August 2012

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Mars Science Laboratory Drill

This drill (see Figure 1) is the primary sample acquisition element of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) that collects powdered samples from various types of rock (from clays to massive basalts) at depths up to...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Shape Memory Composite Hybrid Hinge

There are two conventional types of hinges for in-space deployment applications. The first type is mechanically deploying hinges. A typical mechanically deploying hinge is usually composed of several tens...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Ultra-Compact Motor Controller

This invention is an electronically commutated brushless motor controller that incorporates Hall-array sensing in a small, 42-gram package that provides 4096 absolute counts per motor revolution position sensing. The unit is the size of a miniature hockey puck, and is a 44-pin male connector that provides many I/O...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Binding Causes of Printed Wiring Assemblies With Card-Loks

A document discusses a study that presents the first documented extraction loads, both nominal and worstcase, and presents the first comprehensive evaluation of extraction techniques, methodologies, and tool requirements relating to extracting printed wiring assemblies (PWAs) with...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A Reversible Thermally Driven Pump for Use in a Sub-Kelvin Magnetic Refrigerator

A document describes a continuous magnetic refrigerator that is suited for cooling astrophysics detectors. This refrigerator has the potential to provide efficient, continuous cooling to temperatures below 50 mK for detectors, and has the benefits over existing...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Coring Sample Acquisition Tool

A sample acquisition tool (SAT) has been developed that can be used autonomously to sample drill and capture rock cores. The tool is designed to accommodate core transfer using a sample tube to the IMSAH (integrated Mars sample acquisition and handling) SHEC (sample handling, encapsulation, and containerization)...

Bulk metallic glasses (BMGs), a class of amorphous metals defined as having a thickness greater than 1 mm, are being broadly investigated by NASA for use in...

GaAs-based, sub-harmonically pumped Schottky diode mixers offer a number of advantages for array implementation in a heterodyne receiver system. Since the radio...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Hardware for Accelerating N-Modular Redundant Systems for High-Reliability Computing

A hardware unit has been designed that reduces the cost, in terms of performance and power consumption, for implementing N-modular redundancy (NMR) in a multiprocessor device. The innovation monitors transactions to memory, and calculates a form of sumcheck...

Finite element representations of crash test dummies are widely used in the simulation of vehicle safety systems. The biofidelity of such models is strongly dependent on the...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Discontinuous Mode Power Supply

A document discusses the changes made to a standard push-pull inverter circuit to avoid saturation effects in the main inverter power supply. Typically, in a standard push-pull arrangement, the unsymmetrical primary excitation causes variations in the volt second integral of each half of the excitation cycle that...

The NASA-sponsored space exploration project, PICTURE (Planet Imaging Concept Testbed Using a Rocket Experiment), seeks to obtain a direct image of an extra-solar...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Optimal Dynamic Sub-Threshold Technique for Extreme Low Power Consumption for VLSI

For miniaturization of electronics systems, power consumption plays a key role in the realm of constraints. Considering the very large scale integration (VLSI) design aspect, as transistor feature size is decreased to 50 nm and below, there is sizable increase in...

Plastic-molded components produced by Diversified Plastics are currently speeding through space towards Jupiter aboard NASA’s Juno Space Probe. The craft was launched August 5, 2011, and...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Self-Nulling Lock-in Detection Electronics for Capacitance Probe Electrometer

A multi-channel electrometer voltmeter that employs self-nulling lock-in detection electronics in conjunction with a mechanical resonator with non-contact voltage sensing electrodes has been developed for space-based measurement of an Internal Electrostatic Discharge...

Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Single-Frequency, 1,064-nm Laser Designed for Space LIDAR

Redfern Integrated Optics was awarded a Phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract for further development of its single-frequency, narrow- linewidth semiconductor...

Briefs: Materials
Imidazolium-Based Polymeric Materials as Alkaline Anion-Exchange Fuel Cell Membranes

Polymer electrolyte membranes that conduct hydroxide ions have potential use in fuel cells. A variety of polystyrenebased quaternary ammonium hydroxides have been reported as anion exchange fuel cell membranes. However, the hydrolytic stability and conductivity...

The United States National Research Council (NRC) has identified Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) as a high-priority NASA Space Technology Roadmap Area. NTP could be an enabling technology...

