December 2011

Application Briefs : Lighting
Industrial LED Hall Lighting
Jenoptik, Jena, Germany
LEiDS, Backnang-Waldrems, Germany

The Lucid power high-bay light-emitting diode (LED) system from Jenoptik and LEiDS was developed for use in high halls and buildings. The hall and high rack luminaire ensures an efficiency of more than 100 lm/W at a lifetime of up to 60,000...

News : Materials
Metal-Assisted Chemical Etching

University of Illinois researchers have developed a method to chemically etch patterned arrays in the semiconductor gallium arsenide - used in solar cells, lasers, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), field effect transistors (FETs), capacitors, and sensors.

News : Electronics & Computers
Self-Healing Electronics Could Reduce Waste

When one circuit within an integrated chip cracks or fails, the whole chip – or even the whole device – is a loss. University of Illinois engineers have now developed a self-healing system that restores electrical conductivity to a cracked circuit in less time than it takes to blink.

News : Energy
A Step Towards Artificial Photosynthesis for Solar Hydrogen

Water splitting in photo-electrochemical cells to yield hydrogen is a promising way to sustainable fuels. A team of Swiss and U.S. scientists have now made major progress in developing highly efficient electrodes – made of an algal protein, thus mimicking a central step in natural...

News : Energy
New Efficiency Record for Organic Solar Cells

Imec, Polyera, and Solvay have achieved a new world-record efficiency of 8.3% for polymer-based single junction organic solar cells in an inverted device stack. These performance results represent a crucial step towards successful commercialization of organic photovoltaic cells.

News : Semiconductors & ICs
Battery-Less Chemical Detector Utilizes Semiconductor Nanowires

Lawrence Livermore researchers have developed a nanosensor that relies on semiconductor nanowires rather than traditional batteries as a power source. The device overcomes the power requirement of traditional sensors and is simple, highly sensitive, and can detect various molecules...

News : Energy
New Battery Design Could Give Electric Vehicles a Jolt

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed a lightweight, inexpensive alternative to existing batteries for electric vehicles and the power grid. The new battery relies on an architecture called a semi-solid flow cell, in which solid particles are suspended in a...

News : Lighting
Micro-Cavity Arrays - Lighting the Way to the Future

A research team funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research has pioneered the use of micro-plasmas in a revolutionary approach to illumination, and doctors Gary Eden and Sung-Jin Park of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, have founded Eden Park Illumination, Inc. to bring...

News : Lighting
Fully Printed Carbon Nanotube Transistor Circuits for Displays
Fully Printed Carbon Nanotube Transistor Circuits for Displays

Organic light-emitting diode (OLED)-based displays are used in cell phones, digital cameras, and other portable devices. But developing a lower-cost method for mass-producing...

Fully Printed Carbon Nanotube Transistor Circuits for Displays
Question of the Week
Will a wider integration of robotic drone aircraft do more harm than good?

This week's Question: In January, the Federal Aviation Administration plans to outline new rules for the use of small drones, a first step in allowing police departments, farmers, and other agencies to employ the technology. The drones could be used for air support to...

High-Efficiency 3

A Step-Down Converter austriamicrosystems (Unterpremstaetten, Austria) has released the AS1328 high-efficiency 1.5 MHz synchronous DC-DC step-down converter. This buck regulator features efficiencies up to 96%, excellent light load efficiencies, and a quiescent current of 25 μA. The AS1328 DC-DC delivers up to 3A of output...

Isolated Power Factor Corrected Offline Regulator

Linear Technology Corporation (Milpitas, CA) offers the LT3798, an isolated flyback controller with single stage active power factor correction (PFC). A power factor of greater than 0.97 is accomplished by actively modulating the input current, eliminating the need for an extra switching power...

DC/DC Converters

The dual output AHW series of DC/DC converters from Calex Mfg. Co., Inc. (Concord, CA) feature a continuous input range of 9VDC to 75VDC. The AHW is isolated input to output and provides a regulated +/-5, +/-12, and +/-15VDC output at +/-400mA, +/-167mA, and +/-133mA. All models will fully regulate down to a no-load condition....

News : Energy
How Terrain and Turbine Placement Affect Wind Energy Production

A miniature turbine measuring just 10 inches high is helping a research team led by Hui Hu - an Iowa State University associate professor of aerospace engineering - understand how hills, valleys, and the placement of turbines affect the productivity of onshore wind farms.

