June 2013

Products
Product of the Month: the Model 3330 G-Logger

Silicon Designs, Kirkland, WA, has announced the Model 3330 G-Logger USB-powered portable data acquisition system with FFT analysis. The three-channel unit is designed to optimize the low-noise characteristics of triaxial MEMS variable capacitance accelerometer modules with analog output and 8-32...

News
Carbon-Capture System Upgrades Existing Power Plants

Many researchers around the world are seeking ways to “scrub” carbon dioxide from the emissions of fossil-fuel power plants, as a way of curbing the gas that is considered most responsible for global climate change. Most such systems, however, rely on complex plumbing to divert the steam...

News
Algorithm Detects Pulse from Head Motions

Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed a new algorithm that can accurately measure the heart rates of people depicted in ordinary digital video by analyzing imperceptibly small head movements that accompany the rush of blood caused by the heart’s...

News
Laser Reveals Chemical Composition of Objects

A new laser shows what objects are made of and could help military aircraft identify hidden dangers such as weapons arsenals far below.

The system, which is made of off-the-shelf telecommunications technology, emits a broadband beam of infrared light. While most lasers emit light of one...

News
Researchers Print Tiny Batteries

3D printing can now be used to print lithium-ion microbatteries the size of a grain of sand. The printed microbatteries could supply electricity to tiny devices in fields from medicine to communications, including many that have lingered on lab benches for lack of a battery small enough to fit the device, yet...

Question of the Week
Do lightning surge problems cause equipment reliability issues in mission critical applications such as data centers, hospitals, banks, and telecommunications infrastructure?

In 2013, Littelfuse is taking engineers behind the scenes at NASA for a truly unique Exploration & Discovery experience. Speed2Design TechTalk events will be hosted...

Question of the Week
Will the Touchscreen Replace the Keyboard?

A recent Gartner report suggests that by 2015, half of all computers purchased for children will implement touchscreens rather than the traditional keyboard. Despite their growing popularity, however, touchscreens have some drawbacks with users. Many who need to type, for example, prefer the feel of...

News
Army Uses Carbon Nanotubes to Improve Helicopter Rotor Blade Performance

A new study by Army researchers looks at inserting carbon nanotubes into the structural design of helicopter rotor blades to improve performance. The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's research laboratory hopes this approach could lead to the design...

News
Tiny Airplanes Could be the Next Hurricane Hunters

Tiny unmanned craft — some fly, others dart under the waves — are being developed at the University of Florida. They can spy on hurricanes at close range without getting blown willy-nilly, while sensors onboard collect and send in real time the data scientists need to predict the intensity...

News
Robot Runs Like a Cat

Thanks to its legs, whose design faithfully reproduces feline morphology, EPFL’s four-legged “cheetah-cub robot” has the same advantages as its model: It is small, light and fast. Still in its experimental stage, the robot will serve as a platform for research in locomotion and biomechanics.

News
Researchers Develop Microfluidic Test-Bed for Solar Systems

Solar technologies must convert solar energy into electrochemical energy efficiently and on a massive scale. A key to meeting this challenge may lie in the ability to test such energy conversion schemes on the micro-scale.

News
Researchers Print Artificial Bone

While researchers have come up with hierarchical structures in the design of new materials, going from a computer model to the production of physical artifacts has been a persistent challenge. Hierarchical structures that give natural composites their strength are self-assembled through electrochemical...

News
Array Measures Vibrations Across Skin

In the near future, a buzz in your belt or a pulse from your jacket may give you instructions on how to navigate your surroundings. Think of it as tactile Morse code: vibrations from a wearable, GPS-linked device that tell you to turn right or left, or stop, depending on the pattern of pulses you feel. Such...

Question of the Week
Will Users Adopt 3D TV?

ESPN, which in 2010 announced that it would offer sporting events like World Cup soccer and the NCAA national championship football game in 3-D, now says it will stop doing so this year. Now that the sports giant, one of 3-D TV's initial champions, is abandoning the format, many are wondering if the 3D experiment is...

News
Firefighting Robotic Scout Creates 3D Thermal Map for Rescuers

University of California, San Diego engineers have developed new image processing techniques for rapid exploration and characterization of fires by small, Segway-like robotic vehicles.

Products : Electronics & Computers
2 GHz RF Source

Crystek Microwave (Fort Meyers, FL) has announced the release of a 2 GHZ RF Source, the CRFS75-2000. Crystek designed the module using proprietary circuitry and SAW (surface acoustic wave) resonator technology to provide ultra-low jitter/phase noise performance with true SineWave output. The resulting source features -134 dBc/Hz...

