June 2015

News : Materials
New Technique Enables Fast, Inexpensive Nanofiber Production

The high cost to manufacture nanofibers has relegated them to just a few niche industries. MIT researchers developed a new technique for producing nanofibers that increases the rate of production fourfold while reducing energy consumption by more than 90 percent, holding out the...

News : Materials
Speedy Laser Mirrors Enable Better Welding

Silicon micromirrors can guide laser beams at extremely high speeds, allowing operators to dose heat input to workpieces with absolute precision. But to date, they have not been robust enough to be used for laser cutting and welding. Researchers have developed fast, durable mirrors that are capable of...

News : Energy
3D-Printed Aerogels Improve Energy Storage

A new type of graphene aerogel will make for better energy storage, sensors, nanoelectronics, catalysis, and separations. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory made graphene aerogel microlattices with an engineered architecture via a 3D printing technique known as direct ink writing. The 3D printed...

News : Aerospace
NASA Tests Aircraft Wing Coatings that Slough Bug Guts

Bug guts create drag, and drag increases fuel consumption. But aircraft of the future could be made more fuel-efficient with non-stick coatings NASA recently tested on Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator 757. NASA and Boeing engineers tested non-stick wing coatings designed to shed insect residue and...

News : Energy
Fuel Cell Carts Deliver Power to Airplane Galleys

Airplane galleys consume a huge amount of power. Additional power units may soon come to the rescue: housed inside trolley carts in the galleys, these units deliver both supplemental power and thus uncouple the power to the cabin and the kitchen from power supplied to the rest of the aircraft. In...

News : Aerospace
System Lets Drones Fly Autonomously and Learn New Routes

Drones, say goodbye to pilots. With the goal of achieving autonomous flight of these aerial vehicles, researchers developed a vision and learning system to control and navigate them without relying on a GPS signal or trained personnel. The method estimates the position and orientation of...

Question of the Week
Will seaplanes take flight?

This week's Question: As global air traffic increases and airports expand, researchers from Imperial College London's Department of Aeronautics have developed a design concept for a medium to long-range seaplane. The proposed design, the Imperial College team says, may reduce the pressure on inland airports, lower...

News : Motion Control
Tiny Origami Robot Folds Itself Up

MIT researchers have developed a printable origami-inspired robot that, when heated, folds itself up from a flat sheet of plastic. The robot weighs a third of a gram and measures about a centimeter from front to back.

News : Energy
New Fluid Makes Geothermal Power Cleaner

More American homes could be powered by the Earth's natural underground heat with a new, nontoxic, and potentially recyclable liquid that is expected to use half as much water as other fluids used to tap into otherwise unreachable geothermal hot spots. The fluid might be a boon to a new approach to...

News : Motion Control
Smart Tablet Controls Swarms of Robots

Using a tablet and a red beam of light, researchers at Georgia Tech have created a system that controls a fleet of robots with the swipe of a finger. A person taps the tablet to control where the beam of light appears on a floor. The swarm robots then roll toward the illumination, constantly communicating...

News : Motion Control
Handheld Tools Perform Tasks Based on User’s Motions

What if handheld tools knew what needs to be done and were even able to guide and help inexperienced users to complete jobs that require skill? Researchers at the University of Bristol (UK) have developed a novel concept in robotics: intelligent handheld robots.

Features : Electronics & Computers
Researchers Develop Biodegradable Wooden Computer Chips

Portable electronics — typically made of non-renewable, non-biodegradable and potentially toxic materials — are discarded at an alarming rate in consumers' pursuit of the next best electronic gadget. In an effort to alleviate the environmental burden of electronic devices, a team of...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Improving Organic Transistors that Drive Flexible Electronics

A revolution is coming in flexible electronic technologies as cheaper, more flexible, organic transistors come on the scene to replace expensive, rigid, silicone-based semiconductors. But materials scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst say not enough is known about how...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Computing at the Speed of Light

University of Utah engineers have taken a step forward in creating the next generation of computers and mobile devices capable of speeds millions of times faster than current machines. The Utah engineers have developed an ultracompact beamsplitter — the smallest on record — for dividing light waves into two...

Products : Electronics & Computers
64G MUX/DEMUX Modules

Anritsu Company (Richardson, TX) has introduced the MP1861A 56/64 Gbit/s MUX and MP1862A 56/64 Gbit/s DEMUX for its MP1800A BERT Signal Quality Analyzer to support 56/64 Gbit/s BER measurements required by signal integrity engineers to accurately evaluate high-speed serial transmission devices. The integrated solution...