New and improved blocking filters (see figure) have been developed for microcalorimeters on several mission payloads, made of high-transmission polyimide support mesh, that...

Articles: Electronics & Computers
The Evolution of AdvancedTCA How Far Has It Come?

AdvancedTCA (ATCA) continues to evolve to meet not just the market demands for the telecom central office, but networking, data center, medical, and military communications applications. The...

Briefs: Materials
High-Thermal-Conductivity Fabrics

Heat management with common textiles such as nylon and spandex is hindered by the poor thermal conductivity from the skin surface to cooling surfaces. This innovation showed marked improvement in thermal conductivity of the individual fibers and tubing, as well as components assembled from them.

Articles: Electronics & Computers
Designing CompactPCI Systems with Serial Interfaces

With more than a year under its belt since it was officially ratified by PICMG in March of 2011, CompactPCI Serial (PICMG CPCI-S.0) has proven to be a good example of how an industry...

Briefs: Materials
Electrospun Nanofiber Coating of Fiber Materials: A Composite Toughening Approach

Textile-based composites could significantly benefit from local toughening using nanofiber coatings. Nanofibers, thermoplastic or otherwise, can be applied to the surface of the fiber tow bundle, achieving toughening of the fiber tow contact surfaces, resulting in...

Embedded system designers often find themselves trapped by CPU design choices they made years earlier, since switching costs can be astronomical. Hardware development often involves...

The objective of this research was to design, build, and test an experimental apparatus for studying the parameters of atmospheric entry heating,...

Briefs: Medical
Saliva Preservative for Diagnostic Purposes

Saliva is an important body fluid for diagnostic purposes. Glycoproteins, glucose, steroids, DNA, and other molecules of diagnostic value are found in saliva. It is easier to collect as compared to blood or urine. Un for tunately, saliva also contains large numbers of bacteria that can release enzymes,...

Briefs: Software
POSTMAN: Point of Sail Tacking for Maritime Autonomous Navigation

Waves apply significant forces to small boats, in particular when such vessels are moving at a high speed in severe sea conditions. In addition, small highspeed boats run the risk of diving with the bow into the next wave crest during operations in the wavelengths and wave speeds...

Products: Electronics & Computers
3-in-1 Communication Board

The TCB1000 series communication board from Tri-M Technologies (Vancouver, BC, Canada) integrates CANbus controllers, serial ports, and wireless functionality into a single board solution. The TCB1000 can be used...

Briefs: Software
Aerosol and Surface Parameter Retrievals for a Multi-Angle, Multiband Spectrometer

This software retrieves the surface and atmosphere parameters of multi-angle, multiband spectra. The synthetic spectra are generated by applying the modified Rahman-Pinty-Verstraete Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) model, and a...

Products: Electronics & Computers
FPGAs

The Virtex®-7 X690T FPGA device from Xilinx (San Jose, CA) uses 80 GTH serial transceivers that run up to 13.1 Gbps to break the 2 Tbps single FPGA bandwidth barrier. The FPGA enables scalable chip-to-chip serial interfaces,...

Briefs: Software
LogScope

LogScope is a software package for analyzing log files. The intended use is for offline post-processing of such logs, after the execution of the system under test. LogScope can, however, in principle, also be used to monitor systems online during their execution. Logs are checked against requirements formulated as monitors expressed in...

Products: Electronics & Computers
Mezzanine Connectors

FCI (Etters, PA) has released the FCI MezzoStak™ 0.5-mmpitch mezzanine connector, a “mates-to-self” design that uses the same part number for both mated sides. Guidance features assist users with handling,...

Briefs: Software
TraceContract

TraceContract is an API (Application Programming Interface) for trace analysis. A trace is a sequence of events, and can, for example, be generated by a running program, instrumented appropriately to generate events. An event can be any data object. An example of a trace is a log file containing events that a programmer has found...

Products: Electronics & Computers
MCU SOC With Embedded Firewall

Zilog® (Milpitas, CA), a wholly-owned subsidiary of IXYS Corporation, has introduced ZGATE™, a pioneering joint technology solution utilizing Icon Labs’ (Des Moine, IA) Floodgate™ Packet Filter, a...

