April 2013

Products
Product of the Month: PEM® SpotFast®

PEM® SpotFast® self-clinching fasteners from PennEngineering®, Danboro, PA, enable two sheets to be joined permanently in a flush-attachment connection without protrusions on either side. These alternatives to riveting or spot welding provide a means to attach two metal sheets too thin to weld, fasten...

Question of the Week
Will You Use a Mobile Device to Check Your Health?

A "Smartphone Physical" debuted at the TEDMED conference in Washington D.C. this month. Using devices and attachments paired with an iPhone, patients were able to measure and record their blood pressure, lung function, weight, oxygen saturation, and eyesight. The technology, developed...

News
New Technique Creates Stronger, Lightweight Magnesium Alloys

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new technique for creating stronger, lightweight magnesium alloys that have potential structural applications in the automobile and aerospace industries.

News : Semiconductors & ICs
Researchers Measure Near-Field Behavior of Semiconductor Microparticles

Recent progress in the engineering of plasmonic structures has enabled new kinds of nanometer-scale optoelectronic devices as well as high-resolution optical sensing.

News
NASA Sends Unmanned Aircraft to Study Volcanic Plume

Studying volcanos can be hazardous work, both for researchers and aircraft. To penetrate such dangerous airspace, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), especially those with electric engines that ingest little contaminated air, are an emerging and effective way to gather crucial data about volcanic...

News
Thrusters Powered by Ionic Wind May Be Alternative to Conventional Propulsion

When a current passes between two electrodes — one thinner than the other — it creates wind in the air between. If enough voltage is applied, the resulting wind can produce a thrust without the help of motors or fuel. This phenomenon, called electrohydrodynamic...

News
NASA Engineers Test Placement of Webb Telescope Spectographic Instruments

The installation of equipment into the James Webb Space Telescope requires patience and precision. To prepare for the installation of the actual flight equipment and ensure perfection in the installations, scientists need to practice with an identical test unit. Scientists...

News : Materials
Redesigned Material Could Lead to Lighter, Faster Electronics

The same material that formed the first primitive transistors more than 60 years ago can be modified in a new way to advance future electronics, according to a new study. Chemists at The Ohio State University have developed the technology for making a one-atom-thick sheet of...

News : Materials
Engineers Create Material for High-Performance 'Supercapacitor'

Taking a significant step toward improving the power delivery of systems ranging from urban electrical grids to regenerative braking in hybrid vehicles, researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have synthesized a material that shows high...

News
Global Mission Offers Rainfall Measurement from Space

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission, or GPM, provides the next generation of rainfall measurements from space. The mission is designed to tap into the observational power of nine independent satellites flying around Earth, and combine their precipitation data into a single, global...

Question of the Week
Is Social Media a Valuable Healthcare Resource?

An increasing number of medical professionals are embracing social media for sharing helpful information and providing personalized patient care. HealthTap, one of the newest networks, for example, is an online hub of 1.2 million doctors who field questions from patients around the world. Some...

News
Nanosponge Soaks Up Toxins Released by Bacterial Infections and Venom

A nanosponge invented by engineers at the University of California, San Diego can safely remove many dangerous toxins from the bloodstream, including those produced by MRSA, E. coli, poisonous snakes, and bees.

News
DARPA Funds Research to Develop 3D Chip Cooling Technology

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have won a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contract to develop three- dimensional chip cooling technology able to handle heat loads as much as ten times greater than systems commonly used today. In addition to higher...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Multi-Phase Power Analyzer

Tektronix, Inc. (Beaverton, OR) recently announced its new precision multi- phase power analyzer. Featuring the industry’s first Spiral Shunt™ design (patent application submitted), the Tektronix PA4000 power analyzer gives power electronics engineers stable, precise current measurements even on highly distorted...

Products : Electronics & Computers
PWM Controllers

iWatt Inc. (Campbell, CA) has expanded its PrimAccurate(TM) pulse width modulation (PWM) controller platform to include two new power adapter chipsets that offer the company’s fastest standby recovery. The iW1766 + iW628 and iW1767 + iW628 chipsets provide ultra-low,

Products : Electronics & Computers
SMT Top Actuated Switch

C&K Components (Newton, MA) has developed the new PTS 530 Series ultra-low- profile top actuated SMT switch. Utilizing C&K’s unique symbol line identification system, design engineers can quickly and easily identify actuation force ratings. The marking system defines the model number and actuation force on the switch...

