January 2020

Special Reports: Propulsion
CONEXPO/IFPE - January 2020

Coming to Las Vegas in March, CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE are North America's largest events for the construction/commercial vehicle, fluid power, power transmission, and motion control industries. In this Special...

Special Reports: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Vehicle Electrification - January 2020

Demand for electric vehicles is accelerating, presenting new design, manufacturing, and infrastructure challenges. To help you keep pace with the rapid changes in vehicle electrification technology, we...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
A new laser-based system offers an efficient way to detect fires in challenging environments such as industrial facilities or large construction sites.
Products: Photonics/Optics
Photopolymer films, LED light engines, measurement systems, and more.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
For disease diagnosis, a microchip maps the back of the eye.
Articles: Imaging
SPIE Photonics West 2020 returns to The Moscone Center in San Francisco, February 1 through February 6
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
A system senses tiny changes in shadows on the ground to determine if there’s a moving object coming around the corner.
Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
A nanoantenna-enabled detector boosts the usable signal of a thermal infrared camera by up to three times.
Articles: Materials
Increased laser capacity has enabled, and will continue to enable, new manufacturing possibilities.
Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
AM is an especially good fit for products that require a high level of customization.
Articles: Software
See how software supported the design of an advanced antenna.
Application Briefs: Test & Measurement
NASA and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) recently tested a new way to see the Sun
Briefs: Software
Applications include modeling of tidal stress response of icy satellites as well as fatigue of terrestrial ice shelves.
Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Chromium Removal from PVC Filters
The process does not cause any structural changes to the PVC filter membrane.
Q&A: Photonics/Optics
Briefs: Medical
This electronic pill can relay diagnostic information or release drugs in response to smartphone commands.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
The self-contained technology is similar to the smart watches that monitor heart rate.
Briefs: Nanotechnology
A carbon nanotube heat shield can better protect extremely fast aircraft.
Briefs: Aerospace
This technique lowers airstream noise generated at the side edges of deployed flaps, elevons, or slats.
Briefs: Aerospace
These advances are useful for transportation, infrastructure, and aerospace.
Application Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
NASA and universities from across the country are teaming up to support a continued human presence on the Moon and ultimately Mars.
Briefs: Materials
These barrier coatings protect high-performance components in extreme environments.
Briefs: Materials
A solvent leaches cobalt and lithium for reuse from spent batteries.
Facility Focus: Test & Measurement
See how NOAA provides daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings, climate monitoring, and more.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
Interaction of sound and light reveals new information of a crystal's quantum properties.
Briefs: Nanotechnology
This microbot can walk on land, swim, and walk underwater.
Briefs: Energy
This approach is a cost-effective way to convert carbon dioxide gas into methane.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
The device can be used to pre-screen for the virus using gene-editing assays before those infected can travel and expose others.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Applying a surface-active agent makes metal easier to cut and shape into parts and pieces.
Briefs: Lighting
This method will enable safer fluorescent light recycling.
Briefs: Energy
Electric motors and gas-alcohol engines could slash pollution levels and greenhouse gases from long-haul trucks.
5 Ws: Software
A touch-based display mimics the geometry of 3D objects designed on a computer.
Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
These robust materials convert excess heat energy into electricity.
Briefs: Wearables
This electronic skin can track heart rate, respiration, muscle movement, and other health data.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
This thin film can be used for ground-based and airborne applications in aircraft, balloons, and other flight missions.
Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Processors, imaging sensors, dimensioning systems, and more.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
The non-destructive coating has applications in structural health monitoring, aerospace, automotive, and military/defense.
Articles: Photonics/Optics
If you want to pursue in-house PCB prototyping and testing, there are several routes you can take.
Articles: Energy
Heartbeat-based biometrics, sonic-boom displays, and an artificial leaf.
Briefs: Nanotechnology
Ultra-thin SiC microstructures enable batch fabrication of MEMS, NEMS, pressure sensors, and biosensors.
Briefs: Imaging
Various components are used to assemble robots that are more aware of their surroundings.
Briefs: Nanotechnology
This plant-based material can be manufactured using water as a solvent instead of other harmful solvents.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Load-bearing structures in cars and airplanes could be manufactured from the metal foam.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

According to the United Nations, 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services and the majority live in developing nations. A process was...

