October 2011

Products : Energy
Efficient IGBTs

Powerex (Youngwood, PA) has introduced IGBTs from 300A/1200V - 800A/1200V in conventional packages, allowing users an easy upgrade path for increased system ratings and/or improved reliability due to the increased allowable operating junction temperature. Applications include motor drives, fuel cells, and wind and solar...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
YouTube and NASA Want Student Experiments

NASA has partnered with Space Adventures to support the YouTube Space Lab competition that invites students to envision and design their own experiment with the ultimate prize -- flying it on the International Space Station.

The contest opened on October 11, and will continue to accept submissions...

Advanced Driver Assistance System

dSPACE (Wixom, MI) has added the ADASIS v2 Horizon Reconstructor Blockset (ADASIS v2 HR Blockset) to its range of products for developing advanced driver assistance systems. The Simulink blockset provides access to data on the road ahead. Such data, for example, comes from a navigation system or a special ECU,...

Model-Based and Trace-Based Timing Analysis

Symtavision (Braunschweig, Germany) has launched SymTA/S 3.0 and TraceAnalyzer 3.0, the first fully integrated versions of these system-level tools for model-based design and trace-based verification. Targeted at automotive, aerospace, automation, and other performance- and safety-critical systems, the...

Automotive Support Package

MathWorks (Natick, MA) introduces AUTOSAR Target Production Package, a flexible support package available to automotive engineers requiring advanced AUTOSAR capabilities with Simulink and Embedded Coder. The AUTOSAR Target Production Package helps engineers use more features of the AUTOSAR standard with simplified...

Optical Design and Analysis Software

Synopsys, Inc. (Mountain View, CA) offers enhancements to its CODE V® optical design and analysis software, acquired as part of Synopsys' acquisition of Optical Research Associates. CODE V 10.4 delivers enhancements to its Beam Synthesis Propagation (BSP) tool that enable optical designers to model and...

Mask‐Wafer Double Simulation Platform

D2S, Inc. (San Jose, CA) has introduced TrueMaskTM DS, the industry’s first mask‐wafer double simulation accelerated workstation for R&D exploration, bit‐cell design, hot‐spot analysis, and mask‐defect categorization that comprehends overlapping eBeam shots and dose modulation. TrueMask DS is an...

Computer-Aided Engineering Software Suite

Altair Engineering, Inc. (Troy, MI) has released the HyperWorks 11.0 Student Edition, a personal academic version of the popular suite of computer-aided engineering (CAE) software used by manufacturers around the world. The Student Edition offers affordable opportunities for engineering and design...

Articles : Transportation
Meet Our Readers: Ken Polcak, Noise Abatement Design & Analysis Team Leader

Polcak is a civil engineer by training and acoustical/noise control engineer by practice. He deals with transportation noise analysis and mitigation. Polcak's experience centers on the acoustical design of noise barriers, computer prediction and modeling of propagation,...

News : Energy
Ongoing Power Performance Research to Advance Electromobility

The AutoTram® is as long as a streetcar and as maneuverable as a bus. It doesn’t need rails or overhead lines because it rolls on rubber tires and simply follows white lines on the street. In “Fraunhofer’s System Research for Electromobility,” the AutoTram® was used as an...

Products : Transportation
Automotive-Qualified IGBTs Optimized for Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Applications

International Rectifier (El Segundo, CA) has released automotive-qualified 600 V IGBTs optimized for variable speed motor control and power supply applications used in electric and hybrid vehicles. The new devices cover a broad current range and offer a...

Question of the Week
Will autonomous vehicles increase efficiency and make us safer?
This week's Question: Google has been testing its autonomous cars on public roads. The search giant's fleet of robotic Toyota Priuses has now logged more than 190,000 miles, driving in city traffic, busy highways, and mountainous roads, with only occasional human intervention. The...
News : Energy
Invention Saving Consumers Trillions of Watt Hours

A University of California, San Diego technology that significantly reduces the amount of energy wasted by chips in electronic devices has recently passed the trillion watt-hour milestone in energy savings, according to the technology’s current licensee, Tela Innovations.

News : Energy
Record Voltage for Organic Solar Cells

Molecular Solar Ltd., a spinout company from the UK's University of Warwick, has have achieved a record voltage for organic photovoltaic cells - which means these highly flexible, low-cost solar cells can now be devolved for commercial uses in a wide range of consumer electronics.

News : Materials
Physicists Localize 3D Matter Waves

For the first time, University of Illinois physicists have experimentally demonstrated how three-dimensional conduction is affected by the defects that plague materials. An understanding of these effects is important for many electronics applications, including ultrasonic waves in medical imaging, lasers for...

