March 2012

News : Electronics & Computers
Using Electricity to Generate Alternative Fuel

Electrical energy generated by various methods can be difficult to store efficiently. Chemical batteries, hydraulic pumping, and water splitting suffer from low energy-density storage or incompatibility with current transportation infrastructure. UCLA researchers have demonstrated a method for...

News : Energy
New 3D Designs Double Solar Power

A team of MIT researchers is building cubes or towers that extend solar cells upward in three-dimensional configurations. The results from the structures they’ve tested show power output ranging from double to more than 20 times that of fixed flat panels with the same base area.

Question of the Week
Would you enjoy a 'digital detox?'

 A recent event called the "Day of Unplugging" kicked off last week, challenging people to go without their cell phones and technology for 24 hours. The "digital detox" idea encourages everyone to step away from their computers and smartphones. Some people are opposed to the idea and see no need to unplug...

News
Amplifier Chip Speeds Up Measurements of Single-Molecules Such As DNA

A team of researchers from Columbia Engineering and the University of Pennsylvania has figured out a way to measure nanopores — tiny holes in a thin membrane that can detect single biological molecules such as DNA and proteins — with less error than can be achieved with...

News
Microfluidic Chip Streamlines Fossil Fuel Measurements

Bitumen and heavy oil are difficult to extract from reservoirs because they are thick and do not flow easily. There are several methods of extraction, one of which uses carbon dioxide-rich gas injections which helps liquify the bitumen for easier extraction, while presenting opportunities...

News
Lab-on-a-Chip Device Evaluates Efficacy of Malaria Treatments

Spread by mosquitoes, malaria is caused by a tiny parasite that infects human red blood cells. University of British Columbia researcher Hongshen Ma and his team designed a lab-on-a-chip device to better understand the changes in red blood cells caused by Plasmodium falciparum, the...

News
New Imaging System Peers Around Corners

A new imaging system could use opaque walls, doors, or floors as 'mirrors' to gather information about a given scene. The camera produced recognizable 3-D images of a wooden figurine and of foam cutouts outside of the device’s line of sight.

The principle behind the system is essentially that of the...

News
NRL Tests Robotic Fueling of Unmanned Surface Vessels

Engineers from the NRL Spacecraft Engineering Department (SED) successfully demonstrated the robotic fluids transfer from a stationary platform to an Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) in wave heights greater than three feet. The Rapid Autonomous Fuel Transfer (RAFT) project exhibits the ability...

News
NVIDIA and Dell: Improving Interactivity in SolidWorks

Engineers working with a design application like SolidWorks know that more interactive capability in a design application means greater productivity. The key to better interactivity is the ability of the workstation to process the most complex models in a fast and fluid manner. Dell and...

News
Butterflies Could Help Create Bug-Size Flying Robots

To improve the next generation of insect-size flying machines, Johns Hopkins engineers have been aiming high-speed video cameras at butterflies in an attempt to figure out how they flutter among flowers with such amazing grace and agility. The researchers hope to help small airborne robots...

Products
Triaxial MEMS Capacitive Accelerometer

Silicon Designs (Issaquah, Washington) has announced its new model 2445 series, a family of single-ended low-noise analog MEMS capacitive accelerometer modules, designed to support a variety of low-to-medium frequency triaxial measurement requirements. The rugged design of the model 2445 features three...

Products
Linear Hall-Effect Sensor IC

Honeywell (Minneapolis, MN) is extending its Linear Hall-effect Sensor Integrated Circuits (IC) product line with the addition of the new SS39ET Series to its SS49E and SS59ET portfolio. Honeywell’s Linear Hall-effect product family now consists of three package styles with different lead configurations: SS39ET:...

Products
FPGA Development Kit

Avnet Electronics Marketing (Phoenix, AZ) has introduced the Xilinx Kintex(TM)-7 FPGA Mini-Module Plus Development Kit – a completely customizable development kit for system architects and field programmable gate array (FPGA) designers. The Avnet Mini-Module Plus system consists of a modular baseboard with three slots...

Products
HDL Code Generator

MathWorks (Natick, MA) has announced HDL Coder, which automatically generates HDL code from MATLAB, allowing engineers to implement FPGA and ASIC designs from the widely used MATLAB language. MathWorks also announced HDL Verifier, which includes FPGA hardware-in-the-loop capabilities for testing FPGA and ASIC designs. With...

News : Test & Measurement
PDC Drill Bits Open Up Options for Geothermal Energy

Nearly two-thirds of the oil we use comes from wells drilled using polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits, originally developed 30 years ago to lower the cost of geothermal drilling. Sandia National Laboratories and the U.S. Navy recently brought the technology full circle, showing how...

Question of the Week
Will we ever accept computers as human?

Ray Kurzweil, an inventor and futurist, said to more than 3,000 attendees at the South by Southwest Interactive conference last week: "We are a human-machine civilization. Everybody has been enhanced with computer technology," noting how smartphones and other mobile devices and technologies have become a...

News : Materials
Sandwich-Like Structures for Efficient Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Making hydrogen fuel cells practical on a large scale requires them to be more efficient and cost effective, and a research team from the University of Central Florida may have found a way around both hurdles.

