March 2021

White Papers: Defense
The Inside Story on SOSA

SOSA is chartered with creating a common framework for transitioning sensor systems to an open-systems architecture, based on key interfaces and best practices established by industry-government consensus. The...

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) and NASA’s Solar Orbiter Heliospheric Imager (SoloHI) recently recorded an image showing three of the four inner rocky planets. The...

IR and UV Optics

Edmund Optics (EO) (Barrington, NJ) has released Zinc Selenide (ZnSe) Wedged Windows, which are ideal for infrared (IR) applications, and TECHSPEC® Calcium...

The pursuit of fusion as a safe, carbon-free, always-on energy source has intensified in recent years, with a number of organizations pursuing aggressive...

When SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule splashed down off the Florida coast in August following its first crewed mission, the two astronauts inside could not exit the capsule...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Obstacle-Avoiding Drone Uses Live Moth Antenna
“Smellicopter” uses a live moth antenna to avoid obstacles and seek out smells.
The functioning human heart pump provides a model to track and trace what happens at the cell and molecular levels in the pump structure.
The invention can become color-changing “artificial muscle.”
The coatings can be deposited on substrates such as glass, polymers, metals, and aerogels.
The technology could lead to a platform for quantum computation or new types of energy-efficient data storage applications.
This method is an important step towards smaller, more advanced, environmentally friendly electronics.
Pilots and air traffic controllers no longer will rely solely on voice communications.
A potential boon to green manufacturing, the new glue saves on energy, time, and space.
The material is designed for high-temperature applications in aircraft, building insulation, personal protective clothing, industrial, and automotive.
Equipment designers can simplify design efforts and adjust controller platforms as needed when they standardize on electronic input/output products.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
High-Color-Purity 3D Printing
This method obtains high-color-purity 3D objects using a new class of nanoparticles.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Advanced Supercritical Water Oxidation Reactor
This technology has potential across many industries including water reclamation and treatment, and waste destruction in liquid waste streams.
By converting CO2 into complex hydrocarbon products, a new catalyst could aid in large-scale efforts to recycle excess carbon dioxide.
The next generation of waterproof smart fabrics can be laser-printed and made in minutes.
This built-in security measure would prevent hackers from getting enough information about the circuit to reverse-engineer it.
Hundreds of drones can recharge autonomously on unmanned ground vehicles.
Articles: Electronics & Computers
SAE WCX™ Digital Summit Preview
Live discussions will explore electric vehicles, propulsion, advanced electronics, and more.
A chemical process converts polyethylene plastic into a strong, valuable adhesive.
Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Perseverance on Mars: The Journey Begins
Perseverance is the first leg of a round trip to Mars.
Professor Shirley Meng explains why there's a demand for stretchable batteries.
The stretchable electronics are more stable as they change shape, which could lead to next-generation sensors for healthcare applications.
Facility Focus: Robotics, Automation & Control
Facility Focus: NASA Langley Research Center
See how NASA Langley tests a variety of advanced aircraft concepts. including ways to make flying both cleaner and quieter.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Algorithms Improve Quadrotor Drone Performance
The algorithms enable drones to quickly switch between hover and forward flight.
The device has applications in medical diagnostics and homeland security.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
3D-Printing of Sensors Directly on Expanding Organs
The technique could have applications in diagnosing and monitoring the lungs of patients with COVID-19.
The importance of a proactive and systematic method for collecting machine and process data within a smart manufacturing environment cannot be overstated.
Onboard cameras can be used to keep damaged quadcopters in the air and flying stably, even without GPS.
With a smartphone camera, a new diagnostic test provides a positive or negative COVID-19 result in 15 to 30 minutes.
Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Copolymer Removes Toxins from Water

Researchers have demonstrated that they can attract, capture, and destroy perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of federally regulated substances nicknamed “the forever...

