August 2010

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Microwave Plasma Hydrogen Recovery System
A microwave plasma reactor was developed for the recovery of hydrogen contained within waste methane produced by Carbon Dioxide Reduction Assembly (CRA), which reclaims oxygen from carbon dioxide. NASA can incorporate the innovation into flight hardware systems for deployment in support of future...
Briefs : Lighting
Diffuse-Illumination Systems for Growing Plants

A proposed plant-growth system takes advantage of the highly diffuse reflective surfaces on the interior of a sphere, hemisphere, or other nearly enclosed structure that is coated with highly reflective materials. This type of surface and structure uniformly mixes discrete light sources to produce...

Briefs : Information Technology
Charge-Spot Model for Electrostatic Forces in Simulation of Fine Particulates

The charge-spot technique for modeling the static electric forces acting between charged fine particles entails treating electric charges on individual particles as small sets of discrete point charges, located near their surfaces. This is in contrast to existing...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Solar-Powered, Oil-Cleaning Robots: Solution for Oil Spill?

A team of researchers at MIT's SENSEable City Laboratory have developed Seaswarm, a robot that autonomously navigates the water’s surface and uses nanofibers to absorb 20 times its weight in oil, which could be made into a viable solution for cleaning up the Gulf oil spill.

News : Energy
Funding Opportunity for Geothermal Heat Extraction R&D

The Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Program recently announced a $15 million funding opportunity to research and develop innovative methods to extract heat from geothermal resources from the Earth’s crust to produce clean, renewable energy.

Question of the Week
Should the FDA approve genetically engineered salmon?

This week's Question of the Week concerns the issue of genetically engineered food. A firm in Waltham, MA, has developed a genetically modified salmon that grows during the winter as well as the summer, so it reaches an 8-pound market weight in 18 months instead of 36. Accomplished by...

Question of the Week
Should BP be permitted to continue to drill in the Gulf of Mexico?

This week's Question of the Week concerns the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. According to recent news reports, BP said they may drill a new well in the Macondo reservoir -- the source of one of the world's worst oil spills. Proponents believe that BP's earnings from drilling...

News : Energy
Paving Slabs Clean the Air

Innovative paving slabs that are coated in titanium dioxide nanoparticles can reduce the amount of nitrogen oxide in the air. Titanium dioxide is a photocatalyst; it uses sunlight to accelerate a naturally occurring chemical reaction, the speed of which changes with exposure to light.

News : Energy
Open Software Platform Helps Save Energy

Starting in 2011, energy suppliers in Germany will be required to offer electricity at variable rates under the German Energy Act. A new energy management software platform will enable customers to opt for flexible electricity rates, so that they can purchase power at times when it is available more...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Sustainable Biochar to Mitigate Climate Change

By producing biochar - a charcoal-like substance made from plants and other organic materials - up to 12 percent of the world's human-caused greenhouse gas emissions could be sustainably offset, which is more than what could be offset if the same plants and materials were burned to generate...

News : Energy
Switchgrass Lessens Soil Nitrate Loss Into Waterways

By planting switchgrass and using certain agronomic practices, farmers can significantly reduce the amount of nitrogen and nitrates that leach into the soil, according to Iowa State University research.

Question of the Week
With the prevalence of e-readers, will e-books eventually replace printed books?

This week's Question of the Week concerns the battle between digital volumes and their printed counterparts. From Amazon's Kindle and Apple's iPad to Sony's e-Reader and Barnes & Noble's Nook, digital reading is obviously here to stay. This is especially true...

Question of the Week
Is WikiLeaks a threat to national security?

This week's question concerns the recent story about the nearly 92,000 classified U.S. Military documents leaked by the Web site The organization's Web site claims, "We believe that transparency in government activities leads to reduced corruption, better government, and stronger...

Products : Green Design & Manufacturing
LED Electronic Power Supply

Zenaro (Karlsruhe, Germany) has introduced a new line of electronic power supplies specially designed for LED indoor/outdoor lighting applications. The efficiency performance is greater than 92%, saving more energy and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.


