May 2015

Question of the Week
Will Hyperloops replace trains?

According to the Navigant Research firm, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies has made a deal with central California landowners to build the world's first Hyperloop. The 5-mile test track will be built along California's Interstate 5. The Hyperloop, brought up in 2014 by Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, would...

News : Communications
Researchers Develop Biodegradable Computer Chip

In an effort to alleviate the environmental burden of electronic devices, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers has collaborated with the Madison-based U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) to develop a semiconductor chip made almost entirely of wood.

News : Test & Measurement
Visual Microphone Identifies Structural Defects

A new technique from Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers estimates material properties of physical objects, such as stiffness and weight, from video.

The method could have application in the field of nondestructive testing, determining materials’ physical properties without...

Question of the Week : Lighting
Will iris detection become a mainstream smartphone feature?

This week's Question: The Fujitsu Arrows NX F-04G, a new smartphone set for release in Japan, comes with a built-in retinal scanner that can be used for a variety of different functions, including unlocking the device, accessing apps, and making mobile payments. A front-facing infrared...

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Researchers Create Shape-Shifting Plastic

Researchers from Washington State University and the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Laboratory have created a tunable shape-memory polymer. The shape-shifting plastic can “remember” its original shape and return to it after being deformed with heat or other forces.

The materials exhibit...

News : Test & Measurement
Technique Magnifies Vibrations in Bridges and Buildings

To the naked eye, buildings and bridges appear fixed in place, unmoved by forces like wind and rain. But in fact, these large structures do experience imperceptibly small vibrations that, depending on their frequency, may indicate instability or structural damage. MIT researchers have...

News : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Researcher Develops World’s Smallest Micro Motor

Micro actuators are needed for numerous applications, ranging from mobile and wearable devices, to minimally invasive medical devices. However, the limitations associated with their fabrication have restricted their deployment at the one-millimeter scale.

News : Medical
Lens Turns Smartphone into a Microscope

Researchers at the University of Houston have created an optical lens that can be placed on an inexpensive smartphone to amplify images by a magnitude of 120, all for just 3 cents a lens. The lens can work as a microscope, and the cost and ease of using it – it attaches directly to a smartphone camera...

News : Imaging
Ultrafast Camera Captures Images at the Speed of Light

An ultrafast camera can acquire two-dimensional images at 100 billion frames per second, a speed capable of revealing light pulses and other phenomena previously too fast to be observed. While other research groups have achieved higher frame rates (trillion f/s), this camera is the world’s...

News : Imaging
Full-Body Scanner Quickly Detects Skin Cancer

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF have developed the Dermascanner full-body dermatological scanner to help doctors diagnose skin conditions. When the exam starts, the surface of the patient’s skin is scanned from different positions and broken down...

Question of the Week
Will robo-pets catch on?

This week's Question: In a study in Frontiers in Veterinary Science, Australian researcher Jean-Loup Raul predicts that robotic and virtual-reality pets will grow in popularity as urban populations expand. “It might sound surreal for us to have robotic or virtual pets, but it could be totally normal for the next...

News : Materials
New Nanomaterials Mimic Bird Feathers

Inspired by the way iridescent bird feathers play with light, UC San Diego scientists have created thin-film materials in a wide range of pure colors: red, orange, yellow, and green. The hues are determined by physical structure rather than pigments.

Melanosomes, tiny packets of melanin found in the...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Researchers Create Jet Fuel Compounds From Fungus

Washington State University researchers have found a way to make jet fuel from a common black fungus found in decaying leaves, soil, and rotting fruit. They used Aspergillus carbonarius ITEM 5010 to create hydrocarbons, the chief component of petroleum, similar to those in aviation fuels.

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
NASA Tests Green Aviation Technology

Two NASA experiments designed to help reduce fuel consumption and emissions will fly this spring on a specially outfitted Boeing 757 airplane called the ecoDemonstrator. One includes 31 small devices that will blow jets of air on the vertical tail, and the other involves non-stick coatings to help repel bugs...

News : Aerospace
Airflow Model Could Reduce Time on the Tarmac

New research could lead to more efficient takeoffs on airport runways and improve safety. A mathematical tool was developed to calculate the flow of turbulent air produced by a plane’s wing tips — known scientifically as wing-tip vortices — when an airplane takes off. The study will assist in...