NASA Spinoff: Imaging
Isolators used to control semiconductor manufacturing keep the James Webb Space Telescope steady.
Briefs: Motion Control
Loosely connected disc-shaped “particles” can push and pull one another, moving together to transport objects.
Briefs: Energy
These stickers wirelessly beam health readings to a receiver clipped onto clothing.
Articles: Materials
Manufacturers in almost every industry are looking to design lighter parts. Here are five lightweighting strategies.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
A new method of estimating the optimal trailing aircraft position in a formation increases fuel savings.
Briefs: Propulsion
These louvers provide passive thermal cooling for CubeSats.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
This technology is a novel, rugged, and economic diagnostic and sensor platform technology.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
This microrobot with soft actuators can crash, fall, and collide without being damaged.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Embedded Gas and Temperature Sensors for Extreme Environments

Innovative process control systems for improved efficiency and lower emissions in current and future fossil-fuel-based power systems and related applications require durable, embedded sensor technology that can operate at higher temperatures and in harsh conditions.

Briefs: Motion Control
An upgraded mini robot can leap over obstacles with ease.
Products: Test & Measurement
Vitrek introduces the PA920 Series ultra-high-accuracy power analyzer.
Blog: Test & Measurement
As additive manufacturing supports the creation of critical metal parts, designers need to know that the parts are high-quality.
Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A fun way to show the robustness of a soft robot? Swat it.
Question of the Week: Imaging
Will We Use Satellites to Fix Satellites?

A recent INSIDER described one researcher’s idea to fix a broken satellite: Send up a repair satellite! Read the Tech Briefs Q&A for details.

Blog: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Here are five technologies that aim to add intelligence to the most surprising household objects.
Blog: Aerospace
Stuck in traffic? The Pegasus flying car can get you out of there.
Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
NASA came to CES with a message: We're going back to the Moon, and we'll need help from industry to do it.
Question of the Week: Aerospace
Would You Ride in a Flying Car?

A flying car, also known as a rotable aircraft, is something that inventors have been dreaming about for a very long time. Stuck in traffic? Just take-off and get out of there.

Blog: Manufacturing & Prototyping
NASA is using the International Space Station as a testbed for 3D printing.
Blog: Electronics & Computers
To improve the aqueous lithium-ion battery, RPI researchers tried out niobium tungsten oxide.
Question of the Week: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Would You Cook with ‘Julia?’

Last week, we highlighted five CES 2020 technologies that are adding intelligence to everyday aspects of the home. One featured “Smart Home” technology included “Julia,” an all-in-one cooker that performs a variety of kitchen tasks: chopping, whisking, steaming, weighing ingredients, and even kneading...

Blog: Materials
"View it as an infrared privacy shield," says Professor Mikhail Kats.
INSIDER: Imaging

Researchers have demonstrated a new all-optical technique for creating robust second-order nonlinear effects in materials that don’t normally support them. Using a...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics

Photovoltaics used in solar panels are sensitive to environmental factors and often suffer degradation over time. International Electrotechnical Commission standards for...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics

Imagine a fleet of 100 Hubble Space Telescopes, deployed in a strategic space-invader-shaped array a million miles from Earth, scanning the universe at...

INSIDER Product: Imaging

SWIR Camera

Princeton Infrared Technologies, Inc. (PIRT) (Monmouth Junction, NJ) will be introducing its new compact MVCam series shortwave-infrared (SWIR) and visible camera...

Blog: Materials
When astronauts arrive on the Moon, their habitat may be one made out of fungi.
Question of the Week: Green Design & Manufacturing
Do you Like the Idea of Fungi-Inspired Design?

Our lead INSIDER story today demonstrated the potential of fungi as a building material. Aside from supporting theoretical space habitats, fungal mycelia have been used to create actual chairs and 2x4 structures. What do you think? Do you Like the Idea of Fungi-Inspired Design?

INSIDER: Motion Control

Cells are observed to “crawl” by attaching themselves to a surface and using these anchor points to push themselves forward (like crawling on the ground). Scientists have identified a different...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control

An engineering model of the VIPER lunar rover is being tested at NASA’s Glenn Research Center. About the size of a golf cart, VIPER is a mobile robot that will roam around the Moon’s South Pole...

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
Cornell researcher T.J. Wallin explains what's so cool about a robot that sweats.

Videos