Products: Test & Measurement
Product of the Month: March 2021 Tech Briefs
By design, new 3D scanners are motionless during inspection.
Technology Leaders: RF & Microwave Electronics
Light Field Imaging Technology
Learn about light-field candidates like camera arrays, plenoptic cameras, active cameras with depth sensor, and the newly developed focal-stack camera.
Technology Leaders: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Micro-Cameras Bring New Video Applications into Focus
Powerful, tiny cameras provide unique streaming-video solutions for NASA robots and defense applications.
Researchers are tapping into dynamically controlled LEDs to create a simple illumination system for 3D imaging.
Near-eye displays, optical inspection systems, UV glass, and more.
A novel technique for a high-brightness coherent and few-cycle duration source spans seven optical octaves.
Articles: Electronics & Computers
Cost-Effective Day & Night Marking Using Lasers
The marking provides easy-to-see legends on plastic buttons under widely varying illumination conditions.
Application Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
Hyperspectral Cameras and Data Quality
Any hyperspectral system needs to maintain a stable and accurate radiometric and spectral calibration.
Application Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Add LiDAR to ADAS for Pedestrian Safety
While ADAS has improved freeway and high-speed driving, the basic need for collision mitigation with pedestrians and bicyclists has mostly remained unaddressed.
Imagine being able to snap a picture of extremely fast events on the order of a picosecond.
Articles: Photonics/Optics
Photonics West 2021 Preview
The virtual event offers a mix of live plenary talks, on-demand technical presentations and discussions, online networking and special events.
See what kinds of applications require high-precision laser glass with demanding dimensional tolerances and high-power laser coatings.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Optimal Information About the Invisible
Researcher are finding ways to estimate a target location when light gets deflected by a disordered structure.
Special Reports: Unmanned Systems
Rugged Computing - March 2021

From the battlefield to the oceans to the extremes of space, electronics and computing advances enable missions in the harshest conditions. To help you keep pace with the latest developments, we present this...

Products: Test & Measurement
New Products: March 2021 Sensor Technology
Rain detectors, beacons, flow meters, and more.
Application Briefs: Automotive
The Sensing Systems That Make ADAS Work
See what kinds of sensors are supporting self-driving vehicles.
The ability to identify hidden patterns, predict future issues, forecast usage and costs, and derive insights from IoT sensor data will reshape the industrial process forever.
The sensor monitors the oil circulation ratio in real time for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Quantum-Limit-Approaching Chemical Sensing Chip
Study shows improvements to chemical sensing chip that aims to quickly and accurately identify drugs and other trace chemicals.
With new vehicles, automotive manufacturers will need to closely monitor the current flowing to the motor.
A patch of needles connected to a paper sensor diagnoses conditions such as prediabetes.
A "smart building" platform incorporates hardware, software, and cloud analytics to form a digital "backbone."
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
New Flexible and Highly Reliable Sensor
Real-time health monitoring and sensing abilities of robots require soft electronics, but a challenge of using such materials lies in their reliability.
A mathematical framework can help engineers make informed decisions about which sensors to use and where they must be positioned in aircraft and other machines.
Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Industrial Connectivity with Single Pair Ethernet
Is "SPE" the future of industrial automation and automotive? It certainly has the potential, says Mike Anderson.
Sensors need to be flexible, stretchable, biodegradable, safe, and stable for use in the body.
In-air UAV docking, digital communication via touch, and a computer-vision monitor for diabetes.
The material can be recycled, making renewable energy more sustainable while lowering costs in the process.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
Prototype Fuel Gauge for Orbit
The technology could continuously monitor fluid flow in pipes on the International Space Station and prevent satellites from colliding.
Products: Data Acquisition
New on the Market: March 2021
Vision software, thermal sensors, ceramic pastes, and more.
Technology Leaders: Imaging
3D Display — No Headset Required
Learn about a variety of holographic 3D immersive displays.
White Papers: Test & Measurement
Maximum Efficiency: Non-Contact Temperature Measurement of Plastics

In plastics processing, where thermal processes play a particularly important role, temperature is the decisive measured variable. Only precise temperature control ensures...

White Papers: Photonics/Optics
Removing Outgassed Hydrogen from Electronic Packages

Most of electronic packages are required to be either hermetically sealed or kept in vacuum to maintain reliability of the internal parts for long-term operation. [1-3] However, these...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Do You See Applications for Electronics-Free Robots?

In our lead INSIDER story today, UCSD researcher Dylan Drotman talked to Tech Briefs about his team’s air-powered robot.

