July 2011

News : Energy
Unusual Effect May Lead to More Efficient Thermoelectric Devices

Berkeley Lab scientists have found that temperature gradients in semiconductors, when one side of the device is hotter than the opposite side, can produce electronic vortices...

Question of the Week
Will greater robotics initiatives hurt more than help?

This week's Question: Last month, the White House announced the National Robotics Initiative, a major program to develop next-generation robots for manufacturing, healthcare, and other areas. The robotics community received the project with enthusiasm, but some observers expressed concern...

Articles : Medical
Meet Our Readers: Michael Hudspeth, CAD Designer, Medical Devices

In a new series, the editors of NASA Tech Briefs magazine catch up with everyday engineers about their unique responsibilities and challenges. This week, we highlight fellow reader and CAD designer of medical devices, Michael Hudspeth.

Products : Energy
Power Module for Electric Vehicles

Mitsubishi Electric (Tokyo, Japan) recently introduced a transfer molded power module (T-PM) designed for hybrid and electric vehicle applications. The J-Series T-PM, incorporating proprietary technology that ensures power loss reduction, has a lifespan 30 times longer than industrial power modules and is also...

Products : Energy
Illumination Design and Analysis Software

Synopsys, Inc. (Mountain View, CA) introduces version 7.2 of its LightTools® illumination design and analysis software with features that will help users graphically analyze simulation results, compute important metrics when designing for the lighting industry, iteratively design with CAD software, and...

Products : Energy
Supercapacitor Charger

Linear Technology Corporation (Milpitas, CA) has introduced the LTC3226 inductorless supercapacitor charger with backup PowerPath™ controller for Li-ion or other low-voltage system rails in applications that require short-term backup power.

News : Energy
New 3D Photonic Crystals Are Electronically and Optically Active

Researchers at the University of Illnois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated the first optoelectronically active 3D photonic crystal - an advance that could open new avenues for solar cells, LEDs, lasers, and more.

Question of the Week
Is there money in the moon?

This week's Question: Driven by a $30 million prize put up by Google, more  than two dozen teams have signed up for a competition to become the first  private venture to land on the Moon. That means spacecrafts could be heading out within a few years, and many entrepreneurs are developing possible ideas that...

20 Watt DC/DC Converters

XP Power (Sunnyvale, CA) announced additions to its range of low power metal cased DC/DC converters with the launch of the 20 Watt JCM20 and JTK20 series. Achieving a power density of up to 51 Watts per cubic inch and an efficiency of up to 89%, these 1 x 1 x 0.39 inch (25.4 x 25.4 x 9.90 mm)units are suitable for...

IP65-rated Panel PCs

Four new industrial-grade panel PCs have been introduced by WinSystems (Arlington, TX). Available with 12-, 15-, 17- or 19-inch diagonal displays and touch screens, the PPC65 family of panel PCs is powered by a fully integrated 1.6 GHz Intel(R) Atom(TM)-based single board computer (SBC) that offers a multitude of I/O...

Headphone and Speaker Amplifiers

Fairchild Semiconductor (San Jose, CA) has introduced the FAB1200 stereo Class-G ground-referenced headphone amplifier with integrated buck converter, and the FAB2200 audio subsystem with stereo Class-G headphone amplifier and 1.2W Class-D mono speaker amplifier. The FAB1200 features a charge pump that generates...

3U VPX Virtex-6 FPGA Processing Board

The Systems division of Elma Electronic Inc. (Fremont, CA) now offers the TIC-FEP-VPX3b, an FPGA-based 3U VPX front-end processing board that provides an FMC site coupled to a large capacity Virtex-6 FPGA for flexible I/O. Featuring an onboard Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA, the board comes with two banks of 40-bit...

Automotive LED Driver ICs

Allegro MicroSystems (Worcester, MA) has announced two new multi-output LED drivers for LCD backlighting. The A8502 and A8514 integrate a current-mode boost converter with internal power switch and multiple current sinks. The LED sinks can be paralleled together to achieve even higher LED currents. They are capable of...

PCIe x4 Frame Grabber

The PIXCI® A310 video frame grabber from EPIX, Inc. (Buffalo Grove, IL) acquires images from monochrome or component RGB color cameras with formats that include RS-170, CCIR, RS343, VGA, SVGA, XGA, WXGA, SXGA, SXGA+, WXGA, WSGA+, and UXGA. Many capture resolutions are available including 1920x1080p, 1920x1080i, 1280x720p,...

