September 2017

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Robotic Rubber ‘Skin’ Senses Temperatures. What’s Next?

A rubber “skin” developed at the University of Houston allows a robotic hand to sense the difference between hot and cold temperatures. The semiconductor material supports new...

News : Imaging
Sound-Off: The Imaging Advantages of Blue Light vs. White Light

Digital Image Correlation (DIC) is a non-contact optical method of measuring deformation and strain on a given material. Measurement accuracy, however, depends on contrast, illumination, and light intensity.

INSIDER : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Origami Techniques Expand Compacted Spacecraft

Origami has once again inspired engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. Besides aesthetic beauty, the Japanese tradition of paper-folding addresses a persistent problem faced by JPL engineers: how do you pack the greatest amount of spacecraft into the smallest...

INSIDER : Motion Control
Self-Folding Electronics Could Enable Advanced Robotics

MIT researchers have developed a way to print flat electronics that can fold themselves into a desired shape. The researchers say the development could have applications in robotics and human-machine interfaces.

INSIDER : Motion Control
Webb Telescope Actuators Move with Microscopic Accuracy

The James Webb Space Telescope will be the most powerful space telescope ever built. With a 21-foot diameter, the telescope’s primary mirror is six times larger than the one used by...

News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
The 2017 OEM Sensors Supplier Guide

The editors of September’s Sensor Technology magazine compiled a list of top sensor vendors, organized by product type. Explore this year’s OEM Sensors Supplier Guide.

News : Propulsion
From the Earth to the Moon: How Robert Goddard Launched Present-Day Spaceflight

On a snowy day in 1926, a 44-year-old physicist named Robert Goddard went with his wife Esther and some colleagues to his Aunt Effie’s ranch in Auburn,...

Question of the Week : Energy
Will we drive on piezoelectric highways?

Today's lead INSIDER story showcased efforts from Lancaster University to create road-ready piezoelectric tiles. The electricity generated from the ceramics (and the vehicles driving over them) could someday be used to power street lamps and traffic lights.

News : Propulsion
Sound-Off: Which Vehicle Power-Plant Choices Will Win in 2020?

Today's vehicles feature traditional internal combustion engines, hybrid, plugin, and electric drivetrains. A reader asks: "Which power-plant choice will take the lead in 2020?"

Products
New Products: September 2017 Photonics & Imaging Insider

Fiber Optic Cables

OFS (Norcross, GA) has expanded its AccuRibbon® DC Fiber Optic Cable product family to include fiber counts up to 864. Currently, AccuRibbon DC cables are offered in fiber counts up to 432. Super-absorbent polymer (SAP) tapes replace the gel in...

INSIDER : Semiconductors & ICs
Thin Photodetector Increases Performance Without Adding Bulk

In today’s increasingly powerful electronics, tiny materials are a must as manufacturers seek to increase performance without adding bulk. Smaller also is better for...

INSIDER : Photonics/Optics
Single-Photon Emitter Holds Promise for Quantum Info-Processing

Los Alamos National Laboratory has produced the first known material capable of single-photon emission at room temperature and at telecommunications wavelengths. These carbon...

INSIDER : Imaging
Laser Pulses Produce Sharp Images of Organs in Motion

Researchers have developed a photoacoustic imaging technique that uses lasers to create detailed ultrasound images in live animals. The method allows for complete internal body scans with...

News : Photonics/Optics
Introducing the 2017 OEM Photonics & Imaging Directory

Looking for new cameras, lasers, or optics? Our 2017 OEM Photonics & Imaging Directory, featured in the September issue of Tech Briefs, reviews essential vendors.

News : Energy
A Piezoelectric Highway? Engineers Take Another Test Drive

Researchers from Lancaster University are looking to pave the next generation of smart road surfaces — with piezoelectric ceramics. When embedded in road surfaces, the tiles...