Products : Electronics & Computers
C40 Heatsink System

Ohmite Manufacturing (Arlington Heights, IL)recently introduced their high performance C40 Heatsink System with modular cooling benefits. Designed to provide engineers with a variety of cooling options, the C40 heatsinks feature flexible board mounted modular assembly that can be used in conjunction with up to four TO-247 and...

Products : Electronics & Computers
OpenVPX HDS Data/Graphics Processing Module

OpenVPX™ systems operating Serial RapidIO(R) or 10Gigabit Ethernet data plane architectures can process data and graphic information faster with the HDS6502 (High Density Server) module from Mercury Systems (Chelmsford, MA). HDS6502 is a potent integration of Mercury packaging/cooling technology,...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Modular Backplane System

Molex Incorporated (Lisle, IL) has announced a high-performance connector system designed specifically to enable PCB developers in the video, commercial broadcast and telecommunications industries to transfer multiple RF signals across mated boards in a single assembly while taking into consideration space constraints....

News
New Machine-Learning Algorithm Outperforms Its Predecessors.

Reinforcement learning is a technique common in computer science in which a computer system learns how best to solve some problem through trial-and- error. Classic applications of reinforcement learning involve problems as diverse as robot navigation, network administration and...

News
Scientists Achieve Spintronics Breakthrough

In research that is helping to lay the groundwork for the electronics of the future, University of Delaware scientists have confirmed the presence of a magnetic field generated by electrons which scientists had theorized existed, but that had never been proven until now. The recent findings expand the...

News
Research Shows How Turbulence Occurs Without Inertia

Anyone who has flown in an airplane knows about turbulence, or when the flow of a fluid — in this case, the flow of air over the wings — becomes chaotic and unstable. For more than a century, the field of fluid mechanics has posited that turbulence scales with inertia, and so massive...

News
Pumped Hydroelectric Plant Stores Power on the Seabed

Norwegian research scientists will contribute to realizing the concept of storing electricity at the bottom of the sea. The energy will be stored with the help of high water pressure. The idea of an underwater pumped hydroelectric power plant may sound like Jules Verne fiction, but then it...

Products
Tunable Light Sources

Oriel(R) Instruments (Stratford, CT) has introduced the new fully integrated TLS Series Tunable Light Source. The system delivers up to 0.6 nm resolution of monochromatic light in a broad tunable spectral range from 250 nm to 2,400 nm. The Oriel TLS systems are mounted on a 12”x24” baseplate and feature a research...

Products
Optical Chopper/Shutter

Electro-Optical Products Corp. (New York, NY)has introduced the Model CH-62 Optical Chopper/Shutter, a low cost variable low frequency device (DC to 25Hz) that consists of a blade mounted on a motor with a limited rotation angle. Current in one direction will set the chopper to the open position and current in the other...

Products
Diode Lasers

TRUMPF Inc. (Farmington, CT) has introduced the next generation of TruDiode lasers. The two newest additions to TRUMPF’s diode laser product line are the TruDiode 151, a 150 watt fiber-coupled laser and the TruDiode 301 which supplies 300 watts of laser power to the work piece. Wavelength range is between 920 – 970nm with CW or...

Products
EMCCD With Enhanced UV Response

Raptor Photonics (Larne, Northern Ireland) has added another product to its lineup of EMCCD cameras. The Falcon BLUE offers UV transmission using a MgF2 window which will pick up signals as low as 180nm. The Falcon Blue combines speed and sensitivity across a wide spectral range from 180nm up to 1100nm. Running at...

News
Latest Advances in Invisibility Cloak Technology

Michigan Technological University’s invisibility cloak researchers have moved the bar on one of the holy grails of physics – making objects invisible. Just last month, Elena Semouchkina, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan Tech, and her graduate student,...

News
Solar Panels As Inexpensive As Paint? Researchers Say It’s Possible.

According to recent polls, most Americans want the U.S. to place more emphasis on developing solar power. A major impediment, however, is the cost to manufacture, install and maintain solar panels. Simply put, most people and businesses cannot afford to place them on their...

News
Tilt Sensor May Extend Capabilities of Ultrasonic Devices

Echolocation is a powerful technique that uses sound or ultrasound waves to locate objects and surfaces. Ships and submarines, for example, use it to avoid collisions, and dolphins and microbats use it to locate prey (see image). A team from the A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics in...

News
NASA Designs Radiometer to Improve Climate Models

A NASA team designed a sophisticated microwave radiometer to overcome the pitfalls that have plagued similar Earth-observing instruments in the past.

Question of the Week
Is your product certified for use internationally by complying with the relevant safety standards worldwide?

In 2013, Littelfuse is taking engineers behind the scenes at NASA for a truly unique Exploration & Discovery experience. Speed2Design TechTalk events will be hosted at two premiere NASA facilities. Winners will meet face-to-face with...

