December 2011

Machine vision systems have three basic components: a camera to acquire images; software to extract actionable information about the objects in the images; and a computer to run the image processing...

The bq25504 from Texas Instruments (Dallas, TX) is an integrated energy harvesting nanopower management solution for ultra low power applications. The boost converter is...

At various times throughout the manufacturing process, medical device and orthopaedic implant manufacturers need to carry out a wide range of inspections and measurements of the parts...

Products: Imaging
Video Surveillance Camera

Without supplementary IR lighting, the M6-200 IP video camera from Scallop Imaging (Boston, MA) delivers up to 0.005 lux low-light performance. The six-megapixel M6-200 video surveillance camera uses five monochrome 1.2-megapixel image sensors, combined with f/1.7 optics.

Products: Imaging
CMOS Line Scan Camera

Teledyne DALSA (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) offers a Camera Link® version of its Piranha3™ 16k CMOS line scan camera, allowing it to interface with the Camera Link standard serial communication protocol. The Piranha3...

Products: Imaging
LED Microscope System

Nikon Instruments (Melville, NY) has released the ECLIPSE Ci microscope series. The three-model line consists of the Ci-E, Ci-L, and Ci-S.

Products: Imaging
Digital Color Camera

Olympus (Center Valley, PA) has announced the DP26 high-resolution digital color camera. Incorporating a 5-megapixel scientific-grade CCD sensor, the DP26 camera offers a frame rate of 16 frames per second (fps) or...

Products: Imaging
USB 2.0 Camera

Lumenera Corporation (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) has introduced its 5.0 megapixel USB 2.0 camera series. Formulated with the Sony Super HAD ICX655 CCD sensor, the Lw560 and Lw565 feature a 2448 × 2048 resolution and selectable...

Cognex Corporation (Natick, MA) has introduced a TestRun feature for its In-Sight® vision systems. The TestRun functionality allows users to confirm program changes by quickly checking against a...

News
Advanced Hypersonic Weapon Technology Undergoes Flight Test

At the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, successes sometimes happen faster than a speeding bullet.

News
Rifleman Radio Completes Key Operational Test

An advanced lightweight radio that will connect troops on the front lines to the Army's tactical communications network has completed its operational test. The Joint Tactical Radio System, or JTRS, Rifleman Radio and its Soldier Radio Waveform, known as SRW, Network Manager component were the only...

News
New Antenna Design Can Help Speed Communications

Recent flight tests conducted by a combined team from the Electronic Systems Center, the Space and Missile Systems Center, MIT Lincoln Laboratory and MITRE Corp. have shown that the low-profile Advanced Multi-band Communications Antenna (AMCAS), installed on a wide-body aircraft, can effectively...

Reducing design time is critical in engineering because the result is lower costs and faster time to market. Design time often includes a number of non-value-added activities such as re-design,...

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Robots Play Role in Future Aircraft Wing Production

KUKA Systems (Sterling Heights, MI), in conjunction with Bombardier Aerospace, has devised an innovative robotic cell for laying up dry carbon fiber material as a result of a national...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Tilt Sensor

The MS9001.D from Colibrys (Neuchatel, Switzerland) is a MEMS-based tilt sensor for platform stabilization applications, including satellite communication and scanning radar antennas, remote surveillance cameras, and...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Vertical Carousel

The Megamat RS vertical carousel from Kardex Remstar (Westbrook, ME) features an intelligent drive design made of a drive track, carrier arms, transportation chain, drive motor, drive chain, and hand crank. The components...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Duplex Pumps

The STH and STQ Ratio:Matic® duplex pumps from Fluid Metering (Syosset, NY) consist of two valveless pump heads direct-coupled to a single variable-speed drive (typically a 23-frame stepper motor). Displacement of each pump...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Motor Stages

Newport Corp. (Irvine, CA) offers the IMS-LM-SA Series of long-travel linear motor stages. Based on a stiff-body design, the self-supporting stages are available in 800-, 1000-, and 1200-mm travel, and do not require...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
DC Servo Motors