Products : Electronics & Computers
10-bit DAC (25 GS/s)

Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions (CWCDS) (Ashburn, VA) announced that it will bring the unmatched data conversion performance of Tektronix Component Solutions’ newly introduced TDAC-25, the industry’s first 10-bit 25 GS/s digital-to-analog converter (DAC) ASIC to the defense, aerospace, telecom, commercial, and...

News
Microbatteries Out-Power Supercapacitors

New microbatteries, developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, out-power supercapacitors and could drive new applications in radio communications and compact electronics.

The devices offer both power and energy. By tweaking their structure a bit, the researchers can tune...

News
Tactile Sensor Gives Robot Hands a Gentle Touch

Researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed an inexpensive tactile sensor for robotic hands that is sensitive enough to turn a brute machine into a dextrous manipulator.

Designed by researchers in the Harvard Biorobotics Laboratory at SEAS, the...

News
NASA Announces 2013 International Space Apps Challenges

NASA and over 150 partner organizations worldwide will be hosting the International Space Apps Challenge on April 20-21, 2013. The International Space Apps Challenge is a technology development event during which citizens from around the world work together to solve challenges relevant to...

News
High-Speed Camera Shows Snowflakes in 3D

University of Utah researchers developed a high-speed camera system that photographed snowflakes in 3-D as they fell.

News
Real-Time Tool Detects Algal Pond Crashes

Sandia National Laboratories is developing a suite of complementary technologies to help the emerging algae industry detect and quickly recover from algal pond crashes, an obstacle to large-scale algae cultivation for future biofuels.

Question of the Week
Will We See 4D Printing Being Used in the Near Future?

MIT engineer Skylar Tibbits recently spoke at a TED conference about the promise of 4D printing. The act of 4D printing creates objects in one state that could then change to a different state over time. Without human intervention, the object alters its shape based on moisture or heat from...

News
“Terradynamics” Predicts How Robots Will Move on Granular Surfaces

Using a combination of theory and experiment, researchers have developed a new approach for understanding and predicting how small legged robots – and potentially also animals – move on and interact with complex granular materials such as sand.

News
Custom-Built 3D Printer Creates Synthetic Tissues

Oxford University scientists have demonstrated a custom-built programmable 3D printer that can create materials with several of the properties of living tissues.

Question of the Week
Are Automated Systems a Valuable Way to Grade Essays?

A recent New York Times article highlighted software from EdX, a nonprofit enterprise founded by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. EdX software uses artificial intelligence to grade student essays and short written answers. The tool requires human teachers to first...

News
Imaging System Gathers 3D Data from Long Distances

From up to a kilometer away, a Time-of-Flight (ToF) imaging system gathers high-resolution, 3-D information about objects that are typically very difficult to image.

News
Future Soldiers Will Have Flexible Electronics Everywhere

More than 10 years ago, U.S. Army researchers saw potential in flexible displays. With nothing in the marketplace, the Army decided to change that by partnering with industry and academia to create the Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University.

News
Quantum Sensing Shows Promise for Military Navigation, Detection

U.S. Army Research Laboratory scientists in the Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate are currently exploring the field of quantum sensing and are discovering ways in which the Army can benefit from innovations that were once thought impossible.

News
Scalable Code Simulates Seismic Hazards

A team of researchers at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) and the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering at the University of California, San Diego, has developed a highly scalable computer code that promises to dramatically cut both research times and energy costs in simulating seismic...

News
Army Is Developing New 120mm AMP Tank Round

The U.S. Army is developing a new Advanced Multi-Purpose 120mm tank round that combines six different capabilities into a single round. The Advanced Multi-Purpose, or AMP, is ready to enter into the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase after a prototype successfully demonstrated Technology...

News
‘Metascreen’ Forms Invisibility Cloak

US researchers have now developed a cloak that is micrometers thick and can hide three-dimensional objects from microwaves in their natural environment, in all directions and from all of the observers’ positions.

Question of the Week
Will Humanlike Avatars Move Toward Mainstream Use?

British scientists have created what they say is the world's most realistic human avatar. Combining facial modeling and mathematical algorithms, 'Zoe' has advanced language function and displays a range of emotions. The technology could act as an assistant to business executives or a teacher's...

News
Autonomous Robotic Jellyfish Could Patrol the Seas

Virginia Tech researchers have introduced an autonomous robotic jellyfish the size and weight of a grown man - 5 foot 7 inches in length and weighing 170 pounds - as part of a U.S. Navy-funded project.

News
Seismic Device Could Make Bridges and Buildings More Resilient to Earthquakes

Navid Attary, a student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has created a seismic protection device to boost the resiliency of bridges and buildings to earthquakes. His innovation, which uses a new and novel method to dissipate the destructive forces of earthquakes,...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Fully Integrated, Miniature, High-Frequency Flow Probe Utilizing MEMS Leadless SOI Technology

This work focused on developing, fabricating, and fully calibrating a flow-angle probe for aeronautics research by utilizing the latest microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), leadless silicon on insulator (SOI) sensor technology. While the concept of...