News
Graphene Supercapacitor Holds Promise for Portable Electronics

Researchers at UCLA have used a standard LightScribe DVD optical drive to produce electrodes that not only maintain high conductivity but also provide higher and more accessible surface area than conventional ECs that use activated carbon electrodes.

The process is based on coating...

News
Standard Hand Gestures Guide Robot Planes

Researchers at MIT are working on a system that would enable robot planes to follow standard hand gestures. The team recorded a series of videos in which several people performed a set of 24 gestures commonly used by aircraft-carrier deck personnel.

The MIT researchers’ software represented the...

News
NASA Engine Icing Research Project on Track for Launch

NASA scientists are making progress in their preparations to mount a detailed research campaign aimed at solving a modern-day aviation mystery involving the unlikely combination of fire and ice inside a running jet engine. The investigation deals with the seemingly strange notion that ice...

News
Future Aircraft Could Capture and Re-Use Their Own Power

Tomorrow's aircraft could contribute to their power needs by harnessing energy from the wheel rotation of their landing gear to generate electricity. They could use this to power their taxiing to and from airport buildings, reducing the need to use their jet engines. This would save on...

News : Nanotechnology
Nanotrees Turn Sunshine into Hydrogen Fuel

University of California, San Diego electrical engineers are building a forest of tiny nanowire trees in order to cleanly capture solar energy and harvest it for hydrogen fuel generation. Nanowires, which are made from abundant natural materials like silicon and zinc oxide, offer a cheap way to deliver...

News
Humanoid Robot Fights Shipboard Fires

The firefighting robot, called the Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR), is being designed to move autonomously throughout the ship, interact with people, and fight fires, handling many of the dangerous firefighting tasks that are normally performed by humans. The humanoid robot should be able to...

News
Inspired by Nature, New Technique Shapes Thin Gel Sheets

Inspired by nature’s ability to shape a petal, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have developed a new tool for manufacturing three-dimensional shapes easily and cheaply, to aid advances in biomedicine, robotics, and tunable micro-optics.

Researchers developed a...

Question of the Week
When it comes to finding the truth, can technology surpass humans?

In a study of 40 videotaped conversations, an automated system developed by University at Buffalo researchers correctly identified whether interview subjects were lying or telling the truth 82.5 percent of the time. The automated system tracks eye movement. The system...

News
'Cheetah' Sets Speed Record for Legged Robots

A “Cheetah” robot gallops at speeds of up to 18 miles per hour (mph), setting a new land speed record for legged robots. The previous record was 13.1 mph, set in 1989.

The use of ground robots in military explosive-ordinance-disposal missions already saves many lives and prevents thousands of...

News
External Station Experiment Refuels Satellites in Orbit

NASA's Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) began operations on the International Space Station with the Canadian Dextre robot and RRM tools, marking important milestones in satellite-servicing technology and the use of the space station robotic capabilities.

A joint effort between NASA and...

News
Program Simulates Evacuation Scenarios for Major Events

Predicting how large numbers of visitors to major events will behave is difficult, even using evidence based on past experience. To prevent disasters, police, rescue services, and event organizers have to be able to identify dangerous bottlenecks, hidden obstacles, and unexpected escape...

News
New Tool Analyzes Solar Cell Materials

To make a silicon solar cell, you start with a slice of highly purified silicon crystal, and then process it through several stages involving gradual heating and cooling. But figuring out the tradeoffs involved in selecting the purity level of the starting silicon wafer — and then exactly how much to heat...

News
Researchers Simulate Burning and Detonation of Transportable Explosives

All across America, trucks and tractor-trailers are transporting industrial explosives such as munitions, rocket motors, and dynamite on nearly every artery of the country’s interstate and highway system. America’s track record in transporting these materials is about as...

News : Energy
Insect Biochemistry & Generating Electricity
Insect Biochemistry & Generating Electricity

Touted as possible first responders, insect cyborgs could be the research community's next big breakthrough. Researchers from Case Western Reserve University have discovered that an insect's...

Insect Biochemistry & Generating Electricity
News
Army Rangers Test New Software-Defined Radio

The U.S. Army's 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan recently completed an Operational Assessment of the software-programmable Joint Tactical Radio Systems (JTRS) Rifleman Radio, highlighting its ability to share combat- relevant information, voice and data across small units in real time.

News
Antennaless RFID Tags Can Track Metal and Liquids

Tracking and identifying metal objects can prove difficult for some radio frequency identification (RFID) systems. A new patent-pending technology developed by a research team at the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) at North Dakota State University, however, could solve these...

News
Portable System Gives Soldiers Immediate Ballistic Protection

Your unit deployed so rapidly to the remote location that there was no time to set up sandbags and concrete barriers to protect the base camp. Those systems are heavy and time-consuming to erect, and by the time you establish them, today's fluid battlefield might have you up and...

News
Heart-Powered Pacemaker Harvests Energy from Heartbeat Reverberation

Engineering researchers at the University of Michigan designed a device that harvests energy from the reverberation of heartbeats through the chest and converts it to electricity to run a pacemaker or an implanted defibrillator. These mini-medical machines send electrical...

