December 2016

Products: Software
Modeling and Analysis Software

COMSOL (Burlington, MA) announced updates to COMSOL Multiphysics® modeling and simulation software that include a Rotordynamics Module. The module is designed to help engineers analyze vibrations due to...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Foundry Robot

ABB Robotics (Auburn Hills, MI) introduced the IRB 1200 Foundry Plus 2 robot for material handling and machine tending. The compact foundry robot features the company’s optional protection system so it resists corrosion and...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Robot Programming Software

With the RISE interactive graphical interface from Hypertherm (Hanover, NH), users control the Robotmaster V6 programming software from within a robot simulation environment. Users can modify a robot’s positions...

Products: Motion Control
Digital Piezo Controller

PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P. (Auburn, MA) announced a 4-channel version of the E- 727 digital piezo controller that is designed for multi-axis nanopositioning applications. The controller features a choice of...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Motor

The LinX® linear motor from Anca Motion USA (Wixom, MI) delivers a continuous force from 333 N to 665 N, and peak force from 2136 N to 4272 N. It features a cylindrical design with a thermal barrier that helps separate and...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Automatic Multi-Pallet Changer

Midaco Corp. (Elk Grove Village, IL) offers an automatic multi-pallet changer for 5-axis and standard vertical machining centers (VMCs). It can load and unload 19 aluminum pallets, one at a time, on any new or...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Vertical Lift Module

Modula OnePick from Modula (Lewiston, ME) combines the company’s vertical lift technology with an automated system for picking or replenishing a single product directly from the bay. Using a secure delivery interface...

Products: Motion Control
Automation System

Liebherr (Saline, MI) introduced the Rotary Loading System (RLS) for entry into high-efficiency production with one or two machining centers. The compact automation system is designed for workpiece weights of up to 800 kg...

Products: Motion Control
Reversible Hard Jaws

Reversible hard jaws from Dillon Manufacturing (Springfield, OH) are suitable for ID and OD workholding. The jaws are designed to hold a specific range of part sizes and are usually used for first operation workholding....

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Cable Retraction System

The triflex® RSE pullback system from igus (East Providence, RI) uses a simple linear retraction without bends, fiber rods, or rollers. The system consists of a drylin® linear guide with carriage, elastic cord for...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Collaborative Robot

Kawasaki Robotics (Wixom, MI) introduced the duAro collaborative robot. The dual-arm, horizontal articulated robot can safely collaborate with humans in work operations due to its low-power motors, soft body, speed, and...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Auto Crash Sensor

Meggitt Sensing Systems (Irvine, CA) introduced the Endevco model 7264H optimally gas-damped accelerometer for automotive safety testing. The sensor is small in size and mass, and eliminates irrelevant frequency content...

Products: Transportation
Air Compressor

Gardner Denver Thomas (Sheboygan, WI) offers the 2380 series twin WOB-L® piston oil-less air compressor designed for pressure/vacuum and high flow. It provides 100 psi (6.9 bar) maximum pressure with open flow of 2.3 cfm (65...

Products: Motion Control
Rotational Speed Sensors

RHEINTACHO Messtechnik GmbH (Freiburg, Germany) introduced the FQ series of plastic sensors for detecting rotational speed and direction. The sensors feature an IP69K protection class rating, which means they can...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Collaborative Robot

Rethink Robotics (Boston, MA) introduced Sawyer, a smart collaborative robot designed to execute machine tending, circuit board testing, and other precise tasks. The robot modifies its behavior to respond to changing and...

Products: Motion Control
Manufacturing Connectivity

Sandvik Coromant (Fair Lawn, NJ) introduced the CoroPlus™ platform for connecting manufacturing tools and software. The platform gives users access to product and application data through connected software and...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Part Positioners

Yaskawa Motoman (Dayton, OH) expanded its line of RM2 ferris wheel-style robotic part positioners. The positioners have two servo-driven trunnion/station axes on opposite sides of a central “sweep” axis. One station is...

Products: Electronics & Computers
Optical Encoders

MICROMO (Clearwater, FL) announced the FAULHABER high-precision IER3 and IERS3 optical encoders. Both encoders deliver two-channel quadrature signals and an additional index signal. They can position a FAULHABER micro DC...

ANSYS AIM 17.2 simulation software from ANSYS, Pittsburgh, PA, features combined fluid thermal and solid thermal-stress capabilities. Momentum and heat sources are available for fluid and conjugate heat...

Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Pressure Transducers

Mouser Electronics, Mansfield, TX, offers TE Connectivity’s MEAS Microfused M5600 and UltraStable U5600 wireless pressure transducers. The 24-bit, analog-to-digital converter (ADC), pressure and temperature sensors...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Carbon Nanofibers Synthesized on Selective Substrates for Nonvolatile Memory and 3D Electronics Applications

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has developed a nano-electro-mechanical resonator (NEMR) based on vertically aligned carbon nanofibers (CNFs) that is suitable for applications requiring high sensitivity, broad tenability, low loss...

NASA’s Langley Research Center offers an all-organic electroactive device system fabricated with single-wall...

NASA technologists have developed a novel, superconducting transition edge sensor (TES). Such TES devices are thermometers that are widely used for...

NASA’s Glenn Research Center has developed nanoionic-based radio frequency (RF) switches for use in devices that rely on low-power RF transmissions, such as automotive systems, RFID...

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a method of using x-ray diffraction (XRD) to detect defects in cubic semiconductor...

Researchers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center have developed software-defined radio (SDR) telemetry transceiver technology to collect and transmit data to and from small...

Briefs: Aerospace
Miles-In-Trail with Passback Restrictions for Use in Air Traffic Management

NASA has developed a unique innovation to compute passed back spacing requirements in air traffic management. The air traffic managers of the National Airspace System (NAS) in the United States regularly implement various Traffic Management Initiatives (TMI) to handle...

A new engine concept from NASA’s Glenn Research Center allows for truly distributed propulsion. The concept enables airframe and system modularity...

Briefs: Aerospace
Improved Ground Collision Avoidance System (iGCAS)

Researchers at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center have dramatically improved upon existing ground collision avoidance technology for aircraft. NASA’s system leverages leading-edge fighter safety technology, adapting it to civil aviation use as an advanced warning system. It offers...

The AeroPod, developed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Flight Facility, is a passive device that uses aerodynamic forces to stabilize an instrument package suspended from a kite...

Briefs: Aerospace
Energy-Absorbing Beam Member

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a novel design for a lightweight energy absorbing (EA) composite subfloor structure. The technology’s primary application is to increase occupant survivability in...

NASA’s Langley Research Center researchers have developed a novel noise reduction system for jet engines. Aircraft jet engine noise is a major issue for airports, the...

Briefs: Aerospace
Improvements to the Functional Beamforming Formula

The purpose of this work is to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of acoustic measurements made in a wind tunnel with a microphone phased array. The functional beamforming method is improved to compensate for effects of acoustic propagation through turbulence, and to correct for inaccurate...

Briefs: Materials
Aerofoam

Aerofoam is a unique foam composite insulation with improved thermal and acoustic insulation properties. The novelty of this invention comes from combining a polymer foam with a unique inorganic filler in a way that maximizes...

Briefs: Materials
Composite Pressure Vessel Including Crack Arresting Barrier

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center innovators have developed several new designs and methods of fabrication for composite and composite-overwrapped tank vessels that help significantly improve their structural integrity against impact, abrasion, harsh environments, and fire. Several...

Sometimes referred to as “solid smoke,” aerogels are the world’s lightest solid materials, composed of approximately 85% air by volume. Polyamide aerogels open up a whole new world of...

Briefs: Materials
Advanced Multilayer Environmental Barrier Coatings

Innovators at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have created exciting new developments in thermal barrier coatings, both in the chemical compositions of the coatings and in the process by which they are applied. NASA’s researchers have developed a revolutionary bond coat system that improves the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Magnetic Relief Valve
A magnetically retained pressure-relief valve enables quick-open on/off operation when overpressure is reached.

Inventors at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center have developed a magnetically retained, fast-response...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Work Piece Cleaning Apparatus and Method with Pulsating Mixture of Liquid and Gas

NASA Goddard’s scientists have developed a novel, volatile organic compound (VOC)-free system for cleaning tubing and piping that significantly reduces cost and carbon consumption. The innovative technology enables the use of deionized water in place of costlier...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Safety Drain System for Fluid Reservoir

Researchers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center have developed a system that reduces the entrapment risks associated with a pool or spa’s recirculation drain. The technology prevents hazards caused by suction forces on the body, hair, clothing, or other articles. Employing a novel configuration of...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Locking Mechanism for a Flexible Composite Hinge

Composites have excellent strength characteristics, are lightweight, and are increasingly being used in space applications. However, they are highly inflexible and require hinged joints when...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Temperature-Compensating PMT Housing

Shrinking or contracting light guides is a problem when photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) are glued to the guides. If there is no way to allow movement of the PMTs, when the temperature goes down, the light guide contracts and breaks the glue joint. The PMTs cannot be left loose to rattle around inside the...

