February 2014

Briefs: Medical
Updated Facts on 2015 HCFC-225 Usage Ban

In 1974, Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina discovered that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were depleting the ozone layer, and in 1995, they received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this work. In response, the United Nations Environment Programme called an international conference to discuss the issue....

Today, medical devices are made using a variety of plastic materials and manufacturing processes. Advances in plastic processing make it possible to obtain virtually any shape, form, or function. In...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Rapid Infrared Pixel Grating Response Testbed

A test array has been developed to measure the response of pixel-integrated infrared gratings over a wavelength range from 3 to 13 μm for multiple grating geometries. This array allows for testing and for determining the performance of an infrared focal plane array camera before resources have been...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
JWST Integrated Simulation and Test (JIST) Core

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Integrated Simulation and Test (JIST) environment is a software-only system simulator that provides an environment to exercise JWST flight software subsystems and interfaces. JIST is capable of executing the unmodified flight software binaries in an operational...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
JWST IV&V Simulation and Test (JIST) Solid State Recorder (SSR) Simulator

As described in “JWST Integrated Simulation and Test (JIST) Core” (GSC-16739-1) on page 25, the JIST system is a software-based simulator that uses the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) operational ground system, ground system command/telemetry databases, simulated...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Temperature Measurement and Stabilization in a Birefringent Whispering Gallery Resonator

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) res- onators have been suggested for use as reference cavities for laser stabilization. Because of their unique properties (small size, high stability, narrow line width), such application appears to hold great promise. It is...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Automation in Display Testing

Display devices play a vital role as the man-machine interface in most embedded domains. Display systems provide information regarding the health of safety-critical subsystems and the general status of the machine. Accuracy and precision of the information displayed is a key factor in proper machine operation....

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Development of a Precision Thermal Doubler for Deep Space

Thermal requirements and a need for a very flat mechanical interface led to the development of a copper doubler for the titanium vault on the Juno Spacecraft. The vault is designed to contain the science instruments on the spacecraft, protecting them from damage due to the extreme...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Improving Friction Stir Welds Using Laser Peening

Friction stir welding (FSW) has emerged as a promising solid-state process with encouraging results, particularly when used on high-strength aerospace aluminum alloys that are generally difficult to weld. Laser peening has been applied to the mechanical and fatigue properties of welded joints....

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Methodology of Evaluating Margins of Safety in Critical Brazed Joints

This methodology provides a guide consisting of design, testing, and structural analysis steps developed to assure positive strength margins of safety (MS) in critical brazed joints used for assembly of flight and non-flight structures.

3D Systems, Morrisville, NC, has released Geomagic Capture®, a family of integrated desktop scanner and software tools for professional scan-based design and quality inspection. Geomagic Capture is...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Current-Controlled Output Driver for Directly Coupled Loads

Driving loads such as electric motors, relay coils, and solenoids requires a relatively large initial pull-in or start-up current from a driver in order to initiate operation of the load. To maintain continuous operation, the hold or running operating current required for a load may be...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Interactive Inventory Monitoring

The invention is a radio frequency identity detector (RFID)-based system that assists a user in location of an item, in response to an electronic query for the status of the item. The item(s) being sought may be a book on a library shelf, an item from a store inventory, a legal or financial document, a medical...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Sensor for Spatial Detection of Single- Event Effects in Semiconductor-Based Electronics

Ionizing radiation has a detrimental effect on digital electronics that need to operate in extraterrestrial environments. As space missions become longer and more complex, there is a need for flight computers that can withstand harsh radiation environments...

Briefs: Materials
Li-Ion Electrolytes Containing Flame-Retardant Additives

In order to improve the safety and performance of lithium- ion cells, especially over a wide operating temperature range, a number of Li-ion electrolytes have been developed that contain flame-retardant additives in conjunction with fluorinated co-solvents to provide a safe,...

There are two types of voice coil actuators: moving coil and moving magnet. The materials of construction are similar, since they both use rare...