News : Energy
Low-Power Quantum Computers

By 2017, quantum physics will help reduce the energy consumption of computers and cellular phones by up to a factor of 100. For research and industry, the power consumption of transistors is a key issue. The next step will likely come from tunnel-FET, a technology that takes advantage of a phenomenon referred to as...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Triple Step-Down LED Driver

The LT3597 from Linear Technology ((Milpitas, CA) is a 60-V triple step-down LED driver capable of achieving 10,000:1 digital PWM dimming at 100 Hz with fast NPN current sources driving up to 10 LEDs in each channel. LED dimming can also be achieved via analog control of the CTRL1-3 pin.

News : Energy
Voltage Increases Observed in Closely Packed Nanowires

Unexpected voltage increases of up to 25 percent in two barely separated nanowires have been observed at Sandia National Laboratories. Designers of next-generation devices using nanowires to deliver electric currents — including batteries and certain solar arrays — may need to make...

Evaluating Electrical Performance and Grid Integration of Vehicle-to-Grid Applications

Researchers at the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have released a technical report that documents a series of test procedures designed to enable engineers, designers, and utilities to evaluate the performance of various electric vehicles...

Question of the Week
Are geo-engineering efforts a promising way to address climate change?

This week's Question: A report released last week in London and addressed at the U.N. climate conference in South Africa said that reflecting a small amount of sunlight back into space before it strikes the Earth's surface would theoretically have an immediate effect on the...

Optical Power Meter

Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA) has introduced the 1830-R Optical Power Meter. A newly designed optical meter, the 1830-R provides a ‘drop-in’ replacement for Newport’s legacy 1830-C Power Meter, which has been widely used in fiber optic component production and testing. The DC power measurements can be viewed in the...

Ultraviolet Diodes

Opto Diode (Newbury Park, CA) now offers the IRD SXUV 100 Ultraviolet/Extreme Ultraviolet (UV/EUV) Photodiodes. The advanced photon detectors feature very high radiation hardness and are designed for long-lifetime operation in high particle flux environments with no loss of responsivity. The IRD SXUV 100 photodiodes have a 10...

Green Laser

Power Technology (Little Rock, AR) has announced the availability of PNF Series green wavelength spectrum lasers suitable for surgical and X-ray alignment applications on dark or pigmented skin. Green lasers are much more visible to the human eye against dark or pigmented skin than traditional red wavelength surgical lasers. In fact,...

Digital Cameras

Point Grey (Richmond, BC, Canada) has announced the addition of new VGA and XGA models to its Flea3 GigE Vision digital cameras series. The new models are based on color and monochrome versions of the industry's most popular VGA and XGA image sensors. The FL3-GE-03S2 uses the 1/3-inch Sony ICX424 CCD - featuring sensitive 7.4...

News : Materials
Thinner Thermal Insulation for Better Energy Savings

In order to lower energy costs, more and more homeowners are investing in insulation facades. But the typical insulation layers on the market have one drawback: they add bulk. The thick outer skin changes the building’s visual appearance and can result in significant follow-up costs – with...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Receiver Gain Modulation Circuit

A receiver gain modulation circuit (RGMC) was developed that modulates the power gain of the output of a radiometer receiver with a test signal. As the radiometer receiver switches between calibration noise references, the test signal is mixed with the calibrated noise and thus produces an ensemble set of...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
All-Solid-State 2.45-to-2.78-THz Source

Sources in the THz range are required in order for NASA to implement heterodyne instruments in this frequency range. The source that has been demonstrated here will be used for an instrument on the SOFIA platform as well as for upcoming astrophysics missions. There are currently no electronic sources in...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
CoNNeCT Baseband Processor Module

A document describes the CoNNeCT Baseband Processor Module (BPM) based on an updated processor, memory technology, and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). The BPM was developed from a requirement to provide sufficient computing power and memory storage to conduct experiments for a Software Defined Radio...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
NEXUS Scalable and Distributed Next-Generation Avionics Bus for Space Missions

A paper discusses NEXUS, a common, next-generation avionics interconnect that is transparently compatible with wired, fiber-optic, and RF physical layers; provides a flexible, scalable, packet switched topology; is fault-tolerant with submicrosecond detection/recovery...

