June 2011

News : Energy
Virginia Tech Wins EcoCAR Competition

A team of students from Virginia Tech University won EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge after designing and building an extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) using E85 (ethanol). Virginia Tech competed against 15 other universities to take home the top prize of the three-year competition.

News : Energy
New Hope for Hydrogen Energy

Chemistry researchers at the University of Adelaide, Australia are exploring how metal nanoparticles act as highly efficient catalysts in using solar radiation to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Question of the Week
Will we avoid a mass marine extinction?
This week's Question: In a preliminary report from the International Programme on the State of the Ocean, a scientific panel concluded that ocean degeneration is happening much faster than previously predicted, and that the combination of factors currently distressing the marine environment is contributing...
Design Platform for Motor Drives

STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland) offers new resources for users to simplify design and speed up development of intelligent motor drives for applications such as white goods, air conditioners, industrial automation, power tools and fitness equipment. Electric motors operated by traditional on/off drives...

Embedded Software Development Platform

Mentor Graphics Corporation (Wilsonville, OR) offers a unified embedded software debugging platform, from pre-silicon to final product, based on the integration of the Mentor® Embedded Sourcery™ CodeBench embedded software development tools with Mentor’s electronic system level (ESL), verification, and...

Seat Design Environment

VISTAGY, Inc. (Waltham, MA) has released the Seat Design Environment™ 2011 (SDE), which improves the automatic generation of documents so manufacturers can efficiently create more of the engineering and manufacturing drawings and details needed to fully define seat covers with commercial 3D CAD systems. The new release...

Modeling and Simulation Software for Mechanical Systems

MathWorks (Natick, MA) announced a new version of SimDriveline that simplifies the integration of other physical domains into drivetrain models, including thermal losses in geartrains, electrical solenoids, and hydraulically actuated clutches. SimDriveline, based on MathWorks Simscape...

News : Energy
Capturing and Using Waste Heat from Cars, Factories, and Power Plants
Capturing and Using Waste Heat from Cars, Factories, and Power Plants

New technology is being developed at Oregon State University to capture and use the low-to-medium grade waste heat from automobiles, diesel generators, or factories and...

Capturing and Using Waste Heat from Cars, Factories, and Power Plants
Products : Energy
Driver Powers 32 Strings of LEDs

iWatt (Los Gatos, CA) introduces the iW7032 LED backlight driver to power up to 32 parallel strings of LEDs for high-performance direct and segment-edge LED TV backlighting. iWatt’s adaptive switching technology solves the thermal problems of driving multiple parallel strings of LEDs, where a significant amount...

News : Transportation
Neutron Analysis Explains Dynamics Behind Thermoelectric Materials
Neutron Analysis Explains Dynamics Behind Thermoelectric Materials

Neutron analysis of the atomic dynamics behind thermal conductivity is helping scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) gain a deeper...

Neutron Analysis Explains Dynamics Behind Thermoelectric Materials
News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Geothermal Technology Sequesters Carbon Dioxide Underground

University of Minnesota researchers have developed an innovative approach to tapping heat beneath the Earth’s surface. The method is expected to not only produce renewable electricity far more efficiently than conventional geothermal systems, but also help reduce atmospheric carbon...

News : Energy
Read the June Issue of Solar & Wind Power

The latest issue of Solar & Wind Power has more new feature articles, application stories, tech briefs, videos, products, and research news - all on the latest advances in renewable energy.

Briefs : Energy
Wind Power Plant Short-Circuit Current Contribution for Different Fault and Wind Turbine Topologies

An important aspect of wind power plant impact studies is to evaluate the short-circuit current (SCC) contribution of the plant into the transmission network under various fault conditions such as single, two, and three-phase faults in different...

Question of the Week
Will “smart grid” efforts succeed?
The White House announced last week that is was planning to forge ahead with "smart grid" plans for the United States. By increasing controls technology and digital information, the effort would potentially update the American electrical transmission system to provide real-time information about the state of...
Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Don’t Miss Out on Creating the Future

Time is running out to enter the 2011 "Create the Future" Design Contest. Entries for the ninth annual contest are due by June 30th. Click here to submit your design idea.

