March 2010

News : Energy
The Smallest Superconductor in the World

Scientists have discovered the world’s smallest superconductor - a sheet of four pairs of molecules less than one nanometer wide. The Ohio University-led study provides the first evidence that nanoscale molecular superconducting wires can be fabricated, which could be used for nanoscale electronic...

Question of the Week
Is cold fusion possible?

This week's question concerns the concept of cold fusion. Cold fusion refers to the nuclear fusion of atoms at conditions close to room temperature, which (theoretically) has the potential to produce an abundant source of energy at low cost. Once thought of as "junk science," cold fusion is slowly gaining acceptance in...

Articles : Energy
Evolution of the Solid-State Lighting Connector

Keeping pace with emerging solid-state lighting (SSL) applications can be difficult for design engineers, not only from an end-product standpoint, but at the component level as well. Design engineers are challenged to combine their optical expertise with thermal management, power, electronic, and...

News : Energy
New Alloys Key to Efficient Solar Energy and Lighting

A recent advance by Arizona State University researchers in developing nanowires could lead to more efficient photovoltaic cells as well as better LEDs. ASU electrical engineers are working to improve quaternary alloy semiconductor nanowire materials.

Features : Energy
Why All The Talk About High-Power LED Technology?

It is in the headlines worldwide. Cities, states, and countries around the globe are transitioning away from traditional lighting and towards newer technologies such as high-power LEDs for traffic, street, and other public lighting applications.

Articles : Transportation
Revolution in Fasteners Helps Bridge the Gap 
to Greener Vehicles

With auto sales down as much as 40 percent, it can feel to some like the industry is coming apart. But a "revolution in fasteners" may soon help bridge the gap to greener vehicles, while increasing sales and lowering recall and warranty rates.

Articles : Transportation
Power Conversion for Reduced Cost, Volume, and Weight - and Increased Efficiency

Industry and consumers are increasingly aware of the benefits of efficacious use of metered power, as costs and cost trends increase. Making the right choices for power converter design can produce rapid investment payback in applications such as for LED...

Question of the Week
Would you have a microchip implanted under your skin if concrete benefits were derived from it?

This week's question concerns a recent poll that was taken prior to the opening of the CeBIT Trade show that was held in Germany last week. The poll, conducted by the German IT industry lobby group BITKOM, asked participants whether or not they would...

Briefs : Information Technology
Processing Images of Craters for Spacecraft Navigation

A crater-detection algorithm has been conceived to enable automation of what, heretofore, have been manual processes for utilizing images of craters on a celestial body as landmarks for navigating a spacecraft flying near or landing on that body. The images are acquired by an electronic...

News : Lighting
Check out the March Lighting Technology Ezine

The first issue of Lighting Technology has arrived! This digital magazine is the latest offering from Green Design & Manufacturing, and features articles, tech briefs, applications and more regarding advances in energy-efficient LEDs and solid-state lighting.

Articles : Government
Keep Lighting Green from Start to Finish With Proper Packaging and Disposal of Used Fluorescent Lamps

Fluorescent lamps are a popular lighting option for businesses and consumers that are looking for ways to conserve energy and cut down on wastes. Since mercury - a very useful but very toxic element - is used to conduct the charge in...

Briefs : Energy
Development of Advanced LED Phosphors by Spray-based Processes for Solid-State Lighting

Luminescent materials were developed using aerosol processes, for making improved LED devices for solid-state lighting. In essence this means improving white light emitting phosphor-based LEDs by improvement of the phosphor and phosphor layer.

Briefs : Lighting
Sliding Mode Pulsed Current Averaging IC Drivers for High-Brightness Light Emitting Diodes

Light Emitting Diode (LED) driver ICs associated with specific (uniquely operated) switching power supplies that optimize performance for High Brightness LEDs (HB-LEDs) have been developed. The LED drivers feature fewer external components and high power...

News : Energy
Intelligent Energy Management

Smart meters – intelligent devices to measure consumption – make it possible to read and control power consumption, even of private households, while away from the property. New software shadows the electricity meter and that ensures energy consumption is adjusted accordingly.

News : Energy
Process Yields High-Energy-Density Plant-Based Transportation Fuel

A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers has developed a highly efficient, environmentally friendly process that selectively converts gamma-valerolactone - a biomass derivative - into the chemical equivalent of jet fuel. The process preserves about 95 percent of the...