Products : Energy
LED Drivers

XP Power (Sunnyvale, CA) has released the DLG series of constant voltage and constant current LED drivers for a range of outdoor lighting, security, and machine vision applications. The IP67-rated waterproof units are highly efficient, up to 90%, and generate less waste heat than competitor products - resulting in an extended...

News : Energy
Improving the Physics of Grocery Store Display Cases to Save Energy

Designing grocery display cases has a lot in common with aeronautical engineering. Refrigerated display cases shoot jets of air across their front openings, creating an invisible shield that aims to keep cold air in and warm air out. Current technology does this with limited...

Products : Electronics & Computers
DC-DC Switching Charger ICs

austriamicrosystems (Unterpremstaetten, Austria) offers two new battery charger ICs for Li-ion batteries in mobile devices. The AS3610/11 step-down DC-DC chargers offer fast and highly efficient charging of Li-ion batteries with up to 1.25 A output current. The ICs include safety and protection features, internal...

News : Transportation
Technology Reduces Production Costs of Lithium-ion Cells

A development by engineers of Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is inspired by nature. To fill the porous electrodes of lithium-ion batteries more rapidly with liquid electrolyte, they use a physicochemical effect that also provides water transport in trees. The new process...

Question of the Week
Are you alarmed by the information collected by Verizon and other wireless carriers?
This week's Question: Verizon, the U.S. largest wireless carrier, recently announced that it will "create business and marketing reports" and "make the mobile ads you see more relevant," based on the information the company collects pertaining to a user's Web...
Diode Laser Systems

A new range of diode laser systems from Coherent, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) called the HighLight D-Series delivers both high power and an increased range of “smart” output beam shapes. In particular, the HighLight 8000D, with output power of 8kW, is the most powerful, industrial, direct diode laser system currently...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Fabry-Perot Etalons

Optical Surfaces Ltd (Surrey, UK) can supply Fabry-Perot etalons in a range of shapes and sizes up to 150mm in diameter with matching accuracies to lambda/300. Etalons are widely used in telecommunications, lasers and spectroscopic applications to measure the wavelength of light. Fabry Perot etalons are available from...

AC/DC LED Drivers

Aimtec’s (Vaudreuil-Dorion, Canada) second generation of AC/DC constant current LED drivers feature an operating temperature range that goes from -40°C to +80°C and waterproof IP68 rated cases. Key features of the AMExRx-AZ product line include Active Power Factor Correction (PF > 0.9), MTBF >50,000 hrs, output current...

Mode Stripping SMA Cables

Fiberguide’s (Stirling, NJ) new line of high-power mode stripping SMA cable assemblies provides a higher power alternative to traditional laser delivery cables for high-power laser welding, marking, cutting and drilling equipment. An integrated mode stripper dissipates up to 25W of power from the cladding, ensuring a...

Scientific Lamp Power Supply

McPherson Inc. (Chelmsford, MA) has introduced the highly regulated, universal light source power supply Model 718. Supporting scientific and industrial applications, it powers tungsten-halogen, ceramic and glow-bar infrared light sources. Output power is rated at 250 Watts maximum. Its exceptional performance of...

News : Energy
Energy-Efficient, Cost-Effective Fuel and Plastics Production

A University of Minnesota team has made major progress in the quest to design a specialized type of molecular sieve that could make the production of gasoline, plastics, and various chemicals more cost-effective and energy-efficient. The research was led by chemical engineering and...

Products : Green Design & Manufacturing
Automotive IC

STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland) introduces the L99PM72PXP, an automotive IC supporting advanced networking technology to unlock valuable improvements in fuel efficiency and emissions. The new chip reduces the energy consumed by systems such as door electronics and climate controls by allowing modules to be turned off...

News : Energy
Record-Breaking Solar Cells

Developed by Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics (IME), new thin-film silicon solar cells are designed to be made from cheaper, low-grade silicon. The nano-structured solar cells can produce a current of 34.3mA/cm2 – a world record for a silicon...

Question of the Week
Will Apple continue to innovate and thrive as a market leader?
This week's Question: Steven Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple, died last week at the age of 56. While the company has offered updates to its innovative technologies like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod, some have questioned whether new executive leadership will be able to innovate,...
Products : Lighting
Constant-Current Regulators

ON Semiconductor (Phoenix, AZ) has expanded its portfolio of constant-current regulators (CCRs) to include the NSI50350A. The simple and robust device is designed to provide a thermally-efficient and cost-effective alternative to passive/discrete components or driver IC solutions for current regulation of LEDs.

News : Transportation
Innovative Electric Aircraft Collects Aviation Prize

The 2011 CAFE Green Flight Challenge has a winner! NASA awarded a $1.35-million first place prize to team Pipistrel-USA of State College, PA. The team's electric Taurus G4 aircraft achieved the equivalency of more than 400 miles per gallon. The second place prize of $120,000 went to team...

