November 2014

Unlike previous lighting requirements, LED testing has become more stringent and complicated, and involves a significant number of tests for various lighting characteristics. From...

Articles: Lighting Technology
Fluid Dispensing Solutions for LEDs

LED lighting is popular because many governments are banning incandescent bulbs to save energy and carbon dioxide, especially for general lighting. In the automotive industry LEDs are being used because...

Approximately 25 percent of global energy consumption goes to lighting applications, so making lighting more energy-efficient could have a dramatic impact on overall energy usage or make more...

When residents of the Park Centre Casitas residential community in Mesa, Arizona, got together and hired a security company to survey the property and suggest ways to keep it...

Light Efficient Design, a division of TADD, LLC, recently completed an LED retrofit project in the busy “Street of Dreams” retail area of the Monte Carlo Casino...

High-tech specks called quantum dots could bring brighter, more vibrant color to mass market TVs, tablets, phones and other displays. A new technology called 3M quantum dot enhancement...

Scientists at the University of Washington have developed what they believe is the thinnest-possible semiconductor, a new class of nanoscale materials made in sheets only three...

The ordinary light bulb is an innovation so extraordinary that a sudden brilliant idea is called “a light bulb moment.” Credit for inventing the first incandescent-style light...

The most common kind of light bulb in the United States— the incandescent—is only about 5 percent efficient. The phosphorescent organic light-emitting diode, on...

Products: Lighting
LED Solar Simulator

Oriel Instruments (Bozeman, MT), a Newport Company, has introduced the LSH-7320 LED Class ABA Solar Simulator. Compared to conventional solar simulators with Xenon sources, the LED-based solar simulator provides fast...

Products: Lighting
Wireless Software Suite

CEL (Santa Clara, CA) has announced the field trial release of its new MeshWorks™ wireless software suite. This new platform unites several tools to help create and simplify a complete mesh network design as part of...

Products: Lighting
Light Controller

EVT (Karlsruhe, Germany) presents a new light controller for difficult lighting situations. The Eye-MIO Light controller can be connected to sys tems with RS232, USB and Ethernet. EyeMIO Light is suitable for almost any...

Products: Lighting
LED Spot Lamp

DELO (Windach, Germany) now offers a new, high-intensity LED spot lamp with a wavelength of 400 nm. The DELOLUX 50 allows for fast, reliable, pinpoint curing of adhesive layers with thicknesses up to 10 mm, making it suitable...

Features: Photonics/Optics
Industry Roundtable: Imaging Technology

Few technologies have impacted the scientific community – and non-scientific community for that matter – as much as digital imaging technology. From exotic, high-speed imaging systems to rugged...

Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Ruggedized Displays Improve Automotive Safety

Navigation and entertainment screens in cars are becoming ever-larger and, in some cases, the central control point for drivers and passengers. Many manufacturers consider using glass to cover...

Specialised Imaging (Herts., UK), working in conjunction with Cavitar (Tampere, Finland), has announced the SI LUX640 laser illumination system, designed to improve the accuracy and sensitivity...

Products: Photonics/Optics
>60 W Ultraviolet (UV) Laser

Spectra-Physics®, (Santa Clara, CA), a Newport company, recently introduced Quasar 355-60, a UV laser that offers a groundbreaking >60 W with high >300 μJ pulse energies. Featuring...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Monolithic Light Engine

Melles Griot (Carlsbad, CA) has introduced the OEM Monolithic Light Engine. The light engine can shake, rattle, and ship without needing to be realigned. The hermetically sealed design, combined with a patented...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Laser Diode Driver

Portable Power Systems (St. Louis, MO) has introduced the new PPS-90-125OEMDPC laser diode driver. The PPS series of OEM laser diode drivers will operate from 1-45 diodes or bars in either the Pulsed or CW mode. Added...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Green Laser Diode Modules

The Optoelectronics Company (Hertfordshire, UK) has launched a range of direct emission 520nm green laser diode modules which offer OEMs and system integrators a cost and energy-efficient alternative to low-tech...

Products: Photonics/Optics
ESD Protection For Laser Diodes

Pangolin Laser Systems, Inc. (Orlando, FL) are now offering their patented LASORB component in an SMT form. LASORB is a hybrid electronic device that consists of passive electrical and active silicon...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Spectral Surface Mapping Software

CRAIC Technologies (San Dimas, CA) recently announced Spectral Surface MappingTM (S2MTM) capabilities for its UV-visible-NIR microspectrophotometers. S2MTM gives CRAIC...