Features : Government
Electric Motor Efficiency Regulations: What Motor Manufacturers, OEMs, and Motor Users Need To Know
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), which restates the definition of General Purpose Electric Motors, goes into effect on December 19, 2010. For the first time, OEMs are going to be held accountable for the efficiency of motors...
Articles : Electronics & Computers
Making Sense Out of SOUP (Software of Unknown Pedigree)

Software test tools have been traditionally designed with the expectation that the code has been (or is being) designed and developed following a best practice development process. Legacy code turns the ideal process on its head. Although such code is a valuable asset, it is likely to have...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Multicore Processing: A Technological Dead End?

The computing press is full of discussions about multicore systems, defined here as single-chip computers containing two or more processing cores each connected to a common shared memory (Figure 1).

These devices are being presented as the solution to the performance problems faced by...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Understanding Virtex FPGAs

With each new generation of FPGA devices, Xilinx continues to push the performance envelope to match the ever-increasing requirements of target applications. The recent announcement of the Virtex-6 is no exception. More processing power, lower power consumption and updated interface features to match the latest...

Application Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Applying Embedded Form Factors to Wireless Systems

Wireless connectivity is merging with technological advancements in silicon, signaling, mass storage and software to meet the high-performance, ultra-low power requirements for next-generation wireless systems. Embedded form factors, seeking to utilize these developing technologies to the best...

Products : Electronics & Computers
SUMIT™ Expansion Modules

VersaLogic Corp. (Eugene, OR) has developed two expansion modules that feature the Stackable Unified Module Interconnect Technology (SUMITTM) interface scheme. These PC/104-sized modules are suitable for systems that need a small (3.65" × 3.8") footprint. Expansion boards may be added, including PCI Express (PCIe)...

Products : Electronics & Computers
EBX-Sized Single Board Computer

The EBC-Z8510-G single board computer (SBC) from WinSystems (Arlington, TX) is powered by an Intel 1.1GHz AtomTM processor. It measures 203mm × 147mm and supports the SUMIT-ISM I/O expansion standard plus COMIT (Computer On Module Interconnect TechnologyTM). The interface features two Gigabit Ethernet ports, CRT...

Products : Electronics & Computers
COM Express Module

ADLINK Technology, Inc. (San Jose, CA) has introduced the Express-ATC, a “Compact” COM Express module that is compatible with the Type 2 pin-out of the PICMG® COM Express specification. The module is suitable for systems that require a full set of graphics features in a small package (95mm × 95mm), including medical...

Products : Electronics & Computers
48-Channel PCIe Digital I/O Card

ACCES I/O Products (San Diego, CA) now offers the PCIe-DIO-48S, a 48-channel PCI Express (PCIe) card designed for use in a variety of digital I/O applications. It is compatible with 8255 PPI (mode 0) and features a x1 lane PCIe connector that can be used in any x1 or higher PCI Express slot. It is suitable for...

Products : Electronics & Computers
18-Pin Microcontrollers

Microchip Technology (Chandler, AZ) has introduced the PIC16(L)F1826 and PIC16(L)F1827 general-purpose 8-bit microcontrollers that feature the company’s enhanced mid-range core. The new MCUs provide an advanced peripheral set that includes an mTouchTM capacitive touch sensing and dual I2C/SPI interfaces, along with...

Briefs : Information Technology
Software Tool Integrating Data Flow Diagrams and Petri Nets

Data Flow Diagram – Petri Net (DFPN) is a software tool for analyzing other software to be developed. The full name of this program reflects its design, which combines the benefit of data-flow diagrams (which are typically favored by software analysts) with the power and precision of...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Adaptive Nulling for Interferometric Detection of Planets

An adaptive-nulling method has been proposed to augment the nulling-optical-interferometry method of detection of Earth-like planets around distant stars. The method is intended to reduce the cost of building and aligning the highly precise optical components and assemblies needed for...

