneration process, which requires minimal material and energy consumption, can be completely automated, and the filtration performance can...

Briefs : Materials
Determining Shear Stress Distribution in a Laminate

A “simplified shear solution” method approximates the through-thickness shear stress distribution within a composite laminate based on an extension of laminated beam theory. The method does not consider the solution of a particular boundary value problem; rather, it requires only knowledge...

Briefs : Materials
InGaP Heterojunction Barrier Solar Cells

A new solar-cell structure utilizes a single, ultra-wide well of either gallium arsenide (GaAs) or indium-galliumphosphide (InGaP) in the depletion region of a wide bandgap matrix, instead of the usual multiple quantum well layers. These InGaP barrier layers are effective at reducing diode dark current,...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Tele-Robotic ATHLETE Controller for Kinematics —TRACK

TRACK is a specialized controller for the All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra-Terrestrial Explorer Robot (ATHLETE), which has six limbs with six kinematic degrees of freedom each. TRACK is a 1/8-scale sensed but un-actuated model of one ATHLETE limb (see figure), designed to be used as a...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Self-Adjusting Liquid Injectors for Combustors

A class of self-adjusting injectors for spraying liquid oxidizers and/or fuels into combustion chambers has been proposed. The proposed injectors were originally intended for use in rocket-engine combustion chambers, but could also be used to improve control over flows of liquid propellants in other...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Three-Wheel Brush-Wheel Sampler

A new sampler is similar to a common snow blower, but is robust and effective in sample collection. The brush wheels are arranged in a triangle shape, each driven by a brushless DC motor and planetary gearhead embedded in the wheel shaft. Its speed can be varied from 800–2,000 rpm, depending on the surface...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Handling Qualities Prediction of an F-16XL-Based Reduced Sonic Boom Aircraft

A major goal of the Supersonics Project under NASA’s Fundamental Aeronautics program is sonic boom reduction of supersonic aircraft. An important part of this effort is development and validation of sonic boom prediction tools used in aircraft design. NASA Dryden’s...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Heterodyne Interferometer Angle Metrology

A compact, high-resolution angle measurement instrument has been developed that is based on a heterodyne interferometer. The commonpath heterodyne interferometer metrology is used to measure displacements of a reflective target surface. In the interferometer setup, an optical mask is used to sample the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Optical Modification of Casimir Forces for Improved Function of Micro- and Nano-Scale Devices

Recently, there has been a considerable effort to study the Casimir and van der Waals forces, enabled by the improved ability to measure small forces near surfaces. Because of the continuously growing role of micro- and nano-mechanical devices, the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Aligning Astronomical Telescopes via Identification of Stars

A proposed method of automated, precise alignment of a ground-based astronomical telescope would eliminate the need for initial manual alignment. The method, based on automated identification of known stars and other celestial objects in the telescope field of view, would also...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Generation of Optical Combs in a WGM Resonator From a Bichromatic Pump

Optical combs generated by a monolithic resonator with Kerr-medium can be used in a number of applications, including orbital clocks and frequency standards of extremely high accuracy, such as astronomy, molecular spectroscopy, and the like. The main difficulty of this...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Large-Format AlGaN PIN Photodiode Arrays for UV Images

A large-format hybridized AlGaN photodiode array with an adjustable bandwidth features stray-light control, ultra-low dark-current noise to reduce cooling requirements, and much higher radiation tolerance than previous technologies. This technology reduces the size, mass, power, and cost of...

Briefs : Information Technology
Analysis, Simulation, and Verification of Knowledge-Based, Rule-Based, and Expert Systems

Mathematically sound techniques are used to view a knowledge-based system (KBS) as a set of processes executing in parallel and being enabled in response to specific rules being fired. The set of processes can be manipulated, examined, analyzed, and used in...

Briefs : Information Technology
Core and Off-Core Processes in Systems Engineering

An emerging methodology of organizing systems-engineering plans is based on a concept of core and off-core processes or activities. This concept has emerged as a result of recognition of a risk in the traditional representation of systems-engineering plans by a Vee model alone, according to...

Briefs : Information Technology
Digital Reconstruction Supporting Investigation of Mishaps

In support of investigations of mishaps like the crash of the space shuttle Columbia, a process based on digital reconstruction from recovered components has been developed. The process is expected to reduce the need for physical reconstruction from recovered parts, reduce the time and...

