November 2011

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Bacteria Engineered to Eat Switchgrass and Make Transportation Fuels
Bacteria Engineered to Eat Switchgrass and Make Transportation Fuels

Researchers with DOE’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have engineered the first strains of Escherichia coli bacteria that can digest switchgrass biomass and synthesize...

Bacteria Engineered to Eat Switchgrass and Make Transportation Fuels
Question of the Week
Will the rover reveal that Mars might once have been hospitable for microbial life — or might even still be conducive to life?

This week's Question: The Curiosity rover, NASA's biggest extraterrestrial explorer, was launched toward Mars last week. The mobile laboratory, 10 feet long by 9 feet wide, will search for evidence that the planet was...

News : Energy
"Fool's Gold" Could Lead to Cheaper Solar Energy

Pyrite - or “fool’s gold” - has recently helped researchers at Oregon State University discover related compounds that offer new, cheap, and promising options for solar energy. These new compounds would be benign and could be processed from some of the most abundant elements on Earth.

Articles : Imaging
New Video Documents Three-Year Trek by Mars Rover

A new video compiles 309 images taken by NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, providing an historic record of a three-year trek that totaled about 13 miles across a Martian plain pocked with smaller craters.

While Opportunity was traveling from Victoria crater to Endeavour crater,...

Integrated Semiconductor Nanowires Improve Solar Cell Production

Tiny wires could help engineers realize high-performance solar cells and other electronics, according to University of Illinois researchers. The research group, led by electrical and computer engineering professor Xiuling Li, developed a technique to integrate compound...

News : Government
Is Sustainability Science a Legitimate Science?

Creating a scientific field just out of societal and policy need is a bold concept. But Los Alamos National Laboratory and Indiana University researchers say that for the emerging field of sustainability science - sorting among theoretical and applied scientific disciplines, making sense of...

Blade Server

NextComputing (Nashua, NH) has announced support for the NVIDIA® Tesla™ C-class GPU computing processors in its NextStream dense streaming blade server, including the recently announced Tesla C2075. At a diminutive 2 rack units (2U) high, the NextStream is optimized for high-performance computing tasks that require a mix of...

Fanless Mini PC

Stealth.Com Inc. (Stealth Computer) (San Jose, CA) has released the new model LPC-125LPFM, a rugged, small footprint, fanless computer for industrial, Mobile/In-Vehicle and Embedded applications. Stealth’s fanless mobile PC utilizes the Intel® D525 Pineview 1.8GHz Dual Core processor technology with two physical cores and four...

PC/104-Plus and EPIC SBCs

ADLINK Technology (San Jose, CA) has released its latest Ampro by ADLINK™ Extreme Rugged™ CoreModule® 720 PC/104-Plus single board computer (SBC) with Intel® Atom™ Processor E600 Series and Rugged ReadyBoard™ 910 EPIC SBC with 2nd Generation Intel Core™ i7/i5/i3 and Celeron® processors. The CoreModule 720...

Servo Drive

Portescap’s (West Chester, PA) LVD is a high-performance low-voltage servo drive, designed to support small and large Brushed DC or Brushless motors. Packed in a high power-density package, LVD is powered from a supply voltage of 12-48VDC, and is capable of 7Amps RMS continuous and 12Amps RMS peak current with CANopen®...

News : Energy
New Battery Design Features Carbon Foam Cathode

A lighter, greener, cheaper, longer-lasting battery. Who wouldn’t want that?

News : Materials
Efficient Method for Creating Flexible, Transparent Electrodes

As the market for liquid crystal displays and other electronics continues to drive up the price of indium — the material used to make the indium tin oxide (ITO) transparent electrodes in these devices — scientists have been searching for a less costly and more dynamic...

Question of the Week
Will we be able to design an "operating system" for a living biological cell?
This week's Question: As part of a five-year, $1.58 million research project named AudACiOus, a group of University of Nottingham scientists will attempt to program the genetic components of a cell to perform any desired function, without requiring extensive modification...
Articles : Energy
Retrofitting for Sustainability: Carbon-Smart and Cost-Effective Solutions

As the sustainable design movement continues to grow rapidly throughout the US, architectural engineers, building product manufacturers, and construction business owners must keep up with stringent environmental regulations amidst a quickly changing landscape of new green...