News : Electronics & Computers
Computer Cooling System Could Save $6.3 Billion a Year in Electricity

A patented passive cooling system for computer processors from the University of Alabama could save U.S. consumers more than $6.3 billion per year in energy costs associated with running their computer cooling fans. The system uses convection to circulate 3M's Fluorinert...

News : Energy
Molecules Could Harvest Sunshine for a Rainy Day

The Sun is a huge source of energy. In just one hour, planet Earth is hit by so much sunshine that humankind could cover its energy needs for an entire year if only we knew how to harvest and save it. A student at the University of Copenhagen has researched his way to a breakthrough that may prove...

News : Energy
Electrical Power Converter Accepts Power from Renewable Energy

Engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas have invented a novel electrical power converter system that simultaneously accepts power from a variety of energy sources and converts it for use in the electrical grid system. The U.S. Department of Energy is seeking licensing...

News : Data Acquisition
Researchers Create Acoustic 'Image' of Thunder

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) researchers have imaged the first acoustic signature of thunder, visually capturing the sound waves created by artificially triggered lightning.

While the general mechanics of thunder generation are understood, it is not particularly clear which physical...

Question of the Week : Lighting
Will "smart city" lighting efforts pay off?

This week's Question: At this year's Mobile World Congress in Spain, Sierra Wireless and Philips CityTouch demonstrated "smart city" lighting capabilities. The companies' systems connect a city's individual street lights to the Internet via 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. The "smart" technology allows...

News : Test & Measurement
Orion Testing Provides Data for Splashdown Recovery Operations

The first full joint testing between NASA and the U.S. Navy of the Orion spacecraft recovery procedures off the coast of California was suspended after the team experienced issues with handling lines securing a test version of Orion inside the well deck of the USS San Diego. Tests...

News : Electronics & Computers
Researchers Test Smartphones for Earthquake Warning

Smartphones and other personal electronic devices could, in regions where they are in widespread use, function as early warning systems for large earthquakes. This technology could serve regions of the world that cannot afford higher quality, but more expensive, conventional earthquake early...

News : Energy
Creative New Developments in Solar Energy Research

Scientists are discovering new ways to decrease costs and increase efficiency of solar panels and coming up with creative ways to generate power. According to TechRepublic, a photovoltaic system is installed every four minutes in the US.

News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
NASA Autonomy Incubator Leads the Push for Intelligent Machines

Search-and-rescue operations, package delivery, and underwater exploration could all be performed soon by intelligent machines. The Autonomy Incubator group at NASA Langley is taking strides to, as group leader Danette Allen puts it, "imbue machines with the kind of intelligence...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Researchers Create 'Cognitive' Underwater Robots

A new programming approach developed by MIT engineers gives underwater robots more “cognitive” capabilities.

In March, the team tested the autonomous mission-planning system during a research cruise off the western coast of Australia. The researchers tested their system on an autonomous...

News : Medical
Implantable Device Lets Doctors Test Cancer Drugs in Patients

More than 100 drugs have been approved to treat cancer, but predicting which ones will help a particular patient is an inexact science. A new implantable device, about the size of a grain of rice, can carry small doses of up to 30 different drugs. After implanting it in a tumor and...

News : Test & Measurement
NASA Tests Shape-Changing Wing for Next-Generation Aviation

NASA researchers, working with the Air Force Research Laboratory and FlexSys of Ann Arbor, MI, successfully completed initial flight tests of a new morphing wing technology that has the potential to save millions of dollars annually in fuel costs, reduce airframe weight, and decrease...

Question of the Week
Will NASA achieve “warp drive?”

This week’s Question: According to a NASASpaceflight.com forum, NASA has successfully tested its electromagnetic (EM) drive in a vacuum. The form of space flight could eventually enable trips at speeds approaching that of light. The drive works by propelling objects through space by using magnets to create...