Sponsored by COMSOL, Creo - a PTC product, and Tech Briefs Media Group, the contest recognizes outstanding...

News : Energy
'Create the Future' - Sustainably

There are only 10 days left to enter the 2011 "Create the Future" Design Contest, sponsored by COMSOL, Creo - a PTC product, and Tech Briefs Media Group. The contest will award a Grand Prize of $20,000 USD for outstanding innovation in product design.

Products : Energy
Switcher IC

Power Integrations (San Jose, CA) has introduced new members of its LinkZero-AX integrated offline switching integrated circuit family, offering main power output up to 6.5 watts. LinkZero-AX eliminates wasted energy by employing a power-down mode that turns off the auxiliary power supply when the application is idle, shutting down...

News : Government
Geothermal Technology Advancement for Rapid Development of Resources in the U.S.

DOE has announced that up to $70 million is available in funding for technology advancements in geothermal energy. Innovations in exploration technologies to locate geothermal energy resources and improvements in resource characterization, drilling, and reservoir...

Products : Energy
Ambient Light Sensors

Everlight Electronics (Taipei, Tawiwan) introduces an Ambient Light Sensor (ALS) product family that meets the requirements for power management solutions for the display backlighting of mobile appliances such as mobile phones, notebooks, and PDAs. The ALS combine a photodiode and a current amplifier IC in one package.

Graded Reflectivity Laser Mirrors

A new series of graded reflectivity mirrors from REO (Boulder, CO) enables precise spatial shaping of both the intensity and phase characteristics of laser beams. In graded reflectivity mirrors, the reflectivity and/or phase effects of the coating vary radially across the surface of the optic. REO offers these...

Planar Lightwave Circuits

FIBERTech RoMack (Williamsburg, VA), A LEONI Fiber Optics business unit, now offers a complete product portfolio of maximum performance and long-term stability Planar Lightwave Circuits (PLC) including single mode 1 x N and 2 x N broadband splitters with up to 64 channels, designed as monolithic components for the...

Off-Axis Parabolic Mirrors

Optical Surfaces Ltd (Kenley, Surrey, UK) can typically produce off-axis parabolic mirrors up to 600 mm in diameter with surface accuracy's to lambda/20 p-v depending upon off-axis angles. With proprietary polishing techniques, Optical Surfaces can, depending on the surface accuracy required, achieve the natural limit...

Dichroic Shortpass Filters

Edmund Optics (EO) (Barrington, NJ) has introduced TECHSPEC® Dichroic Shortpass Filters featuring a sharp cut-off wavelength and broad transmission and reflection ranges. TECHSPEC Dichroic Shortpass Filters are designed for a 45° angle of incidence. Light rejected by the filter is reflected at 90°, making the...

Multi-Channel Fiber Spectrometer

At the heart of Mightex (Pleasonton, CA) multi-channel spectrometers is a high-throughput flat-field imaging spectrograph. Multiple input fibers, each representing an independent signal channel, are aligned along the input slit of the imaging spectrograph. The spectrum of each channel is dispersed by a...

Products : Energy
High-Efficiency Power Manager

Linear Technology Corporation (Milpitas, CA) introduces the LTC4155, a high-power, I2C-controlled, high-efficiency PowerPath™ manager, ideal diode controller, and lithium-ion battery charger for single-cell portable devices such as tablet PCs, ultra-mobile PCs (UMPCs), personal video players, smart...

Products : Energy
Thermal Energy Harvesting Solution

Nextreme Thermal Solutions (Durham, NC) and Arkansas Power Electronics International, Inc. (APEI) (Fayetteville, AR) are developing a thermal energy harvesting solution for a wireless sensor system to monitor the health of bearings in turbine engines. The energy harvester is based on Nextreme's Thermobility...

