April 2007

Blog
Nano Conference Call for Papers

The National Nano Engineering Conference (NNEC), being held November 14-15 at the Boston Marriott Copley place, is the premier event focused on current and future developments in engineering innovations at the nanoscale, as well as the commercialization of nanotechnology.

Presentations on exciting new...

Blog
Current Attractions

This monthly review lets you "meet" the new advertisers appearing in NTB and its supplements. Here's a sneak peek at the products, services, and offers available from May's first-time advertisers.

Applied Image (Rochester, NY) manufactures a wide variety of standard products, including test targets,...

Blog
Technology Business Brief

This technology creates a door closure system for a round pressurized vessel that requires no doorframe structure to maintain doorframe rigidity. Structurally, the door and opening can weigh almost the same as a similar section that does not have a door.

For more information, click here.

Blog
White Papers

This technical publication from Breault Research Organization (BRO) describes the tissue phantom Realistic Skin Model(TM) (RSM) in ASAP BIO. It details the features inherent in the design of the RSM, including background information on the model, dialog options, and relevant default characteristics of the model.

Blog
CAD/CAE Products

Autodesk, Inc. (San Rafael, CA) now offers Autodesk Inventor 2008 software, the latest release of its 3D mechanical design application. The new release features DWG intero- perability, AliasStudio interoperability, sheet metal design tools, ribbon cable design tools, and sketch productivity tools.

For more information,...

Blog
Earth's Architecture

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) recently launched a new AIA layer in Google Earth called "America's Favorite Architecture." Google Earth users can now see many newly created 3D models of the ballparks, bridges, buildings, and memorials that characterize architecture for Americans. By clicking on America's Favorite...

Blog
3D Ultrasound

The same Duke University Pratt School of Engineering research team that first developed real-time, 3D ultrasound imaging has modified the commercial version of the scanner to produce an even more realistic perception of depth. The researchers created an updated version of the image-viewing software, making it possible to achieve a...

Blog
NASA News

NASA's Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program has awarded a one-year, $100,000 contract to Clarkson University, DEM Solutions Inc., and Jenike & Johanson to provide a new generation of Discrete Element Modeling (DEM) for designing equipment to move and store bulk solids.

Blog
New on the Market

Kerk Motion Products (Hollis, NH) released the Linear Actuator, designed to accept NEMA size 17, 23, and 34 motors. Leadscrew driven, the unit does not need lubrication and is designed for electronics, semiconductor, and medical applications.

For more information, click here.

Blog
Train Breaks

Norfolk Southern Railway (NS, Norfolk, VA) and BNSF Railway Company (BNSF, Ft. Worth, TX) will begin testing a new braking system that may reduce the amount of time it takes to stop a train. The project, authorized by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), calls for NS and BNSF to equip and test certain locomotives and freight...

Blog
Current Attractions

Motion Control Technology is a bimonthly supplement to NASA Tech Briefs magazine, providing engineers the latest advances in motion control products. One section, Applications, highlights how a particular motion control component is utilized by an end-user. Here is one of the technologies featured in the April issue's...

Blog
Amoebic Locomotion

Researchers at Virginia Polytechnic and State University (Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA) have successfully constructed a new method of robotic propulsion based on the movement of amoebas. Called "Whole Skin Locomotion" (WSL), the mechanism works similarly to a pseudopod, or cytoplasmic "foot," of an amoeba. With its elongated...

Blog
White Papers

Antennas, filters, amplifiers, and mixers are building blocks that are utilized in many existing defense weapons and Department of Defense (DoD) systems. In this white paper from Emerson & Cumming, new and emerging transceiver technologies as well as military applications are discussed.

Blog
Ultra-Hard Material

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) have made rhenium diboride, an “ultra-hard material” in a process that does not require applying pressure. Ultra-hard materials are used in the construction of new roads, for drills that bore for oil, and for

scratch-resistant coatings. While...

Blog
Malaria Treatment

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD) have cured malaria-infected mice with single shots of a new series of potent, long-lasting synthetic drugs modeled on an ancient Chinese herbal folk remedy. The drugs mimic artemisinin, the active agent in a Chinese herbal drug used to treat malaria and other fevers for...

Blog
Technologies of the Week

A sintered silicon nitride ceramic has been disclosed that has high fracture toughness, strength, and stress rupture resistance at high temperature.

View this technology here.

Blog
Plane Navigation

The European Space Agency (ESA, Paris, France) is conducting trials into helping guide airplane pilots via signals from satellites. Flight trials are being conducted to demonstrate the new possibilities offered by the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), which has been launched by ESA, the European...

Blog
NASA News

NASA has awarded a contract to Manhattan Construction Company of Fairfax, VA, for the construction of the Exploration Sciences Building at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. NASA has determined that all new facilities projects will reach the Silver rating, signifying a commitment to designing, procuring, and...