Briefs : Software
Space Environments Testbed

The Space Environments Testbed (SET) is a flight controller data system for the Common Carrier Assembly. The SET-1 flight software provides the command, telemetry, and experiment control to ground operators for the SET-1 mission. Modes of operation (see diagram) include:

Briefs : Software

Ndarts software provides algorithms for computing quantities associated with the dynamics of articulated, rigid-link, multibody systems. It is designed as a general- purpose dynamics library that can be used for the modeling of robotic platforms, space vehicles, molecular dynamics, and other such applications. The architecture and...

Briefs : Software
High-Performance 3D Articulated Robot Display

In the domain of telerobotic operations, the primary challenge facing the operator is to understand the state of the robotic platform. One key aspect of understanding the state is to visualize the physical location and configuration of the platform. As there is a wide variety of mobile robots, the...

Briefs : Software
'In Situ' Surface Characterization

Operation of in situ space assets, such as rovers and landers, requires operators to acquire a thorough understanding of the environment surrounding the spacecraft. The following programs help with that understanding by providing higherlevel information characterizing the surface, which is not immediately...

Briefs : Software

The Athena simulation software supports an analyst from DoD or other federal agency in making stability and reconstruction projections for operational analyses in areas like Iraq or Afghanistan. It encompasses the use of all elements of national power: diplomatic, information, military, and economic (DIME), and anticipates their effects...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Cryo-Etched Black Silicon for Use as Optical Black

Stray light reflected from the surface of imaging spectrometer components — in particular, the spectrometer slit — degrade the image quality. A technique has been developed for rapid, uniform, and cost-effective black silicon formation based on inductively coupled plasma (ICP) etching at...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Correcting Thermal Deformations in an Active Composite Reflector

Large, high-precision composite reflectors for future space missions are costly to manufacture, and heavy. An active composite reflector capable of adjusting shape in situ to maintain required tolerances can be lighter and cheaper to manufacture.

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Advanced CO₂ Removal and Reduction System

An advanced system for removing CO2 and H2O from cabin air, reducing the CO2, and returning the resulting O2 to the air is less massive than is a prior system that includes two assemblies — one for removal and one for reduction. Also, in this system, unlike...

Articles : Imaging
Silicon Block Inspection with SWIR Imaging

In a world where oil production is declining, and where both nuclear energy plant and spent-fuel storage safety have proven to be inadequate, there is increased pressure on solar power generation to fill the gap. In response to the increased demands for energy, the photovoltaic manufacturing industry...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Umbilical Deployment Device

The landing scheme for NASA’s next-generation Mars rover will encompass a novel landing technique (see figure). The rover will be lowered from a rocket-powered descent stage and then placed onto the surface while hanging from three bridles. Communication between the rover and descent stage will be maintained through...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Graph Theory Roots of Spatial Operators for Kinematics and Dynamics

Spatial operators have been used to analyze the dynamics of robotic multibody systems and to develop novel computational dynamics algorithms. Mass matrix factorization, inversion, diagonalization, and linearization are among several new insights obtained using such operators....

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Spacesuit Soft Upper Torso Sizing Systems

The passive sizing system consists of a series of low-profile pulleys attached to the front and back of the shoulder bearings on a spacesuit soft upper torso (SUT), textile cord or stainless steel cable, and a modified commercial ratchet mechanism. The cord/cable is routed through the pulleys and...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Space Mirror Alignment System

An optical alignment mirror mechanism (AMM) has been developed with angular positioning accuracy of ±0.2 arcsec. This requires the mirror’s linear positioning actuators to have positioning resolutions of ±112 nm to enable the mirror to meet the angular tip/tilt accuracy requirement. Demonstrated capabilities are...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Thermionic Power Cell To Harness Heat Energies for Geothermal Applications

A unit thermionic power cell (TPC) concept has been developed that converts natural heat found in high-temperature environments (460 to 700 ºC) into electrical power for in situ instruments and electronics. Thermionic emission of electrons occurs when an emitter filament...

Briefs : Medical
Radiation Protection Using Single-Wall Carbon Nanotube Derivatives

This invention is a means of radiation protection, or cellular oxidative stress mitigation, via a sequence of quenching radical species using nano-engineered scaffolds, specifically single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and their derivatives. The material can be used as a means of...