Products : Energy

Lumex (Palatine, IL) has expanded the QuasarBrite™ UV family of LED technologies to include three new standard wavelengths, and announces the availability of custom UV LED arrays. The RoHS-compliant QuasarBrite UV LEDs are now available in standard 355nm, 365nm and 377nm wavelengths in a through-hole format.

News : Aerospace
Meet Our Readers: Sid Wood, Senior Scientist Engineer, Aircraft Navigation

In a new series, the editors of NASA Tech Briefs magazine catch up with everyday engineers about their unique responsibilities and challenges. This week, we highlight fellow reader and aircraft navigation system professional, Sid Wood.

News : Energy
Making Biomass Economically Viable

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center have found a potential key for unlocking the energy potential from non-edible biomass materials such as corn leaves and stalks, or switch grass.

Question of the Week
Should we say good-bye to the incandescent light bulb?
While Congress failed to repeal light bulb efficiency standards last week, many had been debating the importance of LED bulbs and compact fluorescents. Supporters of incandescents say that the light source is cheap compared to alternatives, and its quality is fairly good. Others argue that the...
News : Energy
Solar Panels Act as Roof Shades

A team of researchers led by Jan Kleissl, a professor of environmental engineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, determined that during the day, a building’s ceiling was 5 degrees Fahrenheit cooler under solar panels than under an exposed roof. At night, the panels help hold heat in -...

News : Lighting
Method for Doping Nanocrystals Could Up Efficiency of Solar Panels

A team of researchers have demonstrated how semiconductor nanocrystals can be doped in order to change their electronic properties and be used as conductors. This opens a world of possibilities for applications of small electronic and electro-optical devices, such as diodes and...

News : Government
Online Database for Tidal Energy Resources

The DOE and Georgia Institute of Technology offer a new database highlighting the energy potential available in the U.S. from ocean tides. This online database is an important step towards providing information that can improve the performance, lower the costs, and accelerate the deployment of...

Question of the Week
Will 3D laptops catch on?
Last week, Toshiba unveiled a glasses-free 3D laptop, the Qosmio F750. The screen displays 2D and 3D simultaneously in separate windows. The display uses a lenticular lens sheet, capable of sending slightly different images to the left and right eye separately, thus giving the user a sense of image depth. The computer has...
Articles : Aerospace
NASA Shines on the Big Screen

In less than two weeks, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” has grossed more than $261 million at the box office. And along with the big-name actors involved, other stars of the movie are NASA workers, locations, and technologies.

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Pressure Shell Approach to Integrated Environmental Protection

In order to continue human exploration, habitat systems will require special shells to protect astronauts from hostile environments. This shell consists of multiple layers that can be tailored for specific environmental protection needs. Mainly, this innovation focuses on protecting...

Briefs : Energy
Carbon Dioxide Removal via Passive Thermal Approaches
A regenerable approach to separate carbon dioxide from other cabin gases by means of cooling until the carbon dioxide forms carbon dioxide ice on the walls of the physical device has been developed. Currently, NASA space vehicles remove carbon dioxide by reaction with lithium hydroxide (LiOH) or...
Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Polymer Electrolyte-Based Ambient Temperature Oxygen Microsensors for Environmental Monitoring
An ambient temperature oxygen microsensor, based on a Nafion polymer electrolyte, has been developed. A challenge in the operation of Nafion-based sensor systems is that the conductivity of Nafion film depends on the humidity in the film. Nafion film...
Products : Energy
Solar Mini-Inverter

CyboEnergy (Rancho Cordova, CA) offers CyboInverter, a solar power mini-inverter. The mini-inverter has four input channels and four pairs of DC wires with standard MC-4 connectors that can connect to four solar panels. A number of CyboInverters can daisy chain with the AC input and output cables and connectors.

Articles : Aerospace
As Shuttle Era Ends, NASA Still Chasing Dreams

This Friday, the Space Shuttle program is scheduled to launch its final flight. But as the shuttle era ends, new space vehicles continue to be developed -- even those that are not so new.

Briefs : Medical
Brain Sensing Technology Provides Real-Time Diagnosis

Every 21 seconds, someone suffers a serious brain injury, including stroke, trauma, or concussion. Until now, there has been no way to quickly and reliably diagnose these calamities.