Who's Who : Photonics/Optics
Dr. (James) Ira Thorpe, Astrophysicist, Gravitational Astrophysics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Gravitational waves from colliding black holes were first observed by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) instruments in 2015. Building on these efforts on the ground, an international group of...

Question of the Week : Robotics, Automation & Control
Will origami-inspired crawler robots support pipe inspection?

This week’s lead story featured an origami-inspired robot. Assistant professor Aimy Wissa sees possible pipe inspection applications for the crawler.

"Pipes have different kinds of diameters, and you want something that can fit in there with ease," Wissa said in our Tech...

News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
To Watch the Warehouse, Researchers Turn to Drones

Despite the growing use of wireless radio frequency ID (RFID) tags, lost inventory still costs warehouses billions of dollars every year. Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed an aerial way of supplementing the RFID technology: small, safe drones.

News : Test & Measurement
A Balancing Act: How Months in Space Impact Astronauts' Performance

When you arrive back on Earth after a year in space, you’re going to feel it.

NASA and Jacob Bloomberg, senior scientist in the Houston, TX- headquartered Johnson...

News : Data Acquisition
Sound-Off: With High-Speed Data, How Important is Signal Integrity?

Modern avionics are highly dependent on reliable connectivity — and reliable interconnection systems. As data rates inevitably improve to address greater military requirements, how will the increase impact signal integrity?

News : Lighting Technology
New battery coating could improve smart phones and electric vehicles

High-performing lithium-ion batteries are a key component of laptops, smart phones, and electric vehicles. Currently, the anodes, or negative charged side of lithium-ion batteries, are generally made with graphite or other carbon-based materials.

News : Lighting Technology
Precision work: Defect-free coatings for silicon spheres

The prototype kilogram is the unit of mass upon which the weight of a kilo is based. And it’s becoming increasingly lighter. The reason for this, however, is unknown. Now researchers are seeking alternatives for the platinum-iridium alloy artefact that is stored in a safe in Paris. The...

News : Lighting Technology
Designing the fuel-efficient aircraft of the future

As much as we complain about air travel, the fact is, flying has gotten considerably cheaper, safer, faster, and even greener, over the last 60 years.

News : Lighting Technology
Lab researchers 3D-print with high-performance carbon fiber

Lawrence Livermore National Lab researchers have become the first to 3D-print aerospace-grade carbon fiber composites, opening the door to greater control and optimization of the lightweight, yet stronger than steel, material. The research represents a "significant advance" in the...

INSIDER : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Pen Device Identifies Cancer in Seconds

Engineers at The University of Texas at Austin have invented the MasSpec Pen that rapidly and accurately identifies cancerous tissue during surgery, delivering results in about 10 seconds — more than 150 times as fast as existing technology. The instrument gives surgeons precise diagnostic information...

INSIDER : Test & Measurement
Mini Spectrometer Has Big Potential

Researchers have created a miniaturized, portable version of the mass spectrometer, which traditionally has been bulky, limiting its in-field potential. Other smaller spectrometers have been less sensitive...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Learning to Crawl: Origami Robot Moves Like an Earthworm

A new mechanical innovation unfolded this month at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a team of engineers built a new kind of crawler robot. The wheel-less design takes...

Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Do you see valuable applications for 3D-printed Kapton?

Our lead INSIDER story today showcased a new Kapton-like material, developed by a team at Virginia Tech. The researchers hope that the 3D-printed polymer will support new applications, including deep space exploration.

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Product of the Month: September 2017

The Measuring Division of Kaman Precision Products, Middletown, CT, announced the OEM-2306 non-contact linear displacement measuring instrument using eddy current technology. The board is factory-configured for each specific setup, enabling its integration into OEM equipment. It serves as a replacement for...

News : Materials
Researchers Print the Unprintable: Kapton

Kapton, a material used in electronics and aerospace applications, has only been available in sheet form. Researchers from Virginia Tech have found a way to 3D-print a polymer with Kapton's structural characteristics.