Briefs : Medical
Nanoscale Surface Plasmonics Sensor With Nanofluidic Control

Conventional quantitative protein assays of bodily fluids typically involve multiple steps to obtain desired measurements. Such methods are not well suited for fast and accurate assay measurements in austere environments such as spaceflight and in the aftermath of disasters....

Briefs : Information Technology
Advanced Dispersed Fringe Sensing Algorithm for Coarse Phasing Segmented Mirror Telescopes

Segment mirror phasing, a critical step of segment mirror alignment, requires the ability to sense and correct the relative pistons between segments from up to a few hundred microns to a fraction of wavelength in order to bring the mirror system to its...

Briefs : Information Technology
Neural Network Back-Propagation Algorithm for Sensing Hypergols

Fast, continuous detection of a wide range of hazardous substances simultaneously is needed to achieve improved safety for personnel working with hypergolic fuels and oxidizers, as well as other hazardous substances, with a requirement for such detection systems to warn personnel...

Briefs : Medical
Bulk Moisture and Salinity Sensor

Measurement and feedback control of nutrient solutions in plant root zones is critical to the development of healthy plants in both terrestrial and reduced gravity environments. In addition to the water content, the amount of fertilizer in the nutrient solution is important to plant health. This typically...

Briefs : Software
Change-Based Satellite Monitoring Using Broad Coverage and Targetable Sensing

A generic software framework analyzes data from broad coverage sweeps or general larger areas of interest. Change detection methods are used to extract subsets of directed swath areas that intersect areas of change. These areas are prioritized and allocated to...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Circularly Polarized Microwave Antenna Element With Very Low Off-Axis Cross-Polarization

The goal of this work was to improve offaxis cross-polarization performance and ease of assembly of a circularly polarized microwave antenna element. To ease assembly, the initial design requirement of Hexweb support for the internal circuit part, as well as...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Flash Cracking Reactor for Waste Plastic Processing

Conversion of waste plastic to energy is a growing problem that is especially acute in space exploration applications. Moreover, utilization of heavy hydrocarbon resources (wastes, waxes, etc.) as fuels and chemicals will be a growing need in the future. Existing technologies require a...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Ultra-Low Heat- Leak, High- Temperature Superconducting Current Leads for Space Applications

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has a need for current leads used in an adiabatic demagnetization refrigerator (ADR) for space applications. These leads must comply with stringent requirements such as a heat leak of approximately 100 μW or less while...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Compute Element and Interface Box for the Hazard Detection System

The Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) program is building a sensor that enables a spacecraft to evaluate autonomously a potential landing area to generate a list of hazardous and safe landing sites. It will also provide navigation inputs relative to those...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
An Automated Safeto- Mate (ASTM) Tester

Safe-to-mate testing is a common hardware safety practice where impedance measurements are made on unpowered hardware to verify isolation, continuity, or impedance between pins of an interface connector. Performing this on critical flight hardware under test and its associated GSE ensures minimal risk when...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Wireless Chalcogenide Nanoionic-Based Radio- Frequency Switch

A new nonvolatile nanoionic switch is powered and controlled through wireless radio-frequency (RF) transmission. A thin layer of chalcogenide glass doped with a metal ion, such as silver, comprises the operational portion of the switch. For the switch to function, an oxidizable...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
DOT Transmit Module

The Deep Space Optical Terminal (DOT) transmit module demonstrates the DOT downlink signaling in a flight electronics assembly that can be qualified for deep space. The assembly has the capability to generate an electronic pulse-position modulation (PPM) waveform suitable for driving a laser assembly to produce the optical...

Briefs : Materials
Regenerable Sorbent for CO2 Removal

A durable, high-capacity regenerable sorbent can remove CO2 from the breathing loop under a Martian atmosphere. The system design allows nearambient temperature operation, needs only a small temperature swing, and sorbent regeneration takes place at or above 8 torr, eliminating the potential for...

Briefs : Materials
Li-Ion Electrolytes With Improved Safety and Tolerance to High-Voltage Systems

Given that lithium-ion (Li-ion) technology is the most viable rechargeable energy storage device for near-term applications, effort has been devoted to improving the safety characteristics of this system. Therefore, extensive effort has been devoted to developing...

