April 2011

Products
Automated Design Analysis software

DfR Solutions (College Park, MD) has launched Sherlock automated design analysis software for analyzing, grading, and certifying the expected reliability of products at the circuit card assembly level. The software's intuitive commands and ease of use enable usage among a broad range of engineers and managers,...

Products
RTL Exploration Solution

Synopsys, Inc. (Mountain View, CA) has introduced DC Explorer, the latest addition to the Galaxy™ Implementation platform, to speed up development of high-quality design data. DC Explorer delivers 5X faster runtime and 10 percent timing and area correlation to DC Ultra™ RTL Synthesis. It also tolerates incomplete...

Products
Modeling and Simulation Environment

With a performance boost in Version 3.0 of SystemDesk, dSPACE (Wixom, MI) has optimized its AUTOSAR modeling and simulation environment for use in production projects. SystemDesk's enhanced performance makes it ideal for large-scale projects. Its simplified user handling and reworked modeling workflow support...

Products
Electromagnetic Simulation Software

Remcom (State College, PA) announces an updated version of its electromagnetic simulation software, XFdtd Release 7 (XF7), which includes several geometric modeling additions and new performance efficiencies. The upgrade, which updates the software to Release 7.2, contains enhancements that simplify and speed...

News : Transportation
Testing Smart Energy-Management Systems

In the SmartEnergyLab, scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, Germany are investigating how to network various electrical household appliances and operate them remotely. The researchers can analyze, assess, and develop almost any energy-management system for...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Green Engineering Grant

Today, National Instruments announced its 2011 Green Engineering Grant program for the rapid design, prototyping, and commercialization of new green technology. The grant will provide access to up to $25,000 equivalent in NI LabVIEW graphical system design software tools and training to eligible startups.

News : Energy
Multi-Core Voltage Regulator for Energy-Friendly Data Centers

Harvard graduate student Wonyoung Kim has developed and demonstrated a new device with the potential to reduce the power usage of modern processing chips. The advance could allow the creation of "smarter" smartphones, slimmer laptops, and more energy-friendly data centers.

News : Energy
Self-Cooling Observed in Graphene Electronics

With the first observation of thermoelectric effects at graphene contacts, University of Illinois researchers - led by mechanical science and engineering professor William King and electrical and computer engineering professor Eric Pop - found that graphene transistors have a nanoscale cooling effect...

Products
Optical Receiver for Laser Pulse Measurement

The new optical receiver iC212 from iC-Haus (Bodenheim, Germany) is the first of its kind that operates throughout a wide input frequency range of DC up to 1.4 GHz, combined with a wide spectral range, making it suitable for measuring things like fast laser diode pulses. The spectral sensitivity...

Products
PDL Source/Emulator

The PDLPro (PDLE-101) PDL Source/Emulator from General Photonics (Chino, CA) aids in testing to ensure that high speed fiber optic transceivers and coherent detection systems meet their stringent PDL tolerance specifications. The PDLE-101 is specifically designed for performance measurement of the PDL tolerance, tracking...

Products
C-Mount lenses

Schneider (Van Nuys, CA) C-mount 2/3” (11mm image circle) lenses are designed for aerospace, military, and other high performance imaging. These compact precision primes are optically corrected and broadband coated for the spectral range of 400-1000nm (VIS+NIR) on megapixel cameras. Engineered to image properly across the entire...

Products
Linear Motor Tables

The Dover (Westborough, MA) MMG Mini-Mag line of precision linear motor tables are now available in aluminum-based versions with an optional single phase motor to reduce controller complexity, system footprint and cost. For XY sample positioning, sustained throughput of up to 2,000 moves per minute is possible. For focal...

Products
UV Fluorescent Conformal Coating

Specialty Coating Systems (Indianapolis, IN) has introduced a new technology, SCS Parylene C-UVF™, a coating that fluoresces under a specific spectrum of UV light, enabling customers to identify and verify that their components are protected. Traditional Parylene coatings are ultra-thin and optically clear,...

News : Energy
Replacement for Rare Material Used in Solar Cells

Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands have developed a replacement for indium tin oxide (ITO), an important material used in displays for products such as TVs, telephones, and laptops, as well as in solar cells. Indium is a rare metal, and the available supplies are...

Products : Energy
Photovoltaic System ICs

National Semiconductor Corp. (Santa Clara, CA) introduced new SolarMagicTM integrated circuits (ICs) to reduce cost, improve reliability, and simplify design of photovoltaic (PV) systems. Ranging from a full-bridge gate driver to a micropower voltage regulator, the new ICs are well-suited for a variety of photovoltaic...

