October 2011

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Actuator

Haydon Kerk Motion Solutions (Waterbury, CT) offers a 36-mm G4 linear actuator that includes an adapter plate that allows the smaller 36- mm OD unit to replace 42-mm and 46-mm units in existing applications using...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
DC Compressor

The 2220 Series brushless DC oil-less air compressor from Thomas Division (Sheboygan, WI) is designed for applications requiring a compact compressor with variable output. The unit weighs 1.48 pounds and measures 3.8 × 2.64 × 4.7". It features a variable speed motor that produces flow to 1.2 cfm and pressure to 30 psi. It uses...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Servo Motors

Wittenstein (Bartlett, IL) has introduced the MRSH line of servo motors designed in a modular concept to allow users to select frame sizes, lengths, and options. The MRSH049A and MRSH064A models are available in lengths of 15,...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
V-Belt Drives

Premium banded V-belts from TB Wood’s (Chambersburg, PA) are designed for drives requiring high impact strength and load-carrying power. Banded belts feature a multiple-layer tie band that provides lateral rigidity to prevent...

Briefs: Medical
Improved Devices for Collecting Sweat for Chemical Analysis

Improved devices have been proposed for collecting sweat for biochemical analysis — especially for determination of the concentration of Ca2+ ions in sweat as a measure of loss of Ca from bones. Unlike commercially available sweat-collection patches used previously in...

Phil McAlister, acting director of commercial spaceflight development, oversees the efforts of the Commercial Crew Development and Cargo...

Podcasts
Phil McAlister, Acting Director of Commercial Spaceflight Development, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

Phil McAlister, acting director of commercial spaceflight development, oversees the efforts of the Commercial Crew Development and Cargo programs. The dual initiatives spur efforts within the private sector to boost human spaceflight...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Optical Sensors for Monitoring Gamma and Neutron Radiation

For safety and efficiency, nuclear reactors must be carefully monitored to provide feedback that enables the fission rate to be held at a constant target level via adjustments in the position of neutron- absorbing rods and moderating coolant flow rates. For automated reactor control, the...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Rapid-Response Semiconductor Sensor With Resistance Detection Determines Partial Pressure of Oxygen

In the past, solid electrolytes have mainly been used as oxygen sensors for automobiles. This type of sensor measures the difference between the oxygen partial pressures of a reference electrode and a measurement electrode, and always requires a...

Laser line illumination systems may be used for numerous applications including imaging systems in which the laser line is directed toward a light modulator to reflect or...

Briefs: Medical
Cytometer on a Chip

A cytometer now under development exploits spatial sorting of sampled cells on a microarray chip followed by use of grating-coupled surface-plasmon-resonance imaging (GCSPRI) to detect the sorted cells. This cytometer on a chip is a prototype of contemplated future miniature cytometers that would be suitable for rapidly...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Qualifications of Bonding Process of Temperature Sensors to Deep- Space Missions

A process has been examined for bonding a platinum resistance thermometer (PRT) onto potential aerospace materials such as flat aluminum surfaces and a flexible copper tube to simulate coaxial cables for flight applications. Primarily, PRTs were inserted into a...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Compliant Tactile Sensors

Tactile sensors are currently being designed to sense interactions with human hands or pen-like interfaces. They are generally embedded in screens, keyboards, mousepads, and pushbuttons. However, they are not well fitted to sense interactions with all kinds of objects.

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Laser Truss Sensor for Segmented Telescope Phasing

A paper describes the laser truss sensor (LTS) for detecting piston motion between two adjacent telescope segment edges. LTS is formed by two point-topoint laser metrology gauges in a crossed geometry.

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Scanning and Defocusing Properties of Microstrip Reflectarray Antennas

A symmetric reflectarray, consisting of variable-size square patch elements with a commonly used mathematical model for the horn in the form of a cosine function, has been designed using the transmit mode technique for different f/D ratios with –10 dB edge taper....

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Cable Tester Box

Cables are very important electrical devices that carry power and signals across multiple instruments. Any fault in a cable can easily result in a catastrophic outcome. Therefore, verifying that all cables are built to spec is a very important part of Electrical Integration Procedures. Currently, there are two methods used in...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Fault-Tolerant, Radiation-Hard DSP

Commercial digital signal processors (DSPs) for use in high-speed satellite computers are challenged by the damaging effects of space radiation, mainly single event upsets (SEUs) and single event functional interrupts (SEFIs). Inno vations have been developed for mitigating the effects of SEUs and SEFIs,...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Sub-Shot Noise Power Source for Microelectronics

Low-current, high-impedance microelectronic devices can be affected by electric current shot noise more than they are affected by Nyquist noise, even at room temperature. An approach to implementing a sub-shot noise current source for powering such devices is based on direct conversion of...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Measuring Input Thresholds on an Existing Board

A critical PECL (positive emitter-coupled logic) interface to Xilinx interface needed to be changed on an existing flight board. The new Xilinx input interface used a CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) type of input, and the driver could meet its thresholds typically, but not in...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Programmable Oscillator

A programmable oscillator is a frequency synthesizer with an output phase that tracks an arbitrary function. An offset, phase-locked loop circuit is used in combination with an error control feedback loop to precisely control the output phase of the oscillator.