Briefs : Medical
Principles, Techniques, and Applications of Tissue Microfluidics

The principle of tissue microfluidics and its resultant techniques has been applied to cell analysis. Building microfluidics to suit a particular tissue sample would allow the rapid, reliable, inexpensive, highly parallelized, selective extraction of chosen regions of tissue for...

Briefs : Medical
Technology Eliminates the Need for Pre-Wetting Cartridge Filters

There has been a long-term need in the filtration industry — particularly for a variety of life science applications — to eliminate the need for pre-wetting cartridge filters with alcohol before sending them to customers. It is not only an expensive, time-consuming process, but...

Briefs : Medical
Quantifying Risk in Various Methods of Continuous Monitoring

Worldwide, there is growing concern about how to protect public safety and increase cooperation among regulatory agencies to audit medical device companies and their suppliers. Regulatory agencies are increasingly looking to global organizations such as the Global Health Task Force...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
'In Situ' Aerosol Detector

An affordable technology designed to facilitate extensive global atmospheric aerosol measurements has been developed. This lightweight instrument is compatible with newly developed platforms such as tethered balloons, blimps, kites, and even disposable instruments such as dropsondes.

This technology is based on...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Electrical Connector Mechanical Seating Sensor

A sensor provides a measurement of the degree of seating of an electrical connector. This sensor provides a number of discrete distances that a plug is inserted into a socket or receptacle. The number of measurements is equal to the number of pins available in the connector for sensing.

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Multi-Parameter Aerosol Scattering Sensor

This work relates to the development of sensors that measure specific aerosol properties. These properties are in the form of integrated moment distributions, i.e., total surface area, total mass, etc., or mathematical combinations of these moment distributions. Specifically, the innovation involves two...

Briefs : Information Technology
Collaborative Clustering for Sensor Networks

Traditionally, nodes in a sensor network simply collect data and then pass it on to a centralized node that archives, distributes, and possibly analyzes the data. However, analysis at the individual nodes could enable faster detection of anomalies or other interesting events, as well as faster...

Briefs : Information Technology
Automated Verification of Spatial Resolution in Remotely Sensed Imagery

Image spatial resolution characteristics can vary widely among sources. In the case of aerial-based imaging systems, the image spatial resolution characteristics can even vary between acquisitions. In these systems, aircraft altitude, speed, and sensor look angle all affect...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Teleoperated Marsupial Mobile Sensor Platform Pair for Telepresence Insertion Into Challenging Structures

A platform has been developed for two or more vehicles with one or more residing within the other (a marsupial pair). This configuration consists of a large, versatile robot that is carrying a smaller, more specialized autonomous operating...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
MOSFET Switching Circuit Protects Shape Memory Alloy Actuators

A small-footprint, full surface-mount-component printed circuit board employs MOSFET (metal-oxide-semi-conductor field-effect transistor) power switches to switch high currents from any input power supply from 3 to 30 V.

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Optimized FPGA Implementation of Multi-Rate FIR Filters Through Thread Decomposition

Multi-rate finite impulse response (MRFIR) filters are among the essential signal-processing components in space-borne instruments where finite impulse response filters are often used to minimize nonlinear group delay and finite-precision effects. Cascaded...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Circuit for Communication Over Power Lines

Many distributed systems share common sensors and instruments along with a common power line supplying current to the system. A communication technique and circuit has been developed that allows for the simple inclusion of an instrument, sensor, or actuator node within any system containing a common...

Briefs : Materials
High-Performance Micro-Porous Fluoropolymer Plastics for Critical Applications

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a fully fluorinated polymer with exceptional chemical and physical properties: excellent chemical resistance, high temperature stability, good dielectric and nonstick properties and exceptional resistance to degeneration under severe...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
High-Efficiency Ka-Band Waveguide Two-Way Asymmetric Power Combiner

NASA is planning a number of Space Exploration, Earth Observation and Space Science missions where Ka-band solid-state power amplifiers (SSPAs) could have a role. Monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) based SSPAs with output powers on the order of 10 W at Ka-band...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
10–100 Gbps Offload NIC for WAN, NLR, and Grid Computing

An extremely fast offload engine system has been developed that operates at 60 Gigabits per second (Gbps), and has scalability to 100 Gbps full-duplex (f-d). This system is based on unique coding and architecture derived from splintered UDP (User Datagram Protocol) offload technology,...

Briefs : Software
Flight Planning in the Cloud

This new interface will enable Principal Investigators (PIs), as well as UAVSAR (Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar) members to do their own flight planning and time estimation without having to request flight lines through the science coordinator. It uses an all-in-one Google Maps interface, a JPL...