Products : Energy
Dual Ideal Diode

Linear Technology Corporation (Milpitas, CA) introduces the LTC4227, a compact, dual ideal diode with Hot Swap™ controller that provides PowerPath™ and inrush current control for redundant supplies operating from 2.9V to 18V. The LTC4227 regulates the forward voltage drop across two external N-channel MOSFETs to ensure...

Briefs : Energy
Grid-Tied Photovoltaic Power System

A grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) power system is connected directly to the utility distribution grid. Facility power can be obtained from the utility system as normal. The PV system is synchronized with the utility system to provide power for the facility, and excess power is provided to the utility.

Products : Energy
Power Factor Correction ICs

International Rectifier (El Segundo, CA) has introduced the IR115x family of µPFC™ power factor correction (PFC) ICs for a wide variety of AC-DC applications including lighting, LCD/PDP TV and game console Switch Mode Power Supplies (SMPS), fans, air conditioners, and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) ranging...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Engineering in the Cloud: From Simulation to Storage
Engineering in the Cloud: From Simulation to Storage

Engineers have one very keen sense in life, and that is to ferret out usefulness from perceived buzz. Trained as such, unless we are reading the weather report, the word “cloud” sends...

Engineering in the Cloud: From Simulation to Storage
Application Briefs : Software
Software Helps NASA Design One of the Greenest Federal Buildings
Autodesk® Revit® Architecture and Autodesk® Revit® Structure softwareGeneral Dynamics SATCOM
Autodesk
San Rafael, CA
415-507-5000
www.autodesk.com

NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, CA conducts critical research and development for the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Two-Axis Direct Fluid Shear Stress Sensor for Aerodynamic Applications

This miniature or micro-sized semi-conductor sensor design provides direct, nonintrusive measurement of skin friction or wall shear stress in fluid flow situations in a two-axis configuration. The sensor is fabricated by microelectro-mechanical system (MEMS) technology,...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Amperometric Solid Electrolyte Oxygen Microsensors With Easy Batch Fabrication

There is a great need for oxygen microsensors for aerospace and commercial applications. Current bulk or thick-film solid electrolyte oxygen sensors have the disadvantages of being large in size, high in power consumption, difficult to batch-fabricate, and high in...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Target Assembly to Check Boresight Alignment of Active Sensors

A compact and portable target assembly (Fig. 1) has been developed to measure the boresite alignment of LRO’s Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument at the spacecraft level. The concept for this target assembly has evolved over many years with earlier versions used to test...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Virtual Sensor Test Instrumentation

Virtual Sensor Test Instrumentation is based on the concept of smart sensor technology for testing with intelligence needed to perform sell-diagnosis of health, and to participate in a hierarchy of health determination at sensor, process, and system levels. A virtual sensor test instrumentation consists of...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
High-Voltage-Input Level Translator Using Standard CMOS

A proposed integrated circuit would translate (1) a pair of input signals having a low differential potential and a possibly high common-mode potential into (2) a pair of output signals having the same low differential potential and a low common-mode potential. As used here, “low” and...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Small Microprocessor for ASIC or FPGA Implementation

A small microprocessor, suitable for use in applications in which high reliability is required, was designed to be implemented in either an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) or a field-programmable gate array (FPGA). The design is based on commercial microprocessor architecture,...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Source-Coupled, N-Channel, JFET-Based Digital Logic Gate Structure Using Resistive Level Shifters

A circuit topography is used to create usable, digital logic gates using N (negatively doped) channel junction field effect transistors (JFETs), load resistors, level shifting resistors, and supply rails whose values are based on the DC parametric...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Monitoring Digital Closed-Loop Feedback Systems

A technique of monitoring digital closed-loop feedback systems has been conceived. The basic idea is to obtain information on the performances of closed-loop feedback circuits in such systems to aid in the determination of the functionality and integrity of the circuits and of performance...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Evaluation of the Reflection Coefficient of Microstrip Elements for Reflectarray Antennas

Basis functions were studied and identified that provide efficient and accurate solutions for the induced patch currents and the reflection phase in microstrip reflectarrays. The integral equation of an infinite array of microstrip elements in the form of...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Miniaturized Ka-Band Dual-Channel Radar

Smaller (volume, mass, power) electronics for a Ka-band (36 GHz) radar interferometer were required. To reduce size and achieve better control over RF-phase versus temperature, fully hybrid electronics were developed for the RF portion of the radar’s two-channel receiver and single-channel transmitter....