Measurement Computing Corp., Norton, MA, has introduced the LGR-5320 series of standalone, multifunction data acquisition loggers. The devices enable users to collect high-speed correlated analog and digital data without a computer. They feature 16-bit resolution, 16 analog and 16 digital inputs, and four encoder inputs. They measure at...

NASA Tech Needs
Carbon-Based Nanotubes that Scale with Better Conductivity

A company seeks carbon nanotubes for conductive applications that, polymerized in bulk, can offer better conductivity than carbon materials in use today, and which are lighter in weight than current non-carbon conductors. The nanotubes should have conductivity approaching that of copper...

NASA Tech Needs
System for Qualitative Analysis of Microorganisms

A company is seeking a system or method for qualitative analysis of microorganisms that can then classify them according to their taxonomy, thus identifying them. The company needs to formulate a new, single, robust assay that classifies a microorganism if known, and if unknown by the assay,...

Techs for License
Pre-Stressed Composite Riser Tubes Transfer Loads to Metal Fittings

This technology mates load-bearing composite tubes to the metal fittings that support them, thus allowing composites to be used in applications currently requiring steel risers. The composites are geometrically pre-stressed during construction and mated to their metal fittings...

Techs for License
Dust-Free Aerogel Insulation Works in Tight Spaces and Extreme Conditions

Most insulating applications block additional heat transfer by adding more insulation. This thin, flexible, aerogel-based thermal insulation is available in thicknesses from 0.25 to 1 mm, and achieves a thermal conductivity in the range of 15-20 milliWatts/meter-Kelvin...

NASA Tech Needs
Identifying Environmentally Friendly Coatings that Protect in Harsh Environments

NASA coats metallic structures and ground support equipment to guard against the adverse effects of corrosion and to ensure they meet or exceed intended performance life. These coatings include inorganic zinc coatings, primer and/or intermediate coatings, finish...

Articles : Test & Measurement
Performing Accurate Multi-Paction Measurements

Multi-paction effects can impact microwave components in high-power satellite communications (sat-com) systems. The nonlinear break-down-voltage phenomenon occurs in high-vacuum environments above a certain threshold voltage, and can degrade the performance of RF and microwave components or, in...

Application Briefs : Communications
Equipment Enables Communications in Hazardous Locations
DICES Subsystem Multiplexer (Sub-MUX) communications equipment
Quintron Systems
Santa Maria, CA

NASA is installing Quintron’s Sub-MUX multi-channel communications system at two locations: Stennis Space Center in Mississippi,...

Application Briefs : Imaging
Imaging Sensors Examine Evolution of Solar Activity and Space Weather
e2v CCD203-82 charge-coupled device sensors
e2v Technologies
Essex, United Kingdom
+44 (0)1245 493493

Six Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) imaging sensors have been incorporated in NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft, the...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Sprag Handle Wrenches

Sprag handle wrenches have been proposed for general applications in which conventional pawl-and-ratchet wrenches and sprag and cam “clickless” wrenches are now used. Sprag handle wrenches are so named because they...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Inline Electrical Connector Mate/Demate Pliers

Military and aerospace industries use Mil-Spec type electrical connections on bulkhead panels that require inline access for mate and demate operations. These connectors are usually in tight proximity to other connectors, or recessed within panels. The pliers described here have been designed to...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Seal With Integrated Shroud for Androgynous Docking and Berthing

A specially configured seal system (see figure) has been developed and produced that provides a barrier to gas leakage between a pressurized module and its external environment. The seal system includes a shroud covering that both protects the sealing surface from its environment...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Locking Nut With Stress-Distributing Insert

An improved locking nut comprises (1) an internally threaded shell, partly resembling a conventional nut, that can be engaged by a wrench or other tool, and (2) an internally and externally threaded insert that engages the threads of the shell and a bolt. Whereas some prior locking nuts are plated over...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Adaptable Holders for Arc-Jet Screening Candidate Thermal Protection System Repair Materials

Reusable holders have been devised for evaluating high-temperature, plasma-resistant re-entry materials, especially fabrics. Typical material samples tested support thermal-protection-system damage repair requiring evaluation prior to re-entry into...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Miniature Low-Mass Drill Actuated by Flextensional Piezo Stack

Recent experiments with a flextensional piezoelectric actuator have led to the development of a sampler with a bit that is designed to produce and capture a full set of sample forms including volatiles, powdered cuttings, and core fragments.