Briefs: Software
AIRS Maps From Space Processing Software

This software package processes Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) Level 2 swath standard product geophysical parameters, and generates global, colorized, annotated maps. It automatically generates daily and multi-day averaged colorized and annotated maps of various AIRS Level 2 swath geophysical...

Products: Electronics & Computers
Tablet Computer

QRC Technologies (Fredericksburg, VA) has announced the QPADD™, a customizable, semi-rugged tablet with 55 watt expansion bay. QPADD’s expansion bay provides OEM customers with power and multiple interface/connection...

Machine design and deployment requires integration of various technologies such as controls, mechanics, vision, lasers, data acquisition, and software, to mention only a few. These...

Briefs: Information Technology
Social Networking Adapted for Distributed Scientific Collaboration

Sci-Share is a social networking site with novel, specially designed feature sets to enable simultaneous remote collaboration and sharing of large data sets among scientists. The site will include not only the standard features found on popular consumer-oriented social networking...

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Reducing Linear Bearing Wear

To get the longest working life out of a linear bearing, keep it clean and well lubricated. This common-sense advice may sound easy enough to follow. Yet in the real world of round-the-clock, high-cycle...

Briefs: Information Technology
3D Drop Size Distribution Extrapolation Algorithm Using a Single Disdrometer

Determining the Z-R relationship (where Z is the radar reflectivity factor and R is rainfall rate) from disdrometer data has been and is a common goal of cloud physicists and radar meteorology researchers. The usefulness of this quantity has traditionally been limited...

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Hull-Cleaning Robot for Large Ships

Toxic paint is used on the bottoms of large ships to prevent fouling, which is when a biofilm layer develops, decreasing the ship’s efficiency moving through the water. To further complicate the matter,...

Products: Motion Control
Rotating Machinery Analysis

Microstar Laboratories (Bellevue, WA) has announced the release of the Rotating Machinery Analysis module with software tools to facilitate mixed time measurements and rotation measurements of rotating machinery....

Briefs: Information Technology
Iterative Transform Phase Diversity: An Image-Based Object and Wavefront Recovery

The Iterative Transform Phase Diversity algorithm is designed to solve the problem of recovering the wavefront in the exit pupil of an optical system and the object being imaged. This algorithm builds upon the robust convergence capability of Variable Sampling...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Thermoplastic Pumps

Hayward Flow Control (Clemmons, NC) has released the T-Series Webster thermoplastic pumps. The vertical, seal-less, immersible pumps feature a single, non-coupled motor/impeller shaft with a proprietary shaft seal. The...

Products: Motion Control
Motorized Microscope Stage

PI, L.P. (Auburn, MA) has introduced the M-687 motorized microscope XY stage for inverted microscopes that features fully integrated, miniaturized ceramic linear drives. The stage is delivered as a complete system...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Accelerometer

Dytran Instruments (Chatsworth, CA) has introduced the Model 3225M39 ultraminiature teardrop IEPE accelerometer with a sensitivity of 10 mV/g, designed to adhesively mount in spaces typically inaccessible to other types of...

Briefs: Information Technology
Space Operations Learning Center

The Space Operations Learning Center (SOLC) is a tool that provides an online learning environment where students can learn science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through a series of training modules. SOLC is also an effective media for NASA to showcase its contributions to the general public....

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Stages

Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) offers the CCS series rotary stages with integrated captured collet chucks that provide automated material handling for a wide range of materials and applications. Collet chucks used with the stages...

Briefs: Information Technology
Projection of Stabilized Aerial Imagery Onto Digital Elevation Maps for Geo-Rectified and Jitter-Free Viewing

As imagery is collected from an airborne platform, an individual viewing the images wants to know from where on the Earth the images were collected. To do this, some information about the camera needs to be known, such as its position...

Products: Motion Control
Spindle Drive

The GP16 precision spindle drive from maxon motor (Fall River, MA) incorporates a spindle combined with a DC motor to transform rotary motion into axial motion. Gearheads, motors, encoders, and controllers are used to drive the...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Acceleration Sensor and Gyroscope

Bosch Sensortec (Reutlingen, Germany) has integrated two triaxial MEMS sensors in a single package. The BMI055, a combination of an acceleration sensor and a gyroscope, is an inertial measurement unit for...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Shaft Motor

The S605 linear shaft motor from Nippon Pulse America (Radford, VA) offers up to 3100N of acceleration force and a continuous force of 780N. The motor is designed for industrial applications requiring high force, high...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Actuator

Pangolin Laser Systems (Orlando, FL) has introduced the VRAD-1510 low-power rotary actuator based on a dual-coil, segmented stator design. It can be used in electromechanical applications such as automotive, industrial...