Briefs : Information Technology
Reducing the Volume of NASA Earth-Science Data

A computer program reduces data generated by NASA Earth-science missions into representative clusters characterized by centroids and membership information, thereby reducing the large volume of data to a level more amenable to analysis. The program effects an autonomous data-reduction/clustering...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Reception of Multiple Telemetry Signals via One Dish Antenna

A microwave aeronautical-telemetry receiver system includes an antenna comprising a seven-element planar array of receiving feed horns centered at the focal point of a paraboloidal dish reflector that is nominally aimed at a single aircraft or at multiple aircraft flying in formation....

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Space-Qualified Traveling-Wave Tube

The L-3 Communications Electron Technologies, Inc. Model 999HA traveling-wave tube (TWT), was developed for use as a high-power microwave amplifier for high-rate transmission of data and video signals from deep space to Earth (see figure). The 999HA is a successor to the 999H — a non-space-qualified TWT...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Smart Power Supply for Battery-Powered Systems

A power supply for battery-powered systems has been designed with an embedded controller that is capable of monitoring and maintaining batteries, charging hardware, while maintaining output power. The power supply is primarily designed for rovers and other remote science and engineering vehicles,...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Parallel Processing of Broad-Band PPM Signals

A parallel-processing algorithm and a hardware architecture to implement the algorithm have been devised for timeslot synchronization in the reception of pulse-position-modulated (PPM) optical or radio signals. As in the cases of some prior algorithms and architectures for parallel, discrete-time,...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Inexpensive Implementation of Many Strain Gauges

It has been proposed to develop arrays of strain gauges as arrays of ordinary metal film resistors and associated electronic readout circuitry on printed-circuit boards or other suitable substrates. This proposal is a by-product of a development of instrumentation utilizing metal film resistors on...

Briefs : Software
Processing AIRS Scientific Data Through Level 3

The Atmospheric Infra-Red Sounder (AIRS) Science Processing System (SPS) is a collection of computer programs, known as product generation executives (PGEs). The AIRS SPS PGEs are used for processing measurements received from the AIRS suite of infrared and microwave instruments orbiting the Earth...

Briefs : Software
Web-Based Requesting and Scheduling Use of Facilities

Automated User’s Training Operations Facility Utilization Request (AutoFUR) is prototype software that administers a Web-based system for requesting and allocating facilities and equipment for astronaut-training classes in conjunction with scheduling the classes. AutoFUR also has potential...

Briefs : Information Technology
AutoGen Version 5.0

Version 5.0 of the AutoGen software has been released. Previous versions, variously denoted “Autogen” and “autogen,” were reported in two articles: “Automated Sequence Generation Process and Software” (NPO-30746), Software Tech Briefs (Special Supplement to NASA Tech Briefs), September 2007, page 30, and...

Briefs : Information Technology
Time-Tag Generation Script

Time-Tag Generation Script (TTaGS) is an application program, written in the AWK scripting language, for generating commands for aiming one Ku-band antenna and two S-band antennas for communicating with spacecraft. TTaGS saves between 2 and 4 person-hours per every 24 hours by automating the repetitious process of...

Briefs : Information Technology
Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer Product File Readers

TES Product File Reader software extracts data from publicly available Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) HDF (Hierarchical Data Format) product data files using publicly available format specifications for scientific analysis in IDL (interactive data language). In this innovation,...

Briefs : Information Technology
Reporting Differences Between Spacecraft Sequence Files

A suite of computer programs, called “seq diff suite,” reports differences between the products of other computer programs involved in the generation of sequences of commands for spacecraft. These products consist of files of several types: replacement sequence of events (RSOE), DSN...

Briefs : Software
Coordinating “Execute” Data for ISS and Space Shuttle

The Joint Execute Package Development and Integration tool is a Web utility program that provides an integrated capability to generate and manage messages and “execute” package data for members of a space shuttle and the International Space Station (ISS). (An “execute” package...

Briefs : Materials
Database for Safety-Oriented Tracking of Chemicals

SafetyChem is a computer program that maintains a relational database for tracking chemicals and associated hazards at Johnson Space Center (JSC) by use of a Web-based graphical user interface. The SafetyChem database is accessible to authorized users via a JSC intranet. All new chemicals pass...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Inflatable Tubular Structures Rigidized With Foams

Inflatable tubular structures that have annular cross sections rigidized with foams, and the means of erecting such structures in the field, are undergoing development. Although the development effort has focused on lightweight structural booms to be transported in compact form and deployed in...