News : Energy
Novel Catalyst Helps Turn Carbon Dioxide Into Fuel

Artificial photosynthesis is the process of converting carbon dioxide gas into useful carbon-based chemicals - most notably fuel or other compounds usually derived from petroleum - as an alternative to extracting them from biomass. An Illinois research team has produced a catalyst that improves...

News : Electronics & Computers
Crash-Resistant Battery Housing for Electric Cars

Fraunhofer scientists working on electronic drives have replaced a battery box for lithium-ion batteries with a lightweight component. Not only does the housing save weight and sustain no damage in an accident – for the first time ever, it can also be mass-produced.

Articles : Medical
Breakthrough in Preventing Food-borne Illnesses Wins $20,000 Grand Prize in Global Design Contest

"Create the Future" Design Contest sponsored by PTC®, COMSOL, and Tech Briefs Media attracts over 900 innovative product ideas from engineers and students in 50 countries.

New York, NY – A new invention could protect millions from...

News : Energy
Self-Igniting Fungi Promising for Biomass-Based Fuels

The complete genetic makeup of two heat-loving fungi often found in composts that self-ignite without flame or spark has been decoded by an international team of scientists. Their findings may lead to the faster and greener development of biomass-based fuels, chemicals, and other industrial...

Question of the Week
Will consumers accept the growing mobile payment options?
This week's Question: Google Wallet, an Android mobile app launched earlier this month, is slowly being rolled out to the public. The application allows users to make purchases with their phones. The technology uses near field communication (NFC) chips to store and remit credit card data,...
News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Solar Decathlon 2011 Has A Winner

The University of Maryland has won top honors at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 by designing, building, and operating the most cost-effective, energy efficient, and attractive solar-powered house. Purdue University took second place followed by New Zealand (Victoria University of Wellington)...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Optical Sensors for Monitoring Gamma and Neutron Radiation

For safety and efficiency, nuclear reactors must be carefully monitored to provide feedback that enables the fission rate to be held at a constant target level via adjustments in the position of neutron- absorbing rods and moderating coolant flow rates. For automated reactor control, the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Rapid-Response Semiconductor Sensor With Resistance Detection Determines Partial Pressure of Oxygen

In the past, solid electrolytes have mainly been used as oxygen sensors for automobiles. This type of sensor measures the difference between the oxygen partial pressures of a reference electrode and a measurement electrode, and always requires a...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Device Measures Quality of a Laser Beam and its Illumination Field

Laser line illumination systems may be used for numerous applications including imaging systems in which the laser line is directed toward a light modulator to reflect or transmit specific portions of the illumination field. The modulated light is then directed to an imaging...

Briefs : Medical
Cytometer on a Chip

A cytometer now under development exploits spatial sorting of sampled cells on a microarray chip followed by use of grating-coupled surface-plasmon-resonance imaging (GCSPRI) to detect the sorted cells. This cytometer on a chip is a prototype of contemplated future miniature cytometers that would be suitable for rapidly...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Qualifications of Bonding Process of Temperature Sensors to Deep- Space Missions

A process has been examined for bonding a platinum resistance thermometer (PRT) onto potential aerospace materials such as flat aluminum surfaces and a flexible copper tube to simulate coaxial cables for flight applications. Primarily, PRTs were inserted into a...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Compliant Tactile Sensors

Tactile sensors are currently being designed to sense interactions with human hands or pen-like interfaces. They are generally embedded in screens, keyboards, mousepads, and pushbuttons. However, they are not well fitted to sense interactions with all kinds of objects.

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Laser Truss Sensor for Segmented Telescope Phasing

A paper describes the laser truss sensor (LTS) for detecting piston motion between two adjacent telescope segment edges. LTS is formed by two point-topoint laser metrology gauges in a crossed geometry.

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Scanning and Defocusing Properties of Microstrip Reflectarray Antennas

A symmetric reflectarray, consisting of variable-size square patch elements with a commonly used mathematical model for the horn in the form of a cosine function, has been designed using the transmit mode technique for different f/D ratios with –10 dB edge taper....

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Cable Tester Box

Cables are very important electrical devices that carry power and signals across multiple instruments. Any fault in a cable can easily result in a catastrophic outcome. Therefore, verifying that all cables are built to spec is a very important part of Electrical Integration Procedures. Currently, there are two methods used in...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Fault-Tolerant, Radiation-Hard DSP

Commercial digital signal processors (DSPs) for use in high-speed satellite computers are challenged by the damaging effects of space radiation, mainly single event upsets (SEUs) and single event functional interrupts (SEFIs). Inno vations have been developed for mitigating the effects of SEUs and SEFIs,...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Sub-Shot Noise Power Source for Microelectronics

Low-current, high-impedance microelectronic devices can be affected by electric current shot noise more than they are affected by Nyquist noise, even at room temperature. An approach to implementing a sub-shot noise current source for powering such devices is based on direct conversion of...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Measuring Input Thresholds on an Existing Board

A critical PECL (positive emitter-coupled logic) interface to Xilinx interface needed to be changed on an existing flight board. The new Xilinx input interface used a CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) type of input, and the driver could meet its thresholds typically, but not in...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Programmable Oscillator

A programmable oscillator is a frequency synthesizer with an output phase that tracks an arbitrary function. An offset, phase-locked loop circuit is used in combination with an error control feedback loop to precisely control the output phase of the oscillator.