Briefs: Software
Asynchronous Message Service Reference Implementation

This software provides a library of middleware functions with a simple application programming interface, enabling implementation of distributed applications in conformance with the CCSDS AMS (Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems Asynchronous Message Service) specification.

Briefs: Software
Zero-Copy Objects System

Zero-copy objects (ZCOs) are abstract data access representations designed to minimize I/O (input/output) in the encapsulation of application source data within one or more layers of communication protocol structure. They are constructed within the heap space of a “Simple Data Recorder” (SDR) data store to which all...

Briefs: Software
Delay and Disruption Tolerant Networking MACHETE Mode

To verify satisfaction of communication requirements imposed by unique missions, as early as 2000, the Communications Networking Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) saw the need for an environment to support interplanetary communication protocol design, validation, and...

Briefs: Software
Contact Graph Routing

Contact Graph Routing (CGR) is a dynamic routing system that computes routes through a time-varying topology of scheduled communication contacts in a network based on the DTN (Delay-Tolerant Networking) architecture. It is designed to enable dynamic selection of data transmission routes in a space network based on DTN. This...

Briefs: Software
Parallel Eclipse Project Checkout

Parallel Eclipse Project Checkout (PEPC) is a program written to leverage parallelism and to automate the checkout process of plug-ins created in Eclipse RCP (Rich Client Platform). Eclipse plug-ins can be aggregated in a “feature project.” This innovation digests a feature description (xml file) and...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Pallet Manufacturing Process and Machinery Using Recycled Plastic Materials

As the recycling of plastic continues in the United States, there is a great need for the increased utilization of recycled products. Some of the plastic being recycled is extruded into a product known as plastic lumber, which is similar in shape and texture to its wood...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Technique for Configuring an Actively Cooled Thermal Shield in a Flight System

Broad area cooling shields are a massefficient alternative to conductively cooled thermal radiation shielding. The shield would actively intercept a large portion of incident thermal radiation and transport the heat away using cryogenic helium gas. The design concept...

Briefs: Materials
Use of Additives to Improve Performance of Methyl Butyrate-Based Lithium-Ion Electrolytes

This work addresses the need for robust rechargeable batteries that can operate well over a wide temperature range. To this end, a number of electrolyte formulations have been developed that incorporate the use of electrolyte additives to improve the...

Briefs: Materials
Li-Ion Cells Employing Electrolytes With Methyl Propionate and Ethyl Butyrate Co-Solvents

Future NASA missions aimed at exploring Mars and the outer planets require rechargeable batteries that can operate at low temperatures to satisfy the requirements of such applications as landers, rovers, and penetrators. A number of terrestrial...

Briefs: Medical
Tissue Photolithography

Tissue lithography will enable physicians and researchers to obtain macromolecules with high purity (>90 percent) from desired cells in conventionally processed, clinical tissues by simply annotating the desired cells on a computer screen. After identifying the desired cells, a suitable lithography mask will be generated...

Briefs: Medical
External Cooling Coupled to Reduced Extremity Pressure Device

Although suited astronauts are currently cooled with a Liquid Cooled Ventilation Garment (LCVG), which can remove up to 85 percent of body heat, their effectiveness is limited because cooling must penetrate layers of skin, muscle, fat, bone, and tissue to reach the bloodstream, where...

Briefs: Medical
Method for Impeding Degradation of Porous Silicon Structures

This invention relates to surface modification of porosified silicon (pSi) structures with poly(alkylene) glycols for the purpose of controlled degradation of the silicon matrix and tailored release of encapsulated substances for biomedical applications. The pSi structures are...

To date, the method for astronauts to drink liquids in microgravity or weightless environments is to suck the liquid from a bag or pouch through a straw. A new beverage cup works in...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Programmable Aperture With MEMS Microshutter Arrays

A microshutter array (MSA) has been developed for use as an aperture array for multi-object selections in James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) technology. Light shields, molybdenum nitride (MoN) coating on shutters, and aluminum/ aluminum oxide coatings on interior walls are put on each shutter...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Co-Flow Hollow Cathode Technology

Hall thrusters utilize identical hollow cathode technology as ion thrusters, yet must operate at much higher mass flow rates in order to efficiently couple to the bulk plasma discharge. Higher flow rates are necessary in order to provide enough neutral collisions to transport electrons across magnetic fields so...