News
Self-Healing Hydrogels Bind in Seconds

University of California, San Diego bioengineers have developed a self-healing hydrogel that binds in seconds, like Velcro, and forms a bond strong enough to withstand repeated stretching. The material has numerous potential applications, including medical sutures, targeted drug delivery, industrial...

Question of the Week
Are there risks in 'hacking' our own biology?

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (TDCS), a deep brain stimulation technique, uses electrodes to direct tiny painless currents across the brain. The currents are thought to improve the firing of neurons and the forming of connections that enable learning. The technique has shown potential in...

News
Create Without the Wait: Design and Render, Design and Simulate

What if design engineers could work with and interact with assemblies with real-time feedback on the structural dynamics acting on the components? What if physics simulations, which currently take hours or days to compute, had so much processing power available that they can be...

News
NVIDIA and Dell Propel Trek to Racing Success

The universal challenges faced by bike manufacturer Trek in creating a new-generation racing bike apply to many companies today: Create products that are sturdy yet use lightweight materials, spot design defects earlier in the design phase, and reduce time from sketch to physical prototype. Trek used...

News : Government
Deploying U.S. Offshore Wind Projects
Deploying U.S. Offshore Wind Projects

Offshore wind is an enormous potential resource for the United States - with strong, consistent winds located in the Atlantic, Pacific, the Great Lakes, and the Gulf of Mexico. As part of a planned...

Deploying U.S. Offshore Wind Projects
Briefs : Physical Sciences
Portable Fourier Transform Spectroscopy for Analysis of Surface Contamination and Quality Control

Progress has been made into adapting and enhancing a commercially available infrared spectrometer for the development of a handheld device for in-field measurements of the chemical composition of various samples of materials. The intent is to...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
'In Situ' Geochemical Analysis and Age Dating of Rocks Using Laser Ablation-Miniature Mass Spectrometer

A miniaturized instrument for performing chemical and isotopic analysis of rocks has been developed. The rock sample is ablated by a laser and the neutral species produced are analyzed using the JPL-invented miniature mass spectrometer. The...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Spectral Profiler Probe for 'In Situ' Snow Grain Size and Composition Stratigraphy

An ultimate goal of the climate change, snow science, and hydrology communities is to measure snow water equivalent (SWE) from satellite measurements. Seasonal SWE is highly sensitive to climate change and provides fresh water for much of the world population....

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Photogrammetry Tool for Forensic Analysis

A system allows crime scene and accident scene investigators the ability to acquire visual scene data using cameras for processing at a later time. This system uses a COTS digital camera, a photogrammetry calibration cube, and 3D photogrammetry processing software.

Briefs : Software
Doppler Lidar Signal Processing Suite (DLiSPS)

DLiSPS is a collection of software modules that processes lidar data and displays/archives the output products. It has the same features as the real-time version written in C++, except the hardware control capability, with many other functionalities for off-line lidar signal processing. DLiSPS is...

Briefs : Information Technology
Physics Mining of Multi-Source Data Sets

Powerful new parallel data mining algorithms can produce diagnostic and prognostic numerical models and analyses from observational data. These techniques yield higher-resolution measures than ever before of environmental parameters by fusing synoptic imagery and time-series measurements. These techniques...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Connect Global Positioning System RF Module

The CoNNeCT Global Positioning System RF Module (GPSM) slice is part of the JPL CoNNeCT Software Defined Radio (SDR). CoNNeCT is the Communications, Navigation, and Networking reconfigurable Testbed project that is part of NASA’s Space Communication and Navigation (SCaN) Program. The CoNNeCT project...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Miniature EVA Software Defined Radio

As NASA embarks upon developing the Next-Generation Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) Radio for deep space exploration, the demands on EVA battery life will substantially increase. The number of modes and frequency bands required will continue to grow in order to enable efficient and complex multimode operations...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Simple Cell Balance Circuit

A method has been developed for continuous cell voltage balancing for rechargeable batteries (e.g. lithium ion batteries). A resistor divider chain is provided that generates a set of voltages representing the ideal cell voltage (the voltage of each cell should be as if the cells were perfectly balanced). An...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Remotely Accessible Testbed for Software Defined Radio Development

Previous development testbeds have assumed that the developer was physically present in front of the hardware being used. No provision for remote operation of basic functions (power on/off or reset) was made, because the developer/operator was sitting in front of the hardware,...

Briefs : Software
3D Visualization for Phoenix Mars Lander Science Operations

Planetary surface exploration missions present considerable operational challenges in the form of substantial communication delays, limited communication windows, and limited communication bandwidth. A 3D visualization software was developed and delivered to the 2008 Phoenix Mars Lander...

Briefs : Software
System-of-Systems Technology-Portfolio- Analysis Tool

Advanced Technology Life-cycle Analysis System (ATLAS) is a system-of-systems technology-portfolio-analysis software tool. ATLAS affords capabilities to (1) compare estimates of the mass and cost of an engineering system based on competing technological concepts; (2) estimate life-cycle costs...

Briefs : Software
VESGEN Software for Mapping and Quantification of Vascular Regulators

VESsel GENeration (VESGEN) Analysis is an automated software that maps and quantifies effects of vascular regulators on vascular morphology by analyzing important vessel parameters. Quantification parameters include vessel diameter, length, branch points, density, and fractal...