Products : Energy
Non-Spring Return Actuators

ProMation Engineering (Brooksville, FL) offers P1 series quarter-turn electric, non-spring return actuators, which feature a compact industrial grade design for use with all ball and butterfly valves or dampers requiring torque outputs from 135 to 445 in. lbs., a self-locking hardened steel drive train for smooth...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
The Invasive Species Forecasting System
The Invasive Species Forecasting System (ISFS) provides computational support for the generic work processes found in many regional-scale ecosystem modeling applications. Decision support tools helps resource managers plan invasive species protection, monitoring, and control strategies for the lands they...
Products : Transportation
Isolated Monolithic Flyback Regulator

Linear Technology Corporation (Milpitas, CA) offers a high-reliability (MP-grade) version of the LT3511, a high-voltage isolated monolithic flyback regulator that operates over a -55°C to 150°C junction temperature range. The device simplifies the design of an isolated DC/DC converter since it needs no...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Lithium-Ion Batteries

Panasonic (Rolling Meadows, IL) has introduced a high rate lithium-ion cell, the CGR18650CH. The cell’s Nickel Manganese-based cathode material delivers higher discharge rates and better energy density and voltage than comparative cells. The cells are suitable for multi-cell applications.

Articles : Government
NASA Awards 2010 Government and Commercial Inventions of the Year

NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA, has won NASA’s 2010 Government Invention of the Year Award and the Commercial Invention of the Year Award. The Government Invention of the Year was the Future ATM (Air Traffic Management) Concepts Evaluation Tool (FACET), a...

Articles : Aerospace
Innovation Fuels the Future of Air Travel

Aircraft of the future may not look significantly different from today’s aircraft, but a peek “under the hood” will reveal technologies that are vastly different. Commercial aviation giants such as Boeing and Airbus — in addition to NASA and academia — are developing breakthrough airframe,...

Application Briefs : Software
NASA Analyzes Toyota Camry Software With Static-Analysis Tool
CodeSonar, Coverity Prevent, and Uno software
Ithaca, NY

The results of a ten-month study by 30 NASA engineers of possible electronic causes of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles was released recently by...

Application Briefs : Imaging
MEMS Mirror Will Aid Space-Based Imaging
Microelectromechanical system (MEMS)-based deformable mirror
Boston Micromachines Corp. (BMC)
Cambridge, MA

Boston Micromachines was awarded a Phase 1 NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to support space-based...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Sensors Capture New Images of Mercury
CCD TH7888A imaging sensors
Chelmsford, Essex, UK
+44 (0) 1245 493 493

Earlier this year, NASA’s MESSENGER became the first spacecraft to orbit the planet Mercury. The e2v Charge Coupled Device (CCD) imaging sensors equip the cameras onboard and captured unique...

NASA Tech Needs
NASA Planetary Protection

NASA seeks innovative technologies to facilitate meeting back Planetary Protection objectives for a potential Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission, and to facilitate forward Planetary Protection implementation for a potential mission to Europa. Forward and back Planetary Protection concerns biological material transported...

Articles : Aerospace
Langley Research Center

This feature profiles NASA’s ten field centers located across the country. Each month, we’ll highlight a NASA center’s unique facilities, capabilities, and areas of research, as well as specific missions and projects underway at each center. If you are interested in partnering with a particular center, or in...

NI PXIe-5186 digitizer

National Instruments, Austin, TX, has released the NI PXIe-5186 digitizer, co-developed with Tektronix, Beaverton, OR. The unit achieves up to 5 GHz bandwidth and 12.5 GS/s sample rates. The NI PXIe-5185 delivers 3 GHz bandwidth and 12.5 GS/s sample rate. Both digitizers incorporate Tektronix oscilloscope ASICs for...

Techs for License
Facing for Acoustic Batts that Contain Melt-Film Fibrillation

Melt-Film Fibrillation (MFF) technology produces a facing for acoustic batts for vehicle sound insulation that offers equivalent or superior sound-deadening performance at reduced weight and cost. Equivalent weights of MFF fibers produce substantially enhanced sound insulation over...

Techs for License
Adaptive Membranes for Comfortable Protective Wear

This dual-membrane technology provides apparel with a high degree of comfort, passing air and water vapor easily. The garment (or survival enclosure) can instantly be made impervious with the flip of a switch on the belt-mounted power pack. The garment can be toggled between high comfort and...