Who's Who
Dr. David W. Miller, Chief Technologist, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

Dr. David Miller began his term as the NASA chief technologist on March 17, 2014. He currently serves as the agency’s principal advisor and advocate on NASA technology policy and programs. Miller, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has also...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Quantitative Analysis of Failure Mode in Adhesively Bonded Test Specimens

After adhesively bonded mechanical test specimens have been tested to failure, the failure mode must be interpreted and quantified. Areas of the adherent that are bare (no residual adhesive remains) have undergone adhesive failure. The remainder of the surface has...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Energy-Based Acoustic Measurement System for Rocket Noise

Development of the next generation of spaceflight vehicles has prompted a renewed focus on sound source characterization and near-field propagation modeling. Without advancements in these areas, large uncertainties in vibro-acoustic loading estimates on space vehicles and payloads may...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Mass Gauging Demonstrator for Any Gravitational Conditions

This concept uses an optical interferometric method to determine the density and/or pressure of the gas state contained with tank ullage. The system is similar to compression tank volume methods. By using an optical interferometric technique to determine gas density and/or pressure, a...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Multiport Hat Coupler for Electronically Steerable Antenna Testing

This invention provides a lower-cost means for verifying the scanning functionality of an electronically steerable (i.e. phased array) antenna (PAA) compared to existing methods that use a scanning probe or scanning test fixture and surrounding anechoic enclosure. This design is...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Neutron Spectrometer for Inner Radiation Belt Studies

The Earth’s magnetosphere offers a wealth of information on particle dynamics, acceleration, and trapping. Fast neutrons, produced in the Earth’s atmosphere by the impact of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) and solar energetic particles (SEPs), are an important but poorly measured component of...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
High-Energy Instrumentation for Small Satellite Platforms

Given the increased availability of small satellite opportunities either through CubeSats or the Air Force’s University Nanosat program, and the limited availability of larger platforms, it is challenging to develop new instrumentation that not only fits within the envelope of small...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Variable Acceleration Force Calibration System

A variable acceleration calibration system combines an innovative mechanical system and a statistical design of experiments to calibrate multi-axis force transducers. This system can reduce calibration time, allow for improved calibration of large-scale transducers, provide mobility for on-site...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
A Synthetic Quadrature Phase Detector/ Demodulator for Fourier Transform Spectrometers

Fourier transform spectroscopy works by measuring a spectral/light signal through a Michelson interferometer. In order to know the wavelength of the signal, one must use a stable reference, which is typically a metrology laser. In a standard Fourier transform...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Device for Direct Measurement of the Diffusivity and Molecular Release Through Membranes and Filters

Concentration-driven molecular diffusion is a fundamental phenomenon essential for the transport of nutrients in cells, for oxygen exchange in the lungs, and mating of chemicals in industrial reactors and the food industry. Thus, diffusion plays...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Increased Alignment in Carbon Nanotube Growth

The combination of electronic and mechanical properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) has led to wide-ranging investigation of their potential in future electronics and computing, sensors, electrodes, and composites. A method and system for fabricating an array of two or more CNT structures on a coated...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Process to Fabricate Specific Sized Monodisperse Polystyrene Microparticles

A new method was developed to prepare monodisperse nano to microparticles of polystyrene ranging from 0.5 to 2.5 microns in relatively large-quantity batches (2 L, 10% by weight in water). Current commercial sources are very expensive and can typically only be acquired...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Atmospheric Pressure Plasma-Based Fabrication of Printable Electronics and Functional Coatings

The need for low-cost and environmentally friendly processes for fabricating printable electronics and biosensor chips is growing. Nanomaterials have proved to be very useful in both printable electronics due to their electronic properties, and in...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Passive Destructive Interference Acoustic Liner for a Turbofan Engine Using Additive Manufacturing

This technology exploits the capabilities of additive manufacturing to attenuate the fan noise within the inlet or aft duct of a turbofan engine. The approach may be expanded to include auxiliary power units, environmental control systems, or other...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Diminutive Assembly for Nanosatellite deploYables (DANY) Miniature Release Mechanism

CubeSat appendices such as solar panels and antennas often need to be constrained by a release mechanism during launch. These appendices are then deployed once the desired orbit is reached. The usual constraint method used is a combination of an unpredictable/...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Quantitative Real-Time Flow Visualization Technique

There is a need for experimental techniques that have low cost and rapid turnaround. It is also necessary to obtain quantitative information from such a method. Previous methods are either lacking in quantitative information such as dye or smoke injection, or require considerable set-up and...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Thin-Film Evaporative Cooling for Side-Pumped Lasers