Briefs : Software
MPS Editor

Previously, it was time-consuming to hand-edit data and then set up simulation runs to find the effect and impact of the input data on a spacecraft. MPS Editor provides the user the capability to create/edit/update models and sequences, and immediately try them out using what appears to the user as one piece of software. MPS Editor...

Briefs : Software
Object-Oriented Multidisciplinary Design, Analysis, and Optimization Tool

An Object-Oriented Optimization (O3) tool was developed that leverages existing tools and practices, and allows the easy integration and adoption of new state-of-the-art software. At the heart of the O3 tool is the Central Executive Module (CEM),...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Development of Position-Sensitive Magnetic Calorimeters for X-Ray Astronomy

Metallic magnetic calorimeters (MMC) are one of the most promising devices to provide very high energy resolution needed for future astronomical x-ray spectroscopy. MMC detectors can be built to large detector arrays having thousands of pixels. Position-sensitive...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Cryogenic-Compatible Winchester Connector Mount and Retaining System for Composite Tubes

A connector retainer and mounting system has been designed to replace screw-mounting of Winchester connectors. Countersunk screws are normally used to secure connectors to structures, and to keep them from coming apart. These screws are normally put into...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Planar Rotary Piezoelectric Motor Using Ultrasonic Horns

A motor involves a simple design that can be embedded into a plate structure by incorporating ultrasonic horn actuators into the plate. The piezoelectric material that is integrated into the horns is pre-stressed with flexures. Piezoelectric actuators are attractive for their ability to...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Self-Rupturing Hermetic Valve

For commercial, military, and aerospace applications, low-cost, small, reliable, and lightweight gas and liquid hermetically sealed valves with post initiation on/off capability are highly desirable for pressurized systems. Applications include remote fire suppression, single-use system-pressurization systems,...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Two-Arm Flexible Thermal Strap

Airborne and space infrared cameras require highly flexible direct cooling of mechanically-sensitive focal planes. A thermal electric cooler is often used together with a thermal strap as a means to transport the thermal energy removed from the infrared detector. While effective, traditional thermal straps are only...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Dampers for Stationary Labyrinth Seals

Vibration dampers have been invented that are incorporated as components within the stationary labyrinth seal assembly. These dampers are intended to supplement other vibration-suppressing features of labyrinth seals in order to reduce the incidence of high-cycle-fatigue failures, which have been known to...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Explosive Bolt Dual-Initiated From One Side

An explosive bolt has been developed that has a one-sided dual initiation train all the way down to the pyro charge for high reliability, while still allowing the other side of the bolt to remain in place after actuation to act as a thermal seal in an extremely high-temperature environment. This...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Two-Stage Winch for Kites and Tethered Balloons or Blimps

A winch system provides a method for launch and recovery capabilities for kites and tethered blimps or balloons. Low power consumption is a key objective, as well as low weight for portability. This is accomplished by decoupling the tether-line storage and winding/ unwinding functions,...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Image Quality Indicator for Infrared Inspections

The quality of images generated during an infrared thermal inspection depends on many system variables, settings, and parameters to include the focal length setting of the IR camera lens. If any relevant parameter is incorrect or sub-optimal, the resulting IR images will usually exhibit inherent...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Micro-Slit Collimators for X-Ray/Gamma-Ray Imaging

A hybrid photochemical-machining process is coupled with precision stack lamination to allow for the fabrication of multiple ultra-high-resolution grids on a single array substrate. In addition, special fixturing and etching techniques have been developed that allow higher0resolution multi-grid...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Scatterometer-Calibrated Stability Verification Method

The requirement for scatterometer-combined transmit-receive gain variation knowledge is typically addressed by sampling a portion of the transmit signal, attenuating it with a known-stable attenuation, and coupling it into the receiver chain. This way, the gain variations of the transmit and...

Briefs : Information Technology
Generic, Extensible, Configurable Push-Pull Framework for Large-Scale Science Missions

The push-pull framework was developed in hopes that an infrastructure would be created that could literally connect to any given remote site, and (given a set of restrictions) download files from that remote site based on those restrictions.

Briefs : Information Technology
Space-Time Localization of Plasma Turbulence Using Multiple Spacecraft Radio Links

Space weather is described as the variability of solar wind plasma that can disturb satellites and systems and affect human space exploration. Accurate prediction requires information of the heliosphere inside the orbit of the Earth. However, for predictions using...

