November 2012

News
Soldiers Use Sunlight to Improve Combat Capability

Soldiers are enlisting the sun's power in Afghanistan. Ten solar generators are now providing special forces soldiers in distant outposts with the energy they need to accomplish their mission. These generators are also allowing them precious more time to train Afghan forces and win the...

News
Researchers Aim to Create ‘MacGyver’ Robot

Robots are increasingly being used in place of humans to explore hazardous and difficult-to-access environments, but they aren’t yet able to interact with their environments as well as humans. If today’s most sophisticated robot was trapped in a burning room by a jammed door, it would probably...

News
Device Absorbs Nearly 100% of Infrared Light

A new device invented at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) can absorb 99.75 percent of infrared light that shines on it. When activated, it appears black to infrared cameras.

Composed of just a 180-nanometer-thick layer of vanadium dioxide on top of a sheet of sapphire,...

News
Tabletop Fault Model Shows Why Some Earthquakes Shake Faster

The more time it takes for an earthquake fault to heal, the faster the shake it will produce when it finally ruptures, according to a new study by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, who conducted their work using a tabletop model of a quake fault. While the study does...

News
Researchers Engineer a Microscale Optical Accelerometer

Imagine navigating through a grocery store with your cell phone. As you turn down the bread aisle, ads and coupons for hot dog buns and English muffins pop up on your screen. The electronics industry would like to make such personal navigators a reality, but, to do so, they need the next...

News
The First Entirely All-Carbon Solar Cell

Stanford University engineers have developed the first solar cell made entirely of carbon - a promising alternative to the expensive materials used in photovoltaic devices today. The thin-film prototype is made of carbon materials that can be coated from solution - a technique that has the potential to...

News
Tiny Device Measures And Monitors Medical Vital Signs

Electrical engineers at Oregon State University have developed new technology to monitor medical vital signs, with sophisticated sensors so small and cheap they could fit onto a bandage, be manufactured in high volumes, and cost less than a quarter. A patent is being processed for the...

Question of the Week
Will We Be a "Spacefaring Nation?"

NASA's Chief Technologist Mason Peck delivered the keynote address, "Technology and the Future," at the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Fall Symposium in Hampton, Virginia. The speech showed that Peck envisions a "spacefaring nation" where our relationship with spacecraft, space hardware, or data from...

News
Electronic DC Loads

Global Test Solutions (Escondido, CA) has launched the DL Series electronic direct current (DC) loads from NF Corporation with high-speed feedback control. Fast response times eliminate the common problem of overshoot and undershoot, better emulating a real-world electronic load. There are four DL Series electronic DC load...

Products
Miniature Triaxial Accelerometers

Meggitt Sensing Systems (San Juan Capistrano, CA) has announced that the Endevco® 35A miniature triaxial ISOTRON® piezoelectric accelerometer is supporting the high-precision shock and vibration testing of hard drives, electronic peripherals, engine rotor and stator blades, as well as their associated...

News
Parametric Curve Tracer

Keithley Instruments, Inc. (Cleveland, OH) has introduced seven instrumentation, software, and test fixture configurations for parametric curve tracing applications for characterizing high power devices at up to 3,000V and 100A, including those based on silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) technology. These...

Products
Entry-Level Oscilloscope

EVERVISION Electronics Europe (Karlsruhe/Germany) has unveiled a new capacitive touch panel product line called IPCT (Improved Projected Capacitive Touchpanel). IPCT specifically addresses industrial electronics and medical technology applications that until now have used resistive touch panels and but now require...

News
Researchers to Simulate Earthquake by Shaking Building

The two-story building on West Commercial Avenue in El Centro, Calif., was built in the 1920s and has withstood four major earthquakes in 1940, 1979, 1987 and 2010, but it may not be standing for long. That's because a research team that includes Babak Moaveni, assistant professor of civil...

News
Making Utility Meters Smarter, More Secure

As of 2010, more than a third of all utility meters in the United States used wireless automatic meter reading (AMR) technology – 47 million in all. They make it a lot easier for the utility company to gather data on electricity, natural gas and water usage. But as a University of South Carolina...

News
Sprayable Paint Protects NASA Spacecraft Components

NASA technologists have developed a low-cost, low-mass technique for protecting sensitive spacecraft components from outgassed contaminants.

The team has created a patent-pending, sprayable paint that adsorbs the gaseous molecules and stops them from affixing to instrument components....

News
Microdevice Mimics Dog's Nose to Detect Explosives

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara have designed a detector that uses microfluidic nanotechnology to mimic the biological mechanism behind canine scent receptors. The device is both highly sensitive to trace amounts of certain vapor molecules, and able to tell a specific...

News
Glove Keyboard Enables Use of Devices With One Hand

Computer engineering students at The University of Alabama in Huntsville have designed a tool that could revolutionize new ways of using electronic devices with just one hand. It’s called a Gauntlet Keyboard, a glove device that functions as a wireless keyboard. Instead of tapping keys on a...

News
Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Could Become Electronic Interconnects

Using a new method for precisely controlling the deposition of carbon, researchers have demonstrated a technique for connecting multi-walled carbon nanotubes to the metallic pads of integrated circuits without the high interface resistance produced by traditional fabrication...