Products: Photonics/Optics
CMOS Video Camera Platform

Forza Silicon (Pasadena, CA) has introduced the Forza 100+ MP CAM Platform featuring a customizable CMOS image sensor operating at 60 frames per second (fps) and supporting multiple camera resolutions. The...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Sapphire Windows

Edmund Optics® (EO) (Barrington, NJ) recently introduced its new TECHSPEC® Precision Sapphire Windows. These windows are ideal for use in a wide variety of demanding applications, including imaging...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Thermal Chassis Camera

Sierra-Olympic Technologies, Inc. (Hood River, OR) recently introduced the Vinden CZ 320 continuous zoom thermal chassis camera. The first of two camera models in the series, the Vinden CZ 320 is offered in both 60 Hz...

Avery important stage in the manufacturing and production cycle of a part is designing and verifying a prototype. Very often in the medical, automotive, or aerospace industries, very...

Briefs: Software
System Health Monitoring Software Learns System Behavior from Data

The Inductive Monitoring System (IMS) software tool uses data mining techniques to automatically characterize nominal system operation by analyzing archived system data. These nominal characterizations are then used to perform near-real-time system health monitoring or to analyze...

Briefs: Information Technology
Detecting High Stress in Oral Interviews and Text Documents

When a person is interviewed, some of the answers may be inaccurate, or even deceptive, because the person may have either incomplete information, is telling only part of the truth, or is fabricating a false answer, or a combination of all three. When the person is habitually making...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Titan Lake and Shore Sampler

A lake and shore sampling and sample distribution system was developed for a Titan lake environment (93.7 K, in liquid hydrocarbons). The Titan Lake and Shore Sampler (TLASS) would enable the chemical analysis of...

Briefs: Information Technology
VLBI Antenna Calibration by GPS

The determination of local geodetic parameters for VLBI (very-long-baseline interferometry) antennas is traditionally done by conventional surveying techniques. These techniques are laborious and error-prone. The objective here was to develop a space geodesy method of measuring the parameters to make it easy to...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Predicting Heart Age Using Electrocardiography

Knowledge of a patient’s cardiac age, or “heart age,” could prove useful to both patients and physicians for encouraging lifestyle changes that are potentially beneficial for cardiovascular health. This may be particularly true for patients who exhibit symptoms, but who test negative for...

Briefs: Information Technology
Machine Vision for High-Precision Volume Measurement in Levitated Materials Processing

A new program has been written that utilizes advanced numerical methods to perform high-precision, sub-pixel volume measurements of samples that are processed containerlessly. The volume measurements are essential for the measurement of density and thermal...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Lunar Mapper

Lunar Mapper (LM) is a Web-based software that allows visualization of lunar spatial data layers acquired from lunar missions and other sources. The data includes imagery, digital elevation models, resource maps, and model output. LM is accessed using standard Web browsers and uses open-source tools and libraries. The data is stored...

Briefs: Information Technology
Integrated and Automated Software Test Environment for JPL Software Defined Radio

Software has been developed that provides an integrated and automated test environment for the Space Telecommunications Radio System (STRS). This software package is Linux based and provides interactive and scripted control to test the JPL Software Defined Radio...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Design and Analysis of Metal-to-Composite Nozzle Extension Joints

Analysis, design, fabrication, and testing were performed to create a new joint design for potential use in attaching a domestically available carbon-carbon (C–C) nozzle extension to the turbine exhaust manifold of a J-2X engine. Various attachment methods were investigated for...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Modeling Laser Ablation and Plume Chemistry in a Boron Nitride Nanotube Production Rig

The future of manned and unmanned spaceflight and exploration depends on economical access to space through multifunctional, lightweight materials. Boron nitride nanotube (BNNT) composites offer distinct advantages for enhanced survivability during long-term...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Damage-Free Finishing of Silicon X-Ray Optics Using Magnetic Field-Assisted Finishing

Thin, segmented mirrors have been fabricated from monocrystalline silicon blocks. The material is economically viable, and is virtually free of internal stress because of its nearly perfect crystalline structure. The mirror surfaces will first be accurately...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Smart Crucibles and Heat Pipes

Near-net-shape vacuum plasma spray (VPS) forming techniques were developed to produce advanced components with internal features such as smart heat pipes and crucibles. The initial results demonstrated the ability to incorporate features such as channels and a porous layer within the wall of a smart crucible.