NASA Tech Needs
Sensitive, Robust Sensors for Ethane and Methane Detection

A company seeks a sensor that is sensitive and quantitative for ethane from 5 ppm to 5,000 ppm, and for methane from 5 ppm to 7,000 ppm. The sensor(s) should work in or near oil. While the location of the sensor heads should primarily be positioned in the headspace above the oil, ability...

NASA Tech Needs
Solution to Filter Light to High Specification

A firm seeks to identify spectral filter technologies to operate within a demanding optical environment. The technology solution will enable the suppression of out-of-band wavelengths above 100 nm, while exhibiting minimal loss to wavelengths of the order of 10 nm. The solution can be manufactured...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Stereo Imaging Miniature Endoscope

Stereo imaging requires two different perspectives of the same object and, traditionally, a pair of side-by-side cameras would be used but are not feasible for something as tiny as a less than 4-mm-diameter endoscope that could be used for minimally invasive surgeries or geo-exploration through tiny fissures or...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Wind and Temperature Spectrometry of the Upper Atmosphere in Low-Earth Orbit

Wind and Temperature Spectrometry (WATS) is a new approach to measure the full wind vector, temperature, and relative densities of major neutral species in the Earth’s thermosphere. The method uses an energy-angle spectrometer moving through the tenuous upper...

Briefs : Information Technology
Health Monitor for Multitasking, Safety-Critical, Real-Time Software

Health Manager can detect “Bad Health” prior to a failure occurring by periodically monitoring the application software by looking for code corruption errors, and sanity-checking each critical data value prior to use. A processor’s memory can fail and corrupt the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Parallel Wavefront Analysis for a 4D Interferometer

This software provides a programming interface for automating data collection with a PhaseCam interferometer from 4D Technology, and distributing the image-processing algorithm across a cluster of general-purpose computers.

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Early Oscillation Detection Technique for Hybrid DC/DC Converters

Oscillation or instability is a situation that must be avoided for reliable hybrid DC/DC converters. A real-time electronics measurement technique was developed to detect catastrophic oscillations at early stages for hybrid DC/DC converters. It is capable of identifying low-level...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Schottky Heterodyne Receivers With Full Waveguide Bandwidth

Compact THz receivers with broad bandwidth and low noise have been developed for the frequency range from 100 GHz to 1 THz. These receivers meet the requirements for high-resolution spectroscopic studies of planetary atmospheres (including the Earth’s) from spacecraft, as well as...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Coaxial Cables for Martian Extreme

Work was conducted to validate the use of the rover external flexible coaxial cabling for space under the extreme environments to be encountered during the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. The antennas must survive all ground operations plus the nominal 670-Martian-day mission that includes summer and...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Carbon Nanofiber-Based, High-Frequency, High-Q, Miniaturized Mechanical Resonators

High Q resonators are a critical component of stable, low-noise communication systems, radar, and precise timing applications such as atomic clocks. In electronic resonators based on Si integrated circuits, resistive losses increase as a result of the continued...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Using Spare Logic Resources To Create Dynamic Test Points

A technique has been devised to enable creation of a dynamic set of test points in an embedded digital electronic system. As a result, electronics contained in an application specific circuit [e.g., gate array, field programmable gate array (FPGA)] can be internally “probed,” even...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Ultracapacitor-Based Uninterrupted Power Supply System

The ultracapacitor-based uninterrupted power supply (UPS) system enhances system reliability; reduces life-of-system, maintenance, and downtime costs; and greatly reduces environmental impact when compared to conventional UPS energy storage systems. This design provides power when required...

Briefs : Software
Autonomous Coordination of Science Observations Using Multiple Spacecraft

This software provides capabilities for autonomous cross-cueing and coordinated observations between multiple orbital and landed assets. Previous work has been done in re-tasking a single Earth orbiter or a Mars rover in response to that craft detecting a science event....

Briefs : Software
EOS MLS Level 1B Data Processing Software, Version 3

This software is an improvement on Version 2, which was described in “EOS MLS Level 1B Data Processing, Version 2.2,” NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 33, No. 5 (May 2009), p. 34. It accepts the EOS MLS Level 0 science/engineering data, and the EOS Aura spacecraft ephemeris/attitude data, and...