Question of the Week
Is It Right to Bring Back an Extinct Species?

Recently, Russian scientists discovered perfectly preserved blood and muscle tissue of a woolly mammoth buried in the permafrost of the Lyakhovsky Islands in Siberia. The blood had dripped out of the giant animal into a natural ice capsule. The news comes amid a debate on whether scientists should...

News
Tracking Gunfire With A Smartphone

Picture this. You are walking down the street with a friend when a shot is fired. The two of you duck behind the nearest cover and you pull out your smartphone. A map of the neighborhood pops up on its screen with a large red arrow indicating the direction from which the shot came.

News
Army Develops New Aviation Sensors Test Trailer

The development of a new test asset for Army aviation sensors brings results and solutions at a faster pace. Named the Mobile Apache Sensors Telemetry Trailer, the new sensor test trailer, a collaborated development effort by the Apache Project Office and the Redstone Test Center's Aviation Flight...

News
Fertilizer Fizzles If Used In Homemade Bomb

A Sandia engineer who trained U.S. soldiers to avoid improvised explosive devices (IEDs) has developed a fertilizer that helps plants grow but can’t detonate a bomb. It’s an alternative to ammonium nitrate, an agricultural staple that is also the raw ingredient in most of the IEDs in Afghanistan....

News
Chemical 'Glue' Binds Molecules to Metal Surfaces

An MIT team has developed a method for attaching molecules to metal surfaces. The new approach uses a family of chemicals called carbenes to attach other substances to gold — and potentially to other material surfaces as well. Carbenes could function as “surface anchors” to link many...

News
New Resin Enables Micro-Sculpting of Conductive 3D Structures

Combined with state-of-the-art micro-sculpting techniques, a new resin holds promise for making customized electrodes for fuel cells or batteries, as well as biosensor interfaces for medical uses.

News
Researchers Turn Smartphone into Handheld Biosensor

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers have developed a cradle and app for the iPhone that uses the device’s built-in camera and processing power as a biosensor to detect toxins, proteins, bacteria, viruses and other molecules.

News
Advanced Paper Repels Liquids

By modifying the underlying network of cellulose fibers, etching off surface “fluff” and applying a thin chemical coating, researchers have created a new type of paper that repels a wide variety of liquids, including water and oil.

Question of the Week
Do Social Tools Make Employees More Productive?

According to a recent Microsoft survey conducted by research firm Ipsos, nearly 50% of employees believe social tools make them more productive while more than 30% of companies restrict the use or undervalue them. Typical professional uses for social networks include communicating with...

News
New Light-Controlled Hydrogel Has A Future in Soft Robotics

Inspired by the way plants grow toward the sun and light sources, researchers from the University of California, Berkeley have created a hydrogel that is controllable by light.

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Designing Rugged, Standards-Based Embedded Solutions

It can be argued that small form factor design trends are paradoxical. As form factor size decreases, functionality requirements increase; as processing power requirements heighten, lower power consumption and thermal output is expected. Add to that the requirement for ruggedness to...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Tips for Selecting or Designing a Membrane Switch

Membrane switches are known for standing up to tough environmental conditions. Flexible and durable, the membrane switch can be customized with embossing, backlighting, sealing, and electrostatic discharge (ESD) shielding. Membrane switches can be made with either tactile or non-tactile feedback...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Cloud Absorption Radiometer Autonomous Navigation System — CANS

CAR (cloud absorption radiometer) acquires spatial reference data from host aircraft navigation systems. This poses various problems during CAR data reduction, including navigation data format, accuracy of position data, accuracy of airframe inertial data, and navigation data...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Hyperspectral Imager-Tracker

The Hyperspectral Imager-Tracker (HIT) is a technique for visualization and tracking of low-contrast, fast-moving objects. The HIT architecture is based on an innovative and only recently developed concept in imaging optics. This innovative architecture will give the Light Prescriptions Innovators (LPI) HIT the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Software Method for Computed Tomography Cylinder Data Unwrapping, Re-slicing, and Analysis

A software method has been developed that is applicable for analyzing cylindrical and partially cylindrical objects inspected using computed tomography (CT). This method involves unwrapping and re-slicing data so that the CT data from the cylindrical...

Briefs : Information Technology
Discrete Data Qualification System and Method Comprising Noise Series Fault Detection

A Sensor Data Qualification (SDQ) function has been developed that allows the onboard flight computers on NASA’s launch vehicles to determine the validity of sensor data to ensure that critical safety and operational decisions are not based on faulty sensor...