News : Energy
Super Yeast Turns Pine into Ethanol
Super Yeast Turns Pine into Ethanol

A research team from the University of Georgia has developed a "super strain" of yeast that can efficiently ferment ethanol from pretreated pine - one of the most common species of trees in the U.S. Their...

Super Yeast Turns Pine into Ethanol
News : Electronics & Computers
Read November's Lighting Technology

The new issue of Lighting Technology is here! Check out more new feature articles, application stories, tech briefs, products, videos, and research news - all on the latest advances in LEDs and solid-state lighting.

Products : Electronics & Computers
Ideal Diodes With 15-mV Forward Voltage

Linear Technology Corporation (Milpitas, CA) has introduced the LTC4415, a monolithic two-channel 4A PowerPath™ ideal diode device designed to reduce heat, voltage drop, and board space while preserving battery run time in power switchover circuits.

News : Energy
Jet Fuel of the Future
Jet Fuel of the Future

With the DOE, Virent, Inc., and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) working together, planes may soon take to the skies using less petroleum. In June, DOE announced an award of up to $13.4 million dollars...

Jet Fuel of the Future
Question of the Week
Are you concerned that children are spending more time than ever in front of screens?
This week's Question: A new study from Common Sense Media shows that infants and toddlers spend twice as much time with screen media as they do with books. While television is still the dominant media device in most young children's lives, the study, based on...
News : Energy
Adapted Antennas Harness More Power From the Sun

A research team from Tel Aviv University is working on a solar panel composed of nano-antennas instead of semiconductors. By adapting classic metallic antennas to absorb light waves at optical frequencies, a much higher conversion rate from light into useable energy can be achieved.

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
A Step Forward for Bioremediation

Berkeley Lab researchers have revealed critical genetic secrets of a bacterium that holds potential for removing toxic and radioactive waste from the environment. The researchers have provided the first ever map of the genes that determine how these bacteria interact with their surrounding environment.

Articles : Materials
New NASA Material Redefines “Dark”

NASA engineers have produced a material that absorbs, on average, more than 99 percent of the ultraviolet, visible, infrared, and far-infrared light that hits it -- a development that promises to open new frontiers in space technology.

Engineers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD,...

News : Energy
Design Competition for Portable Solar Power

Today, Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (Thornton, CO) - a developer of lightweight, flexible, thin-film photovoltaic modules - has announced the selection of seven teams that will begin designing prototypes for the Ascent Solar Innovative Design Competition.

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Photosynthesis Helper Protein Discovered

Photosynthesis is less efficient in plants than it could be. Red algae, in contrast, use a slightly different mechanism and are thus more productive. Scientists from Germany's Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have now identified a helper protein for photosynthesis in red algae.

Question of the Week
Is the discovery of intelligent alien life unlikely?
This week's Question: Two recent ePetitions on a "We the People" petition site asked the government to acknowledge the presence of aliens. A reply from a research assistant from the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy emphasized that the government was actively looking for...
News : Energy
A Search Engine for Clean Energy Materials

For everything from batteries to photovoltaics, new materials are crucial to building a clean energy economy. To speed up the development cycle, Berkeley Lab and MIT researchers have teamed up to develop a new tool - called the Materials Project - which launches this month.

News : Energy
Green Innovation - Awarded

The National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) has won the 2011 GreenGov Presidential Award for Green Innovation. NREL’s Green Data Center was recognized for its innovative design that minimizes its energy footprint and reduces costs, without compromising service quality.

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
New Anode Technology Improves Battery Performance

A breakthrough in components for next-generation batteries could come from special materials that transform their structure to perform better over time.

A team of researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, led by Argonne nanoscientist Tijana Rajh and battery...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
NASA Looks to Make Tractor Beams a Reality

Tractor beams — the ability to trap and move objects using laser light — are not just “Star Trek” science fiction, and are not beyond current technology. A team of NASA scientists has won funding to study the concept of remotely capturing planetary or atmospheric particles, and delivering them...

News : Materials
Affordable Solar Option for Power Plants

Solar thermal power plants - which use high temperatures and pressure generated by sunlight to produce turbine movement - are an environmentally-friendly alternative to standard power plants. But this can be expensive, especially when it comes to equipment made from expensive metals and the solar...

News : Semiconductors & ICs
Composite Metamaterial for Solar Tech

A Northwestern University research team has developed a new material that absorbs a wide range of wavelengths and could lead to more efficient and less expensive solar technology. The researchers used two unconventional materials – metal and silicon oxide – to create thin but complex, trapezoid-shaped...