Briefs : Medical
PMA-PhyloChip DNA Microarray To Elucidate Viable Microbial Community Structure

Since the Viking missions in the mid- 1970s, traditional culture-based methods have been used for microbial enumeration by various NASA programs. Viable microbes are of particular concern for spacecraft cleanliness, for forward contamination of extraterrestrial bodies...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Lidar Luminance Quantizer

This innovation addresses challenges in lidar imaging, particularly with the detection scheme and the shapes of the detected signals. Ideally, the echoed pulse widths should be extremely narrow to resolve fine detail at high event rates. However, narrow pulses require wideband detection circuitry with increased power...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Distributed Capacitive Sensor for Sample Mass Measurement

Previous robotic sample return missions lacked in situ sample verification/quantity measurement instruments. Therefore, the outcome of the mission remained unclear until spacecraft return. In situ sample verification systems such as this Distributed Capacitive (DisC) sensor would enable...

Briefs : Information Technology
Framework for Integrating Science Data Processing Algorithms Into Process Control Systems

A software framework called PCS Task Wrapper is responsible for standardizing the setup, process initiation, execution, and file management tasks surrounding the execution of science data algorithms, which are referred to by NASA as Product Generation...

Briefs : Information Technology
Base Flow Model Validation

A method was developed of obtaining propulsive base flow data in both hot and cold jet environments, at Mach numbers and altitude of relevance to NASA launcher designs. The base flow data was used to perform computational fluid dynamics (CFD) turbulence model assessments of base flow predictive capabilities in order to...

Briefs : Information Technology
Time Synchronization and Distribution Mechanisms for Space Networks

This work discusses research on the problems of synchronizing and distributing time information between spacecraft based on the Network Time Protocol (NTP), where NTP is a standard time synchronization protocol widely used in the terrestrial network. The Proximity-1 Space Link...

Briefs : Information Technology
Minimum Landing Error Powered- Descent Guidance for Planetary Missions

An algorithm improves the accuracy with which a lander can be delivered to the surface of Mars. The main idea behind this innovation is the use of a “lossless convexification,” which converts an otherwise non-convex constraint related to thruster throttling to a convex...

Briefs : Information Technology
Local Estimators for Spacecraft Formation Flying

A formation estimation architecture for formation flying builds upon the local information exchange among multiple local estimators. Spacecraft formation flying involves the coordination of states among multiple spacecraft through relative sensing, inter-spacecraft communication, and control. Most...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Reflective Occultation Mask for Evaluation of Occulter Designs for Planet Finding

Advanced formation flying occulter designs utilize a large occulter mask flying in formation with an imaging telescope to block and null starlight to allow imaging of faint planets in exosolar systems. A paper describes the utilization of subscale reflective...

Briefs : Materials
Molecular Adsorber Coating

A document discusses a zeolite-based sprayable molecular adsorber coating that has been developed to alleviate the size and weight issues of current ceramic puck-based technology, while providing a configuration that more projects can use to protect against degradation from outgassed materials within a spacecraft,...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Software-Defined Radio for Space-to-Space Communications

A paper describes the Space- to-Space Communications System (SSCS) Software-Defined Radio (SDR) research project to determine the most appropriate method for creating flexible and reconfigurable radios to implement wireless communications channels for space vehicles so that fewer radios...

Computer Modeling Improves Coast Guard Search-And-Rescue Plan

Purdue University has developed a system to analyze the historic response of U.S. Coast Guard search-and-rescue operations in the Great Lakes and assess the potential risks associated with hypothetical changes in the allocation of resources in the region.

The agency is required to...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Event-Driven Processor Programming

Almost since computers were invented, interrupts have been a common programming method to deal with real-time tasks. An interrupt causes a processor to stop the running task, and to execute an interrupt handler instead. The interrupt handler determines the cause of the interrupt, responds to the interrupt,...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Extensible Processing Platforms: Giving Designers the Best of Both Worlds

Creating a new field programmable gate array is no small feat. FPGA vendors spend tens-of-thousands of man-hours simply researching markets to determine the feature set a given device will require and the silicon process that they will use to manufacture the device. This...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Rad-Hard FPGAs

The rad-hard and rad-tolerant reprogrammable Virtex®- 5QV FPGA from Xilinx (San Jose, CA) supports specified Total Ionizing Dose (TID) and characterized Single-Event Effects (SEE). The space-grade field programmable gate arrays are also optimized with embedded MPUs, embedded DSP elements, built-in Ethernet MAC blocks, and...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Graphics Processor

AMD (Sunnyvale, CA) has introduced the AMD Radeon™ E6460 discrete graphics processor. With support for up to four simultaneous displays, the E6460 GPU enables an immersive experience with desktop-level 3D graphics and multimedia features. A 3D graphics engine and programmable shader architecture support Microsoft DirectX®...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Vote for Product of the Year

Voting is officially open for the 2011 NASA Tech Briefs Readers’ Choice Product of the Year awards. You can cast your vote for one of 12 nominees featured this year as Products of the Month.