Briefs : Software
Asynchronous Message Service Reference Implementation

This software provides a library of middleware functions with a simple application programming interface, enabling implementation of distributed applications in conformance with the CCSDS AMS (Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems Asynchronous Message Service) specification.

Briefs : Software
Zero-Copy Objects System

Zero-copy objects (ZCOs) are abstract data access representations designed to minimize I/O (input/output) in the encapsulation of application source data within one or more layers of communication protocol structure. They are constructed within the heap space of a “Simple Data Recorder” (SDR) data store to which all...

Briefs : Software
Delay and Disruption Tolerant Networking MACHETE Mode

To verify satisfaction of communication requirements imposed by unique missions, as early as 2000, the Communications Networking Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) saw the need for an environment to support interplanetary communication protocol design, validation, and...

Briefs : Software
Contact Graph Routing

Contact Graph Routing (CGR) is a dynamic routing system that computes routes through a time-varying topology of scheduled communication contacts in a network based on the DTN (Delay-Tolerant Networking) architecture. It is designed to enable dynamic selection of data transmission routes in a space network based on DTN. This...

Briefs : Software
Parallel Eclipse Project Checkout

Parallel Eclipse Project Checkout (PEPC) is a program written to leverage parallelism and to automate the checkout process of plug-ins created in Eclipse RCP (Rich Client Platform). Eclipse plug-ins can be aggregated in a “feature project.” This innovation digests a feature description (xml file) and...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Pallet Manufacturing Process and Machinery Using Recycled Plastic Materials

As the recycling of plastic continues in the United States, there is a great need for the increased utilization of recycled products. Some of the plastic being recycled is extruded into a product known as plastic lumber, which is similar in shape and texture to its wood...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Technique for Configuring an Actively Cooled Thermal Shield in a Flight System

Broad area cooling shields are a massefficient alternative to conductively cooled thermal radiation shielding. The shield would actively intercept a large portion of incident thermal radiation and transport the heat away using cryogenic helium gas. The design concept...

Briefs : Materials
Use of Additives to Improve Performance of Methyl Butyrate-Based Lithium-Ion Electrolytes

This work addresses the need for robust rechargeable batteries that can operate well over a wide temperature range. To this end, a number of electrolyte formulations have been developed that incorporate the use of electrolyte additives to improve the...

Briefs : Materials
Li-Ion Cells Employing Electrolytes With Methyl Propionate and Ethyl Butyrate Co-Solvents

Future NASA missions aimed at exploring Mars and the outer planets require rechargeable batteries that can operate at low temperatures to satisfy the requirements of such applications as landers, rovers, and penetrators. A number of terrestrial...

Briefs : Medical
Tissue Photolithography

Tissue lithography will enable physicians and researchers to obtain macromolecules with high purity (>90 percent) from desired cells in conventionally processed, clinical tissues by simply annotating the desired cells on a computer screen. After identifying the desired cells, a suitable lithography mask will be generated...

Briefs : Medical
External Cooling Coupled to Reduced Extremity Pressure Device

Although suited astronauts are currently cooled with a Liquid Cooled Ventilation Garment (LCVG), which can remove up to 85 percent of body heat, their effectiveness is limited because cooling must penetrate layers of skin, muscle, fat, bone, and tissue to reach the bloodstream, where...

Briefs : Medical
Method for Impeding Degradation of Porous Silicon Structures

This invention relates to surface modification of porosified silicon (pSi) structures with poly(alkylene) glycols for the purpose of controlled degradation of the silicon matrix and tailored release of encapsulated substances for biomedical applications. The pSi structures are...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
A Zero-Gravity Cup for Drinking Beverages in Microgravity

To date, the method for astronauts to drink liquids in microgravity or weightless environments is to suck the liquid from a bag or pouch through a straw. A new beverage cup works in microgravity and allows astronauts to drink liquids from a cup in a manner consistent with that on...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Programmable Aperture With MEMS Microshutter Arrays

A microshutter array (MSA) has been developed for use as an aperture array for multi-object selections in James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) technology. Light shields, molybdenum nitride (MoN) coating on shutters, and aluminum/ aluminum oxide coatings on interior walls are put on each shutter...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Co-Flow Hollow Cathode Technology

Hall thrusters utilize identical hollow cathode technology as ion thrusters, yet must operate at much higher mass flow rates in order to efficiently couple to the bulk plasma discharge. Higher flow rates are necessary in order to provide enough neutral collisions to transport electrons across magnetic fields so...