Briefs : Materials
Composite Aerogel Multifoil Protective Shielding

New technologies are needed to survive the temperatures, radiation, and hypervelocity particles that exploration spacecraft encounter. Multilayer insulations (MLIs) have been used on many spacecraft as thermal insulation. Other materials and composites have been used as micrometeorite shielding or...

Briefs : Materials
Polymer-Reinforced, Non-Brittle, Lightweight Cryogenic Insulation

The primary application for cryogenic insulating foams will be fuel tank applications for fueling systems. It is crucial for this insulation to be incorporated into systems that survive vacuum and terrestrial environments. It is hypothesized that by forming an open-cell...

Briefs : Materials
Sprayable Aerogel Bead Compositions With High Shear Flow Resistance and High Thermal Insulation Value

A sprayable aerogel insulation has been developed that has good mechanical integrity and lower thermal conductivity than incumbent polyurethane spray-on foam insulation, at similar or lower areal densities, to prevent insulation cracking and...

Briefs : Materials
Controlled, Site-Specific Functionalization of Carbon Nanotubes With Diazonium Salts

This work uses existing technologies to prepare a crossbar architecture of nanotubes, wherein one nanotube is fixed to a substrate, and a second nanotube is suspended a finite distance above. Both nanotubes can be individually addressed electrically. Application...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Lexan Linear Shaped Charge Holder With Magnets and Backing Plate

A method was developed for cutting a fabric structural member in an inflatable module, without damaging the internal structure of the module, using linear shaped charge. Lexan and magnets are used in a charge holder to precisely position the linear shaped charge over the desired...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Robotic Ankle for Omnidirectional Rock Anchors

Future robotic exploration of near- Earth asteroids and the vertical and inverted rock walls of lava caves and cliff faces on Mars and other planetary bodies would require a method of gripping their rocky surfaces to allow mobility without gravitational assistance. In order to successfully navigate...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Waterless Clothes-Cleaning Machine

A waterless clothes-cleaning machine has been developed that removes loose particulates and deodorizes dirty laundry with regenerative chemical processes to make the clothes more comfortable to wear and have a fresher smell. This system was initially developed for use in zero-g, but could be altered for 1-g...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
An Active Heater Control Concept to Meet IXO Type Mirror Module Thermal-Structural Distortion Requirement

Flight mirror assemblies (FMAs) of large telescopes, such as the International X-ray Observatory (IXO), have very stringent thermal-structural distortion requirements. The spatial temperature gradient requirement within a FMA could be as...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Wind, Wave, and Tidal Energy Without Power Conditioning

Most present wind, wave, and tidal energy systems require expensive power conditioning systems that reduce overall efficiency. This new design eliminates power conditioning all, or nearly all, of the time.

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Integrated Electrical Wire Insulation Repair System

An integrated system tool will allow a technician to easily and quickly repair damaged high-performance electrical wire insulation in the field. Low-melt polyimides have been developed that can be processed into thin films that work well in the repair of damaged polyimide or fluoropolymer...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
LVGEMS Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry on Satellites

NASA’s investigations of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere require measurements of composition of the neutral air and ions. NASA is able to undertake these observations, but the instruments currently in use have their limitations. NASA has extended the scope of its research in the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Surface Inspection Tool for Optical Detection of Surface Defects

The Space Shuttle Orbiter windows were damaged both by micrometeor impacts and by handling, and required careful inspection before they could be reused. The launch commit criteria required that no defect be deeper than a critical depth. The shuttle program used a refocus microscope...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Per-Pixel, Dual-Counter Scheme for Optical Communications

Free space optical communications links from deep space are projected to fulfill future NASA communication requirements for 2020 and beyond. Accurate laser-beam pointing is required to achieve high data rates at low power levels. For the highest pointing accuracy, a laser beacon...

Briefs : Information Technology
Certification-Based Process Analysis

Space mission architects are often challenged with knowing which investment in technology infusion will have the highest return. Certification-based analysis (CBA) gives architects and technologists a means to communicate the risks and advantages of infusing technologies at various points in a process....

Briefs : Information Technology
Surface Navigation Using Optimized Waypoints and Particle Swarm Optimization

The design priority for manned space exploration missions is almost always placed on human safety. Proposed manned surface exploration tasks (lunar, asteroid sample returns, Mars) have the possibility of astronauts traveling several kilometers away from a home base....

Briefs : Information Technology
Smart-Divert Powered Descent Guidance to Avoid the Backshell Landing Dispersion Ellipse

A smart-divert capability has been added into the Powered Descent Guidance (PDG) software originally developed for Mars pinpoint and precision landing. The smart-divert algorithm accounts for the landing dispersions of the entry backshell, which separates...

