January 2019

Machine vision systems have traditionally consisted of stand-alone cameras tethered to PC-based boards or frame grabbers using highspeed interfaces such as Camera Link, CoaXPress and...

Researchers at Dartmouth have found a way to make back surgery safer, faster, and more cost effective. MRIs and CT scans can help surgeons identify spine problems such as...

Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Clear Vision for UAVs

The rapidly expanding world-wide use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) — drones — is driving a growing market for specialized imaging technology. According to Chris Yiu, General Manager, High Performance BU at...

VGA Sensor

Now available from FRAMOS (Ottawa, Canada), the Sony IMX426 Pregius™ 3rd generation Global Shutter CMOS image sensor provides 9μm pixel size and reaches VGA...

Articles: Photonics/Optics
SPIE Photonics West 2019 Preview

The SPIE Photonics West 2019 technical conference and exhibition returns to The Moscone Center in San Francisco, February 2 through February 7, offering attendees the opportunity to explore the latest...

Engineers at Duke University have developed a way to extract a sequence of images from light scattered through a mostly opaque material — or even off a wall — from one long...

A new method of X-ray scanning will allow for the visualization of many more biological molecules, providing critical information about what is inside molecules to scientists...

Articles: Photonics/Optics
Ultrafast Laser Micromachining

Ultrashort pulse (USP) lasers for precision micromachining can minimize or avoid undesirable thermal effects that limit feature resolution, edge quality and, ultimately, product functionality. This is...

Light of different colors travels at different speeds in different materials and structures. This is why we see white light split into its constituent colors after refracting through a...

Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Cleaning or Etching Items with Unique Geometries

Cleaning, an integral part of many manufacturing and maintenance processes, is often critical to the performance of a broad range of technologies in the semiconductor, defense, MEMS, photonics...

Ultrashort optical pulses are becoming more and more relevant in a number of applications including distance measurement, molecular fingerprinting and ultrafast sampling....

Researchers have developed a new ultrasound transducer that could dramatically lower the cost of ultrasound scanners to as little as $100. Conventional ultrasound scanners use piezoelectric crystals...

Innovators at NASA's Glenn Research Center have designed a superior seal assembly that is durable and highly dependable in extremely harsh environments. This...

Professor Bowles has developed a method to 3D-print cells to produce human tissue. This replacement tissue can greatly improve the recovery of a person with a...

Researchers funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) have developed a non-invasive imaging technique that accurately detects skin cancer...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) Aircraft with Vectored Thrust for Control and Continuously Variable Pitch Attitude in Hover

Most fixed-wing VTOL unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) take off vertically, then transition to horizontal flight. This is a new type of UAV that has unique capability. It can vary its hover position from “nose up”...

For more than 100 years, X-rays have been used in crystallography to determine the structure of molecules. At the heart of the method are the principles of diffraction and superposition,...

Who

Individuals needing or wanting to examine lead content in their drinking water on-demand and in virtually any environmental setting.

The ability to fly at supersonic speed without producing unsettling sonic booms would re-open a path to faster commercial aviation. In pursuit of aerodynamics that...

A stainless steel alloy — alloy 709 — has potential for elevated-temperature applications such as nuclear reactor structures. It is exceptionally strong and resistant to damage when exposed to...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D Printing: The Impact of Post-Processing

The perception and promise of 3D printing are that it offers a digital workflow that is simple, fast, and automated — a process that is complexity-free. That perception is generally correct up to...

In biology, there are many examples where light induces movement or change — think of flowers and leaves turning toward sunlight. Magnetic elastomeric composites were developed that move in different...

The ability of additive manufacturing to manage small volumes, create complex designs, and fabricate lightweight but strong structures makes it a natural fit for aerospace...

Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
Microchip Tracks Smart Pills

Researchers have developed a prototype miniature medical device that could ultimately be used in smart pills to diagnose and treat diseases. A key to the new technology is that its location can be precisely...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Optically Transparent Polyimide Aerogels

Innovators at NASA's Glenn Research Center have expanded their growing portfolio of aerogels to include a new optically transparent polyimide aerogel. Aerogels — low-density, highly porous,...

Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Products of Tomorrow: January 2019

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...

A low-cost 3D bioprinter was built by modifying a standard desktop 3D printer with a syringe-based, large volume extruder (LVE). The extruder works with most open-source fused deposition modeling (FDM)...

RED
Irvine, CA
www.red.com

NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) have delivered the first 8K ultra-high-definition (UHD) video of astronauts living, working, and...

A technique was developed that uses a specially adapted 3D printer to build therapeutic biomaterials from multiple materials. The advance could be a step toward on-demand printing of complex...

Lasers play roles in many manufacturing processes, from welding car parts to crafting engine components with 3D printers. To control these tasks, manufacturers must ensure that their lasers fire at...