Briefs : Information Technology
Template Matching Approach to Signal Prediction

A new approach to signal prediction and prognostic assessment of spacecraft health resolves an inherent difficulty in fusing sensor data with simulated data. This technique builds upon previous work that demonstrated the importance of physics-based transient models to accurate prediction of signal...

Who's Who
Michael Ewert, Deputy Project Manager, Exploration Life Support (ELS) Project, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX

In 2001, NASA engineer Michael Ewert developed and patented a unique solar-powered vapor-compression refrigeration system that operates without batteries or external power of any kind. The system, which is powered by a photovoltaic...

Michael Ewert, Deputy Project Manager, Exploration Life Support (ELS) Project, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX

In 2001, NASA engineer Michael Ewert developed and patented a unique solar-powered vapor-compression refrigeration system that operates without batteries or external power of any kind. The system, which is powered by a...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Closed System Technology Drives the Trend Toward Safer Dispensing of High-Purity Chemicals

In dozens of industries and in millions of applications around the world, dangerous chemicals are transferred from their original shipping containers into smaller jugs or buckets, or applied to other end-use processes. Historically, the predominant...

Application Briefs : Test & Measurement
Cavitating Pump Dynamics Test Facility for Vehicle System Stability Modeling

A unique cavitating pump dynamics test facility has been developed at Concepts NREC (CN, White River Junction, VT) in cooperation with engineers at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (Huntsville, AL). Its purpose is to determine pump dynamic transfer functions for use in...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Servo Drives and Motors

National Instruments (Austin, TX) has announced the AKD servo drives and AKM servo motors for deploying custom motion applications to any NI real-time controller supporting NI EtherCAT technology. The motors are available in four different frame sizes and feature high torque, density, and speed ranges. The motors use...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Piezo Nanopositioner

MICOS USA (Irvine, CA) offers a multiphase piezo nanopositioner that reduces stick-slip signature for nanopositioning applications. The motor uses at least two piezos and friction elements that move in unison, but slip at different times, minimizing the retract motion induced by the slip forces onto the sliding element, and...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Diaphragm Valves

The Model 475 series diaphragm valves from Tridak, a Dymax Co. (Torrington, CT), are used with low- to medium-viscosity fluids. The internal design prevents fluid contact with the actuating components, making them suitable for use with reactive fluids such as cyanoacrylates and solvent-based adhesives and coatings. The standard...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Encoder Interface Device

US Digital (Vancouver, WA) offers the QSB (Quadrature to USB) encoder interface adapter that interfaces standard quadrature encoder signals into a PC USB port for encoder verification. Single-ended or differential versions are available. Another version supports single-ended encoder input, digital I/O, and step/direction...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Position Sensors

Novotechnik (Southborough, MA) has introduced the TX2 series of position sensors with stroke lengths up to 300 mm. The sensors are sealed to IP67 specifications, and feature an 18-mm-diameter housing size. The sensors provide linearity to 0.05%, with resolution of more than 0.01 mm. They are equipped with pivot heads to provide...

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Rotary Position Sensor

PIHER North America (Libertyville, IL) offers the PS15 rotary position sensor in a 15-mm package. It is surface-mountable for detecting changes in angle and position, and converting them to a voltage output. It can be processed by standard automated placement equipment and reflow soldered. The sensor is available with...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Electronic Handwheel

The HR 1120 electronic handwheel from Heidenhain Corp. (Schaumburg, IL) is used in machine automation systems where changing formats or positioning objects with numerous axes is necessary. It is suitable for both portable and stationary housings, and is used in association with the machine control. The mechanical detent with...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Lead Screws

Haydon Kerk Motion Solutions (Hollis, NH) offers the Kerk® Micro Series lead screw assemblies. Standard configurations include 2-mm-diameter screws with leads ranging from 0.3 mm to 2 mm revolution, and a variety of nut configurations of self-lubricating acetal and Kerkite® High Performance Composite Polymers. The lead screws are...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Diaphragm Pump

The Thomas 1210 Series diaphragm liquid DC pump from Thomas Division (Sheboygan, WI) features the REFLEX valve design that provides a bubble-free liquid flow for fuel cell and diagnostic applications. Available in 12V and 24V DC diaphragm models, the pump handles a mixture of air and liquid, has a low sound level, and weighs 2.4...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Driver IC