Briefs: Information Technology
Lunar Thin Section Particle Identification and Analysis Algorithm

Particle shape is a very important property in many fields of research, and with many practical, diverse, and commercially important applications including pharmaceuticals, civil engineering, metallurgy, health, and food processing. Many of the methods used to evaluate the shapes...

Briefs: Information Technology
Libibvpp

Libibvpp provides a C++ wrapper API to the libibverbs library. Libibverbs is the OpenIB library that provides the Verbs API for programming Infiniband hardware. It is written in C and provides a C API. Because the API is in C, it is up to the library user to do explicit resource management for the objects created through the API.

Briefs: Software
Analytical Methodology to Predict the Radiometric Emissivity of a Parabolic Mesh Reflector

The demands for high-sensitivity and high-resolution radiometry have recently led the science community to examine the use of large deployable mesh reflectors, which have heretofore only been used in telecommunications applications.

Briefs: Software
Detection and Characterization of Recurring Slope Lineae

Recurring Slope Lineae (RSL) are low-albedo features that appear and disappear seasonally on Martian slopes. They provide distinct surface markers that are thought to result from the activity of subsurface water. Reliable characterizations of RSL activity are needed to test this...

Briefs: Information Technology
Streams: A Hyper-Responsive Telemetry Interaction Tool on the Web

JPL Operations Engineers (Operators) need to interact with their telemetry to assess the health of and successfully operate a spacecraft or rover. Operators must analyze the immediate data for health and understand the current state of these complex systems, but they also must be...

Briefs: Software
Auto-Coding Flight Software Hybrid Controllers Synthesized from Formal Specifications

The technique of synthesizing state-machine-based hybrid controller flight software (FSW) from formal specifications is demonstrated utilizing two simple controller examples (i.e. a simple thermostat and a simple autonomous vehicle). Formal requirements for...

Briefs: Information Technology
Active Learning System for iPTF Candidate Classification

The Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) is a visible-spectrum astronomy survey aimed at detecting “transient” events such as supernovae. Every night, a telescope at the Palomar observatory collects images of various regions of the sky and compares them to a set of reference...

Briefs: Information Technology
Cobra: an Extendable Tool for Interactive Code Analysis

Source code analysis typically requires the use of expensive and difficult-to-configure tools that support only a predefined set of standard checks. In some cases, it is possible to add customized checks, but doing so can be laborious and requires a deep understanding of each tool’s...

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...

Simulating the SLS Sound Suppression Water System

NASA’s next-generation Space Launch System (SLS) for deep space exploration consists of four RS-25 liquid rocket engines and...

Top prizes in the 2016 Create the Future Design Contest were awarded on November 11 in New York City. The Grand Prize winner, and winners in seven categories, took home awards for...

Application Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
System Recycles and Purifies Large Volumes of Helium for SLS
Helium reclamation system
VACCO Industries
South El Monte, CA
626-443-7121
www.VACCO.com

Recyling and purifying high-flow helium allows uninterrupted...

NASA Technology

When the White House calls, NASA answers.

Advantages of Electric Linear Actuators

Reduced downtime. Electric linear actuators (whether screw- or belt-driven) are very low-maintenance. Regreasing may be the only...

MJC Engineering, a custom machine tool builder in Huntington Beach, CA, specializes in metal-spinning machines for such applications as sheet spinning, flow forming, wheel spinning,...

Articles: Aerospace
Vote for Tech Briefs 22nd Annual Readers' Choice Awards

Each December, we ask our readers to cast their vote for the annual NASA Tech Briefs’ Readers’ Choice Product of the Year Awards. Each month, our editors choose a Product of the Month that has exceptional technical merit and practical value for our design engineering readers.

Articles: Test & Measurement
High-Resolution Surface Measurement

Inspectors who are assessing the severity of defects and the dimensions of small features on precision machined surfaces are limited by the capabilities of existing measurement techniques. A new type of...

Virtually every type of public infrastructure — including bridges, pipelines, tunnels, foundations, roadways, dams, etc. — is subject to factors that can degrade it or lead to...

Articles: Test & Measurement
ECG Small Signal General and Analysis

Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is the most common way to identify various ailments, especially when the ailment is related to the heart. To perform an ECG, the medical personnel places the leads on the...

Application Briefs: Test & Measurement
Automating Roadbed Testing Before Paving

The normal road construction process involves subgrade (the existing soil) preparation followed by placement of an aggregate layer, and then the pavement surface layer (asphalt or concrete). In...

As I approach retirement after 40 years as CEO of National Instruments (NI), I am reminded of the great progress and innovations the test and measurement industry has witnessed over that time....