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Radiation-Tolerant, SpaceWire-Compatible Switching Fabric

Current and future near-Earth and deep space exploration programs and space defense programs require the development of robust intra-spacecraft serial data transfer electronics that must be reconfigurable, fault-tolerant, and have the ability to operate effectively for long periods of...

Briefs : Software
MASCOT — MATLAB Stability and Control Toolbox

MASCOT software was created to provide the conceptual aircraft designer accurate predictions of air vehicle stability and control characteristics. The code takes as input mass property data in the form of an inertia tensor, aerodynamic loading data, and propulsion (i.e. thrust) loading data. Using...

Briefs : Software
MIRO Continuum Calibration for Asteroid Mode

MIRO (Microwave Instrument for the Rosetta Orbiter) is a lightweight, uncooled, dual-frequency heterodyne radiometer. The MIRO encountered asteroid Steins in 2008, and during the flyby, MIRO used the Asteroid Mode to measure the emission spectrum of Steins. The Asteroid Mode is one of the seven modes...

Briefs : Software
GOATS Image Projection Component

When doing mission analysis and design of an imaging system in orbit around the Earth, answering the fundamental question of imaging performance requires an understanding of the image products that will be produced by the imaging system. At the highest level, this understanding can be gained by a first-principles...

Briefs : Software
Coded Modulation in C and MATLAB

This software, written separately in C and MATLAB as stand-alone packages with equivalent functionality, implements encoders and decoders for a set of nine error-correcting codes and modulators and demodulators for five modulation types. The software can be used as a single program to simulate the performance of...

NASA Tech Needs
Mitigation of Rupturing LO2 Vent line

Stennis Space Center (SSC) has performed extensive large-scale (200 klbf to 7 Mlbf thrust) rocket engine propulsion testing beginning with the Apollo program, extending through the Shuttle program, and presently supporting ongoing NASA and commercial future launch systems propulsion technology development....

Techs for License
Flexible Absorbent Binder for Packaging Applications

Flexible Absorbent Binder (FAB) is a transparent polymer cured from a water-based solution. It is ideal for maintaining in-package humidity during shelf life and transport without drying out the package contents. FAB can make a new product with unique liquid-and vapor-handling capabilities, or...

Techs for License
LED-Based Lighting is Two Times Brighter Than Other Technology

Code 3’s TriCore is an LED-based optical lighting technology that is two times brighter than other technology currently on the market, according to the company. It uses only one-third the power of conventional lighting systems, yielding higher watt-for-watt efficiency. The...

NASA Tech Needs
Rendering 3D Simulations from Commercial Geographic Databases

A company needs to quickly and realistically render a 4 × 4 km landscape, complete with accurate roads, buildings, and similar landmarks in accurate colors, based on data from commercially available source databases. Quickly means much faster than the time required for the manual...

NASA Tech Needs
Lightweight Material as a Replacement for Steel Containers

An organization seeks a low-weight material that can replace the heavy weight of steel, but withstand the physical and chemical demands of automotive applications. The alternative material can withstand a high-pressure fluid environment and replace steel used in hydraulic accumulators....

Products
EX1200-1538 Multifunction I/O Card

VTI Instruments Corp., Irvine, CA, has released the EX1200-1538 multifunction I/O card that delivers eight channels of independent 1-MHz frequency/32-bit counter inputs, 16 channels of isolated digital I/O, and two channels of isolated analog output (DAC) in a single instrument. The instrument is suited for...

Products
2010 Product of the Year Winners
The 16th annual NASA Tech Briefs’ Readers’ Choice Products of the Year have been chosen.
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Low-Dead-Volume Inlet for Vacuum Chamber

Gas introduction from near-ambient pressures to high vacuum traditionally is accomplished either by multi-stage differential pumping that allows for very rapid response, or by a capillary method that allows for a simple, single-stage introduction, but which often has a delayed response. Another means to...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Infrared-Bolometer Arrays With Reflective Backshorts

Integrated circuits that incorporate square arrays of superconducting-transition-edge bolometers with optically reflective backshorts are being developed for use in image sensors in the spectral range from far infrared to millimeter wavelengths. To maximize the optical efficiency (and, thus,...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Method for Selective Cleaning of Mold Release From Composite Honeycomb Surfaces

Honeycomb structures are commonly employed as load- and force-bearing structures as they are structurally strong and lightweight. These structures include many aircraft and spacecraft surfaces, including aircraft wings and fuselages, spacecraft pressure vessels, and...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Thermal Control Method for High-Current Wire Bundles by Injecting a Thermally Conductive Filler

A procedure was developed to inject thermal filler material (a paste-like substance) inside the power wire bundle coming from solar arrays. This substance fills in voids between wires, which enhances the heat path and reduces wire temperature. This...

