November 2012

Briefs: Information Technology
A Posteriori Study of a DNS Database Describing Super - critical Binary-Species Mixing

Currently, the modeling of supercritical-pressure flows through Large Eddy Simulation (LES) uses models derived for atmospheric-pressure flows. Those atmospheric-pressure flows do not exhibit the particularities of high density-gradient magnitude features...

Briefs: Information Technology
Scalable SCPPM Decoder

A decoder was developed that decodes a serial concatenated pulse position modulation (SCPPM) encoded information sequence. The decoder takes as input a sequence of four bit loglikelihood ratios (LLR) for each PPM slot in a codeword via a XAUI 10-Gb/s quad optical fiber interface. If the decoder is unavailable, it passes...

Briefs: Software
QuakeSim 2.0

QuakeSim 2.0 improves understanding of earthquake processes by providing modeling tools and integrating model applications and various heterogeneous data sources within a Web services environment. QuakeSim is a multi-source, synergistic, data-intensive environment for modeling the behavior of earthquake faults individually, and as...

Briefs: Software
HURON (HUman and Robotic Optimization Network) Multi-Agent Temporal Activity Planner/ Scheduler

HURON solves the problem of how to optimize a plan and schedule for assigning multiple agents to a temporal sequence of actions (e.g., science tasks). Developed as a generic planning and scheduling tool, HURON has been used to optimize space mission...

Briefs: Software
MPST Software: MoonKommand

This software automatically processes Sally Ride Science (SRS) delivered MoonKAM camera control files (ccf) into uplink products for the GRAIL-A and GRAIL-B spacecraft as part of an education and public outreach (EPO) extension to the Grail Mission. Once properly validated and deemed safe for execution onboard the...

Agilent Technologies, Santa Clara, CA, has introduced the 33500B Series waveform generators. The eight one- and two-channel models, which generate waveforms up to 30 MHz, incorporate...

In our annual poll of executives at leading analysis and simulation software vendors, we found that more widespread use of the cloud, mobile devices, and touchscreen interfaces will be major...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Create the Future Design Contest 2012

The 2012 Create the Future Design Contest — sponsored by COMSOL, Nordson EFD, and Tech Briefs Media Group (publishers of NASA Tech Briefs) — recognized innovation in product design in seven categories: Con sumer Products, Electronics, Machinery & Equipment, Medical, Safety & Security, Sustainable Tech...

Articles: Software
Grand Prize Winner
Mark Wagner, Ben Madoff, and Mark Rudolph
Sensorcon, Buffalo, NY

What if sensors, meters, and instruments were just apps instead of single-purpose, bulky, expensive equipment? Sensordrone is a first step towards...

LumEN: Luminescent Solar Concentrators for Sustainable, On-Demand Electricity Production Gianmarco Griffini, Massimo Micocci, and Francesca Ostuzzi,
Politecnico di...
Grid-X Cloud and Smartphone Accelerator James Awrach
SeaFire Micros, Beverly, MA

Supercomputers are linked worldwide, creating ultra-highperformance cloud, utility, and...

Thermal Stir Welding Process Jeff Ding
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama

The patented thermal stir welding process is a new solid-state (meaning the weld...

Prosthetic Leg Connector Dave King
Synergy Tech, Kelowna, BC Canada

This is a device to aid those who wear prosthetic limbs. The current state of the art is a multilayer system...

LIFE PACK Hypothermia Prevention

Floatation Device Dwight and Jane Cushman, Village Memorial, Portland, OR

Even with floatation gear, when a person who is not prepared...

Aquaback Water Purification System

Bill Zebuhr, Scott Newquist, David Dussault, E. Andrew Condon, Steven Sahagian, Nicholas Wong, Michael Easton, William Burie, Charles...

Re-Thinking Automotive Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems Ivan Batinic, ATPS, Inc., San Martin, CA

The ATPS system is a new approach to implementing vehicular Tire Pressure...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Top Ten Most Popular Entries

Visitors to the Create the Future Design Contest Web site were invited to vote on their favorite entries. Here are the top ten most popular entries, winners of a SpaceMouse Pro 3D mouse from 3Dconnexion.