News : Imaging
Imaging technique to improve understanding of Alzheimer's

Researchers have developed a fast and practical molecular-scale imaging technique that could let scientists view never-before-seen dynamics of biological processes involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis.

News : Imaging
Multispectral imaging reveals ancient Hebrew inscription

Using advanced imaging technology, Tel Aviv University researchers have discovered a hitherto invisible inscription on the back of a pottery shard that has been on display at the Israel Museum for more than 50 years.

News : Imaging
Video imaging of single molecule DNA replication

Almost all life is based on DNA being copied or replicated. Now for the first time, scientists have been able to watch the replication of a single DNA molecule, with some surprising findings. For one thing, there is a lot more randomness at work than has been thought.

News : Imaging
New cellular imaging paves way for cancer treatment

Researchers at the Universities of York and Leiden have pioneered a technique that uses fluorescent imaging to track the actions of key enzymes in cancer, genetic disorders, and kidney disease. Scientists hope this new development will aid drug design for new anti-cancer, inflammation, and...

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Sound-Off: How Does Recycled Powder Impact a 3D-Printed Part?

In the additive manufacturing process, leftover powder is often recycled for the next job. Do the raw materials degrade with time and exposure?

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Sound-Off: Who is Using 3D Printing for Thermal Management?

By reducing size and weight, 3D-printed parts provide an opportunity to improve thermal control systems. So which major industries are leading the way and using additive manufacturing to stabilize product temperatures?

Articles : RF & Microwave Electronics
Self-Powered Wireless Sensors in the Industrial Internet of Things

Sensors have a key role in industrial production. For example, they can be used for quality and process monitoring or condition-based maintenance. The range of applications is large and is evolving even further, largely due to the increasing use of self-powered wireless sensors...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Optical Sensor for Unknown Gas Detection

Gas sensors are usually engineered to detect a specific molecule in one of many potential categories: toxic gases, combustible gases, and VOCs. A number of technologies, such as infrared, photoionization, catalytic, and electrochemical, are used to test for differing molecular species. Each method has...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Occupancy Sensing Using Wi-Fi Routers

In 2015, commercial and residential buildings accounted for 40% of the energy consumption in the United States according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. As the owners of these buildings seek to decrease costs and reduce energy consumption they have begun to adopt building energy management...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Expert in A Suitcase Cuts Power Bills 10% In Small Commercial Buildings

The Sensor Suitcase is a portable case that contains easy-to-use sensors and other equipment that make it possible for anyone to identify energy-saving opportunities in small commercial buildings. The automated and reusable system combines hardware and software in one...

Application Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Surgeons Can Feel a Robot's Grip

Thanks to advances in biomedical engineering, the use of robotic systems in surgery has become increasingly common. A clear challenge in robotic surgery, however, is the lack of haptic technology — there have been limitations in the ability to provide force feedback to the surgeon. Because many medical devices...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Clean Water with Sandia Sensor Solution

Water utilities have a Goldilocks problem: If they don't add enough chlorine, nasty bacteria that cause typhoid and cholera survive the purification process. Too much chlorine produces disinfection byproducts such as chloroform, which increase cancer risks. The amount of chlorine needs to be “just...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Project Helps Provide More Precise Detection and Understanding of Seismic Activity In Oklahoma

Induced seismicity is earthquake activity that occurs because of changes in subsurface stress brought about by human activity. Using geology, geophysics, reservoir modeling, and rock mechanics to develop assessment models, this project evaluated the...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Networking the IoT with IEEE 802.15.4/6LoWPAN

The Industrial Internet of Things is predicated on large-scale, distributed sensor/control networks that can run unattended for months to years with very low power consumption. The characteristic behavior of this type of network entails very short bursts of message traffic over short distances using...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Flying Metal Detectors?