A highly efficient way to cool solid-state crystal lasers was developed. This thin-film evaporative cooling technique offers higher optical efficiencies and monochromatic quality than traditional conductive cooling techniques. Developed for use in side-pumped 2.0- micron laser systems used in...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
MEMS Micro-Translation Stage with Large Linear Travel Capability

A MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) micro-translation stage (MTS) with large linear travel capability was developed that uses capacitive electrostatic forces created by stators arranged linearly on both sides of a channel, and matching rotors on a moveable shuttle for precise...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Planar and Non-Planar Multi-Bifurcating Stacked Radial Diffusing Valve Cages

A valve cage consists of a stackable planar structure design with paths that are azimuthally cut out and connected radially. The pattern causes the flow to move azimuthally and impinge on each other when moving to the next path, thereby reducing the fluid momentum and...

Briefs : Aerospace
Real-Time Aerodynamic Parameter Estimation Without Airflow Angle Measurements

Accurate measurements of airflow angles are among the most expensive and difficult to obtain in flight testing because of the complexity of the airflow near the aircraft and the consequent need to carefully mount and calibrate the sensors. A novel technique was...

Briefs : Aerospace
Method for Improving Control Systems with Normalized Adaptation by Optimal Control Modification

A new technology has been developed for improving performance and stability of control systems. This method represents a significant advancement in the state-of-the-art of adaptive control technology. The present invention is a new type of adaptive...

Briefs : Aerospace
Airborne Coordinated Conflict Resolution and Detection (ACCoRD) Framework

To accommodate the predicted increase in air traffic, the next generation of air traffic management (ATM) systems relies on operational concepts where the responsibility for separation is distributed between airborne and ground systems. These distributed modes of operation...

Briefs : Aerospace
Integrated Pitot Health Monitoring System

The health and integrity of aircraft sensors and instruments play a critical role in aviation safety. Inaccurate or false readings due to icing of airspeed sensors in flight can lead to improper decision-making, resulting in serious consequences. Icing or blockages of pitot airspeed sensors provide very...

Briefs : Aerospace
NASA Aircraft Management Information System (NAMIS)

The NASA Aircraft Management Information System (NAMIS) is an Enterprise Resource Planning/Mission Support software suite designed to meet both the mission support requirements and the business management requirements of NASA Johnson Space Center’s (JSC) Aircraft Operations Division (AOD)....

Briefs : Aerospace
Sector 33 App

Sector 33 is a mobile app for the Apple and Android mobile platforms that provides a single-user, interactive air traffic control simulator (game) for mobile devices. The main features of the app include an interactive air traffic control simulation with numerous problems for two to five airplanes; introductory videos on air...

Briefs : Medical
Retinal Light Processing Using Carbon Nanotubes

NASA has patented a new technology called the Vision Chip, an implantable device that has the potential to restore or supplement visual function in a diseased or damaged retina. This technology could benefit millions of people in the US and globally who suffer from degenerative diseases of the...

Briefs : Medical
Provision of Carbon Nanotube Buckypaper Cages for Immune Shielding of Cells, Tissues, and Medical Devices

NASA has patented a new technology that may prevent the rejection of transplanted cells and tissues. The human immune system identifies and rejects non-host cells and tissues with high efficiency. The new invention involves the fabrication...

Briefs : Medical
Rapid Polymer Sequencer

Solid-state, nanopore-based analysis of nucleic acid polymers is the only technique that can determine information content in single molecules of genetic material at the speed of 1 subunit per microsecond. Because individual molecules are counted, the output is intrinsically quantitative. The nanopore approach is more...

Briefs : Medical
High-Density, Homogenous Bacterial Spore Distributions on Test Surfaces

Thus far, spore transfer had been successful from the polycarbonate membrane onto stainless steel, aluminum, and to some extent, glass. In order to image the endospores under an ESEM (environmental scanning electron microscope), the spores were transferred onto a...

Briefs : Medical
Team Game and Simulation Control

This technology is an offshoot of LaRC-developed technologies using physiological measures for assessing pilot stress, sustained attention, engagement, and awareness in a laboratory flight simulation environment. The technology allows modulation of player inputs to a video game or simulation from a user interface...