Briefs : Software
Constructing a Database From Multiple 2D Images for Camera Pose Estimation and Robot Localization

The LMDB (Landmark Database) Builder software identifies persistent image features (“landmarks”) in a scene viewed multiple times and precisely estimates the landmarks’ 3D world positions. The software receives as input multiple 2D images of...

Briefs : Software
Adaption of G-TAG Software for Validating Touch and Go Asteroid Sample Return Design Methodology

A software tool is used to demonstrate the feasibility of Touch and Go (TAG) sampling for Asteroid Sample Return missions. TAG is a concept whereby a spacecraft is in contact with the surface of a small body, such as a comet or asteroid, for a few...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Carbon Nanotube Bonding Strength Enhancement Using Metal “Wicking” Process

Carbon nanotubes grown from a surface typically have poor bonding strength at the interface. A process has been developed for adding a metal coat to the surface of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) through a “wicking” process, which could lead to an enhanced bonding...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Germanium Lift-Off Masks for Thin Metal Film Patterning

A technique has been developed for patterning thin metallic films that are, in turn, used to fabricate microelectronics circuitry and thin-film sensors. The technique uses germanium thin films as lift-off masks. This requires development of a technique to strip or undercut the germanium...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Multi-Layer Far- Infrared Component Technology

A method has been developed for fabricating high-reflectivity, multi-layer optical films for the terahertz wavelength region. A silicon mirror with 99.997-percent reflectivity at 70 μm wavelength requires an air gap of 17.50 μm, and a silicon thickness of 5.12 μm. This approach obtains...

Briefs : Materials
Sealing Materials for Use in Vacuum at High Temperatures

Sealing materials that can be applied and left in place in vacuum over a wide range of temperatures (especially temperatures of a few thousand degrees Celsius) have been conceived and investigated for potential utility in repairing thermal-protection tiles on the space shuttles in orbit...

Briefs : Materials
Radiation Shielding System Using a Composite of Carbon Nanotubes Loaded With Electropolymers

Single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) coated with a hydrogen-rich, electrically conducting polymer such as polyethylene, receive and dissipate a portion of incoming radiation pulse energy to electrical signals that are transmitted along the CNT axes, and...

Briefs : Materials
Nano Sponges for Drug Delivery and Medicinal Applications

This invention is a means of delivering a drug, or payload, to cells using non-covalent associations of the payload with nanoengineered scaffolds; specifically, functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and their derivatives where the payload is effectively sequestered by the...

Briefs : Materials
Molecular Technique to Understand Deep Microbial Diversity

Current sequencing-based and DNA microarray techniques to study microbial diversity are based on an initial PCR (polymerase chain reaction) amplification step. However, a number of factors are known to bias PCR amplification and jeopardize the true representation of bacterial diversity....

Briefs : Materials
Methods and Compositions Based on Culturing Microorganisms in Low Sedimental Fluid Shear Conditions

The benefits of applying a low sedimental fluid shear environment to manipulate microorganisms were examined. Microorganisms obtained from a low sedimental fluid shear culture, which exhibit modified phenotypic and molecular genetic...

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

An autonomous and automated spacecompliant diagnostic system concept was developed for condition-based maintenance (CBM) of rocket motors for space exploration vehicles. The system will provide real-time information on the integrity of critical structures on launch...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Imaging System Aperture Masks for Image Plane Exit Pupil Characterization

Imaging system exit pupil characteristics are typically difficult and expensive to measure directly. In most cases, the exit pupil in an optical system is a virtual image of the system’s aperture stop and requires additional powered optical elements, such as lenses and...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Nanostructure Sensing and Transmission of Gas Data

This system provides one or more sensors for selected chemicals (all using nanostructure sensors with small physical sizes), one or more sensors for physical parameters (e.g. voltage or current), a multiplexer to receive and interleave the measured data stream values from the sensors according...

Briefs : Information Technology
Secure Peer-to-Peer Networks for Scientific Information Sharing

The most common means of remote scientific collaboration today includes the trio of e-mail for electronic communication, FTP for file sharing, and personalized Web sites for dissemination of papers and research results. With the growth of broadband Internet, there has been a desire...

Briefs : Information Technology
High-Rate Data-Capture for an Airborne Lidar System

A high-rate data system was required to capture the data for an airborne lidar system. A data system was developed that achieved up to 22 million (64-bit) events per second sustained data rate (1408 million bits per second), as well as short bursts (

Briefs : Information Technology
Multiplexer/Demultiplexer Loading Tool (MDMLT)

The purpose of the MDMLT is to improve the reliability and speed of loading multiplexers/ demultiplexers (MDMs) in the Software Development and Integration Laboratory (SDIL) by automating the configuration management (CM) of the loads in the MDMs, automating the loading procedure, and providing the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Foam-on-Tile Damage Model

An impact model was developed to predict how three specific foam types would damage the Space Shuttle Orbiter insulating tiles. The inputs needed for the model are the foam type, the foam mass, the foam impact velocity, the foam impact incident angle, the type being impacted, and whether the tile is new or aged (has...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Instrument Package Manipulation Through the Generation and Use of an Attenuated-Fluent Gas Fold

This document discusses a technique that provides a means for suspending large, awkward loads, instrument packages, components, and machinery in a stable, controlled, and precise manner. In the baseplate of the test machine, a pattern of grooves and...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Multicolor Detectors for Ultrasensitive Long-Wave Imaging Cameras

A document describes a zeptobolometer for ultrasensitive, long-wavelength sensors. GSFC is developing pixels based on the zeptobolometer design that sense three THz wavelengths simultaneously.