Scientists have demonstrated a new way to detect buried and submerged mines. Data is collected by sensors aboard an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The information can then be used to create images to display locations of submerged mines on a device such as an Android. The system was demonstrated by successfully...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Printed Sensors Monitor Tire Wear in Real Time

Electrical engineers at Duke University have invented an inexpensive printed sensor that can monitor the tread of car tires in real time, warning drivers when the rubber meeting the road has grown dangerously thin. If adopted, the device will increase safety, improve vehicle performance, and reduce...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Self-Regulating, Freezable Heat Exchanger for Spacecraft

Aspacecraft thermal control system must keep the vehicle, avionics, and atmosphere (if crewed) within a defined temperature range. Water coolant loops are typically used to transport heat to or from the cabin of a crewed spacecraft via heat exchangers to the heat sink systems that reject...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Low-Power, Lightweight, Ultra-Compact Reverse Water Gas Shift Reactor

Utilizing CO2 to produce H2O and O2 is critical for sustained manned missions in space, and supports both NASA’s cabin Atmosphere Revitalization System (ARS) and ln-situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) concepts. For long-term missions beyond low...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Linear Encoders Enable More Accurate Observation of the Sun
HEIDENHAIN Corporation
Schaumburg, IL
www.heidenhain.com

Scientists know surprisingly little about what happens on the Sun. Solar researchers want to change this...

Briefs : Software
Software Suite for Identifying Suspicious Individuals

It can be very useful to know about activities among individuals; for example, which individuals are associated with other individuals? When two or more individuals get together, is there an intended purpose? Who are the leaders or important individuals of a group? What is the organizational...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Inflatable Airlock Technologies

An airlock used in space can provide the ability to leave a pressurized volume and enter free space. This is necessary to perform maintenance or make repairs to the pressurized volume or visiting spacecraft, construct or repair structures or devices, tend in-space experiments, etc. The airlock is used to provide...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Nanowire “Inks” for Paper-Based Printable Electronics

Printed electronics must be heated to melt all the nanoparticles together into a single conductive wire, making it impossible to print circuits on inexpensive plastics or paper. A study shows that tweaking the shape of the nanoparticles in the ink could eliminate the need for heat.

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Portable Kit Recovers Traces of Chemical Evidence

An arson investigation typically requires collecting one or two liters of ashes and debris from various locations within a fire scene in metal cans similar to those used for paint, and sending the material to a lab. The testing methods typically include gas and liquid chromatography or various...

Briefs : Software
Optimized Route Finding for Air and Ground Vehicles

The Automated Impacts Routing (AIR) software is advanced route finding technology for air and ground vehicles. The software provides users the ability to find optimized paths through airspace or ground space, taking into consideration multiple and dynamic adverse conditions that can determine...

Briefs : Software
Automated Transfer Function Generator

When designing or analyzing electrical systems, it is important to understand the relationship between input and output. Power conversion occurs in a “black box,” and transfer functions can be used to provide a better understanding of the processes occurring in this black box. Although they provide a...

Briefs : Materials
Ultralight, Scalable, High-Temperature-Resilient Ceramic Nanofiber Sponges

Researchers have made ultralight, highly porous, compressible, and heat-resistant sponge-like materials from nanoscale ceramic fibers. The highly deformable material is made by tangling ceramic nanofibers into a sponge. The method used is inexpensive and scalable for...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Overspeed Protection for Turbine Flowmeters in Cryogenic Applications

Flowmeters for cryogenic applications often fail in service. Turbine flowmeters in particular fail due to very high speeds encountered during chill-down operations. Very cold, very high-velocity gas causes the turbine to spin uncontrollably, which quickly degrades bearings....

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Electrically Conducting Nanoscale Sheets for Reconfigurable Electronics

Almost all aspects of modern life, such as communications and healthcare, depend on microelectronic devices. The demand for more powerful, smaller technology keeps growing, meaning that the tiniest devices are now composed of just a few atoms. One way to solve the problem of...

Briefs : Propulsion
Wireless Ultrasonic Inspection Propulsion System

During inspection of pressure vessels and other large structures, an industry-accepted fixture is used to hold the search unit a predetermined distance from the area of interest under inspection. This fixture is then moved manually around the area of interest so that data can be collected and...