International Rectifier (El Segundo, CA) offers the AUIRS4426S dual-channel, low-side driver IC for hybrid power train drives, direct fuel injection, and DC-DC converter applications. Available in an 8-lead package, the IC is a low-voltage, high-speed power MOSFET and IGBT driver that features matched propagation delay for both...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Rolled Ball Screws

Lee Linear (Piscataway, NJ) has introduced end-machined precision rolled ball screws available in a range of sizes and leads. Made from induction case-hardened alloy sheet, the screws are integrally sealed and are available in both inch and metric configurations. They provide smooth motion for close-tolerance applications. The...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
MEMS Inclinometer

The PTAM27L series MEMS-based inclinometer from ASM Sensors (Elmhurst, NY) is designed for single- and dual-axis tilt angle measurements. For single-axis versions, measurement ranges span from ±15° to ±180°, in increments of 15°. For dual-axis versions, the measurement ranges span from ±15° to ±60°, in increments of...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Vertical Lift Stage

Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) offers the ANT 130-5-V linear motor-driven wedge-style vertical lift stage that provides in-position stability for nanopositioning applications. It offers travel up to 5 mm and is a precision stage designed for standalone use, or it can be integrated with other stages for a multiaxis nanopositioning...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Stepper Motors

The Super Torque 5818 series stepper motors from Lin Engineering (Morgan Hill, CA) measure 2.4" and feature up to 305 oz-in of holding torque. Bipolar and unipolar windings are available with the option of a custom winding for high speeds or low resonance. Applications include packaging, automation, semiconductor, and dispensing....

Products : Photonics/Optics
Digital Projection Prisms

SCHOTT (Mainz, Germany) has developed a version of its N-BK7 glass that offers extremely high transmission (HT) for the types of prisms used in digital theater projectors. The new N-BK7HT guarantees a minimum transmission of 99.6% at a wavelength of 400nm and a thickness of 25mm. Within the visible spectrum range of...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Microscope Automation System

The ProScan™ III Microscope Automation System from Prior Scientific (Rockland, MA) features a compact and modular design capable of controlling up to 16 axes including a motorized stage, focus drive, three filter wheels, and three shutters. A true USB with direct HID connection makes the controller both Windows and...

Products : Photonics/Optics
64-Bit Windows 7 Microspectroscopy Software

CRAIC Technologies (San Dimas, CA) has released the 64-bit version of its MINERVA™ microspectroscopy software package, designed to collect, analyze and process microspectra™ from CRAIC microspectro-photometers running 64-bit versions of Windows 7®. The MINERVA-64™ software allows the user to...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Miniature Thermal Imager

MIRICLE® MicroCAM™ from Thermoteknix Systems (Cambridge, UK) is a miniature thermal imager designed for portable battery operated night vision applications. The unit draws less than 0.6 watts while delivering a full 384 × 288, 60Hz composite video signal. MIRICLE MicroCAM employs patented shutterless, Thermoteknix...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Submillimeter Optical Lenses

Bern Optics, Inc. (Westfield, MA) has announced the availability of submillimeter optical lenses as small as 0.20 mm. These precision lenses can be ground and polished in a variety of difficult configurations, including plano convex, plano concave, bi-concave, bi-convex, as well as positive and negative meniscus....

Products : Photonics/Optics
Picosecond MOPA Laser

Genia Photonics (Lasalle, Quebec, Canada) is now offering a family of high-performance, fiber-based MOPA (Master Oscillator Power Amplifier) lasers that deliver short, high-frequency pulses in the picosecond regime. The MOPA's output power, pulse frequency, pulse duration, and pulse energy are all user configurable during...

Products : Photonics/Optics
64-Channel Time-to-Digital Converter

Voxtel (Beaverton, OR) has introduced the YVX-657 time-to-digital converter. This processor has been designed for time-of-flight measurements for applications including time-correlated spectroscopy, flash LADAR, medical imaging, and quantum cryptography.