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Digitally Controlled Slot Coupled Patch Array

A four-element array conformed to a singly curved conducting surface has been demonstrated to provide 2 dB axial ratio of 14 percent, while maintaining VSWR (voltage standing wave ratio) of 2:1 and gain of 13 dBiC. The array is digitally controlled and can be scanned with the LMS Adaptive Algorithm...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Reconfigurable Robust Routing for Mobile Outreach Network

The Reconfigurable Robust Routing for Mobile Outreach Network (R3MOON) provides advanced communications networking technologies suitable for the lunar surface environment and applications. The R3MOON technology is based on a detailed concept of operations tailored for lunar surface...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Reconfigurable Fault Tolerance for FPGAs

The invention allows a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) or similar device to be efficiently reconfigured in whole or in part to provide higher capacity, non-redundant operation. The redundant device consists of functional units such as adders or multipliers, configuration memory for the functional...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Fiber-Scanned Microdisplays

Helmet- and head-mounted display systems, denoted fiber-scanned micro-displays, have been proposed to provide information in an “augmented reality” format (meaning that the information would be optically overlaid on the user’s field of view). A system of this type would include laser diodes feeding light into...

Briefs : Software
MIRO Computational Model

A computational model calculates the excitation of water rotational levels and emission-line spectra in a cometary coma with applications for the Microwave Instrument for Rosetta Orbiter (MIRO). MIRO is a millimeter-submillimeter spectrometer that will be used to study the nature of cometary nuclei, the physical...

Briefs : Software
Team Collaboration Software

The Ground Resource Allocation and Planning Environment (GRAPE 1.0) is a Web-based, collaborative team environment based on the Microsoft SharePoint platform, which provides Deep Space Network (DSN) resource planners’ tools and services for sharing information and performing analysis. The foundation platform for...

Briefs : Software
Comet Gas and Dust Dynamics Modeling

This software models the gas and dust dynamics of comet coma (the head region of a comet) in order to support the Microwave Instrument for Rosetta Orbiter (MIRO) project. MIRO will study the evolution of the comet

67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s coma system. The instrument will measure surface...

Briefs : Software
Online Planning Algorithm

AVA v2 software selects goals for execution from a set of goals that oversubscribe shared resources. The term “goal” refers to a science or engineering request to execute a possibly complex command sequence, such as image targets or ground-station downlinks.

Briefs : Software
AutoGNC Testbed

A simulation testbed architecture was developed and implemented for the integration, test, and development of a TRL-6 flight software set called AutoGNC. The AutoGNC software will combine the TRL-9 Deep Impact AutoNAV flight software suite, the TRL-9 Virtual Machine Language (VML) executive, and the TRL-3 G-REX guidance,...

Briefs : Software
Optical Imaging and Radiometric Modeling and Simulation

OPTOOL software is a general-purpose optical systems analysis tool that was developed to offer a solution to problems associated with computational programs written for the James Webb Space Telescope optical system. It integrates existing routines into coherent processes, and provides a...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Nearly Seamless Vacuum-Insulated Boxes

A design concept, and a fabrication process that would implement the design concept, have been proposed for nearly seamless vacuum-insulated boxes that could be the main structural components of a variety of controlled-temperature containers, including common household refrigerators and insulating...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Fast-Response-Time Shape-Memory-Effect Foam Actuators