Briefs: Information Technology
Lidar-Based Navigation Algorithm for Safe Lunar Landing

The purpose of Hazard Relative Navigation (HRN) is to provide measurements to the Navigation Filter so that it can limit errors on the position estimate after hazards have been detected. The hazards are detected by processing a hazard digital elevation map (HDEM). The HRN process takes...

Briefs: Information Technology
Tracking Object Existence From an Autonomous Patrol Vehicle

An autonomous vehicle patrols a large region, during which an algorithm receives measurements of detected potential objects within its sensor range. The goal of the algorithm is to track all objects in the region over time. This problem differs from traditional multi-target tracking...

Briefs: Information Technology
Adaptive System Modeling for Spacecraft Simulation

This invention introduces a methodology and associated software tools for automatically learning spacecraft system models without any assumptions regarding system behavior. Data stream mining techniques were used to learn models for critical portions of the International Space Station (ISS)...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Rad-Hard, Miniaturized, Scalable, High-Voltage Switching Module for Power Applications

A paper discusses the successful development of a miniaturized radiation hardened high-voltage switching module operating at 2.5 kV suitable for space application. The high-voltage architecture was designed, fabricated, and tested using a commercial process...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Architecture for a 1-GHz Digital RADAR

An architecture for a Direct RF-digitization Type Digital Mode RADAR was developed at GSFC in 2008. Two variations of a basic architecture were developed for use on RADAR imaging missions using aircraft and spacecraft. Both systems can operate with a pulse repetition rate up to 10 MHz with 8 received RF...

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and their applications are experiencing rapid growth, especially in the area of remote sensing. Advances in propulsion; airframe materials;...

Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Fine Laser Cutting Technology

Fine laser cutting is an ideal technology for specialized cutting requirements found in the manufacturing of medical tube tools and components. From surgical instruments used in cutting and biopsy, to needles...

The “polished panel” optical receiver concept described here makes use of aluminum panels on the main reflector of the Deep Space Network’s...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Universal Polishing Fixture

The Universal Workholder (UVG) from Krell Technologies (Morganville, NJ) is designed to polish any fiber optic component that incorporates a UPC-style ferrule with a diameter between 1.25 mm and 3.2 mm. The...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Machine-Vision Camera

From high-speed automated inspection of printed circuit boards to rapid 3D mapping of disaster areas, Imperx (Boca Raton, FL) supports a wide range of high-resolution video-capture applications with two 29-Mpx B6620...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Digital High-Speed Cameras

Vision Research (Wayne, NJ) has introduced the Phantom® v1210 and v1610 cameras. The devices feature high-definition and widescreen 1280 × 800 CMOS sensors. Both cameras are based on proprietary sensors...

Products: Photonics/Optics
LED Driver

Austriamicrosystems (Raleigh, NC) has announced a 30V, 40mA, 16-channel LED driver with 12-bit pulse width modulation (PWM), dot correction, and diagnostics. With a 30V LED supply voltage, the AS1121 reduces external support...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Silicon Carbide Schottky Diodes

ROHM Semiconductor (San Diego, CA) has announced the SCS1xxAGC series of silicon carbide (SiC) Schottky barrier diodes (SBDs). The SiC diode maintains low forward voltage over a wide operating temperature...

Products: Photonics/Optics
VGA Digital Camera

The TXG02 from Baumer (Southington, CT) features VGA resolution and a frame rate of up to 140 fps. Available in both monochrome and color versions, the TXG02 has integrated ExView HAD technology for the visible and...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Photovoltaic ICs

National Semiconductor Corp. (Santa Clara, CA) has released ten SolarMagic™ integrated circuits (ICs) that meet photovoltaic renewable energy-grade qualification requirements. Each IC is engineered specifically for...

Products: Photonics/Optics
3D Optical Design Software

Synopsys (Mountain View, CA) has released enhancements to its LightTools® illumination 3D optical design and analysis software. The LightTools LumViewer, an interactive charting capability, customizes...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Flexible Heaters

Therma Klear Flex™ thin flexible transparent heaters from Dontech (Doylestown, PA) provide the warmth necessary to extend operating temperature of liquid crystal displays (LCDs) in cold environments (0° to below -40...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Polarization Crosstalk Analyzer

General Photonics (Chino, CA) has announced its PolaX™ (PXA-1000) distributed polarization crosstalk (x-talk) analyzer. The technology, an enhanced version of a white light interferometer, analyzes...

Products: Photonics/Optics
GigE/USB Camera Series

The uEye RE camera series from IDS GmbH (Woburn, MA) now offers versions with GigE or USB connections, as well as a choice of CCD or CMOS sensors up to 10 Megapixels. All 56 uEye RE models meet IP65 and IP67...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Laser Diode Module

Roithner Lasertechnik GmbH (Vienna, Austria) has introduced the ULV-445-300 laser diode module with 300 mW of optical cw power. The module emits a 445 nm blue collimated laser beam. The driver board, designed for a...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Blue Laser Diodes

Power Technology (PTI) (Little Rock, AR) has released new blue laser diode wavelengths and power levels. The new options include: 375nm 200mW, 395nm 120mW, 415nm 120mW, 420nm 120mW, and 460nm 100mW. The laser diodes also...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Custom Microminiature Optics

Bern Optics (Westfield, MA) offers custom optical elements with dimensions as small as 0.20 mm. They can be custom engineered, ground, and polished to micron tolerances in a variety of configurations, including...