Briefs : Materials
Commercialization of LARC™-SI Polyimide Technology

LARC™-SI, Langley Research Center-Soluble Imide, was developed in 1992, with the first patent issuing in 1997, and then subsequent patents issued in 1998 and 2000. Currently, this polymer has been successfully licensed by NASA, and has generated revenues, at the time of this reporting,...

Briefs : Materials
Novel Low-Density Ablators Containing Hyperbranched Poly(azomethine)s

An ablative composite is low-density (0.25 to 0.40 g/cm3), easy to fabricate, and superior to the current state-of-the-art ablator (phenolic impregnated carbon ablator, PICA) in terms of decomposition temperature, char yield, and mechanical strength. Initial...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Spectroelectrochemical Instrument Measures TOC

A spectroelectrochemical instrument has been developed for measuring the total organic carbon (TOC) content of an aqueous solution. Measurements of TOC are frequently performed in environmental, clinical, and industrial settings. Until now, techniques for performing such measurements have included,...

Briefs : Medical
Hydrofocusing Bioreactor Produces Anti-Cancer Alkaloids

A methodology for growing three-dimensional plant tissue models in a hydrodynamic focusing bioreactor (HFB) has been developed. The methodology is expected to be widely applicable, both on Earth and in outer space, as a means of growing plant cells and aggregates thereof under controlled...

Briefs : Medical
A Miniaturized Video System for Monitoring Drosophila Behavior

Long-term spaceflight may induce a variety of harmful effects in astronauts, resulting in altered motor and cognitive behavior. The stresses experienced by humans in space — most significantly weightlessness (microgravity) and cosmic radiation — are difficult to accurately...

Briefs : Information Technology
Evolutionary Computational Methods for Identifying Emergent Behavior in Autonomous Systems

A technique based on Evolutionary Computational Methods (ECMs) was developed that allows for the automated optimization of complex computationally modeled systems, such as autonomous systems. The primary technology, which enables the ECM to find optimal...

Briefs : Information Technology
Sampling Theorem in Terms of the Bandwidth and Sampling Interval

An approach has been developed for interpolating non-uniformly sampled data, with applications in signal and image reconstruction. This innovation generalizes the Whittaker-Shannon sampling theorem by emphasizing two assumptions explicitly (definition of a band-limited function and...

Briefs : Information Technology
Spatial Query for Planetary Data

Science investigators need to quickly and effectively assess past observations of specific locations on a planetary surface. This innovation involves a location-based search technology that was adapted and applied to planetary science data to support a spatial query capability for mission operations software.

Briefs : Information Technology
Optimal Padding for the Two-Dimensional Fast Fourier

One-dimensional Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) operations work fastest on grids whose size is divisible by a power of two. Because of this, padding grids (that are not already sized to a power of two) so that their size is the next highest power of two can speed up operations. While this works...

Briefs : Information Technology
Safe Onboard Guidance and Control Under Probabilistic Uncertainty

An algorithm was developed that determines the fuel-optimal spacecraft guidance trajectory that takes into account uncertainty, in order to guarantee that mission safety constraints are satisfied with the required probability. The algorithm uses convex optimization to solve for...

Briefs : Information Technology
Hidden Statistics of Schrödinger Equation

Work was carried out in determination of the mathematical origin of randomness in quantum mechanics and creating a hidden statistics of Schrödinger equation; i.e., to expose the transitional stochastic process as a “bridge” to the quantum world. The governing equations of hidden statistics would...

Briefs : Information Technology
Higher Order Mode Coupling in Feed Waveguide of a Planar Slot Array Antenna

A simple technique was developed to account for the higher order mode coupling between adjacent coupling slots in the feed waveguide of a planar slot array. The method uses an equation relating the slot impedance to the slot voltage and a reaction integral involving the...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Wireless Orbiter Hang-Angle Inclinometer System

A document describes a system to reliably gather the hang-angle inclination of the orbiter. The system comprises a wireless handheld master station (which contains the main station software) and a wireless remote station (which contains the inclinometer sensors, the RF transceivers, and the remote...