Blog
Technology Business Briefs

Because the cost of building and maintaining cleanrooms is very expensive, the physical size of components is always critical. We define the cleanroom industry here broadly to include semiconductor manufacture, laboratory equipment, medical devices, nano- technology, and biotechnology applications, to name a few. This...

Blog
NTB Product of the Year Winners

Each month, the editors of NASA Tech Briefs (NTB) select a Product of the Month, and from those 12, we ask our readers to select a Product of the Year. On April 23, at a special reception and dinner in New York City, the top three products that were chosen by our readers as the most significant in 2006 will be...

Blog
Nikon Small World Contest

Photomicrographers have less than two weeks to enter the 33rd Annual Nikon Small World Competition, the world's pre-eminent photographic competition celebrating photography through the microscope. April 30th is the last day to submit entries into the pool of amateur and professional images taken through a light...

Blog
Earthquake Sensor

An engineer at Washington University in St. Louis has successfully performed the first test of wireless sensors in the simulated structural control of a model laboratory building. The demonstration is the first step toward implementing wireless sensors for structural control in real buildings and structures, enabling less...

Blog
Tech Needs of the Week

A method is needed to determine the cloud ceiling height up to at least 3,000' cloud coverage and visibility up to at least 5 miles using a small, low-power automatic sensor. The device would operate periodically to provide cloud and visibility measurements for these assessments.

To respond to this Tech Need, click...

Blog
"Create the Future" Design Contest Winners

The winners of the fifth annual Emhart Teknologies "Create the Future" Design Contest have been announced. The awards will be presented on April 23 during a dinner reception at the beautiful Water Club in New York City.

The contest, co-sponsored by NASA Tech Briefs, COMSOL, and SolidWorks Corp.,...

Blog
NASA Tech Briefs FREE CAD Webinar

On June 6, 2007, NASA Tech Briefs will present a FREE webinar on "Virtual Testing at the CAD Stage with Simulation Software," sponsored by Noran Engineering.

In order to successfully compete in the global marketplace, your product design process needs to be the best in its class, delivering innovative...

Blog
Hot Products on the CAD/CAE Market

ALGOR (Pittsburgh, PA) has released ALGOR V20 integrated CAD/FEA modeling software. New features include design scenarios, allowing a single FEA model to contain numerous analyses; a software wizard for creating bolts and fasteners; design studies and size optimization; and improved meshing...

Blog
MIT Creates Software to Track Supplies to the Moon

By 2020, NASA plans to establish a long-term human presence on the Moon, which means that necessities such as fuel, food and oxygen, and spare parts would have to get from the Earth to the Moon as predictably as an Earth-based delivery system - especially when the delivery point is 240,000 miles...

Blog
NASA-Funded GPS Monitoring Software Now in Commercial Use

At NASA, the Global Positioning System (GPS) is a vital resource for scientific research aimed at understanding and protecting Earth. NASA employs the band of GPS satellites for mapping Earth's ionosphere and developing earthquake-prediction tools. But traditional GPS still can't...

Blog
Event Alerts

Come to MIT this summer and choose from 36 short courses designed especially for professionals. Earn a certificate and CEUs.

Offerings include biotechnology, chemical engineering, data modeling and analysis, IT, lean fundamentals, mechanical & electrical engineering, nanotechnology, lasers & optics, technology policy,...

Blog
Soft-Bodied Robots

Engineers at the Biomimetic Devices Laboratory (BDL) at Tufts University (Medford, MA) are developing biologically-based technologies that use soft materials to incorporate them into a new type of highly flexible robot. These machines could have applications in biomedical diagnosis and surgery, emergency rescue, exploration,...

Blog
Current Attractions

Defense Tech Briefs (DTB) provides engineers with a one-stop source for the latest advances and tech transfer opportunities from Defense Department R&D programs. Commercially promising inventions resulting from this work are reported in DTB magazine, published bi-monthly and mailed with NASA Tech Briefs. Here are some of...

Blog
Technologies of the Week

A fabric (non reflective) is available that can emit its own light. It is created with threads of every type and nature and can emit light in different colors. View this technology here.

Blog
File Sharing

Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon (Pittsburgh, PA) have developed a method of speeding up the transfer of large data files over the Internet by configuring peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing services to share not only identical files, but also similar files. By identifying relevant chunks of files similar to a desired file, the...

Blog
Current Attractions

The ScanWorks(R) hand-held 3D laser scanner from Perceptron (Plymouth, MI) was named Photonics Tech Briefs Product of the Month for April. The instrument features a scanning rate of up to 458,000 points per second and can maintain a dense point resolution of approximately 14 microns. The device projects the sensor's field of...

Blog
Technology Business Brief

Company is seeking industry support for further testing and development of its carbon nanotube (CNT) adhesive.

Developed in conjunction with the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the University of California-Berkeley, this company is looking for industry investment to support tests on the adhesion strength...

Blog
PTB Product of the Year Awards

Each month, the editors of Photonics Tech Briefs (PTB) select a Product of the Month. At the end of the year, we ask our readers to choose the Product of the Year -- the one product from those eight nominees that they feel was the most significant new product introduced to the photonics engineering community in...