Question of the Week
Will there be enough of a market to justify taxpayer investment in new, private space taxis?
This week's Question: Last week, leaders of various commercial space companies argued for the future of their industry in front of a House panel, as lawmakers questioned whether there would be enough of a market in space transportation and tourism to...
Briefs : Energy
Transparent Conducting Oxides and Undercoat Technologies for Economical OLED Lighting

Economics is a key factor for application of organic light emitting diodes (OLED) in general lighting relative to OLED flat panel displays that can handle high-cost materials such as indium tin oxide (ITO) or indium zinc oxide (IZO) as the transparent...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Flight Test Results from the Rake Airflow Gage Experiment on the F-15B

The results are described of the Rake Airflow Gage Experiment (RAGE), which was designed and fabricated to support the flight test of a new supersonic inlet design using Dryden’s Propulsion Flight Test Fixture (PFTF) and F-15B testbed airplane (see figure). The PFTF is a...

Briefs : Software
Telemetry and Science Data Software System

The Telemetry and Science Data Software System (TSDSS) was designed to validate the operational health of a spacecraft, ease test verification, assist in debugging system anomalies, and provide trending data and advanced science analysis. In doing so, the system parses, processes, and organizes raw data...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Experiment in Onboard Synthetic Aperture Radar Data Processing

Single event upsets (SEUs) are a threat to any computing system running on hardware that has not been physically radiation hardened. In addition to mandating the use of performance- limited, hardened heritage equipment, prior techniques for dealing with the SEU problem often involved...

Briefs : Information Technology
CropEx Web-Based Agricultural Monitoring and Decision Support

CropEx is a Web-based agricultural Decision Support System (DSS) that monitors changes in crop health over time. It is designed to be used by a wide range of both public and private organizations, including individual producers and regional government offices with a vested interest in...

Briefs : Information Technology
High-Performance Data Analysis Tools for Sun-Earth Connection Missions

The data analysis tool of choice for many Sun-Earth Connection missions is the Interactive Data Language (IDL) by ITT VIS. The increasing amount of data produced by these missions and the increasing complexity of image processing algorithms requires access to higher computing...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Microfabrication of a High-Throughput Nanochannel Delivery/Filtration System

A microfabrication process is proposed to produce a nanopore membrane for continuous passive drug release to maintain constant drug concentrations in the patient’s blood throughout the delivery period. Based on silicon microfabrication technology, the dimensions of...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Monolithic Flexure Pre-Stressed Ultrasonic Horns

High-power ultrasonic actuators are generally assembled with a horn, backing, stress bolt, piezoelectric rings, and electrodes. The manufacturing process is complex, expensive, difficult, and time-consuming. The internal stress bolt needs to be insulated and presents a potential internal discharge...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Improved Design and Fabrication of Hydrated-Salt Pills

A high-performance design, and fabrication and growth processes to implement the design, have been devised for encapsulating a hydrated salt in a container that both protects the salt and provides thermal conductance between the salt and the environment surrounding the container. The unitary...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Wheel-Based Ice Sensors for Road Vehicles

Wheel-based sensors for detection of ice on roads and approximate measurement of the thickness of the ice are under development. These sensors could be used to alert drivers to hazardous local icing conditions in real time. In addition, local ice-thickness measurements by these sensors could serve as...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Broadband Via-Less Microwave Crossover Using Microstrip- CPW Transitions

The front-to-back interface between microstrip and CPW (coplanar waveguide) typically requires complex fabrication or has high radiation loss. The microwave crossover typically requires a complex fabrication step. The prior art in microstrip-CPW transition requires a...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Cryogenic Quenching Process for Electronic Part Screening

The use of electronic parts at cryogenic temperatures (

Briefs : Software
G-DYN Multibody Dynamics Engine

G-DYN is a multi-body dynamic simulation software engine that automatically assembles and integrates equations of motion for arbitrarily connected multibody dynamic systems.

Briefs : Software
Multibody Simulation Software Testbed for Small-Body Exploration and Sampling

G-TAG is a software tool for the multibody simulation of a spacecraft with a robotic arm and a sampling mechanism, which performs a touch-and-go (TAG) maneuver for sampling from the surface of a small celestial body. G-TAG utilizes G- DYN, a multi-body simulation...

