February 2008

The use of variable-frequency drives (VFDs) to control AC motors has increased dramatically in recent years. In addition to low operating cost and high performance, they save energy....

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Getting on the Right Motion Bus

As modern machines have become more advanced, the complexity involved in motion control has escalated. Today, servos have replaced cams and gears on machines and multiple axis of synchronized motion control...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Integrated Motor Control Meets Aviation Needs

The trend in aircraft design is toward more efficient brushless DC motors. A integrated motor drive module for brushless DC motors from International Rectifier (El Segundo, CA) reduces the effort...

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Custom inserts solve reel torque problems

As a leading supplier of fishing equipment and accessories, Penn Fishing Tackle Manufacturing Co. provides customers with high-quality, competitively priced, cutting edge products that meet the highest possible industry standards.

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Configurable Components Ease Sourcing For Machine Company

ABCO Automation, Greensboro, NC, has consistently decreased costs and increased profits by looking for new ways to source custom components used in machine builds.

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Motor Control Chip

The Magellan programmable motion processor chip from Performance Motion Devices (Lincoln, MA) controls any combination of DC brush, brushless DC, microstepping, or pulse and direction motors. Each controlled axis supports...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Piezoelectric Stage

The P-737 PiFOC Piezo-Z stage from Physik Instrumente L.P. (Auburn, MA) uses deconvolution and 3D imaging techniques. It provides up to 250 micrometers of travel, millisecond response, and nanometer precision motion under...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Seal

American High Performance Seals (Pittsburgh, PA) has announced its Rotaflon rotary seal which minimizes shaft damage and reduces power consumption. The seal accommodates changing operating conditions, low breakout force, and...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Stepper Drive

Applied Motion Products’ (Watsonville, CA) ST10-Si stepper drive delivers 24 to 80 Vdc with peak outputs to 10 A. The drive is protected against overvoltage, undervoltage, overtemperatures, and external output shorts. Upon...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Wire Thread Insert

The Spiralock Drive Notch wire thread insert from Spiralock Corp. (Madison Heights, MI) exhibits no tension loss after 24 hours of continuous vibration testing and no fatigue indication. The inserts are simply threaded into any STI tapped hole, with no tangs to break off, retrieve, or account for. The insert resists shock,...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Integrated Motor/Controller

The I2 integrated motor and controller from Specialty Motors (Valencia, CA) combines a brushless DC servomotor with built-in drivers, controllers, and feedback devices. Applications software provides motor...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Graphite/Cyanate Ester Face Sheets for Adaptive Optics

It has been proposed that thin face sheets of wide-aperture deformable mirrors in adaptive-optics systems be made from a composite material consisting of cyanate ester filled with graphite. This composite material appears to offer an attractive alternative to low-thermal-expansion glasses...

Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) is a new class of surgical procedures in which the operation is performed with surgical instruments inserted through small incisions in the...

Ares I First Stage Avionics Subsystem
Line-Replaceable Units
L-3 Communications, Cincinnati Electronics
Mason, OH
Application Briefs: Electronics & Computers
NASA Deploys Supercomputer to Manage, Store, and Retrieve Data
SGI InfiniteStorage Data Migration Facility
Sunnyvale, CA

NASA researchers produce vast amounts of scientific and...

DASYLab 10

Measurement Computing, Norton, MA, has released DASYLab 10 graphical programming software for test and measurement that is compatible with Microsoft's Vista® operating system. It is optimized for operation on multi-processor...

While working on designing an X-ray navigation system for NASA's next-generation Black Hole Imager, Dr. Keith Gendreau, a physicist at the Goddard Space Flight Center,...

Techs for License
All-Natural Preservative

White mustard essential oil (WMEO) is an all-natural extract from white mustard seeds that delivers broad antimicrobial efficacy against bacteria, yeast, and mold, providing a natural and effective alternative to...

In oil field tests over 18 months, Direct Current Electrical Stimulation has shown up to a 10X increase in oil production for deep, heavy oil. The predominant method for...

Tech Needs
In-Process Detection of Defects During Welding

Technology is required to enable “in-process” or real-time detection of defects during the welding process. This could be achieved by a system that can monitor any combination of accessible parameters during the weld process and then by analyzing changes, ascertain the presence of a weld defect,...

Tech Needs
New Analgesic Actives

A company is looking for the next generation in analgesics. There are several fine analgesics on the market, both by prescription and over the counter, that vary in dosage load, dosage form, molecular size, speed of effectiveness, and side effects or toxicity (if any). New actives in the realm of analgesia are sought, and...