Products : Electronics & Computers
3D Body Motion Tracking System

Xsens (Enschede, Netherlands) and STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland) recently demonstrated the world’s first wearable wireless 3D body motion tracking system based on consumer-grade MEMS combo sensors. Xsens built the demonstrator by combining their patented sensor-fusion algorithms and wireless protocols...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Thermoelectric Power Generators

Nextreme Thermal Solutions (Durham, NC) has announced a new series of thin- film thermoelectric power generators that offer higher power, more robust mechanical design and ease of integration with common sources of thermal energy. The eTEG(TM) PG8000 Series harvests waste heat from thermal sources, converting it...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Projected Capacitive Touchpanel

EVERVISION Electronics Europe (Karlsruhe/Germany) has unveiled a new capacitive touch panel product line called IPCT (Improved Projected Capacitive Touchpanel). IPCT specifically addresses industrial electronics and medical technology applications that until now have used resistive touch panels and but now...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Free 32-bit MCU Compiler

Microchip Technology (Chandler, AZ) is offering a free C++ compiler with unlimited code generation. The MPLAB XC32++ compiler supports all of Microchip’s 32-bit PIC32 microcontrollers (MCUs), and enables designers to develop and reuse C++ projects by making all of Microchip’s C language extensions available in an...

News
Hydrogels Bio-Bots Walk on Their Own

Miniature “bio-bots” developed at the University of Illinois are made of hydrogel and heart cells, but can walk on their own. The key to the bio-bots’ locomotion is asymmetry. Resembling a tiny springboard, each bot has one long, thin leg resting on a stout supporting leg. The thin leg is covered with...

Question of the Week
Will Drones Beam Wi-fi from the Skies?

If a future hurricane causes power outages, regulators say they could float wireless antennas from balloons or drones to solve problems with telecommunications networks. The Federal Communications Commission is exploring the use of such airborne technology to restore communications after disasters....

News
Vortex Surfing Could Be Revolutionary Fuel Saver

Migrating birds, NASCAR drivers and Tour de France bicyclists already get it. And now the Air Force is thinking about flying gas-guzzling cargo aircraft in formation -- 'dragging' off one another -- on long-haul flights across the oceans.

News
Artificial Lens Resembles Natural Eye

Drawing heavily upon nature for inspiration, a team of researchers has created a new artificial lens that is nearly identical to the natural lens of the human eye. This innovative lens, which is made up of thousands of nanoscale polymer layers, may one day provide a more natural performance in implantable...

News
NASA Engineers Build UAV Systems for Wildlife Surveillance

Engineers at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida are building a fuel cell-powered unmanned aerial vehicle and support systems to perform missions such as wildlife surveillance around the complex.

The aircraft will carry a small camera and be able to capture precise images and...

News
Self-Charging Power Cell Converts and Stores Energy

Researchers have developed a self-charging power cell that directly converts mechanical energy to chemical energy, storing the power until it is released as electrical current. By eliminating the need to convert mechanical energy to electrical energy for charging a battery, the new hybrid...

News
Thumbtack-Sized Distance and Motion Sensor Serves as Pocket Radar

Today’s parking assistant systems enable drivers to safely park their cars even in the narrowest of gaps. Such sophisticated parking aids – as well as manufacturing robots – that require millimeter-precision control rely on precise all-around radar distance measurement....

News
New Communications System Allows Vehicles to 'Talk' With Roads

Someday, your auto and the roadway will be in constant communication and able to suggest route changes to avoid accidents, construction, and congestion; coordinate your vehicle with signal lights, other vehicles, and lane markers; and let you know where you can park. Right now, a...

News
Technique Uses GPS Signals to Gauge Hurricane's Strength

University of Michigan engineering researchers are working on a global satellite project that would help predict the intensity of a hurricane while it is developing. In coordination with NASA, Michigan Engineering Professor Chris Ruf is working on the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite...

Question of the Week
Will That Be Our Best Idea?

A new asteroid-deflecting idea proposes that paintballs shot into space could prevent a dangerous asteroid from colliding with Earth. The initial force from the paintballs would veer the asteroid slightly off course. The paint resulting from the splattered pellets would more than double the asteroid's sunlight...

News
Ear's 'Natural Battery' Powers Implantable Electronic Device

For the first time, researchers power an implantable electronic device using an electrical potential — a natural battery — deep in the inner ear.

The devices could monitor biological activity in the ears of people with hearing or balance impairments, or responses to therapies....

News
Device Uses Heartbeat to Power Pacemaker

In a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012, an experimental device converted energy from a beating heart to provide enough electricity to power a pacemaker. The findings suggest that patients could power their pacemakers — eliminating the need for replacements...

News
Analysis Helps Solve Mysteries of Cracks and Stresses

Diving into a pool from a few feet up allows you to enter the water smoothly and painlessly, but jumping from a bridge can lead to a fatal impact. The water is the same in each case, so why is the effect of hitting its surface so different?