Products: Photonics/Optics
PFC and Ballast Control ICs

International Rectifier Corp. (El Segundo, CA) has introduced the IRS2580DS Combo8, an IC that integrates power factor correction (PFC) and ballast control in an 8-pin SO-8 package. To provide power factor...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Power MOSFETs

STripFET VI DeepGATE power MOSFETs from STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland) withstand maximum voltages up to 80V. Transistor options include the 60V STP260N6F6 and STH260N6F6-2, the 75V STP210N75F6 and STH210N75F6-2, and...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Light Engine

Lumencor (Beaverton, OR) has released the SOLA light engine. The device offers solid state illumination and continuous white light from 380 to 680nm, allowing the user simple integration with existing filter cubes and hardware...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Photovoltaic Metallization Paste

DuPont Microcircuit Materials (MCM) (Bristol, UK) has introduced the low temperature processing DuPont™ Solamet® PV414 photovoltaic (PV) metallization paste designed for rotary screen printing to enable...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Diode Laser System

DILAS Industrial Laser Systems (Tucson, AZ) has introduced a diode laser system with an optical output power of 30W CW and increased beam quality. Its module is integrated into the fiber-coupled turnkey diode laser...

Articles: Green Design & Manufacturing
Driving Growth and Innovation With Sustainable Design

Sustainable design — a dedicated effort to create products in a manner that minimizes their negative impact on the environment, making them more economically viable, socially...

The Communicator!® NXT™ emergency notification system
Cassidian Communications (an EADS North America company)
Temecula, CA
951-719-2100

Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) materials
Dunmore Corporation
Bristol, PA
215-781-8895
www.dunmore.com

The final flight of the Space Shuttle...

Articles: Research Lab
Dryden Flight Research Center

The Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, CA, is NASA’s primary center for atmospheric flight research and operations. Dryden plays a vital role in advancing technology and science through...

Techs for License
Piezo-Electric Actuator Provides Motion Control Alternative

An alternative piezo-electric ceramic actuator simultaneously provides greater force and deflection, while producing no appreciable magnetic field or heat. The RLP domed piezo, a PZT disk laminated between two metal layers under heat and pressure, increases deflection 1,000-fold from an...

Techs for License
Lateral-Flow Device Produces Quantitative Diagnostics

A patent suite enables quantitative diagnostics from inexpensive and disposable lateral-flow test strip technology. Multiple, simultaneous analyses can be conducted on the same strip. The method reduces the hook effect, a dangerous false negative, without requiring long wait times; larger,...

Tech Needs
Stainless Steel Surface Treatment

A treatment for stainless steel must impart high-release properties on par with non-stick coatings. The method should modify the surface of the stainless steel, but not reduce any of its existing properties, such as abrasion resistance, chemical resistance, or durability. The surface modification must resist...

Tech Needs
A More Efficient Turbo Propulsion System

Using higher exhaust exit temperatures, a company needs to improve the efficiency of a turbo propulsion system. Methods should reduce component weight primarily in the core compressor component (or secondarily anywhere in the flow path) through new compressor geometries or aerodynamic improvements. Lower...

Flow control is one of the most critical functions in the hydraulic industry. Traditionally, flow control is implemented via a proportional or servo valve. When...

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
DC Motor Automates Patient Transfer Device

One of the growing problems facing nurses is a reduced staff, and with it the need to care for overweight patients with very little help. This effort has led to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Adjustable Frequency Drives

Magnetek (Menomonee Falls, WI) has announced the IMPULSE® Series 4 adjustable frequency drives. The IMPULSE•G+ can be used as open-loop vector or V/F crane control for traverse motions or mechanical load brake...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Stepper Motors

The STM24 Series of NEMA 24 frame hybrid stepper motors from Applied Motion Products (Watsonville, CA) features holding torque rated to 340 oz-in. The CANopen high-torque integrated motors adhere to CAN in Automation...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Position Sensor System

Nook Industries (Cleveland, OH) has released the Nook Sensor System™ that provides position control for translating screw jack systems. Designed for the ActionJac™ inch and metric translating screw jacks, the...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Inverter Drives

The 8400 HighLine inverter drives from Lenze Americas (Uxbridge, MA) feature integrated point-to-point positioning for up to 15 position destinations. The drives store the corresponding travel profiles directly in the...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Motor/Valve Assembly