Products: Motion Control
Motion Controllers

The DMC-30017 Pocket Motion Controller Series from Galil Motion Control (Rocklin, CA) combines a single- axis motion controller with a 6A microstepping drive, which operates a two-phase bipolar stepper motor. The drive...

Briefs: Information Technology
Large Eddy Simulation (LES) of Particle-Laden Temporal Mixing Layers

High-fidelity models of plume-regolith interaction are difficult to develop because of the widely disparate flow conditions that exist in this process. The gas in the core of a rocket plume can often be modeled as a time-dependent, high-temperature, turbulent, reacting...

Products: Motion Control
Piezo-Positioning Stage

Piezosystem jena (Hopedale, MA) has introduced the PX 100 CAP piezoelectric nanopositioning stage that features a travel range up to 100 μm of motion in closed-loop mode. A highresolution capacitive feedback sensor...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Vibration Isolation Workstation

The Vision IsoStation vibration isolation workstation from Newport Corp. (Irvine, CA) provides scientific- grade optical breadboard platforms in sizes from 24 × 24" to 36 × 72". The breadboards feature...

Briefs: Information Technology
OVERSMART Reporting Tool for Flow Computations Over Large Grid Systems

Structured grid solvers such as NASA’s OVERFLOW compressible Navier-Stokes flow solver can generate large data files that contain convergence histories for flow equation residuals, turbulence model equation residuals, component forces and moments, and component relative...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Brushless DC Motors

Dunkermotor (Elgin, IL) offers iBLDC™ brushless DC motors with integral four-quadrant speed controls in a 45-mm frame size. The motors feature digital control and power electronics, and operate with a 12V or 24V power...

Briefs: Information Technology
General Methodology for Designing Spacecraft Trajectories

A methodology for designing spacecraft trajectories in any gravitational environment within the solar system has been developed. The methodology facilitates modeling and optimization for problems ranging from that of a single spacecraft orbiting a single celestial body to that of a...

Products: Motion Control
Position Sensor

The iC-LO from iC-Haus GmbH (Bodenheim, Germany) is a triangulation position sensor designed as a system-on-chip for the assembly of diffuse reflective photoelectric sensors with switching outputs. Integrated functions...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Diaphragm Pump

The 1410 Series DC miniature diaphragm pump from Thomas Division (Sheboygan, WI) measures 3.3 × 1.2 × 2.1" and is designed so that a full range of motor options, and several design configurations, can be used, depending on...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Slotless Motor

Koford Engineering LLC (Winchester, OH) has introduced a short-length 28 mm (1.102") diameter slotless 2-pole motor with an axial length of 23.9 mm (.941"). The motor is designed for applications with limited available axial...

Products: Motion Control
Digital Accelerometers

API Technologies Corp. (Orlando, FL), has announced a high-g digital accelerometer from its Sensors line of inertial measurement products. Measuring up to 500 g, this accelerometer is used for shock detection....

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Gearbox

Ondrives.US Corp. (Freeport, NY) has announced a right-angle NEMA gearbox designed to IP65 specifications for use in washdown applications in filling, capping, packaging, and similar machinery. Rated backlash is 30 arc-minutes, with...

Products: Motion Control
AC Drives

Vacon Plc (Mequon, WI) offers the VACON® 100, VACON® 100 X, and VACON® 20 X AC drives. The VACON 100 is a multi-purpose drive that can be adapted for hundreds of different applications. It features fully graphical multilingual...

Products: Motion Control
Ball Bearing

Bishop-Wisecarver Corp. (Pittsburg, CA) has announced The Radial Wheel, a single-row, deep-groove ball bearing designed for applications with specified radial loading conditions. The wheel enables reliable motion in environments...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Hemispherical Field-of-View Above-Water Surface Imager for Submarines

A document discusses solutions to the problem of submarines having to rise above water to detect airplanes in the general vicinity. Two solutions are provided, in which a sensor is located just under the water surface, and at a few to tens of meter depth under the water...