Briefs : Information Technology
Meteoroid/Orbital Debris Shield Engineering Development Practice and Procedure

A document describes a series of models created for the determination of the probability of survival of critical spacecraft components from particle strike damage caused by hyper-velocity impact of meteoroids and/or orbital debris. These models were integrated with...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Internal Electrostatic Discharge Monitor — IESDM

A document discusses an innovation designed to effectively monitor dielectric charging in spacecraft components to measure the potential for discharge in order to prevent damage from internal electrostatic discharge (IESD). High-energy electrons penetrate the structural materials and shielding...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Self-Balancing, Optical-Center-Pivot, Fast-Steering Mirror

A complete, self-contained fast-steering-mirror (FSM) mechanism is reported consisting of a housing, a mirror and mirror-mounting cell, three PZT (piezoelectric) actuators, and a counterbalance mass. Basically, it is a comparatively stiff, two-axis (tip-tilt), self-balanced FSM. Prior...

Podcasts
Dr. Dale P. Cruikshank, Astronomer and Planetary Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Dale P. Cruikshank is an astronomer and planetary scientist in the Astrophysics Branch at Ames Research Center. His research specialties are spectroscopy and radiometry of planets, asteroids, satellites, and other bodies in the solar system....

Who's Who
Dr. Dale P. Cruikshank, Astronomer and Planetary Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Dale P. Cruikshank is an astronomer and planetary scientist in the Astrophysics Branch at Ames Research Center. His research specialties are spectroscopy and radiometry of planets, asteroids, satellites, and other bodies in the solar system....

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Adhesives for Optical Assembly

Adhesives deliver excellent performance on a range of materials used to manufacture optical components, including glass, metal, ceramic and most plastics. By their very nature, adhesives allow devices to be made stronger, faster, and more cost-effectively, living up to the most basic demands of the marketplace.

Articles : Motion Control
Motion Control Requirements for Medical Instruments

Medical equipment motion control runs the gamut from electric wheelchair motion to heart assist pumps. This article will focus on the segment consisting of medical laboratory instruments. Even in this segment, motion control ranges from precision liquid handling and dispensing, to sample-...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Motors Keep Telescope Operating in Record-Low Antarctic Temperatures

At Concordia Station in Antarctica, there is a telescope mount that has been operating for a few years. Recently, there was a new record temperature at the Dome C site: -84.6 °C, or -199 °F. Not many things operate well in such conditions, but the telescope mount — which...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Robots and Vision Combine for Accurate Sheet Metal Cutting

In the general construction industry, many different parts are cut from sheet metal and then welded together on a large machine or vehicle. The trouble arises when the sheets are placed on the cutting table; the larger and heavier they are, the more difficult they are to position on the...

Products
Multi-Axis Servo Drive

Galil Motion Control (Rocklin, CA) has announced the AMP- 43240 4-axis servo drive that provides up to 750W per axis. It resides inside the DMC-4040 or DMC-4143 4-axis motion controller enclosure. The packaging of the multi-axis drives with the motion controller is designed to save space and wiring. The drive contains four...

Products
Motor-Control Module

STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland), has announced the SPIMD20 motor-control module that mounts directly on the motor, in addition to providing connection via industrial Ethernet. The unit can drive brushless 3-phase motors up to 2kW, and incorporates semiconductor technologies, including 1200V/40A IGBT power switches...

Products
DC Gear Motors

Nidec Copal (USA) Corp. (Torrance, CA) has introduced a RoHS family of four 12-mm miniature DC gear motors that develop high shaft torque ranging from 0.28 oz-in to 6.94 oz-in. Rated shaft speeds range from 1400 rpm to 40 rpm. The motor’s axial length is 1.023". Input voltage levels range from 4.5 to 6.0 VDC. Rated current...

Products
Accelerometer

Dytran Instruments (Chatsworth, CA) has introduced the model 3091A, an IEPE accelerometer. It is offered with a range of 500g, 100 mV/g sensitivity, and an upper frequency response of 1,000 Hz (±5%). As an IEPE sensor, the accelerometer features built-in electronics, eliminating the need for an external charge amplifier and...

Products
Planetary Gearheads

A series of RTX precision planetary gearheads from Sterling Instrument (New Hyde Park, NY) features high-torque design and are offered in standard NEMA sizes 60 and 90. These 36 gearheads, identified as the S9160AMRTX and the S9190AMRTX Series, feature single, double, and triple gear stage configurations; optimized gear...

Products
Speed Controller

The C100A Variable Speed Controller from Fluid Metering (Syosset, NY) provides a control interface for the company’s Variable Speed Pumps. The C100A features both manual speed adjustment using a front-panelmounted rotary dial, as well as electronic speed control via a 4-20 mA signal from an external source.

Products
Control Module

The ACOPOSmicro from B&R Industrial Automation Corp. (Roswell, GA) offers support for two servo motors, allowing users to integrate different drive types. The architecture enables changeover from a stepper to a servo motor, and vice versa. It also supports up to two axes with performance levels of 500W each on one module. The...