Briefs : Materials
Optimized Li-Ion Electrolytes Containing Fluorinated Ester Co-Solvents

A number of experimental lithium-ion cells, consisting of MCMB (meso-carbon microbeads) carbon anodes and LiNi0.8Co0.2O2 cathodes, have been fabricated with increased safety and expanded capability. These cells serve to verify and demonstrate...

Briefs : Materials
Probabilistic Multi-Factor Interaction Model for Complex Material Behavior

Complex material behavior is represented by a single equation of product form to account for interaction among the various factors. The factors are selected by the physics of the problem and the environment that the model is to represent. For example, different factors...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Foldable Instrumented Bits for Ultrasonic/Sonic Penetrators

Long tool bits are undergoing development that can be stowed compactly until used as rock- or ground-penetrating probes actuated by ultrasonic/sonic mechanisms. These bits are designed to be folded or rolled into compact form for transport to exploration sites, where they are to be...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Compact Rare Earth Emitter Hollow Cathode

A compact, high-current, hollow cathode utilizing a lanthanum hexaboride (LaB6) thermionic electron emitter has been developed for use with high-power Hall thrusters and ion thrusters. LaB6cathodes are being investigated due to their long life, high current capabilities, and less...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
High-Precision Shape Control of In-Space Deployable Large Membrane/Thin-Shell Reflectors

This innovation has been developed to improve the resolutions of future spacebased active and passive microwave antennas for earth-science remote sensing missions by maintaining surface figure precisions of large membrane/thinshell reflectors during...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Rapid Active Sampling Package

A field-deployable, battery-powered Rapid Active Sampling Package (RASP), originally designed for sampling strong materials during lunar and planetary missions, shows strong utility for terrestrial geological use. The technology is proving to be simple and effective for sampling and processing materials of strength....

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Miniature Lightweight Ion Pump

This design offers a larger surface area for pumping of active gases and reduces the mass of the pump by eliminating the additional vacuum enclosure. There are three main components to this ion pump: the cathode and anode pumping elements assembly, the vacuum enclosure (made completely of titanium and used as the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Cryogenic Transport of High-Pressure-System Recharge Gas

A method of relatively safe, compact, efficient recharging of a high-pressure room-temperature gas supply has been proposed. In this method, the gas would be liquefied at the source for transport as a cryogenic fluid at or slightly above atmospheric pressure. Upon reaching the destination,...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Water-Vapor Raman Lidar System Reaches Higher Altitude

A Raman lidar system for measuring the vertical distribution of water vapor in the atmosphere is located at the Table Mountain Facility (TMF) in California. Raman lidar systems for obtaining vertical water-vapor profiles in the troposphere have been in use for some time. The TMF system...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Compact Ku-Band T/R Module for High-Resolution Radar Imaging of Cold Land Processes

Global measurement of terrestrial snow cover is critical to two of the NASA Earth Science focus areas: (1) climate variability and change and (2) water and energy cycle. For radar backscatter measurements, Ku-band frequencies, scattered mainly within the volume...

Briefs : Information Technology
Performance Bounds on Two Concatenated, Interleaved Codes

A method has been developed of computing bounds on the performance of a code comprised of two linear binary codes generated by two encoders serially concatenated through an interleaver. Originally intended for use in evaluating the performances of some codes proposed for deep-space...

Briefs : Information Technology
Mission Reliability Estimation for Repairable Robot Teams

A mission reliability estimation method has been designed to translate mission requirements into choices of robot modules in order to configure a multi-robot team to have high reliability at minimal cost. In order to build cost- effective robot teams for long-term missions, one must be...

Briefs : Information Technology
Algorithm for Stabilizing a POD-Based Dynamical System

This algorithm provides a new way to improve the accuracy and asymptotic behavior of a low-dimensional system based on the proper orthogonal decomposition (POD). Given a data set representing the evolution of a system of partial differential equations (PDEs), such as the Navier-Stokes...

Briefs : Information Technology
Parameterizing Coefficients of a POD-Based Dynamical System

A method of parameterizing the coefficients of a dynamical system based of a proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) representing the flow dynamics of a viscous fluid has been introduced. (A brief description of POD is presented in the immediately preceding article.) The present...