Briefs: Materials
Touch Temperature Coating for Electrical Equipment on Spacecraft

A coating has been developed that can be applied to spacecraft equipment to significantly increase the allowable touch temperature limit, while only marginally degrading the heat transfer to the environment.

Briefs: Software
CARVE Log

This software reduces the workload of the mission manager by distributing selected aircraft data to the various investigators onboard the aircraft so they do not have to continuously request the data updates. This system will then send the investigator’s comments and observations that were previously written in notebooks to a server...

Briefs: Software
Affordability Comparison Tool — ACT

ACT is able to provide insight into acquisition, operational, and life-cycle affordability early in program formulation prior to a commitment of architecture, or anytime during the program to change systems or subsystems. ACT analyzes different systems or architecture configurations for affordability that...

Briefs: Software
“Ascent — Commemorating Shuttle” for iPad

A feature-added, interactive version of the video release entitled “Ascent” was developed. The software version contains the full HD (high definition) movie along with extra scenes, still imagery, a movie trailer, and producer notes. The software has been packed as an iOS app, intended for use...

As the demands of traceability and compliance are put on manufacturers, using a laser provides permanent marking of a variety of information, including 2D bar codes, serial...

Technical Challenges

Several technical challenges exist when manufacturing solid state lighting (SSL) modules and components. The greatest challenge is in keeping up with the changes in LED...

Briefs: Software
Cassini Mission App

This iPhone/iPad application allows the general public to access information about the Cassini mission. It enables viewing of the latest images released by the mission, allows access to images that describe the present position of the spacecraft, and provides flyby countdowns for each targeted flyby.

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Autonomous Robotic Manipulation (ARM)

Autonomous robotic manipulators have the potential to increase manufacturing efficiency, provide in-home care, and reduce the risk to humans in hazardous situations. The current challenge in autonomous...

Briefs: Software
Light-Weight Workflow Engine: A Server for Executing Generic Workflows

(LWWE) is a cross-platform server that provides support for automation and orchestration of task execution.

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Sliding Gait for ATHLETE Mobility

ATHLETE (All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra-Terrestrial Explorer) is a multipurpose mobility platform for planetary surfaces. It is a cross between a wheeled rover and a walking robot, and travels using powered wheels mounted on the end of each of six robotic limbs. Each limb is a fully articulated robotic manipulator...

Briefs: Software
Model for System Engineering of the CheMin Instrument

A computer program implements a model of the performance of the CheMin (Chemistry and Mineralogy) instrument — a miniaturized instrument that simultaneously performs x-ray diffraction (XRD) and x-ray fluorescence (XRF) measurements on small material samples. The CheMin instrument is being...

Products: Motion Control
DC Motors and Gearheads

The DCX 10S and DCX 22L motors from maxon motor (Fall River, MA) are new additions to the DCX series of DC motors. Also available is the GPX 22 gearhead in a version with reduced noise level and with ceramic axes. The...

Briefs: Software
Platform Perspective Toolkit

This software specializes in discovering the location and intrinsic parameters of an imaging camera when such information was not recorded in the metadata of an image. It provides a simple command line interface for specifying the input and output for the two camera perspectives.

Products: Motion Control
Electric Cylinders

Tolomatic (Hamel, MN) offers ERD electric cylinders in six body sizes. The ERD is a rod-style electric actuator family designed as an alternative to pneumatic cylinders, and an option for automating manual processes. They...

Briefs: Software
Pre-Filtration of GOSAT Data Using Only Level 1 Data and an Intelligent Filter to Remove Low Clouds

Software has been developed that mitigates anomalously low CO2 retrieval values, due to low-lying clouds, for improved CO2 sensing accuracy. Using machine learning techniques, hand-labeled data was used to train intelligently a...

Products: Motion Control
Rotary Encoders

Nemicon Corp. (Tokyo, Japan) offers the 7S Series incremental rotary encoder that measures 7.2 mm (0.28346") in diameter, and features high resolution and high noise immunity. The encoders offer 3 signals: A, B, and Z (index...