Briefs : Software
Web Application Software for Ground Operations Planning Database (GOPDb) Management

A Web application facilitates collaborative development of the ground operations planning document. This will reduce costs and development time for new programs by incorporating the data governance, access control, and revision tracking of the ground operations...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Simple Laser Communications Terminal for Downlink From Earth Orbit at Rates Exceeding 10 Gb/s

A compact, low-cost laser communications transceiver was prototyped for downlinking data at 10 Gb/s from Earth-orbiting spacecraft. The design can be implemented using flight-grade parts. With emphasis on simplicity, compactness, and light weight of the...

Briefs : Software
Application Program Interface for the Orion Aerodynamics Database

The Application Programming Interface (API) for the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) Aerodynamic Database has been developed to provide the developers of software an easily implemented, fully self-contained method of accessing the CEV Aerodynamic Database for use in their analysis...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Compact Radar Transceiver With Included Calibration

The Digital Beamforming Synthetic Aperture Radar (DBSAR) is an eight-channel phased array radar system that employs solid-state radar transceivers, a microstrip patch antenna, and a reconfigurable waveform generator and processor unit. The original DBSAR transceiver design utilizes...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Software Defined Radio With Parallelized Software Architecture

This software implements softwaredefined radio procession over multicore, multi-CPU systems in a way that maximizes the use of CPU resources in the system. The software treats each processing step in either a communications or navigation modulator or demodulator system as an...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Phase Change Material Thermal Power Generator

An innovative modification has been made to a previously patented design for the Phase Change Material (PCM) Thermal Generator, which works in water where ocean temperature alternatively melts wax in canisters, or allows the wax to re-solidify, causing high-pressure oil to flow through a hydraulic...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
The Thermal Hogan — A Means of Surviving the Lunar Night

A document describes the Thermal Hogan, a new shelter concept that would be used on the Moon to moderate the extreme nighttime temperatures, allowing survival of equipment with minimal heater power. It is lightweight, has few mechanical parts, and would be relatively easy to deploy on...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Micromachined Active Magnetic Regenerator for Low- Temperature Magnetic Coolers

A design of an Active Magnetic Regenerative Refrigeration (AMRR) system has been developed for space applications. It uses an innovative 3He cryogenic circulator to provide continuous remote/distributed cooling at temperatures in the range of 2 K with a...

Briefs : Materials
Nano-Ceramic Coated Plastics

Plastic products, due to their durability, safety, and low manufacturing cost, are now rapidly replacing cookware items traditionally made of glass and ceramics. Despite this trend, some still prefer relatively expensive and more fragile ceramic/glassware because plastics can deteriorate over time after exposure to...

Briefs : Materials
Preparation of a Bimetal Using Mechanical Alloying for Environmental or Industrial Use

Following the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act ban on their manufacture, PCBs remain an environmental threat. PCBs are known to bio-accumulate and concentrate in fatty tissues. Further complications arise from the potential for contamination of commercial...

Briefs : Materials
Phase Change Material for Temperature Control of Imager or Sounder on GOES Type Satellites in GEO

An imager or sounder on satellites, such as the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES), in geostationary orbit (GEO) has a scan mirror and motor in the scan cavity. The GEO orbit is 24 hours long. During part of the orbit, direct...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Dual-Compartment Inflatable Suitlock

There is a need for an improvement over current NASA Extravehicular Activity (EVA) technology. The technology must allow the capacity for quicker, more efficient egress/ingress, allow for “shirtsleeve” suit maintenance, be compact in transport, and be applicable to environments ranging from planetary...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Piezoelectrically Initiated Pyrotechnic Igniter

This innovation consists of a pyrotechnic initiator and piezoelectric initiation system. The device will be capable of being initiated mechanically; resisting initiation by EMF, RF, and EMI (electromagnetic field, radio frequency, and electromagnetic interference, respectively); and initiating in...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Folding Elastic Thermal Surface — FETS

The FETS is a light and compact thermal surface (sun shade, IR thermal shield, cover, and/or deployable radiator) that is mounted on a set of offset tape-spring hinges. The thermal surface is constrained during launch and activated in space by a thermomechanical latch such as a wax actuator.

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Genesis Ultrapure Water Megasonic Wafer Spin Cleaner

A device removes, with high precision, the majority of surface particle contamination greater than 1-micron-diameter in size from ultrapure semiconductor wafer materials containing implanted solar wind samples returned by NASA’s Genesis mission. This cleaning device uses a 1.5- liter/minute...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Modular Connector Keying Concept

For panel-mount-type connectors, keying is usually “built-in” to the connector body, necessitating different part numbers for each key arrangement. This is costly for jobs that require small quantities. This invention was driven to provide a cost savings and to reduce documentation of individual parts.