Briefs : Software
Cassini Tour Atlas Automated Generation

During the Cassini spacecraft’s cruise phase and nominal mission, the Cassini Science Planning Team developed and maintained an online database of geometric and timing information called the Cassini Tour Atlas. The Tour Atlas consisted of several hundreds of megabytes of EVENTS mission planning software...

Briefs : Software
Software Development Standard Processes (SDSP)

A JPL-created set of standard processes is to be used throughout the lifecycle of software development. These SDSPs cover a range of activities, from management and engineering activities, to assurance and support activities. These processes must be applied to software tasks per a pre- scribed set...

Briefs : Software
Autonomous Phase Retrieval Calibration

The Palomar Adaptive Optics System actively corrects for changing aberrations in light due to atmospheric turbulence. However, the underlying internal static error is unknown and uncorrected by this process. The dedicated wavefront sensor device necessarily lies along a different path than the science...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Graphite Composite Panel Polishing Fixture

The use of high-strength, lightweight composites for the fixture is the novel feature of this innovation. The main advantage is the light weight and high stiffness-to-mass ratio relative to aluminum.

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Modifying Matrix Materials to Increase Wetting and Adhesion

In an alternative approach to increasing the degrees of wetting and adhesion between the fiber and matrix components of organic-fiber/polymer matrix composite materials, the matrix resins are modified. Heretofore, it has been common practice to modify the fibers rather than the...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Ridge Waveguide Structures in Magnesium-Doped Lithium Niobate

This work proposes to establish the feasibility of fabricating isolated ridge waveguides in 5% MgO:LN. Ridge waveguides in MgO:LN will significantly improve power handling and conversion efficiency, increase photonic component integration, and be well suited to space-based...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Material Gradients in Oxygen System Components Improve Safety

Oxygen system components fabricated by Laser Engineered Net Shaping™ (LENS™) could result in improved safety and performance. LENS™ is a near-net shape manufacturing process fusing powdered materials injected into a laser beam. Parts can be fabricated with a variety of elemental...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Method for Cleanly and Precisely Breaking Off a Rock Core Using a Radial Compressive Force

The Mars Sample Return mission has the goal to drill, break off, and retain rock core samples. After some results gained from rock core mechanics testing, the realization that scoring teeth would cleanly break off the core after only a few millimeters of...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Scoring Dawg Core Breakoff and Retention Mechanism

This novel core break-off and retention mechanism consists of a scoring dawg controlled by a set of two tubes (a drill tube and an inner tube). The drill tube and the inner tube have longitudinal concentric holes. The solution can be implemented in an eccentric tube configuration as well where...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Praying Mantis Bending Core Breakoff and Retention Mechanism

Sampling cores requires the controlled breakoff of the core at a known location with respect to the drill end. An additional problem is designing a mechanism that can be implemented at a small scale, yet is robust and versatile enough to be used for a variety of core samples.

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Rolling-Tooth Core Breakoff and Retention Mechanism

Sampling cores requires the controlled breakoff of the core at a known location with respect to the drill end. An additional problem is designing a mechanism that can be implemented at a small scale that is robust and versatile enough to be used for a variety of core samples. This design...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Vibration Isolation and Stabilization System for Spacecraft Exercise Treadmill Devices

A novel, passive system has been developed for isolating an exercise treadmill device from a spacecraft in a zero-G environment. The Treadmill 2 Vibration Isolation and Stabilization System (T2-VIS) mechanically isolates the exercise treadmill from the...

Briefs : Medical
Microgravity-Enhanced Stem Cell Selection

Stem cells, both embryonic and adult, promise to revolutionize the practice of medicine in the future. In order to realize this potential, a number of hurdles must be overcome. Most importantly, the signaling mechanisms necessary to control the differentiation of stem cells into tissues of interest...