An optoelectronic system utilizes wavelength-dependent scattering of light for measuring the density and mass flow of a two-phase fluid in a pipe. The apparatus was invented for original...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Piezoelectric Bolt Breakers and Bolt Fatigue Testers

A proposed family of devices for inducing fatigue in bolts in order to break the bolts would incorporate piezoelectric actuators into resonant fixtures as in ultrasonic/ sonic...

Briefs: Medical
Improved Measurement of B₂₂ of Macromolecules in a Flow Cell

An improved apparatus has been invented for use in determining the osmotic second virial coefficient of macromolecules in solution. In a typical intended application, the macromolecules would be, more specifically, protein molecules, and the protein solution would be pumped through...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Measurements by a Vector Network Analyzer at 325 to 508 GHz

Recent experiments were performed in which return loss and insertion loss of waveguide test assemblies in the frequency range from 325 to 508 GHz were measured by use of a swept-frequency two-port vector network analyzer (VNA) test set. The experiments were part of a continuing effort...

The figure depicts aspects of an electrochemical cell for pitting-corrosion tests of material specimens. The cell is designed to generate a region of corrosion having a pit diameter...

A continuing program of research and development is focusing on the use of controlled illumination by light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to treat mucositis and to accelerate healing of wounds....

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Error-Detecting Counters for FPGA and ASIC State Machines

Error-detecting counters have been proposed as parts of fault-tolerant finite state machines that could be implemented in field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and application-specific integrated circuits that perform sequential logic functions. The use of error-detecting counters would...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Dot-in-Well Quantum-Dot Infrared Photodetectors

Dot-in-well (DWELL) quantum-dot infrared photodetectors (QDIPs) [DWELL-QDIPs] are subjects of research as potentially superior alternatives to prior QDIPs. Heretofore, there has not existed a...

Integrated microbatteries have been proposed to satisfy an anticipated need for long-life, low-rate primary batteries, having volumes less than 1 mm3, to power electronic...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Increasing Discharge Capacities of Li-(CF)n Cells

An electrolyte additive has shown promise as a means of increasing the sustainable rates of discharge and, hence, the discharge capacities, of lithium- poly (carbon monofluoride)...

Lead and its compounds have been widely used for many years in the electronics industry. However, the global demand to reduce the use of hazardous materials has compelled...

Briefs: Software
Oxidation Behavior of Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Composites

OXIMAP is a numerical (FEA-based) solution tool capable of calculating the carbon fiber and fiber coating oxidation patterns within any arbitrarily shaped carbon silicon carbide composite structure as a function of time, temperature, and the environmental oxygen partial pressure. The...

Briefs: Software
GIDEP Batching Tool

This software provides internal, automated search mechanics of GIDEP (Government- Industry Data Exchange Program) Alert data imported from the GIDEP government Web site. The batching tool allows the import of a single parts list in tab-delimited text format into the local JPL GIDEP database. Delimiters from every part number...

Briefs: Software
Generic Spacecraft Model for Real-Time Simulation

"Generic Spacecraft" is the name of an evolving library of software that provides for simulation of a generic spacecraft that can orbit the Earth and land on the Moon (and, eventually, on Mars). This library is incorporated into the Langley Standard Realtime Simulation in C++ (LaSRS++) software...

Briefs: Software
Parallel-Processing Software for Creating Mosaic Images

A computer program implements parallel processing for nearly real-time creation of panoramic mosaics of images of terrain acquired by video cameras on an exploratory robotic vehicle (e.g., a Mars rover). Because the original images are typically acquired at various camera positions and...

Briefs: Software
Software for Verifying Image-Correlation Tie Points

A computer program enables assessment of the quality of tie points in the image-correlation processes of the software described in the immediately preceding article. Tie points are computed in mappings between corresponding pixels in the left and right images of a stereoscopic pair. The...

Briefs: Software
Flexcam Image Capture Viewing and Spot Tracking

Flexcam software was designed to allow continuous monitoring of the mechanical deformation of the telescope structure at Palomar Observatory. Flexcam allows the user to watch the motion of a star with a low-cost astronomical camera, to measure the motion of the star on the image plane, and to feed...

Combinatorial experiments have led to the discovery that a nanophase alloy of Pt, Ru, Ni, and Zr is effective as an anode catalyst material for direct methanol fuel cells. This...

Atomization of a molten mixture of BaF2 and CaF2 has been found to be superior to crushing of bulk solid BaF2- CaF2 as a means of...

Nanophase nickel- zirconium alloys have been investigated for use as electrically conductive coatings and catalyst supports in fuel cells. Heretofore, noble metals have been used because they...

A proposed method of design and fabrication of vacuum-packaged microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and of individual microelectromechanical devices involves the use of multiple...