Briefs : Information Technology
Adaptive Sampling of Spatiotemporal Phenomena With Optimization Criteria

This work was designed to find a way to optimally (or near optimally) sample spatiotemporal phenomena based on limited sensing capability, and to create a model that can be run to estimate uncertainties, as well as to estimate covariances. The goal was to maximize (or...

Briefs : Information Technology
Estimating Foreign-Object- Debris Density From Photogrammetry Data

Within the first few seconds after launch of STS-124, debris traveling vertically near the vehicle was captured on two 16-mm film cameras surrounding the launch pad. One particular piece of debris caught the attention of engineers investigating the release of the flame trench...

Briefs : Information Technology
Building a 2.5D Digital Elevation Model From 2D Imagery

When projecting imagery into a georeferenced coordinate frame, one needs to have some model of the geographical region that is being projected to. This model can sometimes be a simple geometrical curve, such as an ellipse or even a plane. However, to obtain accurate projections, one needs...

Briefs : Software
Eyes on the Earth 3D

Eyes on the Earth 3D software gives scientists, and the general public, a realtime, 3D interactive means of accurately viewing the real-time locations, speed, and values of recently collected data from several of NASA’s Earth Observing Satellites using a standard Web browser (climate.nasa.gov/eyes). Anyone with Web access...

Briefs : Software
Target Trailing With Safe Navigation for Maritime Autonomous Surface Vehicles

This software implements a motionplanning module for a maritime autonomous surface vehicle (ASV). The module trails a given target while also avoiding static and dynamic surface hazards. When surface hazards are other moving boats, the motion planner must apply...

Briefs : Software
Adams-Based Rover Terramechanics and Mobility Simulator — ARTEMIS

The Mar s Explorat ion Rover s (MERs), Spirit and Opportunity, far exceeded their original drive distance expectations and have traveled, at the time of this reporting, a combined 29 kilometers across the surface of Mars. The Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program (RSVP),...

Briefs : Software
ISTP CDF Skeleton Editor

Basic Common Data Format (CDF) tools (e.g., cdfedit) provide no specific support for creating International Solar-Terrestrial Physics/Space Physics Data Facility (ISTP/SPDF) standard files. While it is possible for someone who is familiar with the ISTP/SPDF metadata guidelines to create compliant files using just the...

Briefs : Software
Uplink Summary Generator (ULSGEN) Version 1.0

The Uplink Summary Generator (ULSGEN) provides a convenient means of gathering together a set of uplink related files, parsing and analyzing these files, and producing a summary of their contents, which may then be electronically signed by one or more reviewers to verify the commands. Spacecraft...

Briefs : Information Technology
Robotics On-Board Trainer (ROBoT)

ROBoT is an on-orbit version of the ground-based Dynamics Skills Trainer (DST) that astronauts use for training on a frequent basis. This software consists of two primary software groups. The first series of components is responsible for displaying the graphical scenes. The remaining components are responsible...

Briefs : Software
Software Engineering Tools for Scientific Models

Software tools were constructed to address issues the NASA Fortran development community faces, and they were tested on real models currently in use at NASA. These proof-of-concept tools address the High-End Computing Program and the Modeling, Analysis, and Prediction Program. Two examples are the...

Briefs : Software
Automatic Data Filter Customization Using a Genetic Algorithm

This work predicts whether a retrieval algorithm will usefully determine CO2 concentration from an input spectrum of GOSAT (Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite). This was done to eliminate needless runtime on atmospheric soundings that would never yield useful results. A...

Briefs : Information Technology
Tracker Toolkit

This software can track multiple moving objects within a video stream simultaneously, use visual features to aid in the tracking, and initiate tracks based on object detection in a subregion. A simple programmatic interface allows plugging into larger image chain modeling suites. It extracts unique visual features for aid in...

Briefs : Software
Towards Efficient Scientific Data Management Using Cloud Storage

A software prototype allows users to backup and restore data to/from both public and private cloud storage such as Amazon’s S3 and NASA’s Nebula. Unlike other off-the-shelf tools, this software ensures user data security in the cloud (through encryption), and minimizes users’...

Briefs : Information Technology
On a Formal Tool for Reasoning About Flight Software Cost Analysis

A report focuses on the development of flight software (FSW) cost estimates for 16 Discovery-class missions at JPL. The techniques and procedures developed enabled streamlining of the FSW analysis process, and provided instantaneous confirmation that the data and processes used...

