February 2009

In spectrometry, the more light gathered the better the results. Yet in many applications, both military and commercial, the need to protect instruments or operators from harsh...

Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Using Vision Sensors to Eliminate Manufacturing Defects

Supplying parts to the world’s leading automotive companies leaves no room for error. That’s why Miniature Precision Components Inc. (MPC) uses three vision sensors to error-proof...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Product of the Month: Infrared Camera

The ICI 7320 infrared camera from Infrared Cameras (Beaumont, TX) operates on 1 watt of power via USB connection. IR Flash software provides real time radiometric data stream directly to a hard drive or...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Large Format MWIR Lens

StingRay Optics (Keene, NH) introduces a 50mm, f/2.3 Midwave Infrared (MWIR) large format lens assembly. The 50mm lens offers flexibility as either a stand alone solution for large format detectors or in conjunction...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Light Measurement System

Labsphere (North Sutton, NH) offers the HalfMoon Total Forward Spectral Flux Measurement System designed for manufacturers of LEDs, light fixtures, and displays. Available in standard 12, 20, and 40 inch diameters,...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Optical Fibers and Cables

Fiberguide Industries (Stirling, NJ) offers single mode, multimode, graded index, tapered, and metal-coated optical fibers that are suitable for applications in the medical/biomedical and spectroscopy industries, as...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Laser Diode

TRUMPF (Farmington, CT) introduces the next generation of TruDisk lasers. With up to 16 kW of power, the high brightness, fiber delivered laser is ideal for demanding industrial applications. The TruDisk lasers maintain beam...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Video Microscope Sampling System

The BAC151 from B&W Tek (Newark, DE) is a video microscope sampling system compatible with B&W Tek’s laboratory and industrial Raman probes. The system features a color video camera for convenient...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Optical Transmittance Spectrometer

For accurate, repeatable, real-time transmittance measurement of optical lenses and other optical components, Ocean Optics (Dunedin, FL) has introduced the Optical Transmittance Spectrometer (OTS). The...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Laser Beam Shaping Module

StockerYale (Salem, NH) offers the Flat-Top Generator, a laser beam shaping module that converts a Gaussian beam into a focused, collimated, or diverging flat-top profile, using refractive beam shaping optics. The...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Hydrogen Sulfide Gas Analyzer

Picarro, Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA) now offers an analyzer for monitoring trace levels of H2S (hydrogen sulfide) in ambient air, with a low detection limit of 1 ppbv. Based on the company’s WS-CRDS...

Products: Photonics/Optics
4K Resolution Camera

DALSA Corporation (Waterloo, ON) offers the Spyder3 4K camera with 4K resolution and 14x14um or 10x10 um pixel size. The camera is particularly well-suited for film, glass, 100% print and web inspection, as well as other...

Products
LED Optometer

UTD Instruments (San Diego, CA) introduces the portable S-471 LED Optometer. Designed and configured for all LED measurement requirements, the instrument features microprocessor control and three measurement data-presentation...

Products
Corrective Lens

Coastal Optical Systems (West Palm Beach, FL) introduces the CoastalOpt® 60mm UV-VIS-IR 1:4 Apo Macro lens. The 60mm UV-VIS-IR 1:4 Apo Macro provides full apochromatic correction over a broad waveband ranging from the onset...

Products: Photonics/Optics
White LEDs

OSRAM (Santa Clara, CA) has introduced white LEDs with an operating current of 350 mA, brightness peaked at a value of 155 lm, and efficiency at 136 lm/W. Potential applications for the high-performance LED technology include...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Light Source Software

Radiant Imaging (Duvall, WA) has released ProSource 8.0 software for light source near-field data analysis and ray generation. ProSource 8.0 generates ray data that accurately represent the output of the light source...

An apparatus has been developed for measuring the low concentrations of liquid water and ice in relatively dry soil samples. Designed as a prototype of instruments for measuring the...

A compact photonic microwave Fourier spectrum analyzer [a Fourier-transform microwave spectrometer, (FTMWS)] with no moving parts has been proposed for use in remote sensing of weak, natural...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Non-Contact Measurement of Density and Thickness Variation in Dielectric Materials

This non-contact, single-sided terahertz electromagnetic measurement and imaging method characterizes micro-structural (e.g., spatially-lateral density) and thickness variation in dielectric (insulating) materials. This method was demonstrated for space shuttle...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
The Mars Science Laboratory Touchdown Test Facility

In the Touchdown Test Program for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, a facility was developed to use a full-scale rover vehicle and an overhead winch system to replicate the Skycrane landing event. A driving requirement for the testing facility was the need to support a load of 5,000 lb...

