February 2019

Blog : Data Acquisition
Answering Your Questions: What Areas of Study Are Desirable for the Autonomous Industry?
Answering Your Questions: What Areas of Study Are Desirable for the Autonomous Industry?
With self-driving vehicles poised to take the road, how can today’s engineers prepare themselves to support an autonomous future?
Answering Your Questions: What Areas of Study Are Desirable for the Autonomous Industry?
On-Demand Webinars : Electronics & Computers
Solutions for Digital Battery Engineering

Batteries are the new fuel tanks in electric vehicles (EVs). However, they are highly complex systems requiring advanced engineering methods from chemistry to cell engineering to module and pack engineering, and finally to integration into full vehicles. They need to store as much energy as possible to...

INSIDER : Motion Control
Speedy Motor Modeling
Speedy Motor Modeling

Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists have created open source software that scales up analysis of motor designs to run on the fastest computers available.

Speedy Motor Modeling
INSIDER : Robotics, Automation & Control
Walking Robot Moves Without GPS
Walking Robot Moves Without GPS

Ants are able to use polarized light and ultraviolet radiation to locate themselves in space. AntBot mimics this ability to explore its environment randomly and go home automatically, without GPS or...

Walking Robot Moves Without GPS
Blog : Energy
Porous Carbon Fibers: How a Car Could Someday Store Its Energy 'Everywhere'
Porous Carbon Fibers: How a Car Could Someday Store Its Energy 'Everywhere'
Tesla uses batteries to store energy underneath the car seats. What if we could store energy everywhere on the vehicle?
Porous Carbon Fibers: How a Car Could Someday Store Its Energy 'Everywhere'
Webinars : Medical
What Is A Sterilization Dose Audit and How are they Performed

The performance of periodic sterilization dose audits is required, where a sterilization dose has been established using Method 1, Method 2, or Method VDmax. This webinar will focus on the purpose and activities associated with such audits in order to demonstrate the...

Question of the Week : Transportation
Will ‘Developable Mechanisms’ Solve Complex Tasks?

Brigham Young University engineers have created "developable mechanisms" that they hope to use in components like surgical instruments, adjustable airplane wings, robotic arms, or vehicle cylinders. Watch the demo on Tech Briefs TV, to see how the flat shapes can be converted into 3D...

News : Materials
Inside Story: Low Outgassing Adhesives from Master Bond

Master Bond (Hackensack, NJ) focuses on developing the best in epoxies, silicones, UV cures, and other specialty adhesive systems including compounds that have passed NASA low-outgassing specifications and exceed the ASTM E595 test requirements. These products are successfully employed in...

Blog : Materials
Graphene Breakthrough Puts Nanolithography ‘Back in the Toolbox’
Graphene Breakthrough Puts Nanolithography ‘Back in the Toolbox’
Graphene may play a greater role in tomorrow electronics, thanks to an achievement from the Technical University of Denmark.
Graphene Breakthrough Puts Nanolithography ‘Back in the Toolbox’
On-Demand Webinars : Software
Electric Drive Noise and Vibration Analysis

One of the challenges in electric drive engineering is to ensure acoustic passenger comfort. Electric machines and gearboxes can produce tonal noises that are perceived as unpleasant.

Articles : Test & Measurement
Accelerating SENT Troubleshooting and Debug Using an Oscilloscope
Accelerating SENT Troubleshooting and Debug Using an Oscilloscope

The SENT (Single Edge Nibble Transmission) bus continues to gain acceptance across the automotive industry and is widely used to transmit high-resolution readings from...

Accelerating SENT Troubleshooting and Debug Using an Oscilloscope
Blog : Imaging
Answering Your Questions: Are There Regulations for Machine Learning in Vehicles?
Answering Your Questions: Are There Regulations for Machine Learning in Vehicles?
How do you regulate a system that, in effect, is learning as it goes?
Answering Your Questions: Are There Regulations for Machine Learning in Vehicles?
Question of the Week : Test & Measurement
Would You Use Wearables to Monitor Your UV Exposure?