Blog
Designer Heart

A new counter-flow heart pump being developed by researchers at Australia's Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is based on a double-output centrifugal model that pushes the blood in a counter direction to ensure correct flow through both sides of the heart.

"The counter-flow pump is a bi-ventricular assist device...

Blog
Brain Model

Understanding the functional significance of the folds in the outermost layer of the brains of large mammals is one of the big open questions in neuroscience. A team led by MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School researchers recently developed a tool that could aid such studies by helping researchers "see" how...

Blog
Tech Needs of the Week

New orthobiologic technologies are needed that stimulate bone growth in spinal fusion repairs. Methods that stimulate bone growth, provide growth scaffolding, and promote healing through osteo- induction (where bone formation is actively induced) and osteo- conduction (where a scaffold passively facilitates bone repair)...

Blog
Drug Delivery

A Princeton University research team has created particles that can deliver medicine deep into the lungs or infiltrate cancer cells while leaving normal cells alone. Only 100 to 300 nanometers wide, the particles can be loaded with medicines or imaging agents to enhance the detection capabilities of CT scans and MRIs.

The...

Blog
White Papers

NASA recently developed LaRC02, a set of first-ply-failure criteria for composites that have been shown to be accurate and physically consistent. This white paper from Noran Engineering describes the LaRC02 criterion features and its implementation into NEiNastran.

Blog
Laser Measurement

University of Rochester (Rochester, NY) researchers developed a technique, using a laser, white light, and a reflective tube, that in 60 seconds or less measures multiple chemicals in body fluids. The technique tests urine and blood serum for common chemicals important to monitoring and treatment of diabetes and cardio-...

Blog
Momentum Measurement

Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory-Stennis Space Center (NRL-SSC, Washington, DC) have directly derived the air-sea momentum exchange at the ocean interface using observed ocean currents under Hurricane Ivan and determined that it decreases when winds exceed 32 meters per second. Proper evaluation and measurement of...

Blog
Technologies of the Week

A fiber optic link noise measurement and optimization system is available. It includes an apparatus for measuring noise signals in each fiber optic link and apparatus for generating system performance data corresponding to the noise signals measured by the noise measurement apparatus. View this technology here.

Blog
Smell Test

Developed by scientists at the University of Cincinnati (UC, Cincinnati, OH), the Sniff Magnitude Test (SMT) may sniff out olfactory disorders that could be an early warning of AlzheimerÂ’s disease, ParkinsonÂ’s disease, and other problems outside the typical sensory loss associated with aging.

The sense of smell is one...

Blog
White Papers

Antenna engineers are now face increasingly difficult concerns regarding directionality, frequency variations, isolation, and testing. This paper from Emerson & Cuming Microwave Products describes how the use of microwave absorbers and dielectric materials can offer today's antenna engineers solutions to address these...

Blog
Current Attractions

In a crash, keeping the occupants alive and uninjured is paramount. As a part of the Structural Dynamics Branch in the Research and Technology Directorate at NASA Langley, the Landing and Impact Research Facility (LandIR) tests the safety of aircraft by crashing them. Dr. Karen Jackson is part of the research team.

Blog
Technology Business Brief

The turbine blade features a much lighter, more efficient, less expensive, and entirely new structural design. Other advantages offered by

this technology include increased performance, lower noise, decreased maintenance time and expense, and optimized electronic pitch control. View this brief here.

Blog
NASA News

NASA's new Science Mission Directorate Associate Administrator Alan Stern has appointed NASA scientist and 2006 Nobel Prize recipient John Mather to lead the Office of the Chief Scientist at Headquarters in Washington, DC. Mather and his staff will be chief advisors to Stern. Office responsibilities will include assisting the associate...

Blog
Dental Device

A recently completed pilot study conducted with the University of Michigan has shown that a Sandia National Laboratories handheld device determined in minutes -- from a tiny sample of saliva -- not only if a patient has gum disease, but how advanced the disease is.

Using a disposable lab-on-a-chip cartridge, the device makes...

Blog
Current Attractions

The Desktop 3D Scanner from NextEngine (Santa Monica, CA) was named NTB's Product of the Month for April. A full-color multi-laser scanner that scans complex shapes for CAD and 3D design applications on the desktop, the scanner is about the size of a cereal box and connects directly to a PC via USB 2.0. It operates with...

Blog
Awards

NASA has selected 18 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) research proposals for Phase 2 contract negotiations. The selected STTR projects have a total value of approximately $11 million, and the contracts will be awarded to 17 small, high-technology firms in 10 states.

The goals of the program are to stimulate technological...

Blog
Tech Needs of the Week

An advanced materials company is seeking new coating technologies that display excellent weathering and durability performance. The coatings will be applied in wet format to glass substrates and need to be optically transparent, have a hardness of at least 2H, and have excellent outdoor durability.