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Electro-Optic Segment- Segment Sensors for Radio and Optical Telescopes

A document discusses an electro-optic sensor that consists of a collimator, attached to one segment, and a quad diode, attached to an adjacent segment. Relative segment-segment motion causes the beam from the collimator to move across the quad diode, thus generating a...

Products
Product of the Month: WiPry-Combo

Saelig Company, Pittsford, NY, has introduced WiPry-Combo, a dynamic power meter and spectrum analyzer accessory for the iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone. It turns an iOS device into an ultra-portable spectrum analyzer and dynamic power meter. WiPry-Combo brings RF power measurements to a graphical interface to show...

Articles : Automotive
Automotive Engineering: The Future is Today

The Ford Focus Electric is the industry’s first car to feature 100 percent sustainable clean technologies in interior materials, including seat fabrics with Unifi’s REPREVE®-branded fiber made from recycled plastic bottles. Ford, through the use of REPREVE, plans to divert about 2 million...

Application Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Test Systems Ensure Structural Integrity of Orion Crew Vehicle

NASA is currently validating the Orion spacecraft design for human spaceflight. Three systems developed by G Systems were used for testing the new Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV). A custom pressurization and venting system enables engineers to apply pressure inside the test article...

Application Briefs : Materials
Material Passes Tests for James Webb Space Telescope Sunshield

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will observe primarily the infrared light from faint and very distant objects. But all objects, including telescopes, also emit infrared light in the form of heat energy. To avoid swamping the very faint astronomical signals with radiation from...

Articles : Aerospace
Marshall Space Flight Center

The Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), located in Huntsville, AL, became a NASA field center on July 1, 1960. Since then, Marshall has provided the agency with the mission-critical design, development, and integration of launch and space systems required for space operations, exploration, and scientific missions....

Techs for License
Biodegradable Silica Gel Fiber Regenerates Cell Tissue

An inorganic, biodegradable silica gel fiber (SGF) acts as a physical scaffold to aid the growth of new cells and the collagen structure that supports them. As a scaffold, it can also be used to deliver drugs over a wide area to aid in healing. The material is integrated into the tissues and...

Techs for License
Nozzle Produces Ultrafine Droplets

Energy-saving nozzles offer droplet sizes down to 25 microns, at operating pressures as low as 100 psi. Nozzle passages, including metering slots, spin chambers, and exit orifices, are designed to minimize pressure drop, resulting in conservation of pump energy up to the exit orifice.

NASA Tech Needs
Indoor Air Quality Improvements

A company wants to decrease the frequency and severity of respiratory illness in homes with adults, teens, and children. Affordable indoor air quality improvement solutions must be provided to consumers via an air purification device. The client seeks a third-party partner who can offer a currently commercialized/...

NASA Tech Needs
Air and Moisture Removal Within Closed Containers

Many types of food spoilage are slowed when air and moisture are removed from around the food. Current removal solutions, however, are expensive, take up too much space, and require complicated processes. A new technology must remove air and moisture with the single push of a button. Any proposed...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Optical Communications Receiver

Specialized mixed-signal (radio frequency and digital) hardware and processing techniques are employed to enable processing of the multi-GHz signal bandwidth, along with the instruction of an inter-symbol guard time (ISGT) to facilitate synchronization to the received pulse-position modulation (PPM) signal.

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Low-Noise, Large-Area Quad Photoreceivers Based on Low-Capacitance Quad Photodiodes

The Laser Interferometry Space Antenna’s (LISAs) scientific mission to detect gravity waves demands stringent noise limits on the system components, especially the large-area quad photoreceiver front end, for ultra-high-precision (≈10 pm/Hz1/2)...

Briefs : Information Technology
Wavefront Sensing Analysis of Grazing Incidence Optical Systems

Wavefront sensing is a process by which optical system errors are deduced from the aberrations in the image of an ideal source. The method has been used successfully in near-normal incidence, but not for grazing incidence systems. This innovation highlights the ability to examine...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
RxGen General Optical Model Prescription Generator

RxGen is a prescription generator for JPL’s in-house optical modeling software package called MACOS (Modeling and Analysis for Controlled Optical Systems), which is an expert optical analysis software package focusing on modeling optics on dynamic structures, deformable optics, and controlled...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Mode-Field Diameter and “Spot Size” Measurements of Lensed and Tapered Specialty Fibers

Lensed and tapered specialty fibers are designed to optimize coupling between the fiber and various optical components such as edge-emitting laser diodes and AWGs. The light from these fibers forms a focus at some finite distance away from the fiber end....