Products : Photonics/Optics
High-Performance Seals

DuPont Performance Polymers (Wilmington, DE) has introduced DuPont™ Zalak® 5300 high-performance seals for photovoltaic cell manufacturing. Zalak 5300 seals bridge the performance gap between standard fluoroelastomers (FKM) and perfluoroelastomers (FFKM) seals. Zalak 5300 seals are specially formulated for use in plasma...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Sole Laser Light Engines

The new series of sole light engines from Omicron (Rodgau, Germany) are available in up to three wavelengths or up to six wavelengths, in the range of 375nm to 830nm, and an optical output power of up to 150mW at each wavelength. The light sources are diode lasers and DPSS lasers whose beams are efficiently combined and...

Products : Photonics/Optics
LED High Bay Fixture

Dialight (Farmingdale, NJ) has introduced new ultra-bright DuroSite LED High Bay Fixtures. The DuroSite High Bay fixture, incorporates Cree’s Xlamp® XP-G LEDs, delivering nearly 12,000 lumens while consuming only 150 watts, significantly reducing energy consumption and cost. With its unique high lumens per watt efficacy,...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Fiber-Coupled 405nm Laser Diodes

Laser Components (Hudson, NH) has recently added the K41 and CS405 series to their range of fiber-coupled high-power laser diodes. At a wavelength of 405nm, the components emit an optical output power of 20mW to 100mW. Optimal optical and electronic performance is achieved through the unique alignment of the 3μm...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Night Vision Sensor

The new NSC0905 sensor from New Imaging Technologies (Evry, France) is specially designed for high-performance intensified night vision applications. The NSC0905 sensor has a pixel pitch of 10.6um with 1280×1024 effective pixels and matches perfectly to an 18mm standard image intensifier tube output. Its high fill-factor (>...

Products : Photonics/Optics
XUV Wavelength Calibration Source

McPherson’s (Chelmsford, MA) Model 642-1 calibration light source for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and soft x-ray (XUV) features a six-position anode carousel to exchange target materials. It permits selecting various emission wavelengths without breaking vacuum. Dual symmetrical output beams provide...

Products : Photonics/Optics
High-Voltage Pulse Drivers

Highland Technology (San Francisco, CA) has introduced the T750 and T760 high-voltage pulse drivers. Both feature fast, low-jitter, transformer-isolated pulse outputs which are user adjustable from +5 volts to +100 volts into a 50 ohm load, with rise and fall times typically 2ns. The T750 features four channels, each...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Infrared Data Acquisition Technology

Extech Instruments (Waltham, MA) has introduced METERLiNK ™, an exclusive new technology that wirelessly connects FLIR infrared cameras to Extech meters via Bluetooth™ to accelerate and simplify inspections. During infrared inspections of electrical components, users can transmit key electrical readings...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Laser Calibration System

Renishaw (Hoffman Estates, IL) has introduced the "lean design" XL-80 laser calibration system. The new design allows a 4X faster slew rate, 10X higher dynamic data capture rate, and total system accuracy in a smaller, lighter and more portable package. The XL-80 features linear measurement speed to 4m/s, while providing...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Lead Selenide and Lead Sulfide IR Detectors

Cal Sensors (Santa Rosa, CA) has announced the launch of IDA (Integrated Detector Assembly) lead selenide and lead sulfide high-sensitivity infrared detectors with integrated electronics enclosed within a compact, hermetically sealed TO-8 package. Housing the electronic drivers within the detector...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Large-Area Epitaxial Solar Cells

Imec (Leuven, Belgium) has produced large-area (70cm2) epitaxial solar cells with efficiencies of up to 16.3% on high-quality substrates.

Products : Photonics/Optics
SWIR InGaAs Camera

Sensors Unlimited (Princeton, NJ), part of Goodrich Corporation, has announced the new SU1024LDH2, a high speed, digital line scan SWIR-indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) camera. The second generation 1024-pixel, high speed camera features an increased line rate to over 91,900 lines per second, making it suitable for...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Optical Laser Distance Sensor

Baumer (Southington, CT) has introduced the OADM 250, an optical laser distance sensor specifically designed to accurately detect target objects, regardless of surface properties or color, at distances from 0.2 meters to 4 meters away. Based on time of flight technology, the compact OADM 250 offers response times of...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Custom Non-Browning Lenses

Resolve Optics Ltd. (Chesham, Bucks., UK) offers a custom OEM design and manufacture service for organizations requiring non-browning fixed focus or zoom lenses optimized to their applications. All optical elements within Resolve Optics’ radiation tolerant fixed-focus designs are made using cerium oxide doped glass...


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