Products : Electronics & Computers
High-Performance DC Fan

Orion Fans (Dallas, TX) has designed a super high-performance 60mm 24V DC fan that delivers airflow up to 86 CFM, an increase of more than 25% versus previously available DC fans. The OD6038 XC Series fan offers a superior maximum static pressure value of 2.9" H20. Made of rugged PBT, UL94V-0 plastic, the OD6038 XC Series...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Advanced Circular Connector

ODU (Camarillo, CA) has announced its highly customizable ODU MINI-SNAP® advanced connector solutions to the US market. ODU MINI-SNAP® is a circular connector with Push-Pull locking capabilities. Available in up to 8 sizes and multiple keying options, ODU MINI-SNAP® has also a blind mating feature, coax and triax...

Products : Electronics & Computers
6 Watt DC-DC converters

XP Power (Sunnyvale, CA) has introduced the ITQ series of 6 Watt DC-DC converters. Packaged in a compact SIP 8-pin format, with a footprint measuring just 0.86 x 0.44 x 0.36 inches, the ITQ series delivers a power density of up to 44 Watts per cubic inch and is highly efficient, typically 87%, making it well suited to...

Question of the Week
Would you implant a technology under your skin?

This week's Question: During a speech at last week's Sensors Expo in Long Beach, California, keynote speaker and NewDealDesign technology designer Gadi Amit explained a new concept that he believes could be the next step in wearable technology. The idea, Project Underskin, is an implantable device...

News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Engineer Creates Origami Battery

A Binghamton engineer, Seokheun "Sean" Choi, developed an inexpensive, bacteria-powered battery made from paper. Using a drop of bacteria-containing liquid, the battery generates power from microbial respiration and delivers enough energy to run a paper-based biosensor.

News : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Computer Operates on Water Droplets

A synchronous computer from Stanford University operates using the unique physics of moving water droplets. The work combines the manipulation of droplet fluid dynamics with a fundamental element of computer science – an operating clock.

News : Imaging
Compact Light Source Improves CT Scans

A new study shows that the recently developed Compact Light Source (CLS) – a commercial X-ray source with roots in research and development efforts at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory – enables computer tomography scans that reveal more detail than routine scans...

News : Materials
"TREASORES" Project Moves Towards "Printed" Organic Solar Cells, LEDs

Flexible optoelectronic devices that can be produced roll-to-roll – much like newspapers are printed – are a highly promising path to cheaper devices such as solar cells and LED lighting panels. Scientists from "TREASORES" project recently demonstrated prototype flexible...

Products
Intelligent Back Light

EVT (Karlsruhe, Germany) has introduced a new industrial back light in its BrainLight smart illumination series. The LEDs of the intelligent back light can illuminate in the colors red, green, blue and white. There is a diffusor plate in front of the LEDs so that the light spreads evenly over the object. All together there...

Products : Lighting
Flexible Light Engine Material

Norlux (Elgin, IL) has introduced new NorFlex brand flexible continuous light engine material. The cuttable high-power LED circuits on a semi-rigid material provide 5x the lumen output of low power flex materials. Available on 200-400 ft. reels, the material is cuttable to maximize production flexibility. No...

Products
Diffuser Sheet Catalog

Lambda Research Corporation (Littleton, MA) recently added the Luminit Light Shaping Diffusers (LSDs) catalog to the latest version of its flagship TracePro software, TracePro v7.6. This new TracePro diffuser catalog includes Luminit’s 10, 20, 40, 60, and 80 degree isotropic diffusers and their 15x1, 30x5, 60x10, 75x45...

Products
60V LED Driver

Linear Technology’s (Milpitas, CA) LT3952 is a current mode step-up DC/DC converter with an internal 60V, 4A DMOS power switch. It is specifically designed to drive high power LEDs in multiple configurations. It combines input and output current regulation loops with output voltage regulation to operate as a flexible...

Question of the Week
Will robots hurt the job market?

This week's Question: In a cover article in this month's issue of The Harvard Business Review, two researchers suggest strategies for remaining gainfully employed in an age of robotics and smarter machines. Although the authors concede the advance of automation, editor at large Julia Kirby and Babson College...

News : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Etching Method Boosts Nanofiber Production

A new technique from MIT researchers boosts production of nanofibers fourfold, while cutting energy consumption by more than 90 percent. Potential nanofiber applications include solar cells, water filtration, and fuel cells.

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Generating Broadband Terahertz Radiation from Microplasma in Air

Researchers at the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics have shown that a laser-generated microplasma in air can be used as a source of broadband terahertz radiation. Fabrizio Buccheri and Xi-Cheng Zhang recently demonstrated that an approach for generating terahertz...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Scientists Use X-Ray Laser to Track Ultrafast Creation of a Catalyst

An international team has, for the first time, precisely tracked the surprisingly rapid process by which light rearranges the outermost electrons of a metal compound and turns it into an active catalyst – a substance that promotes chemical reactions. The research, which was...

News : Photonics/Optics
High-Power Laser Spinoff Proves Versatility is Strength

Since lasers were invented in 1960, they have penetrated countless scientific, industrial and recreational fields from eye surgery to DVD players, from cutting steel to triggering ignition in missile stages. That last use is a target market for Alfalight, a University of Wisconsin-Madison...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Free Space Optical Receiver for Data Detection and Radio Science Measurements

For deep space communication systems, the decision of whether or not to suppress the transmitted carrier has always been an issue. For certain missions that use high data rates, the available bandwidth might be a limiting factor. In such cases, it is preferred to use a...

Briefs : Data Acquisition
Precision Miniature Attitude Determination and Control System

The MAI-400SS Space Sextant is a turnkey Attitude Determination And Control System (ADACS) for CubeSats and nanosatellites. It is an enhanced version of the MAI-400, which is a precision CubeSat ADACS incorporating three reaction wheels, three electromagnets, and an ADACS computer in...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Combined Detection and Tracking of Moving Objects in Aerial Surveillance Images

This software implements a new probabilistic framework for integrated multi-target detection and tracking of small moving objects in image sequences, with specific application to tracking people in aerial images, in which image stabilization is inherently noisy.

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Neo-Geography Toolkit (NGT) v2

The Neo-Geography Toolkit (NGT) is a collection of open-source software tools for the automated processing of geospatial data, including images and maps. It can process raw raster data from remote sensing instruments and transform it into useful cartographic products such as visible image base maps, topographic...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Real-Time, In-Situ Determination and Monitoring of Hot- and Cold-Side Thermal Resistances in Thermoelectric Systems

Thermoelectric (TE) energy recovery is an important technology for recovering waste thermal energy in high-temperature industrial, transportation, and military energy systems. TE power systems in these applications require...

Briefs : Data Acquisition
Physical Characterization of Radiated and Non-Radiated Materials to Temperatures Less than 50 K

Solar-array panels will experience very low temperatures of 50 K for the proposed Europa Clipper Mission (ECM). Solar-array panels will also undergo thermal cycling from 50 K to 133 K during the mission due to Jovian eclipsing. Unfortunately, there...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Worldview Satellite Imagery Browsing and Downloading Tool

Worldview is a software tool designed for interactively browsing and downloading imagery from NASA’s Earth observing satellites. Building upon a set of open source mapping and user interface libraries, it provides an environment to visually discover interesting phenomena as observed by...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Method and Device for Biometric Subject Verification and Identification

This invention allows the verification and identification of a person based on features extracted from one or more electrocardiographic leads or channels. For identification purposes, the invention can be used to identify a subject from a group of known subjects. For...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
SMAP Radiometer Instrument Science Signal and Data Processing Software (SPS)

This technology was developed for the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission and for the IRAD-FY13 Technology for Radiometer RFI Noise Detection & Mitigation Based on HHT2. Spacecraft beyond the present state-of-the-art passive radiometry will make use of...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Enhancing Neutron Imaging with Grazing Incidence Optics

A low-cost optical element was developed specifically for neutron optics applications. The technology operates as a reflective lens — similar to proven grazing incidence optics used for x-ray imaging — and improves neutron imaging resolution for applications using low-energy (<1...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Motion Blur Evaluation Techniques

Motion blur results when a moving edge travels across a display, such as a liquid crystal display (LCD), that has limited temporal response. It is important to be able to quantify this effect in visual terms. The techniques described in this work provide methods for estimating the strength of the motion blur...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Illuminating Permanently Shadowed Lunar Regions Using a Solar Sail

Sunlight can be reflected into permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) using S/C solar sails in order to detect and confirm the presence and distribution of water ice cold-trapped in PSRs in lunar polar craters. This reflected light is then viewed with an optical spectrometer.