Briefs : Information Technology
Dynamic Loads Generation for Multi-Point Vibration Excitation Problems

A random-force method has been developed to predict dynamic loads produced by rocket-engine random vibrations for new rocket-engine designs. The method develops random forces at multiple excitation points based on random vibration environments scaled from accelerometer data...

Briefs : Information Technology
Optimal Control Via Self-Generated Stochasticity

The problem of global maxima of functionals has been examined. Mathematical roots of local maxima are the same as those for a much simpler problem of finding global maximum of a multi-dimensional function. The second problem is instability — even if an optimal trajectory is found, there is no...

Briefs : Information Technology
Surface Contact Model for Comets and Asteroids

A contact force model was developed for use in touch and go (TAG) surface sampling simulations on small celestial bodies such as comets and asteroids. In TAG scenarios, a spacecraft descending toward the surface of a small body comes into contact with the surface for a short duration of time,...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Dust Mitigation Vehicle

A document describes the development and demonstration of an apparatus, called a “dust mitigation vehicle,” for reducing the amount of free dust on the surface of the Moon. The dust mitigation vehicle would be used to pave surfaces on the Moon to prevent the dust from levitating or adhering to surfaces.

Briefs : Materials
Optical Coating Performance for Heat Reflectors of the JWST-ISIM Electronic Component

A document discusses a thermal radiator design consisting of lightweight composite materials and low-emittance metal coatings for use on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) structure. The structure will have a Thermal Subsystem unit to provide passive cooling...

Briefs : Information Technology
SpaceCube Demonstration Platform

A document discusses how the HST SM4 SpaceCube flight spare was modified to create an experiment called the SpaceCube Demonstration Platform (SC DP) for use on the MISSE7 Space Station payload (in collaboration with NRL). It is designed to serve as an on-orbit platform for demonstrating advanced fault tolerance...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Aperture Mask for Unambiguous Parity Determination in Long Wavelength Imagers

A document discusses a new parity pupil mask design that allows users to unambiguously determine the image space coordinate system of all the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) science instruments by using two out-of-focus images. This is an improvement over existing...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Spaceflight Ka-Band High-Rate Radiation-Hard Modulator

A document discusses the creation of a Ka-band modulator developed specifically for the NASA/GSFC Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). This flight design consists of a high-bandwidth, Quadriphase Shift Keying (QPSK) vector modulator with radiation-hardened, high-rate driver circuitry that...

Briefs : Medical
Enabling Disabled Persons To Gain Access to Digital Media

A report describes the first phase in an effort to enhance the NaviGaze software to enable profoundly disabled persons to operate computers. (Running on a Windows-based computer equipped with a video camera aimed at the user’s head, the original NaviGaze software processes the user’s...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Protecting Signal Integrity in Industrial Environments

Data communications in industrial environments can present special problems. Lines must be run over long distances, often ranging from thousands of feet to several miles, indoors and outdoors, from the field to the control room, and from building to building. These data communication systems...

Application Briefs : Software
Modeling Design Software Gets the International Space Station Moving
Creo Direct v17 modeling design software
PTC Corp.
Needham, MA

There are several robotic arms on the International Space Station (ISS), but the two that NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) robotics analysts deal with the most...

Application Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Network Connectivity Enables Climate Research
Summit® X650 40-GbEswitch
Extreme Networks
Santa Clara, CA

Some of the largest data sets in existence are related to weather research, and that data is used throughout the world. The ability to rapidly share data across faster networks...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Goddard Space Flight Center

Goddard Space Flight Center’s (GSFC) primary role is to develop science and technology to support unmanned missions to study the Earth, Sun, solar system, and universe. GSFC is responsible for several of NASA’s highest-profile accomplishments, including the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the upcoming James Webb...