Briefs : Propulsion
Towed-Glider Airborne Launch System Cuts Costs and Increases Efficiency and Safety

Putting a satellite into low Earth orbit requires a lot of energy, with ground-launched rockets expending two-thirds of their propellant fighting to get...

Articles : Materials
Products of Tomorrow: September 2017

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that innovation.

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Handheld Device with Reagents for Detection and Diagnostics

The high risk associated with biological threat agents determines that any suspicious sample be handled under strict surety and safety controls, and processed under high-level containment in specialized laboratories. These specialized facilities are complex, very expensive to operate,...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
DIGITALIZATION: The New Critical Success Factor

The terms Industry 4.0, Big Data, the Internet of Things, and the Digital Factory are being pitched around like a rugby ball, and almost always with a decided lack of clear definition. Let’s set the record straight.

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Carbon Nanotube Purification

Development of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), including single-wall and multi-wall nanotubes and nanofibers, into useful devices requires fabrication of CNTs that are relatively free from process residues such as amorphous carbon and metallic particles that are not part of a CNT array grown on a (coated) substrate....

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Passive High-Temperature Sealing Device

Asealing device was developed that acts as a high-temperature shutoff valve for pipes and ducts. The device is an annular ring that can be slipped over the outside of the pipe (or built into a flanged spool piece). The cavity inside the device is filled with a gas, liquid, or even a solid. When exposed to...

Briefs : Software
Python Interface to Dual-Pol Radar Algorithms (DualPol)

This object-oriented Python module facilitates precipitation retrievals (e.g., hydrometeor type, precipitation rate, precipitation mass, particle size distribution) from polarimetric radar data. It leverages existing open-source radar software packages to perform all-in-one retrievals that...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Thermal Micro-Extraction Laboratory

Typical extractions in the laboratory require a significant amount of sample material, large-scale equipment, and hands-on participation of a scientist. Such a setup is impractical (or impossible), heavy, and expensive to be carried out on spaceflight instrumentation. While great strides are being made to...

Briefs : Materials
Water-Based, Recyclable Membrane Filters all Types of Nanoparticles

Separation technology is at the heart of water purification, sewage treatment, and reclaiming materials, as well as numerous basic industrial processes. Membranes are used to separate out the smallest nanoscale particles, and even molecules and metal ions. A new type of membrane...

Briefs : Software
Sound Lab (SLAB) Version 5

Interest in the simulation of acoustic environments has prompted a number of technology development efforts over the years for applications such as auralization of concert halls and listening rooms, spatial information displays in aviation, virtual reality, and better sound effects for video games. Each of these...

Briefs : Materials
Using Sunlight to Activate the Flow of Electrical Current in a New Material

Mined to make the first compass needles, the mineral magnetite is also made by migratory birds and other animals to allow them to sense north and south, and thus navigate in cloudy or dark atmospheric conditions or under water. Researchers have compositionally modified...

Articles : Nanotechnology
Carbon Nanotube Resin Shores Up Boats and Bikes

Spinoff is NASA’s annual publication featuring successfully commercialized NASA technology. This commercialization has contributed to the development of products and services in the fields of health and medicine, consumer goods, transportation, public safety, computer technology, and...

Briefs : Propulsion
Multi-Pulse Motor (MPM) for Use with Electric Solid Propellants (ESP)

The purpose of this work was to create a safe, green, controllable solid rocket motor that can be pulsed a number of times with electricity to control the ignition and extinguishment times to produce a required thrust or impulse bit. The innovation features an Electric Solid...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Container Screening Device (CSD)

The Container Screening Device (CSD) is a portable, benchtop measurement system for real-time sealed-container inspection, and content (liquid/ material) classification and discrimination. The technology uses sound waves to acoustically detect, classify, and discriminate threat versus non-threat substances and...