Briefs: Materials
Composite Material Cools Itself Down Under Extreme Temperatures

A material, inspired by nature, can regulate its own temperature and could be used to treat burns and help space capsules withstand atmospheric forces. The research used a network of multiple microchannels with active flowing fluids (fluidics) as a method and proof-of-concept to...

Briefs: Aerospace
Exhaust Plume Analyzer

Exhaust plumes emanating from smoke stacks at power plants or other industrial facilities can have adverse impacts on local aviation during periods of calm winds. Adverse impacts can be exacerbated if the temperature is low or the atmosphere is unstable. While low oxygen concentrations and elevated temperatures inside the...

Pulsed laser vaporization (PLV) production of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) on traditional Co/Ni catalyst was explored with...

Briefs: Aerospace
Internal Short Circuit Testing Device to Improve Battery Designs

Batteries, such as lithium-ion, sold for consumer use in portable electronic devices and other applications such as electrical cars, occasionally fail in the field over time. These cells have typically passed a wide variety of safety tests such as those required by governmental...

Gene expression analysis measures the activity of genes and reveals valuable information about the internal states of living cells. NASA Ames has developed a novel system for...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Hybrid, Wide-Range Detector Amplifier

Many applications require detection of both very small and very large signals. High-gain detector amplifiers provide low noise, but are easily swamped by large signals. Logarithmic amplifiers provide a...

Briefs: Materials
New Material Composition Withstands Extreme Impact and Temperature

A super-strong alloy of copper and tantalum was created that can withstand extreme impact and temperature, providing high strength and good electrical conductivity. The alloy is a model system with structure that can be passed on to other alternative material systems. Materials...

A controllable material was developed that can transform into complex, pre-programmed shapes via light and temperature stimuli, allowing it to morph into a different shape before fully...

Briefs: Aerospace
Device for Providing Real-Time Rotorcraft Noise Abatement Information

Rotorcraft typically operate near the ground throughout the duration of the operation. For this reason, military rotorcraft are vulnerable to acoustic detection, and public acceptance of civil rotorcraft is limited by annoyance caused by rotor noise radiation. The purpose of...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Contaminant-Free Steel

For many highly stressed engineering applications like bearings and gears, contaminated steel parts can lead to devastating outcomes such as an emergency shutdown or the end of a mission. Ensuring that these critical...

Detecting the nuances of nonverbal communication between individuals will allow robots to serve in social spaces, enabling them to perceive what people around them are doing, what moods they are...

In traditional hardwired avionics systems, sensor integration requires installation of literally tons of physical cable that significantly increases vehicle weight and the...

A device that shows the difference between healthy fingers and arthritic fingers has been developed that combines ultrasound and photoacoustics medical imaging techniques. Combining these...

Spinoff is NASA's annual publication featuring successfully commercialized NASA technology. This commercialization has contributed to the development of products and services in...

Infrared motion detectors can cover only a limited amount of space, a person has to be within the detector's line of sight to be detected, and lights can go off when a person remains...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Spanwise Adaptive Wing

NASA's Glenn Research Center developed a novel means of articulating the outboard portion of an aircraft wing to create the optimal geometry for given flight conditions. The Spanwise Adaptive Wing (SAW) concept employs...

Application Briefs: Automotive
Vehicle Design with System-Level Modeling
Maplesoft
Waterloo, ON, Canada
www.maplesoft.com

The demand for innovation is universal across industries, as new products are required to meet higher performance standards without...

Researchers have developed a customizable soft robot that fits around a heart and helps it beat, potentially opening new treatment options for people suffering from heart...

Egyptian blue, derived from calcium copper silicate, was routinely used on ancient depictions of gods and royalty. Previous studies have shown that when Egyptian blue absorbs visible light, it then...

Briefs: Energy
Li-ion Cell Calorimeter

Lithium-ion batteries are an integral part of energy storage systems used in NASA's Exploration program, as well as many modern terrestrial industries. NASA Johnson wanted a better way to measure total and fractional heat response of specific types of Li-ion cells when driven into a thermal runaway condition.

Soft, 3D-printed structures have been created whose movements can be controlled with a wave of a magnet, much like marionettes without the strings. The structures that can be magnetically manipulated...

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed an unmanned aerial vehicle concept for long-range, distributed aerial presence and delivery applications. This aircraft concept is capable...

Check valves are traditionally designed as a simple poppet/spring system where the spring is designed to equal the force created from the sealing area of the valve seat multiplied by...

Briefs: Data Acquisition
Automated Conflict Resolution for Air Traffic Control (AAC) Versions 1 and 2

A conflict resolution algorithm that can provide automated separation assurance for the next-generation air traffic control system has been developed. The algorithm generates resolution trajectories that can be sent to the aircraft from a ground-based system via a data...

Prescription drugs have enabled millions of Americans with chronic medical conditions to live longer and more fulfilling lives, but many promising new drugs never make it to...

Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) machines can be susceptible to tow-tape defects such as gaps and overlaps. These can reduce strength between 7% and 32%....