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Hardening Electronics Against Difficult High-Temperature Environments

A new technology delivers temperature hardening in a number of products at the CMOS process level while increasing overall product reliability and longevity. Providing solutions that operate successfully in extreme temperature applications in the oil and gas, space,...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Stacked Capacitor Special Lead Adapter

The current installation method for tall, stacked capacitors is very cumbersome because the lead form is very sharp and prone to solder cracking due to thermal cycling. An astringent installation process was developed to obtain the best chance of a successful solder joint with a proper heel fillet so the...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Nanoscale Vacuum Channel Transistor

This invention presents a nanoscale vacuum tube or vacuum transistor fabricated entirely using current silicon integrated circuit manufacturing techniques. Vacuum is better for electron transport than any semiconductor since there is no electron scattering. In addition, vacuum devices are immune to radiation....

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Aluminum Rocket Engine Injector Fabricated Using 3D Additive Manufacturing

Liquid rocket engine injectors can be extremely expensive to manufacture and hard to iterate to achieve high performance. Internal sealing points can also be the source of reliability issues. The technology disclosed here covers the application of a 3D additive...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Making Flexible Ablators that are Flexible Char Formers

An approach was developed for making low-density, flexible ablators for a thermal protection system (TPS) from a flexible fibrous carbon substrate and a polymer resin. The material is foldable and stowable, and can be deployed in space without compromising performance. In addition, the...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Method for Providing Semiconductors Having Self-Aligned Ion Implant

This is a modification to technology for realizing durable and stable electrical functionality of high-temperature transistors. This modification is believed crucial to experimental implementation of SiC junction field effect transistors that electrically operated continuously...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Femtosecond Laser Processing of Metal and Plastics

While precise and fast, the down side to cutting with microsecond (ms) fiber lasers has been that the parts require a number of post-processing operations after they are cut, which add significantly to part cost, and can also damage mechanically delicate parts.

Briefs : Materials
Regenerable Trace-Contaminant Sorbent for the Primary Life Support System (PLSS)

The NASA objective of expanding the human experience into the far reaches of space requires the development of regenerable life support systems. This work addresses the development of a regenerable air-revitalization system for trace-contaminant (TC) removal for the...

Briefs : Materials
Lithium Fluoride as a Polysulfide Shuttle Inhibitor for Lithium Sulfur Chemistry

In a lithium sulfur cell, the reduction of sulfur to lithium sulfide is a critical series of reactions that provides a large theoretical capacity of 1,672 mAh/g sulfur. One of many challenges in this system is the solubility of generated lithium polysulfides during...

Briefs : Materials
Fibers of Aligned Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes and Process for Making the Same

Single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are fullerenes of closed-cage carbon molecules typically arranged in hexagons and pentagons. Commonly known as “buckytubes,” these cylindrical carbon structures have extraordinary properties, including high electrical and...

Briefs : Materials
Enhancing MRI Contrast by Geometrical Confinement of Small Imaging Agents Within Nanoporous Particles

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has evolved into one of the most powerful, non-invasive diagnostic imaging techniques in medicine and biomedical research. The superior resolution and in-depth anatomical details provided by MRI are essential for...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
NASA Flywheel for iPad

NASA Flywheel is an augmented reality application intended to highlight NASA Glenn’s research efforts in the area of flywheel energy storage systems. The app utilizes a printed optical target, available on the GRC Flywheel Program brochure and through the NASA Glenn Web portal, to present users with 3D views of flywheel...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Three-Dimensional Photovoltaics Array for Laser-Based Power Transfer

A standard solar array is a flat panel configured of many individual solar cells, wired in series or parallel, depending on their junction configuration and material. Since the solar flux is constant depending on the distance from the Sun, the maximum energy conversion for a...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Nanowire-Based Piezoelectric Power Generation

Sensors have improved in terms of size, capability, and power consumption, but their deployment in remote areas is limited by battery power supplies. Using piezoelectric (PE) materials for energy scavenging is a possible way to remedy the situation. The technology developed in this work converts...