Bulk shape memory alloys, such as Nitinol or CuAlZn, display strong recovery forces undergoing a phase transformation after being strained in their martensitic state. These recovery forces are used for actuation. As the phase transformation is thermally driven, the response time of the...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Non-Pyrotechnic Zero-Leak Normally Closed Valve

This valve is designed to create a zero-leak seal in a liquid propulsion system that is a functional replacement for the normally closed pyrovalve. Unlike pyrovalves, Nitinol is actuated by simply heating the material to a certain temperature, called the transition temperature. Like a pyrovalve,...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Quick-Change Ceramic Flame Holder for High-Output Torches

Researchers at NASA’s Langley Research Center have developed a new ceramic design flame holder with a service temperature of 4,000 °F (2,204 °C). The combination of high strength and high temperature capability, as well as a twist-lock mounting method to the steel burner, sets this...

Briefs : Materials
Magnesium Diboride Current Leads

A recently discovered superconductor, magnesium diboride (MgB2), can be used to fabricate conducting leads used in cryogenic applications. Discovered to be superconducting in 2001, MgB2 has the advantage of remaining superconducting at higher temperatures than the previously used material,...

Briefs : Materials
Polyimide Aerogels With Three-Dimensional Cross-Linked Structure

Polyimide aerogels with three-dimensional cross-linked structure are made using linear oligomeric segments of polyimide, and linked with one of the following into a 3D structure: trifunctional aliphatic or aromatic amines, latent reactive end caps such as nadic anhydride or...

Briefs : Materials
Alumina Paste Layer as a Sublimation Suppression Barrier for Yb₁₄MnSb₁₁

Sublimation is a major cause of degradation of thermoelectric power generation systems. Most thermoelectric materials tend to have peak values at the temperature where sublimation occurs. A sublimation barrier is needed that is stable at operating temperatures, inert...

Briefs : Materials
Silica/Polymer and Silica/Polymer/Fiber Composite Aerogels

Aerogels that consist, variously, of neat silica/polymer alloys and silica/polymer alloy matrices reinforced with fibers have been developed as materials for flexible thermal-insulation blankets. In comparison with prior aerogel blankets, these aerogel blankets are more durable and less...

Briefs : Materials
High-Temperature Solid Lubricant Coating

NASA PS400 is a solid lubricant coating invented for high-temperature tribological applications. This plasma-sprayed coating is a variant of the previously patented PS304 coating, and has been formulated to provide higher density, smoother surface finish, and better dimensional stability.

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Compact, Lightweight Electromagnetic Pump for Liquid Metal

A proposed direct-current electromagnetic pump for circulating a molten alkali metal alloy would be smaller and lighter and would demand less input power, relative to currently available pumps of this type. (Molten alkali metals are used as heat-transfer fluids in high-temperature stages...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Mechanism for Particle Transport and Size Sorting via Low-Frequency Vibrations

There is a need for effective sample handling tools to deliver and sort particles for analytical instruments that are planned for use in future NASA missions. Specifically, a need exists for a compact mechanism that allows transporting and sieving particle sizes of...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Durable Tactile Glove for Human or Robot Hand

A glove containing force sensors has been built as a prototype of tactile sensor arrays to be worn on human hands and anthropomorphic robot hands. Whereas the force sensors of a prior force-sensing glove are mounted on the outside, the force sensors of this glove are mounted inside, in protective...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Automated Desalting Apparatus

Because salt and metals can mask the signature of a variety of organic molecules (like amino acids) in any given sample, an automated system to purify complex field samples has been created for the analytical techniques of electrospray ionization/mass spectroscopy (ESI/MS), capillary electrophoresis (CE), and...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Suppressing Loss of Ions in an Atomic Clock

An improvement has been made in the design of a compact, highly stable mercury-ion clock to suppress a loss of ions as they are transferred between the quadrupole and higher multipole ion traps. Such clocks are being developed for use aboard spacecraft for navigation and planetary radio science. The...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Simplified Vicarious Radiometric Calibration