Our February issue of Tech Briefs highlights a technology called My Skin Track UV. The 12 x 6 mm wearable sensor can be attached to clothing or accessories to detect sunburn and overexposure to ultraviolet light.

Question of the Week : Materials
Where Do You See Self-Healing Rubber Being Used?

In our lead INSIDER story today, USC Professor Qiming Wang said he hopes to see his team’s self-repairing rubber supporting everything from shoes to battle armor and airplane wings.

Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A Morphing Soft Actuator Expands the Motion Options
A Morphing Soft Actuator Expands the Motion Options
Even a shape-morphing plane is possible, says Harvard's Ehsan Hajiesmaili.
A Morphing Soft Actuator Expands the Motion Options
On-Demand Webinars : Robotics, Automation & Control
Automated and Connected Commercial Vehicles: Next Steps for ‘Hands-Off’ Operation

Demonstrations of increasingly connected and automated heavy vehicles on public highways and bustling worksites are becoming more commonplace, as the commercial vehicle industry continues to pursue improved fuel efficiency and operator productivity while...

Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Rubber Repairs Itself
3D-Printed Rubber Repairs Itself
A new material development from USC brings us a step closer to self-healing sneakers.
3D-Printed Rubber Repairs Itself
Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Have You Conducted an FMEA?

With design, it pays to anticipate problems — and solve them — during product development.

INSIDER : Electronics & Computers
Computer Chip Vulnerabilities Discovered
Computer Chip Vulnerabilities Discovered

A Washington State University research team has uncovered significant and previously unknown vulnerabilities in high-performance computer chips that could lead to failures in modern electronics. The...

Computer Chip Vulnerabilities Discovered
INSIDER : Medical
A Wireless, Battery-Free, Biodegradable Blood Flow Sensor
A Wireless, Battery-Free, Biodegradable Blood Flow Sensor

A new device developed by Stanford University researchers could make it easier for doctors to monitor the success of blood vessel surgery. The sensor monitors the flow of blood...

A Wireless, Battery-Free, Biodegradable Blood Flow Sensor
INSIDER : Nanotechnology
Innovative Technique Could Pave the Way for New Generation of Flexible Electronic Components
Innovative Technique Could Pave the Way for New Generation of Flexible Electronic Components

The quest to develop microelectronic devices with increasingly smaller size, which underpins the progress of the global semiconductor industry has...

Innovative Technique Could Pave the Way for New Generation of Flexible Electronic Components
Briefs : Imaging
Artificial Intelligence Device Identifies Objects at the Speed of Light
Artificial Intelligence Device Identifies Objects at the Speed of Light

Numerous devices in everyday life use computerized cameras to identify objects — think of automated teller machines that can “read” handwritten dollar amounts when...

Artificial Intelligence Device Identifies Objects at the Speed of Light
Products : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New on the Market: February 2019
New on the Market: February 2019

Nozzles

The Lee Company, Westbrook, CT, offers single- and multi-orifice lube nozzles in a variety of configurations. The nozzles may include HI-BAR® safety screens for additional...

New on the Market: February 2019
5 Ws : Sensors/Data Acquisition
5 Ws of My Skin Track UV
5 Ws of My Skin Track UV

Who

The device can optimize treatment of neonatal jaundice, skin diseases, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and reduce risk of sunburn and skin cancer.

5 Ws of My Skin Track UV
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
CHEBY Toolkit for Processing and Editing Chebyshev Files

This software fits trajectory ephemerides and thrust profiles with a Chebyshev polynomial representation, and stores this fit in data files suitable for upload to a spacecraft. In addition, a number of utility modules are provided to assist with inspection and diagnosis of issues with data...

Briefs : Materials
Material Removes Ice Buildup Without Power or Chemicals
Material Removes Ice Buildup Without Power or Chemicals

From airplane wings, to overhead power lines, to the giant blades of wind turbines, a buildup of ice can cause problems ranging from impaired performance all the way to catastrophic...