Articles : Imaging
Beyond 'Smart': The PC Camera Arrives

Machine vision systems have three basic components: a camera to acquire images; software to extract actionable information about the objects in the images; and a computer to run the image processing software. In the 1990s, the machine vision industry placed all three components into a single housing and...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Boost Converter with Battery Management for Energy Harvesting

The bq25504 from Texas Instruments (Dallas, TX) is an integrated energy harvesting nanopower management solution for ultra low power applications. The boost converter is designed to efficiently acquire and manage the microwatts to miliwatts of power generated from a variety of DC...

Articles : Imaging
Going ‘Digital’ Simplifies Medical Device Inspection

At various times throughout the manufacturing process, medical device and orthopaedic implant manufacturers need to carry out a wide range of inspections and measurements of the parts that they produce. Operators in the orthopaedic industry, for example, may check hip stems against a...

Products : Imaging
Video Surveillance Camera

Without supplementary IR lighting, the M6-200 IP video camera from Scallop Imaging (Boston, MA) delivers up to 0.005 lux low-light performance. The six-megapixel M6-200 video surveillance camera uses five monochrome 1.2-megapixel image sensors, combined with f/1.7 optics.

Products : Imaging
CMOS Line Scan Camera

Teledyne DALSA (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) offers a Camera Link® version of its Piranha3™ 16k CMOS line scan camera, allowing it to interface with the Camera Link standard serial communication protocol. The Piranha3 model, which includes 16k resolution, has a 3.5-micrometer pixel size and a 40 kHz line rate for 680...

Products : Imaging
LED Microscope System

Nikon Instruments (Melville, NY) has released the ECLIPSE Ci microscope series. The three-model line consists of the Ci-E, Ci-L, and Ci-S.

Products : Imaging
Digital Color Camera

Olympus (Center Valley, PA) has announced the DP26 high-resolution digital color camera. Incorporating a 5-megapixel scientific-grade CCD sensor, the DP26 camera offers a frame rate of 16 frames per second (fps) or greater. For specialty equipment capable of displaying 5 megapixels, the system can provide a refresh rate of 7...

Products : Imaging
USB 2.0 Camera

Lumenera Corporation (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) has introduced its 5.0 megapixel USB 2.0 camera series. Formulated with the Sony Super HAD ICX655 CCD sensor, the Lw560 and Lw565 feature a 2448 × 2048 resolution and selectable 8 or 14-bit output, providing color images in the visible and Near Infrared (NIR) light spectrum.

Products : Imaging
Vision Inspection Functionality

Cognex Corporation (Natick, MA) has introduced a TestRun feature for its In-Sight® vision systems. The TestRun functionality allows users to confirm program changes by quickly checking against a “baseline” configuration. TestRun also makes it easy for system integrators and OEMs to demonstrate that the vision...

Articles : Motion Control
Reducing Design Time for Linear Motion Systems

Reducing design time is critical in engineering because the result is lower costs and faster time to market. Design time often includes a number of non-value-added activities such as re-design, over-design, or scope creep that can be minimized by thoroughly understanding all of the application...

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Robots Play Role in Future Aircraft Wing Production

KUKA Systems (Sterling Heights, MI), in conjunction with Bombardier Aerospace, has devised an innovative robotic cell for laying up dry carbon fiber material as a result of a national research and development project.

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Tilt Sensor

The MS9001.D from Colibrys (Neuchatel, Switzerland) is a MEMS-based tilt sensor for platform stabilization applications, including satellite communication and scanning radar antennas, remote surveillance cameras, and fire-control servo systems. It offers linearity independent of the operating environment, and is designed for use as a...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Vertical Carousel

The Megamat RS vertical carousel from Kardex Remstar (Westbrook, ME) features an intelligent drive design made of a drive track, carrier arms, transportation chain, drive motor, drive chain, and hand crank. The components work together to reduce wear and tear on the unit. The carousel features an automatic chain tensioner...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Duplex Pumps

The STH and STQ Ratio:Matic® duplex pumps from Fluid Metering (Syosset, NY) consist of two valveless pump heads direct-coupled to a single variable-speed drive (typically a 23-frame stepper motor). Displacement of each pump head is independently adjustable, and a variety of pump head sizes can be used in combination to achieve...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Motor Stages

Newport Corp. (Irvine, CA) offers the IMS-LM-SA Series of long-travel linear motor stages. Based on a stiff-body design, the self-supporting stages are available in 800-, 1000-, and 1200-mm travel, and do not require ultra-flat mounting surfaces. The stages are suited for light to medium industrial applications that carry up...