News
Computer Simulation Aids Secure Carbon Dioxide Storage

The race is on to develop the most secure solution for storing CO2 in the Earth’s crust. A Norwegian company, Numerical Rocks AS, has developed a method for studying precisely how this greenhouse gas is bound inside rock.

News
Computational Model Identifies Ways to Improve Plant Oil Production

Using a computational model they designed to incorporate detailed information about plants’ interconnected metabolic processes, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have identified key pathways that appear to “favor” the production...

News
Researchers Develop All-Carbon Solar Cell

Stanford University scientists have built the first solar cell made entirely of carbon, a promising alternative to the expensive materials used in photovoltaic devices today.

Unlike rigid silicon solar panels that adorn many rooftops, Stanford's thin film prototype is made of carbon materials that can...

Question of the Week
Will We See a Greater Use of 'Beaming' Avatar Technology?

Researchers successfully tested a beaming technology that allowed humans and a rat to interact through virtual reality avatars. Using digital representations of themselves, the researchers enabled the rat to interact with a rat-sized robot controlled by a human participant in a...

News
Measuring the Impact of Football Concussions

Concussions are arguably football's most prominent injury, but they're also its most mysterious. With the help of Stanford University's football team, a group of Stanford doctors and neuroscientists is working to quantify the head trauma that players sustain during a game.

News
Soldiers Begin Training With Virtual Battlespace 2 Simulator

A Fort Jackson battalion is piloting a new training tool that will look familiar to many new soldiers. Virtual Battlespace 2, or VBS2, offers battlefield simulations that allow instructors to create new scenarios and engage the simulation from multiple viewpoints. The squad-management...

News
R&D Effort Underway to Modernize Abrams Tank

Over the past decade the only thing that has been able to slow the Army's premier combat vehicle hasn't been enemies on the battlefield, but rather the technological advancements added to the platform. While every vehicle is designed to have Space, Weight, and Power (SWaP) margin for incremental...

News
Army Fields Next-Generation Radar

The U.S. Army has begun fielding new radar systems to protect forward- deployed forces. Several next-generation, mobile Counter Target Acquisition, or CTA radar systems are now able to provide soldiers with a 360-degree protective envelope or warning capability against incoming enemy rocket, artillery and mortar...

News
Quick Cook Method Turns Algae into Oil

Michigan Engineering researchers can "pressure-cook" algae for as little as a minute and transform an unprecedented 65 percent of the green slime into biocrude. "We're trying to mimic the process in nature that forms crude oil with marine organisms," said Phil Savage, an Arthur F. Thurnau professor and a...

Briefs : Software
Visual System for Browsing, Analysis, and Retrieval of Data (ViSBARD)

ViSBARD software provides a way of visualizing multiple vector and scalar quantities as measured by many spacecraft at once. The data are displayed three-dimensionally along the orbits that may be shown either as connected lines or as points. The data display allows the rapid...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Time-Domain Terahertz Computed Axial Tomography NDE System

NASA has identified the need for advanced non-destructive evaluation (NDE) methods to characterize aging and durability in aircraft materials to improve the safety of the nation’s airline fleet. 3D THz tomography can play a major role in detection and characterization of flaws and...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Adaptive Sampling of Time Series During Remote Exploration

This work deals with the challenge of online adaptive data collection in a time series. A remote sensor or explorer agent adapts its rate of data collection in order to track anomalous events while obeying constraints on time and power. This problem is challenging because the agent has...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
A Tracking Sun Photometer Without Moving Parts

This innovation is small, lightweight, and consumes very little electricity as it measures the solar energy attenuated by gases and aerosol particles in the atmosphere. A Sun photometer is commonly used on the Earth’s surface, as well as on aircraft, to determine the solar energy attenuated by...

Briefs : Information Technology
Modular, Autonomous Command and Data Handling Software With Built-In Simulation and Test

The spacecraft system that plays the greatest role throughout the program lifecycle is the Command and Data Handling System (C&DH), along with the associated algorithms and software. The C&DH takes on this role as cost driver because it is the brains of the...

Briefs : Software
Surface Temperature Data Analysis

Small global mean temperature changes may have significant to disastrous consequences for the Earth’s climate if they persist for an extended period. Obtaining global means from local weather reports is hampered by the uneven spatial distribution of the reliably reporting weather stations. Methods had to be...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
In-Situ Wire Damage Detection System

An In-Situ Wire Damage Detection System (ISWDDS) has been developed that is capable of detecting damage to a wire insulation, or a wire conductor, or to both. The system will allow for real-time, continuous monitoring of wiring health/integrity and reduce the number of false negatives and false positives...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Buckyball Nucleation of HiPco Tubes

The purpose of this innovation is to enhance nucleation of single-wall nanotubes (SWNTs) in the HiPco process, selectively producing 10,10 tubes, something which until now has not been thought possible.

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
FACT, Mega-ROSA, SOLAROSA

The Flexible Array Concentrator Technology (FACT) is a lightweight, high-performance reflective concentrator blanket assembly that can be used on flexible solar array blankets. The FACT concentrator replaces every other row of solar cells on a solar array blanket, significantly reducing the cost of the array. The...