Briefs: Software
Combinatorial Generation of Test Suites

Testgen is a computer program that generates suites of input and configuration vectors for testing other software or software/hardware systems. As systems become ever more complex, often, there is not enough time to test systems against all possible combinations of inputs and configurations, so test...

Two single-stage InP heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) amplifiers operate at 184 and 255 GHz, using Northrop Grumman Corporation’s InP HBT MMIC (monolithic microwave...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
In-Phase Power-Combined Frequency Tripler at 300 GHz

This design starts with commercial 85- to 115-GHz sources that are amplified to as much as 250 mW using power amplifiers developed for the Herschel Space Observatory. The frequency is then tripled using a novel waveguide GaAs Schottky diode frequency tripler. This planar diode produces 26 mW...

An improved design for the backshell of a connector for a shielded, multiple-wire cable reduces the size of the backshell, relative to traditional designs of backshells of otherwise...

The figure is a block diagram of a proposed system of portable illuminated signs, electronic monitoring equipment, and radio-communication equipment for preventing (or taking...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Glove-Box or Desktop Virtual-Reality System

The figure depicts salient features of the optical layout of a desktop-scale virtual-reality system that is specialized for simulating a glove-box work space. The system generates stereoscopic...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Composite Layer Manufacturing With Fewer Interruptions

An improved version of composite layer manufacturing (CLM) has been invented. CLM is a type of solid freeform fabrication (SFF) — an automated process in which a three-dimensional object is built up, point-by-point, through extrusion of a matrix/fiber composite-material precursor. The...

An improved photoresist-coating technique has been developed for use in the fabrication of carbon-nanotube- (CNT)- based field emitters of the type described in “Fabrication of...

Briefs: Information Technology
Integrated System Health Management Development Toolkit

This software toolkit is designed to model complex systems for the implementation of embedded Integrated System Health Management (ISHM) capability, which focuses on determining the condition (health) of every element in a complex system (detect anomalies, diagnose causes, and predict...

Briefs: Information Technology
TCP/IP Interface for the Satellite Orbit Analysis Program (SOAP)

The Transmission Control Protocol/Internet protocol (TCP/IP) interface for the Satellite Orbit Analysis Program (SOAP) provides the means for the software to establish real-time interfaces with other software. Such interfaces can operate between two programs, either on the same...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Magnetostrictive Sensing Ensures Accurate Level Monitoring

For process industries, one of the greatest challenges plant operators face is finding a sensor technology that will provide reliable measurement of liquid levels in tanks while...

Briefs: Software
Autonomous Instrument Placement for Mars Exploration Rovers

Autonomous Instrument Placement (AutoPlace) is onboard software that enables a Mars Exploration Rover to act autonomously in using its manipulator to place scientific instruments on or near designated rock and soil targets. Prior to the development of AutoPlace, it was necessary for...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Multi-turn Encoders Find Home in Industrial Applications

Single-turn encoders have long been used in industrial automation to gauge angular displacement in a broad range of applications, ranging from steering control on a mobile equipment...

Briefs: Software
Mission and Assets Database

Mission and Assets Database (MADB) Version 1.0 is an SQL database system with a Web user interface to centralize information. The database stores flight project support resource requirements, view periods, antenna information, schedule, and forecast results for use in mid-range and long-term planning of Deep Space...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Safely Stopping Motion Using Discrete Wiring

Functional machine safety using discrete wiring is an established way to protect workers from injury, and protect companies from the expense associated with accidents and downtime.

Briefs: Software
Trajectory Calculator for Finite-Radius Cutter on a Lathe

A computer program calculates the two- dimensional trajectory (radial vs. axial position) of a finite-radius-of- curvature cutting tool on a lathe so as to cut a workpiece to a piecewise-continuous, analytically defined surface of revolution. (In the original intended application, the...

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Yaskawa Controllers Help Echo Hill Upgrade Grinding Operation

Echo Hill Automation Inc., a Beamsville, Ontario, Canada company founded by mechanical engineers and brothers Dan and Harry Schellenberg, has grown from a small two-man operation...