Briefs : Medical
Diagnosis and Treatment of Neurological Disorders by Millimeter-Wave Stimulation

Increasingly, millimeter waves are being employed for telecomm, radar, and imaging applications. To date in the U.S, however, very few investigations on the impact of this radiation on biological systems at the cellular level have been undertaken. In the beginning,...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Measuring Multiple-Axis Position of Multiple Points at Data-Sampling Rates of 10-20 kHz

Multi-point, multi-axis measurement of position can be valuable in a variety of applications that require high-speed data acquisition and a high degree of measurement accuracy. Examples include ballistics testing (weapons, ammunition, and protective gear) and...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Passive Vaporizing Heat Sink

A passive vaporizing heat sink has been developed as a relatively lightweight, compact alternative to related prior heat sinks based, variously, on evaporation of sprayed liquids or on sublimation of solids. This heat sink is designed for short-term dissipation of a large amount of heat and was originally intended...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Remote Sensing and Quantization of Analog Sensors

This method enables sensing and quantization of analog strain gauges. By manufacturing a piezoelectric sensor stack in parallel (physical) with a piezoelectric actuator stack, the capacitance of the sensor stack varies in exact proportion to the exertion applied by the actuator stack. This, in...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Helium-Cooled Black Shroud for Subscale Cryogenic Testing

This shroud provides a deep-space simulating environment for testing scaled-down models of passively cooling systems for spaceflight optics and instruments. It is used inside a liquid-nitrogen-cooled vacuum chamber, and it is cooled by liquid helium to 5 K. It has an inside geometry of...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Phase Retrieval for Radio Telescope and Antenna Control

Phase-retrieval is a general term used in optics to describe the estimation of optical imperfections or “aberrations.” The purpose of this innovation is to develop the application of phase retrieval to radio telescope and antenna control in the millimeter wave band.

Briefs : Information Technology
Receive Mode Analysis and Design of Microstrip Reflectarrays

Traditionally microstrip or printed reflectarrays are designed using the “transmit mode” technique. In this method, the size of each printed element is chosen so as to provide the required value of the reflection phase such that a collimated beam results along a given direction....

Briefs : Information Technology
Chance-Constrained Guidance With Non-Convex Constraints

Missions to small bodies, such as comets or asteroids, require autonomous guidance for descent to these small bodies. Such guidance is made challenging by uncertainty in the position and velocity of the spacecraft, as well as the uncertainty in the gravitational field around the small body....

News : Energy
Combatting Wind Turbine Noise

Acoustics researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia are developing a computer model to predict the noise output from wind farms so they can accurately and quickly assess the effectiveness of potential noise-reducing designs and control methods.

Who's Who
Dr. Waleed Abdalati, NASA Chief Scientist, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

Waleed Abdalati, on January 3rd of this year, became NASA’s chief scientist. He will serve as the principal adviser to the NASA administrator on agency science programs, strategic planning, and the evaluation of related investments.

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Applying OpenVPX to Single Board Computers

For more than two decades, single board computers (SBCs) built on open standards have been largely based on specifications from two preeminent industry organizations, VITA and PICMG. For the 6U Eurocard format, each organization has developed a platform that has provided the basis for standardized SBCs;...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Using Static Analysis and Code Verification to Improve Embedded Software

Modern software development and test processes encompass a wide range of best practices and development methodologies. Personal preferences and lessons learned — both good and bad — dictate most workflows. Customized tools and scripts are frequently cobbled together...

Dr. Waleed Abdalati, NASA Chief Scientist, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

Waleed Abdalati, on January 3rd of this year, became NASA’s chief scientist. He will serve as the principal adviser to the NASA administrator on agency science programs, strategic planning, and the evaluation of related investments.

To download...

Articles : Imaging
Machine Vision Fundamentals: How to Make Robots ‘See’

Machine vision combines a range of technologies to provide useful outputs from the acquisition and analysis of images. Used primarily for inspection and robot guidance, the process must be done reliably enough for industrial automation. This article provides an introduction of how...

Articles : Imaging
The Role of Software in Acoustic Micro Imaging

Acoustic micro imaging uses a moving transducer that pulses ultrasound into materials and receives the return echoes from material interfaces. Images made from the echo signals may show anomalies such as delaminations or other cracks, since gaps send back stronger echoes than well-bonded...

Application Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Imaging System Buckles Up Camera and Parking Sensor

For five years, Michael Lunoe, President of Zorg Industries, had been in need of a camera system that could identify objects and provide accurate distance from the rear of a vehicle.