Briefs : Medical
CRP Aptamers to Bone-Specific Alkaline Phosphatase (BAP)

In order to detect and quantify bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP) in a human biological sample, a binding agent (molecule) that specifically recognizes BAP in a sample is typically required. This binding agent can then be used in numerous assays/instruments to enable the detection...

Briefs : Communications
VCSEL Laser Array for Communications

Optical communications in terrestrial and space environments require transmitted signals on the order of 40 GHz and higher, because of the uncertain and changing transmission environments. A robust communications system is needed that will provide these frequencies and substantial discrimination between...

Briefs : Communications
Providing a Real-Time Audible Message to a Pilot

An aircraft pilot would prefer to receive information on weather patterns, obstructions, and other conditions that may interfere with a flight plan, formal or informal, as the pilot’s flight proceeds, with a latency of no more than a few minutes. Learning of, and reacting to, a changing...

Briefs : Communications
Pass Plan Formatter (PPF) for Earth Sciences Ground Support System

The TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) and Terra ESMO (Earth Science Mission Operations) Ground Systems needed a method of passing scheduling data through the Goddard Mission Services Evolution Center (GMSEC) bus to other subsystems without modifying the Planning and...

Briefs : Communications
Integrated Tool Archives, Extracts, and Analyzes Spacecraft Housekeeping Telemetry Data (GMSEC R3.0)

The Integrated Trending and Plotting System (ITPS) is a comprehensive tool for storage, extraction, analysis, and plots of spacecraft housekeeping telemetry data (GMSEC R3.0 — Goddard Mission Services Evolution Center). ITPS reports information...

Briefs : Communications
Low-Noise Analog APDs with Impact Ionization Engineering and Negative Feedback

Silicon avalanche photodiodes (Si APDs) have low dark current and low excess noise factor, and are currently used in many of NASA’s missions. Noise equivalent power (NEP) of 40 to 50 fW/(Hz)1/2 over 140-MHz bandwidth has been demonstrated for Si APDs. Si...

Briefs : Communications
Method to Improve Wireless System Communication Coverage in a Bended Tunnel Environment

The conventional methods of improving wireless system coverage performance are to increase the transmitter power and/or antenna gain. The high transmit power could lead to more power consumption and RF exposure issues. The use of a high-gain antenna could...

Briefs : Information Technology
Space Weather Database of Notifications, Knowledge, Information — DONKI

SW DONKI is a comprehensive Web application for space weather forecasters, scientists, and the general space weather community. It serves as an archive for space weather activities including solar flares, coronal mass ejections (CMEs), solar energetic particles, and...

Briefs : Information Technology
Core Flight System (cFS) Software Bus Network Application Version 1.0

The Software Bus Network (SBN) is a plug-in component developed for the Core Flight System (cFS) framework that extends the core Flight Executive (cFE) Software Bus (SB) publish/subscribe messaging service across partitions, processes, processors, and networks. This extension...

Briefs : Information Technology
STARS Finite Element Multidisciplinary Analysis Computer Program

An efficient, cost-effective, and unique computer program has been developed that analyzes a variety of practical engineering problems. STructural Analysis Routines (STARS) is a fully integrated, multidisciplinary, finite element-based, graphic-oriented analysis tool that combines...

Briefs : Information Technology
Hazards Analysis Management Tool

The Hazard Analysis Management Tool (HAMT) is comprised of a database and user interface that manages hazard analysis information, manages hazard verifications, and manages relationships between hazard attributes and project elements. The tool offers numerous benefits including the ability for multiple users to...

Briefs : Information Technology
Developing Web and Mobile Applications Integrated with Systems Utilizing the Object Management Group’s Data Distribution Service

Several software application development tools exist that enable the rapid development of Web applications. Among other things, Web applications greatly enhance the human-computer interaction (HCI) required by many...