The Series 3400, 4400, and 5400 Pittman® slotless, brushless DC servo motors from AMETEK Technical and Industrial Products (Kent, OH) are available in three frame sizes: NEMA 14, 17, and 23. They incorporate 3-phase slotless...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Electric Actuators

Hayward Flow Control (Clemmons, NC) offers the EPM-4 and EPM-6 models of quarter-turn reversing electric actuators. They are designed to eliminate wiring errors and can be factory- or field-mounted on ball or butterfly...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Motor Driver ICs

Allegro MicroSystems (Worcester, MA) offers the A4952 and A4953 single, full-bridge motor driver ICs for use in brush DC motor drive applications. They are rated for peak output currents to ±2A, and operating voltages to...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Workholding Products

Enerpac (Menomonee Falls, WI) offers a 70- bar line of products for low-pressure workholding applications, including link clamps, swing clamps, and remote mount system valves. The products are designed for applications...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Parallel Grippers

Techno-Omil (New Hyde Park, NY) has introduced the OPP2 Series of two-finger parallel grippers that feature a heavy-duty T-slot design. The nine models feature a stroke range from 12 to 72 mm, and a gripping force from...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Hydraulic Hand Pumps

The P100 gauge and handheld pumps from E Instruments International (Langhorne, PA) offer pressure calibration with ranges to 1000 bar. The hydraulic pumps display engineering units in bar, Mpa, Kpa, Psi, and mbar....

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Servo Table

The Planar ServoRing™ rotary table PSR300 from IntelLiDrives (Philadelphia, PA) features a low profile and minimizes stage height. Angular contact bearings are used to minimize wobble, moment stiffness, and friction....

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Belt Pulleys

Stock Drive Products (New Hyde Park, NY) offers the A 6A18M Series of 1-mm pitch timing belt pulleys for miniature applications. The pulleys are available in 17 different sizes, ranging from 18 to 75 grooves. The clear,...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Positioner

The MX45S linear positioner from Parker Hannifin’s Electromechanical Automation Division (Rohnert Park, CA) is a 45-mm-wide miniature screw-driven positioner. It is designed with anti-cage creep cross-roller bearings...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Inclinometers

FRABA (Hamilton, NJ) offers POSITAL Accelens (ACS) inclinometers in two models. The first model features a fiber-reinforced PBT plastic housing and fully encapsulated electronic components. They can withstand prolonged exposure...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Motion Controller

Galil Motion Control (Rocklin, CA) offers the DMC-300xx Pocket Motion Controller Series, a single-axis Ethernet motion controller that combines a motion controller and an 800W sine drive in a 3.9 × 5.0 × 1.5" package....

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
DC Motor

MICROMO (Clearwater, FL) offers the 3272 CR DC Micro Motor from Faulhaber that provides graphite commutation and premium materials. The drive provides torque of up to 120 mNm, while measuring 32 × 72 mm. The motor features an...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Triaxial Accelerometer

PCB Piezotronics (Depew, NY) has released the Model 356A03 miniature ICP® triaxial accelerometer that delivers 10 mV/g sensitivity in a 0.25" cube. It includes a hermetic seal design with a low noise floor and high...

The evolution of operator interfaces has moved quite far beyond the pushbutton. Once, the intelligence resided in the operator’s brain, and considerable experience and training were required to...

ERDAS APOLLO Essentials - Image Web Server
ERDAS
Norcross, GA
770-776-3400
www.erdas.com

The Italian Space Agency (ASI) is using ERDAS APOLLO to manage...

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Prototype Helps Astronauts Use Robot on International Space Station
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) material parts
RedEye On Demand
Eden Prairie, MN
866-882-6934

Wyle is a leading provider of high-tech science, aerospace...