Question of the Week: Aerospace
Will we be a “multi-planetary” species?

This week's Question: In recent years, hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested into space ventures. SpaceX, an advanced spacecraft manufacturer founded by Elon Musk, has completed more than 30 successful launches since 2006, delivered cargo to the International Space Station, and secured...

INSIDER: Software
Machine-Learning System Recognizes Sounds from Video

A machine learning system from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recognizes sounds by watching video. The neural network interprets natural sounds in terms of image categories, without hand-annotated training data.

A new, ultrathin film that is both transparent and highly conductive to electric current has been produced by a cheap and simple method devised by an...

Computer chips in development at the University of Wisconsin–Madison could make future computers more efficient and powerful by combining tasks usually kept separate...

For wireless communication, we’re all stuck on the same traffic-clogged highway — it’s a section of the electromagnetic spectrum known as radio waves. Advancements have made...

INSIDER Product: Electronics & Computers
32-Bit MCUs

Mouser Electronics, Inc. (Mansfield, TX) is now stocking the MSP432 mixed-signal microcontrollers from Texas Instruments (TI). TI’s MSP432 microcontrollers are based on a powerful, 32-bit ARM® Cortex®‑M4F core with a...

INSIDER Product: Electronics & Computers
MP3 Audio DSP Microcontroller

VLSI Solution (Tampere, Finland) has introduced the VS1010 MP3 Audio DSP Microcontroller, a highly integrated all-in-one MP3 player system-on-a-chip. VS1010's I/O system includes support for Hi-speed USB (both...

INSIDER Product: Electronics & Computers
Edge-Connect SBC

ADL Embedded Solutions Inc. (San Diego, CA) has announced its compact ADLE3800SEC SBC with Edge-Connect. This ultra-compact 75mm x 75mm form factor is a full-featured, standalone SBC for rugged, embedded applications. The...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics
Ferrule Cleaner

Fiber Optic Center, Inc., (FOC) (New Bedford, MA) has announced the addition of the US Conec IBC™ Brand Ferrule Cleaner MTP-16™ and IBC™ Brand Ferrule Cleaner PRIZM® MT / MXC to their cable assembly lines options....

Next-generation solar cells made of super-thin films of semiconducting material hold promise because they’re relatively inexpensive and flexible enough to be applied just about...

Technion researchers have demonstrated, for the first time, that laser emissions can be created through the interaction of light and water waves. This “water-wave laser” could someday...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics
Silicon Nanoantennas Turn Light Around

A team of physicists from ITMO University, MIPT, and The University of Texas at Austin have developed an unconventional nanoantenna that scatters light in a particular direction depending on the...

INSIDER Product: Imaging
CoaXPress Frame Grabber

Responding to the need to create a cost-effective, high-speed interface to fully leverage CXP cameras, BitFlow (Woburn, MA) has introduced the Aon-CXP single link CoaXPress frame grabber. The Aon is powerful enough...

INSIDER Product: Test & Measurement
Diffuse Reflectance Probe

The Ocean Optics (Dunedin, FL) Diffuse Reflectance Probe (DR-Probe) measures 45° diffuse reflectance, enhancing UV-Vis and NIR spectroscopy results. The DR-Probe integrates a light source and collection optics...

INSIDER Product: Imaging
Laser-Driven Light Source

Energetiq Technology (Woburn, MA) has introduced its 5th generation, ultra-bright, Laser-Driven Light Source (LDLS™), the EQ-77. The EQ-77 offers higher radiance and irradiance from a truly broadband white light...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
System Harvests Energy from Automotive Shock Absorbers

Boosting the fuel efficiency of motor vehicles by “harvesting” the energy generated by their shock absorbers and feeding it back into batteries or electrical systems such as air...

Question of the Week: Electronics & Computers
Is nine hours a day too much "screen time?"

This week's Question: A recent study from Common Sense Media found that parents spend more than nine hours (9:22) a day with screen media, with the vast majority of that time being spent with personal screen media (7:43) and only a little more than 90 minutes devoted to work screen media. Most parents...

Inspecting the condition of dikes and other sea defense structures is typically a task for robots, working in a team and in a highly autonomous way. But if they move around across the dikes,...

A robotic capture module system prototype was built to help NASA engineers understand the operations required to collect a multi-ton boulder from an asteroid’s surface. The hardware...

While abundant in nature, cellulose is difficult and expensive to find in pure or high-quality form. A Swedish research team has developed an efficient, accurate, and...

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new strategy for fabricating more efficient plastic solar cells. The work has implications for...

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