Briefs : Information Technology
Synthetic Imaging Maneuver Optimization — SIMO

Space-based interferometry missions have the potential to revolutionize imaging and astrometry, providing observations of unprecedented accuracy. Realizing the full potential of these interferometers poses several significant technological challenges. These include the efficient maneuvering of...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Gas and Vapor Sensors on Paper

Sensors on paper have been proposed and fabricated to identify gas or vapors (chemicals). Traditional sensors are based on hard substrates such as silicon. Sensors fabricated on paper are cheaper, foldable, flexible, and bio - degradable. Paper electronics is an emerging area. Logic devices, memory, RFID...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Intelligent Flamefinder Detection and Alert System

While NASA facilities already use huge volumes of hydrogen as a propellant/fuel, many other federal and state programs across the country are looking at potentially expanding the use of hydrogen. There are, however, significant challenges associated with hydrogen use. These include a tendency to...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Load-Indicating Sensor for Lines and Cords

During the development of parachute systems, it is desirable to size the lines correctly, and to pack and deploy the parachute in a manner that produces uniform loading among the lines. Analytical methods would greatly reduce the cost of development; however, test verification is essential. This is...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Wide-Input-Range Signal-Conditioning Input Interface for Motor Position Sensing in Extreme Environments

Motor position sensing is a critical application in a number of systems. Galvanically isolated sensors for motor position sensing are strongly favored in both industrial and extreme-environment applications. Two examples of these sensors are...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Products of Tomorrow: May 2015

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just some...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Industry Roundtable: 3D Printing

It seems that every day, designers and engineers are finding exciting new applications for 3D printing, from creating custom prostheses to making tools used for repairs on the International Space Station. 3D printing is considered a revolutionary technology that can transform our lives. But what are the real...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
NASA Spinoff: NASA’s UV Radiation Research Keeps Sun Worshipers Safe

To understand the Sun’s impacts on Earth, NASA initiated the Living with a Star program in 2001, and began developing a key research satellite: the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). One of the instruments created for the SDO was the Extreme Ultraviolet Variability...

News : Test & Measurement
Trillion-Frame-Per-Second Camera Captures Ultrafast Phenomena

Researchers from Japan have developed a new high-speed camera that can record events at a rate of more than 1-trillion-frames-per-second. The STAMP (Sequentially Timed All-optical Mapping Photography) technology holds promise for the study of complex, ultrafast phenomena.

Keiichi...

Application Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Functional Antenna Arrays Operate on Exterior of COSMIC-2 Satellites
FDM® (Fused Deposition Modeling™) technology and ULTEM 9085 thermoplastic
Stratasys Direct Manufacturing (RedEye, Solid Concepts, and Harvest Technologies) Eden Prairie, MN
866-882-6934
www.redeyeondemand.com

In 2006, a satellite mission...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Product of the Month: May 2015

Sensirion, Westlake Village, CA, introduced a gas sensor that, according to the company, is the first in the world to be based on multi-pixel technology. This allows the sensor to perceive its surroundings using various receptors that, with the help of intelligent algorithms and pattern recognition, are able to...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Fiber Optic Connectors

With the standardization of 4G wireless, the increase in cloud storage and computing, and the push for faster network data rates, the highest quality passive interconnect systems must be used. While the robustness and size of these interconnections, fiber types, and cable management all play major roles in the backbone,...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Intelligent Photonic Multi-Sensor Solutions

With the Internet of Things (IoT) quickly rising in front of us, it would be easy to get caught in the trap of thinking that both the trajectory and applications will be somewhat predictable. While hindsight is 20/20, the future can be a little trickier to envision. We can likely all agree that when we...

Products : Photonics/Optics
UV-VIS Micro-Spectrometer

Hamamatsu Corporation (Bridgewater, NJ) has announced the release of the C12666MA microspectrometer, a UV-VIS spectrometer about the size of a fingertip. Its miniature components, fabricated using MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) technology, allow it to be a fraction of the size of traditional spectrometers. In...

Products : Photonics/Optics
310 nm, sub 800 ps Picosecond Pulsed LED

Edinburgh Instruments (Livingston, UK) has released a 310 nm picosecond pulsed LED with a sub-800 picosecond typical pulse width. This LED is optimized for Time Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC). The EPLED 310 is a compact, robust, maintenance free, fully integrated system supplied in a single...