A simplified method has been developed for determining bond durability under exposure to water or high humidity conditions. It uses a small number of test specimens with relatively...

When a leading manufacturer of CNC optical manufacturing technology needed ultra-accurate and stable positioning for a new system to measure conformal optics, it turned to...

A material having useful thermoelectric properties was synthesized by combining indium-tin-oxide (ITO) with a NiCoCrAlY alloy/alumina cermet. This material had a very large...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Accelerometer

The KXTE9 accelerometer from Kionix (Ithaca, NY) has embedded algorithms for orientation and activity monitoring. The algorithms simplify the adoption of motion-based functionality in consumer electronics, while reducing...

A methodology for developing complex multifunctional materials that consist of or contain polymer/ carbon-nanotube composites has been conceived. As used here, “multifunctional”...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Optical Encoder

The TONIC optical encoder from Renishaw (Hoffman Estates, IL) packs advanced optics and electronics into a compact read-head measuring 35 × 13.5 × 10 mm. Available in both linear and rotary versions, it supports...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Ultrasonic/Sonic Anchor

The ultrasonic/sonic anchor (U/S anchor) is an anchoring device that drills a hole for itself in rock, concrete, or other similar material. The U/S anchor is a recent addition to a series of related devices, the first...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
24Vdc Gearmotor

The Model No. MMP-TM55-24V GP52-059 dc gearmotor from Midwest Motion Products (Watertown, MN) produces 60in.-lb. of torque at 78 rpm. Designed to operate on 24 Vdc, it measures 2.14in. diameter × 7.75in. long, and has a...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Ball Valve

A miniature ball valve from Beswich Engineering (Greenland, NH) comes in two configurations. The MBV-1010-303 is for applications requiring an on/off valve, while the MBVT-1010-303 is for applications requiring selecting one of...

Advances in medical design are paving the way for diagnostic and treatment options that previously were thought to be impossible. Today, surgeons, emergency medical...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Hydraulic Power Pack

The KA power pack from HAWE Hydraulics (Charlotte, NC) can supply pressure up to 10,000 psi utilizing a radial piston pump, or up to 2,900 psi utilizing a gear pump.

A small, simple fixture has been found to be highly effective in reducing destructive unsteady hydrodynamic loads on a miniature submarine that is attached in piggyback fashion to...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Servo Motors

The SM2315D-PLS2 and SM2315DT-PLS2 integrated servo motors from Animatics Corp. (Santa Clara, CA) have a built-in controller, encoder, and amplifier, and can be programmed to control several machines. They achieve resolution up...

An alternative design concept for nuclear thermal rocket engines for interplanetary spacecraft calls for the use of grooved-ring fuel elements. Beyond spacecraft rocket engines, this...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Clean Room Motor

The Clean Motors from HaydonKerk Motion Solutions (Waterbury, CT) are designed to limit contaminants and outgassing in vacuum environments. The motors operate in vacuum down to 10-9 Torr.

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Pulsed Operation of an Ion Accelerator

Electronic circuitry has been devised to enable operation of an ion accelerator in either a continuous mode or a high-peak-power, low-average-power pulsed mode. In the original intended application, the...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Micro Manipulator

The MT 105-50-LM micro manipulator stage from Steinmeyer (Burlington, MA) provides a positional accuracy of 1 micrometer, straightness/flatness runout of +/1 micrometer, and repeatability of +/0.2 micrometers. It...

Telemetry, tracking, and command services
ITT Corporation
White Plains, NY
914-641-2000
www.itt.com

ITT Corporation has been selected by the NASA...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Position Sensor

The TRACKER TRK-1TO2 position sensor from New Scale Technologies (Victor, NY) measures 8.5 × 11.5 × 1.61 mm and provides 2-micrometer resolution. It can be used as a linear encoder or off-axis rotary encoder and unlike...

Surface and roundness measurement systems
Taylor Hobson
West Chicago, IL
630-621-3099
www.taylor-hobson.com

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Voice Coil Actuators

A family of linear voice coil actuators from BEI Kimco Magnetics (Vista, CA) include two spring designs based on magnetic rather than mechanical technology. This technology ensures constant and precise valve position in...