Products
Linear Stage and Driver

Newport Corp. (Irvine, CA) offers the CONEX-AGP controller preconfigured with an Agilis™ AG-LS25-27P linear stage that includes a miniature, built-in, direct-read linear encoder. The stage combines a piezo motor linear stage with the architecture of the CONEX controller family. The controller delivers submicron,...

Products
Linear Stepper Motors

Johnson Electric (Vandalia, OH) has introduced the Saia® ULE Series linear stepper motors. Available in unipolar or bipolar configurations, the motors provide constant positioning force to 400 N over full travel lengths to 300 mm in ambient temperatures ranging from -15 to +60 °C. Their 55 × 55-mm design envelope and...

Products
Encoders

Oriental Motor (Torrance, CA) offers encoder options for 0.36º and 0.72º stepping motors. The stepping motors are available as a stepping motor only, or as a stepping motor and driver package. The new stepping motor encoder options for 0.36º and 0.72º motors are 500 or 1000 pulses/rev, 2- or 3-channel, and TTL or Differential (line...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Stackable Computer Architecture Moves to 3rd Generation

Change is a concept that is well known in the computer industry. Designers and manufacturers alike have embraced this trend in an ongoing race to increase computing power while reducing size, weight, and power and cost (SWaPaC). With the latest round of ultra-low power processors from...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Small Form Factor Computing in OpenVPX

The new OpenVPX™ (VITA 65) standard helps military system designers build compatible embedded systems by defining “profiles” to which vendors can adhere when designing boards, and system integrators can use to locate available COTS solutions. The market is seeing a proliferation of 6U VPX boards,...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Using FPGAs to Improve x86 Processor I/O Flexibility

By offering the ability to update application functionality, provide a reconfigurable solution and enable easy design customization, Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology has long been known as a cost-effective design resource. Similarly, x86 processor architectures share many of the...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Visible Imager Technology for Euclid’s Dark Energy Mission

The European Space Agency is funding e2v’s development of an image sensor for the visible instrument in the Euclid space telescope. Euclid is a candidate mission for one of two launch opportunities in 2018. If selected, the mission aims to map the dark universe with two complementary...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Continuous-Integration Laser Energy Lidar Monitor

This circuit design implements an integrator intended to allow digitization of the energy output of a pulsed laser, or the energy of a received pulse of laser light. It integrates the output of a detector upon which the laser light is incident. The integration is performed constantly, either by...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
n-B-pi-p Superlattice Infrared Detector

A specially designed barrier (B) is inserted at the n-pi junction [where most G-R (generation-recombination) processes take place] in the standard n-pi-p structure to substantially reduce generation-recombination dark currents. The resulting n-B-pi-p structure also has reduced tunneling dark currents,...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Monolithic, High-Speed Fiber-Optic Switching Array for Lidar

Current fiber switch technologies use mechanical means to redirect light beams, resulting in slow switch time, as well as poor reliability due to moving parts wearing out quickly at high speeds. A non-mechanical ability to switch laser output into one of multiple fibers within a fiber...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Radius of Curvature Measurement of Large Optics Using Interferometry and Laser Tracker

The determination of radius of curvature (ROC) of optics typically uses either a phase measuring interferometer on an adjustable stage to determine the position of the ROC and the optics surface under test. Alternatively, a spherometer or a profilometer are...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Miniaturized Airborne Imaging Central Server System

In recent years, some remote-sensing applications require advanced airborne multi-sensor systems to provide high performance reflective and emissive spectral imaging measurement rapidly over large areas. The key or unique problem of characteristics is associated with a black box back-end system...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Creep Measurement Video Extensometer

Understanding material behavior under load is critical to the efficient and accurate design of advanced aircraft and spacecraft. Technologies such as the one disclosed here allow accurate creep measurements to be taken automatically, reducing error.