Products : Photonics/Optics
UV-Visible-NIR Polarization Spectroscopy

CRAIC Technologies (San Dimas, CA) recently announced the addition of UV-visible-NIR polarization spectroscopy capabilities to CRAIC microspectrophotometers. This feature is offered as a package that allows the user to measure polarization spectra in either transmission or reflectance modes. With the...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Circular Variable ND Filters

Reynard Corporation (San Clemente, CA) recently announced the complete customization of their Circular Variable Neutral Density (CVND) Filters. This technology is best used in high quality optical systems to change the intensity of light from 100% to less than 0.1%. As the filter rotates, the beam intensity is...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Camera Sensor Module

The VRmTS-20 from VRmagic (Mannheim, Germany) is an external sensor module for the D3 intelligent camera platform. With its compact dimensions of 26 x 26 mm and the flexible cable connection to the camera base unit, the module is particularly suitable for applications with limited or angled space. The sensor module is...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Laser Radiation Detector Screens

The path of invisible laser radiation can be verified using detector cards from Laser Components (Hudson, NH). These cards are ready for immediate application and do not have to be activated or optically charged. The cards for wavelengths from 1.5m to 5m and 5m to 20m can localize the beam path of Hol:YAG,...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Deep UV Luminescence Spectrophotometer

McPherson (Chelmsford, MA) has announced a new vacuum ultraviolet universal spectrophotometer, an optical test system optimized for emitting samples like phosphors or photo- and electro-luminescent crystals. It can measure reflectance, transmission and fluorescence emission over its complete working range,...

Products : Photonics/Optics
sCMOS Cameras

With the addition of two new models, PCO (Kelheim, Germany) now provides eight sCMOS-cameras. The new pco.edge 3.1 and pco.edge 4.2LT are now the company’s entry-level cameras. pco.edge 3.1’s features include: 2048 x 1536 pixels resolution; 50 frames per second; 1.1e- med readout noise; 27000 : 1 dynamic range; >60% quantum...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Samarium Oxide Glaze

Developed for high-energy pulsed Q-switching infrared laser applications, a new, high-absorption samarium oxide glaze from Morgan Advanced Materials (Windsor, UK) means it is now able to offer three grades of glaze for laser systems. The samarium glaze absorbs radiation at the Nd-YAG lasing wavelength of 1064nm, and its...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
The Strain Gauge Gets an Upgrade

The strain gauge, a device commonly used in the aerospace industry to detect stress and deformation, has its limitations. The three copper wires of the strain gauge often lead to labor-intensive efforts; a large, complicated structure requiring 100 strain measurements, for example, means 300 lead wires. As the...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
New Control Possibilities for Wireless Switches

Wireless controls have been widely accepted and embraced in the industrial community. Widespread use of monitoring devices in the process industry, the deployment of RFID components in a variety of industry segments, and the demonstrated performance of a large, installed base of the technologies...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Glaucoma Sensor Monitors Eye Continuously

More than three million Americans are currently living with glaucoma, an eye disorder with few symptoms in its early stages. Globally, the number may increase to almost 80 million by 2020, according to the British Journal of Ophthalmology. Glaucoma eventually leads to damage of the optic nerve.

Application Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
NASA, UCF Professor Send Sensor to Stratosphere
Planetary Atmospheres Minor Species Sensor (PAMSS)
University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL
www.ucf.edu

Using a high-altitude balloon, NASA and a team led by University of Central Florida physics professor Robert Peale sent an experimental sensor about 20 miles above the...

Application Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Waggle Platform Offers Possible Key to the ‘Smart City’
Data Collection Platform
Argonne National Laboratory
Lemont, IL
www.anl.gov

As urban populations expand, some experts envision “smarter” cities, where hundreds or thousands of strategically placed sensors will record and monitor all types of measurements,...

Application Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
NASA Sensors Detect Aircraft Icing Hazards
Atmospheric Icing Sensors
Glenn Research Center
Cleveland, OH
www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/home

NASA’s Glenn Research Center scientists are sending up weather balloons to read weather data and validate the agency’s ground-based sensors. The launch will provide better...

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
High-Shock Sensors

Diversified Technical Systems (Seal Beach, CA) has released the 6DX PRO, a high-shock sensor with six degrees of freedom. The three angular rate sensors (18000 or 50000 deg/sec) deliver position data, while the three accelerometers (2000 or 20000 g) are rated for high-impact environments. The 19 × 19 × 14.5-mm enclosure...