Briefs : Information Technology
Confidence-Based Feature Acquisition

Confidence-based Feature Acquisition (CFA) is a novel, supervised learning method for acquiring missing feature values when there is missing data at both training (learning) and test (deployment) time. To train a machine learning classifier, data is encoded with a series of input features describing each...

Briefs : Information Technology
Universal Decoder for PPM of any Order

A recently developed algorithm for demodulation and decoding of a pulse-position-modulation (PPM) signal is suitable as a basis for designing a single hardware decoding apparatus to be capable of handling any PPM order. Hence, this algorithm offers advantages of greater flexibility and lower cost, in...

Briefs : Information Technology
Metal Vapor Arcing Risk Assessment Tool

The Tin Whisker Metal Vapor Arcing Risk Assessment Tool has been designed to evaluate the risk of metal vapor arcing and to help facilitate a decision toward a researched risk disposition. Users can evaluate a system without having to open up the hardware. This process allows for investigating components...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Constant-Differential-Pressure Two-Fluid Accumulator

A two-fluid accumulator has been designed, built, and demonstrated to provide an acceptably close approximation to constant differential static pressure between two fluids over the full ranges of (1) accumulator stroke, (2) rates of flow of the fluids, and (3) common static pressure applied to...

Products : Energy
Large Cell Ultracapacitors

Maxwell Technologies Inc. (San Diego, CA) has introduced its new K2 series large cell BOOSTCAP ultracapacitors. About the size of a soda can, the K2 series BOOSTCAP cells operate at 2.7 volts and incorporate design and construction enhancements for high performance, durability, and a long operating lifetime.

Briefs : Energy
Power Generator With Thermo-Differential Modules
A new thermoelectric power generator from Johnson Space Center consists of an oven box and a solar cooker/solar reflector unit. The solar reflector concentrates sunlight into heat and transfers the heat into the oven box via a heat pipe.
Briefs : Energy
Mechanical Extraction of Power From Ocean Currents and Tides
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has proposed a scheme for generating electric power from rivers and from ocean currents, tides, and waves that not entail the high maintenance costs of other schemes that call for submerged electric generators and cables.
Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Nitrous Oxide/Paraffin Hybrid Rocket Engines

Nitrous oxide/paraffin (N2OP) hybrid rocket engines have been invented as alternatives to other rocket engines — especially those that burn granular, rubbery solid fuels consisting largely of hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB). Originally intended for use in launching spacecraft,...

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
High-Flex Cable Assembly to Aid Robot Arm in Mars Exploration Program
Cables Cicoil Corp.
Valencia, CA 661-295-1295

Cicoil has provided a custom-formed high-flex cable to the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), scheduled to launch in 2011 as part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. The program is...

Application Briefs : Aerospace
Avionics Databus to Promote Systems Integration on Orion Vehicle
TTTech North America
Carlsbad, CA

TTEthernet, a high-bandwidth databus developed by TTTech and Honeywell, will be deployed on Orion, the Earth crew entry vehicle scheduled to make its first flights within the...

Articles : Automotive
Advancing Automotive Design With Innovative Collaboration

The automotive industry has faced hardships in recent times, but it can and will survive by renewing itself through innovation. After enduring a $14.6 billion loss in 2008, Ford reported a $2.7 billion profit in 2009 and applied for a total of 119 patents for the 2010 Ford Fusion and...

Who's Who
Dr. Gary Hunter, Intelligence Systems Hardware Lead and Technical Lead of Chemical Sensors, Sensors and Electronics Branch

Dr. Gary Hunter, who joined NASA in 1990, is an expert in the design, fabrication, and testing of sensors, especially chemical species gas sensors. In 1995 and 2005, he led the development of sensor systems that won R&D 100...

Dr. Gary Hunter, Intelligence Systems Hardware Lead and Technical Lead of Chemical Sensors, Sensors and Electronics Branch

Dr. Gary Hunter, who joined NASA in 1990, is an expert in the design, fabrication, and testing of sensors, especially chemical species gas sensors. In 1995 and 2005, he led the development of sensor systems that won...

HP Z200

Hewlett-Packard, Palo Alto, CA, has introduced the HP Z200 workstation computer for engineers and designers using CAD software. Also introduced are two monitors: the HP ZR22w and HP ZR24w Performance Displays. The HP Z200 offers dual-core processor options based on the next-generation Intel® processors, as well as quad-core processor...