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
General Tool for Evaluating High-Contrast Coronagraphic Telescope Performance Error Budgets

The Coronagraph Performance Error Budget (CPEB) tool automates many of the key steps required to evaluate the scattered starlight contrast in the dark hole of a space-based coronagraph. The tool uses a Code V prescription of the optical train, and uses...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Fiber Laser Cutting System

Hypertherm (Hanover, NH) has released the HyIntensity™ Fiber Laser HFL015 cutting system, which includes a power source, cutting head, gas supply, operator interface consoles, motion controls, and software, all in one package. The single-emitter, diode-based design system operates on familiar Hypertherm control...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Infrared LEDs

A set of surface-mount, high-output infrared LEDs from ROHM Semiconductor (San Diego, CA) can be used in proximity sensor applications. The SIM-030/031ST and SIM-040/041ST surface-mount IR LEDs feature IR wavelength technology providing peak output of 850/870 nm. The 850/870 nm level is much closer to the peak wave sensitivity of...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Spectral Reflectivity Measurement System

Olympus Corp. (Center Valley, PA) has introduced a spectral reflectivity measurement system designed for use with lenses, prisms, flat glass, plastics, and electronic components produced by optical manufacturers. The USPM-RU III provides repeatable measurements in seconds, and without the need for...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Vibration Isolation Workstation

The new Vision IsoStation vibration isolation workstation from Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA) is designed to improve ease-of-installation, setup, and lab space utilization. The workstation is available with platform sizes from 24 in. × 24 in. up to 36 in. × 72 in. to accommodate a wide range of applications....

Products : Photonics/Optics
Laser Power/Energy Sensor Shock Absorber

Ophir Photonics Group (Logan, UT) has announced the Shock Absorber, a mounting post designed to allow the operation of sensitive pyroelectric laser power/energy sensors in an environment with vibration. The mount smoothes out vibration and eliminates false triggering, reducing the sensor’s...

Products : Photonics/Optics
f/#1.0 Athermalised LWIR Lens

LightPath Technologies (Orlando, FL) has introduced an f/#1.0 athermalised long wave infrared (LWIR) lens assembly with 10.65mm focal length, developed for uncooled infrared sensors using 8μm — 12μm infrared signatures. This lens assembly is a new addition to the already existing thermal imaging assemblies:...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Pulsed Laser Driver

ILX Lightwave Corporation (Bozeman, MT) has released the LDP-3832 Pulsed Quantum Cascade Laser Driver. The LDP-3832 is designed specifically for quantum cascade lasers used in absorption spectroscopy applications and provides peak current up to 5A with a compliance voltage of up to 20V and adjustable pulse widths from 10ns to...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Industrial Microscope Module

Carl Zeiss (Thornwood, NY) has introduced the Axio Imager Vario, a microscope module for industrial tasks where large samples requiring various contrasting methods, such as solar cells, wafers, flat panel screens or printed circuit boards, are examined. The sample space of the Axio Imager Vario has been adapted to...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Photodiode Detectors

Hinds Instruments (Hillsboro, OR) has introduced a new generation photodiode detector family, the DET-200 series. Used in labs worldwide, Hinds’ detection systems are specifically designed for use with optical signals from DC to 1MHz over a spectral range of 200 to 1600nm. DET-200 series detectors offer adjustable gain...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Single Fiber Assemblies

Allowing the use of fiber optics in potentially damaging environments, Fiberguide Industries (Stirling, NJ) has introduced its new standard line of single fiber assemblies. For general purpose use, Fiberguide’s furcation tubing is comprised of a Kevlar reinforced PVC sleeve over a polypropylene tube. Furcation tubing is...

Products : Photonics/Optics
XYZ Piezo Flexure Stage

PI’s (Auburn, MA) P-563.3CD PIMars stage is a piezo flexure-guided scanning/ nanomanipulation system. The unit enables precision motion control with resolution in the sub-nanometer realm and 340 × 340 × 340 μm travel in XYZ. Integrated, direct-measuring capacitance sensors and digital closed-loop control boost...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Inspection Station

The LF210 Inspection Station from Prior Scientific (Rockland, MA) is an automated inspection platform suitable for most industrial samples with moderate to high reflectivity. Samples placed on the inspection station’s motorized stage may be inspected manually using the ProScan joystick or auto-matically inspected using one...

Products : Photonics/Optics
High Precision Aspheres

Optimax (Ontario, NY) is a manufacturing company that provides rapid prototyping of precision optical components in sizes up to 300mm. Optimax specializes in asphere, cylinder, sphere, and plano/flat optics. All parts are manufactured to customer-supplied specifications. Final inspection data is included with the optics....

Products : Photonics/Optics
Radiation-Hard Lens

The Model 305 Fixed Focus Non-Browning Lens from Resolve Optics Ltd. (Chesham, Buckinghamshire, UK) has been designed for large image format cameras and sensors used in environments subject to radiation. Measuring 30mm in diameter, the compact f2 lens delivers high image resolution and minimum geometric distortion from 400 -...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Industrial Femtosecond Lasers

The D2.fs from RPMC (O’Fallon, MO) is an industrial femtosecond laser available at 4W and 10W with pulse widths as short as 400fs at rep rates up to 200 kHz. The D2.fs produces a maximum energy of 200uJ at 50 kHz and 100uJ at 100 kHz with an emission wavelength of 1030nm. The D2.fs incorporates the use of a fiber...