Briefs : Information Technology
Tool for Turbine Engine Closed-loop Transient Analysis (TTECTrA)

The current steady-state performance-based system studies are not adequate to evaluate certain advanced technologies for the challenges associated with meeting the transient performance requirements without better definition and control of component operating margins. Additional...

Briefs : Information Technology
Wald Sequential Probability Ratio Test for Space Object Conjunction Assessment

When a maneuverable spacecraft confronts a potentially unsafe conjunction with another space object, its operators must decide whether to maneuver to mitigate the risk of a collision. Such decisions may not be straightforward, since the operators must balance their...

Briefs : Software
Next Generation of 3DGRAPE: Flexible Framework for Hypersonic Navier-Stokes Shuttle Orbiter Meshes

The class of 3DGRAPE codes is designed to generate volume grids using iterative methods to solve the non-linear, nonhomogeneous, elliptic partial differential heat equation with heat sources. The solution to the heat equation develops...

Briefs : Information Technology
Delay Tolerant Link State Routing MACHETE Model

This software models the Delay Tolerant Link State Routing protocol. It runs inside the QualNet network simulator, and allows injecting of external bundles when running in emulation mode. It leverages QualNet’s library of networking protocols and JPL’s CCSDS models.

Briefs : Information Technology
Extendable Uniform Remote Operations Planning Architecture (EUROPA) 2.1

The EUROPA planning system is a general-purpose, reusable, artificial intelligence software system for automatically generating plans for performing complex activities in parallel, in accordance with constraints on activities and their interactions. One part of the system...

Briefs : Information Technology
Acoustic Emission Analysis Applet (AEAA) Software

Vendor software supplied with commercial acoustic emission equipment is incapable of performing the analysis required to characterize damage and make decisions on remaining life for NASA composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs). The Acoustic Emission Analysis Applet (AEAA) software,...

Briefs : Software
Software-Defined Beacon Receiver Implementation Using Frequency Estimation Algorithms

The objective of this work was to develop a robust, cost-effective receiver with maximum dynamic range to track the frequency and power variation of a beacon signal. The result was the development of a frequency estimation algorithm that yields a more accurate...

Briefs : Information Technology
CT-CURS: Computed Tomography Cylinder Data Unwrapping-Reslicing & Analysis, v2

The software for NASA’s Northstar Systems computed tomography (CT) and Picometrix Terahertz CT systems do not have the ability to unwrap and reslice cylindrical CT data to allow top-to-bottom, 2D sheet views of the data. Therefore, it is difficult to size flaws...

Briefs : Information Technology
NTTS Search and Reporting

The NASA Technology Transfer System (NTTS) is a NASA-created technology transfer workflow management system, a schema-less database management system used to track the life-cycle of NASA inventions. It is built on XDB, a NASA homegrown XML database. Because of its schema-less approach to store data, NTTS can host a...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Products of Tomorrow: June 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 : Aerospace
Choosing the Right Batteries for High-Tech Devices

Wireless technology is growing rapidly, now encompassing consumer-grade devices as well as industrial-grade products used in utility meter reading (AMR/AMI), wireless mesh networks, system control and data acquisition (SCADA), data loggers, measurement while drilling, oceanographic measurements,...

Articles : Aerospace
Software Helps NASA Simulate Performance of James Webb Telescope
Femap™ engineering simulation software
Siemens PLM Software
Plano, TX
972-987-3000
www.siemens.com/plm

Scheduled for launch in 2018, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Observatory will operate 1.5 million kilometers above the Earth. Its mission...

Spinoff : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Improved Calibration Shows Images’ True Colors

NASA Technology

In satellite images, the waters of the Pearl River, which winds around NASA’s Stennis Space Center, are about the same brownish green typical of waterways the world...

Briefs : Imaging
Researcher Spotlight: Imaging Software Improves Video Monitoring of Vital Signs

By detecting nearly imperceptible changes in skin color, emerging imaging technologies have been able to extract pulse rate, breathing rate, and other vital signs from a person facing a camera. The videography tools have struggled, however, to compensate for low...

Briefs : Imaging
High Dynamic Range Imaging (HDRI) Upgrades Inspection Results

Designers and operators of automated inspection systems have long been challenged with completing accurate inspections when those tasks required high dynamic range, or when there was a need to capture critical details in objects or environments with high contrast between their...