Evacuated Tube Transport Technologies (ET3)™ Daryl Oster, ET3 Global Alliance

This global...

Application Briefs: Test & Measurement
Relays Enable Curiosity Rover’s Chemistry Instrument

NASA’s Curiosity rover landed in the Gale Crater on Mars on August 5, having flown over 127 million miles since its November 2011 launch. As part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program,...

Application Briefs: Motion Control
Motion Control Components Keep Curiosity on the Go

PI Ceramic monolithic piezo actuators (PICMA) were put to use in the Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument (CheMin) on the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity. CheMin is an Xray...

Ask the Denver attorney whose legs were smashed in a car accident. Ask the veterans rehabilitating from injuries sustained while defending the nation. Ask NBA star Blake Griffin, or NFL safety Jim Leonhard,...

On August 6th, 2012 the automatic Mars Science Laboratory rover named Curiosity landed on Mars. One of the scientific instruments on board is ChemCam, which has a pulsed laser capable of ablating...

Dr. Greg Chavers, test lead at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, helped to design the “Mighty Eagle” robotic prototype lander. The vehicle,...

Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Designing Rugged In-Vehicle Displays

Historically, the displays deployed in military vehicles have been simple monitors, acting as an interface to an onboard system. That’s no longer good enough. As military vehicles are equipped with more...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Photovoltaic Simulators

AMETEK Programmable Power (San Diego, CA) has expanded its Elgar TerraSAS ™ line with the ETS Series Standalone Photovoltaic (PV) Simulator. The new series includes three models for testing PV inverters across a...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Multispectral Optical Filter Assembly

Deposition Sciences, Inc. (DSI®) (Santa Rosa, CA) announced an expansion of its optical components line, the new Multispectral Optical Filter Assemblies, orMOFAs. DSI’s advanced optical assembly...

Products: Photonics/Optics
LED Light Engines

Innovations in Optics, Inc. (Woburn, MA) now offers a new generation of ultra-high brightness LED light engines with integrated fluorescence excitation filters for use with many types of life science instruments. LumiBright...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Solar Connectors

Heyco Products, Inc., (Toms River, NJ) has announced the availability of new CPV Solar Connectors. Heyco CPV Solar Bulkhead Connectors mate with Heyco CPV Solar Connectors creating a liquid tight seal through the panel. The...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Board-Level Industrial Camera

IDS Imaging Development Systems (Woburn, MA) has introduced the GigE uEye LE, a new boardlevel industrial camera that measures a mere 45mm × 45mm for integration into small spaces. Thanks to its GigE interface...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Yellow HeNe Lasers

REO (Boulder, CO) has released a 594nm (yellow) helium neon (HeNe) laser suitable for cost-sensitive bioinstrumentation and fluorescence excitation applications. The new laser features a perfectly circular beam profile and...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Gray-Grade Diffuse Reflection Material

White ODM98 optically diffuse reflecting material from Gigahertz- Optik (Newburyport, MA) exhibits a diffuse reflectance of >98% from 400-1600nm and >95% from 250 - 2000nm. The white ODM98 features...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Spectral Flux Analysis

Labsphere (North Sutton, NH) has released its illumia LED and light measurement product, illumia ®lite. The portable system packages the accuracy of sphere-based measurement in a handheld device. The illumia lite...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Near-Infrared Spectrometer

Ocean Optics (Dunedin, FL) has added another option to its nearinfrared spectrometer line: the NIRQuest512-1.9. The high-resolution device features a response from 1100-1900nm. The product includes a...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Optical Sensors

Maxim Integrated Products (San Jose, CA) has announced 4 new digital optical sensors that advance analog integration with sensor fusion. The MAX44004/05/06/08 sensors measure red/green/ blue (RGB) light levels, ambient...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Super Polished Mirror Substrates

Edmund OpticsR (Barrington, NJ) has introduced new Super Polished Mirror Substrates. Super Polished Mirror Substrates are available in both Fused Silica and Zerodur. The substrates offer a 1/10λ surface...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Integrated Lasers

Spectra-Physics®, a brand of Newport Corporation (Santa Clara, CA), has announced the Excelsior One continuous- wave (CW) lasers series. The new line of ultraviolet (UV), visible, and near-infrared (NIR) CW lasers...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Optics iPhone App

An iPhone application from Resolve Optics (Chesham, UK) simplifies lens field of view (FOV) calculations. Available in two versions, the FOV Calc App allows users to determine a required focal length lens. The app can also...