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Designing COTS LCD Displays For Rugged Applications

Innovation, demand, and falling prices have resulted in high quality large format commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) LCD displays moving from the living room to high availability, mission critical applications.

Products : Photonics/Optics
Organic Solar Cell

Heliatek GmbH (Dresden, Germany) has developed 1.1 cm² tandem cells manufactured with a low temperature deposition process that have an efficiency of 9.8 %, a new world record for organic solar cells. The percentage was measured and certified by the independent Fraunhofer ISE CalLab (Freiburg, Germany) under standard test...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Metal Adapter

The ELIO® AQ metal adapter from Souriau (York, PA) enables a standard ELIO® optical contact to be inserted into the size-8 Quadrax cavity of several connector types. The ELIO® AQ adapter is already available for connectors in the MIL-DTL-38999/EN3645 series III, ARINC 404, and ARINC 600 ranges. The adapter operates in a harsh...

Products : Photonics/Optics
LED Driver ICs

Power Integrations (San Jose, CA) has announced LinkSwitch-PH LED driver ICs in an eSIP™-7F (L package) that measures 2mm high. The Lpackage includes a heat transfer tab on top of the device, which is electrically quiet so additional heatsinks do not contribute to electrical noise propagation.

Products : Photonics/Optics
Laser Welding System

Miyachi Unitek Corporation (Monrovia, CA) has released its new LF Fiber Laser Welding Systems, specially designed for fine micro welding. The LF handles focused spot sizes down to 10 microns, and offers control of pulse width and peak power. The laser is available in either single-mode or multi-mode options.

Products : Photonics/Optics
Tunable Short-Pulse Laser

The Vitara laser from Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) delivers pulsewidths shorter than 12fs. The product offers automated wavelength tuning over a 755nm to 860nm range and pushbutton bandwidth adjustment from 30nm to 125nm. The output power of Vitara peaks at over 450mW due to its integrated Verdi G 5W pump laser.

Products : Photonics/Optics
Camera Platform

The Visiosens VFU Camera Platform from FRAMOS (Camberley, UK) has more than 200 camera variants per image sensor. The tool comprises CCD and CMOS image sensors ranging from 0.3 to 10.0 megapixels, a variety of output interfaces including USB 2.0 & USB 3.0 (through a Mini-B USB jack with horizontal screw lock), complementary...

Products : Photonics/Optics
CMOS Cameras

Baumer (Southington, CT) has introduced its HXC20NIR and HXC40NIR CMOS cameras, which measure electroluminescence in the near-infrared (NIR) light spectrum. Compared with monochrome technology, the cameras are twice as sensitive at a wavelength of 900 nanometers, using electroluminescence to effectively detect fractures and failures...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Custom Optical Mirrors

Precision Glass & Optics (Santa Ana, CA) recently provided optical mirrors that are integrated into a 360-degree high definition (HD) video camera system developed by Social Animal (www.socialanimal.tv). The SA360 Video Camera System offers 2K resolution, cinema-quality footage, captured simultaneously and stitched...

Products : Photonics/Optics
USB Laser Control System

Wavelength Electronics (Bozeman, MT) now offers a USBKIT interface board and software package for its laser control systems. The bus-powered USB 2.0 interface board is easily wired using on-board screw terminals, and the Quick- Connect™ virtual control panel provides strip chart graphs that show real-time laser system...

Products : Photonics/Optics
CoaXPress Digital Cameras

Imperx (Boca Raton, FL) has introduced high-performance cameras utilizing the CoaXPress interface standard. The ICX camera family provides resolutions ranging from VGA to 29 megapixels, and the devices capture images at up to 260 frames per second (fps).

Products : Photonics/Optics
Solar Module Encapsulant

Willard and Kelsey (W&K) Solar Group (Perrysburg, OH) has announced commercialization of its "WK1-75" photovoltaic (PV) module. Designed for utility-scale clean energy projects, the module incorporates a cadmium-telluride (CdTe) thin-film power-generating layer, which is given extra protection by the moisture-resistant...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Camera with USB 2.0 Interface

IDS GmbH (Woburn, MA) has released the UI-2280SE, a camera with USB 2.0 interface and Sony ICX655 CCD sensor in 5 megapixel resolution (2448 × 2050 pixels). The camera achieves color depth of 12 bits per pixel, thanks to its internal field programmable gate array. As a result, it offers 16 times more accurate...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Non-Contact Laser Scanner

ROMER (North Kingstown, RI) has announced the CMS108, a non-contact laser scanner available for its portable coordinate measuring machines. The CMS108 mounts with a kinematic joint to the seven-axis ROMER portable CMMs, which include the Absolute Arm SE and the Infinite 2.0 SC Arm.

Products : Photonics/Optics
Evaluation Module

The DLP® LightCrafter™ platform from Texas Instruments (Dallas, TX) allows developers to harness spatial light steering from a compact module. Users can create, store, and display high-speed pattern sequences through DLP LightCrafter’s USBbased application programming interface (API) and graphical user interface (GUI).

Articles : Imaging
Real 3D Visualization: The Promise of Virtual Holography

There are a number of drawbacks to traditional two-dimensional environments. In 2D, images appear flat and only offer one perspective. In 3D, images have depth and offer multiple perspectives. A true virtual-holographic representation overcomes the limitations of even the very highest...