Briefs: Information Technology
Fault-Tolerant Coding for State Machines

Two reliable fault-tolerant coding schemes have been proposed for state machines that are used in field-programmable gate arrays and application-specific integrated circuits to implement sequential...

Eye on Innovation: Electronics & Computers
How a Supercomputing Innovation Accelerated a Business
Larry Lukis
Founder and CTO
Proto Labs, Inc.
Maple Plain, MN

Proto Labs is a quick-response custom manufacturer that provides design engineers with prototypes of...

Articles: Photonics/Optics
Fiber Optic Communications Systems

Communications and, more recently telecommunications, are needs deeply engrained in human history. These needs have significantly evolved over time enabling today’s content-rich (text, music, images and...

Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Designing Converged Optical Ethernet Networks

Transport networks have witnessed two significant trends over the past half-decade or so. The first has been an explosion in the bandwidth these networks can support and the distances over which...

The figure is a simplified depiction of a proposed spectrometer optical unit that would be suitable for incorporation into a remote-sensing instrumentation system. Relative to prior spectrometer...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Graphite/Cyanate Ester Face Sheets for Adaptive Optics

It has been proposed that thin face sheets of wide-aperture deformable mirrors in adaptive-optics systems be made from a composite material consisting of cyanate ester filled with graphite. This composite material appears to offer an attractive alternative to low-thermal-expansion glasses...

Stratophase (Romsey, UK) introduces the Spectrosens sensing unit for biochemial detection of toxins, viruses, and bacteria in real-time. Based on an optical silicon micro-chip with an integral...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Machine Vision Software

EyeSpector Version 1.5 software from Vision Components GmbH (Ettlingen, Germany) is suitable for a variety of gauging, inspection, orientation, color inspection, and recognition tasks. The Eye-Spector works with...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Laser Diode Modules

Photonic Products (Hertfordshire, UK) introduces the PM-NEOLD 635nm photon laser diode modules with an integral “Near End of Life Detection” feature that alerts users when a laser diode approaches the end of its...

Pill Predictions

Researchers at the University of Washington developed a tiny camera designed to take high-quality, color pictures in confined spaces. Such a device could find warning signs of esophageal cancer, the fastest growing cancer in the United States. The scanning endoscope developed at UW consists of just a single optical fiber for...

Tech Needs of the Week

A company is seeking enhancement to an existing consumer package that saves weight, money, shipping costs, and also preserves the product. Current packaging is cylindrical. The new consumer packaging should convey the qualities of freshness, taste, novelty, and differentiation from other products. It should be able to be...

Intermediate-Mass Black Holes

A violent fate awaits a white dwarf star that wanders too close to a moderately massive black hole. According to a new study from the University of California at Santa Cruz, the black hole's gravitational pull on the white dwarf would cause tidal forces sufficient to disrupt the stellar remnant and reignite nuclear...

Techs of the Week

A method to join and seal the flow field plate to the gas diffusion layer or the coolant plate of a fuel cell structure eliminates seals and gaskets in the fuel cell assembly. This design potentially achieves considerable cost reduction and simplifies assembly. Eliminating the seal reduces the chance of stack failure due to...

Tech Needs of the Week

A company wishes to buy US patents in the following general areas:

-Digital cameras and imaging, including CCD, low-light imaging, high-speed imaging, non-visible wavelengths, motion/lighting compensation, and automatic focusing.

-Display technology, including LCD, DLP, OLED, electronic ink, flexible...

Mucosal "Boosters"

Two novel proteins have the potential to enhance the production of antibodies against a multitude of infectious agents. Terry D. Connell, professor of microbiology and immunology at the University at Buffalo New York, developed and patented the LT-IIa and LT-IIb enterotoxins and their respective mutant proteins as new mucosal...

Technology Business Briefs

Seeking Large Diverse Patent Portfolios

500+ patents and ideally addressing different markets. Networking area: DSL, Cable modem, power over ethernet, broadband, audio/video, bandwidth expansion software. Mobile: Mobile infrastructure, applications (imaging, security, commerce). Memory: Flash/solid state....

Tech Needs
Searching for Patents Related to Online Wagering & Video Games

The buyer is actively searching for patents to acquire in the online gaming and video console space.

The areas of interest are in player management and account management systems for online games portals. User interface patents and advertising/ecommerce inventions are also...

Tech Needs
Looking to Acquire Audio-Video Technology Patents and Portfolios

The buyer is actively searching for individual patents or patent portfolios related to video and audio delivery and play-back on consoles, handsets and a wide range of consumer electronics devices.

Technologies of interest include data compression, video manipulation,...