Briefs : Materials
A Nanostructured Composites Thermal Switch Controls Internal and External Short Circuit in Lithium Ion Batteries

A document discusses a thin layer of composite material, made from nano scale particles of nickel and Teflon, placed within a battery cell as a layer within the anode and/or the cathode. There it conducts electrons at room...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Spacecraft Crew Cabin Condensation Control

A report discusses a new technique to prevent condensation on the cabin walls of manned spacecraft exposed to the cold environment of space, as such condensation could lead to free water in the cabin. This could facilitate the growth of mold and bacteria, and could lead to oxidation and weakening of the...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Small Form Factor Computers Go Ultra-low Power

Agrowing number of mobile, space constrained or harsh environment applications are being designed for the military, industrial automation/HMI, digital signage and medical markets that are driving the need for ever-lower power consumption. These embedded systems have been underserved by existing SFF...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Carbon Nanotube Technology Promises a Revolution in Electrical Cabling

While carbon nanotube technology (CNT) has generated widespread interest for applications ranging from semiconductors to medical, one area that is a focus of research at TE Connectivity is high-performance electrical cables. TE has been actively researching CNT for wire and...

Articles : Motion Control
Robotic Accuracy Improves Aerospace Manufacturing

Where accuracy is concerned, robots have traditionally relied on repeatability. In the past, robotic accuracy has not been developed to a level of maturity acceptable to standard production processes. Critical aerospace manufacturing techniques such as fastening and drilling were historically not...

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Stage Brings Speed and Precision to Semiconductor Inspection

With some of the most demanding quality control regimens of any industry, semiconductor manufacturers use a variety of sophisticated metrology instruments to inspect wafers at each production step. All of these instruments have something in common: They simply will not function...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Stroke Bearings

A line of rotary stroke bearings is available from Mahr Federal (Providence, RI). Suitable for applications where linear, rotary, and combined movements are required, MarMotion high-precision linear or rotary stroke bearings are frequently specified for high-precision applications such as machine tool spindles and...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Rails

Haydon Kerk Motion Solutions, a brand of AMETEK Precision Motion Control (Waterbury, CT), has introduced the BGS06 BGS (Ball Guide Screw) linear rail system utilizing the popular size 17 single-stack or double-stack stepper motor linear actuator. Depending on static, dynamic, and moment load requirements, the user can choose among...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Motion Program Software

CADFusion software from Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) bridges the gap between part drawings and motion control. Users import a vector-based DXF drawing into the software environment to see the resulting tool path graphically on CADFusion’s canvas. Part optimization is performed with shape re-ordering, feature scaling, and...

Products : Motion Control
Linear Actuators

The MSR Series of five linear actuators from Techno-Omil (New Hyde Park, NY) includes configurations such as cross roller guides, adjustable position, shock absorbers, guide bushings, and external cylinder. The actuators feature operating pressures from 0.2 to 0.88 MPa. The housings are made of high-tensile hard-coated aluminum...

Products : Motion Control
Vibration Measurement

Dytran Instruments (Chatsworth, CA) offers the VibraScout™ Vibration Measurement System that includes a USB digital triaxial accelerometer combining a MEMS accelerometer with a microcontroller to create an intelligent sensor. The system consists of a USB triaxial DC response accelerometer; 15-foot, 4- pin to USB cable...

Products : Motion Control
Servo Drives

Kollmorgen (Radford, VA) has introduced the AKD® PDMM and AKD® BASIC Ethernet-based servo drives that enable machine builders to standardize on a single drive family with a common Graphical User Interface (GUI) across the power range (up to 24 Arms continuous and 48 Arms peak). The servo drives are available in a range of...

Products : Motion Control
Controller

Galil Motion Control (Rocklin, CA) has announced the RIO- 47300 Pocket PLC that includes I/O, screw terminals, and two Ethernet ports that allow management of an unlimited number of inputs and outputs without an external Ethernet switch. The controller features 24 digital inputs and 24 outputs for a total of 48 optically isolated...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Actuators

PL Series linear actuators from Promation Engineering (Brooksville, FL) provide up to 4400 lbs. of force and up to 3.9" (100 mm) travel. This increased up and down force allows use of a globe valve for increased flow control in higher pipe diameters with higher close-off pressures versus use of a corresponding butterfly valve....

Products : Motion Control
Motion Module

Mitsubishi Electric (Vernon Hills, IL) has introduced the QD77MS Simple Motion Module that simplifies programming of complex motion profiles. Programming and setup of both PLC and motion control are performed using a single software program. Controller compatibility assures smooth migration to technology platforms using tools that...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Motor Controls

Cerus Industrial (Hillsboro, OR) offers the BAS (Building Automation Starter) motor controls that incorporate the company’s patentpending Smartstart™ Control Module for integration with digital controls. The starters accept dry voltage inputs (wide range 12-250VAC) for activation by control systems without interposing relays....