Briefs : Information Technology
Lidar-Based Navigation Algorithm for Safe Lunar Landing

The purpose of Hazard Relative Navigation (HRN) is to provide measurements to the Navigation Filter so that it can limit errors on the position estimate after hazards have been detected. The hazards are detected by processing a hazard digital elevation map (HDEM). The HRN process takes...

Briefs : Information Technology
Tracking Object Existence From an Autonomous Patrol Vehicle

An autonomous vehicle patrols a large region, during which an algorithm receives measurements of detected potential objects within its sensor range. The goal of the algorithm is to track all objects in the region over time. This problem differs from traditional multi-target tracking...

Briefs : Information Technology
Adaptive System Modeling for Spacecraft Simulation

This invention introduces a methodology and associated software tools for automatically learning spacecraft system models without any assumptions regarding system behavior. Data stream mining techniques were used to learn models for critical portions of the International Space Station (ISS)...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Rad-Hard, Miniaturized, Scalable, High-Voltage Switching Module for Power Applications

A paper discusses the successful development of a miniaturized radiation hardened high-voltage switching module operating at 2.5 kV suitable for space application. The high-voltage architecture was designed, fabricated, and tested using a commercial process...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Architecture for a 1-GHz Digital RADAR

An architecture for a Direct RF-digitization Type Digital Mode RADAR was developed at GSFC in 2008. Two variations of a basic architecture were developed for use on RADAR imaging missions using aircraft and spacecraft. Both systems can operate with a pulse repetition rate up to 10 MHz with 8 received RF...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Specialized Thin Film Coatings for Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and their applications are experiencing rapid growth, especially in the area of remote sensing. Advances in propulsion; airframe materials; communications, command and control (C3) systems; cameras and detectors; and image processing are combining to...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Fine Laser Cutting Technology

Fine laser cutting is an ideal technology for specialized cutting requirements found in the manufacturing of medical tube tools and components. From surgical instruments used in cutting and biopsy, to needles containing unusual tips and side wall openings, to puzzle chain linkages for flexible endoscopes, laser...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Polished Panel Optical Receiver for Simultaneous RF/Optical Telemetry With Large DSN Antennas

The “polished panel” optical receiver concept described here makes use of aluminum panels on the main reflector of the Deep Space Network’s (DSN’s) 34-meter antennas at optical wavelengths by polishing and coating their surface to efficiently...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Universal Polishing Fixture

The Universal Workholder (UVG) from Krell Technologies (Morganville, NJ) is designed to polish any fiber optic component that incorporates a UPC-style ferrule with a diameter between 1.25 mm and 3.2 mm. The fixture works with industry-standard connectors: SC, FC, ST, LC, MU, E2000, and SMA. M29504, TFOCA, and ARINC...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Machine-Vision Camera

From high-speed automated inspection of printed circuit boards to rapid 3D mapping of disaster areas, Imperx (Boca Raton, FL) supports a wide range of high-resolution video-capture applications with two 29-Mpx B6620 cameras. Units are available with either Gigabit Ethernet or Camera Link outputs. Shutter speeds up to 1.25...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Digital High-Speed Cameras

Vision Research (Wayne, NJ) has introduced the Phantom® v1210 and v1610 cameras. The devices feature high-definition and widescreen 1280 × 800 CMOS sensors. Both cameras are based on proprietary sensors offering larger 28-micron pixels that allow for sensitivity when shooting in low light. The v-Series additions...

Products : Photonics/Optics
LED Driver

Austriamicrosystems (Raleigh, NC) has announced a 30V, 40mA, 16-channel LED driver with 12-bit pulse width modulation (PWM), dot correction, and diagnostics. With a 30V LED supply voltage, the AS1121 reduces external support components and can therefore be used directly with 24V (or higher) supplies. The AS1121 features a 6- bit dot...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Silicon Carbide Schottky Diodes

ROHM Semiconductor (San Diego, CA) has announced the SCS1xxAGC series of silicon carbide (SiC) Schottky barrier diodes (SBDs). The SiC diode maintains low forward voltage over a wide operating temperature range, which results in lower power dissipation under actual operating conditions. The 10A rated part, for...

Products : Photonics/Optics
VGA Digital Camera

The TXG02 from Baumer (Southington, CT) features VGA resolution and a frame rate of up to 140 fps. Available in both monochrome and color versions, the TXG02 has integrated ExView HAD technology for the visible and near-infrared range of the spectrum.