Techs for License
Lightweight Building System Eases Construction

A silicate-based, lightweight construction system features building blocks that are already covered by insulating material. After the concreting process, the formed, reinforced concrete tissue grid becomes load-bearing. There is no need for applying any subsequent heat or sound insulation.

Techs for License
Plastic Production System Controls Directional Forces and Tearing

To achieve exacting performance requirements, “Smittie” technology produces predictable bi-axial or mono-axial orientation in polymer materials. The system eliminates expensive equipment, curbs energy use, reduces the need for highly skilled labor, and shortens setup...

Techs for License
Small-Droplet, Emissions-Control Nozzle Ensures Consistency

Macrospray® nozzles produce highly uniform spray patterns and droplet sizes (in the size range of 10-30μm Sauter Mean Diameter/SMD). The nozzles are created from digital tools with the flow features chemically etched into bonded substrates, resulting in a monolithic structure....

Techs for License
Steel Alternative Features Higher Usability Strength

A new material offers a lighter weight and at least 30% higher usability strength compared to traditional steel. The equipment necessary for the production of the new technology is identical to equipment used for the manufacturing of conventional steel. It does not require other machinery, and...

Tech Needs
Controlled Delivery of Liquid

A customer seeks a range of technologies that will allow controlled delivery of liquid products over a wide viscosity range. Proposed technologies must work for liquids with low viscosity (such as floor cleaners) and/or very high viscosity (such as thick bleaches and body washes). Technologies will be evaluated...

Tech Needs
Spray Coating Systems

Current spray designs coat the exposed surface of the top layer of fibers, while fibers in the interior do not get treated. Fibers also move around when transported during processing, leading to exposure of untreated surfaces. An organization seeks novel technologies that can apply a spray coating to the entire surface area...

Tech Needs
Improved Recycling Processes

Currently, cellulose-based fibers can only be recycled 6-8 times, after which the fiber length and properties are too significantly impacted for any further reuse. Technologies are therefore required to enhance the fibers’ recycling potential. The technologies must not add virgin fibers at each recycling stage....

Tech Needs
Microencapsulation of Probiotic Bacteria

The incorporation of probiotic bacteria into liquid food or food with high water activity is still a challenge for the functional food industry. The metabolic activity of the lyophilized bacteria, however, is extremely sensitive to the presence of water and oxygen, and a solution must protect...

News
NASA Investigates the “FaINT” Side of Sonic Booms

NASA’s Supersonics Project is embarking on its latest effort to characterize or define that fainter side of sonic booms as a NASA F/A-18 aircraft takes to the air in a project called Farfield Investigation of No Boom Threshold, or FaINT.

News
New Coating for Aluminum Replaces Carcinogenic Aerospace Coating

A research team at the University of Nevada, Reno has developed a new environmentally friendly coating for aluminum to replace the carcinogenic chromate coatings used in aerospace applications. The chromate conversion coatings have been used for more than 50 years to protect...

It’s common knowledge that one of the easiest ways to save energy is to shut off lights when they are not in use. Even so, the lighting controls market accounts for a fraction of the overall lighting...

Though they are a relative latecomer to the world of lighting technology, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are quickly making up for lost time. Since their invention in 1962, LEDs have been...

Adolescents can be chronically sleep deprived because of their inability to fall asleep early in combination with fixed wakeup times on school days. According to the Centers for Disease...

In many of the nation's traffic lights, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with their brighter light and longer life have replaced standard bulbs. But knowing when to...

What kind of food will astronauts eat and what is the best way to grow it during deep space exploration missions? A group of plant biologists is seeking the answers as...

A new versatile measurement system devised by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) accurately and quickly measures the electric power...

Today's light-emitting diode light bulbs have a slight environmental edge over compact fluorescent lamps, and that gap is expected to grow significantly as technology and...

Application Briefs: Lighting
Navy Ships Get New LED Lighting

Energy Focus, Inc. announced that it has recently received an additional $1.5 million order to provide IntelliTube™ LED fluorescent replacement tubes, IntelliTube LED berth light fixtures, and a variety of...