The Cheminert C52 Series Injector from Valco Instruments (Houston, TX) is an integrated motor/valve assembly that uses the Cheminert HPLC injector design and a 24V motor. The assembly is connected to the...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Encoders

Heidenhain Corp. (Schaumburg, IL) has introduced the ROC/ROQ 400 series PROFIBUS rotary encoders that support the DP-V2 encoder profile for robot control and production technology. The encoders with 58-mm housing diameter...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
DC Motor Control

The BGE 3508 and BGE 6005 4-quadrant positioning motion controllers with integral output stage are available from Dunkermotoren USA (Elgin, IL). They control brushless and brushed DC motors as slaves in CANopen networks, or...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Sensor

Piher International Corp. (Mundelein, IL) has released the PST-360 through-hole shaft angle rotary position sensor that combines a through-shaft design with 360° absolute position feedback. In the through-hole design, the...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Gripper

The WSG 50 gripper from Schunk (Morrisville, NC) can be controlled via Ethernet TCP/IP or Profibus DP. It features an integrated Web server for configuration and diagnostics. Integrated control and regulation electronics enable the...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Table

Physik Instrumente (PI) L.P. (Auburn, MA) has introduced the M-660 rotary table driven by piezo motors that enable a profile of 14 mm. The table is equipped with a direct measuring en coder. It can accelerate to velocities of...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Multi-Axis Motor Control

Maxon Motor USA (Fall River, MA) offers the EPOS2 36/2 multi-axis controller in a motherboard configuration that provides either a standalone multi-axis motor controller or one that can be integrated into the final...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
AC Motors

The IronHorse™ line of general-purpose AC motors from AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) includes cast iron threephase motors in horsepower ranges from 1 to 200 hp. The motors are available in speeds of 1200, 1800, and 3600 RPM, and...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Digital Inclinometer

Analog Devices (Norwood, MA) has released the ADIS16210 MEMS iSensor® digital inclinometer system that provides measurements of both pitch and roll angles over a full orientation range of ±180°. It integrates iMEMS® multi-axis accelerometer technology and signal processing, adding addressable user registers for...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Solenoid Valve

Parker Fluid Control Division (New Britain, CT) offers the High Flow direct mount NAMUR solenoid valve for general-purpose valve actuator applications. It features a NAMUR mounting pattern and flow rates from 1.2 to 3.0 Cv....

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Step-Down Controller

Linear Technology Corp. (Milpitas, CA) offers the LTC3867 fixed-frequency synchronous step-down DC/DC controller with nonlinear control, differential output voltage sensing, and clock synchronization. The 4V to 38V input...

News: Green Design & Manufacturing
Solar Decathlon 2011 Has A Winner

The University of Maryland has won top honors at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 by designing, building, and operating the most cost-effective, energy efficient, and attractive...

Question of the Week
Will consumers accept the growing mobile payment options?
This week's Question: Google Wallet, an Android mobile app launched earlier this month, is slowly being rolled out to the public. The application allows users to make purchases with their phones. The technology uses near field communication (NFC) chips to store and remit credit card data,...
News
Computer-Aided Design Helps in Breast Tissue Reconstruction

A technology commonly used for designing buildings, bridges, and aircraft has now been used to aid breast tissue reconstruction in cancer patients. Researchers from Australia, Germany, Singapore, and Georgia Tech have used computer-aided design (CAD) to create an extremely accurate mold...

News
New Software Tool Analyzes Black-Box Data for Flight Anomalies

The black box, an airplane’s digital flight-data recorder, holds massive amounts of data, documenting the performance of engines, cockpit controls, hydraulic equipment, and GPS systems, typically at regular one-second intervals throughout a flight. Analysts have been studying...

News
Algorithm Determines Focus Error in Eyes and Cameras

University of Texas at Austin researchers have discovered how to extract and use information in an individual image to determine how far objects are from the focus distance, a feat only accomplished by human and animal visual systems until now. Like a camera, the human eye has an...

News
The Sweet Side of Biofuel Production

A new method of extracting sugars from biomass could lead to more sustainable, inexpensive biofuel production. Unlike more expensive techniques that focus on enzymes, this method, developed at Iowa State University, relies on pyrolysis of lignocelluslosic biomass: quickly heating the biomass without oxygen to...

News
Paving a Simpler Path to High-Power Terahertz Radiation

Coherent terahertz radiation has historically been very difficult to generate, and the search for an easy-to-use, compact source continues today.

Northwestern University researchers recently developed a simpler way to generate single-chip terahertz radiation — a discovery that...

The complete genetic makeup of two heat-loving fungi often found in composts that self-ignite without flame or spark has been decoded by an international team of scientists. Their...

Articles: Medical
Breakthrough in Preventing Food-borne Illnesses Wins $20,000 Grand Prize in Global Design Contest

"Create the Future" Design Contest sponsored by PTC®, COMSOL, and Tech Briefs Media attracts over 900 innovative product ideas from engineers and students in 50 countries.