Articles : Imaging
Benchtop Imaging Devices: Making Fluorescence Microscopy More Accessible

Auto-fluorescent proteins have become an indispensible tool for cell biology research over the past decade. Originating from sea creatures such as jellyfish and sea anemone, these fluorescent proteins come in a rainbow of colors and are used to monitor cellular processes...

Articles : Imaging
Software Toolkit Inspects Automotive Components

MPC , a Walworth, Wisconsin-based manufacturer of plastic parts for the automotive industry, builds many types of components. One such product is the oil filler cap for the car’s engine. The cap is made of injection-molded plastic, with a rubber O-ring seal around it, and a pad-printed logo and...

Products : Imaging
Split Camera

Industrial Sensor Vision International (ISVI) Corp. (Cheshire, CT) has introduced two split cameras for automation, PCB, and wafer inspection. The 5 Mega Pixel / 30 FPS Split camera has a 1.67 x 1.67 μm pixel size; CMOS sensor size of .22"; Camera Link functionality, and global shutter. The device features 8 bits per pixel and a...

Products : Imaging
Contrast Sensors

Pepperl+Fuchs (Twinsburg, OH) has announced DK12-11-IO Series Contrast Sensors. The DK12-11-IO sensors use a three-color light source to detect differences in two colors of media. The components are IO-Link-compatible, enabling them to provide enhanced configuration options and visibility of the sensor’s color evaluation....

Products : Imaging
Near-Infrared Camera

The Piranha HS NIR Line Scan Camera from Teledyne DALSA (Billerica, MA) features improved sensitivity in near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths from 700 to 1050 nanometers. The Piranha HS NIR, which includes time delay and integration (TDI) technology, meets the requirements of low light applications such as solar cell inspection,...

Products : Imaging
Programmable Camera

Linux-based, programmable cameras from VRmagic (Cambridge, MA) are now available with miniature connectors. For its Linux-based intelligent cameras, VRmagic offers a back end with Picoblade™ connectors for Ethernet, USB 2.0 Host, RS232, and General Purpose I/O Analog Video Output. Additionally, a PCB with DVI or HDMI output...

Products : Imaging
Infrared Zoom Lens

The f/5.5 Atalanta IR zoom lens from IRZoom, the infrared zoom lens division of Computer Optics Inc. (Hudson, NH), offers a 15-435 mm focal range with 3-second, end-to-end continuous zoom. Optional 2x and 2.5x extenders allow 1000-mm imagery in the mid-wave infrared range.

Products : Imaging
Embedded Vision System

Adlink Technology (San Jose, CA) has released the EOS-1200, a Gigabit PoE embedded vision system that implements the 2nd generation Intel® Core™ i7 quad core processor, providing four independent gigabit PoE (power over Ethernet) ports with data transfer rates up to 4.0 Gb/s.

Products : Imaging
Vision System

The XG-8000 Vision System from the Keyence Corporation (Itasca, IL) features line scan camera models, a high-speed triple core processor, and multicamera connectivity. The XG-8000 offers simultaneous operation of up to 8 cameras. High-load data processing, from 5 megapixel area scan and 8K line scan cameras (capable of capturing 67...

Products : Imaging
Software Development Toolkit

Matrox Imaging (Dorval, Quebec, Canada) has announced enhancements to the Matrox Imaging Library (MIL) 9, a software development toolkit for image analysis, machine vision, medical imaging, and video analytics. The enhancements include improvements to code reading and verification, GPU-based processing, and...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Identifying Effective Carbon Capture Technologies

Approximately 75 percent of electricity used in the U.S. is produced by coal-burning power plants that expel carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Berkeley Lab researchers are searching for porous materials to filter out the CO2 before it reaches the atmosphere, but identifying these...

Who's Who
Donald Wegel, Lead Engineer, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Donald Wegel, Lead Engineer, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Maryland are in the early stages of designing a sample-collecting comet harpoon. NASA Goddard’s Donald Wegel, lead...

Podcasts
Donald Wegel, Lead Engineer, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Maryland are in the early stages of designing a sample-collecting comet harpoon. NASA Goddard’s Donald Wegel, lead engineer on the project, will work with researchers to send a spacecraft to rendezvous...

News : Lighting
Band Gap Discovery Could Improve LED Performance
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

Solar cells, light emitting diodes, displays and other electronic devices could get a bump in performance because of a discovery at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory that establishes new boundaries for controlling band...

Articles : Lighting
LED Packaging with Silicone Encapsulants

When working together, the packager and silicone pro vider should take into account several details. One major consideration is the methodology used when packaging an LED, such as surface mount LED, compression molding or injection molding. Besides that, the end use of the LED and the longevity of the LED...

Articles : Lighting
Bringing the Heat

LED, semiconductor, and package designers use complex thermal analysis software to analyze their products, but the analysis is only as good as the data provided. Reliable clarification of heat data upstream and downstream is critical. The process of obtaining this clarification traditionally has been cumbersome, requiring...