Articles: Research Lab
John H. Glenn Research Center

Innovators at NASA’s Glenn Research Center design game-changing spaceflight technologies that advance exploration of our solar system. They have also established themselves as global leaders in aeronautics by...

MSC Software Corp., Santa Ana, CA, has introduced Marc 2011 simulation software that enables users to create finite element analysis (FEA) models. The software offers a new interface and CAD interoperability,...

Techs for License
Fast-Charge Technology Finds Battery “Sweet Spot”

A technology recharges batteries in up to one-tenth the time of conventional methods. The device creates conditions within the battery that allow power to be input as fast as the cell can accept the charge. By creating a charging “ecosystem,” the optimum battery charging conditions are...

Techs for License
Technology Produces Electrically Conductive Polyester

New polyester compositions feature desired electrical characteristics without unduly deteriorating the other valued melt viscosity, processing, and shaped article properties. The electrically conductive polyester has strong conductivity at low carbon black loading. The use of carbon black...

Tech Needs
Friction Reduction of Steel Surfaces

A global organization needs innovative technologies that will decrease the surface friction between steel surfaces. Thin, 0.2-mm steel components must come into shear contact with each other, resulting in slip, wear, and heat. The components are lubricated to reduce friction. Any proposed solution must have...

Tech Needs
Improved Efficiency of Jet Engines

By minimizing the distance between the rotating vanes of a turbine and the static case structure housing the rotating blades, a client seeks to improve the efficiency of jet engines. Eliminating system leakage is essential to providing the most amount of energy for the lowest cost. The compressor fans of a...

NASA Tech Needs
Aeronautics Test Program

NASA Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) is one of four NASA centers that supports NASA’s Aeronautics Test Program (ATP). The ATP ensures the long-term availability and health of NASA’s major wind tunnels,...

It’s that time of year when we ask NASA Tech Briefs readers to vote for the annual Readers’ Choice Product of the Year Awards.

Dr. Robert Okojie, Research Electronics Engineer at the NASA Glenn Research Center, develops harsh-environment microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)....

Podcasts
Dr. Robert Okojie, Research Electronics Engineer, NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland OH

Dr. Robert Okojie, Research Electronics Engineer at the NASA Glenn Research Center, develops harsh-environment microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). Okojie currently processes, fabricates, tests, and packages silicon carbide pressure sensors,...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
SNE Industrial Fieldbus Interface

Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) have very limited diagnostic and no prognostic capabilities, while current smart sensor designs do not have the capability to communicate over Fieldbus networks. The aim is to interface smart sensors with PLCs so that health and status information, such as failure mode...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Cryogenic 160-GHz MMIC Heterodyne Receiver Module

A cryogenic 160-GHz MMIC heterodyne receiver module has demonstrated a system noise temperature of 100 K or less at 166 GHz. This module builds upon work previously described in “Development of a 150-GHz MMIC Module Prototype for Large-Scale CMB Radiation” (NPO-47664), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol....

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Onboard Interferometric SAR Processor for the Ka-band Radar Interferometer (KaRIn)

An interferometric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) onboard processor concept and algorithm has been developed for the Ka-band radar interferometer (KaRIn) instrument on the Surface and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission. This is a mission-critical subsystem that will...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
XMOS XC-2 Development Board for Mechanical Control and Data Collection

The scanning microwave limb sounder (SMLS) will use technological improvements in low-noise mixers to provide precise data on the Earth’s atmospheric composition with high spatial resolution. This project focuses on the design and implementation of a real-time control...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Composite Thermal Switch

Lithium primary and lithium ion secondary batteries provide high specific energy and energy density. The use of these batteries also helps to reduce launch weight. Both primary and secondary cells can be packaged as highrate cells, which can present a threat to crew and equipment in the event of external or internal...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Ka-Band, Multi- Gigabit-Per-Second Transceiver