Current Attractions

Communications and telecommunications are needs that are deeply engrained in human history. These needs have significantly evolved over time, enabling today's content-rich (text, music, images and video), real-time, and multi-location exchanges through electrical, optical, or electromagnetic signals conveyed by different...

Whale Hearing

Researchers from San Diego State University and the University of California used computer models to mimic the effects of underwater noise on an unusual whale species, and discovered a new pathway for sound. Advances in Finite Element Modeling (FEM), computed tomography (CT) scanning, and computer processing have made it possible...

Portable Electronics Chip Design

Researchers at MIT and Texas Instruments have unveiled a new chip design for portable electronics that is reportedly up to ten times more energy- efficient than present technology. The design could lead to cell phones, implantable medical devices, and sensors that last far longer on a battery charge.


Techs of the Week

The use of outdoor wireless access points for services such as Internet access is gaining popularity. At the same time, there is an opportunity for municipalities to improve city lighting operational costs by using lamp management systems. A technology enables the design of a system that achieves advanced lamp management, and...

Soils and Landmine Detection

Metal detectors are the most common technique used to search for landmines, many of which reside in the tropics where intensively weathered soils have properties that can limit the performance of metal detectors. To examine the problem, geoscientists at the Leibniz Institute for Applied Geosciences and the Federal...

Tech Briefs

An electronics architecture has been developed to enable the rapid construction and testing of prototypes of robotic systems. A system employing this architecture can easily be reconfigured to satisfy various needs with respect to input, output, processing of data, sensing, actuation, and power.

Click here for more info.

Current Attractions

The DASYLab 10 graphical programming software from Measurement Computing (Norton, MA) was named NTB Product of the Month for February. Designed for test and measurement applications, the software is compatible with Microsoft Vista and can be configured as an enhanced Y/t chart, X/Y chart, or data chart recorder. It supports...

Knee Brace

Scientists at the University of Michigan have created a new energy-capturing knee brace that can generate enough electricity from walking to operate a portable GPS locator, cell phone, motorized prosthetic joint, or implanted neurotransmitter. The wearable mechanism works similarly to how regenerative braking charges a battery in...

Tech Needs of the Week

A company is looking for a seasoning, in any form, that delivers the flavor and aroma of potato. This may be accomplished in a powder or a liquid, or in an encapsulation that releases when the right sensor is encountered. The delivery mechanism is open to discussion. The solution should be cost-effective and backed up by...

Current Attractions

While working on designing an X-ray navigation system for NASA's next- generation Black Hole Imager, Dr. Keith Gendreau, a physicist at the Goddard Space Flight Center, developed the world's first X-ray communication system.

Technology Business Briefs

Inkjet Printing Patents

The company is an inkjet printer manufacturer looking to acquire patents to support consumer oriented printing operations. Patents related to next generation photo printing and other mass market consumer printing technologies would be considered. Click here for more info.

Carbon Recycling

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a strategy to capture, store and eventually recycle carbon from vehicles. Their goal is to create a sustainable transportation system that uses a liquid fuel and traps the carbon emission in the vehicle for later processing at a fueling station. The carbon would...

High-Frequency CMOS Circuit

Researchers from the University of Florida and Texas Instruments have developed a high-frequency circuit made with a common CMOS transistor. The circuit is expected to find its way into environmental monitoring equipment to detect pollution, noxious gases or bioterrorism agents. It can also be used in medical...

Techs of the Week

A far-field optical appearance meter captures hemispherical light distributions. Appearance is recognized as a property that determines an important part of the human interface. The usual way to assess the overall appearance is by a trained person examining the surface visually under standard illumination. It is literally in...

Detecting Toxic Metals

The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has developed a portable detection system that identifies personal exposure to toxic lead and other dangerous heavy metals. The device accurately detects lead and other toxic metals in blood as well as in urine and saliva. It can provide an accurate blood...

Current Attractions

Each month, NTB highlights tech briefs related to a particular area of technology in a special section called Technology Focus. Here are some of the technologies featured in the February issue focus on Test and Measurement.

Gecko Gauze

MIT researchers created a waterproof adhesive bandage inspired by gecko lizards that may soon join sutures and staples as a basic operating room tool for patching up surgical wounds or internal injuries. The MIT researchers built the adhesive with a biorubber and, using micropatterning technology, shaped the biorubber into different...

Tech Needs of the Week

Polished aluminum begins to re-oxidize and pit almost immediately, especially when exposed to climates along the sea or in hot, humid areas. A company is looking for a coating or surface-protection process to protect polished aluminum used outdoors and keep it free of scratches. The solution should be clear and have a...