Briefs : Materials
Adjusting Permittivity by Blending Varying Ratios of SWNTs

A new composite material of singlewalled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) displays radio frequency (0 to 1 GHz) permittivity properties that can be adjusted based upon the nanotube composition. When varying ratios of raw to functionalized SWNTs are blended into the silicone elastomer matrix at a...

Briefs : Materials
Polyolefin-Based Aerogels

An organic polybutadiene (PB) rubber-based aerogel insulation material was developed that will provide superior thermal insulation and inherent radiation protection, exhibiting the flexibility, resiliency, toughness, and durability typical of the parent polymer, yet with the low density and superior insulation...

Briefs : Materials
An Integrated, Layered-Spinel Composite Cathode for Energy Storage Applications

At low operating temperatures, commercially available electrode materials for lithium-ion batteries do not fully meet the energy and power requirements for NASA’s exploration activities. The composite cathode under development is projected to provide the required...

Briefs : Materials
Engineered Multifunctional Surfaces for Fluid Handling

Designs incorporating variations in capillary geometry and hydrophilic and/or antibacterial surface properties have been developed that are capable of passive gas/liquid separation and passive water flow. These designs can incorporate capillary grooves and/or surfaces arranged to create...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Concept for Hydrogen-Impregnated Nanofiber/Photovoltaic Cargo Stowage System

A stowage system was conceived that consists of collapsible, reconfigurable stowage bags, rigid polyethylene or metal inserts, stainless-steel hooks, flexible photovoltaic materials, and webbing curtains that provide power generation, thermal stabilization, impact...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
DROP: Durable Reconnaissance and Observation Platform

Robots have been a valuable tool for providing a remote presence in areas that are either inaccessible or too dangerous for humans. Having a robot with a high degree of adaptability becomes crucial during such events. The adaptability that comes from high mobility and high durability greatly...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Gravity-Assist Mechanical Simulator for Outreach

There is no convenient way to demonstrate mechanically, as an outreach (or inreach) topic, the angular momentum trade-offs and the conservation of angular momentum associated with gravityassist interplanetary trajectories. The mechanical concepts that underlie gravity assist are often...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Spectroscopic Chemical Analysis Methods and Apparatus

This invention relates to non-contact spectroscopic methods and apparatus for performing chemical analysis and the ideal wavelengths and sources needed for this analysis. It employs deep ultraviolet (200- to 300-nm spectral range) electron- beam-pumped wide bandgap semiconductor lasers,...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Motion-Corrected 3D Sonic Anemometer for Tethersondes and Other Moving Platforms

To date, it has not been possible to apply 3D sonic anemometers on tethersondes or similar atmospheric research platforms due to the motion of the supporting platform. A tethersonde module including both a 3D sonic anemometer and associated motion correction sensors...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Water Treatment Systems for Long Spaceflights

Space exploration will require new life support systems to support the crew on journeys lasting from a few days to several weeks, or longer. These systems should also be designed to reduce the mass required to keep humans alive in space. Water accounts for about 80 percent of the daily mass intake...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Seismic Imager Space Telescope

A concept has been developed for a geostationary seismic imager (GSI), a space telescope in geostationary orbit above the Pacific coast of the Americas that would provide movies of many large earthquakes occurring in the area from Southern Chile to Southern Alaska. The GSI movies would cover a field of view as long...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Low-Cost Phased Array Antenna for Sounding Rockets, Missiles, and Expendable Launch Vehicles

A low-cost beamformer phased array antenna has been developed for expendable launch vehicles, rockets, and missiles. It utilizes a conformal array antenna of ring or individual radiators (design varies depending on application) that is designed to be fed...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Microchip Non-Aqueous Capillary Electrophoresis (μNACE) Method to Analyze Long-Chain Primary Amines

A protocol was developed as a first step in analyzing the complex organic aerosols present on Saturn’s moon Titan, as well as the analogues of these aerosols (tholins) made on Earth. Labeling of primary amines using Pacific Blue™ succinimidyl...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Low Average Sidelobe Slot Array Antennas for Radiometer Applications

In radiometer applications, it is required to design antennas that meet low average sidelobe levels and low average return loss over a specified frequency bandwidth. It is a challenge to meet such specifications over a frequency range when one uses resonant elements such as...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Mars Science Laboratory Engineering Cameras

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover, which launched to Mars in 2011, is equipped with a set of 12 engineering cameras. These cameras are build-to-print copies of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) cameras, which were sent to Mars in 2003. The engineering cameras weigh

Briefs : Information Technology
Estimating Sea Surface Salinity and Wind Using Combined Passive and Active L-Band Microwave Observations

Several L-band microwave radiometer and radar missions have been, or will be, operating in space for land and ocean observations. These include the NASA Aquarius mission and the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission, both of which use...

Briefs : Information Technology
A Posteriori Study of a DNS Database Describing Super - critical Binary-Species Mixing

Currently, the modeling of supercritical-pressure flows through Large Eddy Simulation (LES) uses models derived for atmospheric-pressure flows. Those atmospheric-pressure flows do not exhibit the particularities of high density-gradient magnitude features...