Briefs: Information Technology
Timeline Central Concepts

The notion of Timeline has been used informally in spacecraft operations software for some time, but it has not heretofore been formalized and unified either syntactically or semantically. In this work, the Timeline has been formalized and unified so that the commonality can be exploited to reduce the cost of developing...

Products: Motion Control
Slide Systems

The TOPBALL® slide products from NB Corp. (Hanover Park, IL) are self-aligning and feature a floating wiper seal. The floating load plate adjusts clearance. Tolerances are achieved by grinding, rather than stamping,...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Particle Filter Simulation and Analysis Enabling Non-Traditional Navigation

Particle filters (PFs) offer the possibility of addressing many unsolved problems in orbit determination and prediction. This work builds on an existing GSRP (Graduate Student Researchers Project) effort to incorporate a particle filter into GSFC’s (Goddard Space...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Stepper Motors and Drives

Bimba Manufacturing (University Park, IL) has released a suite of stepper motors and drives for use with its Original Line Electric®(OLE) actuators. The suite includes the IntelliMotor®, an...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
The Subgrid-Scale Scalar Variance Under Supercritical Pressure Conditions

A quantity called “the conserved scalar” is very important in the modeling of turbulent reactive flows in large eddy simulations because, if it can be defined, it numerically simplifies the solution of the conservation equations by confining the reaction term to a...

Products: Motion Control
Brushless Motors

Koford Engineering LLC (Winchester, OH) has introduced a line of 2.3"(60 mm) slotless brushless motors available with a variety of windings in either sensor- less or hall sensor configurations. Rated output is up to 800...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Quasi-Terminator Orbits for Mapping Small Primitive Bodies

A common objective for primitive body missions (i.e., those to asteroids, comets, and small planetary moons) is to map the target body surface as completely as possible. Ideally, this map is constructed from a large collection of images containing multiple views of every point on the...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Incremental Encoders

The HS35 series through hollow shaft and OptoPulse EIL580 series solid and hollow shaft incremental encoders are available from Baumer (Southington, CT). They use an optical scanning principle that delivers less than 1...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Parallel Particle Filter Toolkit

Research on using inexpensive and personal-level parallel computing architectures to speed up the implementations of the class of particle filters has been conducted. This study leverages NVIDIA Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) and multi-core CPUs (central processing units) that are quickly becoming commonly...

Products: Motion Control
Motor/Drive

Lenze Americas (Uxbridge, MA) has introduced the Smart Motor for applications ranging from material handling to packaging automation. The device combines a conventional AC motor with electronic drive control technology, and is...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Automated Generation of Adaptive Filter Using a Genetic Algorithm and Cyclic Rule Reduction

Modern datasets consisting of retrievals from space-based missions have target results, but often are accompanied by hundreds or thousands of other retrieved parameters or facts regarding a particular retrieval (e.g., pressure, temperature, spectral...

Products: Motion Control
Brushless DC Pump

The 230 Series from Thomas Division (Sheboygan, WI) is a brushless DC WOB-L® air compressor designed for applications requiring a compact, lightweight pump with variable output. The pump measures 3.8 × 2.64 × 3.63" and...

Products: Motion Control
Servo Gearheads

DieQua Corp. (Bloomingdale, IL) offers the WATT Drive series of helical gearing servo gearheads with a variety of inline and right-angle helical, helical bevel, and helical worm designs. The gearheads provide torque...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Servomotors

Beckhoff Automation (Savage, MN) offers the AM8500 series servomotors that are suitable for applications with larger external mass inertias such as CNC applications in machine tools. The motors are available in four sizes and...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Angle Sensors

TURCK (Minneapolis, MN) has announced inductive angle sensors for rotary actuators. Operating with the inductive resonant circuit measuring principle, the sensors provide valve monitoring on rotary actuators. The sensors are...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Accelerometer

Measurement Specialties (Hampton, VA) offers the Model 8101 compact accelerometer designed for general-purpose vibration measurement. The plug-and-play piezoelectric linear accelerometer is available in two dynamic ranges (±40...