NASA Tech Needs
Developing a Commercial Nanoionics Switch for RF Applications

The Antenna and Optical Systems Branch at NASA’s Glenn Research Center is working on many innovations in nanotechnology for use in communications applications. One such emerging field of nanotechnology receiving significant attention for its promising results is nanoionics....

Techs for License
PicoEndo Tethered Endoscope

Stevrin & Partners

The PicoEndo endoscope is the smallest tethered endoscope in the world (4.5mm × 12.0mm). It is also inexpensive enough to use and discard. The PicoEndo system is applicable to medical tasks such as photographing the surface of the esophagus, and to applications in any industry that needs...

Techs for License
Flat-Plate Lens Achieves Negative Refraction at 100-nm Resolution

AIST Innovations

Experiments with holograms have led to a thin-film flat-plate lens that has a periodic (layered) structure and that is capable of a resolution of 100 nm or finer. The flat lens provides excellent image-forming characteristics by the incidence of light...

NASA Tech Needs
Technology for Drilling/Cutting/Separating Materials

A company seeks alternative methods for sawing, drilling, boring, cutting, or otherwise separating materials such as wood, metal, and composites. When compared to conventional sawing, drilling, boring, or other cutting methods, the new method should be faster and easier; provide a cleaner cut...

Tech Needs
Near-Field UHF RFID Systems

A company seeks a near-field ultra-high-frequency (UHF) RFID system solution that can communicate in near-field while keeping the field region localized so that far-field talks can be suppressed. A new near-field UHF RFID reader antenna is sought that has strong magnetic near-field, but small far-field gain and beam...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Electrical Capacitance Volume Tomography With High-Contrast Dielectrics

The Electrical Capacitance Volume Tomography (ECVT) system has been designed to complement the tools created to sense the presence of water in nonconductive spacecraft materials, by helping to not only find the approximate location of moisture but also its quantity and...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Stereoscopic Machine-Vision System Using Projected Circles

A machine-vision system capable of detecting obstacles large enough to damage or trap a robotic vehicle is undergoing development. The system includes (1) a pattern generator that projects concentric circles of laser light forward onto the terrain, (2) a stereoscopic pair of cameras that...

Briefs : Imaging
Wavefront Control and Image Restoration With Less Computing

PseudoDiversity is a method of recovering the wavefront in a sparse- or segmented-aperture optical system typified by an interferometer or a telescope equipped with an adaptive primary mirror consisting of controllably slightly moveable segments. (PseudoDiversity should not be confused...

Articles : Imaging
Choosing the Right Touchscreen Display Technology for Your Control/Automation Process

From industrial panel PCs, to open-platform graphic operator interface terminals (OITs), to microOITs, to human-machine interfaces (HMIs), there are many choices of interactive display technologies for manufacturing and process control. It can be a challenge to...

Application Briefs : Imaging
Imaging System Enables Early Detection of Diabetic Retinopathy

People whose bodies cannot produce effective or sufficient insulin are said to have diabetes. This chronic disease has several serious long-term effects that are well documented: kidney failure, heart disease, foot disease that may require amputation, neuropathy (sensory loss), and...

Briefs : Imaging
Wide-Field-of-View, High-Resolution, Stereoscopic Imager

A device combines video feeds from multiple cameras to provide wide-field-of-view, high-resolution, stereoscopic video to the user. The prototype under development consists of two camera assemblies, one for each eye. One of these assemblies incorporates a mounting structure with multiple...

Briefs : Imaging
Algorithm for Lossless Compression of Calibrated Hyperspectral Imagery

A two-stage predictive method was developed for lossless compression of calibrated hyperspectral imagery. The first prediction stage uses a conventional linear predictor intended to exploit spatial and/or spectral dependencies in the data. The compressor tabulates counts of...

Briefs : Imaging
Polarization Imaging Apparatus

A polarization imaging apparatus has shown promise as a prototype of instruments for medical imaging with contrast greater than that achievable by use of non-polarized light. The underlying principles of design and operation are derived from observations that light interacts with tissue ultrastructures that affect...

Question of the Week
Could a sin tax make people eat healthier?