Briefs : Software
Propulsive Reaction Control System Model

This software models a propulsive reaction control system (RCS) for guidance, navigation, and control simulation purposes. The model includes the drive electronics, the electromechanical valve dynamics, the combustion dynamics, and thrust. This innovation follows the Mars Science Laboratory entry reaction...

Briefs : Software
Licklider Transmission Protocol Implementation

This software is an implementation of the Licklider Transmission Protocol (LTP), a communications protocol intended to support the Bundle Protocol in Delay-Tolerant Network (DTN) operations. LTP is designed to provide retransmission- based reliability over links characterized by extremely long...

Briefs : Software
Core Recursive Hierarchical Image Segmentation

The Recursive Hierarchical Image Segmentation (RHSEG) software has been repackaged to provide a version of the RHSEG software that is not subject to patent restrictions and that can be released to the general public through NASA GSFC’s Open Source release process. Like the Core HSEG Software...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Pressure Regulator With Internal Ejector Circulation Pump, Flow and Pressure Measurement Porting, and Fuel Cell System Integration Options

An advanced reactant pressure regulator with an internal ejector reactant circulation pump has been developed to support NASA’s future fuel cell power systems needs. These needs include reliable and safe...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Two-Stage Centrifugal Fan

Fan designs are often constrained by envelope, rotational speed, weight, and power. Aerodynamic performance and motor electrical performance are heavily influenced by rotational speed. The fan used in this work is at a practical limit for rotational speed due to motor performance characteristics, and there is no more...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Combined Structural and Trajectory Control of Variable-Geometry Planetary Entry Systems

Some of the key challenges of planetary entry are to dissipate the large kinetic energy of the entry vehicle and to land with precision. Past missions to Mars were based on unguided entry, where entry vehicles carried payloads of less than 0.6 T and landed...

Briefs : Materials
Temperature-Sensitive Coating Sensor Based on Hematite

A temperature-sensitive coating, based on hematite (iron III oxide), has been developed to measure surface temperature using spectral techniques. The hematite powder is added to a binder that allows the mixture to be painted on the surface of a test specimen. The coating dynamically changes...

Briefs : Materials
Detection of Carbon Monoxide Using Polymer-Carbon Composite Films

A carbon monoxide (CO) sensor was developed that can be incorporated into an existing sensing array architecture. The CO sensor is a low-power chemiresistor that operates at room temperature, and the sensor fabrication techniques are compatible with ceramic substrates.

Briefs : Materials
Substituted Quaternary Ammonium Salts Improve Low-Temperature Performance of Double-Layer Capacitors

Double-layer capacitors are unique energy storage devices, capable of supporting large current pulses as well as a very high number of charging and discharging cycles. The performance of double-layer capacitors is highly dependent on the nature...

Briefs : Materials
Standardization of a Volumetric Displacement Measurement for Two-Body Abrasion Scratch Test Data Analysis

A limitation has been identified in the existing test standards used for making controlled, two-body abrasion scratch measurements based solely on the width of the resultant score on the surface of the material. A new, more robust method is...

Briefs : Materials
Sustainably Sourced, Thermally Resistant, Radiation Hard Biopolymer

This material represents a breakthrough in the production, manufacturing, and application of thermal protection system (TPS) materials and radiation shielding, as this represents the first effort to develop a non-metallic, nonceramic, biomaterial-based, sustainable TPS with the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Integrated Lens Antennas for Multi-Pixel Receivers

Future astrophysics and planetary experiments are expected to require large focal plane arrays with thousands of detectors. Feedhorns have excellent performance, but their mass, size, fabrication challenges, and expense become prohibitive for very large focal plane arrays. Most planar antenna...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Validating Phasing and Geometry of Large Focal Plane Arrays

The Kepler Mission is designed to survey our region of the Milky Way galaxy to discover hundreds of Earth-sized and smaller planets in or near the habitable zone. The Kepler photometer is an array of 42 CCDs (charge-coupled devices) in the focal plane of a 95-cm Schmidt camera onboard...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
180-GHz Interferometric Imager

A 180-GHz interferometric imager uses compact receiver modules, combined high- and low-gain antennas, and ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) correlator technology, enabling continuous, all-weather observations of water vapor with 25-km resolution and 0.3-K noise in 15 minutes of observation for...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Maturation of Structural Health Management Systems for Solid Rocket Motors

Concepts of an autonomous and automated space-compliant diagnostic system were developed for conditioned- based maintenance (CBM) of rocket motors for space exploration vehicles. The diagnostic system will provide real-time information on the integrity of critical...