Products: Motion Control
Stepper Motor Pre-Driver

Texas Instruments (Dallas, TX) has introduced the DRV8711 integrated stepper motor pre-driver that is configurable with an on-chip microstepping indexer, as well as stall detection and current regulation that tunes...

Products: Motion Control
MEMS Accelerometers

Murata (Hoofddorp, Netherlands) has announced the SCA720 series of analog MEMS accelerometers for electrically controlled suspension and engine anti-vibration applications. Measuring 7.0 x 8.6 x 3.3 mm and constructed...

Products: Motion Control
Torque Inserts

TI-300 Series torque inserts from Reell Precision Manufacturing (St. Paul, MN) provide positioning and pivoting, enabling precise, controlled positioning of equipment and components for a range of hinging applications. They...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Actuators

Exlar Corp., a Curtiss-Wright company (Chanhassen, MN), has announced the Tritex II integrated linear actuator with a 75-mm frame size. With forces to 1035 lbf continuous and 2075 lbf peak, the AC powered actuator features a...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Motors

ETEL (Schaumburg, IL) offers the LMS ironcore linear motor series. Featuring a patented anti-cogging design, the motors are suited for thermal-drift-sensitive precision machines, and other motion control applications such as...

Products: Motion Control
Customized Motors

Applimotion (Loomis, CA) provides brushless direct drive motor kits for complex motion assemblies in automation, semiconductor equipment, medical device, and satellite communication systems. Complete assemblies with motor kits inside are available. The ULT, UTH, and UTS motor kits can be integrated into a customized assembly...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Customized Motors

Applimotion (Loomis, CA) provides brushless direct drive motor kits for complex motion assemblies in automation, semiconductor equipment, medical device, and satellite communication systems. Complete assemblies with motor...

Products: Motion Control
Piston Pump

HAWE Hydraulics (Charlotte, NC) has introduced the V60N axial piston pump with displacement of up to 130 cm3/rev and peak pressures of up to 450 bar. It is suited for load-sensing systems working at operating pressures...

Products: Motion Control
DC Drives

IronHorse GSD1 series DC drives from AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) are Pulse-Width-Modulated (PWM) controllers for 12- to 36-Volt battery/solar-powered equipment. Design features include adjustable maximum/minimum speed, current...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Motion Controller

Trio Motion (Tewkesbury, UK) offers the MC4N-Mini EtherCAT master for its Motion Coordinator series motion and machine controllers. The EtherCAT-dedicated controller can handle up to 32 axes of servo or stepper drives, and...

Products: Motion Control
Accelerometers

Meggitt Sensing Systems (Irvine, CA) has introduced the Endevco model 7284 series of lightly damped, high-g, triaxial piezoresistive shock accelerometers. The rugged sensors are available in 20,000 g and 60,000 g ranges. The...

Application Briefs: Aerospace
Modular Cleanroom Boosts Lunar Mission

Simplex Isolation Systems developed a modular softwall cleanroom for the LADEE (Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer) mission, launched in September 2013 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility...

Application Briefs: Electronics & Computers
VoIP Technology Enables Flight Center Upgrade

Quintron Systems will upgrade NASA Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) technology as it expands to IPbased mission command voice. To prevent expensive and difficult reconfiguration of the...

NASA has awarded Astrotech Corp. and its Astrotech Space Operations (ASO) subsidiary a contract to provide facilities and pre-launch processing services for the Deep Space Climate...

During the past two decades, large, high-density, high-input/output (I/O) electronic interconnect SMT (surface mount technology) packages such as ceramic...

Spacecraft shielding is defined as the outer layer of a satellite or spacecraft that protects it against micrometeorite and orbital debris (MMOD), radiation damage, and...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Tachometer/Commutator

ServoTek Products (Newell, WV), a member of the Bellofram Group of Companies, has announced the TachSyn Series that can be used as either a brushless DC tachometer or brushless DC motor commutator for monitoring the...