Material Removes Ice Buildup Without Power or Chemicals
Briefs : Software
Interactive Software Simplifies Complex Mold Design
Interactive Software Simplifies Complex Mold Design

Molding is a popular method for the mass production of objects. Essentially, two (or more) mold pieces are fit together, leaving the shape of the desired object as a hole. During...

Interactive Software Simplifies Complex Mold Design
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Single-Crystal SiGe/Sapphire Epitaxy

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a new low-temperature method of SiGe/sapphire growth that produces the same single-crystal films with much less thermal loading effort to the substrate. This eliminates the time-consuming and costly high heating, long thermal soak times, and interfacial Si layer....

Facility Focus : Robotics, Automation & Control
Facility Focus: Savannah River National Laboratory
Facility Focus: Savannah River National Laboratory

The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) — located in Aiken, SC — is the applied research and development laboratory at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Savannah River Site...

Facility Focus: Savannah River National Laboratory
Q&A : Materials
Q&A: Columbia University’s Jyotirmoy Mandal Creates a Cooling Polymer

Mandal, along with Professors Yuan Yang and Nanfang Yu, built upon earlier work demonstrating that many simple plastics and polymers are excellent heat radiators that could be used for passive radiative daytime cooling (PRDC). Their challenge was to get these normally...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Micro-Mirror Optical Tracking and Ranging System
Micro-Mirror Optical Tracking and Ranging System

An innovative optical sensing and tracking system was designed to detect, track, and determine object distance and direction in a wide, full, solid angle (160 × 160°) with an extremely high...

Micro-Mirror Optical Tracking and Ranging System
Briefs : Materials
Method Increases Adhesive Properties of Silicone
Method Increases Adhesive Properties of Silicone

Geckos, spiders, and beetles have special adhesive elements on their feet, enabling them to easily run along ceilings or walls. The science of bionics tries to imitate and control such...

Method Increases Adhesive Properties of Silicone
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Biometric-Based User Authentication

Rapid adoption of mobile platforms such as smartphones and tablet computers has increased the range of applications and data on mobile devices. The use of these devices to communicate sensitive or confidential data requires, among other things, strong front-end user authentication procedures and/or protocols...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Ultrasensitive Chip-Based Sensors

An optical whispering gallery mode resonator was developed that can spin light around the circumference of a tiny sphere millions of times, creating an ultrasensitive, microchip-based sensor for multiple applications.

Application Briefs : Materials
Aluminum Extrusions Help Ski Maker Achieve Olympic-Sized Goals
Aluminum Extrusions Help Ski Maker Achieve Olympic-Sized Goals
Minalex Corp.
Whitehouse Station, NJ
www.minalex.com

In PyeongChang, South Korea this month, competitors representing 89 countries will be competing for...

Aluminum Extrusions Help Ski Maker Achieve Olympic-Sized Goals
NASA Spinoff : Aerospace
Offshore Oil Workers Learn Survival Skills in Astronaut Training Pool
Offshore Oil Workers Learn Survival Skills in Astronaut Training Pool

Spinoff is NASA's annual publication featuring successfully commercialized NASA technology. This commercialization has contributed to the development of products and...

Offshore Oil Workers Learn Survival Skills in Astronaut Training Pool
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Thermal-Compensating Optics Housing
Thermal-Compensating Optics Housing

Existing optics mounts sandwich the optic axially between two metal components, which can lead to optical surface damage and misalignment when exposed to fluctuating temperatures. Thermal-compensating...

Thermal-Compensating Optics Housing
Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Capacitive Pressure Sensor System and Packaging
Capacitive Pressure Sensor System and Packaging

Pressure sensors play an important role in engine maintenance and monitoring systems by diagnosing problems before they happen. To capture the most accurate data, however, these sensors must be...

Capacitive Pressure Sensor System and Packaging
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
High-Voltage Power Line Multi-Sensor System
High-Voltage Power Line Multi-Sensor System

Government infrastructure facilities such as water treatment facilities, power plants, laboratories, and the like may be targets for terrorist attacks. Similarly, oil pipelines, power grids,...