Briefs : Materials
New Materials Could Turn Water into Solar Fuel

Solar fuels are created using only sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide (CO2). Researchers are exploring a range of target fuels, from hydrogen gas to liquid hydrocarbons, but producing any of these fuels involves splitting water.

Briefs : Materials
Modified Surface Having Low Adhesion Properties to Mitigate Insect Residue Adhesion

NASA Langley Research Center, in collaboration with ATK Space Systems, has developed a method to reduce insect adhesion on metallic substrates, polymeric materials, engineering plastics, and other surfaces. The method topographically modifies a surface using...

Briefs : Software
CornerStone Knowledge Acquisition and Synthesis Framework

In general, and especially in the “big data” era, there is often a failure to collect sufficient data about the data (metadata). This lack of metadata drastically reduces the potential use of the data, and the attempt to rectify this situation after the fact is often difficult, if not...

Briefs : Software
Middle-Out Graph Analytics

Graph analytics is a way of facilitating guided graph exploration through visual and interactive means. Unlike many graph visualization research efforts that focus predominantly on layout algorithms and rendering techniques, graph analytics research strives to provide an engaging interactive journey that bridges the...

Briefs : Materials
Microfabricated Particles as MRI Contrast Agents

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become an invaluable, widely used medical diagnostic and research tool, but despite numerous chemically synthesized image-enhancing agents, MRI still lacks the sensitivity and the multiplexing capabilities of optical imaging that benefit from colored...

Briefs : Materials
Self-Protected, Low-Temperature Nanosolder

Nanosolders allow for increased capabilities in the formation of soldered interconnections for heat-sensitive electronic packages. The desired characteristic of nanosolder is to have a low process temperature that does not damage base materials or components, while also having a high service temperature...

Briefs : Materials
Resistive Heating-Assisted Infiltration and Cure (RHAIC) for Polymer/Carbon Nanotube Structural Composites

NASA’s Langley Research Center scientists have developed a process for fabricating carbon nanotube (CNT) structural nanocomposites that brings CNT-based composites closer to realizing their potential for structural applications....

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
3D Chip Combines Computing and Data Storage

Fields ranging from autonomous driving to personalized medicine are generating huge amounts of data. But just as the flood of data is reaching massive proportions, the ability of computer chips to process it into useful information is stalling.

Briefs : Propulsion
Rotary Piston Engine

There are many applications where a high power-to-weight engine is either necessary or helpful. Uses for this type of engine range from handheld power equipment, to motorcycles and aircraft — uses multiply when fuel efficiency, compactness, and versatility are added. Currently, there are few viable options available to...

Articles : Medical
National Institutes of Health

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) traces its roots to 1887, when a one-room laboratory was created within the Marine Hospital Service (MHS), the predecessor agency to the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS). An agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, today NIH is the nation’s focal point for...

Briefs : Propulsion
Green Liquid Monopropellant Thruster for In-Space Propulsion

Hydrazine has been the standard baseline liquid monopropellant for space propulsion over many decades since replacing hydrogen peroxide. Hydrazine was preferred over peroxide due to its easier storability and higher performance. Like peroxide, hydrazine can be readily decomposed by...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Shaper Design in CMOS for High Dynamic Range

Front-end electronics for capacitive sensors typically include a preamplifier followed by a filter. The preamplifier provides low-noise amplification of the signals induced in the sensor...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Tamper-Indicating Bolt

In storage and/or transport of certain items, the ability to detect tampering with a container or compartment for such items can be necessary and valuable. In the transport of hazardous substances or nuclear materials...

Briefs : Software
NetEgg: Automated Code Generation for Software-Defined Networks

Software-Defined Networking (SDN) usually requires network administrators to be skilled in programming languages such as C++, Python, or Ruby. Many IT operators tasked with installing routers or other network components may lack the skills to program SDN equipment. Due to a shortage...