To respond to...

Blog
White Papers

This paper introduces the three levels of data-logging software for use with National Instruments’ DAQ devices -- NI LabVIEW SignalExpress, NI LabVIEW SignalExpress LE, and NI LabVIEW.

Blog
White Papers

This paper introduces the three levels of data-logging software for use with National Instruments’ DAQ devices -- NI LabVIEW SignalExpress, NI LabVIEW SignalExpress LE, and NI LabVIEW.

Unique Method for Orifice Production

This white paper from Bird Precision explains that in producing...

Blog
Intelligent Sunglasses

Researchers at the University of Washington (Seattle, WA) have designed prototype sunglasses that darken instantaneously, using electrochromic materials that change transparency depending on the electric currents running through them. The wearer spins a tiny dial on the arm of the glasses to change lens color or...

Blog
Current Attractions

Each month, NTB highlights tech briefs related to a particular area of technology in a special section known as Technology Focus. Here's an Insider look at the April focus on Sensors.

Wearable Environmental and Physiological Sensing Unit

Developed at NASA™s Ames Research Center, the wearable environmental...

Blog
Technologies of the Week

A multilayer plastic film is available that meets the specifications required for flexible food packaging. View this technology here.

Blog
Fancar Aircraft

Engineers at Urban Aeronautics (Yavne, Israel) are developing the prototype X-Hawk Fancraft(TM), a Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) vehicle whose rotors, unlike a helicopter, are contained in the body of the craft. Originally envisioned as a medical evacuation vehicle, X-Hawk’s modular cargo bay allows for tailor-made,...

Blog
Nano 50 Deadline

Nominations for Nanotech Briefs' third annual Nano 50 awards competition are being accepted through 11:59 PM today, April 2. The awards honor the top 50 innovators, products, and technological advancements that demonstrate the greatest potential toward developing the commercialization of nanotechnology. Previous winners include...

Blog
Technology Business Briefs

A Fiber Optic-Based Integration System (FOBIS) has been developed that may be capable of in-situ, real-time biological monitoring, and is based on a single fiber optic system. A compact, multi-functional device, the FOBIS incorporates three working units (a Micro-Flow Cytometer, a Micro-Photometer, and a Micro-Sensor)...

Blog
Chain-mail Fabric

University of Illinois scientists have fabricated the world's smallest

chain-mail fabric that consists of a network of small rings about 500

University of Illinois scientists have fabricated the world's smallest chain-mail fabric that consists of a network of small rings about 500 microns in diameter and even...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Filter Function for Wavefront Sensing Over a Field of View

A filter function has been derived as a means of optimally weighting the wavefront estimates obtained in image-based phase retrieval performed at multiple points distributed over the field of view of a telescope or other optical system. When the data obtained in wavefront sensing and,...

Briefs : Medical
Wearable Environmental and Physiological Sensing Unit

The wearable environmental and physiological sensing unit (WEPS) is a prototype of systems to be worn by emergency workers (e.g., firefighters and members of hazardous-material response teams) to increase their level of safety. The WEPS includes sensors that measure a few key physiological...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Broadband Phase Retrieval for Image-Based Wavefront Sensing

A focus-diverse phase-retrieval algorithm has been shown to perform adequately for the purpose of image-based wavefront sensing when (1) broadband light (typically spanning the visible spectrum) is used in forming the images by use of an optical system under test and (2) the assumption...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Iterative-Transform Phase Retrieval Using Adaptive Diversity

A phase-diverse iterative-transform phase-retrieval algorithm enables highspatial- frequency, high-dynamic-range, image-based wavefront sensing. [The terms "phase-diverse," "phase retrieval," "image-based," and "wavefront sensing" are defined in the first of the two immediately...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Wavefront Sensing With Switched Lenses for Defocus

In an alternative hardware design for an apparatus used in image-based wavefront sensing, defocus diversity is introduced by means of fixed lenses that are mounted in a filter wheel (see figure) so that they can be alternately switched into a position in front of the focal plane of an electronic...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Smooth Phase Interpolated Keying

Smooth phase interpolated keying (SPIK) is an improved method of computing smooth phase-modulation waveforms for radio communication systems that convey digital information. SPIK is applicable to a variety of phase-shift-keying (PSK) modulation schemes, including quaternary PSK (QPSK), octonary PSK (8PSK), and...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Maintaining Stability During a Conducted-Ripple EMC Test

An improved technique, and electronic circuitry to implement the technique, have been developed for a military-standard electromagnetic- compatibility (EMC) test in which one analyzes susceptibility to low-frequncy ripple conducted into the equipment under test via a DC power line. In the...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Photodiode Preamplifier for Preamplifier for Weak Signals

An improved preamplifier circuit has been designed for processing the output of an avalanche photodiode (APD) that is used in a high-resolution laser ranging system to detect laser pulses returning from a target. The improved circuit stands in contrast to prior such circuits in which the...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Advanced High-Definition Video Cameras

A product line of high-definition color video cameras, now under development, offers a superior combination of desirable characteristics, including high frame rates, high resolutions, low power consumption, and compactness. Several of the cameras feature a 3,840 × 2,160-pixel format with progressive...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Circuit for Full Charging of Series Lithium-Ion Cells

An advanced charger has been proposed for a battery that comprises several lithium-ion cells in series. The proposal is directed toward charging the cells in as nearly an optimum manner as possible despite unit-to-unit differences among the nominally identical cells.