Products : Imaging
Industrial Cameras

The Imaging Source, Charlotte NC, has released two MegaPixel industrial cameras. The cameras include a Sony CCD ICX274, 1/1.8" sensor; a resolution of 1600 × 1200 pixels; a frame rate of 15 fps; a USB 2.0 or GigE interface; optional trigger in and digital I/Os; and auto-iris control.

Products : Imaging
Frame Grabber/Video Streamer

Foresight Imaging, Chelmsford, MA, offers the AccuStream Express HD+™ frame grabber and video streamer, featuring a high performance PCI Express x4 board design. The device acquires video from non-standard and standard video formats including HDMI video, DVI-D, RGBHV, YPbPr, HDTV, S-video, composite color, and...

Products : Imaging
Infrared Snapshot Camera

Sensors Unlimited — Goodrich ISR Systems, Princeton, NJ, announces the SU640KTS, a large-format indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) high-resolution shortwave infrared (SWIR) snapshot video camera. The imager meets all Conformite Europeene (CE) and U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) standards for radiated and...

Products : Imaging
Optical Part-Recognition Tool

Teledyne DALSA, Billerica, MA, a Teledyne Technologies company, has announced its BOA IDR optical inspection product. Features include identification and grading capabilities for part tracking based on codes, characters, or pattern; verification of 2D matrix codes, such as Data Matrix, PDF/QR codes, 1D barcodes, or...

Products : Imaging
LED Video Display

Multi ChipLEDs from OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, Sunnyvale, CA, have been used by FormoLight Technologies, Inc., Taipei, Taiwan, to develop a 150" diagonal LED video display.

Products : Imaging
High-Speed Imaging System

Photron, San Diego, CA, has introduced the IDP Express R2000 system. The R2000 features an on-board field-programmable gate array (FPGA) to provide developers access to the open-ended architecture. The new system supports one or two of Photron’s miniature CMOS high speed camera heads at full or reduced resolution and...

Products : Imaging
Thermal Scanning System

Invisual E. Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, offers an in-process, real-time thermal scanning system for welding inspection and batch process monitoring. The system utilizes the thermal distribution of the heat-affected zone to detect irregularities of the thermal field during solidification of the welded seam. It also...

Products : Imaging
Stainless Steel Sensor

The ZM Series from Optex FA Sensors, West Des Moines, IA, provides durability with a SUS316L stainless steel housing and IP69K protection conforming to the IEC60529 rating system. The self-contained sensor meets environmental demands such as high pressure and high temperature detergent washing. The anti-static PPSU lens is...

Products : Imaging
Lens Nanopositioning System

Mad City Labs, Madison, WI, offers the Nano-F3D lens nanopositioning system. The tool positions an objective lens in 3 dimensions with subnanometer accuracy and repeatability. With a travel range of 100 μm in each axis, the Nano-F3D is suitable for 4Pi microscopy as well as other imaging and inspection applications....

Products : Imaging
High-Definition CMOS Camera

Toshiba Imaging Systems Division, Irvine, CA, offers the IK-HR2D HD camera. Providing real-time, live-image data capture, the camera also features both DVI-D and USB outputs. The 1.73 × 1.73 × 3.17', one-piece CMOS device has selectable outputs to capture and send out video data. The device sends data up to 60 fps...

Products : Imaging
Frame Grabber

The PIXCI® SV5L low-profile composite and S-Video PCI frame grabber from EPIX, Buffalo Grove, IL, acquires video from NTSC, RS-170, PAL, CCIR, or S-Video cameras. A 3-input video multiplexer allows signal selection from two mini-BNC inputs or one S-Video. SMA connectors provide TTL Trigger In and Strobe Out. Digitized video is...

Products : Imaging
Color-Identification Cameras

PPT VISION, Bloomington, MN, introduces twenty-six new IMPACT® M-Series color cameras with dedicated software tools for sorting, monitoring, and identifying color objects. The options range from economical VGA resolution cameras, to 210 frames-per-second high-speed cameras, to a five-megapixel, high-precision model....