A measurement-based radiance estimation approach for vicarious radiometric calibration of spaceborne multispectral remote sensing systems has been developed. This simplified process eliminates the use of radiative transfer codes and reduces the number of atmospheric assumptions required to perform...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Phase-Conjugate Receiver for Gaussian-State Quantum Illumination

An active optical sensor probes a region of free space that is engulfed in bright thermal noise to determine the presence (or absence) of a weakly reflecting target. The returned light (which is just thermal noise if no target is present, and thermal noise plus a weak reflection of...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Improved Tracking of an Atomic-Clock Resonance Transition

An improved method of making an electronic oscillator track the frequency of an atomic-clock resonance transition is based on fitting a theoretical nonlinear curve to measurements at three oscillator frequencies within the operational frequency band of the transition (in other words, at...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Infrared Camera System for Visualization of IR-Absorbing Gas Leaks

Leak detection and location remain a common problem in NASA and industry, where gas leaks can create hazardous conditions if not quickly detected and corrected. In order to help rectify this problem, this design equips an infrared (IR) camera with the means to make gas leaks of...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Submonolayer Quantum Dot Infrared Photodetector

A method has been developed for inserting submonolayer (SML) quantum dots (QDs) or SML QD stacks, instead of conventional Stranski-Krastanov (S-K) QDs, into the active region of intersubband photodetectors. A typical configuration would be InAs SML QDs embedded in thin layers of GaAs, surrounded by...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Ionization-Assisted Getter Pumping for Ultra-Stable Trapped Ion Frequency Standards

A method eliminates (or recovers from) residual methane buildup in getter-pumped atomic frequency standard systems by applying ionizing assistance. Ultra-high stability trapped ion frequency standards for applications requiring very high reliability, and/or low...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Phase-Array Approach to Optical Whispering Gallery Modulators

This technology leverages the well-defined orbital number of a whispering gallery modulator (WGM) to expand the range of applications for such resonators. This property rigidly connects the phase variation of the field in this mode with the azimuthal angle between the coupling...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Fiber-Optic Continuous Liquid Sensor for Cryogenic Propellant Gauging

An innovative fiber-optic sensor has been developed for low-thrust-level settled mass gauging with measurement uncertainty

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Measurement of the Length of an Optical Trap

NASA Glenn has been involved in developing optical trapping and optical micromanipulation techniques in order to develop a tool that can be used to probe, characterize, and assemble nano and microscale materials to create microscale sensors for harsh flight environments. In order to be able to...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Mode Tracker for Mode-Hop-Free Operation of a Laser

A mode-tracking system that includes a mode-controlling subsystem has been incorporated into an external-cavity (EC) quantum cascade laser that operates in a mid-infrared wavelength range. The mode-tracking system makes it possible to perform mode-hop-free wavelength scans, as needed for...

Briefs : Information Technology
Physical Invariants of Intelligence

A program of research is dedicated to development of a mathematical formalism that could provide, among other things, means by which living systems could be distinguished from non-living ones. A major issue that arises in this research is the following question: What invariants of mathematical models of the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Rocket-Plume Spectroscopy Simulation for Hydrocarbon-Fueled Rocket Engines

The UV-Vis spectroscopic system for plume diagnostics monitors rocket engine health by using several analytical tools developed at Stennis Space Center (SSC), including the rocket plume spectroscopy simulation code (RPSSC), to identify and quantify the alloys from the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Research on Spoken Dialogue Systems

Research in the field of spoken dialogue systems has been performed with the goal of making such systems more robust and easier to use in demanding situations. The term “spoken dialogue systems” signifies unified software systems containing speech-recognition, speech-synthesis, dialogue management, and...

Briefs : Information Technology
Injecting Errors for Testing Built-in Test Software

Two algorithms have been conceived to enable automated, thorough testing of Built-in test (BIT) software. The first algorithm applies to BIT routines that define pass/fail criteria based on values of data read from such hardware devices as memories, input ports, or registers. This algorithm...