NASA Tech Needs
In-Space Inspection Sensors Look Through Conductive Material to Target Surface

NASA needs a sensor system to characterize damage from Micro-meteoroid and Orbital Debris (MMOD), corrosion, or to perform configuration verification when there is a conductive surface in between the sensor and the site. The in-space system(s) will need to look from...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Understanding Infrared Detector & Emitter Technology

Generally speaking, sensor manufacturers are driven to improve performance (i.e. offering greater sensitivity, smaller packages, more features) and lower costs. The prioritization of these sometimes conflicting demands varies with each target sensor application. For detector manufacturers,...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Applying HDTV Imaging Technology To Industrial Applications

New high definition (HD) television cameras are being integrated into industrial environments to assist in the inspection of a variety of manufactured products. HDTV technology is reaching areas of application far outside the broadcast or entertainment markets, in part because of the...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Pulsed Laser System to Simulate Effects of Cosmic Rays in Semiconductor Devices

Spaceflight system electronic devices must survive a wide range of radiation environments with various particle types including energetic protons, electrons, gamma rays, x-rays, and heavy ions. High-energy charged particles such as heavy ions can pass straight...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Test Port for Fiber-Optic-Coupled Laser Altimeter

A test port designed as part of a fiber-optic-coupled laser altimeter receiver optical system allows for the back-illumination of the optical system for alignment verification, as well as illumination of the detector(s) for testing the receiver electronics and signal-processing algorithms....

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Phase Retrieval System for Assessing Diamond Turning and Optical Surface Defects

An optical design is presented for a measurement system used to assess the impact of surface errors originating from diamond turning artifacts. Diamond turning artifacts are common by-products of optical surface shaping using the diamond turning process (a...

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Product of the Month - White Light Sensor

Hexagon Metrology (North Kingston, RI) has announced the manual Cognitens WLS400M and the automated Cognitens WLS400A measurement systems. The white light measurement products use digital stereo vision technology to generate 3D data. Customers can choose between a portable configuration and an automated...

Thermal Imager

NEC Avio Infrared Technologies (San Fernando, CA) has introduced its InfReC R300 high-definition thermal imager, which includes thermal movie recording to SD card in radiometric format, thermal/visible integrated images in composite/split-screen display, panoramas, autofocus, and 3.1 MP visible camera. The imager has a resolution...

CMOS Linear Image Sensor

The S11108 CMOS linear image sensor from Hamamatsu Corp. (Bridgewater, NJ) offers sensitivity of 50 V/(lx•s). An amplifier is embedded in each pixel of the CMOS sensor. The S11108, which features a spectral response range of 400-1000nm, has a 28.672mm active area comprised of 2048 pixels, each measuring 14 × 14 μm....

CW Diode Laser Modules

Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) has expanded its CUBE product line of CW, visible diode laser modules with three new wavelengths: 488nm (50 mW), 685nm (40 mW), and 730nm (30 mW). The compact CUBE laser heads measure 100mm × 40mm × 40mm (3.9" × 1.6" × 1.6"), and all three new models are available with CDRH safety accessories...

LED Driver ICs

Power Integrations (San Jose, CA) has added seven LED driver ICs to its LinkSwitch-PH line. The ICs (LNK413-LNK419) are suitable for lighting applications ranging from 3W bulbs to 55W fluorescent lighting fixture replacements. The devices, which can achieve up to 88% efficiency, feature a PWM-dimmable single-stage controller with...

Optical Module Controller

Maxim Integrated Products (Sunnyvale, CA) has introduced the DS1878, a small form factor pluggable (SFP+) controller with a digital laser diode driver (LDD) interface. The state-machine-based device controls and monitors all functions for SFF, SFP, and SFP+ optical modules, and fully supports the SFF-8472 standard. It...

4-Leaded RGB LED

Lumex (Palatine, IL) has announced the global launch of the through-hole QuasarBrite 4-Leaded RGB LED. With a 120° viewing angle, the QuasarBrite 4-Leaded RGB LED is ideally suited for applications that require high intensity light in spatially restricted spaces. The RoHS compliant 4-Leaded RGB LEDs (part number...

Optical Filters for Avionics

Precision Glass & Optics (PG&O) (Santa Ana, CA) announces the design and development of custom optical filters for PRP Optoelectronics (Towcester, England), independent manufacturer of LED-based display technology. PG&O provides narrow-cone-angle optical filters for PRP’s custom avionics displays. The specialized...

Photovoltaic Metallization Paste

DuPont Microcircuit Materials (MCM) (Research Triangle Park, NC) has introduced DuPont™ Solamet® PV701 photovoltaic metallization paste, a Metal Wrap Through (MWT) technology for back side interconnected silicon solar cell designs. The product composition specifically enables up to 0.4 percent greater...

Bandpass Filters

REO (Boulder, CO) currently offers bandpass filters for operation in the visible (380nm — 760nm), near infrared (600nm — 1100nm), and mid-infrared (1.3μm — 2.6μm) spectral ranges. Nominal bandwidth is 1% (FWHM) of the center wavelength, with a peak transmission of 60% and a linearity of ±0.5%. The filters can be...