Today’s commercial aviation operators are looking for cost effective, high-fidelity and stable solutions for visual displays. The brand new Boeing 777 full-flight simulator...

With the help of Panasonic LED and OLED lighting fixtures, the Japanese Ministry of the Environment is slashing overall energy use at a public station by 25 percent, with a...

Products: Lighting
Phase-Dimmable LED Driver

Texas Instruments (Dallas, TX) has introduced a new LED controller with constant power regulation. The LM3447 AC/DC LED driver includes a dimmer detect, phase decoder and adjustable hold current circuits to provide...

Products: Lighting
Hybrid Lighting System

The BioLume™ Garage Fixture is the first installment in a new series of patented bi-level hybrid fixtures from EverLast® Lighting (Jackson, MI) that integrate a 5000K induction lamp and amber LEDs with SMART sensor...

Products: Lighting
LED Heat Sinks

Ohmite Manufacturing (Arlington Heights, IL) has introduced Wakefield Solutions’ 19000 Series radial-fin heat sink extrusions for LED light engines. Options range from a maximum 14.7°C rise for a 4.5 watt power rating to a...

Products: Lighting
Onboard LED Lighting System

EYE Lighting International of North America (Mentor, OH) recently introduced of its high-G, high-intensity onboard LED lighting system for high-speed crash test photography.

Products: Lighting
Dry Vacuum Pump

Edwards (Crawley, West Sussex, UK) has introduced the new iXH645H dry pump. The new pump has been optimized for MOCVD processes used in LED manufacturing, as well as for compound semiconductor manufacturing using III-V...

Gigahertz-Optik (Newburyport, MA) has developed a cost effective measurement system consisting of the BTS256-LED tester and LPS-20-1500 LED power supply with S-BTS256 software to assist with single pulse...

Products: Lighting
4-Channel LED Driver

Phihong USA (Fremont, CA) has developed a new multichannel driver for indoor and outdoor lighting applications. Designated the PDA037W-350G, the driver is equipped with four outputs of 350mA and offers 0-10V dimming...

Dolan-Jenner Industries (Boxborough, MA) has announced the availability of its Fiber-Lite® model LMI-6000 LED Fiber Optic Illuminator.

Products: Lighting
Surface Mount LED Displays

Lumex (Palatine, IL) recently launched its QuasarBrite High-Temperature Surface-Mount (SMD) Seven- Segment numeric LED Display technology. Whereas standard seven-segment LED displays can operate at temperatures up...

Products: Lighting
LED Driver

Light-Based Technologies (LBT) (Vancouver, B.C.) recently announced the release of its ultra-compatible deep dimming LED Driver. The UC LED Driver is targeted at North American and Japanese lighting fixture manufacturers.

Products: Lighting
LED Inspection Lamp

Spectronics Corporation (Westbury, NY) has introduced the powerful Spectroline® TRITAN ™ 365, an ultra-high-intensity, multi-LED, broad-beam UV-A inspection lamp perfect for NDT applications. The TRITAN 365 features...

Briefs: Software
Visual System for Browsing, Analysis, and Retrieval of Data (ViSBARD)

ViSBARD software provides a way of visualizing multiple vector and scalar quantities as measured by many spacecraft at once. The data are displayed three-dimensionally along the orbits that may be shown either as connected lines or as points. The data display allows the rapid...

NASA has identified the need for advanced non-destructive evaluation (NDE) methods to characterize aging and durability in aircraft materials to improve the safety of the nation’s...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Adaptive Sampling of Time Series During Remote Exploration

This work deals with the challenge of online adaptive data collection in a time series. A remote sensor or explorer agent adapts its rate of data collection in order to track anomalous events while obeying constraints on time and power. This problem is challenging because the agent has...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
A Tracking Sun Photometer Without Moving Parts

This innovation is small, lightweight, and consumes very little electricity as it measures the solar energy attenuated by gases and aerosol particles in the atmosphere. A Sun photometer is commonly used on the Earth’s surface, as well as on aircraft, to determine the solar energy attenuated by...