On-Demand Webinars: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Contactless Position, Torque, and Force Sensing for Today’s and Tomorrow’s Applications

Today’s demand for products with improved safety, reliability, and efficiency makes sensors increasingly necessary and, in some cases, even mandatory. These sensors must be accurate, reliable, and long-lasting while remaining affordable. This...

The automotive industry continues to be one of the main beneficiaries of simulation technology to reduce cost and meet the demanding...

White Papers: Software
The New Collaboration: A Guide to Transforming Product Design

This eBook explores the “New Collaboration,” showing how today’s modern cloud-based CAD radically improves the way product development teams work together in the following...

White Papers: Medical
The Rise of Telemedicine

Telemedicine is often thought of as video appointments allowing patients to speak to their physicians virtually from any location. With the support of telemedicine sensors, remote patient monitoring technologies are...

White Papers: Motion Control
Replacing Hydraulic Lifting Systems with Electro-Mechanical Screw Jacks

There is a widespread push to replace hydraulic systems with electo-mechanical screw jack systems and for a number of good reasons. The trend has already been under way...

White Papers: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Replace Hindsight with Foresight: Unlock Internal Value and Free Up Cash

Applying more than a decade of cross-industry data analysis experience, We Predict helps off-highway equipment manufacturers and operators free up cash, increase...

Blog: Sensors/Data Acquisition
A Robot ‘Hears,’ Using Ear from a Locust

A robot being developed at Tel Aviv University "hears" electrical signals, thanks to a natural sensor: the ear of a dead locust.

Software and electrical engineering is converging in today’s vehicles. A reader asks our expert: “How do you decide which items to test first?”
Blog: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The 2021 ‘Create the Future’ Contest Begins!
The 2021 “Create the Future” Design Contest is open, and we want to hear your big ideas.
White Papers: Test & Measurement
How V2X is Changing Automotive Design

A key technology in automotive evolution, Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) allows automobiles to directly connect with each other, roadside infrastructure, and pedestrians to deliver benefits ranging from...

Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Will Technology Increasingly Integrate with Nature?

“Nature is much more advanced than we are, so we should use it,” said Dr. Ben Maoz, one of a team of Tel Aviv University researchers who created a robot that uses a dead locust’s ear to “hear” electrical signals and respond to them with movement. (Read our lead story to learn...

White Papers: RF & Microwave Electronics
Photochemical Machining: Innovative Solutions for Precision Etched Metal Parts

Complex, precision metal components are found in a variety of applications in aerospace, defense, medical, automotive, electronics, and more. The demand for...

INSIDER: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Inexpensive Battery Charges Rapidly for Electric Vehicles

Range anxiety, the fear of running out of power before being able to recharge an electric vehicle, may be a thing of the past, according to a team of Penn State engineers who are...

Scientists at University of California, Davis, have proposed a solution to dendrite growth in rechargeable lithium metal batteries using microfluidics. The group proved that flowing ions...

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers
New Wearable Device Turns the Body Into a Battery

Researchers at CU Boulder have developed a new, low-cost, wearable device that transforms the human body into a biological battery. The device is stretchy enough that you can wear it like...

Rice University engineers have suggested a colorful solution to next-generation energy collection: Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) in your windows. The team designed and...

On-Demand Webinars: Materials
Ultra-High Purity Silicone in Aerospace and Defense Product Design

The performance and stability of materials used on aircraft in extreme atmospheric temperatures have their challenges, especially when fuel exposure is inevitable. Finding the right material shouldn’t be one. In this 30-minute Webinar, an expert in fluorosilicones...

Blog: Electronics & Computers
A 'Wearable Microgrid' Powers Your Devices
You have the power. That's the idea behind a "wearable microgrid" from the University of California San Diego that harvest and stores energy from your body to power electronics.
Long-range radar is used in air-traffic control. Short-range radar supports automotive applications like collision avoidance. How do you know what range you need for your application?
White Papers: Aerospace
Thermal Management Techniques in Avionics Cooling

As modern-day UAV’s are becoming more and more complex and compact in their design, requiring cooling, and possibly heating, design engineers typically favor liquid cooling solutions to...

Question of the Week: Aerospace
Will Turboelectric Aircraft Take Off?