Briefs : Information Technology
Guidance and Control System for a Satellite Constellation

A distributed guidance and control algorithm was developed for a constellation of satellites. The system repositions satellites as required, regulates satellites to desired orbits, and prevents collisions.

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Dedicated Deployable Aerobraking Structure

A dedicated deployable aerobraking structure concept was developed that significantly increases the effective area of a spacecraft during aerobraking by up to a factor of 5 or more (depending on spacecraft size) without substantially increasing total spacecraft mass. Increasing the effective aerobraking...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Portable Health Algorithms Test System

A document discusses the Portable Health Algorithms Test (PHALT) System, which has been designed as a means for evolving the maturity and credibility of algorithms developed to assess the health of aerospace systems. Comprising an integrated hardware-software environment, the PHALT system allows systems...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Technique for Performing Dielectric Property Measurements at Microwave Frequencies

A paper discusses the need to perform accurate dielectric property measurements on larger sized samples, particularly liquids at microwave frequencies. These types of measurements cannot be obtained using conventional cavity perturbation methods, particularly for...

Who's Who
Dr. William Ko, Aerospace Engineer, Engineering Directorate, Aerostructures Branch, Dryden Flight Research Center

Dr. William Ko joined NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in 1977 after receiving a PhD in aeronautics from California Institute of Technology and conducting research at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. An...

Dr. William Ko, Aerospace Engineer, Engineering Directorate, Aerostructures Branch, Dryden Flight Research Center

Dr. William Ko joined NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in 1977 after receiving a PhD in aeronautics from California Institute of Technology and conducting research at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas....

Articles : Motion Control
Controlling Robotics Precisely With Haptic Technology

Robots are capable of very precise motion, but must be guided with precision in order to fulfill their potential. Consider the task of guiding a robotic surgeon’s arm to suture a wound or insert a catheter. A human surgeon, with all his or her knowledge and experience, is required to...

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Control System Safely Moves a Robot During Invasive Neurosurgery

Robotic devices have been used in the medical industry for more than 40 years. Despite the advantages, researchers have faced unique challenges in developing effective, safe robotics applications for medical use. In contrast with industrial applications in which robots operate in...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Progress in Development of the Axel Rovers

Progress has been made in the development of a family of robotic land vehicles having modular and minimalist design features chosen to impart a combination of robustness, reliability, and versatility. These vehicles at earlier stages of development were described in two previous NASA Tech Briefs...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Compact, Lightweight Servo-Controllable Brakes

Compact, lightweight servo-controllable brakes capable of high torques are being developed for incorporation into robot joints. A brake of this type is based partly on the capstan effect of tension elements, which is described by the well known equation

Th/Tl =...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Robotic Arm Manipulator Using Active Control for Sample Acquisition and Transfer, and Passive Mode for Surface Compliance

A robotic arm that consists of three joints with four degrees of freedom (DOF) has been developed. It can carry an end-effector to acquire and transfer samples by using active control and comply with surface topology in a...

Alignment System

PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P. (Auburn, MA) offers the F206.S six-axis Hexapod alignment system that provides 6D motion with 33-nanometer resolution and alignment software for optics and photonics components. The system includes a parallel kinematics controller/driver featuring vectorized motion and arbitrary pivot point...

Rail System

Thomson (Wood Dale, IL) has introduced the 500 Series Profile rails with an optional ball spacer carriage that reduces carriage running noise by up to 6 dB. The rails' design optimizes the surface interfaces between steel and plastic transition areas along the ball bearing circulation path. Standard end seals provide contaminant...


QuickSilver Controls (Covina, CA) offers the SilverSterling™ controller for NEMA 11, 17, and 23 frame brushless servo motors; DC brush motors; and voice coil actuators, providing a 5A RMS continuous drive with 7A peak at 12V to 48V. The controller provides both RS-485 and CAN communications ports, supporting DMX, MODbus™ RTU, and...