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Analog Nonvolatile Computer Memory Circuits

In nonvolatile random-access memory (RAM) circuits of a proposed type, digital data would be stored in analog form in ferroelectric field-effect transistors (FFETs). This type of memory circuit would offer advantages over prior volatile and nonvolatile types:

In a conventional complementary metal...
Briefs : Software
World Wind 3D Earth Viewing

World Wind allows users to zoom from satellite altitude down to any place on Earth, leveraging high-resolution LandSat imagery and SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) elevation data to experience Earth in visually rich 3D. In addition to Earth, World Wind can also visualize other planets, and there are already...

Briefs : Software
JavaGenes Molecular Evolution

JavaGenes is a general-purpose, evolutionary software system written in Java. It implements several versions of a genetic algorithm, simulated annealing, stochastic hill climbing, and other search techniques. This software has been used to evolve molecules, atomic force field parameters, digital circuits, Earth...

Briefs : Materials
Accounting for Uncertainties in Strengths of SiC MEMS Parts

A methodology has been devised for accounting for uncertainties in the strengths of silicon carbide structural components of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). The methodology enables prediction of the probabilistic strengths of complexly shaped MEMS parts using data from tests of...

Briefs : Materials
Lithium Dinitramide as an Additive in Lithium Power Cells

Lithium dinitramide, LiN(NO2)2 has shown promise as an additive to nonaqueous electrolytes in rechargeable and non-rechargeable lithium-ion-based electrochemical power cells. Such non-aqueous electrolytes consist of lithium salts dissolved in mixtures of organic...

Briefs : Materials
Ion-Conducting Organic/Inorganic Polymers

Ion-conducting polymers that are hybrids of organic and inorganic moieties and that are suitable for forming into solidelectrolyte membranes have been invented in an effort to improve upon the polymeric materials that have been used previously for such membranes. Examples of the prior materials include...

Briefs : Materials
MoO₃ Cathodes for High-Temperature Lithium Thin-Film Cells

MoO3 has shown promise as a cathode material that can extend the upper limit of operating temperature of rechargeable lithium thin-film electrochemical cells. Cells of this type are undergoing development for use as energy sources in cellular telephones, wireless medical...

Who's Who
Dr. Karen Jackson, Aerospace Engineer, Landing and Impact Research (LandIR) Facility

Dr. Karen JacksonIn a crash, keeping the occupants alive and uninjured is paramount. In order to study the dynamics of an impact, military and general aviation aircraft, like cars, must be tested for their ability to keep their riders safe. A part of Structural...

Products
Desktop 3D Scanner

NextEngine, Santa Monica, CA, offers the Desktop 3D Scanner, a full-color multi-laser scanner that scans complex shapes for CAD and 3D design applications on the desktop. About the size of a cereal box, the scanner connects directly to a PC via USB 2.0. It operates with proprietary MultiStripe Laser Triangulation (MLT)...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Motorcycle Design Optimized With Finite-Element Software
Sierra Design Engineering, Mount Aukum, California
BUB Enterprises, Grass Valley, California;
ALGOR, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

A streamliner motorcycle designed and built by Sierra Design Engineering and BUB Enterprises achieved a new world-record speed...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Counterrotating-Shoulder Mechanism for Friction Stir Welding

A counterrotating-shoulder mechanism has been proposed as an alternative to the mechanism and fixtures used in conventional friction stir welding. The mechanism would internally react most or all of the forces and torques exerted on the workpiece, making it unnecessary to react the...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Strain Gauges Indicate Differential-CTE-Induced Failures

A method of detecting mechanical failure induced by variation in temperature at an adhesive bond between two materials that have different coefficients of thermal expansion (CTEs) involves monitoring of strain-gauge readings. This method can be regarded as an exploitation of the prior...

Briefs : Medical
Antibodies Against Three Forms of Urokinase

Antibodies that bind to preselected regions of the urokinase molecule have been developed. These antibodies can be used to measure small quantities of each of three molecular forms of urokinase that could be contained in microsamples or conditioned media harvested from cultures of mammalian cells....

Briefs : Medical
Understanding and Counteracting Fatigue in Flight Crews

The materials included in the collection of documents describe the research of the NASA Ames Fatigue Countermeasures Group (FCG), which examines the extent to which fatigue, sleep loss, and circadian disruption affect flight-crew performance. The group was formed in 1980 — in response to...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Laser Scanning System Helps Validate Method for Repairing Space Shuttle Heat Shield
SLP-330 Laser Scanning Probe Laser Design
Minneapolis, MN
952-884-9648
www.laserdesign.com

The loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia because of damage to its thermal protection system (TPS) during launch spurred a search for methods of...