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Technology-Independent RHBD Library Through Gate Array Approach

As semiconductor technology nodes scale down, the limitation on polysilicon pitch makes it almost impossible to shrink libraries built for previous technologies. To design a library for a new technology, all of the cells have to basically start from scratch. Starting over for each...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Advanced Pulse Compression System and Testbed

Detection of low-level water clouds from space is one of the outstanding challenges in radar remote sensing. Spaceborne remote sensing is the only means of assessing the distribution and variability of cloud cover on a global basis. Uncertainties in models of the Earth’s heating budget will persist...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Quasi-Static Electric Field Generator

This innovation is an electric field “illumination” system that is a companion component to the e-Sensor. This generator, when combined with the e-Sensor, enables a new, nondestructive inspection...

Various applications exist where high-pressure valves are required, but the problem for control of such valves lies in that they have to move against a strong...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Safely Testing Parachute-Based Extraction Systems

This invention relates to the safe, reliable, and repeatable testing under external load of the Extraction Force Transfer Coupling (EFTC) currently used in the extraction of airdrop platforms from both the C-17 and C-130 cargo transport aircraft. The invention enables functional testing of the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Hybrid Gear

Reducing stiffness-induced gear noise and making lighter-weight gearing components would be a substantial advantage over the current all-metallic configuration. The use of composites to join metallic hubs to the metallic gear rim...

Briefs: Aerospace
Flap Side Edge Liners for Airframe Noise Reduction

One of the more critical constraints to the continued growth of air traffic is the related concern regarding aircraft noise. This concern has resulted in increasingly stringent noise restrictions for airports, both nationally and internationally. One of the major stretch goals for NASA is to...

Briefs: Aerospace
GEO-CAPE Airborne Simulator (GCAS)

This IRAD (Internal Research and Development) project was conceived as an aircraft instrument and designed with specifications that are closely aligned with the science requirements of the Geostationary Coastal and Air Pollution Events (GEO-CAPE) mission. The work has been used to both advance the technology...

Briefs: Aerospace
Mars Science Laboratory Flight Software

Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) flight software is designed to control all onboard functions of the flight system, consisting of three primary stages — cruise, entry-descent-landing (EDL), and rover — for the three mission phases. These three stages have common as well as distinct mission requirements...

Current trends indicate the significant increase in National Airspace System (NAS) flight congestion and delays. The Airspace Concepts Evaluation System (ACES) provides a NAS modeling and simulation...

Briefs: Aerospace
MAVEN Flight and Ground Software

This software was developed for GSFC’s MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) program. The source of the MAVEN software was previously NASA program baselines for Juno, GRAIL, and MRO. Reused and re-engineered code from previous programs was combined with some new code to form the MAVEN program software...

Briefs: Aerospace
Prediction of Visual Acuity from Wavefront Aberrations

Visual acuity (clearness of vision) usually is measured by an eye doctor using an eye chart. It measures the smallest letters that can be reliably identified by the patient at a specified distance. The traditional test requires the patient to look and report which letters they see.

The disclosed device provides key elements to enabling compact exercise machines that overcome many of the disadvantages of the current spacesuit, as well as medical prosthetics...

Briefs: Information Technology
Time Series Product Tool (TSPT) Version 2.0

The Time Series Product Tool (TSPT) is a MATLAB-based software application that computes and displays high-quality vegetation and environmental monitoring indices from high temporal revisit rate Mod erate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and other satellite sensors. The original purpose of...

Briefs: Information Technology
NASA Data Acquisition System (NDAS)

The test complexes at John C. Stennis Space Center (SSC) require reliable and accurate data acquisition in order to analyze the results of rocket engine tests. Acquisition systems include high-speed data, low-speed data, event monitoring, and video feeds. In order to obtain accurate data, routine calibrations...

A security protocol requires a cryptanalysis infrastructure not available to most attackers.

The motivation for this research is the fact that, for a variety of reasons,...