Products: Motion Control
Vibration Control System

Crystal Instruments Corp. (Santa Clara, CA) has introduced the Spider-81, a modular, distributed, scalable vibration control system with centralized DSP architecture and operation via PC, WiFi-enabled PDA, or iPad....

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Quantum-Well Infrared Photodetector (QWIP) Focal Plane Assembly

A paper describes the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS), a QWIP-based instrument intended to supplement the Operational Land Imager (OLI) for the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM). The TIRS instrument is a farinfrared imager operating in the pushbroom mode with two IR channels:...

Products: Motion Control
Six-Axis Robot

ABB Robotics (Auburn Hills, MI) has introduced the IRB 120T, a multipurpose 6-axis robot. It is suited for assembly and pick-andplace applications requiring reorientation of the product, commonly found in the food and...

Products: Motion Control
Servo Drive

The Gold Drum HV 100/800 from Elmo Motion Control (Nashua, NH) is a compact servo drive that delivers up to 100 A and operates up to 800 VDC. The 60-KW, high-performance, wide-bandwidth servo drive is EtherCAT and CANOpen...

Dewetron, Wakefield, RI, has introduced the DEWE2 series of data acquisition platforms with TRION plug-in modules. The modules combine the modularity of PXI with a larger front panel capable of...

Techs for License
Nozzles Provide Spray Pattern Consistency

Macrospray® nozzles produce consistent mists at very low pressure. The nozzles have a uniformly distributed droplet size (10–30 μm Sauter Mean Diameter), which provides greater contact between deodorant, for example, and odorcausing particles or dust. Droplet size can be tuned for the degree of dust...

Techs for License
Uni-Body Composite Plastic Chassis Reduces Part Count

A patented, one-piece, fiber-reinforced plastic composite chassis, produced by sheet molding compression, uses a highglass-content vinyl ester composite structural material, toughened with urethane for fatigue and damage tolerance.

Tech Needs
Sterilizable Applicator for Pre-Mixed Liquid Formulation

An organization needs an inexpensive device to deliver a pre-measured amount of liquid evenly to a surface. The applicator is intended for a single use, must be able to be sterilized after final assembly, and needs to hold enough liquid or gel to cover about 1 to 3 square feet of surface...

Tech Needs
Force-Feedback Mechanism

A torque-feedback mechanism must measure force, pressure, and displacement. The hybrid system or multi-part assembly requires haptic, visual, sound, temperature, or vibration feedback instruments. The technology may take the form of either a standalone sensor cube that flashes according to pressure, or a material that...

Podcasts
Marcia Domack and John Wagner, Engineers, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

Marcia Domack and John Wagner, engineers in the Advanced Materials and Processing Branch at NASA Langley Research Center, have worked with Boston-based metal fabricator Spincraft, focusing on a one-piece manufacturing process called spin forming. The team...

Marcia Domack and John Wagner, engineers in the Advanced Materials and Processing Branch at NASA Langley Research Center, have worked with Boston-based metal...

Question of the Week
Is Mars exploration a worthy investment?

Humans have launched 40 spacecraft to Mars, and the latest machine to make the effort is NASA's Mars Science Laboratory. If the Mars Science Laboratory lands safely next week, instruments will begin to analyze the soil, air, and rocks for life, past or present. While some say that the costs are not worth...

News
Air Force Uses 3-D Scanner to Model Aircraft

When the 46th Test Wing's Air Force SEEK EAGLE Office purchased a 3-D laser scanner system six months ago, they had no idea how much of an impact the system would make.

News
Army Stryker Units Get Armed With Precision Mortars

The first-ever Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative round fired from a Stryker vehicle in Afghanistan accomplished what few conventional 120mm high-explosive mortars can achieve - a direct hit on a target with the first round fired. But when firing the Army's new precision-guided cartridges,...

News
Army Developing Female-Specific Body Armor

Today, both male and female soldiers wear body armor that has been designed for men. But next summer the Army plans to field a new type of body armor designed for women that will be shorter in the torso with more customized adjustments specific to the female form. Until that happens, the 14 percent of...

News: Green Design & Manufacturing
The Future of Iron-Air Batteries

A University of Southern California research team has developed a cheap, rechargeable battery that could be used to store energy at solar power plants for a rainy day. The air-breathing battery uses the...