Application Briefs : Imaging
Advanced Holography Offers 3D Fire Measurements

In a propellant fire, large molten aluminum drops form at the burning surface. The drops are lofted into the environment and can severely damage anything that they fall on. Liquid breakup must be understood to predict the scale and intensity of such fires.

Application Briefs : Imaging
Cameras Provide Critical Data for NASA Rocket’s First Flight

On March 11, NASA tested the powerful five-segment booster for NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System. To provide critical data for the rocket’s first flight, eight cameras with more than 40 different settings — including varying exposures — were set up near the forward...

Articles : Motion Control
Integrating Functional Pneumatic Safety Devices into Control Systems

Over the past several years, controls engineers have become adept at applying control systems to machine safety applications. The issue is that safety is a moving target. There are new and revised international standards to contend with. Furthermore, the supplier community is...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Thermoplastic Racks Open Up New Motion Control Applications

Rack and pinions are linear actuators that play a critical role in a wide range of linear motion control applications. While rack and pinions are commonly thought of as a timeless technology, several new developments have helped provide significant performance improvements in specific...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Explosion-Proof Encoder

BEI Sensors (Goleta, CA) announced the Model LP35 explosion-proof and flameproof, low-profile, hollow shaft encoder that features a 2.01" profile and is designed to meet UL, ATEX, and IECEx standards for operation directly in Division 1, Zone 1 environments such as oil and gas. The encoder features a standard removable...

Products : Motion Control
Drive System Software

Festo (Hauppauge, NY) introduced PositioningDrives software for designing single-axis drive systems. Engineers input application requirements and the software details the information necessary to create a Festo component parts list, including electromechanical actuator, motor, drive, cables, and other accessories. The...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Planetary Gearboxes

Pittman Motors (Harleysville, PA) offers the PLG24, PLG42K, PLG42S, PLG52, and PLG63 planetary gearboxes available with Pittman brush and brushless DC motors. The PLG planetary gearboxes deliver high-torque loads and are suitable for OEM motion control applications such as pan/tilt functions, indexing, pumping, conveying, and...

Products : Motion Control
Rotary Encoder

The Multi Wheel Encoder from Elma Electronic (Fremont, CA) is a miniature rotary encoder that includes an illuminated 8+1 joystick, enabling control using one finger. The encoder features Hall effect sensed incremental encoder output and 12 detents with magnetic indexing to ensure proper alignment and positioning through the life...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Digital Load Cell

HBM (Marlborough, MA) introduced the FIT7A digital load cell that enables machines to make up to 180 weighings per minute. The load cell features accuracy class C4 per OIML R60, and a maximum scale interval factor Y of up to 25,000 in legal for trade applications. In non-legal for trade applications where the value is extremely...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Tabletop Robot

Universal Robots (Odense, Denmark) introduced the UR3 tabletop robot that weighs 24.3 pounds and has a payload of 6.6 pounds, 360-degree rotation on all wrist joints, and infinite rotation on the end joint. The flexible, lightweight robot can work side-by-side with employees. The robot has 15 adjustable safety settings including...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Angle Sensors

Novotechnik, U.S. (Southborough, MA) introduced the Vert-X 2400 compact angle sensors that convert rotational angle into a voltage output. The sensors are available in single and fully redundant versions; diameter of the housing base is 24 mm. Measurement range is 0 to 360° with repeatability of 0.1°. The sensors offer 12-bit...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Five-Axis Machining

The VMX30UHSi, VMX42HSRTi, VMX84SWi, VMX60SWi, and VMX60Ui from Hurco (Indianapolis, IN) are 5-axis machines for traditional 3-axis parts with features on all five sides. The VMX42HSRTi has a swivel-head design with a direct drive rotary torque table (C-axis) and is equipped with an 18,000-rpm integral motorized spindle. The...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Part Gripper

The EGP 25 electric small part gripper from SCHUNK (Morrisville, NC) weighs 110 g and has a stroke of 3 mm per finger. The gripping force can be adjusted on two stages, and maximum gripping force is 40 N. The gripper can handle workpieces up to 200 g, and closing time amounts to 0.09 s. The maintenance-free servomotors are brushless...

Products : Motion Control
Hydraulic Motors

Dayton Lamina™ (Dayton, OH) offers low-speed/high-torque, high-speed/low-torque hydraulic motors that feature instant forward and reverse. Six motors are available with a torque range from 0 to 656 in-lbs. and speeds from 0 to 2255 RPM. Four flange options allow easy assembly to other production equipment. The motors include a...