Briefs : Information Technology
Scalable SCPPM Decoder

A decoder was developed that decodes a serial concatenated pulse position modulation (SCPPM) encoded information sequence. The decoder takes as input a sequence of four bit loglikelihood ratios (LLR) for each PPM slot in a codeword via a XAUI 10-Gb/s quad optical fiber interface. If the decoder is unavailable, it passes...

Briefs : Software
QuakeSim 2.0

QuakeSim 2.0 improves understanding of earthquake processes by providing modeling tools and integrating model applications and various heterogeneous data sources within a Web services environment. QuakeSim is a multi-source, synergistic, data-intensive environment for modeling the behavior of earthquake faults individually, and as...

Briefs : Software
HURON (HUman and Robotic Optimization Network) Multi-Agent Temporal Activity Planner/ Scheduler

HURON solves the problem of how to optimize a plan and schedule for assigning multiple agents to a temporal sequence of actions (e.g., science tasks). Developed as a generic planning and scheduling tool, HURON has been used to optimize space mission...

Briefs : Software
MPST Software: MoonKommand

This software automatically processes Sally Ride Science (SRS) delivered MoonKAM camera control files (ccf) into uplink products for the GRAIL-A and GRAIL-B spacecraft as part of an education and public outreach (EPO) extension to the Grail Mission. Once properly validated and deemed safe for execution onboard the...

Products
Product of the Month: 33500B Series Waveform Generators

Agilent Technologies, Santa Clara, CA, has introduced the 33500B Series waveform generators. The eight one- and two-channel models, which generate waveforms up to 30 MHz, incorporate Trueform signal-generation technology, which enables the units to generate a range of signals for...

Articles : Software
Industry Update: Analysis & Simulation Software

In our annual poll of executives at leading analysis and simulation software vendors, we found that more widespread use of the cloud, mobile devices, and touchscreen interfaces will be major trends for 2013. These trends will require that vendors take a careful look at their software interfaces to...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Create the Future Design Contest 2012

The 2012 Create the Future Design Contest — sponsored by COMSOL, Nordson EFD, and Tech Briefs Media Group (publishers of NASA Tech Briefs) — recognized innovation in product design in seven categories: Con sumer Products, Electronics, Machinery & Equipment, Medical, Safety & Security, Sustainable Tech...

Articles : Software
Grand Prize Winner
Mark Wagner, Ben Madoff, and Mark Rudolph
Sensorcon, Buffalo, NY

What if sensors, meters, and instruments were just apps instead of single-purpose, bulky, expensive equipment? Sensordrone is a first step towards making this a reality.

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Consumer Products Category Winner (Winner of an HP Workstation)

LumEN: Luminescent Solar Concentrators for Sustainable, On-Demand Electricity Production

Gianmarco Griffini, Massimo Micocci, and Francesca Ostuzzi,
Politecnico di Milano,
Milan, Italy

Lum-EN is the first portable device able to harvest solar energy...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Electronics Category Winner (Winner of an HP Workstation)

Grid-X Cloud and Smartphone Accelerator

James Awrach
SeaFire Micros, Beverly, MA

Supercomputers are linked worldwide, creating ultra-highperformance cloud, utility, and grid computers. The Bandwidth-Delay Product (BWDP), where “delay” is the roundtrip time for...

Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Machinery & Equipment Category Winner (Winner of an HP Workstation)

Thermal Stir Welding Process

Jeff Ding
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama

The patented thermal stir welding process is a new solid-state (meaning the weld metal does not melt during welding) welding process invented at NASA’s Marshall Space...

Articles : Medical
Medical Category Winner (Winner of an HP Workstation)

Prosthetic Leg Connector

Dave King
Synergy Tech, Kelowna, BC Canada

This is a device to aid those who wear prosthetic limbs. The current state of the art is a multilayer system that consists of a cotton sock and a silicone rubber sock that fits over the limb. The...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Safety & Security Category Winner (Winner of an HP Workstation)

LIFE PACK Hypothermia Prevention

Floatation Device Dwight and Jane Cushman, Village Memorial, Portland, OR

Even with floatation gear, when a person who is not prepared for the cold falls into cold water (temperatures of 52 °F or less), the shock of the cold alone...

Articles : Green Design & Manufacturing
Sustainable Technologies Category Winner (Winner of an HP Workstation)

Aquaback Water Purification System

Bill Zebuhr, Scott Newquist, David Dussault, E. Andrew Condon, Steven Sahagian, Nicholas Wong, Michael Easton, William Burie, Charles Blanchard, and Nicole Sandoval, Aquaback Technologies, Tewksbury, MA

A highly efficient,...

Articles : Transportation
Transportation Category Winner (Winner of an HP Workstation)

Re-Thinking Automotive Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems

Ivan Batinic, ATPS, Inc., San Martin, CA

The ATPS system is a new approach to implementing vehicular Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) that is more economical and ecological than existing systems. A passive,...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Top Ten Most Popular Entries

Visitors to the Create the Future Design Contest Web site were invited to vote on their favorite entries. Here are the top ten most popular entries, winners of a SpaceMouse Pro 3D mouse from 3Dconnexion.