News
Researchers Create Wrinkled Surfaces

A team of researchers at MIT has discovered a way to create wrinkled surfaces with precise sizes and patterns. This basic method, they say, could be harnessed for a wide variety of useful structures: microfluidic systems for biological research, sensing, and diagnostics; new photonic devices that can control...

News
Kinetic Inductance Shows Promise for Metamaterial Miniaturization

Researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), collaborating with the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, have now demonstrated a drastically new way of achieving negative refraction in a metamaterial.

The primary advantages of the new...

Question of the Week
Will We Send Humans to Mars?

On Sunday, NASA's Curiosity rover successfully landed on Mars. The orbiter ushers in a new era of exploration that, some say, could turn up evidence that Mars once had the necessary ingredients for life — or might even still harbor life today. The land rover also creates new possibilities for human exploration of...

News
Researchers Design Micro-Swimmers

A team of researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology has used complex computational models to design swimming micro-robots that carry cargo and navigate in response to stimuli such as light.

The simple micro-swimmers could rely on volume changes in unique materials known as hydrogels to move tiny flaps...

News: Energy
Advancement in Highly Conductive, Transparent Thin Film

Thin, conductive films are useful in displays and solar cells. A new solution-based chemistry developed at Brown University for making indium tin oxide films could allow engineers to employ a much simpler and cheaper manufacturing process.

News
Software Performs In-Depth Analysis of Simulation Data

A research team at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has developed a software tool that enables users to perform in-depth analysis of modeling and simulation data, then visualize the results on screen. The new data analysis and visualization tool offers improved ease of use compared...

News
National Ignition Facility Makes History With 500 Terawatt Shot

Fifteen years of work by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility (NIF) team paid off recently with a historic record-breaking laser shot. The NIF laser system of 192 beams delivered more than 500 trillion watts (terawatts or TW) of peak power and 1.85...

News
Researchers Create First Violet Nonpolar VCSELs

In a leap forward for laser technology, a team at University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) has developed the first violet nonpolar vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) based on m-plane gallium nitride semiconductors. This recent discovery by LED pioneer Shuji Nakamura and his...

FSI Technologies Inc. (Lombard, IL) has introduced a line of industrial machine vision lenses, the CLH Series lenses. These lenses provide versatility to work well with most common machine vision applications, and are...

Laird Technologies, Inc. (St. Louis, MO) has released its eTEC(TM) Series Thermoelectric Module (TEM) product line. The eTEC Series of TEMs enable high-powered optoelectronics to maintain peak performance by...

Coherent, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) has expanded their family of industrial ultrafast lasers with the Talisker 500, which delivers over 10 Watts of ultraviolet output at 355nm, 15 Watts of green output at 532nm or 25 Watts of...

Semrock, Inc. (Rochester, NY) recently released the first two products in its soon-to-be expanded line of PulseLine(TM) femtosecond laser optics. These 45° turning mirrors are IBS-coated for maximum durability and...

Blog
Shock Challenge

If you’re a racing fan who has always thought that, given the opportunity, you could match your technical skills wheel-to-wheel with some of the best engineers in the sport, you’ve got one last chance to make your dream come true.

Mega-distributor Mouser Electronics has been conducting a unique competition this year...

Question of the Week
Will We See a Greater Use of Robots in Homes and Offices?

Robots like the PR2, from the Menlo Park, CA-based Willow Garage, perform a variety of tasks: bringing objects to people, opening doors, and even folding laundry. And while companies including iRobot create technologies to take care of minor jobs such as cleaning floors and pools, others...

News
Resilient 'Meshworm' Robot Stretches and Contracts with Heat

Researchers at MIT, Harvard University and Seoul National University have engineered a soft autonomous robot that moves via peristalsis, crawling across surfaces by contracting segments of its body, much like an earthworm. The robot, made almost entirely of soft materials, is...

News
Sharing Data Links in Networks of Cars

Ford Motor Co. expects that by 2015, 80 percent of the cars it sells in North America will have Wi-Fi built in. Two Wi-Fi-equipped cars sitting at a stoplight could exchange information free of charge, but if they wanted to send that information to the Internet, they’d probably have to use a paid service...