Products: Motion Control
Emergency Stop Switches

IDEC Corp. (Sunnyvale, CA) offers the XW 22-mm emergency stop switches with a ridgeless button that prevents dust buildup. Each operator features both push-turn and push-pull action. The potential energy level of the...

Products: Motion Control
Brushless Motor

Johnson Electric (Hong Kong) has announced the Compact ECTM E8 brushless technology motor for handheld powered tools. The motor is a design platform that provides high power for battery operated power tools. The...

Crystals form the basis for the penetrating icy blue glare of car headlights and now they could be fundamental to the future in solar energy...

By inserting platinum atoms into an organic semiconductor, University of Utah physicists were able to “tune” the plastic-like polymer to emit light of different colors – a step...

Application Briefs: Lighting
LED Panels Illuminate Stained Glass Window

The newly-renovated Church of the Covenant in Cleveland, Ohio, has a large, ornate rose stained-glass window that faces the Seidman Cancer Center at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center...

Global Lighting Technologies, a manufacturer of LED-based, edge-lit light guide solutions for general illumination applications, recently retrofitted its North American sales &...

The story behind LED development—only the 4th lighting technology developed in human history— is remarkable. The potential ahead of LED lighting to deliver real and measurable advantages— to save...

Moving images could be invaluable when it comes to diagnosing wrist problems say a group of researchers at University of California-Davis. The multi-disciplinary team of radiologists, medical...

Tom Flatley, computer engineer and current head of the Science Data Processing Branch at Goddard Space Flight Center, leads a group of engineers and programmers in...

As traditional Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software expands with more simulation capabilities and wider enterprise data management, software vendors are meeting customers’ demands with solutions...

Briefs: Software
Convex Hull-Based Plume and Anomaly Detection

A number of deep space missions have imaged plumes at Io, Enceladus, and other smaller bodies. These phenomena provide valuable information regarding these bodies. To date, this imagery has been captured fortuitously. The ability to utilize onboard processing to conduct campaigns capturing large...

Briefs: Software
Software for Non-Contact Measurement of an Individual’s Heart Rate Using a Common Camera

A software application detects the heart rate of an individual by using a real-time video stream from a common camera connected to their computer. This involves no contact between the user and the camera, or calibration between individual users. NASA’s...

Sunlight drives nearly all life on Earth, and scientists want to develop ways for it to power civilization as well. Now researchers suggest that a relatively simple,...

Rice University scientists have created a highly sensitive portable sensor to test the air for the most damaging greenhouse gases. The device, created by Rice engineer and...

Products
IR Emitters

Laser Components (Hudson, NH) has introduced a new generation of diamond-like pulsable infrared emitters. The DLSxxxX2224 series has replaced its predecessors, 17-900 and 22-1000. Significant improvements include tighter process...

Products: Photonics/Optics
250W CO2 Laser

Coherent, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) has added the new DIAMOND E-250 to its E Series CO2 laser family. The power range for the Coherent E-Series product line extends from 150W to 1000W. The new DIAMOND E-250 is a fully sealed,...

Products: Photonics/Optics
Quadrant Photodiode

Opto Diode (Newbury Park, CA) has introduced the SXUVPS4C, a quadrant photodiode with a 5 mm2 active area in each quadrant. The new device is the first of two new SXUV multi-element photodiodes to be introduced. The TO-5...

Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Multispectral Sensors

PIXELTEQ (Largo, FL) has introduced its new PixelSensor™ multispectral sensors. PixelSensor multispectral sensors use on-chip filtering to pack eight wavelength-selective photodiodes onto an array measuring less than...

News
Plasmonic Crystal Alters To Match Light-Frequency Source

Gems are known for the beauty of the light that passes through them. But it is the fixed atomic arrangements of these crystals that determine which light frequencies are permitted passage. Now a Sandia-led team has created a plasmonic, or plasma-containing, crystal that is tunable. The...