A document discusses a multi-Gigabitper- second, Ka-band transceiver with a software-defined modem (SDM) capable of digitally encoding/decoding data and compensating for linear and nonlinear distortions in the end-to-end system, including the traveling-wave tube amplifier (TWTA). This innovation can...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Receiver Gain Modulation Circuit

A receiver gain modulation circuit (RGMC) was developed that modulates the power gain of the output of a radiometer receiver with a test signal. As the radiometer receiver switches between calibration noise references, the test signal is mixed with the calibrated noise and thus produces an ensemble set of...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
All-Solid-State 2.45-to-2.78-THz Source

Sources in the THz range are required in order for NASA to implement heterodyne instruments in this frequency range. The source that has been demonstrated here will be used for an instrument on the SOFIA platform as well as for upcoming astrophysics missions. There are currently no electronic sources in...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
CoNNeCT Baseband Processor Module

A document describes the CoNNeCT Baseband Processor Module (BPM) based on an updated processor, memory technology, and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). The BPM was developed from a requirement to provide sufficient computing power and memory storage to conduct experiments for a Software Defined Radio...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Digital Interface Board to Control Phase and Amplitude of Four Channels

An increasing number of parts are designed with digital control interfaces, including phase shifters and variable attenuators. When designing an antenna array in which each antenna has independent amplitude and phase control, the number of digital control lines that must be...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
NEXUS Scalable and Distributed Next-Generation Avionics Bus for Space Missions

A paper discusses NEXUS, a common, next-generation avionics interconnect that is transparently compatible with wired, fiber-optic, and RF physical layers; provides a flexible, scalable, packet switched topology; is fault-tolerant with submicrosecond detection/recovery...

Briefs: Software
Space Environments Testbed

The Space Environments Testbed (SET) is a flight controller data system for the Common Carrier Assembly. The SET-1 flight software provides the command, telemetry, and experiment control to ground operators for the...

Briefs: Software
Ndarts

Ndarts software provides algorithms for computing quantities associated with the dynamics of articulated, rigid-link, multibody systems. It is designed as a general- purpose dynamics library that can be used for the modeling of robotic platforms, space vehicles, molecular dynamics, and other such applications. The architecture and...

Briefs: Software
High-Performance 3D Articulated Robot Display

In the domain of telerobotic operations, the primary challenge facing the operator is to understand the state of the robotic platform. One key aspect of understanding the state is to visualize the physical location and configuration of the platform. As there is a wide variety of mobile robots, the...

Briefs: Software
'In Situ' Surface Characterization

Operation of in situ space assets, such as rovers and landers, requires operators to acquire a thorough understanding of the environment surrounding the spacecraft. The following programs help with that understanding by providing higherlevel information characterizing the surface, which is not immediately...

Briefs: Software
Athena

The Athena simulation software supports an analyst from DoD or other federal agency in making stability and reconstruction projections for operational analyses in areas like Iraq or Afghanistan. It encompasses the use of all elements of national power: diplomatic, information, military, and economic (DIME), and anticipates their effects...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Cryo-Etched Black Silicon for Use as Optical Black

Stray light reflected from the surface of imaging spectrometer components — in particular, the spectrometer slit — degrade the image quality. A technique has been developed for rapid, uniform, and cost-effective black silicon formation based on inductively coupled plasma (ICP) etching at...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Correcting Thermal Deformations in an Active Composite Reflector

Large, high-precision composite reflectors for future space missions are costly to manufacture, and heavy. An active composite reflector capable of adjusting shape in situ to maintain required tolerances can be lighter and cheaper to manufacture.

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Advanced CO₂ Removal and Reduction System

An advanced system for removing CO2 and H2O from cabin air, reducing the CO2, and returning the resulting O2 to the air is less massive than is a prior system that includes two assemblies — one for removal and one for reduction. Also, in this system, unlike...