Products : Imaging
Imaging Adapters

The VA210 Series of AOTF-NIR (Acousto-Optic Tunable Filter Near Infrared) hyperspectral imaging adapters from Brimrose, Sparks, MD, measure visible or NIR hyperspectral imaging information on a variety of materials. The AOTF-based imaging system, equipped with radio-frequency driver software, provides narrow bandwidth,...

Articles : Motion Control
Steer-by-Wire Systems with Integrated Torque Feedback Improve Steering Performance and Reduce Cost

Hydraulic steering systems have long dominated the industrial utility vehicle market because of their familiarity both to vehicle designers and operators. More recently, a trend has been seen towards the use of electronic steer-by-wire systems...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Rugged COTS Military Computers

ADLINK Technology (San Jose, CA) has introduced a line of Extreme Rugged™ Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) military computers based on the Intel® Core™2 Duo and Atom™ N270 processors, the MilSystem™ 840 and the MilSystem™ 735. The MilSystem™ 735 and MilSystem™ 840 are built for maximum reliability in...

Products : Electronics & Computers
16-Bit Data Acquisition Board

Pentek, Inc. (Upper Saddle River, NJ) has added the Model 71662 four-channel, 200 MHz, 16-bit data acquisition board with built-in digital down converters (DDCs) to its popular Cobalt® family of Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA boards. With an input bandwidth from 300 kHz to 700 MHz, the board is suitable for direct connection...

Products : Electronics & Computers
SUMIT-micro™ Expansion Modules

VersaLogic Corp. (Eugene, OR) has released two new expansion modules for use with SUMIT™-based products. The expansion modules feature the SUMIT (Stackable Unified Module Interconnect Technology) interface standard developed by the Small Form Factor Special Interest Group (SFF-SIG™). The SUMIT interface...

Products : Electronics & Computers
X Capacitor Discharge ICs

Power Integrations (San Jose, CA) has launched CAPZero™, a family of two-terminal, automatic X capacitor discharge ICs that eliminate power losses while allowing power supplies to comply with safety standards. When AC voltage is applied, CAPZero blocks current flow in the X capacitor safety discharge resistors,...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Desktop PCB Prototyping System

T-Tech Inc. (Norcross, GA) has introduced its latest PCB prototyping system — the Quick Circuit QCJ5. This state-of-the-art, in-house circuit board prototyping system is equipped with a host of features including: Z-axis motion control; 12, 24, or 32-position automatic tool change; automatic tool-depth control; 4...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Dot-Matrix Driver

Austriamicrosystems (Unterpremstaetten, Austria) has announced the AS1119 dot-matrix driver. The AS1119 2 drives 144 LEDs but requires only 9mm PCB space,

reduces external component count, reduces connector pin count and requires fewer PCB layers. The AS1119 is targeted for dot matrix displays in mobile phones, personal...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Onboard Test Control

JTAG Technologies (Eindhoven, Netherlands) has announced a new support package for board-level and system designers looking to implement a convenient BIT (Built-In Test) access for boundary-scan testing and onboard device (re)programming.

Products : Electronics & Computers
Agile Development Framework

LDRA (Wirral, UK) and Codice Software (Los Gatos, CA) have partnered to provide Plastic SCM's Agile development capability to Embed-X, an ALM product focused on the development and verification of critical, embedded software systems. Plastic SCM tracks and maps the complete development history within Embed-X, giving...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Voltage Regulator Online Design Tool

International Rectifier (IR®) (El Segundo, CA), has announced the availability of a new online design tool that enables electrical and thermal simulation and design optimization for the SupIRBuck™ family of integrated point-of-load voltage regulators. The user friendly, interactive, web-based tool,...

Products : Electronics & Computers
3U Rugged Conduction-Cooled Enclosure

Dawn VME Products (Fremont, CA) has introduced the CCE-3VX4 VPX CUBE, a ruggedized 4 slot conduction cooled enclosure for VPX 3U modules. Dawn's CCE-3VX4 VPX CUBE is designed to MIL-STD-810F, DO-160E and MIL-STD-461E standards, and is compliant with applicable VITA 46 (VPX), VITA 48 (REDI) and VITA 65...


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