Products : Photonics/Optics
Photovoltaic ICs

National Semiconductor Corp. (Santa Clara, CA) has released ten SolarMagic™ integrated circuits (ICs) that meet photovoltaic renewable energy-grade qualification requirements. Each IC is engineered specifically for demanding rooftop environments that range from extreme cold to severe heat.

Products : Photonics/Optics
3D Optical Design Software

Synopsys (Mountain View, CA) has released enhancements to its LightTools® illumination 3D optical design and analysis software. The LightTools LumViewer, an interactive charting capability, customizes illumination simulation results to meet personal, company, or industry standards. Users can rotate and zoom 3D charts,...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Flexible Heaters

Therma Klear Flex™ thin flexible transparent heaters from Dontech (Doylestown, PA) provide the warmth necessary to extend operating temperature of liquid crystal displays (LCDs) in cold environments (0° to below -40 °C). They also provide anti-fog, anti-icing, and de-icing functions for optics, sensors, and display...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Polarization Crosstalk Analyzer

General Photonics (Chino, CA) has announced its PolaX™ (PXA-1000) distributed polarization crosstalk (x-talk) analyzer. The technology, an enhanced version of a white light interferometer, analyzes stress-induced polarization crosscoupling along a length of polarization maintaining (PM) fiber.

Products : Photonics/Optics
GigE/USB Camera Series

The uEye RE camera series from IDS GmbH (Woburn, MA) now offers versions with GigE or USB connections, as well as a choice of CCD or CMOS sensors up to 10 Megapixels. All 56 uEye RE models meet IP65 and IP67 specifications for industrial manufacturing and outdoor applications. The carefully sealed housing and screw-on lens...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Laser Diode Module

Roithner Lasertechnik GmbH (Vienna, Austria) has introduced the ULV-445-300 laser diode module with 300 mW of optical cw power. The module emits a 445 nm blue collimated laser beam. The driver board, designed for a supply voltage of 12 VDC, is separated from the 30 × 30 × 62 mm3 laser head, and it supports TTL modulation up...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Blue Laser Diodes

Power Technology (PTI) (Little Rock, AR) has released new blue laser diode wavelengths and power levels. The new options include: 375nm 200mW, 395nm 120mW, 415nm 120mW, 420nm 120mW, and 460nm 100mW. The laser diodes also feature active temperature control, the availability of beam circularization and modulated versions, and an...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Custom Microminiature Optics

Bern Optics (Westfield, MA) offers custom optical elements with dimensions as small as 0.20 mm. They can be custom engineered, ground, and polished to micron tolerances in a variety of configurations, including lenses, prisms, axicons, filters, windows, domes, and mirrors, as well as special components with...

Products : Photonics/Optics
PFC and Ballast Control ICs

International Rectifier Corp. (El Segundo, CA) has introduced the IRS2580DS Combo8, an IC that integrates power factor correction (PFC) and ballast control in an 8-pin SO-8 package. To provide power factor correction, the IRS2580DS includes a boost converter control circuit operating in critical-conduction...

Products : Photonics/Optics

STripFET VI DeepGATE power MOSFETs from STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland) withstand maximum voltages up to 80V. Transistor options include the 60V STP260N6F6 and STH260N6F6-2, the 75V STP210N75F6 and STH210N75F6-2, and the 80V STL75N8LF6. The voltage ratings permit operation in 48V telecom applications. The STH260N6F6-2 has...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Light Engine

Lumencor (Beaverton, OR) has released the SOLA light engine. The device offers solid state illumination and continuous white light from 380 to 680nm, allowing the user simple integration with existing filter cubes and hardware configurations. The SOLA, which can be controlled by microscopy software, couples to all major brands of...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Photovoltaic Metallization Paste

DuPont Microcircuit Materials (MCM) (Bristol, UK) has introduced the low temperature processing DuPont™ Solamet® PV414 photovoltaic (PV) metallization paste designed for rotary screen printing to enable high-speed, roll-to-roll processing of thin and flexible solar cells and modules. The new offering was...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Diode Laser System

DILAS Industrial Laser Systems (Tucson, AZ) has introduced a diode laser system with an optical output power of 30W CW and increased beam quality. Its module is integrated into the fiber-coupled turnkey diode laser COMPACT platform. The laser system features a beam parameter product of ±11mm mrad (100μm fiber core diameter,...

Articles : Green Design & Manufacturing
Driving Growth and Innovation With Sustainable Design

Sustainable design — a dedicated effort to create products in a manner that minimizes their negative impact on the environment, making them more economically viable, socially acceptable, and ecologically tenable — is often misunderstood. In the past, many manufacturers viewed efforts to...