This week's question concerns the U.S.'s ongoing efforts to encourage healthier eating. States across the nation are beginning to impose "sin taxes" on fat and sugar to dissuade people from eating junk food. The thought is that if you make it cheaper, people will eat more of it, more expensive and...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Algorithm for Lossless Compression of Calibrated Hyperspectral Imagery

A two-stage predictive method was developed for lossless compression of calibrated hyperspectral imagery. The first prediction stage uses a conventional linear predictor intended to exploit spatial and/or spectral dependencies in the data. The compressor tabulates counts of...

Products : Imaging
Imaging Keyboard

KeyScan, Jersey City, NJ, offers the KS810-P imaging keyboard for scanning documents that is compatible with Windows® 7 (32- and 64-bit) operating systems. The NoTouchTM-AutoScan software performs automatic scanning into searchable PDF files with two-level password encryption. The keyboard features 15...

Products : Imaging
Borescope Camera

The FSC2 borescope camera from Schoelly Imaging, Worcester, MA, includes an integrated LED light at the camera head, eliminating the need for light cables in remote vision testing of small bores and other inaccessible areas. The small CCU features auto white balance, variable brightness control, AGC, and a custom window feature...

Products : Imaging
Optical Replication

OPCO Laboratory, Fitchburg, MA, offers a replication process that duplicates the profile of a precision optical surface from a master. The process can produce a range of both ruled and holographic diffraction gratings, reflective and transmission holographic optical elements, and dual-wavelength gratings, as well as plano and...

Products : Imaging
Data Converter

Pentek, Upper Saddle River, NJ, offers the CobaltTM 71620 multichannel, high-speed data converter that uses Xilinx Virtex-6 field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology. This XMC module connects to HF or IF ports for communications, radar, and telemetry applications. It includes three Texas Instruments ADS5485...

Products : Imaging
Weld Inspection Scanner

Olympus NDT, Waltham, MA, has introduced the COBRA, a manual scanner designed to inspect welds in pipes with diameters as small as 0.84". It is used alongside the OmniScan® MX Phased Array flaw detector with the 16:128 module and OmniScan MXU software. It also features a low vertical profile to allow rotation...

Products : Imaging
High-Speed Cameras

Photron, San Diego, CA, has introduced Range Version (RV) hardware that extends the normal operating temperature range of Fast-cam SA5 and SA2 cameras. The RV option includes two serviceable external fans that direct cooling air over the sealed camera body, stabilizing the operating temperature in harsh environments. The SA5...

Products : Imaging
High-Speed Camera

The Piranha HS camera from DALSA Corp. Waterloo, ON, Canada, features 12k resolution, 5.2-μm pixel size, and speeds of 90-kHz line rate or 1.2 gigapixels/sec. The HSLink interface delivers scalable bandwidth in 300-MB/sec steps, from 300 to 6,000 MB/sec.

Products : Imaging
Infrared Detector

A compact 640 × 480 17-micron infrared (IR) detector from ULIS, Veurey-Voroize, France, is designed for surveillance, enhanced night driving, and thermography applications. The detector’s 24 × 24 mm2 enables camera makers to gain increased resolution to 640 × 480 without requiring an increase in system size. It...

Products : Imaging
Machine Vision Software

PPT VISION, Bloomington, MN, has released IMPACTTM 8.5 software for machine vision applications. It reads 17 different standard barcode types, including ECC 200 DataMatrix 2D, UPC-A and UPC-E, and Pharmacode. The software is able to combine the decoded information with optical character recognition and detailed...

Articles : Lighting
Light Emitting Diodes — Choosing the Right LED for the Job

Understanding how LEDs work and what materials are used for ideal operation in various spectral ranges will aid in selecting the right color and ideal wavelengths for a variety of applications. This article will discuss the newest LED technology and products that are available for your...

Articles : Lighting
LED Spectra Pose New Design Challenges and Opportunities

We normally think of ‘white’ light as being comprised of all wavelengths in the visible spectrum, or at least of being comprised of red, green, and blue. However, white LEDs emit light only in the yellow and blue, and still appear to be white. How does this work?

Articles : Lighting
How to Address the Lighting Challenges of High-Brightness LEDs

Two overriding issues should be considered when driving high-brightness (HB) LEDs. The first is to ensure that a fairly constant current is available with minimal variation, since a fluctuation in current can cause an apparent change in brightness. The LED having a nonlinear response...