Articles
Innovation in 3D PDF
Michael Kaplan
Director of Engineering
Adobe Acrobat
Adobe Systems Inc.
San Jose, CA

When I started graduate studies in 3D computer graphics in 1978, dinosaurs roamed the Earth. I still remember my shock the first time I saw a real-time 3D vector graphics system. That quick glimpse of the future...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Emhart Teknologies Presents “Create the Future” 2006 Design Contest Winners

Creating the future is about change, creativity, and risk - the core building blocks that foster innovation.

For the past five years, Emhart Teknologies has partnered with NASA Tech Briefs in challenging the engineering community through our “Create the...

Articles : Motion Control
Grand Prize Winner, “Create the Future” 2006 Design Contest

Winner of a hybrid automobile or $20,000

Designed by:David A. Torrey, Ph.D., P.E.

Advanced Energy Conversion LLC

Malta, NY

There is tremendous interest today in reducing the parasitic losses in engineered vehicle systems in order to improve fuel...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
First Prize Winner, “Create the Future” 2006 Design Contest

Winner of a Panasonic 42" plasma TV

Designed by:

Buck Albritton
GearMax
Ashland, VA
Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Sponsors,“Create the Future” 2006 Design Contest

In today’s competitive marketplace, manufacturers need suppliers who not only deliver the parts required to build a product, but those who deliver support and consultation on how best to...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Dual-Beam Atom Laser Driven by Spinor Dynamics

An atom laser now undergoing development simultaneously generates two pulsed beams of correlated 87Rb atoms. (An atom laser is a source of atoms in beams characterized by coherent matter waves, analogous to a conventional laser, which is a source of coherent light waves.) The pumping...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Active Correction of Aberrations of Low-Quality Telescope Optics

A system of active optics that includes a wavefront sensor and a deformable mirror has been demonstrated to be an effective means of partly correcting wavefront aberrations introduced by fixed optics (lenses and mirrors) in telescopes. It is envisioned that after further...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Rugged, Tunable Extended-Cavity Diode Laser

A rugged, tunable extended-cavity diode laser (ECDL) has been developed to satisfy stringent requirements for frequency stability, notably including low sensitivity to vibration. This laser is designed specifically for use in an atomic-clock experiment to be performed aboard the International Space...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Balloon for Long-Duration, High-Altitude Flight at Venus

A document describes a 5.5-m-diameter, helium-filled balloon designed for carrying a scientific payload having a mass of 44 kg for at least six days at an altitude of about 55 km in the atmosphere of Venus. The requirement for floating at nearly constant altitude dictates the choice of a...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Wide-Temperature-Range Integrated Operational Amplifier

A document discusses a silicon-oninsulator (SOI) complementary metal oxide/ semiconductor (CMOS) integrated- circuit operational amplifier to be replicated and incorporated into sensor and actuator systems of Mars- explorer robots. This amplifier is designed to function at a supply...

NASA Tech Needs
Environmentally Friendly Solvents

A specialty chemical company is seeking innovative green, renewable raw materials, products, and processes for replacement of existing non-environmentally friendly solvents while not compromising the performance or significantly increasing the costs. The solutions should be biodegradable, low/non- VOC, low...

NASA Tech Needs
Quantifying Breast-Feeding Volume

A method is sought to provide a real-time quantitative measure of the volume of milk consumed as a baby breast-feeds. The solution must be safe, environmentally sound, non-invasive, retail for under $50, and should not interfere with mother- newborn bonding. It should be compatible with home use and relatively...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Thermographic Improvements Benefit Automotive Industry

Like most mature industries, the automotive industry is highly competitive. Customers demand quality, security, and economy. Competition requires increasingly fast times to market for new designs. Combining customer and competitive demands creates a dilemma: How to design and build the best...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Shortwave Infrared (SWIR) Imaging Aids Laser Tracking, Detection

As warfare becomes more asymmetric, civilians and other non-combatants become a larger percentage of the casualties, along with unintended property damage. The military, of course, hopes to avoid these types of casualties and destruction. With advancing technologies that enable...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Dual-Beam Atom Laser Driven by Spinor Dynamics

An atom laser now undergoing development simultaneously generates two pulsed beams of correlated 87Rb atoms. (An atom laser is a source of atoms in beams characterized by coherent matter waves, analogous to a conventional laser, which is a source of coherent light waves.) The pumping...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Active Correction of Aberrations of Low-Quality Telescope Optics

A system of active optics that includes a wavefront sensor and a deformable mirror has been demonstrated to be an effective means of partly correcting wavefront aberrations introduced by fixed optics (lenses and mirrors) in telescopes. It is envisioned that after further...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Rugged, Tunable Extended-Cavity Diode Laser

A rugged, tunable extended-cavity diode laser (ECDL) has been developed to satisfy stringent requirements for frequency stability, notably including low sensitivity to vibration. This laser is designed specifically for use in an atomic-clock experiment to be performed aboard the International Space...