Briefs: Information Technology
Modular, Autonomous Command and Data Handling Software With Built-In Simulation and Test

The spacecraft system that plays the greatest role throughout the program lifecycle is the Command and Data Handling System (C&DH), along with the associated algorithms and software. The C&DH takes on this role as cost driver because it is the brains of the...

Briefs: Software
Surface Temperature Data Analysis

Small global mean temperature changes may have significant to disastrous consequences for the Earth’s climate if they persist for an extended period. Obtaining global means from local weather reports is hampered by the uneven spatial distribution of the reliably reporting weather stations. Methods had to be...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
In-Situ Wire Damage Detection System

An In-Situ Wire Damage Detection System (ISWDDS) has been developed that is capable of detecting damage to a wire insulation, or a wire conductor, or to both. The system will allow for real-time, continuous monitoring of wiring health/integrity and reduce the number of false negatives and false positives...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Wideband Agile Digital Microwave Radiometer

The objectives of this work were to take the initial steps needed to develop a field programmable gate array (FPGA)- based wideband digital radiometer backend (>500 MHz bandwidth) that will enable...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Amplifier Module for 260-GHz Band Using Quartz Waveguide Transitions

Packaging of MMIC LNA (monolithic microwave integrated circuit low-noise amplifier) chips at frequencies over 200 GHz has always been problematic due to the high loss in the transition between the MMIC chip and the waveguide medium in which the chip will typically be used. In...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Buckyball Nucleation of HiPco Tubes

The purpose of this innovation is to enhance nucleation of single-wall nanotubes (SWNTs) in the HiPco process, selectively producing 10,10 tubes, something which until now has not been thought possible.

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
FACT, Mega-ROSA, SOLAROSA

The Flexible Array Concentrator Technology (FACT) is a lightweight, high-performance reflective concentrator blanket assembly that can be used on flexible solar array blankets. The FACT concentrator replaces every...

Podcasts
Dr. Greg Chavers, Test Lead, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Dr. Greg Chavers, test lead at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, helped to design the “Mighty Eagle” robotic prototype lander. The vehicle, which can guide itself to a specified target, flew “open loop” to an altitude of 100 feet in late...

Briefs: Materials
Adjusting Permittivity by Blending Varying Ratios of SWNTs

A new composite material of singlewalled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) displays radio frequency (0 to 1 GHz) permittivity properties that can be adjusted based upon the nanotube composition. When varying ratios of raw to functionalized SWNTs are blended into the silicone elastomer matrix at a...

Briefs: Materials
Polyolefin-Based Aerogels

An organic polybutadiene (PB) rubber-based aerogel insulation material was developed that will provide superior thermal insulation and inherent radiation protection, exhibiting the flexibility, resiliency, toughness, and durability typical of the parent polymer, yet with the low density and superior insulation...

Briefs: Materials
An Integrated, Layered-Spinel Composite Cathode for Energy Storage Applications

At low operating temperatures, commercially available electrode materials for lithium-ion batteries do not fully meet the energy and power requirements for NASA’s exploration activities. The composite cathode under development is projected to provide the required...

Briefs: Materials
Engineered Multifunctional Surfaces for Fluid Handling

Designs incorporating variations in capillary geometry and hydrophilic and/or antibacterial surface properties have been developed that are capable of passive gas/liquid separation and passive water flow. These designs can incorporate capillary grooves and/or surfaces arranged to create...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Concept for Hydrogen-Impregnated Nanofiber/Photovoltaic Cargo Stowage System

A stowage system was conceived that consists of collapsible, reconfigurable stowage bags, rigid polyethylene or metal inserts, stainless-steel hooks, flexible photovoltaic materials, and webbing curtains that provide power generation, thermal stabilization, impact...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
DROP: Durable Reconnaissance and Observation Platform

Robots have been a valuable tool for providing a remote presence in areas that are either inaccessible or too dangerous for humans. Having a robot with a high degree of adaptability...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Gravity-Assist Mechanical Simulator for Outreach

There is no convenient way to demonstrate mechanically, as an outreach (or inreach) topic, the angular momentum trade-offs and the conservation of angular momentum associated with...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Spectroscopic Chemical Analysis Methods and Apparatus