Products : Motion Control
DC Servo Motors

The Series 3400, 4400, and 5400 Pittman® slotless, brushless DC servo motors from AMETEK Technical and Industrial Products (Kent, OH) are available in three frame sizes: NEMA 14, 17, and 23. They incorporate 3-phase slotless stators, 4-pole rotors, and neodymium magnets. The motors can achieve maximum continuous torque up to 43...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Electric Actuators

Hayward Flow Control (Clemmons, NC) offers the EPM-4 and EPM-6 models of quarter-turn reversing electric actuators. They are designed to eliminate wiring errors and can be factory- or field-mounted on ball or butterfly valves. The EPM-4 provides torque output of 455 in-lb./50 Nm, and the EPM-6 provides output of 600 in-lb./67...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Motor Driver ICs

Allegro MicroSystems (Worcester, MA) offers the A4952 and A4953 single, full-bridge motor driver ICs for use in brush DC motor drive applications. They are rated for peak output currents to ±2A, and operating voltages to 40V. Input terminals are provided for use in controlling the speed and direction of a DC motor with...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Workholding Products

Enerpac (Menomonee Falls, WI) offers a 70- bar line of products for low-pressure workholding applications, including link clamps, swing clamps, and remote mount system valves. The products are designed for applications where low hydraulic pressure is needed to hold workpieces in machining fixtures, welding fixtures, or leak...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Parallel Grippers

Techno-Omil (New Hyde Park, NY) has introduced the OPP2 Series of two-finger parallel grippers that feature a heavy-duty T-slot design. The nine models feature a stroke range from 12 to 72 mm, and a gripping force from 420 N to 8410 N. Operating pressure range is from 2 to 8 bar. Housings are made of hard-coated aluminum alloy...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Hydraulic Hand Pumps

The P100 gauge and handheld pumps from E Instruments International (Langhorne, PA) offer pressure calibration with ranges to 1000 bar. The hydraulic pumps display engineering units in bar, Mpa, Kpa, Psi, and mbar. Accuracy is ±0.20% of full scale or ±0.05% of full scale. Other features include fine-adjustment Vernier,...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Servo Table

The Planar ServoRing™ rotary table PSR300 from IntelLiDrives (Philadelphia, PA) features a low profile and minimizes stage height. Angular contact bearings are used to minimize wobble, moment stiffness, and friction. The table has a clear center aperture that can be used for air or wire line feed-through or beam delivery....

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Belt Pulleys

Stock Drive Products (New Hyde Park, NY) offers the A 6A18M Series of 1-mm pitch timing belt pulleys for miniature applications. The pulleys are available in 17 different sizes, ranging from 18 to 75 grooves. The clear, anodized aluminum pulleys are designed for 3-mm and 6-mm-wide belts, and are offered with double-flange and...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Positioner

The MX45S linear positioner from Parker Hannifin’s Electromechanical Automation Division (Rohnert Park, CA) is a 45-mm-wide miniature screw-driven positioner. It is designed with anti-cage creep cross-roller bearings and allows users to position up to 15.4 pounds of normal load on the available three standard travel lengths...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control

FRABA (Hamilton, NJ) offers POSITAL Accelens (ACS) inclinometers in two models. The first model features a fiber-reinforced PBT plastic housing and fully encapsulated electronic components. They can withstand prolonged exposure to UV radiation and dust, immersion, or high-pressure water jets. The second model is enclosed in a...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Motion Controller

Galil Motion Control (Rocklin, CA) offers the DMC-300xx Pocket Motion Controller Series, a single-axis Ethernet motion controller that combines a motion controller and an 800W sine drive in a 3.9 × 5.0 × 1.5" package. It is also available as a controller-only model that can be connected to a stepper or servo motor amplifier...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
DC Motor

MICROMO (Clearwater, FL) offers the 3272 CR DC Micro Motor from Faulhaber that provides graphite commutation and premium materials. The drive provides torque of up to 120 mNm, while measuring 32 × 72 mm. The motor features an ironless stator coil, nominal voltage of between 12 and 48V, and ensures that the slope of the n/M curve...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Triaxial Accelerometer