High-Voltage Power Line Multi-Sensor System
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Scalable Manufacturing Process for Creating Spools of Graphene
Scalable Manufacturing Process for Creating Spools of Graphene

For many researchers, graphene is ideal for use in filtration membranes. A single sheet of graphene resembles atomically thin chicken wire, and is composed of carbon atoms joined...

Scalable Manufacturing Process for Creating Spools of Graphene
Articles : Medical
Products of Tomorrow: February 2019
Products of Tomorrow: February 2019

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that...

Products of Tomorrow: February 2019
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Steering-Mirror-Assisted Laser Fine Pointing
Steering-Mirror-Assisted Laser Fine Pointing

Pointing precision is a critical element of instrumentation for optical communications and ranging in space, affecting laser design, link power budgets, and SWaP. While star trackers possess...

Steering-Mirror-Assisted Laser Fine Pointing
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Self-Powering Sensor Using a Nano-Energy Harvester
Self-Powering Sensor Using a Nano-Energy Harvester

Existing nanosensor technologies depend on an external power source (typically a battery) to operate. Chemical and biological sensors based on nanowire or nanotube technologies exhibit...

Self-Powering Sensor Using a Nano-Energy Harvester
Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Executive Forum: Electronics Design
Executive Forum: Electronics Design

As ubiquitous as electronics are today, they are finding even more uses as Internet of Things (IoT) applications expand. Tech Briefs posed questions to electronics industry executives to get their views on...

Executive Forum: Electronics Design
Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Film Blocks Electromagnetic Interference

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) can harm smartphones, tablets, chips, drones, wearables, aircraft, and human health. EMI is increasing with the explosive proliferation of devices that generate it. A technique was developed to produce relatively low-cost EMI-blocking composite films.

Application Briefs : Nanotechnology
Connectors Prove Pivotal in Nanosatellite-Based Communication Network
Connectors Prove Pivotal in Nanosatellite-Based Communication Network
Harwin
Farlington, Portsmouth, UK
www.harwin.com

There are certain areas of the planet that are simply too sparsely inhabited for it to be economically...

Connectors Prove Pivotal in Nanosatellite-Based Communication Network
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Printing Technology Uses Sound Waves to Control Size of Liquid Droplets
Printing Technology Uses Sound Waves to Control Size of Liquid Droplets

Liquid droplets are used in many applications, from printing ink on paper to creating microcapsules for drug delivery. Inkjet printing is the most common technique used...

Printing Technology Uses Sound Waves to Control Size of Liquid Droplets
Briefs : Aerospace
Plasma Generator Using Spiral Conductors

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a patented SansEC sensor technology for use in many different areas, including tall structures and wind turbines. The SansEC technology is a proven wireless sensing platform capable of measuring the electrical impedance of physical matter in proximity to the...

Briefs : Software
Rocket Nozzle Side-Load Analysis Software
Rocket Nozzle Side-Load Analysis Software

Lateral nozzle forces are known to cause severe structural damage during testing of any new rocket engine configuration under development. While three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD)...

Rocket Nozzle Side-Load Analysis Software
Briefs : Software
Selecting a Software Programming Platform
Selecting a Software Programming Platform

Software development and testing comprises about half of the control system design and integration effort, so a programming platform that can ease and speed the process is vital. Such PC-based...

Selecting a Software Programming Platform
Briefs : Materials
Ultrathin, Ultralight “Nanocardboard” Recovers Shape After Bending
Ultrathin, Ultralight “Nanocardboard” Recovers Shape After Bending

When choosing materials to make something, tradeoffs need to be made among properties such as thickness, stiffness, and weight. A new material called nanocardboard was...

Ultrathin, Ultralight “Nanocardboard” Recovers Shape After Bending
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) 370 Resin for High-Temperature Applications
Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) 370 Resin for High-Temperature Applications

RTM370 imide resin was developed to address the limitations of conventional imide resins, which are generated from commercially available symmetrical biphenyl...

Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) 370 Resin for High-Temperature Applications
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Manufacturing Technique Helps Inkjet Printers Deliver Ink More Evenly
Manufacturing Technique Helps Inkjet Printers Deliver Ink More Evenly

When a coffee mug leaves a ring, the outer edges of that ring are darker than the inside of the ring. That's because the solute is separated from the liquid during the...

Manufacturing Technique Helps Inkjet Printers Deliver Ink More Evenly
Briefs : Motion Control
Designing Self-Propelled, Chemically Active Sheets
Designing Self-Propelled, Chemically Active Sheets

Researchers have created a two-dimensional, shape-changing sheet that moves autonomously in a reactant-filled fluid. The integrated system utilizes a chemical reaction to activate the fluid...

Designing Self-Propelled, Chemically Active Sheets
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Micro-Robot Climbs on Vertical and Upside-Down Conductive Surfaces
Micro-Robot Climbs on Vertical and Upside-Down Conductive Surfaces

Jet engines can have up to 25,000 individual parts, making regular maintenance a tedious task that can take more than a month per engine. Many components are located deep...

Micro-Robot Climbs on Vertical and Upside-Down Conductive Surfaces
Briefs : Aerospace
Foot Pedal Controller
Foot Pedal Controller

A novel foot-pedal-operated system and device were developed to control translational and rotational movement of an object in three-dimensional (3D) space. The Foot Pedal Controller system enables operators to control...

Foot Pedal Controller
Products : Motion Control
New Products: February 2019 Motion Design
New Products: February 2019 Motion Design

Motor Control Integrated Circuit

Microsemi Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microchip Technology (Aliso Viejo, CA), announced the LX7720 radiation-tolerant motor control integrated...

New Products: February 2019 Motion Design
Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Advanced Connector Technologies: From Aerospace to Racecars to Robots
Advanced Connector Technologies: From Aerospace to Racecars to Robots

Different types of motion encountered in dynamic environments require designers to specify connectors for boards, wiring, and devices that can meet significant g-forces,...

Advanced Connector Technologies: From Aerospace to Racecars to Robots
Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Robots Bring Airplane Production Up to Speed
Robots Bring Airplane Production Up to Speed

Robots are helping a European airplane manufacturer cut into an eight-year backlog of orders for one of its most popular aircraft.

Robots Bring Airplane Production Up to Speed
Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Implementing Anti-Rotational Guidance for Stepper Motor Linear Actuators
Implementing Anti-Rotational Guidance for Stepper Motor Linear Actuators

Integrating lead screws with stepper motors is a simple and cost-effective method for getting precise linear motion. But achieving that precision requires...

Implementing Anti-Rotational Guidance for Stepper Motor Linear Actuators
Briefs : Communications
Tiny Robots Grow Bio-inspired Shapes
Tiny Robots Grow Bio-inspired Shapes

Hundreds of small robots can work in a team to create biology-inspired shapes without an underlying master plan, purely based on local communication and movement. To achieve this, the biological...

Tiny Robots Grow Bio-inspired Shapes
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Artificial Joint Restores Wrist-Like Movements
Artificial Joint Restores Wrist-Like Movements

For patients missing a hand, one of the biggest challenges to regaining a high level of function is the inability to rotate one's wrist (pronate and supinate). These are essential movements...

Artificial Joint Restores Wrist-Like Movements
Products : Software
Product of the Month: February 2019
Product of the Month: February 2019

MakerBot, Brooklyn, NY, introduced the Method 3D printer that bridges the gap between desktop and industrial 3D printing. The printer includes a circulating heated chamber, dual performance extruders,...

Product of the Month: February 2019
Blog : Nanotechnology
What is 'Metallic Wood?' Nickel, Plus Nano-Pores
What is 'Metallic Wood?' Nickel, Plus Nano-Pores
By adding nanopores to nickel, James Pikul and his team created a kind of "metallic wood."
What is 'Metallic Wood?' Nickel, Plus Nano-Pores