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Speed Reducers

Boston Gear (Charlotte, NC) offers the 700 Series speed reducers for heavy-duty conveyor systems. The 752 size worm gear speed reducers feature hollow output shafts in 5.25" center distance. Output torque ranges up to 12,250 lb.ft. Six new bore sizes are offered ranging from 2" to 3-7/16". Double reduction ratios are also...

Products : Motion Control
Linear Drives

Amacoil (Aston, PA) offers Uhing Model RG linear drives with a manual pitch control that permits a 10:1 adjustment of the linear pitch of the drive unit. Each of the 17 drive units has a specific maximum linear pitch — the linear distance the drive will move on the shaft per one revolution of the shaft. The pitch control lets...

Products : Motion Control
Dual-Axis Inclinometers

The Fredericks Company (Huntingdon Valley, PA) offers a microprocessor-based analog output dual-axis inclinometer with RS-232 communications, and a dual-axis inclinometer with RS-485 communications. They are designed to interface with all types of instrumentation and equipment, offer an angle range of ±60º in two axes...

Products : Motion Control
Slotless Motors

Nanotec Electronic U.S. (Medford, MA) offers the DS16 and DS28 slotless BLDC motors in two models in Nema 6 (16 mm) and Nema 11 (28 mm) sizes. Since there is no iron core, the inductivity of the motor is very low and the current increases very quickly in the windings. In slow operation, the lacking torque tripple has a positive...

Products : Motion Control
Leveling Mounts

The V10Z44MCM Series of 3-in-1 leveling mounts from Advanced Antivibration Com - ponents (New Hyde Park, NY) dampens shock and vibration, provides leveling, and offers position mobility for packaging machinery applications. They incorporate a moveable mount in which the rubber mount is incorporated with a rotating ball. The...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Positioning Controller

The EPOS3 70/10 EtherCAT digital positioning controller from maxon precision motors (Fall River, MA) enables real-time positioning of synchronized multi-axis systems. It offers a nominal power supply voltage range from 11 to 70 VDC. Designed for DC brushed and brushless motors with a power range up to 700W, it provides...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Incremental Encoders

The OptoPulse EIL580 family of 58-mm optical incremental encoders is available from Baumer (Southington, CT). Available in various mechanical designs, the family includes clamping flange encoders with 10-mm solid shafts, synchro flange encoders with 6-mm solid shafts, and 8- to 15-mm blind hollow shaft and through hollow...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Vacuum Cups

Vi-Cas Manufacturing (Cincinnati, OH) offers vacuum cups in sizes to 15" in diameter to lift and manipulate large, bulky, or cumbersome materials like aircraft fuselage segments and fabricated assemblies. Round, rectangular, or oval cups are available for a variety of lift manufacturers. Sizes and types are available to fit virtually...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Permanent Magnet Motors

NovaTorque (Fremont, CA) offers the Gen2.0 PremiumPlus+™ Electronically Commutated Permanent Magnet (ECPM) motors in 3hp and 5hp 2400-rpm (maximum speed 3600 rpm) models. Also available in 3hp and 5hp 1800-rpm models (maximum speed 2700 rpm), the motors utilize ferrite magnets. Driven by variable frequency drives, the...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Servo Drives

Elmo Motion Control (Nashua, NH) offers the Gold Bell and Gold DC Bell servo drives for stepper motors. The Gold Bell servo drive weighs 55 g (1.94 ounces) and operates at 20A/100V, delivering 1.6kW continuous power (3.2kW peak power) with multiple voltage ratings of 12V-95V. The PCB-mounted driver is designed to operate in a closed...

Products : Motion Control
Motion Tracking System

InvenSense (Sunnyvale, CA) has introduced the MPU-9250 9-axis motion sensing device housed in 3 × 3 × 1 mm QFN package. The full integrated device includes a gyroscope, accelerometer, and electronic compass, with an onboard Digital Motion Processor. The accelerometer consumes 6.4 mA of current in low-power mode. The...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Miniature Slide Guides

NB SEBS-B type slide guides from NB Corporation (Hanover Park, IL) feature standard clearance. The SGLS all-stainless models are suitable for high-temperature applications, cleanroom, and vacuum environments. They are available in both retained-ball (whose elements allow for easier handling since the guide block may be...