A recent video on Tech Briefs TV highlighted NASA’s new idea for aircraft: the STARC-ABL. The concept under development aims to bridge the gap between current jet fuel-powered aircraft and future all-electric vehicles.

What’s the most frequent problem encountered with medical power cords worldwide? Can you name the countries that have special testing requirements? What’s different about...

In all their configurations, ePowertrains are at the heart of electric vehicle progress, but their design must balance new freedoms with the relentless pursuit...

Podcasts: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Here's an Idea: Wearables
In this episode of our Here's an Idea podcast, we speak to engineers who are building a variety of wearables. And some sensors blend in more than others.
White Papers: Aerospace
Custom Built Machines Increase Employee Safety, Speed Up Production, and Save You Money

A lot of companies shy away from custom machine builds because they believe them to be more expensive than simply selecting a pre-built off-the-shelf...

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive
Confident TCU Connectivity Through Efficient Functional Testing

Consumer demand for enhanced vehicle features continues to increase as technology evolves. The testing of Telematics Control Units (TCUs) is critical to ensuring the performance of automotive cellular connectivity under differing scenarios as well as bringing quality...

Tech Talks: Medical
Semi-Automatic Error Proofing for Medical Leak Tests

Strict standards must be met when it comes to testing for medical, pharmaceutical, and packaging applications. It’s also important to understand advancements being achieved in control, testing, and inspection equipment for different kinds of packaging.

White Papers: Medical
How to Select the Right Circuit Protection for Your Medical Device

With so many circuit protection device types, design choices, and configurations, making the appropriate selection for your specific medical equipment can feel daunting –...

Robotics researchers are developing exoskeleton legs capable of thinking and making control decisions on their own using sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
White Papers: Imaging
Industrial Camera Interface Guide

With all the various camera interfaces available in today’s industrial camera market, it can be challenging to decide just which one best suits a particular imaging application. By understanding the...

INSIDER: Motion Control
Automating the Design of Soft Robots

There are some tasks that traditional rigid robots aren’t cut out for. Soft-bodied robots, on the other hand, may be able to interact with people more safely or slip into tight spaces with ease. But...

INSIDER: Motion Control
Nanosized Foldable Robots

Army-funded researchers created nanosized robots that could enable locomotion, novel metamaterial design, and high-fidelity sensors. Cornell University researchers created micron-sized shape memory actuators...

Blog: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Readers Select 2020 Products of the Year
This year's winners included industrial-automation software, simulation tech, and digital storage oscilloscopes.
White Papers: Aerospace
Why These Five Mathcad® Users Switched to Maple

Switching from one math tool to another is difficult, and these difficulties may be prohibitive even if a need for change has been identified. The challenge is to determine when the benefits...

White Papers: Manufacturing & Prototyping
E-Book - Virtual Commissioning: Why New Designs Fail

Today's production systems require extensive development and validation to meet the needs of the highly competitive manufacturing industry. This is a high-risk activity and manufacturers...

White Papers: Aerospace
Engineers - Stop using Excel Before You Make an Expensive Error

An engineer has an ethical duty to actively identify and minimize sources of risk. However, one particular, but significant, source of risk is often ignored. That’s Microsoft...

White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
Using Virtual Commissioning for a New, Competitive Injection Molding Machine

The injection molding industry is a diverse, competitive market where innovative products must meet demanding requirements. For many companies, these requirements...

Question of the Week: Wearables
Would You Wear On-Body Sensors?

This month’s Here’s an Idea episode highlighted a number of on-body sensors. Penn State professor Larry Cheng, for example, found a way to 3D-print a sensor directly on the skin (shown in the above...

On-Demand Webinars: Transportation
7 Levers for Electric and Autonomous Vehicles

The future of transportation is electric and autonomous. This 30-minute Webinar examines how to navigate the transition with seven levers for electric and autonomous vehicles. It discusses a platform designed to help project teams develop electric and autonomous vehicles that conform to...

White Papers: Motion Control
Selecting a Pneumatic Linear Slide

Given the variety and versatility of pneumatic linear slides, it's often difficult to pick the best one for the job. So how do you decide which model to best use for your application? In this paper, you...

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