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Environmental Qualification of a Single- Crystal Silicon Mirror for Spaceflight Use

This innovation is the environmental qualification of a single-crystal silicon mirror for spaceflight use. The single-crystal silicon mirror technology is a previous innovation, but until now, a mirror of this type has not been qualified for spaceflight use. The...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Multi-Pass Quadrupole Mass Analyzer

Analysis of the composition of planetary atmospheres is one of the most important and fundamental measurements in planetary robotic exploration. Quadrupole mass analyzers (QMAs) are the primary tool used to execute these investigations, but reductions in size of these instruments has sacrificed mass resolving...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Lunar Sulfur Capture System

The Lunar Sulfur Capture System (LSCS) protects in situ resource utilization (ISRU) hardware from corrosion, and reduces contaminant levels in water condensed for electrolysis. The LSCS uses a lunar soil sorbent to trap over 98 percent of sulfur gases and about twothirds of halide gases evolved during hydrogen...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Qualification of UHF Antenna for Extreme Martian Thermal Environments

The purpose of this development was to validate the use of the external Rover Ultra High Frequency (RUHF) antenna for space under extreme thermal environments to be encountered during the surface operations of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. The antenna must survive...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Planar Superconducting Millimeter-Wave/Terahertz Channelizing Filter

This innovation is a compact, superconducting, channelizing bandpass filter on a single-crystal (0.45 μm thick) silicon substrate, which operates from 300 to 600 GHz. This device consists of four channels with center frequencies of 310, 380, 460, and 550 GHz, with...

Briefs : Software
Ensemble Eclipse: A Process for Prefab Development Environment for the Ensemble Project

This software simplifies the process of having to set up an Eclipse IDE programming environment for the members of the cross-NASA center project, Ensemble. It achieves this by assembling all the necessary add-ons and custom tools/preferences.

Briefs : Software
Space Operations Learning Center (SOLC) iPhone/iPad Application

This iPhone application, Space Junk Sammy, is intended to be an educational application designed for Apple iPhones and iPads. This new concept educates kids in an innovative way about how orbital debris affects space missions.

Briefs : Software
ISS Live!

International Space Station Live! (ISSLive!) is a Web application that uses a proprietary commercial technology called Lightstreamer to push data across the Internet using the standard http port (port 80). ISSLive! uses the push technology to display real-time telemetry and mission timeline data from the space station in any common Web...

Briefs : Software
Software to Compare NPP HDF5 Data Files

This software was developed for the NPOESS (National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System) Preparatory Project (NPP) Science Data Segment. The purpose of this software is to compare HDF5 (Hierarchical Data Format) files specific to NPP and report whether the HDF5 files are identical....

Briefs : Information Technology
Modeling the Behavior of a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane within a Fuel Cell

Scientists have deemed the fuel cell as one of the most promising power sources that can replace the use of fossil fuels as well as satisfy global expectations. The polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell shows great potential to power homes and vehicles. A special class...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
NASA Announces 2012 Inventions of the Year
Application Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Battery Pack Powers NASA Rocket Launch

Quallion, a developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion storage systems, assisted in the launch of Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Pegasus® rocket, which carried NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Array Telescope (NuSTAR) satellite.

Application Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Radioisotope System Keeps Mars Rover Moving
Radioisotope System Keeps Mars Rover Moving

The instruments aboard NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory “Curiosity” rover receive their power from a radioisotope system assembled and tested at Idaho National Laboratory. The Multi- Mission...

Radioisotope System Keeps Mars Rover Moving
Application Briefs : Propulsion
Cryogenic Turbines Aid NASA’s Morpheus Lander

Turbines, Inc., a designer and manufacturer of turbine flow metering technology, has assisted NASA with its Morpheus Lander project. Project Morpheus, a vertical testbed, demonstrates new autonomous landing and hazard detection technology, as well as “green propellant” propulsion systems.

Application Briefs : Imaging
Digital Picture Technology Connects Sports Teams with Fans

NASA’s twin Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, remain one of the Agency’s greatest achievements in exploration. On Earth, these robots are best known for their stunning pictures of the Martian landscape. Although the rovers each had a mere 1-megapixel camera, the pictures they have...

Briefs : Information Technology
Semi-Supervised Eigenbasis Novelty Detection

Recent discoveries in high-time-resolution radio astronomy data have focused attention on a new class of events. Fast transients are rare pulses of radio frequency energy lasting from microseconds to seconds that might be produced by a variety of exotic astrophysical phenomena. For example, X-ray...

Briefs : Information Technology
Translating MAPGEN to ASPEN for MER

This software translates MAPGEN(Europa and APGEN) domains to ASPEN, and the resulting domain can be used to perform planning for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER). In other words, this is a conversion of two distinct planning languages (both declarative and procedural) to a third (declarative) planning language...