Products : Motion Control
Five-Axis Vise

Kurt Manufacturing (Minneapolis, MN) has introduced MaxLock™ 5-axis vises offering a 2-1/2'' and a 4-1/2'' jaw width. The new models are designed for precision small part machining, and for clamping parts for continuous 5- axis cutting motion of complex pockets, sculptured and contoured surfaces, and 3D features. The vice has a...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Drives

Lenze Americas (Uxbridge, MA) offers an Ethernet/IP communication module as an option on its 8400 StateLine, HighLine, and TopLine control cabinet devices, in addition to the Lenze 8400 motec and protec decentralized frequency inverters. Featuring dual-port technology and an external 24V back-up supply, the Fieldbus interface allows...

Products : Motion Control
Magnetic Gyro

Kionix (Ithaca, NY) offers the KMX61G accelerometer-magnetometer sensor and sensor fusion software that delivers gyro emulation using 550 μA of power. The six-axis device can provide nine-axis accelerometer, magnetometer, and gyro outputs. The system features 512-byte FIFO buffer with watermarking, embedded temperature sensor, and...

Techs for License
Manufacturing Process Supports Cost- Effective TPM Production

Transverse Flux Machines (TFMs) are brushless motors and generators that use permanent magnets. A TFM’s direction of magnetic flux is perpendicular to the direction of force, instead of parallel to it, as in a standard electric motor or generator. The machines are also inherently...

Techs for License
Land-Intensive Solar Tracker Generates Photovoltaic Power

A solar tracker enables the construction of independent power sources and a micro-grid. The mechanism of the land-intensive system has two independent virtual axes for azimuthal moving and altitude moving. After the solar panel is aligned, the tracker drives it to move from east to west...

NASA Tech Needs
Adhesion Prevention for Sheet Goods

A company produces and stacks sheet goods that have a naturally viscous and sticky surface material. The sticky material is applied at about 480 °F. During application, the coating has a specific gravity of 1.03 to 1.70, and a viscosity of >5000 cps. A release material needs to be applied to the substrate...

NASA Tech Needs
Smooth Dispensing of Adhesive

Without producing clumps, a professional adhesive must be poured in a consistent and smooth way. A company seeks a dispenser/ applicator that can handle a thick, gelatinous, preformed, professional-quality adhesive. Currently, a polymer dispersion of polyvinyl pyrrolidone is used. While the stearates thicken the...

Articles : Software
A New Era in Automotive Design Requires a New Era in Simulation Tools

Automotive design is going through one of its most profound changes since the gasoline engine eclipsed steam power. Fuel prices and growing environmental concerns have made efficiency the biggest prerogative in vehicle design since the gas shocks of the early 1970s. President...

Articles : Automotive
SAE World Congress Preview “Achieving Efficiency”

The 2013 SAE World Congress and Exhibition, taking place April 16-18 at Cobo Center in Detroit, represents an unparalleled opportunity to explore new technology through both technical sessions and the Innovators Only Exhibition. This year’s Host Company is Chrysler, and ZF will serve as...

Application Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Satellite Sensors Produce Aerial Images of Hurricane Sandy

NASA’s Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) is one of five instruments currently in use by the National Polar- Orbiting Operational Environment Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Project. FUTEK Advanced Sensor Technology was commissioned by NASA to design and develop two...

Application Briefs : Imaging
Video Wall Displays High-Resolution Images from JPL Rovers

Wilshire Media Systems, a division of Wilshire Home Entertainment, will allow NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to display ultra-high-resolution images from its active missions across the solar system — including images coming from the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity or the...

Articles : Propulsion
High-Pressure Systems Suppress Fires in Seconds

Orbital Technologies Corp. (ORBITEC) of Madison, WI, has been a longtime NASA partner, working with the Agency on numerous projects, many through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. ORBITEC collaborated with Marshall Space Flight Center to develop products such as a cool-wall...

Who's Who
Dr. Andrew Watson, Senior Scientist for Vision Research, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Dr. Andrew Watson works on models of human vision and applies them to visual technology. The Founder and Editor in Chief of the Journal of Vision, he is also a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, of the Association for Research in Vision and...

Podcasts
Dr. Andrew Watson, Senior Scientist for Vision Research, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Dr. Andrew Watson works on models of human vision and applies them to visual technology. The Founder and Editor in Chief of the Journal of Vision, he is also a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, of the Association for Research in Vision...

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Collaborative Robot Applications in the Automotive Industry

Upcoming Webinars: Aerospace

Update on Civil Certification of Multicore Processing Systems in...

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Metal 3D Printing

On-Demand Webinars: Materials

Enhance Product Design and Dependability with Advanced Coating Technologies

On-Demand Webinars: Green Design & Manufacturing

Rapid, Selective Volatile Emissions Testing for Vehicles and Components

Tech Talks: Medical

New Developments in Catheter Shaft Components – Part 2