Application Briefs : Communications
NASA Uses Emergency Notification System to Communicate With Personnel

The Communicator!® NXT™ emergency notification system
Cassidian Communications (an EADS North America company)
Temecula, CA

Application Briefs : Materials
Multi-Layer Films and Tapes Provide Thermal Protection for NASA Spacecraft
Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) materials
Dunmore Corporation
Bristol, PA

The final flight of the Space Shuttle Atlantis carried Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) materials from Dunmore Corp. The MLI materials replace...

Articles : Research Lab
Dryden Flight Research Center

The Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, CA, is NASA’s primary center for atmospheric flight research and operations. Dryden plays a vital role in advancing technology and science through flight, conducting flight research and technology integration, as well as validating space exploration...

Techs for License
Piezo-Electric Actuator Provides Motion Control Alternative

An alternative piezo-electric ceramic actuator simultaneously provides greater force and deflection, while producing no appreciable magnetic field or heat. The RLP domed piezo, a PZT disk laminated between two metal layers under heat and pressure, increases deflection 1,000-fold from an...

Techs for License
Lateral-Flow Device Produces Quantitative Diagnostics

A patent suite enables quantitative diagnostics from inexpensive and disposable lateral-flow test strip technology. Multiple, simultaneous analyses can be conducted on the same strip. The method reduces the hook effect, a dangerous false negative, without requiring long wait times; larger,...

NASA Tech Needs
Stainless Steel Surface Treatment

A treatment for stainless steel must impart high-release properties on par with non-stick coatings. The method should modify the surface of the stainless steel, but not reduce any of its existing properties, such as abrasion resistance, chemical resistance, or durability. The surface modification must resist...

NASA Tech Needs
A More Efficient Turbo Propulsion System

Using higher exhaust exit temperatures, a company needs to improve the efficiency of a turbo propulsion system. Methods should reduce component weight primarily in the core compressor component (or secondarily anywhere in the flow path) through new compressor geometries or aerodynamic improvements. Lower...

Articles : Motion Control
Electronic Flow Control Valve (EFCV) with Pressure Compensation Capability

Flow control is one of the most critical functions in the hydraulic industry. Traditionally, flow control is implemented via a proportional or servo valve. When current is applied into the coil of a solenoid (proportional valve) or a torque motor (servo valve), a...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
DC Motor Automates Patient Transfer Device

One of the growing problems facing nurses is a reduced staff, and with it the need to care for overweight patients with very little help. This effort has led to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) including back injuries. In fact, 12 percent of nurses leave the profession each year due to back injuries....

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Adjustable Frequency Drives

Magnetek (Menomonee Falls, WI) has announced the IMPULSE® Series 4 adjustable frequency drives. The IMPULSE•G+ can be used as open-loop vector or V/F crane control for traverse motions or mechanical load brake hoists, and the IMPULSE•VG+ can be used as a closed-loop flux vector crane control for non-mechanical...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Stepper Motors

The STM24 Series of NEMA 24 frame hybrid stepper motors from Applied Motion Products (Watsonville, CA) features holding torque rated to 340 oz-in. The CANopen high-torque integrated motors adhere to CAN in Automation specifications DS301 and DSP402. Profile position, profile velocity, and homing modes are supported at data rates...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Position Sensor System

Nook Industries (Cleveland, OH) has released the Nook Sensor System™ that provides position control for translating screw jack systems. Designed for the ActionJac™ inch and metric translating screw jacks, the system features repeatability to ±.004" and a cylindrical aluminum stem cover that provides a housing shroud...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Inverter Drives

The 8400 HighLine inverter drives from Lenze Americas (Uxbridge, MA) feature integrated point-to-point positioning for up to 15 position destinations. The drives store the corresponding travel profiles directly in the inverter. They feature linear and S-shaped travel profiles, a touch probe function, and homing selectable for 14...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Motor/Valve Assembly

The Cheminert C52 Series Injector from Valco Instruments (Houston, TX) is an integrated motor/valve assembly that uses the Cheminert HPLC injector design and a 24V motor. The assembly is connected to the instrument’s power supply. Control requires only a single contact closure; the injector’s position is determined by...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Encoders

Heidenhain Corp. (Schaumburg, IL) has introduced the ROC/ROQ 400 series PROFIBUS rotary encoders that support the DP-V2 encoder profile for robot control and production technology. The encoders with 58-mm housing diameter feature M12 or M23 input connectors and flange sockets for easier cable connections. M12 flange sockets allow...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
DC Motor Control

The BGE 3508 and BGE 6005 4-quadrant positioning motion controllers with integral output stage are available from Dunkermotoren USA (Elgin, IL). They control brushless and brushed DC motors as slaves in CANopen networks, or in standalone operation with digital or analog I/O. The two versions are available in a package size of...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Sensor