Briefs : Imaging
Planetary Data Systems (PDS) Imaging Node Atlas II

The Planetary Image Atlas (PIA) is a Rich Internet Application (RIA) that serves planetary imaging data to the science community and the general public. PIA also utilizes the USGS Unified Planetary Coordinate system (UPC) and the on-Mars map server.

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Automatic Calibration of an Airborne Imaging System to an Inertial Navigation Unit

This software automatically calibrates a camera or an imaging array to an inertial navigation system (INS) that is rigidly mounted to the array or imager. In effect, it recovers the coordinate frame transformation between the reference frame of the imager and the...

Briefs : Imaging
Support Routines for In Situ Image Processing

This software consists of a set of application programs that support ground-based image processing for in situ missions. These programs represent a collection of utility routines that perform miscellaneous functions in the context of the ground data system. Each one fulfills some specific need as...

Articles : Imaging
Flexible’ Machine Vision: Sensors, Lenses, and Software

Machine vision has become indispensable in today’s highly automated manufacturing environments, which rely on accurate in spec tion to ensure high product quality and high process efficiency. Applications for the technology span industry, and include everything from validation of...

Articles : Imaging
Pixel-Scale Coated Sensors Bring Multispectral Imaging to New Users

The pixel-scale patterning of optical filters directly onto sensors has the potential to drastically simplify and scale down the cost of real-time multispectral imaging. Without moving parts, a more robust and compact system can be deployed into harsher environments than have...

Application Briefs : Imaging
Rugged IP-Based Video Surveillance System Keeps Taipei Trains Moving

Averaging 1.6 million passengers per day, the Taipei Metro, also known as the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, is one of the busiest transportation systems in Asia and has become an important driver for business and lifestyle in Taiwan. To ensure smooth and reliable...

Products : Imaging
Frame Grabbers

Teledyne DALSA (Billerica, MA) has released the Xtium-CL PX4 series of frame grabbers. In addition to PCIe Gen 2.0 ×4 and Camera Link®, upcoming models will support Camera Link HS® as well as other interface standards on a PCIe Gen 2.0 ×8 platform.

Products : Imaging
Spherical Imaging System

Point Grey Research (Richmond, BC, Canada) has announced its Ladybug ®5 camera. The LD5-U3-51S5C features 30 megapixels (MP) of total resolution, covering 90% of a full sphere; a 5Gbit/s USB 3.0 interface; and a post-processing workflow.

Products : Imaging
Frame Grabbers

VRmagic (Mannheim, Germany) has introduced the VRmDAVC-2, an intelligent version of the company’s USB frame grabber. In combination with analog cameras, the frame grabber provides users with a platform that performs image processing tasks autonomously.

Products : Imaging
Imaging Objectives

Edmund Optics® (Barrington, NJ) offers Mitutoyo Glass Thickness-Compensated Infinity Corrected Objectives. The components are suited for imaging objects through glass up to 3.5 mm thick. Applications for the G Plan Apochromatic (Apo) objectives include imaging through a coverslip or mediums like agar, water, or nutrients;...

Products : Imaging
Infrared Camera

FLIR Systems (Portland, OR) has released its SC6800 infrared camera. The device captures sensitive infrared imagery at up to 565 frames per second, in full 640 × 512 pixel resolution. The images can be thermographically and radiometrically calibrated.

Products : Imaging
3D Machine Vision Inspection

Cognex Corporation (Natick, MA) has announced the DS1000 3D laser profiling system. The system calibrates real-world units of measurement for inspections too difficult to perform with traditional two-dimensional machine vision. The new DS1000 3D sensor reads embossed or raised characters, such as those on automobile...

Products : Imaging
3D Machine Vision Camera

IDS Imaging Development Systems (Woburn, MA) offers a new stereo 3D camera: the Ensenso ™ N10. The Ensenso™ N10 is fitted with two global shutter CMOS sensors and a pattern projector that projects a static, high-contrast texture onto the object being captured, adding structures that are not visible or are only...

Products : Imaging
Camera Board

e-con Systems (St Louis, MO) has released the Full HD MIPI Camera Board, e- CAM51_44×, for Texas Instruments’ OMAP4 family of processors. The e-CAM51_44× camera board is interfaced to the PandaBoard, which is based on the OMAP4430/ OMAP4460 processor. e-CAM51_44× includes e-CAM57_MI5640_MOD, a 5 MP autofocus MIPI CSI-2 camera...