New York, NY – A new invention could protect millions from...

News: Green Design & Manufacturing
Crash-Resistant Battery Housing for Electric Cars

Fraunhofer scientists working on electronic drives have replaced a battery box for lithium-ion batteries with a lightweight component. Not only does the housing save weight and sustain no...

Artificial photosynthesis is the process of converting carbon dioxide gas into useful carbon-based chemicals - most notably fuel or other compounds usually derived from petroleum - as an...

News
Army Tests High-Tech Helicopter Simulator

The Army is using a new helicopter simulator, called the Non-rated Crew Member Manned Module (NCM3), to train helicopter crews on the rear of both the CH-47 Chinook and UH-60 Black Hawk. Through specially created virtual reality glasses, which fit the same as night vision goggles, soldiers can practice...

News
Plasma Research Could Improve Radar, Satellite Systems

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Alabama have received a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) to conduct fundamental research into the ways in which plasmas interact with the walls of the structures...

News
Pentagon Explores Use of Small, Throwable Robots

The Army, Marine Corps and the Pentagon's Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) are working to procure and deliver thousands of small, easily transportable "throwable" robots equipped with surveillance cameras designed to beam back video from confined spaces, buildings, tunnels and other...

The 2011 CAFE Green Flight Challenge has a winner! NASA awarded a $1.35-million first place prize to team Pipistrel-USA of State College, PA. The team's electric Taurus G4 aircraft...

Products: Lighting
Constant-Current Regulators

ON Semiconductor (Phoenix, AZ) has expanded its portfolio of constant-current regulators (CCRs) to include the NSI50350A. The simple and robust device is designed to provide a thermally-efficient and...

News
New Test Method Offers Nuclear Fuel Insight

Idaho National Laboratory researchers have recently demonstrated a new sample preparation technique that makes it easier to examine irradiated fuel at the nanoscale. This accomplishment revealed material behavior that suggests increased stability of a new type of reactor fuel. Further study and...

News
Chemists Find New Ways to Design and Test Catalysts

University of Utah chemists developed a method to design and test new catalysts – substances that speed chemical reactions and are crucial for producing energy, chemicals and industrial products. By using the new method, the chemists also discovered that the sizes and electronic properties of...

Question of the Week
Will Apple continue to innovate and thrive as a market leader?
This week's Question: Steven Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple, died last week at the age of 56. While the company has offered updates to its innovative technologies like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod, some have questioned whether new executive leadership will be able to innovate,...
News
Researchers Use Laser Light to Cool Object to Quantum Ground State

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and a team from the University of Vienna have collaborated to cool a miniature mechanical object to its lowest possible energy state using laser light — paving the way for the development of exquisitely sensitive...

News
Monkeys Use Brain Activity to Move and Feel Virtual Objects

In a first-ever demonstration of a two-way interaction between a primate brain and a virtual body, two monkeys trained at the Duke University Center for Neuroengineering learned to employ brain activity alone to move an avatar hand and identify the texture of virtual objects.

Without...

Developed by Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics (IME), new thin-film silicon solar cells are designed to be made from cheaper, low-grade silicon. The...

News
New Robotic Algorithms Enhance Robotic Arms

By combining two innovative algorithms developed at MIT, researchers in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS) have built a new robotic motion-planning system that calculates much more efficient trajectories...

Products: Green Design & Manufacturing
Automotive IC

STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland) introduces the L99PM72PXP, an automotive IC supporting advanced networking technology to unlock valuable improvements in fuel efficiency and emissions. The new chip reduces the energy...

News
'LOW-TECH' LIGHTING TOOL COULD LEAD TO BIOHYBRID SOLAR CELLS

Researchers at the Bio-SANS instrument at the High Flux Isotope Reactor are getting a leg up in their research from an ingenious "low tech" lighting tool that can be fixed to their samples and then pushed directly into the neutron beam, to illuminate the response of layers of...

News
ROBOTIC POLISHER CREATES LARGE FREE-FORM OPTICAL SURFACES

Deep in the bowels of the Optics Building on the campus of The University of Alabama in Huntsville, there exists a large Plexiglass enclosure, a whirling polishing head swirls over a glass mirror, methodically polishing the surface. A controlled stream of abrasive slurry plays constantly...

A University of Minnesota team has made major progress in the quest to design a specialized type of molecular sieve that could make the production of gasoline, plastics, and...

McPherson Inc. (Chelmsford, MA) has introduced the highly regulated, universal light source power supply Model 718. Supporting scientific and industrial applications, it powers tungsten-halogen, ceramic and...

Fiberguide’s (Stirling, NJ) new line of high-power mode stripping SMA cable assemblies provides a higher power alternative to traditional laser delivery cables for high-power laser welding, marking, cutting and...