Screw-Driven Linear Actuator

Bishop-Wisecarver Corp. (Pittsburg, CA) has introduced the HepcoMotion® PSD80 Profile screw-driven linear actuator with Herculane® wheel technology. Housed on an aluminum beam and fitted with a stainless steel sealing band, the actuator uses Herculane wheels mounted to an adjustable carriage. Single or multiple...

Vibration Monitor

SKF Group (San Diego, CA) has introduced the Multilog Online System DMx, a multi-featured vibration monitor for conventional and hazardous environments. It can be directly installed within a hazardous area, removing or reducing cabling, cabinets, and isolation barriers. It combines protection and condition monitoring in a...

Brushless Motor Drive

DSC sensorless brushless motor drives from Koford Engineering (Winchester, OH) provide a programmable sensorless control for operation for 12- to 32-volt applications, with current up to 10 amps and speed of up to 96,000 rpm with a 2-pole motor. The 240-Watt drives use a digital signal controller, which can be programmed to...


DPGplus sealed two-finger parallel grippers from Schunk (Morrisville, NC) are available in sizes 240 and 300. A pneumatic drive with oval pistons and multitooth guides ensure the user precise gripping for production machine and assembly applications. The grippers handle rough or dirty workpieces, and are suited for loading and unloading...

Digital Torque Tester

The Snap-on Industrial Digital Torque Tester (DDT) from Snap-on Industrial (Kenosha, WI) features light weight and an integral transducer and rugged housing. It can be wall-mounted or used in a benchtop vise to allow the user to test torque wrenches and torque screwdrivers. It features a 4.7" touchpad screen to capture peak...


Wittenstein (Bartlett, IL) offers the L-Version alpha SP + High Speed low-friction gearbox for applications requiring continuous duty with high nominal output speed and longer service life. Features include high maximum and nominal output speed and reduced nominal torque, lower heat buildup, lower no-load running torque, and high...

Tip-Tilt Stages

Edmund Optics (Barrington, NJ) has introduced the TECHSPEC Tip-Tilt stages for tilt control of both optics and mounting posts. They feature black anodized aluminum construction and are available in three stage sizes: 30-mm square, 40-mm square, and 70-mm square. Each is offered in English or metric configurations. The stages are...

Servomotor Actuator

The Tolomatic IMA from Tolomatic (Hamel, MN) is an integrated-motor, rod-style actuator that delivers up to 3,300 pounds of force when equipped with a new roller-screw option. It incorporates a hollow core rotor and skewed motor windings. The integrated motor design is suited for clamping, pressing, valve control, and spot...

Planetary Gearhead

Portescap (West Chester, PA) has introduced the R08 planetary gearhead that delivers continuous torque of 0.05 Nm within an overall envelope of 8 mm. The standard gearbox is available from 4 to 256 ratios, which can be further extended to ratios of 4096. The gearhead can be coupled with brush DC, brushless, and stepper motors...

Magnetic Encoders

Baumer (Southington, CT) has introduced HDMag magnetic hollow-shaft encoders for direct mounting onto large-sized shafts up to 740 mm in diameter. Available in both absolute and incremental versions, the encoders provide 17-bit absolute single-turn resolution. Measuring 27 mm wide, the encoders are suited for limited-space...

Load Cell Actuator

Myostat Motion Control (Newmarket, ON, Canada) has introduced an integrated load cell actuator for device manufacturing and quality testing. Available as a complete solution for touchscreen manufacturers, the actuator assembly comes with the load cell, mechanical actuator, and controller. It requires serial communication and...

Electric Actuators

Hayward Flow Control Systems (Clemmons, NC) offers EPM Series CE and CSA approved reversing, quarter-turn actuators. Available in both on/off and proportional control models, the actuators are designed for use with ball and butterfly valves up to 24" in size, and with torque outputs from 300 to 13,500 in. lbs. Features include...