This invention relates to non-contact spectroscopic methods and apparatus for performing chemical analysis and the ideal wavelengths and sources needed for this analysis. It employs deep ultraviolet (200- to 300-nm spectral range) electron- beam-pumped wide bandgap semiconductor lasers,...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Motion-Corrected 3D Sonic Anemometer for Tethersondes and Other Moving Platforms

To date, it has not been possible to apply 3D sonic anemometers on tethersondes or similar atmospheric research platforms due to the motion of the supporting platform. A tethersonde module including both a 3D sonic anemometer and associated motion correction sensors...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Water Treatment Systems for Long Spaceflights

Space exploration will require new life support systems to support the crew on journeys lasting from a few days to several weeks, or longer. These systems should also be designed to reduce the mass required to keep humans alive in space. Water accounts for about 80 percent of the daily mass intake...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Seismic Imager Space Telescope

A concept has been developed for a geostationary seismic imager (GSI), a space telescope in geostationary orbit above the Pacific coast of the Americas that would provide movies of many large earthquakes occurring in the area from Southern Chile to Southern Alaska. The GSI movies would cover a field of view as long...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Low-Cost Phased Array Antenna for Sounding Rockets, Missiles, and Expendable Launch Vehicles

A low-cost beamformer phased array antenna has been developed for expendable launch vehicles, rockets, and missiles. It utilizes a conformal array antenna of ring or individual radiators (design varies depending on application) that is designed to be fed...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Microchip Non-Aqueous Capillary Electrophoresis (μNACE) Method to Analyze Long-Chain Primary Amines

A protocol was developed as a first step in analyzing the complex organic aerosols present on Saturn’s moon Titan, as well as the analogues of these aerosols (tholins) made on Earth. Labeling of primary amines using Pacific Blue™ succinimidyl...

In radiometer applications, it is required to design antennas that meet low average sidelobe levels and low average return loss over a specified frequency bandwidth. It is...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Mars Science Laboratory Engineering Cameras

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover, which launched to Mars in 2011, is equipped with a set of 12 engineering cameras. These cameras are build-to-print copies of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) cameras, which were sent to Mars in 2003. The engineering cameras weigh

Briefs: Information Technology
Estimating Sea Surface Salinity and Wind Using Combined Passive and Active L-Band Microwave Observations

Several L-band microwave radiometer and radar missions have been, or will be, operating in space for land and ocean observations. These include the NASA Aquarius mission and the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission, both of which use...

News
Quick Cook Method Turns Algae into Oil

Michigan Engineering researchers can "pressure-cook" algae for as little as a minute and transform an unprecedented 65 percent of the green slime into biocrude. "We're trying to mimic the process in nature that forms crude oil with marine organisms," said Phil Savage, an Arthur F. Thurnau professor and a...

News
Army Fields Next-Generation Radar

The U.S. Army has begun fielding new radar systems to protect forward- deployed forces. Several next-generation, mobile Counter Target Acquisition, or CTA radar systems are now able to provide soldiers with a 360-degree protective envelope or warning capability against incoming enemy rocket, artillery and mortar...

News
R&D Effort Underway to Modernize Abrams Tank

Over the past decade the only thing that has been able to slow the Army's premier combat vehicle hasn't been enemies on the battlefield, but rather the technological advancements added to the platform. While every vehicle is designed to have Space, Weight, and Power (SWaP) margin for incremental...

News
Soldiers Begin Training With Virtual Battlespace 2 Simulator

A Fort Jackson battalion is piloting a new training tool that will look familiar to many new soldiers. Virtual Battlespace 2, or VBS2, offers battlefield simulations that allow instructors to create new scenarios and engage the simulation from multiple viewpoints. The squad-management...

News
Measuring the Impact of Football Concussions

Concussions are arguably football's most prominent injury, but they're also its most mysterious. With the help of Stanford University's football team, a group of Stanford doctors and neuroscientists is working to quantify the head trauma that players sustain during a game.

Question of the Week
Will We See a Greater Use of 'Beaming' Avatar Technology?

Researchers successfully tested a beaming technology that allowed humans and a rat to interact through virtual reality avatars. Using digital representations of themselves, the researchers enabled the rat to interact with a rat-sized robot controlled by a human participant in a...