In a world where oil production is declining, and where both nuclear energy plant and spent-fuel storage safety have proven to be inadequate, there is increased pressure on solar power generation to...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Umbilical Deployment Device

The landing scheme for NASA’s next-generation Mars rover will encompass a novel landing technique (see figure). The rover will be lowered from a rocket-powered descent stage and then placed onto the surface...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Graph Theory Roots of Spatial Operators for Kinematics and Dynamics

Spatial operators have been used to analyze the dynamics of robotic multibody systems and to develop novel computational dynamics algorithms. Mass matrix factorization, inversion, diagonalization, and linearization are among several new insights obtained using such operators....

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Spacesuit Soft Upper Torso Sizing Systems

The passive sizing system consists of a series of low-profile pulleys attached to the front and back of the shoulder bearings on a spacesuit soft upper torso (SUT), textile cord or stainless steel cable, and a modified commercial ratchet mechanism. The cord/cable is routed through the pulleys and...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Space Mirror Alignment System

An optical alignment mirror mechanism (AMM) has been developed with angular positioning accuracy of ±0.2 arcsec. This requires the mirror’s linear positioning actuators to have positioning resolutions of ±112 nm to enable the mirror to meet the angular tip/tilt accuracy requirement. Demonstrated capabilities are...

A unit thermionic power cell (TPC) concept has been developed that converts natural heat found in high-temperature environments (460 to 700 ºC) into electrical power...

Briefs: Medical
Radiation Protection Using Single-Wall Carbon Nanotube Derivatives

This invention is a means of radiation protection, or cellular oxidative stress mitigation, via a sequence of quenching radical species using nano-engineered scaffolds, specifically single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and their derivatives. The material can be used as a means of...

Briefs: Medical
PMA-PhyloChip DNA Microarray To Elucidate Viable Microbial Community Structure

Since the Viking missions in the mid- 1970s, traditional culture-based methods have been used for microbial enumeration by various NASA programs. Viable microbes are of particular concern for spacecraft cleanliness, for forward contamination of extraterrestrial bodies...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Lidar Luminance Quantizer

This innovation addresses challenges in lidar imaging, particularly with the detection scheme and the shapes of the detected signals. Ideally, the echoed pulse widths should be extremely narrow to resolve fine...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Distributed Capacitive Sensor for Sample Mass Measurement

Previous robotic sample return missions lacked in situ sample verification/quantity measurement instruments. Therefore, the outcome of the mission remained unclear until spacecraft return. In situ sample verification systems such as this Distributed Capacitive (DisC) sensor would enable...

Briefs: Information Technology
Framework for Integrating Science Data Processing Algorithms Into Process Control Systems

A software framework called PCS Task Wrapper is responsible for standardizing the setup, process initiation, execution, and file management tasks surrounding the execution of science data algorithms, which are referred to by NASA as Product Generation...

Briefs: Information Technology
Base Flow Model Validation

A method was developed of obtaining propulsive base flow data in both hot and cold jet environments, at Mach numbers and altitude of relevance to NASA launcher designs. The base flow data was used to perform computational fluid dynamics (CFD) turbulence model assessments of base flow predictive capabilities in order to...

Briefs: Information Technology
Time Synchronization and Distribution Mechanisms for Space Networks

This work discusses research on the problems of synchronizing and distributing time information between spacecraft based on the Network Time Protocol (NTP), where NTP is a standard time synchronization protocol widely used in the terrestrial network. The Proximity-1 Space Link...

Briefs: Information Technology
Minimum Landing Error Powered- Descent Guidance for Planetary Missions

An algorithm improves the accuracy with which a lander can be delivered to the surface of Mars. The main idea behind this innovation is the use of a “lossless convexification,” which converts an otherwise non-convex constraint related to thruster throttling to a convex...

Briefs: Information Technology
Local Estimators for Spacecraft Formation Flying

A formation estimation architecture for formation flying builds upon the local information exchange among multiple local estimators. Spacecraft formation flying involves the coordination of states among multiple spacecraft through relative sensing, inter-spacecraft communication, and control. Most...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Reflective Occultation Mask for Evaluation of Occulter Designs for Planet Finding

Advanced formation flying occulter designs utilize a large occulter mask flying in formation with an imaging telescope to block and null starlight to allow imaging of faint planets in exosolar systems. A paper describes the utilization of subscale reflective...