Briefs : Lighting
Micro-Cavity Arrays

It was not too long ago that basic science lectures began with the three forms of matter: gases, liquids and solids—and somewhere along the line plasmas were occasionally added to the list. But to be precise, a plasma is an ionized gas; thus, a subset of the big three. But this subset has coexisted with the other forms...

Briefs : Lighting
Retail Merchandise Tracking System

Looking for an item in a large department store or mall can be like searching for a needle in a haystack, but that could change thanks to a hybrid location identification system that uses radio frequency transmitters and overhead LED lights, suggested by a team of researchers from Penn State and Hallym...

Application Briefs : Lighting
Covert Aircraft Landing Lights

Covert lighting on military aircraft is increasingly being implemented on existing airframes to create a compatible environment for pilots using night vision goggles during flight. This retrofitting procedure requires that new and improved lighting devices, such as LEDs, fit within the parameters defined by the...

Application Briefs : Lighting
Aircraft Cockpit and Cabin Lighting
Lumex, Palatine, Illinois

Due to the significant performance benefits they provide, LED and LCD technologies are replacing traditional incandescent bulb fixtures in more and more places throughout the cockpit and main cabin of aircraft. Compared to incandescent bulbs, LED and LCD technology...

Application Briefs : Lighting
Night Vision Compatible LED Indicators

Wilbrecht LEDCO’s new Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) compatible LEDs are designed for avionics applications that require night vision compatibility. Available in green, yellow, white and red in both 3mm and 5mm sizes, these specially filtered LEDs allow the cockpit display to be visible to the unaided...

Techs for License : Lighting
Extensible Light-Sensing LED Array

New technology developed at NDSU uses an extensible array of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as a means of sensing incident light levels. This light-sensing LED array can be used to construct highly-dynamic backlights for displays, as well as large-format synthetic aperture cameras.

Techs for License : Lighting
Heterocycles for Use in Electronic Devices

Synthesis of heterocyclic aromatic compounds has been pursued for a long time by chemists in order to analyze their properties and potential applications in biomedical and materials sciences including electronic devices such as organic light emitting devices (OLEDs) and in hydrogen storage.

Products : Lighting
Power Supplies

Green Watt Power (Concord, CA) has announced the GLC-150 Series of AC/DC LED power supplies. The GLC-150 Series has a universal / full range AC input voltage of 100 — 277 VAC. The power supplies offer 150W output power and are available in six different models of constant-current output: 2.8A, 3.2A, 3.75A, 4.2A, 5.0A, or 6.25A....

Products : Lighting
Step-Up Converter

The ZLED7015 step-up converter from ZMD AG (Dresden, Germany) features an integrated 35V power switch for high-brightness LEDs. The input voltage ranges from 6V to 30V. The converter, which includes a 0.3V voltage feedback mechanism, has a soft-start function and open circuit detection capability.

Products : Lighting
LED Driver Selection Tool

Power Integrations (San Jose, CA) has introduced an online selection tool that enables users to rapidly identify the appropriate power supply reference design for an LED lighting application. The LED Design Selector provides choices from Power Integrations’ library of reference design options for LED lighting. Using...

Products : Lighting
Film Capacitors

TDK-EPC, a group company of the TDK Corporation (Uniondale, NY), has extended its range of EPCOS MKP film capacitors with the B32671L8 and B32672L9 series. The high-voltage (2000 VDC) capacitors are available with reduced lead spacing (LS) from 10 mm. In addition, the voltage of the LS 15 types has been increased from 700 to 900...

Products : Lighting
LED Flash Controller

STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland) offers the STCF04 chip, an integrated camera flash and torch controller that raises the maximum power of an LED flash module to over 40 Watts. The device also provides extra flash and torch brightness controls, with eight user-selectable levels for the flash and 12 for the torch, as...

Products : Lighting
Infrared Emitters

Opto Diode Corp. (Newbury Park, CA) has introduced three infrared (IR) emitters. The OD-850W gallium aluminum arsenide (GaAlAs) LED features a wide-emission angle and typical optical output of 40mW at 100mA. The device has a peak emission wavelength at 850nm, a wavelength more closely matched to the peak response of...

Products : Lighting
Indicator LEDs

The QuasarBrite™ panel mount indicator LED from Lumex (Palatine, IL) operates with 120 VAC power that can be taken directly out of the main power source. The device is available in a round configuration with a 7mm diameter. The configuration, however, can be customized with wire lengths ranging from 6" to 6 ft, and with a...

Products : Lighting
Low/Mid Power LEDs

Everlight Electronics Co., Ltd. (Taipei, Taiwan) offers a series of low/mid power LEDs especially suited for use in solid state lighting. The Low/Mid Power LED series is directed towards light bar replacement and omnidirectional bulb applications. The series consists of 0.06W, 0.2W, 0.4W, and 0.5W products with efficiencies of...

Products : Lighting
Fiber Optic Light Module

Excelitas Technologies Corp. (Waltham, MA) has released the XLM Plus Fiber Optic Illuminator Module with Electronics. The Light Module has integrated electronic circuitry for safety alarms, error modes, and power status indicators. It also provides circuitry for connection to fiber safety interlocks. In the event that a...

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New Developments in Catheter Shaft Components – Part 2