News
Researchers Develop All-Carbon Solar Cell

Stanford University scientists have built the first solar cell made entirely of carbon, a promising alternative to the expensive materials used in photovoltaic devices today.

Unlike rigid silicon solar panels that adorn many rooftops, Stanford's thin film prototype is made of carbon materials that can...

News
Computer Simulation Aids Secure Carbon Dioxide Storage

The race is on to develop the most secure solution for storing CO2 in the Earth’s crust. A Norwegian company, Numerical Rocks AS, has developed a method for studying precisely how this greenhouse gas is bound inside rock.

News
Computational Model Identifies Ways to Improve Plant Oil Production

Using a computational model they designed to incorporate detailed information about plants’ interconnected metabolic processes, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have identified key pathways that appear to “favor” the production...

News
Analysis Helps Solve Mysteries of Cracks and Stresses

Diving into a pool from a few feet up allows you to enter the water smoothly and painlessly, but jumping from a bridge can lead to a fatal impact. The water is the same in each case, so why is the effect of hitting its surface so different?

News
Device Uses Heartbeat to Power Pacemaker

In a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012, an experimental device converted energy from a beating heart to provide enough electricity to power a pacemaker. The findings suggest that patients could power their pacemakers — eliminating the need for replacements...

News
Ear's 'Natural Battery' Powers Implantable Electronic Device

For the first time, researchers power an implantable electronic device using an electrical potential — a natural battery — deep in the inner ear.

The devices could monitor biological activity in the ears of people with hearing or balance impairments, or responses to therapies....

Question of the Week
Will That Be Our Best Idea?

A new asteroid-deflecting idea proposes that paintballs shot into space could prevent a dangerous asteroid from colliding with Earth. The initial force from the paintballs would veer the asteroid slightly off course. The paint resulting from the splattered pellets would more than double the asteroid's sunlight...

News
Technique Uses GPS Signals to Gauge Hurricane's Strength

University of Michigan engineering researchers are working on a global satellite project that would help predict the intensity of a hurricane while it is developing. In coordination with NASA, Michigan Engineering Professor Chris Ruf is working on the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite...

News
New Communications System Allows Vehicles to 'Talk' With Roads

Someday, your auto and the roadway will be in constant communication and able to suggest route changes to avoid accidents, construction, and congestion; coordinate your vehicle with signal lights, other vehicles, and lane markers; and let you know where you can park. Right now, a...

News
Thumbtack-Sized Distance and Motion Sensor Serves as Pocket Radar

Today’s parking assistant systems enable drivers to safely park their cars even in the narrowest of gaps. Such sophisticated parking aids – as well as manufacturing robots – that require millimeter-precision control rely on precise all-around radar distance measurement....

News
NASA Engineers Build UAV Systems for Wildlife Surveillance

Engineers at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida are building a fuel cell-powered unmanned aerial vehicle and support systems to perform missions such as wildlife surveillance around the complex.

The aircraft will carry a small camera and be able to capture precise images and...

News
Artificial Lens Resembles Natural Eye

Drawing heavily upon nature for inspiration, a team of researchers has created a new artificial lens that is nearly identical to the natural lens of the human eye. This innovative lens, which is made up of thousands of nanoscale polymer layers, may one day provide a more natural performance in implantable...

News
Vortex Surfing Could Be Revolutionary Fuel Saver

Migrating birds, NASCAR drivers and Tour de France bicyclists already get it. And now the Air Force is thinking about flying gas-guzzling cargo aircraft in formation -- 'dragging' off one another -- on long-haul flights across the oceans.

Question of the Week
Will Drones Beam Wi-fi from the Skies?

If a future hurricane causes power outages, regulators say they could float wireless antennas from balloons or drones to solve problems with telecommunications networks. The Federal Communications Commission is exploring the use of such airborne technology to restore communications after disasters....

News
Hydrogels Bio-Bots Walk on Their Own

Miniature “bio-bots” developed at the University of Illinois are made of hydrogel and heart cells, but can walk on their own. The key to the bio-bots’ locomotion is asymmetry. Resembling a tiny springboard, each bot has one long, thin leg resting on a stout supporting leg. The thin leg is covered with...