Products : Imaging
CMOS/CCD Camera

The Imaging Source (Charlotte, NC) has announced monochrome and color FireWire 800 cameras. The cameras have an Aptina CMOS or Sony CCD sensor, 1/4'' to 1/1.8''. Other features of the 29 × 29 × 47 mm devices include resolution from VGA to 5 MP; frame rate up to 150 fps; binning and ROI; and trigger and digital I/Os.

Products : Imaging
PoE Switch

D-Link (Fountain Valley, CA) has introduced the DGS- 1100-08P switch. The DGS- 1100-08P delivers Power-over- Ethernet (PoE) capabilities for IP surveillance, VoIP phone, and access point deployment.

Articles : Aerospace
A New American Space Age

NASA and its industry partners are developing a U.S. commercial crew space transportation capability with the goal of achieving safe, reliable, and cost-effective access to and from low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station. Through a program begun in 2006, NASA is investing financial and technical resources to...

Articles : Motion Control
Linear Guide Systems Streamline Aircraft Seat Assembly and Operation

Linear guide rails are an important component within aircraft interiors. Following are some of the places where they are used:

• For seat adjustments — forward and back seat movements, footrests, sliding armrests, and tables.

• Rails enable 180°...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Custom Drive System Helps Mercedes-Benz Reduce Draft in Convertibles

The AIRCAP® automatic draft stop, offered in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class convertibles, is distinctively different from conventional angular wind deflectors. It is entirely embedded into the car body and completely concealed into the windshield frame when deactivated. In its...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Slide

The NV type STUDROLLER™ from NB Corp. (Hanover Park, IL) is designed for motion control applications with extremely fast acceleration and deceleration at dimensions ranging from 30 to 600-mm lengths. The slide features Anti-Creep Cage Technology and raceway depressions that track the nodules, preventing slippage in any position. Load...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Control Platform

The Ensemble® LAB control platform from Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) enables automation of light industrial manufacturing applications. The full-color touchscreen display enables access to core functionality, while the tabbed interface provides singlepress access to setup and operation screens. An integral rubberized frontpanel...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Inclination Sensors

Balluff (Florence, KY) offers BSI inclination sensors that measure the deviation in a horizontal axis of up to 360 degrees. They operate in temperatures down to -40 °C. They feature rugged metal housing and accuracy of 0.1 degree for controlling processes. An extended temperature range of -40 to 85 °C is suitable for...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Coupler Brake

Force Control Industries (Fairfield, OH) offers a double C-Face coupler brake that mounts on the drive end of a standard C-Face motor. Mounting the brake between the reducer and C-Face motor allows a standard C-face motor to be used. Applications include palletizers, packaging machinery, and cranes. The Posistop air-actuated and...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Actuator

Oriental Motor (Torrance, CA) has introduced the DGII Series hollow rotary actuator that uses an AR Series closed loop motor. In addition to the pulse input type package, a built-in controller (stored data) type package with I/O, Modbus, or EtherCAT (via a gateway converter) communications is also available. Both types come with...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Slotless Motor

Koford Engineering (Winchester, OH) offers a 6,300-rpm, hollow shaft, 48-mm-diameter, slotless, 2-pole motor with a shaft bore size of .400". The motor is designed for low temperature rise and low operating current (.06 amps at 12v for 6,300 rpm). The cogless design results in smooth rotation. Applications include optics, filter,...

Products : Motion Control
Servo Controller

PI (Physik Instrumente) LP (Auburn, MA) offers the C-884 4-axis digital servo controller for motorized linear translation stages and rotary positioners with very high accuracy and repeatability. The high-speed encoder interface allows the use of direct-metrology linear and angular scales with resolutions down to the nanometer...

Products : Motion Control
Actuator

BEI Kimco Magnetics (Vista, CA) has released the Moving Magnet voice coil actuator series. When combined with smart drive electronics, the actuator can be controlled for speed and desired output force. Moving magnet actuators are designed for applications that require moderate speed and controllable, gentle stop points including...

Products : Motion Control
Linear Motors

Applimotion (Loomis, CA) offers LARC (Linear Arc) motors for large-diameter applications greater than 1 meter in diameter. The modular nature of the motors allows them to integrate with large assemblies for scanning, imaging, and metrology applications where size requirements take priority over high-torque requirements. LARC motors...

Products : Motion Control
Position Switches

AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) offers the NITRA® line of position switches for pneumatic cylinders, including round, dovetail, t-slot, square, and D-shaped. Additional dovetail accessories are available to accommodate larger dovetail slots. The solid-state electronic switches are available in normally open, 3-wire DC PNP and...

Products : Motion Control
Rotary Position Sensor

Piher Sensors & Controls (Chicago, IL) has introduced the MTS-360 Mechanical Mount rotary position sensor with integral PCB. Designed with the sensor directly mounted onto a PCB, the package allows engineers to install a rotary sensor without designing a printed circuit board for the sensor. The assembly is available with...