Evacuated Tube Transport Technologies (ET3)™ Daryl Oster, ET3 Global Alliance

This global...

Application Briefs : Test & Measurement
Relays Enable Curiosity Rover’s Chemistry Instrument

NASA’s Curiosity rover landed in the Gale Crater on Mars on August 5, having flown over 127 million miles since its November 2011 launch. As part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, Curiosity will look for evidence of past or present habitable environments.

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Motion Control Components Keep Curiosity on the Go

PI Ceramic monolithic piezo actuators (PICMA) were put to use in the Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument (CheMin) on the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity. CheMin is an Xray diffraction-capable mineralogy instrument whose purpose is to determine if water was present in the formation of...

Articles : Medical
Lightening the Load of Recovery

Ask the Denver attorney whose legs were smashed in a car accident. Ask the veterans rehabilitating from injuries sustained while defending the nation. Ask NBA star Blake Griffin, or NFL safety Jim Leonhard, both of whom endured leg injuries playing their sports. Ask U.S. soccer pro Charlie Davies, who returned to...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Determining Key Isotopic Ratios In The Field

On August 6th, 2012 the automatic Mars Science Laboratory rover named Curiosity landed on Mars. One of the scientific instruments on board is ChemCam, which has a pulsed laser capable of ablating a focused spot on a remote sample to create a glowing plasma plume of target material. Light from plasma...

Who's Who
Dr. Greg Chavers, Test Lead, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Dr. Greg Chavers, test lead at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, helped to design the “Mighty Eagle” robotic prototype lander. The vehicle, which can guide itself to a specified target, flew “open loop” to an altitude of 100 feet in late...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Designing Rugged In-Vehicle Displays

Historically, the displays deployed in military vehicles have been simple monitors, acting as an interface to an onboard system. That’s no longer good enough. As military vehicles are equipped with more and more technology, space — not to mention weight and power — is becoming scarce. Mono-functional...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Photovoltaic Simulators

AMETEK Programmable Power (San Diego, CA) has expanded its Elgar TerraSAS ™ line with the ETS Series Standalone Photovoltaic (PV) Simulator. The new series includes three models for testing PV inverters across a wide spectrum of applications. ETS 80 tests micro-inverters or DC optimizers up to 80 VDC Voc. ETS 600 can...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Multispectral Optical Filter Assembly

Deposition Sciences, Inc. (DSI®) (Santa Rosa, CA) announced an expansion of its optical components line, the new Multispectral Optical Filter Assemblies, orMOFAs. DSI’s advanced optical assembly technology combines individually-coated multispectral filter substrates into an array assembly. The new...

Products : Photonics/Optics
LED Light Engines

Innovations in Optics, Inc. (Woburn, MA) now offers a new generation of ultra-high brightness LED light engines with integrated fluorescence excitation filters for use with many types of life science instruments. LumiBright LE light engines use state-of-theart LED technology and interference filters with hard dielectric...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Solar Connectors

Heyco Products, Inc., (Toms River, NJ) has announced the availability of new CPV Solar Connectors. Heyco CPV Solar Bulkhead Connectors mate with Heyco CPV Solar Connectors creating a liquid tight seal through the panel. The connectors crimp to stranded 14 to 10 gauge wire for internal connections. The CPV Solar Connectors offer...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Board-Level Industrial Camera

IDS Imaging Development Systems (Woburn, MA) has introduced the GigE uEye LE, a new boardlevel industrial camera that measures a mere 45mm × 45mm for integration into small spaces. Thanks to its GigE interface the camera can deliver frame rates of 50 fps at full resolution. It comes equipped with the latest 1.3...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Yellow HeNe Lasers

REO (Boulder, CO) has released a 594nm (yellow) helium neon (HeNe) laser suitable for cost-sensitive bioinstrumentation and fluorescence excitation applications. The new laser features a perfectly circular beam profile and superior beam quality (M²500:1), with a guaranteed minimum output power of 2 mW. Additionally, these...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Gray-Grade Diffuse Reflection Material

White ODM98 optically diffuse reflecting material from Gigahertz- Optik (Newburyport, MA) exhibits a diffuse reflectance of >98% from 400-1600nm and >95% from 250 - 2000nm. The white ODM98 features uniform reflectance across the UV to NIR spectral range and over a large area, operating temperatures up to...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Spectral Flux Analysis

Labsphere (North Sutton, NH) has released its illumia LED and light measurement product, illumia ®lite. The portable system packages the accuracy of sphere-based measurement in a handheld device. The illumia lite incorporates a spectrometer calibrated for absolute spectral flux, and employs an integrating sphere in its...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Near-Infrared Spectrometer

Ocean Optics (Dunedin, FL) has added another option to its nearinfrared spectrometer line: the NIRQuest512-1.9. The high-resolution device features a response from 1100-1900nm. The product includes a high-stability, 512-element Hamamatsu Indium Gallium Arsenide (In- GaAs)-array detector, and it is available with...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Optical Sensors

Maxim Integrated Products (San Jose, CA) has announced 4 new digital optical sensors that advance analog integration with sensor fusion. The MAX44004/05/06/08 sensors measure red/green/ blue (RGB) light levels, ambient visible light (ALS), proximity to the sensor, ambient infrared (IR) levels, and temperature. As many as seven...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Super Polished Mirror Substrates

Edmund OpticsR (Barrington, NJ) has introduced new Super Polished Mirror Substrates. Super Polished Mirror Substrates are available in both Fused Silica and Zerodur. The substrates offer a 1/10λ surface accuracy.