Briefs: Information Technology
Flight Processor Virtualization for Size, Weight, and Power Reduction

This work demonstrated the cost-saving and fault-tolerant benefits of virtualization technology by consolidating the flight software from multiple flight processors into a single virtualized system. In this study, a flight software system that was originally deployed on six...

Briefs: Software
Massively Parallel Dantzig-Wolfe Decomposition Applied to Traffic Flow Scheduling

Traffic flow management (TFM) of the National Airspace System (NAS) endeavors to deliver flights from their origins to their destinations while minimizing delays and respecting all capacities. There are several models for solving this problem. Some models aggregate...

Briefs: Information Technology
Mission Control Technologies (MCT)

MCT enables users to compose software from objects that can be assembled by end users to create integrated functionality. Applications are eliminated in favor of compositions of “live objects” that can be combined in different ways for different users and missions as required, in contrast to the more...

MSC Software Corp., Newport Beach, CA, has introduced the MSC Apex computer-aided engineering (CAE) platform, a Computational Parts-based CAE system. The platform enables predictive product development in...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Products of Tomorrow: November 2014

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial...

Epoxies are versatile polymer systems that are “go-to materials” for electrical, electronic, and microelectronic systems, especially in applications where outstanding electrical insulation...

NI PXI DMM and NI PXI multifunction DAQ module
National Instruments
Austin, TX
1-800-531-5066
www.ni.com

Larger than the Saturn V rocket...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
2014 Create the Future Design: Grand Prize Winner
Behrokh Khoshnevis
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA

Contour Crafting (CC) is a computerized construction method that 3D prints large-scale structures directly...

The Polariton Interferometer — A Novel Inertial Navigation System Frederick Moxley
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA
Rikki Razdan, Alan Kielar, Pat Stearns, and Melissa White
ISCAN Inc.
Woburn, MA

The intrinsic speed and precision of the human ocular-motor system...

Steve Arnold
Engine Systems Innovations, Inc.
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Passenger car engines are sized to produce very high horsepower to suit the...

Michael Zach, Anirudha Sumant, and Jonathan Moritz
EChem Nanowires
Stevens Point, WI

NanoFab Lab … In a Box!™ is a shoebox-sized kit that allows high...

A Paradigm Shift for SMT Electronics: Micro-Coil Springs Interconnection for Ceramic and Plastic Grid Array Packaged Integrated Circuits Jim Hester and Mark Strickland
NASA...
HemeChip for Early Diagnosis of Sickle Cell Disease Yunus Alapan, Ryan Ung, Megan Romelfanger, Asya Akkus, Connie Piccone, Jane Little, and Umut Gurkan
Case Western Reserve...
ecovent Systems — Make Every Room the Right Temperature Dipul Patel, Yoel Kelman, Nick Lancaster, Shawn Rose, and Brian Bowen
ecovent Systems
Boston, MA...
Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
2014 Create the Future Design Contest

The 2014 Create the Future Design Contest – sponsored by COMSOL, Inc., Mouser Electronics, and Tech Briefs Media Group (publishers of NASA Tech Briefs) – recognized innovation in product design in seven categories: Aerospace & Defense, Automotive/Transportation, Consumer Products, Electronics,...

Question of the Week
Will "4D" materials catch on?

This week's Question: While 3D printing has still not yet reached the mainstream, MIT and other researchers are performing primary tests on the next design dimension. 4D printing, a self-assembly design process, enables the production of composite materials that react and change shape in predictable ways when...

A new space‑based instrument to study how effectively plants use water is being developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space...

Scientists have developed a high‑resolution magnetic line camera to measure magnetic fields in real time. Field lines in magnetic systems such as generators or motors that are...

In football, a tackle can supply 100 Gs of force or more, well above the amount that can cause a concussion and more than 10 times the force of an F‑16 jet roll maneuver. University of...

Particle physicists have a hard time identifying all the elementary particles created in their particle accelerators. But now researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have...

Energy loss in optical systems, such as lasers, is a chief hindrance to their performance and efficiency and it occurs on an ongoing, frustrating basis. To help laser systems overcome...

OSI Laser Diode, Inc. (LDI) (Edison, NJ) has introduced a 1550 nm pulsed laser diode with an integrated micro lens that delivers a far‑field beam pattern. The beam pattern's divergence is equivalent in...

Question of the Week
Would you eat 3D-printed food?