Briefs: Materials
Molecular Adsorber Coating

A document discusses a zeolite-based sprayable molecular adsorber coating that has been developed to alleviate the size and weight issues of current ceramic puck-based technology, while providing a configuration that more projects can use to protect against degradation from outgassed materials within a spacecraft,...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Software-Defined Radio for Space-to-Space Communications

A paper describes the Space- to-Space Communications System (SSCS) Software-Defined Radio (SDR) research project to determine the most appropriate method for creating flexible and reconfigurable radios to implement wireless communications channels for space vehicles so that fewer radios...

News
Computer Modeling Improves Coast Guard Search-And-Rescue Plan

Purdue University has developed a system to analyze the historic response of U.S. Coast Guard search-and-rescue operations in the Great Lakes and assess the potential risks associated with hypothetical changes in the allocation of resources in the region.

The agency is required to...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Vote for Product of the Year

Voting is officially open for the 2011 NASA Tech Briefs Readers’ Choice Product of the Year awards. You can cast your vote for one of 12 nominees featured this year as Products of the Month.

In order to lower energy costs, more and more homeowners are investing in insulation facades. But the typical insulation layers on the market have one drawback: they add bulk. The thick...

News
Scientists Use Transition Edge Sensor To Count Photons

Scientists have demonstrated that a superconducting detector called a transition edge sensor (TES) is capable of counting the number of as many as 1,000 photons in a single pulse of light with an accuracy limited mainly by the quantum noise of the laser source. The findings, which are being...

News
Researchers Create Record-Breaking Solar Cell

The most efficient colloidal-quantum-dot solar cell ever created will be described in a scientific paper to be published in a print edition of the journal Nature Materials by a team of scientists that includes John Asbury, assistant professor of chemistry at Penn State University. Other members of...

News
Gallium Nitride Nanowires Improve Light Production

The gallium nitride nanowires grown by NIST Physical Measurement Laboratory scientists measure only a few tenths of a micrometer in diameter, but they promise a very wide range of applications, from new light-emitting diodes and diode lasers to ultra-small resonators, chemical sensors, and...

News
Researchers Develop Crystalline-Nanoparticle Electrode

Stanford researchers have developed a new battery electrode that employs crystalline nanoparticles of a copper compound.

In laboratory tests, the electrode survived 40,000 cycles of charging and discharging, after which it could still be charged to more than 80 percent of its original...

Products
Digital Cameras

Point Grey (Richmond, BC, Canada) has announced the addition of new VGA and XGA models to its Flea3 GigE Vision digital cameras series. The new models are based on color and monochrome versions of the industry's most popular...

Products
Green Laser

Power Technology (Little Rock, AR) has announced the availability of PNF Series green wavelength spectrum lasers suitable for surgical and X-ray alignment applications on dark or pigmented skin. Green lasers are much more visible...

Opto Diode (Newbury Park, CA) now offers the IRD SXUV 100 Ultraviolet/Extreme Ultraviolet (UV/EUV) Photodiodes. The advanced photon detectors feature very high radiation hardness and are designed for long-lifetime...

Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA) has introduced the 1830-R Optical Power Meter. A newly designed optical meter, the 1830-R provides a ‘drop-in’ replacement for Newport’s legacy 1830-C Power Meter, which has been...

Question of the Week
Are geo-engineering efforts a promising way to address climate change?

This week's Question: A report released last week in London and addressed at the U.N. climate conference in South Africa said that reflecting a small amount of sunlight back into space before it strikes the Earth's surface would theoretically have an immediate effect on the...

Researchers at the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have released a technical report that documents a series of test procedures...