Products : Motion Control
Controller

The iQ-F Series compact controller from Mitsubishi Electric Automation (Vernon Hills, IL) is based on the FX Series and offers synchronized motion control, data logging, and security features. The controller provides embedded functions, including analog and digital I/O, positioning control, and serial and Ethernet communication. An...

Products : Motion Control
Rotary Vane Pumps

Kurt J. Lesker (Jefferson Hills, PA) offers KJLC RV Series rotary vane pumps that feature an anti-suckback mechanism to prevent oil from back-flowing in the event of accidental shutdown, power failure, etc. A pressurized oil circuit assures constant lubrication regardless of the inlet pressure. A gas ballast valve helps reduce...

Products : Motion Control
Linear Stage

Bell-Everman (Goleta, CA) offers the SLS Light sealed linear stage that keeps contamination such as manufacturing debris, particulate, or liquid contaminants outside of the stage housing. The stage measures 80 × 120 mm, and has maximum dynamic payloads of 15 kg for the direct drive linear motor version, and 30 kg for the ball screw...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Flow Controller

PISCO USA (Elmhurst, IL) offers a flow controller that features a built-in shock absorber function. It uses a 2-stage speed control to regulate exhaust speed and absorb shock in pneumatic cylinders. The units have three needles to adjust the initial speed of the cylinder (first stage), speed of the brake (second stage), and...

Products : Motion Control
Shock Sensors

PCB Piezotronics (Depew, NY) introduced the Model 350B01 mechanically isolated, electrically filtered, nearfield or farfield pyroshock sensor capable of measuring up to 100,000 g. The sensor measures High-G shock and harsh pyroshock events such as metal-to-metal impact, explosive bolts, impact tools, and stage separation testing....

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Servo Drive/Controller

Parker’s Electromechanical Automation Division (Rohnert Park, CA) offers the Intelligent Parker Amplifier (IPA), a 1.5-axis servo drive/controller based on the ACR control platform. Available in two power levels — 400W and 1500W — the unit can drive a range of rotary and linear motors, and supports a number of...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Potentiometer

Hoffmann + Krippner (Woodstock, GA) introduced the DL30 series linear motion potentiometer (transducer) series that features low-profile dimensions of 30 × 30 mm and variable lengths. Various types of resistors (e.g. wire, conductive plastic, and Sensofoil® membrane) are available. Features include compact design, rugged aluminum...

Products : Motion Control
Track System

Accuride (Santa Fe Springs, CA) introduced the Model AL4190 Tilt Track System that provides access to drawers or trays installed at shoulder level and above. The system uses wheels and rollers to extend the drawer, and an aluminum channel guides the back of the drawer upward as it slides out of the case, tilting the drawer downward...

Products : Motion Control
Actuators

Nook Industries (Cleveland, OH) offers Series 500™ programmable actuators designed for continuous duty and long service life. They incorporate a direct or toothed-belt drive for high mechanical efficiency. Ball screw-driven programmable actuators are made with high-strength materials, and are available in parallel and in-line models...

Products : Motion Control
Machine Control

Unitronics (Quincy, MA) has introduced Samba, a palm-sized PLC with HMI and onboard I/Os for machine control that features a color 7" HMI panel. The 16-bit touchscreen enables data entry and display of variable data, including color trend graphs and alarm screens. Samba supports 24 userdesigned screens and 5-MB images per...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Accelerometer Chips

Silicon Designs (Kirkland, WA) offers industrial-grade MEMS variable capacitive accelerometer chips and modules for zero- to medium-frequency instrumentation applications. Onboard voltage regulation and an internal reference minimize temperature and voltage changes while eliminating additional external power regulation...

Who's Who
Kurt Leucht, Command & Control Software Developer, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Project Lead Kurt Leucht has spent recent months testing the software of NASA's "Swarmie" robots. Using an evolving genetic algorithm, the robots operate as connected, ant-like swarms. The technology could prove to be valuable as humans explore harsh, remote, or...

Podcasts
Kurt Leucht, Command & Control Software Developer, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Project Lead Kurt Leucht has spent recent months testing the software of NASA’s “Swarmie” robots. Using an evolving genetic algorithm, the robots operate as connected, ant-like swarms. The technology could prove to be valuable as humans explore harsh, remote,...

Technology Leaders