Aimtec’s (Vaudreuil-Dorion, Canada) second generation of AC/DC constant current LED drivers feature an operating temperature range that goes from -40°C to +80°C and waterproof IP68 rated cases. Key features of the...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Fabry-Perot Etalons

Optical Surfaces Ltd (Surrey, UK) can supply Fabry-Perot etalons in a range of shapes and sizes up to 150mm in diameter with matching accuracies to lambda/300. Etalons are widely used in telecommunications, lasers...

A new range of diode laser systems from Coherent, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) called the HighLight D-Series delivers both high power and an increased range of “smart” output beam shapes. In particular, the HighLight...

News
Computer Enables Complex Scientific Modeling

An interdisciplinary team of scientists at Vanderbilt University, Cornell University and CFD Research Corporation, Inc., has demonstrated that a computer can analyze raw experimental data from a biological system and derive the basic mathematical equations that describe the way the system operates....

News
Researchers Turn a Smartphone Into a Medical Monitor

A team led by Ki Chon, professor and head of biomedical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), has developed a smart phone application that can measure not only heart rate, but also heart rhythm, respiration rate and blood oxygen saturation using the phone's built-in video...

Question of the Week
Are you alarmed by the information collected by Verizon and other wireless carriers?
This week's Question: Verizon, the U.S. largest wireless carrier, recently announced that it will "create business and marketing reports" and "make the mobile ads you see more relevant," based on the information the company collects pertaining to a user's Web...

A development by engineers of Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is inspired by nature. To fill the porous electrodes of lithium-ion batteries more rapidly with liquid...

austriamicrosystems (Unterpremstaetten, Austria) offers two new battery charger ICs for Li-ion batteries in mobile devices. The AS3610/11 step-down DC-DC chargers offer fast and highly efficient charging of...

Designing grocery display cases has a lot in common with aeronautical engineering. Refrigerated display cases shoot jets of air across their front openings, creating an...

News
Robotic Model Reveals Origins of Flight

Using robot models could play a useful role in studying the origins of flight, particularly since fossil evidence is so limited, noted engineers at the University of California, Berkeley.

Researchers outfitted a six-legged robotic bug with wings in an effort to improve its mobility. Even though the...

Products: Lighting
LED Drivers

XP Power (Sunnyvale, CA) has released the DLG series of constant voltage and constant current LED drivers for a range of outdoor lighting, security, and machine vision applications. The IP67-rated waterproof units are highly...

News: Materials
Physicists Localize 3D Matter Waves

For the first time, University of Illinois physicists have experimentally demonstrated how three-dimensional conduction is affected by the defects that plague materials. An understanding of these effects is important for many electronics applications, including ultrasonic waves in medical imaging, lasers for...

News
‘Electron Superhighway’ Opens Doors to Tomorrow’s Quantum Computer

Rice University physicists have created a tiny “electron superhighway” that could one day be useful for building a quantum computer — a type of computer that uses quantum particles in place of the digital transistors found in today’s microchips. Quantum computers...

News: Green Design & Manufacturing
Record Voltage for Organic Solar Cells

Molecular Solar Ltd., a spinout company from the UK's University of Warwick, has have achieved a record voltage for organic photovoltaic cells - which means these highly flexible, low-cost solar cells...

News
Radar Sees Through Walls, Provides Real-Time Video

The ability to see through walls is no longer the stuff of science fiction, thanks to new radar technology developed at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory.

The researchers’ device is an unassuming array of antenna arranged into two rows — eight receiving elements on top, 13 transmitting ones...

News
Scientists Develop New Nanomaterial that ‘Steers’ Current in Multiple Dimensions

Scientists at Northwestern University have developed a new nanomaterial that can “steer” electrical currents. The development could lead to a computer that can simply reconfigure its internal wiring and become an entirely different device, based on changing...

A University of California, San Diego technology that significantly reduces the amount of energy wasted by chips in electronic devices has recently passed the trillion watt-hour milestone...

Question of the Week
Will autonomous vehicles increase efficiency and make us safer?
This week's Question: Google has been testing its autonomous cars on public roads. The search giant's fleet of robotic Toyota Priuses has now logged more than 190,000 miles, driving in city traffic, busy highways, and mountainous roads, with only occasional human intervention. The...
Products: Transportation
Automotive-Qualified IGBTs Optimized for Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Applications

International Rectifier (El Segundo, CA) has released automotive-qualified 600 V IGBTs optimized for variable speed motor control and power supply applications used in electric and hybrid vehicles. The new devices cover a broad current range and offer a...

Blog
Meet Our Readers: Keeping the Noise Down

Noise barriers are often used to shield sensitive community areas from roadway, railway, and industrial racket. These structures are built based on the careful measurement of noise levels and environmental conditions.

Did you know that there are over 100 miles of barrier in the state of...