This week's Question: A startup company, Natural Machines, has introduced a 3D printer called Foodini. The technology creates food with stainless steel capsules and edible, fresh ingredients. The microwave‑oven‑sized Foodini, displayed during Dublin's Web Summit technology conference last week, serves as a...

Laser Components' (Hudson, NH) COUNT® single photon counting modules (SPCM) achieve a quantum efficiency of over 70% in the red region and a significantly higher quantum efficiency in the blue spectral range....

News: Communications
Cockroach Biobots Detect Sound

North Carolina State University researchers have developed technology that allows cyborg cockroaches, or biobots, to pick up sounds with small microphones and seek out the source of the sound. The technology is designed to help emergency personnel find and rescue survivors in the aftermath of a disaster.

The...

News: Imaging
NASA Technologists Advance Next-Generation 3D Imaging

Building, fixing, and refueling space-based assets or rendezvousing with a comet or asteroid will require a robotic vehicle and a super-precise, high-resolution 3D imaging lidar that generates the real-time images needed to guide the vehicle to a target traveling at thousands of miles per...

News: Materials
Microbot Muscles Self-Assemble and Flex

In a step toward robots smaller than a grain of sand, University of Michigan researchers have shown how chains of self-assembling particles could serve as electrically activated muscles in the tiny machines.

"We are inspired by ideas of microscopic robots," said Michael Solomon, a professor of chemical...

News: Electronics & Computers
Ocean Gliders Measure Melting Polar Ice

The rapidly melting ice sheets on the coast of West Antarctica are a potentially major contributor to rising ocean levels worldwide. Although warm water near the coast is thought to be the main factor causing the ice to melt, the process by which this water ends up near the cold continent is not well...

News: Imaging
Moving Cameras Track Objects Automatically

University of Washington electrical engineers have developed a way to automatically track people across moving and still cameras by using an algorithm that trains the networked cameras to learn one another’s differences. The cameras first identify a person in a video frame, then follow that same...

Question of the Week
Will comet missions yield valuable information about the origin of the solar system?

This week's Question: The Philae spacecraft successfully landed on a moving comet last week. Scientists hope to be able to study the material beneath the surface of the solar body, which is traveling through space at 41,000 mph, hundreds of millions of miles...

Imagine yourself in a cockpit, flying a mission, listening to a multitude of critical voices delivering vital messages, all at the same time and from the same direction. Now imagine the same...

NASA's green aviation project is one step closer to developing technology that could make future airliners quieter and more fuel‑efficient with the successful flight test of a wing...

A new method for improving the thrust generated by laser-propulsion systems may bring them one step closer to practical use. The method, developed by physicists Yuri...

News: Test & Measurement
NASA Computer Model Reveals Carbon Dioxide Levels

An ultra-high-resolution NASA computer model has given scientists a stunning new look at how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere travels around the globe.

Plumes of carbon dioxide in the simulation swirl and shift as winds disperse the greenhouse gas away from its sources. The simulation also...

News: Test & Measurement
Researchers Measure Stress in 3D-Printed Metal Parts

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have developed an efficient method to measure residual stress in metal parts produced by powder-bed fusion additive manufacturing (AM).

The 3D-printing process produces metal parts layer by layer using a high-energy laser beam to fuse metal...

Who's Who
Jeff Ding, Aerospace Welding Engineer, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Jeff Ding developed Ultrasonic Stir Welding (USW) to join large pieces of very high‑strength metals, such as titanium and Inconel. The solid-state weld process improves the current Thermal Stir Welding process by adding high-power ultrasonic (HPU) energy at 20...

Research scientists at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have demonstrated a new technique for generating electrical energy. The method can be used in harvesting energy from...

A car powered by its own body panels could soon be driving on our roads after a breakthrough in nanotechnology research by a Queensland University of Technology (Australia) team. They developed...

Researchers and engineers from the Singapore — MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) are deploying two driverless vehicles,...

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center recently gave the Joint Chemical Agent Detector (JCAD) the ability to detect explosive materials. The...

When an Army Special Forces officer‑turned engineer puts his mind to designing a military riflescope, he doesn’t forget the importance of creating something for the...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Killer Robots - Army Studies Challenges of Remote Lethality

The military has used and experimented with robots that perform functions such as scouting and surveillance, carrying supplies and detecting and disposing of improvised homemade...

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