February 2019

By adding nanopores to nickel, James Pikul and his team created a kind of "metallic wood."
Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Product of the Month: February 2019

MakerBot, Brooklyn, NY, introduced the Method 3D printer that bridges the gap between desktop and industrial 3D printing. The printer includes a circulating heated chamber, dual performance...

Special Reports: Automotive
Powertrain - February 2019

The latest powertrain innovations for cars and commercial vehicles are featured in this Special Report, a compendium of recent articles from the editors of Automotive Engineering and Truck & Off-Highway...

Numerous devices in everyday life use computerized cameras to identify objects — think of automated teller machines that can “read” handwritten dollar amounts when...

Products: Data Acquisition
New on the Market: February 2019
Nozzles

The Lee Company, Westbrook, CT, offers single- and multi-orifice lube nozzles in a variety of configurations. The nozzles may include HI-BAR® safety screens for additional...

Who

The device can optimize treatment of neonatal jaundice, skin diseases, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and reduce risk of sunburn and skin cancer.

Briefs: Aerospace
CHEBY Toolkit for Processing and Editing Chebyshev Files

This software fits trajectory ephemerides and thrust profiles with a Chebyshev polynomial representation, and stores this fit in data files suitable for upload to a spacecraft. In addition, a number of utility modules are provided to assist with inspection and diagnosis of issues with data...

From airplane wings, to overhead power lines, to the giant blades of wind turbines, a buildup of ice can cause problems ranging from impaired performance all the way to catastrophic...

Molding is a popular method for the mass production of objects. Essentially, two (or more) mold pieces are fit together, leaving the shape of the desired object as a hole. During...

Briefs: Lighting
Single-Crystal SiGe/Sapphire Epitaxy

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a new low-temperature method of SiGe/sapphire growth that produces the same single-crystal films with much less thermal loading effort to the substrate. This eliminates the time-consuming and costly high heating, long thermal soak times, and interfacial Si layer....

The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) — located in Aiken, SC — is the applied research and development laboratory at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Savannah River Site...

Mandal, along with Professors Yuan Yang and Nanfang Yu, built upon earlier work demonstrating that many simple plastics and polymers are excellent heat radiators that...

An innovative optical sensing and tracking system was designed to detect, track, and determine object distance and direction in a wide, full, solid angle (160 × 160°) with an extremely high...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Method Increases Adhesive Properties of Silicone

Geckos, spiders, and beetles have special adhesive elements on their feet, enabling them to easily run along ceilings or walls. The science of bionics tries to imitate and control such...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Biometric-Based User Authentication

Rapid adoption of mobile platforms such as smartphones and tablet computers has increased the range of applications and data on mobile devices. The use of these devices to communicate sensitive or confidential data requires, among other things, strong front-end user authentication procedures and/or protocols...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Ultrasensitive Chip-Based Sensors

An optical whispering gallery mode resonator was developed that can spin light around the circumference of a tiny sphere millions of times, creating an ultrasensitive, microchip-based sensor for multiple applications.

Application Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Aluminum Extrusions Help Ski Maker Achieve Olympic-Sized Goals
Minalex Corp.
Whitehouse Station, NJ
www.minalex.com

In PyeongChang, South Korea this month, competitors representing 89 countries will be competing for Olympic gold....

Spinoff is NASA's annual publication featuring successfully commercialized NASA technology. This commercialization has contributed to the development of products and...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Thermal-Compensating Optics Housing

Existing optics mounts sandwich the optic axially between two metal components, which can lead to optical surface damage and misalignment when exposed to fluctuating temperatures. Thermal-compensating...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Capacitive Pressure Sensor System and Packaging

Pressure sensors play an important role in engine maintenance and monitoring systems by diagnosing problems before they happen. To capture the most accurate data, however, these sensors must be...

Government infrastructure facilities such as water treatment facilities, power plants, laboratories, and the like may be targets for terrorist attacks. Similarly, oil pipelines, power grids,...

For many researchers, graphene is ideal for use in filtration membranes. A single sheet of graphene resembles atomically thin chicken wire, and is composed of carbon atoms joined...

Articles: Test & Measurement
Products of Tomorrow: February 2019

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that...

Pointing precision is a critical element of instrumentation for optical communications and ranging in space, affecting laser design, link power budgets, and SWaP. While star trackers possess...

Existing nanosensor technologies depend on an external power source (typically a battery) to operate. Chemical and biological sensors based on nanowire or nanotube technologies exhibit...

Articles: Electronics & Computers
Executive Forum: Electronics Design

As ubiquitous as electronics are today, they are finding even more uses as Internet of Things (IoT) applications expand. Tech Briefs posed questions to electronics industry executives to get their views on...

Briefs: Materials
Film Blocks Electromagnetic Interference

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) can harm smartphones, tablets, chips, drones, wearables, aircraft, and human health. EMI is increasing with the explosive proliferation of devices that generate it. A technique was developed to produce relatively low-cost EMI-blocking composite films.

Harwin
Farlington, Portsmouth, UK
www.harwin.com

There are certain areas of the planet that are simply too sparsely inhabited for it to be economically viable...

Liquid droplets are used in many applications, from printing ink on paper to creating microcapsules for drug delivery. Inkjet printing is the most common technique used...

Briefs: Energy
Plasma Generator Using Spiral Conductors

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a patented SansEC sensor technology for use in many different areas, including tall structures and wind turbines. The SansEC technology is a proven wireless sensing platform capable of measuring the electrical impedance of physical matter in proximity to the...