The AutoTram® is as long as a streetcar and as maneuverable as a bus. It doesn’t need rails or overhead lines because it rolls on rubber tires and simply follows white lines...

Polcak is a civil engineer by training and acoustical/noise control engineer by practice. He deals with transportation noise analysis and mitigation. Polcak's...

Products
Automotive Support Package

MathWorks (Natick, MA) introduces AUTOSAR Target Production Package, a flexible support package available to automotive engineers requiring advanced AUTOSAR capabilities with Simulink and Embedded Coder. The AUTOSAR Target Production Package helps engineers use more features of the AUTOSAR standard with simplified...

Products
Optical Design and Analysis Software

Synopsys, Inc. (Mountain View, CA) offers enhancements to its CODE V® optical design and analysis software, acquired as part of Synopsys' acquisition of Optical Research Associates. CODE V 10.4 delivers enhancements to its Beam Synthesis Propagation (BSP) tool that enable optical designers to model and...

Products
Mask‐Wafer Double Simulation Platform

D2S, Inc. (San Jose, CA) has introduced TrueMaskTM DS, the industry’s first mask‐wafer double simulation accelerated workstation for R&D exploration, bit‐cell design, hot‐spot analysis, and mask‐defect categorization that comprehends overlapping eBeam shots and dose modulation. TrueMask DS is an...

Products
Computer-Aided Engineering Software Suite

Altair Engineering, Inc. (Troy, MI) has released the HyperWorks 11.0 Student Edition, a personal academic version of the popular suite of computer-aided engineering (CAE) software used by manufacturers around the world. The Student Edition offers affordable opportunities for engineering and design...

News
Designing With Vision

A new system, dubbed “Designing With Vision,” incorporates eye-tracking technology that could help release constraints on creativity imposed by computer-aided design (CAD) tools. Developed by researchers at The Open University and the University of Leeds, the system is devised to break down rigid distinctions between...

News
New Concept Gives Rechargeable Batteries a Surge in Storage Capacity

Researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have developed a new concept for rechargeable batteries, based on a fluoride shuttle – the transfer of fluoride anions between electrodes – which could allow high energy densities up to ten times as high as those of...

News
Super-Stretchy Sensor Holds Promise for Prosthetics, Displays

Using carbon nanotubes bent to act like springs, Stanford researchers have developed a stretchable, transparent skin-like sensor that can be stretched to more than twice its original length and bounce back perfectly to its original shape. It can sense pressure from a firm pinch to...

News
Designing a More Energy-Efficient Grocery Display Case

Open-front refrigerated display cases, which make up roughly 60 percent of the refrigerated cases in grocery stores, provide quick access to chilled products – but they’re hardly energy-efficient. Engineers at the University of Washington and Kettering University are working to cut the...

Products
Model-Based and Trace-Based Timing Analysis

Symtavision (Braunschweig, Germany) has launched SymTA/S 3.0 and TraceAnalyzer 3.0, the first fully integrated versions of these system-level tools for model-based design and trace-based verification. Targeted at automotive, aerospace, automation, and other performance- and safety-critical systems, the...

Products
Advanced Driver Assistance System

dSPACE (Wixom, MI) has added the ADASIS v2 Horizon Reconstructor Blockset (ADASIS v2 HR Blockset) to its range of products for developing advanced driver assistance systems. The Simulink blockset provides access to data on the road ahead. Such data, for example, comes from a navigation system or a special ECU,...

News
Reassembling the World's Largest Medieval Library

Under Jewish law, religious texts cannot simply be thrown away once they're worn out. While many texts were buried, many synagogues also operated genizahs, or storerooms, to store disused holy texts. The Cairo Genizah is one of the most valuable sources of primary documents for medieval...

News
Touchscreen Technology Distinguishes Taps by Different Parts of Finger

Smartphone and tablet computer owners have become adept at using finger taps and and drags to control their touchscreens. Carnegie Mellon University researchers have found that this interaction can be enhanced by taking greater advantage of the finger's anatomy and dexterity....

News
iPhone to spiPhone?

Georgia Tech researchers have discovered how to use a mobile phone to track what is being typed on a nearby computer keyboard. They used a smartphone accelerometer — the internal device that detects when and how the phone is tilted — to sense keyboard vibrations and decipher complete sentences with up to 80 percent...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
YouTube and NASA Want Student Experiments

NASA has partnered with Space Adventures to support the YouTube Space Lab competition that invites students to envision and design their own experiment with the ultimate prize -- flying it on the International Space Station.

The contest opened on October 11, and will continue to accept submissions...

Products: Energy
Efficient IGBTs

Powerex (Youngwood, PA) has introduced IGBTs from 300A/1200V - 800A/1200V in conventional packages, allowing users an easy upgrade path for increased system ratings and/or improved reliability due to the increased allowable...

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