Products : Motion Control
Vibration Isolator

Minus K Technology (Inglewood, CA) has released the CM-1 compact, high-capacity, low-frequency, negative-stiffness isolator designed to support heavy payloads while reducing low-frequency vibrations. The isolator comes in several capacity ranges to match vibration-sensitive instruments such as SPMs, micro-hardness testers,...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Position Sensors

Bourns (Riverside, CA) has introduced the Bourns® Model AMS22U and Model AMM20B non-contacting rotary position sensors for rugged environments. They utilize magnetic Hall Effect (HE) technology, and are designed for pneumatic control valve position feedback, actuator motor position feedback, lift/shuttle suspension...

Products : Motion Control
Linear Servo Actuator

Tolomatic (Hamel, MN) offers the IMA integrated linear servo actuator with ball screws that provide up to 58 inches per second. Designed for long life in high duty cycles, the actuator is suited for press fitting systems, valve and process control, lightweight spot welding, and fluid dispensing. The actuator integrates a...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Controllers

The Simatic S7-1500 controllers from Siemens Industry (Chicago, IL) feature integrated motion control, security, and safety functions, as well as a color display. The controllers feature a backplane bus with a high baud rate and efficient transmission protocol, and have have two built-in, standard Profinet interfaces. The largest...

Products : Motion Control
Cartesian Robot

IAI America (Torrance, CA) offers a Cartesian robot with commanded acceleration of up to 3.2 G (maximum instantaneous acceleration: 4.8 G). The dedicated cast aluminum frame ensures high rigidity. The shape and vibration damping of the fastening brackets for XY-axes reduce the vibration at the tip of the Zaxis, while the...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
AC Vector Drives

The SK 200E series distributed size 4 AC vector drives from NORD Gear Corp. (Waunakee, WI) offers power capacity to 30 HP. The drives are capable of operating up to 15-HP motors on 200 to 240 VAC 3-phase power, and up to 30-HP motors on 380 to 500 VAC 3-phase power. The drive mounts directly to the motor and not in the control...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Lens Actuator

New Scale Technologies (Victor, NY) offers the UTAF (ultra-thin auto focus) piezoelectric lens actuator module that measures 8.5 × 8.5 × 3.8 mm. The module integrates the company’s UTAF piezoelectric beam motor with a drive IC and position sensor IC for closed-loop motion control. A pin bushing system moves the lens in a...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Gear Reducer

The Able VRB Gear Reducer from Shimpo Drives is available from Servo2Go.com (Greenville, DE), and is suited for packaging machinery, medical equipment, and assembly cell automation. The standard mounting is a through-bolt style. The maximum output torque peaks at 2,300 in-lbs. It provides high-precision backlash rating of

Who's Who
Huy Tran, Deputy Director, Aeronautics Directorate, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Huy Tran is the Deputy Director of the Aeronautics Directorate that performs research in air traffic management, advanced aircraft design, and thermal protection. Tran has made significant contributions to flight hardware on several NASA missions and was...

Techs for License
Multiple-Component Fibers Strengthen Non-Woven Fabric

A technology provides a full-surface, bonded, nonwoven fabric with a tensile strength suitable for packaging, bubble packs, and other applications requiring tear resistance. Fullwidth bonding, compared to the more common patterned point bonding, produces the high-strength fabric. The thin,...

Techs for License
Microwave Energy Removes Fuel- Processing Impurities

A traditional sulfur-adsorption bed uses microwave energy to remove, or desorb, captured impurities. Conventional adsorption beds use heat and sometimes vacuum to cleanse the bed of sorbents; the process is energy-intensive and can reduce sorbent life. By using microwaves, the new technology...

NASA Tech Needs
Viscosity Thickeners for Adhesive Polymer

A client uses sodium and potassium stearates to build body and viscosity in a polymer dispersion intended as an adhesive. The stearates adversely affect shear strength after the dispersion cures. Non-stearate thickeners, or different stearates, are needed. By varying the nature of the fillers and...

NASA Tech Needs
New Sensations for Saline Nasal Sprays

New sensations for saline sprays and washes must moisturize dry nasal passages and relieve a stuffy nose. Additives such as eucalyptus or sesame oil, for example, produce coolness or warmth. The desired effects must calm, soften, and relieve symptoms. An antibacterial effect and a physical rinse are of...

Podcasts
Huy Tran, Deputy Director, Aeronautics Directorate, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Huy Tran is the Deputy Director of the Aeronautics Directorate that performs research in air traffic management, advanced aircraft design, and thermal protection. Tran has made significant contributions to flight hardware on several NASA missions...