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Gas Sensors

ENMET (Ann Arbor, MI) has announced the GSM-60, a microprocessor-based gas monitor. The system incorporates an internal sample draw pump and gas sensors. The GSM-60 can be custom- configured, with both internal and external sensors for monitoring VOCs, dew point, oxygen, and CO, or a number of other target gases, including O3, HF,...

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Pressure Sensors

Measurement Specialties (Hampton, VA), now part of TE Connectivity, has released the MS5837-30BA, a low-power, compact, gel-filled pressure sensor with an I2C bus interface and high resolution of 2 mm. The device has a 3.3 × 3.3 × 2.5-mm ceramic- metal package. The pressure sensor features a delta sigma ADC that offers 24-bit...

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Accelerometers

Meggitt (Irvine, CA) has introduced the Endevco® 35B triaxial IEPE accelerometer. The adhesively-mounted 35B places three transducers (measuring acceleration in x, y, and z axes) and integrated electronics into a 0.235-inch, 0.55-gram cube. Sensitivities of 2.5 mV/g, 5 mV/g, or 10 mV/g are available.

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Spectral Sensors

The new Spark-VIS spectral sensor from Ocean Optics (Dunedin, FL) measures over the visible wavelength range of 380-700 nm. Available in both OEM and stand-alone configurations, the compact Spark-VIS provides simple absorbance, fluorescence, and emissive color measurements. The device can be embedded to power portable and...

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Vision Sensors

VeriSens vision sensors from Baumer (Frauenfeld, Switzerland) include IP 69K protection and stainless steel housings. The new XF-105/205 models can be used in quality- assurance tasks in the food and pharmaceutical industry. The XF series also reads code and text, and integrates the patented FEX image processor and configurable...

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Flow Sensors

The SIF1010/1012 flow sensor from Servoflo Corp. (Lexington, MA) includes a MEMS thermal flow die that measures gas or liquid flow. The die has thermal isolation and a ceramic film coating to protect the component from abrasive wear. The SIF1010/1012, conditioned and stabilized so burn-in at the application end is not required,...

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Pressure Transducers

Gems Sensors & Controls (Plainville, CT) has announced 3100 Series pressure transducers. The series design incorporates a sputtered thin-film, pressure-sensing element with temperature specifications, along with all stainless-steel wetted parts.

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Capacitive Measurement System

The analog, capacitive capaNCDT 6110 single-channel measurement system from Micro-Epsilon (Raleigh, NC) measures displacement, distance, and position. The device offers an input voltage range of 9-36V for the supply voltage. System resolution is 0.015 % FSO at a bandwidth of 1kHz. The capaNCDT 6110 controller can be...

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Accelerometers

The SDI Model 1510 Series from Silicon Designs (Kirkland, WA) offers vibration measurements. The analog surface mount (LCC) MEMS variable capacitive accelerometers incorporate a micromachined variable capacitive sensing element and custom integrated circuit.

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Load Cells

Interface (Scottsdale, AZ) has released the Model 6AXX series of 6-Axis Load Cells. With six full bridges providing mV/V output on six independent channels, the load cells measure forces simultaneously in three mutually perpendicular axes, and three simultaneous torques about those same axes.

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Sensor System

Olea Sensor Networks (Sunnyvale, CA) has announced its OleaVision™ sensor system, which differentiates between live animate beings and inanimate objects up to a five-meter distance. To distinguish between human and animal presence and movement, the technology “sees” through walls, regardless of whether the monitored subject...

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Temperature Sensors

Maxim Integrated (San Jose, CA) has introduced the MAXREFDES42# IOLink resistance temperature detector (RTD). The design’s integrated analog front end (AFE) also identifies overvoltage, shorts, and open circuits. The temperature appears immediately on an LED display.

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Sensor Beacons

EM Microelectronic (Marin, Switzerland) offers the EMBC02 sensor beacon, which integrates a 3- axis accelerometer. By attaching the device to objects or people, both proximity and motion can be monitored with a smartphone or tablet application. The EMBC02 can be programmed to transmit proximity, identification data, motion data...

Podcasts
Dr. David W. Miller, Chief Technologist, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

Dr. David Miller began his term as the NASA chief technologist on March 17, 2014. He currently serves as the agency’s principal advisor and advocate on NASA technology policy and programs. Miller, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has also...