Products : Lighting
LED Power Module

The PIL300U-V Series LED power modules from Power Partners, Hudson, MA, provide 300W of output power from a 90-305VAC input range. The PIL300U-V design incorporates high PFC, meeting the requirements for EN61000-3-2. Standard output volt ages range from 12VDC to 150VDC. Exceptionally efficient, ratings are up to 94%, and the...

Products : Lighting
UV LED Spot Curing System

EXFO's Life Sciences & Industrial Division, Mississauga, ON, Canada, introduces the OmniCure® LX400 UV LED Spot Curing System. The system is able to control up to four UV LED heads simultaneously with a single connection or independently. UV LED heads are available in three different wavelengths (365nm, 385nm, and...

Products : Lighting
Light-Measurement System

The Jaz™ Modular Measuring Suite from Ocean Optics, Dunedin, FL, is now available for radiometric analysis of LEDs, flat panel displays, lamps, and other radiant sources. The Jaz Light Meter is a pre-configured, pre-calibrated spectrometer suite that is ideal for quality control, lab and field measurements of LED...

Products : Lighting
OLED Panel

The ORBEOS panel from OSRAM Opto Semi con ductors, San Jose, CA, has a round lamp surface of 80mm diameter, is 2.1mm thick, and weighs 24g. With an efficiency of 25lm/W, the panel beats that of conventional halogen lamps. Its warm white color temperature (2,800K, CRI up to 80) matches the warm light of an incandescent lamp, and is...

Products : Lighting

QuasarBrite™ UV LEDs from Lumex, Palatine, IL, are available in 385nm, 405nm, and 415nm wavelengths at 4-6mW in through-hole format. A robust TO-46 package with a glass lens provides a lifespan of more than 50,000 hours. QuasarBrite UV LEDs provide a uniform beam pattern and do not use the hazardous mercury material found in CCFL...

Products : Lighting
High-Output Red LEDs

Opto Diode, Newbury Park, CA, offers the OD- 624L High-Output Red LED with a dominant emission wavelength at 624 nm (typical) and a narrow beam angle that is ideal for fluorescence in medical, scientific testing instruments, and forensic applications. The lighting device delivers total power output ranging from 80 mW...

Products : Lighting
White LED Backlight Driver

Alpha & Omega Semiconductor, Sunnyvale, CA, has expanded its EZBoost™ family with a white LED backlight driver, the AOZ1950. The AOZ1950 provides backlighting solutions for portable devices using medium-sized LCD panels such as netbooks, media players, and navigation devices. The AOZ1950 is a high performance...

Application Briefs : Lighting
Greening the Golden Arches

L ast July, Ric Richards — a fast-food franchisee — opened the first green McDonald’s in North Carolina, proving that it can be affordable and effective to build a sustainable fast-food restaurant. One of the key green elements to the Cary, NC-based McDonald’s is energy-saving,...

Application Briefs : Lighting
Bright and Economical LEDs Enable Mobile Projection
3M, St. Paul, MN
OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, Sunnyvale, CA

Micro projectors from 3M that can be connected to mobile phones and cameras include LEDs from OSRAM Opto Semi-conductors. The small, bright, energy-saving diodes were the key to developing the...

Briefs : Lighting
Sliding Mode Pulsed Current Averaging IC Drivers for High-Brightness Light Emitting Diodes
SynDiTec Inc.,
San Jose, CA

This project developed new light emitting diode (LED) driver ICs associated with specific (uniquely operated) switching power supplies that optimize performance for High Brightness LEDs (HBLEDs). The drivers...

Briefs : Lighting
Development of Advanced LED Phosphors by Spray-based Processes for Solid-State Lighting
Cabot Corp.,
Boston, MA

The overarching goal of this project was to develop luminescent materials using aerosol processes for making improved LED devices for solid-state lighting. In essence, this means improving white light emitting...

Techs for License : Lighting
Nanofiber-based Lighting Technology

A lighting technology from RTI is more energy efficient than the common incandescent light bulb and does not contain mercury, making it environmentally safer than the compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb. At the core of the technology is an advanced nanofiber structure that provides exceptional lighting...

Techs for License : Lighting
OLED Deposition Technology

Low-cost processing methods will be required if the small organic molecule materials currently under development for use in organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) and other electronics are ever to realize wide spread commercial application.