The Geostationary Coastal and Air Pollution Events (GEO-CAPE) mission has been recommended for launch in the 2013-2016 time frame by the National Research Council. The mission’s...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Choke Coil

The CM01H900 common-mode choke coil from Taiyo Yuden (U.S.A.) Inc. (Schaumburg, IL) measures 1.2(L) × 1.0(W) × 0.9(H) mm, reportedly the industry’s smallest. The coil’s common-mode impedance is 65 ohms at 100 MHz.

When it comes to testing products for long-term durability, shock exposure survival, or accelerated life testing, the classic technique most engineers turn to is vibration testing with a...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Integrated Motor/Drive

The MDrive14Plus Microstepping and MDrive14Plus Half/Full Step motor/drives from Intelligent Motion Systems (Marlborough, CT) use a NEMA size 14 brushless 1.8in. stepping motor and measure just 1.9 × 1.4 × 2.0 in....

Extech Instruments, Waltham, MA, has introduced the Model RPM10 photo/contact tachometer that includes a built-in, noncontact infrared thermometer with laser pointer that provides surface...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rod Clamp

The AMLOK(R) Hydraulic Series RCH Rod Clamp from Advanced Machine & Engineering (Rockford, IL) is designed to clamp components after the motion has stopped and to hold the position securely as long as the forces do not exceed...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Smart Motor Controller

The AH5792 smart motor controller from Diodes Inc. (Hauppauge, NY) integrates a Hall sensor and amplifier, complete digital circuitry, and a full bridge output driver in an SOT553 package. These features eliminate...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Nano Positioner

The Nano-SP30 positioning system from Mad City Labs (Madison, WI) is suited for nano-indentation and nano manipulation applications. It provides 25mm of travel with a step size of 95nm. A piezo-driven stage achieves...

Glenn Rakow is the Development Lead for SpaceWire, a high-speed communications protocol for space-flight electronics originally developed in 1999 by the European...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Robotic Gripper

The LEG long-stroke electric gripper from SCHUNK Inc. (Morrisville, NC) weighs only 8.8 kg. When operated with a single servomotor, it delivers a gripping force of 1140 N and a variable stroke from zero to 568 mm. The gripper...

Techs for License
Lossy Compression Technique Varies Data Quality in Response to Bandwidth or Time

Looking at ways to encode an image as a file, one byte in the file contributes information to one pixel (PPM files) or a small group of pixels (GIF, JPEG). In other image technologies such as wavelets, certain bytes contribute much more information than others....

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Oxygen Flow Meter

The Oxyview™ polycarbonate oxygen flow meter from Qosina provides in-line monitoring of oxygen levels from 1 to 6 liters/minute. The flow meter can connect close to the patient in any orientation, providing an advantage...

Techs for License
Emissions Control System Provides up to 100% Removal

This emissions control system effectively reduces up to 100% of hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from fossil fuel combustion engines. It is suitable for gasoline, natural gas, propane, syngas, and diesel engines. The Emission Reduction System technology is...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Servo Coupling

R+W (Bensenville, Il) has developed a series of couplings for mounting to flange output servo gearheads, The BK8 coupling allows for an equally compact flexible interface between gearheads and driven components, protecting...

Tech Needs
Delivery System to Modify Release of Organic Agricultural Compound

A company’s current product is applied in granular or prill form, and a coating acts to inhibit the release of the product within. The company is looking for a method to modify the release of the organic compound. The compound becomes active when it comes into contact with...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Servo Motor Control

The ADAM-5240 from the Industrial Automation Group of Advantech (Cincinnati, OH) is a 4-axis stepping/ pulse-type servo motor control module for use with the ADAM-5550 series PACs (Programmable Automation Controllers)....

Tech Needs
Technology to Convert, Concentrate, or Dry Oil-Based Emulsions, Dispersions, or Liquids Into a Dry Powder Form

A company supplies a variety of chemicals, including inverse emulsions that consist of a very-high-molecular weight, water-soluble polymer dispersed in a continuous oil phase. The typical ratio of the key components is approximately...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Bearing Monitoring Module

The 750-645 2-channel vibration and roller bearing monitoring module from WAGO Corp. (Germantown, WI) tracks machine vibration conditions. Based on ISO’s 10816-3 mechanical vibration standard, it monitors and...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Motion Card

The Prodigy family of motion cards from Performance Motion Devices Inc. (Lincoln, MA) now gives machine designers the capability to download and run motion programs. This capability off-loads the PC host and increases the...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
AC Gearmotor

The VWDIR20 AC gearmotors from Bison Gear & Engineering Corp. (St. Charles, IL) are rated 1/4 hp (186 watts) at 115V, 60 Hz. The compact, integral gear reducers feature a phenolic high speed gear for low noise and steel...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Drive System

The RPS4014 linear drive system from Nexen (Vadnais Heights, MN) adds two rollers for a total of 14, and a wider rack to double thrust capacity of 14000 Nm. It is available in a standard grade with positional accuracy of...