Briefs : Information Technology
Achieving Exact and Constant Turnaround Ratio in a DDS-Based Coherent Transponder

A report describes a non-standard direct digital synthesizer (DDS) implementation that can be used as part of a coherent transponder so as to allow any rational turnaround ratio to be exactly achieved and maintained while the received frequency varies. (A coherent...

Briefs : Information Technology
Surface Modeling to Support Small-Body Spacecraft Exploration and Proximity Operations

In order to simulate physically plausible surfaces that represent geologically evolved surfaces, demonstrating demanding surface-relative guidance navigation and control (GN&C) actions, such surfaces must be made to mimic the geological processes themselves. A...

Articles : Software
Industry Update: Analysis & Simulation Software

One of the advantages resulting from a slow economy is the increased scrutiny placed on reducing expenses and improving efficiency. This has been the case during the past few years in the simulation and analysis software arena. “The simulation market has continued to grow strongly over the years...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Grand Prize Winner

Monika Weber, Christopher Yerino, Hazael Montanaro, Kane Siu Lung Lo, and Mark Reed, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Every year, food-borne bacteria cause thousands of infections in humans and animals. Outbreaks of E.Coli and Salmonella commonly occur in meat, vegetables, and processed food products. The most recent and...

Application Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Sensors Measure Vibroacoustic Shock During Launches
G-Link®, SG-Link®, WSDA®, and SensorCloud® wireless sensor components
Williston, VT

MicroStrain provided NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida with the wireless sensor technology to remotely monitor liftoff...

Application Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Data Acquisition System Monitors Lightning Strikes
Genesis HighSpeed data acquisition system and Perception software
Marlboro, MA

NASA Kennedy Space Center, based in Cape Canaveral, FL, has one of the highest rates of ground lightning strikes per square kilometer in the United States....

Articles : Research Lab
John C. Stennis Space Center

In the 1960s, NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, all but hidden away in the piney woods of south Mississippi, built a reputation of excellence in testing the massive first and second stages of the Saturn rocket for the nation’s Apollo Program.

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Multiple-Event, Single-Photon Counting Imaging Sensor

The single-photon counting imaging sensor is typically an array of silicon Geiger-mode avalanche photodiodes that are monolithically integrated with CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) readout, signal processing, and addressing circuits located in each pixel and the peripheral area...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Qualification of Fiber Optic Cables for Martian Extreme Temperature Environments

Means have been developed for enabling fiber optic cables of the Laser Induced Breakdown Spectrometer instrument to survive ground operations plus the nominal 670 Martian conditions that include Martian summer and winter seasons. The purpose of this development was...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Transverse Pupil Shifts for Adaptive Optics Non-Common Path Calibration

A simple new way of obtaining absolute wavefront measurements with a laboratory Fizeau interferometer was recently devised. In that case, the observed wavefront map is the difference of two cavity surfaces, those of the mirror under test and of an unknown reference surface...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Solid-State Spectral Light Source System

A solid-state light source combines an array of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with advanced electronic control and stabilization over both the spectrum and overall level of the light output. The use of LEDs provides efficient operation over a wide range of wavelengths and power levels, while electronic...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
3D Imaging Technology Changing the Way We Look at Things

Everywhere we look we are bombarded with 3D. It’s in movies, in-home entertainment, digital camcorders, gaming systems, laptops, and even in our labs. What is it about 3D that is so fascinating and what are some of the technology drivers that are determining its future?

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Creating 3D Terrain Maps from 2D Data

Disaster relief workers, border patrol officers, wildfire fighters, and many others need up-to-date information about what they will see when they enter an area, not just sketchy topographic maps that may be years out of date. For them, things change in a hurry, and high-resolution details may be critical to...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Tunable Laser Module and Fast Spectral Loss Engine

Agilent Technologies (Santa Clara, CA) has introduced a compact tunable laser module for its 816x Series lightwave measurement platform. The Agilent 81960A module, which features a 200 nm/s sweep speed and increased acceleration, measures dense-wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) components....