News: Green Design & Manufacturing
Voltage Increases Observed in Closely Packed Nanowires

Unexpected voltage increases of up to 25 percent in two barely separated nanowires have been observed at Sandia National Laboratories. Designers of next-generation devices using...

News
Stretching Electrical Conductance to the Limit

Arizona State University researchers have devised a method for mechanically controlling the geometry of a single molecule, situated in a junction between a pair of gold electrodes that form a simple circuit. These manipulations produced over ten times greater conductivity. This development may...

News
3D Transistors Offer Promising Future for Chips, Lighter Laptops

Move aside, flat computer chips of the past — researchers from Purdue and Harvard universities have developed a new type of transistor made from a material that could replace silicon and offer a 3D structure. This development could enable engineers to build faster, more compact,...

News
Alloy Exhibits 'Magnetostriction' Effects

Led by a group at the University of Maryland (UMd), a multi-institution team of researchers has combined modern materials research and an age-old metallurgy technique to produce an alloy that could be the basis for a new class of sensors and micromechanical devices controlled by magnetism.

The...

News
Advanced Material Offers Stronger Piezoelectric Response

By integrating a complex, single-crystal material with piezoelectric properties onto silicon, University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers and physicists can fabricate low-voltage, near-nanoscale electromechanical devices that could lead to improvements in high-resolution 3-D imaging, signal...

News
Breakthrough Improves Software Reliability and Security

Anyone who uses multithreaded computer programs —the programs that power nearly all software applications including Office, Windows, MacOS, and Google Chrome Browser, and Web services like Google Search, Microsoft Bing, and iCloud — knows the frustration of computer crashes, bugs, and...

News
New Algorithm Could Substantially Speed Up MRI Scans

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) devices can scan the inside of the body in intricate detail, but they can be a long and uncomfortable experience for patients. Now this scan time could be cut to just 15 minutes, thanks to an algorithm developed at MIT’s Research Laboratory of...

News
System Detects Insider Threats from Massive Data Sets

When a soldier in good mental health becomes homicidal or a government employee abuses access privileges to share classified information, we often wonder why no one saw it coming. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are collaborating with scientists from four other...

Products: Lighting
Triple Step-Down LED Driver

The LT3597 from Linear Technology ((Milpitas, CA) is a 60-V triple step-down LED driver capable of achieving 10,000:1 digital PWM dimming at 100 Hz with fast NPN current sources driving up to 10 LEDs in...

News
Cloak Hides Underwater Objects from Sonar

University of Illinois researchers have demonstrated an acoustic cloak, a technology that renders underwater objects invisible to sonar and other ultrasound waves.

The cloak is made of metamaterial, a class of artificial materials that have enhanced properties as a result of their carefully engineered...

News
Laser System Ignites Engines

For more than 150 years, spark plugs have powered internal combustion engines. Automakers are now one step closer to being able to replace this long-standing technology with laser igniters, which will enable cleaner, more efficient, and more economical vehicles.

Equally significant, the new laser system is made...

News
Hubble Telescope Finds Distant Galaxy

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has found what astronomers believe to be the most distant object ever seen in the universe, 13.2 billion light
years away. This places the object roughly 150 million light years more distant than the previous record holder.

The dim object is a compact galaxy made of blue...

News
Ambient Electromagnetic Energy Drives Electronic Devices

Researchers have discovered a way to capture and harness energy transmitted by such sources as radio and television transmitters, cell phone networks, and satellite communications systems. By scavenging ambient energy from the air, a new device could power networks of wireless sensors,...

News: Electronics & Computers
Low-Power Quantum Computers

By 2017, quantum physics will help reduce the energy consumption of computers and cellular phones by up to a factor of 100. For research and industry, the power consumption of transistors is a key issue. The next...

A miniature turbine measuring just 10 inches high is helping a research team led by Hui Hu - an Iowa State University associate professor of aerospace engineering - understand...