Blog
Plasmonic Microcavity

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology have developed a whispering gallery microcavity based on plasmons - electromagnetic waves that race across the surfaces of metals. This plasmonic whispering gallery microcavity consists of a silica...

Podcasts
Glenn Rakow, SpaceWire Development Lead, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Glenn Rakow is the Development Lead for SpaceWire, a high-speed communications protocol for spaceflight electronics originally developed in 1999 by the Euro - pean Space Agency (ESA). Under Rakow’s leadership, the SpaceWire standard was developed into a network...

Blog
Fluorescent Proteins

Photoactivatable fluorescent proteins (PAFPs) and other advanced fluorescent proteins (FPs) - several of which have been developed by Vladislav Verkhusha, associate professor of anatomy & structural biology at Yeshiva University - spotlight individual cellular molecules and are transforming biomedical research. PAFPs and FPs...

Blog
Terabit-Scale Processing

University of California at San Diego electrical and computer engineering professor Stojan Radic and his team have demonstrated the first real-time sampling of a 320 Gigabits per second (Gb/s) channel, in an effort to meet the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) goal of developing

the first...

Blog
Valuable Waste

Researchers from Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems in Dresden have developed the first-ever biogas plant to run purely on waste instead of edible raw materials - transforming waste into valuable material. The plant generates 30 percent more biogas than its predecessors. A fuel cell efficiently converts the...

Blog
Concrete Cure

The nation's infrastructure uses concrete for millions of miles of roadways and 600,000 bridges, many of which are in disrepair. With a project called viscosity enhancers reducing diffusion in concrete technology (VERDICT), Engineers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) set out to double concrete's lifetime....

Blog
Cleaner Jet Fuel

NASA and 11 other research groups are testing two non-petroleum-based fuels in the pursuit of alternative fuels that can power commercial jets and address rising oil costs. The tests, being conducted at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in California, are measuring the performance and emissions of two synthetic fuels derived...

Blog
Brain Scan

Researchers at University of Toronto and Bloorview, Canada's largest children's rehabilitation hospital, have developed a technique that uses infrared light brain imaging to decode preference. When children with disabilities can't speak or gesture to control their environment, they may develop a learned helplessness that impedes...

Blog
Switch for the Future

Plasmonics - a possible replacement for current computing approaches - may pave the way for the next generation of computers that operate faster and store more information than electronically-based systems and are smaller than optically-based systems, according to Tony Jun Huang, a Penn State engineer who has developed a...

Blog
3-D Microscope

University of Washington researchers have helped develop a new kind of microscope to visualize cells in three dimensions, an advance that could improve early cancer detection. The technique could also bridge a widening gap between cutting-edge imaging techniques used in research and clinical practices.

Known by the...

Blog
Better Weather Forecasting

Scientists at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) are designing and building the next-generation orbiting tracker for NASA that will supply data to more accurately predict the next hurricane, heat wave, or drought.

The 18-inch interferometric receiver being built at...

Blog
Lab-On-A-Chip

A team led by Professor Yosi Shacham-Diamand, vice-dean of Tel Aviv University's Faculty of Engineering, has developed a nano-sized laboratory, complete with a microscopic workbench, to measure water quality in real time. This lab-on-a-chip is a breakthrough in the effort to keep water safe from pollution. "We've developed a...

Blog
Current Attractions

Glenn Rakow is the Development Lead for SpaceWire, a high-speed communications protocol for space-flight electronics originally developed in 1999 by the European Space Agency (ESA). Under Rakow's leadership, the SpaceWire standard was developed into a network of nodes and routers interconnected through bi-directional,...

Blog
Size Matters

It’s a digital world out there, and the key to our survival, in my opinion, is not processing power. It’s data storage. Once all the numbers have been crunched, all the images have been gathered, and all the test results have been compiled, you need to store them somewhere. Somewhere safe, because unlike former means of...

Videos