Products : Photonics/Optics
Integrated Lasers

Spectra-Physics®, a brand of Newport Corporation (Santa Clara, CA), has announced the Excelsior One continuous- wave (CW) lasers series. The new line of ultraviolet (UV), visible, and near-infrared (NIR) CW lasers integrate laser head and controller in one package. Available as free-space and fiber-coupled laser...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Optics iPhone App

An iPhone application from Resolve Optics (Chesham, UK) simplifies lens field of view (FOV) calculations. Available in two versions, the FOV Calc App allows users to determine a required focal length lens. The app can also calculate the field-of-view provided by a lens of a given focal length at a known distance or infinity....

Techs for License
Lightweight Building System Eases Construction

A silicate-based, lightweight construction system features building blocks that are already covered by insulating material. After the concreting process, the formed, reinforced concrete tissue grid becomes load-bearing. There is no need for applying any subsequent heat or sound insulation.

Techs for License
Plastic Production System Controls Directional Forces and Tearing

To achieve exacting performance requirements, “Smittie” technology produces predictable bi-axial or mono-axial orientation in polymer materials. The system eliminates expensive equipment, curbs energy use, reduces the need for highly skilled labor, and shortens setup...

Techs for License
Small-Droplet, Emissions-Control Nozzle Ensures Consistency

Macrospray® nozzles produce highly uniform spray patterns and droplet sizes (in the size range of 10-30μm Sauter Mean Diameter/SMD). The nozzles are created from digital tools with the flow features chemically etched into bonded substrates, resulting in a monolithic structure....

Techs for License
Steel Alternative Features Higher Usability Strength

A new material offers a lighter weight and at least 30% higher usability strength compared to traditional steel. The equipment necessary for the production of the new technology is identical to equipment used for the manufacturing of conventional steel. It does not require other machinery, and...

NASA Tech Needs
Controlled Delivery of Liquid

A customer seeks a range of technologies that will allow controlled delivery of liquid products over a wide viscosity range. Proposed technologies must work for liquids with low viscosity (such as floor cleaners) and/or very high viscosity (such as thick bleaches and body washes). Technologies will be evaluated...

NASA Tech Needs
Spray Coating Systems

Current spray designs coat the exposed surface of the top layer of fibers, while fibers in the interior do not get treated. Fibers also move around when transported during processing, leading to exposure of untreated surfaces. An organization seeks novel technologies that can apply a spray coating to the entire surface area...

NASA Tech Needs
Improved Recycling Processes

Currently, cellulose-based fibers can only be recycled 6-8 times, after which the fiber length and properties are too significantly impacted for any further reuse. Technologies are therefore required to enhance the fibers’ recycling potential. The technologies must not add virgin fibers at each recycling stage....

NASA Tech Needs
Microencapsulation of Probiotic Bacteria

The incorporation of probiotic bacteria into liquid food or food with high water activity is still a challenge for the functional food industry. The metabolic activity of the lyophilized bacteria, however, is extremely sensitive to the presence of water and oxygen, and a solution must protect...

Articles : Lighting
LED Sensors and Controls Technology

It’s common knowledge that one of the easiest ways to save energy is to shut off lights when they are not in use. Even so, the lighting controls market accounts for a fraction of the overall lighting industry. The market is small, despite the benefits of control technology, because in the past energy...

Articles : Lighting
Testing LEDs in a Climate Controlled Environment

Though they are a relative latecomer to the world of lighting technology, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are quickly making up for lost time. Since their invention in 1962, LEDs have been applied in a wide range of lighting applications, including traffic signals, automotive panel lighting, aviation...

News : Lighting
“Blue” Light Could Help Teenagers Combat Stress

Adolescents can be chronically sleep deprived because of their inability to fall asleep early in combination with fixed wakeup times on school days. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), almost 70 percent of schoolchildren get insufficient sleep, which is defined as less than...

News : Lighting
Researchers Develop Tool to Determine When To Change An LED Traffic Light?

In many of the nation's traffic lights, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with their brighter light and longer life have replaced standard bulbs. But knowing when to replace the signal heads has remained a guessing game, says Dr. Suzanna Long, assistant professor of...

Briefs : Lighting
NASA Tests LED Lights in Plant Growth Experiments for Deep Space Missions

What kind of food will astronauts eat and what is the best way to grow it during deep space exploration missions? A group of plant biologists is seeking the answers as it works on one of NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Habitation Projects at Kennedy Space...

Briefs : Lighting
Measurement Advance Using LEDs Could Speed Innovation in Solar Devices

A new versatile measurement system devised by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) accurately and quickly measures the electric power output of solar energy devices, capabilities useful to researchers and manufacturers working to develop...