Step-Down Regulator

Linear Technology (Milpitas, CA) offers the LTC3615 4-MHz synchronous buck regulator that incorporates a constant frequency, current-mode architecture. Low-resistance internal switches enable the device to deliver up to 3A of continuous output current from each channel. The regulator operates from an input voltage of 2.25V to...

Tilt Sensor

The Fredericks Co. (Huntingdon Valley, PA) has introduced the 0737-1203-99 electrolytic tilt sensor with thin-film technology that provides inclination measurement with arc second repeatability. The sensor offers an angle range of ±30 arc minutes , less than 0.05 arc second resolution, and less than 0.5 arc second repeat ability at...

Brushless Blowers

AMETEK Technical & Industrial Products (Kent, OH) offers the Nautilair® 8.0" variable speed pre-mix brushless blowers that deliver a measured air/fuel mixture to optimize combustion and reduce nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide emissions. The single-phase, standard-output blowers achieve a maximum sealed pressure capability up...

Electric Motor

DynaMotors (Cleveland, OH) has introduced the Model 56-2 DynaMotor, a single-phase, variable-speed electric motor for air-moving, pumping, and other applications. The motor features optional fan cooling, incorporates a NEMA 56 frame, and is suitable for applications up to 2 HP and 800 to 4,800 RPM. The motor integrates a...

Inclinometer Sensor

TURCK (Minneapolis, MN) offers a single-axis inclinometer sensor for detecting angular tilt with an adjustable measuring range of 360 degrees. The sensor measures angular tilt in reference to gravity. It uses a MEMS device that incorporates a microelectromechanical capacitive element into the sensor. The device consists of...

Air Springs

Advanced Antivibration Components (New Hyde Park, NY) offers V11Z48MPSB Series air spring vibration mounts that feature vibration isolation of low-frequency machines. The air springs use elasticity of air as an isolator, which acts as a soft spring, eliminating moving parts. The mounts handle a range of loads by changing the inner...

Pneumatic Hand Pump

E Instruments (Langhorne, PA) has released the PHP 35/40 bar hand pump, a pneumatic/vacuum-generating unit designed for testing and calibrating pressure instruments. It features a pressure/vacuum changeover switch, which is used to select either vacuum or pressure output. The pump is equipped with a Vernier and release valve....

Shock Accelerometer

Meggitt Sensing Systems (San Juan Capistrano, CA) offers the Endevco® Model 7268C miniature triaxial piezoresistive accelerometer designed for measurement of short-duration shock across three axes and in three orthogonal directions. Housed in a package measuring 12.7 × 10.7 × 13.7 mm, the device is available in ranges of...

Digital Torquemeter

The MCRT® 79700V digital torquemeter from S. Himmelstein and Company (Hoffman Estates, IL) has two ranges with independent outputs. The meter measures torque even if the ratio of peak to average torque is high. Such conditions occur when starting, stopping, or reversing high-inertia loads, during torsional oscillations, and...

Rotation Stages

Newport Corp. (Irvine, CA) offers the URS50BCC and URS50BPP precision rotation stages that feature 360-degree continuous motion. The stages provide backlashfree, continuous rotation with MTBF up to 20,000, and low wobble. Both stages offer 6-μm eccentricity. The stages feature a two-part bearing design with pre-tempered steel...

Gantry System

Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) has released the AGS1500 series Cartesian gantry systems for ultra-precision, highdynamic contouring in precision micromachining, fuel cell manufacturing, solder-ball placement, printed electronics, high-speed pick-and-place, automated assembly, vision inspection, dispensing stations, and high accuracy...

DC Motor

Nidec Copal (Torrance, CA) has announced the HG16 RoHS-compatible DC motor with planetary gearbox. The 0.63" OD (16 mm) DC motor has three axial lengths that develop rated gear motor torques of 3.47 oz-in, 4.86 oz-in, and 6.94 oz-in. Six-volt, 12-volt, and 24-volt windings are available with each motor frame size for a range of...

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