News
Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Could Become Electronic Interconnects

Using a new method for precisely controlling the deposition of carbon, researchers have demonstrated a technique for connecting multi-walled carbon nanotubes to the metallic pads of integrated circuits without the high interface resistance produced by traditional fabrication...

News
Glove Keyboard Enables Use of Devices With One Hand

Computer engineering students at The University of Alabama in Huntsville have designed a tool that could revolutionize new ways of using electronic devices with just one hand. It’s called a Gauntlet Keyboard, a glove device that functions as a wireless keyboard. Instead of tapping keys on a...

News
Microdevice Mimics Dog's Nose to Detect Explosives

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara have designed a detector that uses microfluidic nanotechnology to mimic the biological mechanism behind canine scent receptors. The device is both highly sensitive to trace amounts of certain vapor molecules, and able to tell a specific...

News
Sprayable Paint Protects NASA Spacecraft Components

NASA technologists have developed a low-cost, low-mass technique for protecting sensitive spacecraft components from outgassed contaminants.

The team has created a patent-pending, sprayable paint that adsorbs the gaseous molecules and stops them from affixing to instrument components....

INSIDER Product: Test & Measurement
Entry-Level Oscilloscope

EVERVISION Electronics Europe (Karlsruhe/Germany) has unveiled a new capacitive touch panel product line called IPCT (Improved Projected Capacitive Touchpanel). IPCT specifically addresses industrial electronics and...

INSIDER Product: Test & Measurement
Parametric Curve Tracer

Keithley Instruments, Inc. (Cleveland, OH) has introduced seven instrumentation, software, and test fixture configurations for parametric curve tracing applications for characterizing high power devices at up to...

INSIDER Product: Test & Measurement
Miniature Triaxial Accelerometers

Meggitt Sensing Systems (San Juan Capistrano, CA) has announced that the Endevco® 35A miniature triaxial ISOTRON® piezoelectric accelerometer is supporting the high-precision shock and vibration testing of...

INSIDER Product: Test & Measurement
Electronic DC Loads

Global Test Solutions (Escondido, CA) has launched the DL Series electronic direct current (DC) loads from NF Corporation with high-speed feedback control. Fast response times eliminate the common problem of overshoot and...

Question of the Week
Will We Be a "Spacefaring Nation?"

NASA's Chief Technologist Mason Peck delivered the keynote address, "Technology and the Future," at the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Fall Symposium in Hampton, Virginia. The speech showed that Peck envisions a "spacefaring nation" where our relationship with spacecraft, space hardware, or data from...

News
The First Entirely All-Carbon Solar Cell

Stanford University engineers have developed the first solar cell made entirely of carbon - a promising alternative to the expensive materials used in photovoltaic devices today. The thin-film prototype is made of carbon materials that can be coated from solution - a technique that has the potential to...

Electrical engineers at Oregon State University have developed new technology to monitor medical vital signs, with sophisticated sensors so small and cheap they could fit onto a bandage,...

INSIDER: Test & Measurement
Making Utility Meters Smarter, More Secure

As of 2010, more than a third of all utility meters in the United States used wireless automatic meter reading (AMR) technology – 47 million in all. They make it a lot easier for the utility...

The two-story building on West Commercial Avenue in El Centro, Calif., was built in the 1920s and has withstood four major earthquakes in 1940, 1979, 1987 and 2010, but it may not be...

News
Researchers Engineer a Microscale Optical Accelerometer

Imagine navigating through a grocery store with your cell phone. As you turn down the bread aisle, ads and coupons for hot dog buns and English muffins pop up on your screen. The electronics industry would like to make such personal navigators a reality, but, to do so, they need the next...

News
Tabletop Fault Model Shows Why Some Earthquakes Shake Faster

The more time it takes for an earthquake fault to heal, the faster the shake it will produce when it finally ruptures, according to a new study by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, who conducted their work using a tabletop model of a quake fault. While the study does...

News
Device Absorbs Nearly 100% of Infrared Light

A new device invented at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) can absorb 99.75 percent of infrared light that shines on it. When activated, it appears black to infrared cameras.

Composed of just a 180-nanometer-thick layer of vanadium dioxide on top of a sheet of...

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

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