The dual output AHW series of DC/DC converters from Calex Mfg. Co., Inc. (Concord, CA) feature a continuous input range of 9VDC to 75VDC. The AHW is isolated input to output and provides a regulated +/-5, +/-12, and +/-15VDC...

Linear Technology Corporation (Milpitas, CA) offers the LT3798, an isolated flyback controller with single stage active power factor correction (PFC). A power factor of greater than 0.97 is...

A Step-Down Converter austriamicrosystems (Unterpremstaetten, Austria) has released the AS1328 high-efficiency 1.5 MHz synchronous DC-DC step-down converter. This buck regulator features efficiencies up to 96%, excellent...

Question of the Week
Will a wider integration of robotic drone aircraft do more harm than good?

This week's Question: In January, the Federal Aviation Administration plans to outline new rules for the use of small drones, a first step in allowing police departments, farmers, and other agencies to employ the technology. The drones could be used for air support to...

Blog
US Army Corps of Engineers Deploys Complex Math

Today, we're pleased to have a guest blog from Lindsey Christensen, Marketing Project Manager at PTC, which delivers Product Lifecycle Management and design software solutions.

Most people don’t think about the complexity behind the electricity that’s supplied to their home or work. We...

Organic light-emitting diode (OLED)-based displays are used in cell phones, digital cameras, and other portable devices. But developing a lower-cost method for mass-producing...

A research team funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research has pioneered the use of micro-plasmas in a revolutionary approach to illumination, and doctors Gary Eden and...

News
Graphite-Based Material is 10X Stronger Than Steel

Scientists at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) developed a composite material based on graphite that is as thin as paper and 10 times stronger than steel. This material has the potential to revolutionize the automotive, aviation, electrical, and optical industries.

Graphite paper is a...

News: Energy
New Battery Design Could Give Electric Vehicles a Jolt

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed a lightweight, inexpensive alternative to existing batteries for electric vehicles and the power grid. The new battery relies on an architecture called a semi-solid flow cell, in which solid particles are suspended in a...

News
Biosensor Tracks Marine Pollutants Economically, Rapidly

A new antibody-based biosensor developed by researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science processes samples in less than 10 minutes and detects pollutants at levels as low as just a few parts per billion, at the cost of pennies per sample. The device is small and sturdy enough to...

News: Semiconductors & ICs
Battery-Less Chemical Detector Utilizes Semiconductor Nanowires

Lawrence Livermore researchers have developed a nanosensor that relies on semiconductor nanowires rather than traditional batteries as a power source. The device overcomes the power requirement of traditional sensors and is simple, highly sensitive, and can detect various molecules...

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Engineers Fly the World's First 'Printed' Aircraft

Engineers at the University of Southampton have designed and flown the world's first "printed" aircraft, which could revolutionize the economics of aircraft design. The wings, integral control surfaces, and access hatches of the unmanned air vehicle (UAV) were printed on an EOS EOSINT P730 nylon...

Imec, Polyera, and Solvay have achieved a new world-record efficiency of 8.3% for polymer-based single junction organic solar cells in an inverted device stack. These performance results...

Water splitting in photo-electrochemical cells to yield hydrogen is a promising way to sustainable fuels. A team of Swiss and U.S. scientists have now made major progress in...

News: Electronics & Computers
Self-Healing Electronics Could Reduce Waste

When one circuit within an integrated chip cracks or fails, the whole chip – or even the whole device – is a loss. University of Illinois engineers have now developed a self-healing system that restores electrical conductivity to a cracked circuit in less time than it takes to blink.

University of Illinois researchers have developed a method to chemically etch patterned arrays in the semiconductor gallium arsenide - used in solar cells, lasers, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), field...

Application Briefs: Lighting
Industrial LED Hall Lighting
Jenoptik, Jena, Germany
LEiDS, Backnang-Waldrems, Germany

The Lucid power high-bay light-emitting diode (LED) system from Jenoptik and LEiDS was developed for use in high halls and buildings. The hall and...

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