Facility Focus: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Facility Focus: NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center

NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) has been a leader in human space exploration for more than half a century. Established in 1961 in Houston, TX as the Manned Spacecraft Center, the center...

Radiology workers are regularly exposed to low doses of radiation when they obtain patient imagery such as X-rays. While protective gear largely keeps workers within a safe range of...

Lamina emergent compliant mechanisms (including origami-adapted compliant mechanisms) are mechanical devices that can be fabricated from a planar material (a lamina) and have motion...

Products: Electronics & Computers
Product of the Month: January 2019 Tech Briefs

EFCO, San Diego, CA, introduced the SmartSL Plus embedded box computer with Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) capability. Powered by the 3rd Gen (Bay Trail) Intel® Atom™ or...

Spine deformities, such as idiopathic scoliosis and kyphosis (also known as “hunchback”), are characterized by an abnormal curvature in the spine. The children with these spinal...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Large-Scale Robotic Inkjet Printing System

Painting of surfaces having numerous facets and/or curved surfaces is a time-consuming process that requires the application of several coats (layers) of paint. Such surfaces are often found on...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
3D Inks Can Be Erased Selectively

3D printing allows for the efficient manufacture of complex geometries. A very promising method is direct laser writing in which a computer-controlled focused laser beam acts as a pen and produces the...

Products: Electronics & Computers
New on the Market: January 2019
Laptop Computers

Eurocom, Nepean, ON, Canada offers Sky “C” Series laptop computers based on the Z370 Intel chipset and using CPU-upgrade-able, LGA1151 socket-based processors. They support up to...

Special Reports: Aerospace
Rugged Computing - January 2019

From the depths of the ocean to the extreme temperatures of space, computing advances enable applications in the harshest environments. To help you keep pace with the latest developments, we present this...

Professor Sherry Towfighian spoke with Tech Briefs about how a new MEMS design will improve our cell phones and power lines.
Question of the Week: Communications
Do You Expect Successful Cyberattacks on Today’s Connected Cars?

In today’s lead story, Stacy Janes showed optimism regarding the security of connected cars.

From CES 2019: For famine relief, the World Bank is turning to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
From CES 2019: Tech Briefs looks at three standout health-monitoring products.
Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Can AI Prevent Famine?

Today's INSIDER story demonstrated how artificial intelligence models are being used to mark areas most in need of famine relief and funding. Ed Hsu from the World Bank spoke at CES last week about his collaboration with AI heavyweights Google, Microsoft, and Amazon.

David Barzilai from Karamba Security tells Tech Briefs what threats to the connected car concern him the most.
White Papers: Electronics & Computers
When Should You Request A Custom Reflow Profile?

Solder paste composition primarily defines what reflow profile is needed for your PCB project to be successful. However, other factors such as component thermal conductivity, board thickness,...

Podcasts: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Here's an Idea: Car Hacking
Today's cars are more connected than ever before — and manufacturers need to ensure those connections are secure.
Question of the Week: Automotive
Do You Feel Safe Behind the Wheel of a Connected Car?

Our Here's an Idea podcast episode led the INSIDER today, and explored how today's auto manufacturers are working to protect connected cars from a range of threats, including ransomware and a remote takeover of the vehicle's controls.

Scientists from the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) — a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory — have dramatically improved...

GigE Vision Interface

Pleora Technologies (Ottawa, Canada) introduced the imaging market’s first external frame grabber that converts Sony FCB-EV7520A block cameras into GigE...

Researchers from the University of Houston have devised a new machine learning algorithm that is efficient enough to run on a personal computer and predict the properties of more than...

An ultrafast laser that fires pulses of light just 100 millionths of a nanosecond in duration could potentially revolutionize the way NASA technicians manufacture...

Professor Jordan Raney spoke with Tech Briefs about what’s possible when you can embody 3D-printed objects with logic.
White Papers: Medical
Choosing a CM: Find The Best Match by Asking the Right Questions

“Quality is often defined in manufacturing as a measure of excellence or a state of being free from defects, deficiencies, and/or variations. It is brought about by a...

Question of the Week: Electronics & Computers
Will ‘Embodied Logic’ Support New Monitoring Applications?

In today’s lead INSIDER story, Professor Jordan Raney said that the most interesting feature of his embodied-logic system is its ability to monitor an environment for a very long period of time, without needing a continued input of energy.

A Failure Analysis may help find problems during product development, but what role should top management play in an FMEA?
INSIDER: Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Soft Mesh Robots Move on Water

North Carolina State created 3D-printed flexible mesh structures that can be controlled with applied magnetic fields while floating on water. The structures can grab small objects and carry water...

INSIDER: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Ultraviolet Light Controls Fluid Flow

A simple, inexpensive method uses ultraviolet light to control particle motion and assembly within liquids. The method encourages particles to gather and organize at a specific location within a...

Question of the Week
Would You Use a ‘SwingBot?’

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