Briefs : Lighting
LED Technology Holds Most Promise To Save Energy and the Environment

Today's light-emitting diode light bulbs have a slight environmental edge over compact fluorescent lamps, and that gap is expected to grow significantly as technology and manufacturing methods improve in the next five years. So says a recent report from the Department of...

Application Briefs : Lighting
Navy Ships Get New LED Lighting

Energy Focus, Inc. announced that it has recently received an additional $1.5 million order to provide IntelliTube™ LED fluorescent replacement tubes, IntelliTube LED berth light fixtures, and a variety of the company's high performance LED globe fixtures to upgrade the lighting on a number of U. S. Navy ships....

Application Briefs : Lighting
Boeing 777 Full-Flight Simulator Incorporates ReaLED™ Technology

Today’s commercial aviation operators are looking for cost effective, high-fidelity and stable solutions for visual displays. The brand new Boeing 777 full-flight simulator (FFS) being manufactured by L-3 Link Simulation & Training UK (L-3 Link UK) at its Crawley, UK...

Application Briefs : Lighting
Major Tokyo Train Station Slashes Energy Use With LED Technology

With the help of Panasonic LED and OLED lighting fixtures, the Japanese Ministry of the Environment is slashing overall energy use at a public station by 25 percent, with a 40-percent reduction in lighting energy alone. It’s all part of a pilot community development program...

Products : Lighting
Phase-Dimmable LED Driver

Texas Instruments (Dallas, TX) has introduced a new LED controller with constant power regulation. The LM3447 AC/DC LED driver includes a dimmer detect, phase decoder and adjustable hold current circuits to provide smooth and flicker-free dimming operation in off-line, isolated LED lighting applications, including A19,...

Products : Lighting
Hybrid Lighting System

The BioLume™ Garage Fixture is the first installment in a new series of patented bi-level hybrid fixtures from EverLast® Lighting (Jackson, MI) that integrate a 5000K induction lamp and amber LEDs with SMART sensor controls to provide biologically sensitive, dark-sky friendly, and energy-efficient lighting. When an area...

Products : Lighting
LED Heat Sinks

Ohmite Manufacturing (Arlington Heights, IL) has introduced Wakefield Solutions’ 19000 Series radial-fin heat sink extrusions for LED light engines. Options range from a maximum 14.7°C rise for a 4.5 watt power rating to a maximum 29.2°C rise for a 42.8 watt power rating. All models do not exceed a maximum LED substrate...

Products : Lighting
Onboard LED Lighting System

EYE Lighting International of North America (Mentor, OH) recently introduced of its high-G, high-intensity onboard LED lighting system for high-speed crash test photography.

Products : Lighting
Dry Vacuum Pump

Edwards (Crawley, West Sussex, UK) has introduced the new iXH645H dry pump. The new pump has been optimized for MOCVD processes used in LED manufacturing, as well as for compound semiconductor manufacturing using III-V materials in gate stacks. The iXH645H delivers very high gas flow capability and is able to operate continuously...

Products : Lighting
Single Pulse LED Measurement System

Gigahertz-Optik (Newburyport, MA) has developed a cost effective measurement system consisting of the BTS256-LED tester and LPS-20-1500 LED power supply with S-BTS256 software to assist with single pulse LED binning.

Products : Lighting
4-Channel LED Driver

Phihong USA (Fremont, CA) has developed a new multichannel driver for indoor and outdoor lighting applications. Designated the PDA037W-350G, the driver is equipped with four outputs of 350mA and offers 0-10V dimming capability.

Products : Lighting
Laboratory-Grade LED Fiber Optic Illuminator

Dolan-Jenner Industries (Boxborough, MA) has announced the availability of its Fiber-Lite® model LMI-6000 LED Fiber Optic Illuminator.

Products : Lighting
Surface Mount LED Displays

Lumex (Palatine, IL) recently launched its QuasarBrite High-Temperature Surface-Mount (SMD) Seven- Segment numeric LED Display technology. Whereas standard seven-segment LED displays can operate at temperatures up to 85°C, the combination of proprietary epoxy and plastic used allows the new Lumex high-temperature...

Products : Lighting
LED Driver

Light-Based Technologies (LBT) (Vancouver, B.C.) recently announced the release of its ultra-compatible deep dimming LED Driver. The UC LED Driver is targeted at North American and Japanese lighting fixture manufacturers.

Products : Lighting
LED Inspection Lamp

Spectronics Corporation (Westbury, NY) has introduced the powerful Spectroline® TRITAN ™ 365, an ultra-high-intensity, multi-LED, broad-beam UV-A inspection lamp perfect for NDT applications. The TRITAN 365 features three ultra-hi-flux UV-A LEDs for NDT inspection, plus a white light LED to illuminate dark areas. It...

Podcasts
Dr. Greg Chavers, Test Lead, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Dr. Greg Chavers, test lead at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, helped to design the “Mighty Eagle” robotic prototype lander. The vehicle, which can guide itself to a specified target, flew “open loop” to an altitude of 100 feet in late...

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