Products : Photonics/Optics
High-Dynamic-Range Read Out Circuit

The NSC1101 from New Imaging Technologies (NIT) Corp. (Verrières le Buisson, France) is a high-dynamic-range read out circuit (ROIC) designed to interface with photodiode arrays. The NSC1101 has a VGA format (640×512 pixels), and the ROIC offers a pitch of 15μm. Because of its Native Wide Dynamic Range™...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Test-and-Measurement Platform

New Ridge Technologies (Owings Mills, MD) has announced the expansion of its NRT-2500 product line to include the TruePhase IPLM Inline Polarimeter from OFS (Norcross, GA). The NRT-2500, a polarization control platform, offers scrambling, randomizing, spinning, setting, and tracking polarization applications.

Products : Photonics/Optics
Green Laser Diode Modules

Power Technology (Little Rock, AR) offers a 515-nm, 20-mW green laser diode module. The laser modules have been created specifically to address the needs of high-end OEM applications requiring ultra-stable wavelength and output powers such as laser-induced fluorescence, spectroscopy, data storage, flow cytometry, cancer...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Linear-Array PMT Modules

Linear Array Photomultiplier tube (PMT) modules from Hamamatsu Corporation (Bridgewater, NJ) offer high cathode sensitivity, high gain, and high-speed response. The H11451 series features 8 channels in a linear format, with each channel's photosensitive area measuring 2.0mm (W) × 2.5mm (H). Two spectral response ranges...

Products : Photonics/Optics

REO (Boulder, CO) offers pentaprisms with coatings optimized for demanding laser applications, such as target designation and range finding. The pentaprisms feature dielectric antireflection and high-reflection coatings manufactured using ion beam sputtering (IBS) technology. The densified films exhibit laser damage characteristics...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Femtosecond Laser

Based on diode-pumped disk laser technology, the femtosecond laser JenLas® D2.fs from JENOPTIK Laser Technologies Corp. (Brighton, MI) emits high pulse energies of 40 μJ at 100 kHz repetition rate, and can operate in the 30-200 kHz range. Its working temperature range has been extended to 15–35 °C. The laser offers beam...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Filter Modeling Tool

MyLight, an online filter modeling tool from Semrock (Rochester, NY), provides users with the ability to characterize optical filters under varying theoretical conditions in real time. The technology offers answers on how filters behave under particular angles of incidence, polarization, or cone half angle. MyLight data can...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Network Activation Kit

AFL (Spartanburg, SC) offers network activation kits designed to support installation and commissioning of optical equipment in telecom, broadband, and other single-mode optical fiber networks. All network activation kits include the AFL VOA6 single- mode variable optical attenuator, the AFL One-Click Mini cleaner, and...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Transmission Electron Microscope

A 200kV transmission electron microscope from JEOL (Peabody, MA) delivers nanoanalysis for process and quality control of mass-produced semiconductor and materials samples. The multi-function JEOL JEM-2800 features high resolution imaging in TEM, STEM, and SE modes; ultrasensitive elemental mapping with a large...

Techs for License
Magnetic Device Separates Hydrogen from Oxygen

High temperatures have been used to dissociate water, but in many cases, the oxygen and hydrogen recombine when temperatures drop. A new device magnetically separates hydrogen from oxygen at elevated temperatures. Steam enters a reaction chamber, heats to over 150 °C in a focused solar beam, and...

Techs for License
Piezo-Driven Pressure Controller Saves Heat

Using a piezo-actuated valve and an integral, closed-loop pressure control circuit, a modular controller maintains the pressure of non-corrosive to mildly corrosive gases. The Active Pressure Controller (APC) consumes minimal power (

NASA Tech Needs
Pathogen Inactivation Technologies

Although there are highly sensitive methods for pathogen detection in donor blood, the risk of infection via transfusion remains. A customer seeks methods to inactivate all known and unknown blood-borne pathogens in blood products, especially where those technologies can be used for whole blood or red blood...

NASA Tech Needs
Structural Detection of Welded Steel Regions

A non-destructive test mechanism is needed to detect fracture toughness, hardness, and microstructure properties of 1/8" steel weld zones. The device must measure the characteristics of flash upset welding of steel. In addition, the standalone technology should not function in a continuous, in-line...

NASA Tech Needs
Technologies for Large-Scale Numerical Simulation

NASA Ames Research Center is home to the world’s seventh most powerful supercomputer, Pleiades. Named after the star cluster, it represents NASA’s state-of-the-art technology for meeting the agency’s supercomputing requirements, enabling NASA scientist s and engineers to conduct modeling...