News
New Heat-Resistant Materials Could Improve Solar Cell Efficiency

Scientists have created a heat-resistant thermal emitter, an element used in specialized solar cells, that could significantly improve the efficiency of the cells. The novel component is designed to convert heat from the sun into infrared light, which can then be absorbed by solar...

Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Will 3D Printers Find a Place in the Home?

The 3D printing industry has new offerings today, specifically cheaper, easier-to-use hardware and online marketplaces filled with predesigned files. MakerBot, for example, recently announced a new one-button MakerBot Mini. Files can be sent directly to the compact printer from a mobile phone or...

Unmanned robots have already proven their worth on the battlefield, neutralizing improvised explosive devices, and more capable ones are coming in the future, according to the commander of U.S....

Engineers testing the parachute system for NASA's Orion spacecraft increased the complexity of their tests by adding the jettison of hardware designed to keep the capsule safe during flight.

To guarantee safety of bridges, regular inspections are required. However, visual methods allow the damage to be detected in a rather advanced state only. Other methods such as ultrasound, radiography,...

News
Control System Automatically Brakes and Steers Cars

Scientists at Chalmers University in Sweden are working with Volvo to develop a vehicle control system that can take over steering and breaking when it detects an imminent collision. The system can make split-second decisions on behalf of the driver.

Researchers from Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science have developed the world’s highest quantum efficiency ultraviolet...

When Spc. Zachary Cline found himself in a Taliban ambush this summer, he was operating the .50 Cal M2 mounted on a Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station from the back of...

News
New Technology Searches Space Dust for Amino Acids

Michael Callahan and his team at Goddard's Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory have recently applied advanced technology to inspect extremely small meteorite samples for the components of life.

The team used a nanoflow liquid chromatography instrument to sort the molecules in the...

News
NASA 3D Manufacturing on the Rise

Given NASA's unique needs for highly customized spacecraft and instrument components, additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, offers a compelling alternative to more traditional manufacturing approaches.

"We're not driving the additive manufacturing train; industry is," said Ted Swanson, the...

Virginia Tech researchers developed a battery that runs on sugar and has an unmatched energy density, a development that could replace conventional batteries with ones that are...

Duke University researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of wireless power transfer using low-frequency magnetic fields over distances much larger than the size of the transmitter...

Solar energy has long been used as a clean alternative to fossil fuels such as coal and oil, but it could only be harnessed during the day when the sun’s rays were strongest. Researchers have...

Using the microphones and speakers that come standard in many of today's laptop computers and mobile devices, hackers can secretly transmit and receive data using high-frequency audio...

Graphene, a form of two-dimensional carbon, has many desirable properties that make it a promising material in many applications. However, its production,...

Question of the Week
Will "Anticipatory Shipping" Catch on?

Amazon recently obtained a patent for "anticipatory shipping" — a system of delivering products to customers before they place an order. Using predictive analytics, such as previous searches and customer wish lists, the company could potentially ship items to a hub in the customer’s area ahead of time....

News
Fire Ants Inspire New Energy Storage Process

U.S. Army-sponsored researchers at Georgia Tech have discovered a process for simultaneously storing and dissipating energy within structures that could lead to design rules for new types of active, reconfigurable materials for structural morphing, vibration attenuation and dynamic load...

News
Off-the-Shelf Materials Lead to Self-Healing Polymers

Look out, super glue and paint thinner. Thanks to new dynamic materials developed at the University of Illinois, removable paint and self-healing plastics soon could be household products.

The researchers use commercially available ingredients to create their polymer. By slightly...

An ultrasonic intake airflow meter for engine testbed applications was developed. An automotive intake airflow meter must fulfill a series of requirements differentiating it from typical...

News
New Control System Enables Robot Collaboration

A new system combines simple control programs to enable fleets of robots — or other “multiagent systems” — to collaborate in unprecedented ways.

The technology factors in uncertainty — the odds, for instance, that a communication link will drop, or that a particular algorithm will...