Products : Photonics/Optics
10mm Waveplates

Tower Optical Corp. (Boynton Beach, FL) has announced the availability of a new series of Zero Order and Multiple Order, Crystal Quartz, waveplates based upon a waveplate diameter of 10mm. The waveplates are offered unmounted with a diameter of 10mm or mounted in a 12.7mm or 25.4mm anodized aluminum mounting ring, both with a...

Products : Photonics/Optics
DC to HV DC Converters

EMCO’s (Sutter Creek, CA) A Series is a new line of ultra-miniature, DC to HV DC converters that occupy less than one tenth of a cubic inch of volume, and have an extremely low profile of only 0.250 inches (6.35mm). Controllable output voltages range from 100 volts to 6000 volts. These component-sized converters also...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Infrared Detectors

Cal Sensors (Santa Rosa, CA) has announced two new infrared detector lines. The first is a new line of single element PbS detectors designed for high-volume, cost-sensitive applications such as fire safety and flame detection, as well as process and quality control applications. The second is a new line of multi-channel PbS...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Precision Optics

Z & Z Optoelectronics Tech Co. (Chengdu Sichuan, China) provides precision optical components for high-power laser, spaceflight, aviation, defense & security, and biomedical applications. Z&Z’s super polishing capabilities include: roughness of different materials such as fused silica (0.1nm), silicon (0.1nm),...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Power Supplies

TDK-Lambda Americas (San Diego, CA & Neptune, NJ) has launched a new line of 1600W front-end power supplies for use in distributed, hot-pluggable and redundant power systems. The HFE1600 series operate off a universal AC input of 85 to 265 VAC, with active PFC, and provides a well regulated DC output of 12V, 24V or 48V....

Products : Photonics/Optics
850nm VCSEL LC TOSA

The Optoelectronics Company (Hertfordshire, UK) is pleased to announce the release of the TP85-LCP1F, a high-performance 850nm VCSEL LC Transmitter Optical Sub Assembly (TOSA) designed for high speed data communications, Gigabit Ethernet, and Fiber Channels. Packaged with an internal monitor photodiode for power control, this...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Thermal Imaging Camera

The new FTI-E 1000 camera from Land Instruments (Dronfield, UK) is designed for high-temperature applications. Operating at 1μm, the new instrument combines high-resolution thermal imaging with accurate temperature measurement from 600 to 3000°C (1100 to 5400°F), over a range of 4 models. With an operating waveband...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Machine Control Interface Module

Trio Motion Technology (Tewkesbury, UK) has added to its MC464 Motion Coordinator machine controller range with the launch of its new EtherCAT Master drive interface module. The new module provides tightly synchronized control for up to 64 slave axes on the MC464 — up to seven modules may be added, each...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Stand-Alone Real-Time Clock/Calendar

Microchip Technology (Chandler, AZ) recently announced its first stand-alone I2CTM Real-Time Clock/Calendar (RTCC) family. All six MCP794XX devices are highly integrated at a low cost, including ample amounts of on-chip EEPROM and SRAM, as well as a user-lockable section of EEPROM available for a 64-bit...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Security Software

Express Logic (San Diego, CA) recently announced the integration of the μSSL™ Security Stack from Cypherbridge® Systems. μSSL implements a standards-based solution to achieve chip-to-chip and chip-to-server interoperabilty across wired and wireless networks. Integrated with Express Logic’s NetX Duo™ TCP/IP stack for...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Single-Chip Positioning Device

STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland) has introduced Teseo II, a new generation of single-chip stand-alone positioning receivers for Portable Navigation Devices, in-car navigation, and telematics applications. These Systems-on-Chips are the industry’s first monolithic devices capable of receiving signals from...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Mobile Secure Router

The LN1000 mobile secure router from Juniper Networks (Sunnyvale, CA) is an 8 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) port, ruggedized blade router that provides radio router protocol support with hardware based queuing and an integrated intrusion detection and prevention system. It is compliant with the IPv4 and IPv6 protocols and runs on...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Embedded Graphics Card

VIA Technologies (Taipei, Taiwan) has announced the world’s first graphics card designed specifically for the embedded market. The VIA eH1 AIB features an advanced DirectX 10.1, OpenGL 3.1, OpenGL ES 2.0 compatible 64-bit architecture and offers multi-stream 1080p HD video decoding and Stereoscopic 3D rendering...

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