Lateral nozzle forces are known to cause severe structural damage during testing of any new rocket engine configuration under development. While three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD)...

Software development and testing comprises about half of the control system design and integration effort, so a programming platform that can ease and speed the process is vital. Such PC-based...

When choosing materials to make something, tradeoffs need to be made among properties such as thickness, stiffness, and weight. A new material called nanocardboard was...

RTM370 imide resin was developed to address the limitations of conventional imide resins, which are generated from commercially available symmetrical biphenyl...

When a coffee mug leaves a ring, the outer edges of that ring are darker than the inside of the ring. That's because the solute is separated from the liquid during the...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Designing Self-Propelled, Chemically Active Sheets

Researchers have created a two-dimensional, shape-changing sheet that moves autonomously in a reactant-filled fluid. The integrated system utilizes a chemical reaction to activate the fluid...

Jet engines can have up to 25,000 individual parts, making regular maintenance a tedious task that can take more than a month per engine. Many components are located deep...

Briefs: Aerospace
Foot Pedal Controller

A novel foot-pedal-operated system and device were developed to control translational and rotational movement of an object in three-dimensional (3D) space. The Foot Pedal Controller system enables operators to control...

Products: Electronics & Computers
New Products: February 2019 Motion Design
Motor Control Integrated Circuit

Microsemi Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microchip Technology (Aliso Viejo, CA), announced the LX7720 radiation-tolerant motor control integrated...

Different types of motion encountered in dynamic environments require designers to specify connectors for boards, wiring, and devices that can meet significant g-forces,...

Application Briefs: Aerospace
Robots Bring Airplane Production Up to Speed

Robots are helping a European airplane manufacturer cut into an eight-year backlog of orders for one of its most popular aircraft.

Integrating lead screws with stepper motors is a simple and cost-effective method for getting precise linear motion. But achieving that precision requires...

Briefs: Motion Control
Tiny Robots Grow Bio-inspired Shapes

Hundreds of small robots can work in a team to create biology-inspired shapes without an underlying master plan, purely based on local communication and movement. To achieve this, the biological...

For patients missing a hand, one of the biggest challenges to regaining a high level of function is the inability to rotate one's wrist (pronate and supinate). These are essential movements...

The quest to develop microelectronic devices with increasingly smaller size, which underpins the progress of the global semiconductor industry...

A new device developed by Stanford University researchers could make it easier for doctors to monitor the success of blood vessel surgery. The sensor monitors the flow of blood...

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers
Computer Chip Vulnerabilities Discovered

A Washington State University research team has uncovered significant and previously unknown vulnerabilities in high-performance computer chips that could lead to failures in modern electronics....

Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Have You Conducted an FMEA?

With design, it pays to anticipate problems — and solve them — during product development.

A new material development from USC brings us a step closer to self-healing sneakers.
Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A Morphing Soft Actuator Expands the Motion Options
Even a shape-morphing plane is possible, says Harvard's Ehsan Hajiesmaili.
Question of the Week: Materials
Where Do You See Self-Healing Rubber Being Used?

In our lead INSIDER story today, USC Professor Qiming Wang said he hopes to see his team’s self-repairing rubber supporting everything from shoes to battle armor and airplane wings.

Question of the Week: Test & Measurement
Would You Use Wearables to Monitor Your UV Exposure?

Our February issue of Tech Briefs highlights a technology called My Skin Track UV. The 12 x 6 mm wearable sensor can be attached to clothing or accessories to detect sunburn and overexposure to ultraviolet light.

How do you regulate a system that, in effect, is learning as it goes?

The SENT (Single Edge Nibble Transmission) bus continues to gain acceptance across the automotive industry and is widely used to transmit high-resolution readings from...

White Papers: Medical
Pressure Mapping: Securing Superior Standards for Medical Devices

Technology to quantify interface pressure during the design or manufacturing process, or as an embedded application within the device itself, can be your key to the next great...

Graphene may play a greater role in tomorrow electronics, thanks to an achievement from the Technical University of Denmark.

Master Bond (Hackensack, NJ) focuses on developing the best in epoxies, silicones, UV cures, and other specialty adhesive systems including compounds that have passed NASA...

Question of the Week: Test & Measurement
Will ‘Developable Mechanisms’ Solve Complex Tasks?

Brigham Young University engineers have created "developable mechanisms" that they hope to use in components like surgical instruments, adjustable airplane wings, robotic arms, or vehicle cylinders. Watch the demo on Tech Briefs TV, to see how the flat shapes can be converted into 3D...

White Papers: Medical
How to Prepare for FDA Migration to ISO 13485 and QSIT to MDSAP

The FDA plans to transition to standard ISO 13485:2016 for medical devices in April 2019. In addition, the Medical Device Single Audit Program, MDSAP, has gained...

Tesla uses batteries to store energy underneath the car seats. What if we could store energy everywhere on the vehicle?
Briefs: Motion Control
Walking Robot Moves Without GPS

Ants are able to use polarized light and ultraviolet radiation to locate themselves in space. AntBot mimics this ability to explore its environment randomly and go home automatically, without GPS or...

Briefs: Software
Speedy Motor Modeling

Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists have created open source software that scales up analysis of motor designs to run on the fastest computers available.

White Papers: Test & Measurement
Substrate Mastered Scale on a CMM

The thermal behavior of encoder scale is an important consideration when selecting any encoder system. Renishaw's scales are effectively either thermally independent of the substrate (floating) or thermally...

With self-driving vehicles poised to take the road, how can today’s engineers prepare themselves to support an autonomous future?

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