Laser Modules

Lasers1 (Westwood, CA) now offers a new line of diode-based and DPSS- based laser modules, laser pointers, and hand-held lasers, available at wave- lengths between deep-UV (224nm) and near-IR (2240nm). The products have

power levels from 1mW to 50W, and energy per pulse to 100mJ. The pulsed mode lasers can be made in...

High-Speed Laser Controls

FANUC Factory Automation America (FANUC FA America) (Hoffman Estates, IL) has introduced the Series 30i/31i-L MODEL B high-speed laser controls, which deliver seamless choreography between axes motion and power modulation. The Series 30i/31i-L MODEL B provides up to 8MB of non-volatile internal memory available to store...

Imaging Fluorescence Microscope

TILL Photonics (Victor, NY) has announced its dual-color, 2-photon imaging fluorescence microscope, IntraVital2P. The IntraVital2P facilitates imaging at low-light levels and improves SNRs for dynamic measurements deep within highly scattering tissue. Using TILL’s Yanus IV digital scanhead...

Refractive Index Analysis

CRAIC Technologies, Inc. (San Dimas, CA) has joined with Laboratory Imaging to create rIQ™, a tool that analyzes glass trace evidence. rIQ™, or Refractive Index Quantification, combines image analysis software, optical design, and electronics to enable criminalists in modern forensic laboratories to measure the...

Plano-Convex Axicons

Edmund Optics (EO) (Barrington, NJ), introduces its Plano-Convex (PCX) Axicons. The lenses, which feature one conical surface and one plano surface, produce a non-diffractive ring-shaped beam that increases in diameter over distance, while retaining a constant ring thickness. When Plano-Convex (PCX) Axicons are used in...

Positioning Sensor

The Inspector P30 Positioning Sensor series from SICK (Minneapolis, MI) offers a flexible method for part location and provides a precise positioning point of a known target. The P30 reports the X, Y, and rotation angle of the taught part over TCP/IP Ethernet communication or via 4 digital switching outputs. When working with...

Who's Who
Michael Ryschkewitsch, Chief Engineer, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

As NASA's Chief Engineer, Michael Ryschkewitsch is responsible for the overall review and technical readiness of all NASA programs.

Michael Ryschkewitsch, Chief Engineer, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

As NASA's Chief Engineer, Michael Ryschkewitsch is responsible for the overall review and technical readiness of all NASA programs.

To download this interview as a podcast, click here.

Techs for License
Butterfly-Inspired Fibers Create Diverse Fabric Colors

Much like the Morpho butterfly’s microscopic wing structure, MORPHOTEX® fibers have various thicknesses and structures, which then determine specific colors. Thin films of 70-nm thickness, consisting either of polyester or nylon, are laminated in 61 alternating layers. By precisely...

Techs for License
Identification of Signal Arrival Direction in a Noise Environment

A processing methodology enables quick and accurate identification of signal arrival direction. The improved mathematical concept allows unified detection, even with the cumbersome environment noise that afflicts conventional methods. It will be applied to devices that assume the...

NASA Tech Needs
Preserving Core-Shell Particle Coatings During Thermoplastic Mix Processing

A company develops composite materials using core-shell particles: ceramic, metal, or polymer elements coated with a ceramic oxide shield. The particles are mixed into thermoplastic resins, including polyethylene. During the melt processing, the high shear in the mixing...

NASA Tech Needs
New Methods to Sterilize Food Products

Traditionally, heat treatments are used to sterilize food products, through either ultra-high-temperature processing or retorting. These treatments negatively affect the color, taste, and nutritional content of the food products, especially for “non-cooked” products such as gazpacho, cheese-based or...

Tecplot Chorus™

Tecplot Chorus™ post-processing software from Tecplot, Bellevue, WA, allows engineers to discover trends and anomalies in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies with a large number of cases, and simultaneously see the underlying fluid-dynamic phenomena that cause these variations. The software analyzes from one to...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Laser Oscillator Incorporating a Wedged Polarization Rotator and a Porro Prism as Cavity Mirror

A laser cavity was designed and implemented by using a wedged polarization rotator and a Porro prism in order to reduce the parts count, and to improve the laser reliability. In this invention, a z-cut quartz polarization rotator is used to compensate...

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