News
NASA Tests New Technologies for Refueling

Multiple NASA centers are currently conducting a remotely controlled test of new technologies that would empower future space robots to transfer satellite oxidizer into the propellant tanks of spacecraft in space today.

Building on the success of the International Space Station's landmark Robotic...

Question of the Week
Will Connected Eyewear Replace Traditional Glasses?

Google recently announced that it will add Google Glass options for prescription glasses. The search giant's wearable computer features an optical head-mounted display that presents information in a smartphone-like format. "We're going to reach some day, hopefully it will be soon, where people...

News
Robotic Construction Crew Self-Organizes

Inspired by the termites’ resilience and collective intelligence, a team of computer scientists and engineers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University has created an autonomous robotic construction...

News
Carbon Nanotube Fibers Outperform Copper

Carbon nanotube-based fibers have greater capacity to carry electrical current than copper cables of the same mass, according to new research.

A series of tests at Rice University showed the wet-spun carbon nanotube fiber still handily beat copper, carrying up to four times as much current as a copper...

News
Bats Inspire Micro Air Vehicles

By exploring how creatures in nature are able to fly by flapping their wings, Virginia Tech researchers hope to design "micro air vehicles.”

In Virginia Tech's study of fruit bat wings, the researchers used experimental measurements of the movements of the bats' wings in real flight, and then used analysis...

News: Semiconductors & ICs
Head-Mounted Display Embeds an Augmented Reality Chip

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) developed K-Glass, a wearable, hands-free head-mounted display (HMD).

Unlike virtual reality which replaces the real world with a computer-simulated environment, augmented reality (AR) incorporates digital data...

In the VR-Hyperspace project, Fraunhofer IAO has teamed up with eight partners from six European countries to investigate how flight journeys can be made into a more pleasant...

It's a sci-fi concept that's at the center of a 25-year exploratory project: building a hypersonic aircraft that takes off from the runway and doesn't need a rest, inspection or repair after it lands...

Transparent displays have a variety of potential applications — such as the ability to see navigation or dashboard information while looking through the windshield of a car or plane,...

Question of the Week
Will Retinal Displays Catch On?

The Glyph headset, from the Ann Arbor, MI-based Avegant, beams video into a user's eyes, without requiring a screen. To emulate the way the eye processes images, the technology uses a set of 2 million microscopic mirrors to reflect visuals, even 3D content, into the eye. The headset’s screen can be connected to...

According to a recent poll, almost a fourth of Americans say figure skating is their favorite Olympic sport. But while most of us just sit back and enjoy the show Jim Richards zeroes in on the...

Writing a program to control a single autonomous robot navigating an uncertain environment with an erratic communication link is hard. Writing one for multiple robots that may or may not...

News
NASA Launches STEM-in-Sports Series

With a new distance-learning program called NASA STEM Mania, teachers and students can learn the science behind scoring a touchdown, throwing down a slam-dunk, or a hitting a home run.

NASA's Distance Learning Network (DLN) will present the two-week series Monday, Feb. 24, through Monday, March 10, and will...

News
Nanopillars Improve Conversion of Heat to Electricity

University of Colorado Boulder scientists have found a creative way to radically improve thermoelectric materials, a finding that could one day lead to the development of improved solar panels, more energy-efficient cooling equipment, and even the creation of new devices that could turn the...

NASA’s free-flying satellites known as Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) have been flying aboard the International Space Station since 2003....

Researchers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory go about their business every day working on projects to help better serve the military and its members who protect our country....

It sounds like the ultimate recycling project. The Naval Research Laboratory and the Office of Naval Research, through its INTOP Program, have taken a 96,000-pound piece of...

The U.S. Army is nearing completion on a project to eliminate its dependency on foreign countries for a critical energetic component in artillery and mortar ammunition,...

A Detroit-area based consortium of 60 companies, nonprofits, and universities and a Chicago-based consortium of 73 companies, nonprofits, and universities are partnering with the...

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