PCB Piezotronics (Depew, NY) has released the Model 356A03 miniature ICP® triaxial accelerometer that delivers 10 mV/g sensitivity in a 0.25" cube. It includes a hermetic seal design with a low noise floor and high shock limit, and features a redesigned cable strain relief connection with a larger and stronger crimp tube...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Expanding the Use of Smart Operator Panels

The evolution of operator interfaces has moved quite far beyond the pushbutton. Once, the intelligence resided in the operator’s brain, and considerable experience and training were required to operate any complex piece of machinery or process. The evolution of the operator panel is actually two...

Application Briefs : Software
Software Manages Mission Data from Saturn and Mars Exploration
ERDAS APOLLO Essentials - Image Web Server
Norcross, GA

The Italian Space Agency (ASI) is using ERDAS APOLLO to manage data collected from different space missions and deliver it for public consumption via a Web...

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Prototype Helps Astronauts Use Robot on International Space Station
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) material parts
RedEye On Demand
Eden Prairie, MN

Wyle is a leading provider of high-tech science, aerospace engineering, and information technology services to the federal government on long-term outsourcing...

Articles : Research Lab
John H. Glenn Research Center

Innovators at NASA’s Glenn Research Center design game-changing spaceflight technologies that advance exploration of our solar system. They have also established themselves as global leaders in aeronautics by building safer, quieter, more fuel-efficient, and environmentally responsible aircraft.

Marc 2011 Simulation Software

MSC Software Corp., Santa Ana, CA, has introduced Marc 2011 simulation software that enables users to create finite element analysis (FEA) models. The software offers a new interface and CAD interoperability, with features for nonlinear contact, fracture mechanics, composites, meshing, and electromagnetic...

Techs for License
Fast-Charge Technology Finds Battery “Sweet Spot”

A technology recharges batteries in up to one-tenth the time of conventional methods. The device creates conditions within the battery that allow power to be input as fast as the cell can accept the charge. By creating a charging “ecosystem,” the optimum battery charging conditions are...

Techs for License
Technology Produces Electrically Conductive Polyester

New polyester compositions feature desired electrical characteristics without unduly deteriorating the other valued melt viscosity, processing, and shaped article properties. The electrically conductive polyester has strong conductivity at low carbon black loading. The use of carbon black...

NASA Tech Needs
Friction Reduction of Steel Surfaces

A global organization needs innovative technologies that will decrease the surface friction between steel surfaces. Thin, 0.2-mm steel components must come into shear contact with each other, resulting in slip, wear, and heat. The components are lubricated to reduce friction. Any proposed solution must have...

NASA Tech Needs
Improved Efficiency of Jet Engines

By minimizing the distance between the rotating vanes of a turbine and the static case structure housing the rotating blades, a client seeks to improve the efficiency of jet engines. Eliminating system leakage is essential to providing the most amount of energy for the lowest cost. The compressor fans of a...

NASA Tech Needs
Aeronautics Test Program

NASA Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) is one of four NASA centers that supports NASA’s Aeronautics Test Program (ATP). The ATP ensures the long-term availability and health of NASA’s major wind tunnels, ground test facilities, flight operations, and test infrastructure that support NASA, Department of Defense,...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Vote for NASA Tech Briefs’ 17th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards

It’s that time of year when we ask NASA Tech Briefs readers to vote for the annual Readers’ Choice Product of the Year Awards.

Who's Who
Dr. Robert Okojie, Research Electronics Engineer, NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland OH

Dr. Robert Okojie, Research Electronics Engineer at the NASA Glenn Research Center, develops harsh-environment microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). Okojie currently processes, fabricates, tests, and packages silicon carbide pressure sensors,...

Dr. Robert Okojie, Research Electronics Engineer, NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland OH

Dr. Robert Okojie, Research Electronics Engineer at the NASA Glenn Research Center, develops harsh-environment microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). Okojie currently processes, fabricates, tests, and packages silicon carbide pressure sensors,...


Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Collaborative Robot Applications in the Automotive Industry

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Update on Civil Certification of Multicore Processing Systems in...

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Metal 3D Printing

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Enhance Product Design and Dependability with Advanced Coating Technologies

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Rapid, Selective Volatile Emissions Testing for Vehicles and Components

Tech Talks: Medical

New Developments in Catheter Shaft Components – Part 2