Products
3D Laser-Scanning Sensor

Perceptron (Plymouth, MI) offers the ScanWorks® hand-held 3D laser scanner that features a scanning rate of up to 458,000 points per second and can maintain a dense point resolution of approximately 14 microns. The device projects the sensor’s field of view onto the target scanning area to visualize the best scanning...

Products
Evaluation and Analysis Software

FARO Technologies (Lake Mary, FL) has released version 4.0 of its family of laser-scanning software: FARO Scene, FARO Scout, FARO Scout LT, and FARO Record. The user-friendly software packages are used for viewing, administrating, calibrating, filtering, and managing large, 3D point clouds collected with the FARO...

Products
Beam Shaper

SCHOTT North America (Elmsford, NY) offers the Beam Shaper laser technology, capable of shaping “square” light from an individual laser diode or rows of strings of laser diodes into a beam of light that has a round profile and offers homogeneous light dissemination. Two versions are available: for individual laser diodes with...

Products
Two-Axis Microgage

The Microgage 2D system from Pinpoint Laser Systems® (Newburyport, MA) measures the flatness of machinery and production equipment. The unit measures flatness of rolls, moving machinery stages, gantry systems, actuators, and moving equipment to a precision of 0.0001” and can operate over ranges of a few inches to 120’....

Products
Density Filters

Reynard Corp. (San Clemente, CA) provides Circular Variable Neutral Density (CVND) filters for use in optical systems to change light intensity from 100% to less than 0.1%. The filters are specified for linear optical density or transmission, may be sized to match the end-use, and are customizable in optical density gradient...

Products
Photomultiplier Tube

The Photonis Group (Lancaster, PA) has introduced the XP1322, a 13-mm-round photomultiplier tube featuring high gain and low noise that covers the spectral range of 270 to 650nm. The device is designed for applications such as scintillation counting, high-energy physics, life sciences, bioluminescence, and more. The unit...

Products
Integrated Spectrometer System

Headwall Photonics (Fitchburg, MA) offers the Raman ExplorerTM 532 Raman spectrometer. Featuring a retro-reflective concentric design, the device utilizes a 532-nm excitation laser for biological (pathogenic) and chemical threat assessment, spatial imaging, in-line process analysis of industrial...

Products
Structured Light Laser

The LasirisTM PowerLine laser from StockerYale, Inc. (Salem, NH) is a line generator for industrial and scientific applications. A thermoelectrically cooled laser, the device is able to emit up to 1 W at 810 nm and 500 mW at 670 nm. Features include uniform intensity distribution for line generators; pointing...

Products
X-Ray Sensor

LINX from Electron Tubes, Inc. (Rockaway, NJ) is a linear x-ray sensor that can be expanded to provide an array of any required length; x-rays are detected using a scintillator and photo-diode array. Detector pitch is 1.6 mm or 0.8 mm. The unit is housed in an aluminum alloy box that is lead screened to protect the electronics from...

Products
Fiber Optic Connectors

Tyco Electronics Corp. (Harrisburg, PA) introduced a line of sealed circular LC ODVA compliant fiber optic connectors, carrying an IP67 environmental sealing rating. The units resist moisture, temperature, and humidity, and may be used in remote interface applications in communication towers, antennae, and FTTX in passive...

Products
Software Interface

Gamma Scientific (San Diego, CA) offers SynthiColorTM, a software program that equips the company’s RS-5B spectrally programmable light source with interactive programmability and control. The software provides spectral synthesis, data handling and storage, spectral and colorimetric metrics, and high-speed matrix...

Products
LED Solid-State Lighting

Cree, Inc. (Durham, NC) released the white Cree XLamp® 7090 power LED. Available in volume quantities, the unit produces luminous flux of up to 95 lumens or 85 lumens per watt at 350 mA, and up to 160 lumens at 700 mA (typical luminous flux is 80 lumens at 350 mA, yielding 70 lumens per watt). Designed for general...

Products
Fiber Optic Attenuator Kit

Fiber optic attenuator kits from Timbercon, Inc. (Lake Oswego, OR) provide a means of producing multiple levels of attenuation for several fiber optical cables, and can conduct testing or processing where exact dB loss requirement has not yet been determined. The kits are offered in LC, SC, ST, FC, MU, and mixed...

Products
Gigabit Ethernet Camera

Prosilica (Burnaby, Canada) offers the GC Series, a line of ultra-compact gigabit Ethernet cameras for machine vision and industrial applications. With dimensions of 4.3 × 4.6 × 3.3 cm and a weight of 99 grams, features include region of interest readout, binning modes to 8 × 8 pixels, high frame rates, and various...