Briefs : Software
Robust Method for Data Protection and Change Detection

Methods exist for processing an original data sequence in order to generate information about the data for the purposes of integrity measurement, ownership demonstration, and authentication. The first category is digital watermarking, the second is data hashing, and the third is error...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Camera Trends 2017

For an in-depth look at current trends in the camera market, we interviewed Alex Shikany, Director of Market Analysis, Association for Advancing Automation (A3), Ann Arbor, MI.

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
X-Ray Scattering Constructs 3D Images of Nanoparticle Grains

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have developed a new X-ray technique to see inside continuously packed nanoparticles, also known as grains, to examine deformations and dislocations that affect their properties.

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Carbon Nanotube-Based Coatings Provide Extremely-High Surface Emissivity

Santa Barbara Infrared (SBIR) and Surrey NanoSystems (SNS) have partnered to produce a line of extended-area blackbody sources with exceptionally-high emissivity and radiometric accuracy. The emitter plates in these sources feature a carbon nanotube (CNT) based coating with...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
High-Resolution Imaging with Conventional Microscopes

MIT researchers have developed a method for making extremely high-resolution images of tissue samples at a fraction of the cost of other techniques, yet with similar resolution. The new technique relies on expanding tissue before imaging it with a conventional light microscope. Two years ago,...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Cinematography on the Fly

In recent years, a host of Hollywood blockbusters, including “The Fast and the Furious 7,” “Jurassic World,” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” have included aerial tracking shots provided by drone helicopters outfitted with cameras. Those shots required separate operators for the drones and the cameras, and...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Microscope Can Scan Tumors During Surgery

When women undergo lumpectomies to remove breast cancer, doctors try to remove all the cancerous tissue while conserving as much of the healthy breast tissue as possible. But currently there's no reliable way to determine during surgery whether the excised tissue is completely cancer-free at its margins...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
New Microscopy Method Breaks Color Barrier of Optical Imaging

Researchers at Columbia University have made a significant step toward breaking the so-called “color barrier” of light microscopy for biological systems, allowing for much more comprehensive, system-wide labeling and imaging of a greater number of biomolecules in living cells and...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Changing the Nature of Optics in One Step

Optical lenses that can see features smaller than the wavelength of light cannot be made from conventional materials. Creating “hyperlenses” that can take ultra-sharp images needs both designer materials (metamaterials) and innovative optics to be developed. Current methods for fabricating such...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
How to Test Devices Used in Optical Communications Systems

As signal rates approach 50 Gb/s, bandwidth demand has outpaced conventional circuit boards. Engineers are now turning to PAM4 signaling rather than conventional NRZ as the most viable solution to these design challenges.

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Neuroimaging Technique May Help Predict Autism Among High-Risk Infants

According to a recent study, functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (fcMRI) may predict which high-risk, 6-month-old infants will develop autism spectrum disorder by age 2 years.

Products : Photonics/Optics
New Products: September 2017 Photonics & Imaging Technology

795 nm DFB Laser Diode

eagleyard Photonics GmbH (Berlin, Germany) completes its offering for rubidium spectroscopy/optically pumped atomic clocks with its release of a new 795 nm DFB laser. Next to the 780 nm DFB lasers and the gain chips for extended cavity setups (ECDL) the...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
New Microscope Uses Adaptable Mirror to Create Clearer Images

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NBIB) has developed a microscope that increases resolution and contrast in thick biological samples. The new microscope improves on its predecessor by combining two-photon laser scanning microscopy (2PM) with instant...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Flexible Liquid Lens Simplifies Inspection

When you buy a new car, you can choose from a wide range of exterior and interior features, transmission and dynamics, and safety bundles, to configure your individual vehicle. From the point of view of engine manufacturing, this entails a wide range of designs and sizes. To meet demands for high...

News : Energy
Nanotube Yarns Generate Electricity When Stretched

Scientists at The University of Texas at Dallas and South Korea’s Hanyang University have developed tiny, high-tech yarns that generate electricity when stretched or twisted. The...

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