NASA Briefs

A robotic arm tool for rapidly acquiring permafrost (RATRAP) is being developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPO). The RATRAP is for acquiring samples of permafrost on Mars or another remote planet and immediately delivering the samples to adjacent instruments for analysis.

Read more here.

Combing for Diseases

A team led by Jun Ye, a physicist at JILA - a joint institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado at Boulder - demonstrated an optical technique for simultaneously identifying tiny amounts of a broad range of molecules in the breath, potentially enabling a fast, low-cost...

3-D Imaging

A new technology called FINCH (Fresnel INcoherent Correlation Holography), invented by researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, could make three-dimensional imaging quicker, easier and less costly than current methods. According to Gary Brooker, director of Johns Hopkins University's Microscopy...

Laser Beam

A research scientist at the University of Michigan has created what may be the world's most powerful laser beam. The record-setting beam measures 20 billion trillion watts per square centimeter and contains 300 terrawatts of power. That's roughly 300-times the capacity of the US electrical grid. The laser beam's power is concentrated...

Coming Attractions

One of the newest trends in machine vision systems is the implementation of so-called "smart cameras." A smart camera combines the usual image sensor with a built-in processor, which allows inspections to be run directly on the camera, thereby eliminating a step in the process. Instead of simply capturing images, like a...

Application Briefs: Electronics & Computers
The Evolution of Storage

The embedded computing industry is being inundated with changes to storage products driven by technological advancements, market forces and environmental concerns. The precipitous drop in solid-state flash drive...

McObject® (Issaquah, WA) has released Perst™, its all-Java object-oriented, open source embedded database that is compatible with the Android mobile device platform. Perst...

Products: Electronics & Computers
PCB Design Software

Sunstone Circuits (Mulino, OR) has released PCB123™ version 3.0, a complete circuit board design solution for the electronics design industry. PCB123 version 3.0's enhancements include real-time, bi-directional...

Products: Electronics & Computers

Pentek, Inc. (Upper Saddle River, NJ) has released its Model 4207 high-performance VME/VXS board for digital signal processing and data-acquisition systems. The new board employs Freescale's MPC8641D Dual Core PowerPC...

Products: Electronics & Computers
8-bit Microcontrollers with Flash (ESC Booth 916)

Microchip Technology Inc. (Chandler, AZ) has announced two Baseline 8- bit Flash PIC® microcontrollers with non-volatile Flash Data Memory (FDM) in 8- and 14-pin packages. The...

Products: Electronics & Computers
32-bit Flash Microcontrollers (ESC Booth 306)

STMicroelectronics (Mansfield, TX) has released the STM32 Family of 32- bit Flash microcontrollers based on ARM® Cortex™—M3 core. The STM32 is offered in the STM32F103 performance...

Products: Electronics & Computers
Video Application Processors (ESC Booth 3028)

Renesas Technology America, Inc. (San Jose, CA) has added two new application processors to the SH-Mobile series. The SH-MobileL3V2 offers additional video formats, high-resolution video capture,...

Products: Electronics & Computers
Network Appliance Board (ESC Booth 2110)

VIA Technologies, Inc. (Taipei, Taiwan) has released the VIA NAB 7500 network appliance board for network security or gateway applications, including Firewall, VPN, UTM, Anti-Virus, and Intrusion Prevention System products.

Systems engineers face a number of challenges when configuring and programming a complex, heterogeneous multiprocessor system of the type often used in digital signal...

Articles: Electronics & Computers
Using CompactPCI to Build Rugged Embedded Systems

The task-specific nature of an embedded system application typically defines a narrow scope of performance requirements. But the range of options for achieving those requirements are broad...

Question of the Week
Will Self-Erasing Chips Catch On?


Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Metal Injection Molding’s Role in Automotive

Upcoming Webinars: Materials

Technical Ceramics: The Powerhouse of Advanced Materials

Upcoming Webinars: Software

PPAP Reviews Using AI and Machine Learning

Upcoming Webinars: Motion Control

Customizing Actuators Using COTS Drive Components for Martian...

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

2020 Create the Future Contest Awards

Upcoming Webinars: RF & Microwave Electronics

Advancement of Spectrum Analysis Techniques for Tracking,...

Trending Stories

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Integrity Sensing With Smart Polymers and Rubber Components on Vehicles

Q&A: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Q&A: NanoLED Architecture Overcomes Efficiency Droop

Articles: Green Design & Manufacturing

Driving Growth and Innovation With Sustainable Design

Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Deep Learning in Machine Vision

Application Briefs: Software

Using the IoT for Predictive Maintenance

Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Researchers Prove Their Elastic Exosuit Eases Back Stress