Products
Resonator Optics

Alpine Research Optics (ARO, Boulder, CO) provides off-the-shelf intracavity resonator optics for excimer lasers. These are rear high reflectors and uncoated output couplers for use with ArF (193 nm), KrF (248 nm), and XeCl (308 nm) excimer lasers. Both rear mirrors and output couplers are offered in 38.1 mm diameter MgF2...

Products
Picoseconds Amplifier Laser

Time-Bandwidth Products, Inc. (Westfield, MA) offers a compact and sealed OEM version of its picoseconds, high repetition rate DuettoTM laser system for industrial and scientific applications like material processing, micro machining, biological tissue manipulation, pump-probe spectroscopy, surface...

Articles : Motion Control
Motion Capture Software and Systems for Gait Analysis and Biomedicine

Nowadays, there are many technologies available that are used to quantify the motion of humans and animals. However, recent innovations in optical motion capture systems have added unprecedented capabilities, allowing the same program to be used by clinicians to assess walking...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Hydraulic Safety Catchers Protect Spallation Neutron Source Shutter Operation

At full power, the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), part of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL, Oak Ridge, TN), will produce the world’s most intense pulsed neutron beams for neutron scattering research methods. With a full-power capability of 1.4 megawatts, the SNS...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Piston Pump Helps Drive Cotton Module Loading Procedure

World cotton production in 2006/07 is forecast at 115.7 million bales, and global cotton consumption is forecast at a record of nearly 121 million bales, with 13.2 million acres dedicated to cotton in the United States alone. Cotton is one of the most heavily traded commodities on the world...

Products : Motion Control
Optical Encoder Module

Avago Technologies (San Jose, CA) introduced the AEDS-964x optical encoder modules, with resolutions of up to 360 lines per inch, for printing applications. The modules are used with a transmissive code strip to detect linear motion, or with an 11 mm optical radius transmissive code wheel for rotary motion. Features...

Products : Motion Control
Digital Torquemeter

S. Himmelstein and Co. (Hoffman Estates, IL) released the MCRT® 48200V Series Compact Digital Torquemeters, having no pots, switches, and requires no manual adjustment. The non-contact devices have full-scale ranges from 25 to 10,000 lbf-in. Two accuracy grades are available: 0.2% (Code N standard performance) and 0.15%...

Products : Motion Control
Multi-Axis Controllers & Drives

Festo Corp. (Hauppauge, NY) released the SEC-ACSMLC Multi-Axis Controller and SEC-SDD drive. Featuring the CoDeSys programming platform, the SEC-AC-SMLC is based on the IEC61131-3 standard, offering the programming languages of Relay Ladder Logic, Function Block Diagram, Structured Text, Instruction List,...

Products : Motion Control
Magnetic Brakes

Danaher Motion (Wood Dale, IL) released the Thomson-Deltran Power-Off Magnetic Brake (PMB) series of power-off DC, spring-set, multifunctional brakes. Nine standard frame sizes from 30 to 120 are available. Torque range is 45 lb-in to 4,250 lb-in (5 to 48 Nm), in diameters from 3.30 to 11.89". Operating voltages of 24, 90, and...

Products : Motion Control
Hybrid Linear Actuator

Haydon Switch & Instrument (Waterbury, CT) released size 8 hybrid linear actuators with encoder feedback. Encoder resolutions range from 120 to 330 cycles per revolution, or 480 to 1,200 pulses per revolution; encoder operating temperatures are -10 to 85°C. The optical incremental encoder design is available with...

Products : Motion Control
Incremental Encoder

From SICK STEGMANN, INC. (Dayton, OH), the DRS61 CoreTech® Incremental Encoders can be programmed the number of lines from 1 to 8,192, as well as the width of the zero pulse. The units are available in face mount flange, servo flange, blind or through hollow shaft with connector or cable outlet, TTL, or HTL interface...

Products : Motion Control
Torque Motor

Animatics Corp. (Santa Clara, CA) released the SM2315DT as part of the OEM Series of SmartMotors. The unit features an 8-pole rotor design with a high copper filling factor, and delivers 112 oz-in of peak torque while maintaining 57 oz-in of continuous torque with a maximum speed capability of 4,700 rpm. A servomotor, amplifier, and...

Products : Motion Control
Rotating Torque Sensor

The Model 01424 rotating torque sensor from Sensor Developments (Lake Orion, MI) uses a shaft-to-shaft configuration for in-line placement, and incorporates a digital non-contact wireless system that provides power to the rotating electronics mounted on the shaft, transmitting the signal back to the receiver in digital...

Webcasts

On-Demand Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Heavy-Duty Engine Design for a Transitioning Market

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

High-Powered Directed Energy Laser Projects: Destroy the Target,...

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

Optical Coating Design

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Rapid Decompression and Sealed Containers: Why Choose Magnet...

Upcoming Webinars: Motion Control

Advantages of Smart Servo Steppers vs. Smart Brushless Servos

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Large Cable, Large Problems: Considerations for Innovation