News
Office of Naval Research Sensors and Software Hunt Down Suspect Boats

A new sensor and software suite sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) recently returned from West Africa after helping partner nations track and identify target vessels of interest as part of an international maritime security operation. Researchers deployed the...

News
Mechanical Engineers Develop an Intelligent Co-Pilot for Cars

A driver remotely steers a modified vehicle through an obstacle course from a nearby location as a researcher looks on. Occasionally, the researcher instructs the driver to keep the wheel straight — a trajectory that appears to put the vehicle on a collision course with a barrel....

News
Modular Robotic Hand Mimics Human Capabilities

Sandia National Laboratories has developed a cost-effective robotic hand that can be used in disarming improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. The technology is dexterous enough to mimic human capabilities.

The Sandia Hand is modular, so different types of fingers can be attached with magnets and...

News
New Algorithms Guide Autonomous Robotic Plane

New algorithms allow an autonomous robotic plane to dodge obstacles in a subterranean parking garage, without the use of GPS.

Because autonomous plane navigation in confined spaces is difficult, the MIT team is providing the plane with an accurate digital map of its environment.

The plane...

Question of the Week
Do Personalized Learning Methods Show Promise in Remaking Education?

As the school season arrives, an increasing number of students will be studying through Internet-based systems. An NYC-based company called Knewton, for example, uses an adaptive learning technique that tracks learners' progress and shadows their online activities as they work....

Researchers from the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton have devised a novel method for forming virtual power plants...

News
Interactive Air Force Simulator Enhances Training for Remotely Piloted Aircraft

A significant milestone for remotely piloted aircraft was ushered in with the first student sortie in an innovative T-6 Texan II simulator. The new setup has dramatically increased the ability to train remotely piloted aircraft pilots, and the ingenuity behind the...

News
Army Developing New Aircraft Maintenance Technologies

Researchers at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) are testing new technologies it created for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that could give commercial and military maintenance programs earlier warning of problems. Condition-based maintenance, known as CBM, will get safer aircraft...

News
Remotely Piloted X-48C Makes Successful First Flight

The remotely piloted X-48C aircraft successfully flew for the first time on August 7 at Edwards Air Force Base in California's Mojave Desert.

News: Green Design & Manufacturing
Starting Point for Overcoming Barrier to Fusion Power

The accuracy of a new model for predicting the size of a key barrier to fusion power, which was developed by physicist Robert Goldston of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton...

News
Vertical-Axis Wind Turbines Could Transform Offshore Wind Technology

Sandia National Laboratories wind energy researchers are re-evaluating vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) to help solve some of the problems of generating energy from offshore breezes. Though VAWTs have been around since the earliest days of wind energy research at Sandia and...

News
2D Materials Self-Assemble into 3D When Exposed to Light

A multi-university research team led by North Carolina State University will be developing methods to create two-dimensional (2-D) materials capable of folding themselves into three-dimensional (3-D) objects when exposed to light. The effort, which is funded by a grant from the National...

Question of the Week
Would You Wear a "Smart" Wristwatch?

Smartphone capabilities have extended, even to the wristwatch. Companies like Apple, Nike, Sony, as well as other startups, have created new wrist devices that connect to an individual’s smartphone. Most display the time, but the bands also provide information that keeps users from having to take out their...

News
Researchers Engineer Light-Activated Skeletal Muscle

Scientists at MIT and the University of Pennsylvania are taking more than inspiration from nature — they’re taking ingredients. The group has genetically engineered muscle cells to flex in response to light, and is using the light-sensitive tissue to build highly articulated robots. This...

News
Smart Filter Uses Gravity to Separate Oil and Water

A smart filter with a shape-shifting surface can separate oil and water using gravity alone, an advancement that could be useful in cleaning up environmental oil spills, among other applications. The researchers created a filter coating that repels oil but attracts water, bucking conventional...

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Aerospace

Understanding O-ring Complexity in the Aerospace Industry

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

The Path to High-Level Autonomy for Commercial Vehicles

Upcoming Webinars: Medical

COVID-19: The New Design Paradigm and Emerging Technologies

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Why Multiple Sensing Modalities Are Required to Achieve Level 3...

Upcoming Webinars: Aerospace

Aviation Electrification: Choosing Your Motor Topology and...

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Collaborative Robotics: Sharing the Workspace

Videos