SolidWorks® 2012 3D Design Software

Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp., Concord, MA, has introduced SolidWorks® 2012 3D design software that features improvements in assembly and drawing capabilities, built-in simulation, design costing, routing, image and animation creation, and product data management. The new version lets users automate the...

Who's Who
William Allen, Senior Engineer, Spacecraft Mechanical Engineering Section, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

William Allen, senior engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is the mechanical systems design lead on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), NASA’s biggest, most expensive, and most capable Mars rover. The rover is set to launch...

Articles : Software
Addressing Trends in Analysis & Simulation Software

In our annual poll of executives in the Analysis & Simulation Software market, we asked our experts about growth in a struggling economy, how software is evolving, strides in high-performance computing, and the increasing use of simulation and analysis at all levels of the development...

William Allen, Senior Engineer, Spacecraft Mechanical Engineering Section, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

William Allen, senior engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is the mechanical systems design lead on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), NASA’s biggest, most expensive, and most capable Mars rover. The rover is set to launch...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Electronics Category Winner


Michael Leydet,
College Park Industries, Fraser, MI

The College Park Industries iPecs® (In telligent Prosthetic Endo-Skeletal Com ponent System) is a medical research device that will provide researchers with a tool to accurately measure human locomotion or gait parameters on users of...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Consumer Products Category Winner

UVA+B SunFriend

Karin Edgett, Washington, DC, and Shahid
Aslam, Greenbelt, MD

About 90% of non-melanoma and 65% of melanoma skin cancers are associated with ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the Sun. About 700,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, and the numbers are rising despite the...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Machinery & Equipment Category Winner

Hybrid Rotor Compressor for Natural Gas Extraction

Jeremy Pitts and Pedro Santos, OsComp Systems, Boston, MA

Natural gas is a booming industry in the U.S. and represents a bridge energy solution to a renewable energy future. Unfortunately, the key piece of equipment — the compressor —...

Articles : Medical
Medical Category Winner

XVIVO Organ Perfusion System

Chris Jaynes, Tom Taccini, and Tim Klug,
XVIVO Perfusion,
Englewood, CO

In the United States, only 15% of available donor lungs are transplanted into critical recipients due to the associated damage to the organs from the traumatic death event. The XVIVO...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Safety & Security Category Winner

AquaSonus Passive-Sonar Pool Alarm

William C. Roberts, Bob Hoenig, and Paula Bailey,, Merrimack, NH

Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children, and most drownings occur in residential swimming pools. The majority of pool alarms are based on water...

Articles : Transportation
Transportation Category Winner

Dynamic Aero-Shroud Oscillating Jet

Rebecca Farr, Endwell Daso, Victor Pritchett, and Dr. Ten-See Wang, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Applying supersonic counter-flowing cold gas jets of a certain mass flow rate and pressure at the nose of a supersonic vehicle can reduce drag...

Articles : Green Design & Manufacturing
Sustainable Technologies Category Winner

TO:CMA Spherical Generator

Angel Francisco Martinez, Delia Beatriz Martinez, and Trupti
Bulbule, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

The TO:CMA Spherical Generator creates copious amounts of clean electricity out of ocean waves at costs below all major existing renewable energy...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Create the Future Design Contest 2011

The 2011 Create the Future Design Contest — sponsored by COMSOL, Inc., PTC, and Tech Briefs Media Group (publishers of NASA Tech Briefs) — recognized innovation in product design in seven categories: Electronics (new this year), Consumer Products, Machinery & Equipment, Medical, Safety &...

News : Lighting
Transmitting Data With LEDs

Regular light-emitting diodes (LEDs) can be turned into an optical wireless local area network (WLAN) with only a few additional components, thanks to visible light communication (VLC).

News : Lighting
Facade Systems to Harvest and Generate Light

Researchers from University of Michigan (U-M) have partnered with China's Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) to explore how high-efficiency smart facades can capture and store solar energy, and transmit its light while simultaneously controlling heat transmission.

Articles : Lighting Technology
Sizing Up Circuit Protection for LED Strings

As light-emitting diodes (LEDs) find their way into more outdoor applications, they are at higher risk for electrostatic discharge (ESD) and other electrical transients. High-brightness (HB) LEDs — those with sapphire or silicone carbide (SiC) substrates and in the future aluminum nitride (AlN) and...