Piher International Corp. (Mundelein, IL) has released the PST-360 through-hole shaft angle rotary position sensor that combines a through-shaft design with 360° absolute position feedback. In the through-hole design, the sensor fits over existing shaft and bearing assemblies. The sensor incorporates a proprietary ring magnet with...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control

The WSG 50 gripper from Schunk (Morrisville, NC) can be controlled via Ethernet TCP/IP or Profibus DP. It features an integrated Web server for configuration and diagnostics. Integrated control and regulation electronics enable the gripper to be integrated into higher-order systems. It is equipped with an internal MicroSD card for saving...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Table

Physik Instrumente (PI) L.P. (Auburn, MA) has introduced the M-660 rotary table driven by piezo motors that enable a profile of 14 mm. The table is equipped with a direct measuring en coder. It can accelerate to velocities of 720 degrees/sec. and its directly coupled optical encoder resolves position down to 4 μrad, providing...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Multi-Axis Motor Control

Maxon Motor USA (Fall River, MA) offers the EPOS2 36/2 multi-axis controller in a motherboard configuration that provides either a standalone multi-axis motor controller or one that can be integrated into the final product as a sub-board. Starting with 11 nodes connected together via CANopen, the snap-apart construction...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
AC Motors

The IronHorse™ line of general-purpose AC motors from AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) includes cast iron threephase motors in horsepower ranges from 1 to 200 hp. The motors are available in speeds of 1200, 1800, and 3600 RPM, and are electrically reversible. The T-frame and TC-frame TEFC motors feature ribbed cast iron frames and are...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Digital Inclinometer

Analog Devices (Norwood, MA) has released the ADIS16210 MEMS iSensor® digital inclinometer system that provides measurements of both pitch and roll angles over a full orientation range of ±180°. It integrates iMEMS® multi-axis accelerometer technology and signal processing, adding addressable user registers for...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Solenoid Valve

Parker Fluid Control Division (New Britain, CT) offers the High Flow direct mount NAMUR solenoid valve for general-purpose valve actuator applications. It features a NAMUR mounting pattern and flow rates from 1.2 to 3.0 Cv. A spring return allows operation in the event of a power loss, and a screened exhaust nut protects valve...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Step-Down Controller

Linear Technology Corp. (Milpitas, CA) offers the LTC3867 fixed-frequency synchronous step-down DC/DC controller with nonlinear control, differential output voltage sensing, and clock synchronization. The 4V to 38V input range encompasses a variety of applications including intermediate bus voltages. Onboard N-channel MOSFET...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Actuator

Haydon Kerk Motion Solutions (Waterbury, CT) offers a 36-mm G4 linear actuator that includes an adapter plate that allows the smaller 36- mm OD unit to replace 42-mm and 46-mm units in existing applications using the same bolt pattern and pilot surface. The actuator design utilizes optimized teeth geometry along with high-energy...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
DC Compressor

The 2220 Series brushless DC oil-less air compressor from Thomas Division (Sheboygan, WI) is designed for applications requiring a compact compressor with variable output. The unit weighs 1.48 pounds and measures 3.8 × 2.64 × 4.7". It features a variable speed motor that produces flow to 1.2 cfm and pressure to 30 psi. It uses...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Servo Motors

Wittenstein (Bartlett, IL) has introduced the MRSH line of servo motors designed in a modular concept to allow users to select frame sizes, lengths, and options. The MRSH049A and MRSH064A models are available in lengths of 15, 30, 45, and 60 mm; the MRSH130A in lengths of 30, 60, 120, and 230 mm; and the MRSH178A and MRSH178C in...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
V-Belt Drives

Premium banded V-belts from TB Wood’s (Chambersburg, PA) are designed for drives requiring high impact strength and load-carrying power. Banded belts feature a multiple-layer tie band that provides lateral rigidity to prevent belts from turning over or from coming off the drive. Premium singles are available for applications...

Briefs : Medical
Improved Devices for Collecting Sweat for Chemical Analysis

Improved devices have been proposed for collecting sweat for biochemical analysis — especially for determination of the concentration of Ca2+ ions in sweat as a measure of loss of Ca from bones. Unlike commercially available sweat-collection patches used previously in...

Who's Who
Phil McAlister, Acting Director of Commercial Spaceflight Development, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

Phil McAlister, acting director of commercial spaceflight development, oversees the efforts of the Commercial Crew Development and Cargo programs. The dual initiatives spur efforts within the private sector to boost human spaceflight...

Phil McAlister, Acting Director of Commercial Spaceflight Development, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

Phil McAlister, acting director of commercial spaceflight development, oversees the efforts of the Commercial Crew Development and Cargo programs. The dual initiatives spur efforts within the private sector to boost human spaceflight...

Question of the Week
Would You Ride in a Flying Car?