Articles : Lighting Technology
Taking the Heat: Silicone’s Unique Properties Help Create the Next Generation of LED Lighting

As global energy demand rises, the significant energy-saving potential of light-emitting diode (LED) lighting remains a top consideration for lighting manufacturers as well as designers, architects, and consultants looking to offer clients more...

Briefs : Lighting
Transparent Conducting Oxides and Undercoat Technologies for Economical OLED Lighting

Economics is a key factor for application of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) in general lighting relative to OLED flat panel displays that can handle high-cost materials such as indium tin oxide (ITO) or indium zinc oxide (IZO) as the transparent...

Briefs : Lighting
Hydrogen Fuel Cell-Powered Mobile Lighting System

A new mobile lighting system features a fuel cell running on pure hydrogen, resulting in zero-emission electrical power. The fuel cell produces electricity for an advanced, power-saving light-emitting plasma (LEP) lighting system and additional auxiliary power up to 2.5 kW, which allows extra...

Briefs : Lighting
High-Performance LED Comprised of Organic and Quantum Dot-Based Layers

New research paves the way to manufacturing efficient, stable, and low-cost quantum dot-based light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which is important for the widespread commercial use of these LEDs in large-area, full-color flat-panel displays or as solid-state lighting sources to...

Application Briefs : Lighting
LED Street Lights Cut Energy Consumption and Eliminate Bulb Changes

Founded over 200 years ago along the Mississippi River in Missouri, the city of Cape Girardeau is now home to almost 38,000 residents. The Missouri Highway 74 corridor through the city's downtown is one of the busiest thoroughfares in the city, leading up to the Emerson Memorial...

Application Briefs : Lighting
Flexible LED Assembly for Automotive Signal Lighting

A build-out-of-the-box approach to turn, tail, and stop lighting applications on vehicles significantly reduces engineering and development costs. With recent improvements to Snap LED, an automotive LED assembly, the need for retesting and screening is removed, which can save users on...

Techs for License : Lighting
High Extraction Efficiency GaN LED

Photonic crystals have received an increasing amount of interest for use as light extractors in light-emitting diodes (LEDs), but their implementation on the surface of LEDs has thus far produced little improvement in extraction efficiency.

Techs for License : Lighting
Relaxed SiGe Films By Surfactant Mediation

Relaxed silicon-germanium (SiGe) has become an important material in the fabrication of high-quality films for various applications. Strain-relaxed SiGe buffers have been produced by at least three known methods. However, these techniques present several disadvantages, such as long growth times, thick...

Products : Lighting
LED Power Supplies

ERG Lighting (Endicott, NY) has introduced eDriver LED power supplies, available in a broad range of constant voltage and constant current drivers. The driver modules are 90% efficient and fully isolated, with universal input (120 V, 220 V, 277 V), power factor correction > 90%, and 0-10 V dimming options. eDrivers provide the...

Products : Lighting
Six-Channel LED Driver IC

The HV9957 from Supertex (Sunnyvale, CA) combines a switch-mode boost converter and six low-dropout, linear current regulators to deliver high efficiency and precise current control in an LED driver. The IC can drive up to six strings of LEDs at 30 mA each, which is well-suited for battery-powered LED backlighting...

Products : Lighting
Poke-In Wire SSL Connector

TE Connectivity (Harrisburg, PA) has extended its line of poke-in connectors to include the new micro poke-in wire SSL connector — a low-profile printed circuit board connector specifically designed for LED channel lettering lighting strips, general illumination LED fixtures, architectural cove and valence lighting,...

Products : Lighting
LED Control IC

The IRS2548D switched-mode power supply control IC from International Rectifier (El Segundo, CA) is for high-power LED illumination including LED street lighting, stadium lighting, and theatrical lighting. The device achieves PWM dimming down to less than two percent light output, and offers protection features that include...

Products : Lighting
Low-Profile LED Lighting Connectors

Two new series of connectors for LED lighting systems from AVX Corporation (Greenville, SC) maintain the same luminosity and light intensity as florescent strip lights. The standard length of fluorescent lights is 1.2 m and it is impossible to reflow-mount LEDs on such a long printed circuit board placed in...

Products : Lighting
Multi-Functional Connector System

Hirose (Simi Valley, CA) has developed a 2-mm pitch, multi-functional connector system that provides wire-to-board, board-to-board joint and short-circuit sockets in a single connector design. The DF59 connector is ideal for the LED market and other applications that require a small connector, such as battery...

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