April 2020

Special Reports: RF & Microwave Electronics
RF & Microwave Electronics - April 2020

In this compendium of recent articles from the editors of Aerospace & Defense Technology and Tech Briefs, read about how advances in RF electronics are enabling new applications in space and ground...

Briefs: Software
This technology could help control driverless cars and automated warehouses.
Briefs: Motion Control
Square trusses replace round for enhanced strength and robotics compatibility.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
This technology cancels out the vibrations of a satellite by vibrating the solar panels in the opposite direction.
Products: Transportation
Rugged tablets from Teguar Corp. can be used to monitor manufacturing operations.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Robot-assisted surgery has advanced dramatically over the past decade in almost every surgical sub-specialty. Robot-assisted surgery is usually performed using surgical robot systems that...

Articles: Lighting
Here's what you'll need to know when you’re choosing an encoder for a motion control system.
Briefs: Motion Control
The gyroscope is smaller than a grain of rice — about 500 times smaller than the current state-of-the-art device.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
As advancements in technology continue to define how pneumatic or electromechanical linear devices lift, move, or place a load, the requirements of excellent closed-loop positioning and accuracy greatly increase
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
The domino effect is used to design deployable systems that expand quickly with a small push and are stable and locked into place after deployment.
Articles: Test & Measurement
Manufacturers are beginning to realize the same benefits by cloud-connecting their equipment and processes on the shop floor.
Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Motor drivers, position sensors, offset couplings, and more.
Briefs: Software
Manufacturers, medical device companies, and others can use this 3D printing software driven by artificial intelligence (AI).
Facility Focus: Nanotechnology
See some of the world-changing tools and technologies launched by Caltech scientists, from earthquake monitoring to helping the blind see.
Briefs: Data Acquisition
Apps could take up less space on a smartphone and apps could download instantly.
Briefs: Imaging
Special light sources and sensors see around corners or through gauzy filters, enabling reconstruction of the shapes of unseen objects.
Articles: Transportation

Even though ultrasound has been studied by scientists for many years, its capabilities in practical applications are yet to be fully harnessed.

Briefs: Energy
Applications include powering portable electronic devices and sensors, and harvesting waste mechanical energy for aircraft, automobile, and other transportation equipment.
Briefs: Nanotechnology
Additive Manufacturing Method for Sub-Microscale Three-Dimensional Structures
Applications include MEMS, microlattice fabrication, and other sub-microscale 3D structures with a broad range of materials.
Products: Test & Measurement
Vision-based 3D printing, network analyzers, particulate sensors, and more.
Briefs: Communications
Laser Radio Transmitter
This device transmits data via a semiconductor laser, opening the door to ultra-high-speed WiFi.
Q&A: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Lenan Zhang and his team at MIT developed a small, economical, highly efficient device to provide fresh drinking water using only the Sun for its energy input.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
The technology could help in elder care with sensors throughout a home.
Articles: Energy
A wildfire-preventing gel; NASA's 3D tissue models, and more.
Briefs: Energy
The coating could make lightweight lithium metal batteries safe and long-lasting for the next generation of electric vehicles.
Briefs: Wearables
A wearable energy harvesting device could generate energy from the swing of an arm while walking or jogging.
Briefs: Motion Control
Hardware and software tweak microwave patterns to discover the most efficient way to identify objects.
Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Surface treatments have limitations that demand attention early in the design process.
Briefs: Materials
The new body armor can safeguard against even more powerful firearms during combat.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
This new 3D printer can print an object the size of an adult human in just a couple of hours.
Briefs: Materials
The coating protects parking decks, bridges, concrete piers, offshore platforms, buildings, and cooling towers.
Briefs: Materials
The adhesive that binds wet surfaces within seconds could be used to heal wounds or implant medical devices.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
These materials can be used in soft robotics, self-healing electronics, and medical devices.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The electrospun nanofibers are used for wound healing and 3D matrices for biological tissues.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The newest PLCs can directly access Internet resources, much like a mobile device, to obtain information for improving operations.
Briefs: Materials
A new method provides a more efficient, safer, and cost-effective way to produce cadmium telluride material for solar cells or other applications.
Briefs: Motion Control
Fuse devices enable circuit safety in high-power applications, such as motion control and alternative energy generation, in addition to electric vehicles.
Briefs: Nanotechnology
These carbon-based fillers can be used in thermally conductive clothing such as liquid-cooled garments.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
This imaging technique could impact optical communications and signal processing.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
This work could accelerate the development of flexible electronics.
Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
The lasers are small and efficient enough to fit on a microchip.
NASA Spinoff: Aerospace
Technology used to search for extraterrestrial life can characterize radioactive material.
Briefs: Communications
Applications include homeland security, vehicle anti-collision systems, telecommunications systems, and industrial instrumentation.
Briefs: Communications
This method could lead to the transmission of data at the rate of 100 gigabits per second.
5 Ws: Materials
The handheld 3D skin printer can deposit sheets of skin to cover large burn wounds
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Housed in a chip, it lets IoT devices communicate with existing WiFi networks.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The basis for the technology is a special resin that can be cured with UV light.
Blog: Packaging & Sterilization

Robots are in high demand as medical professionals seek hands-free ways to disinfect environments and contain the spread of coronavirus and COVID-19.

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control

The newest edition of NASA's small, foldable robots successfully traversed rugged terrain in the Mars Yard at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers

More portable, fully wireless smart home setups; lower power wearables; batteryless smart devices, could all be made possible with this new ultra-low power Wi-Fi radio. It is housed in a chip smaller...

INSIDER: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Microelectronics like semiconductor devices are at the heart of the technologies we use each day. As we move into an era where we are stretching the limits of Moore’s Law, it is...

INSIDER: Physical Sciences

Wearable tech and electronic cloth may be the way of the future, but to get there the wiring needs to be strong, flexible, and efficient.

INSIDER: Wearables

A new manufacturing process could produce flexible electronics for things like virtual reality-enabled contact lenses, solar-powered skins that mold to the contours of your car, and...

Question of the Week: Automotive
Is Anonymization the Best Way to Protect Personal Data?

A Tech Briefs reader recently asked our industry expert:

Blog: Manufacturing & Prototyping

In just three weeks, the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) at UC Berkeley built a robotic COVID-19 laboratory.

Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Have You Cloud-Connected Your Equipment and Processes on the Shop Floor?

Our April Motion Design feature article highlights how manufacturers are reimagining robotics in a connected world, employing processes like real-time analytics, predictive maintenance, online support and diagnostics, and cloud backups.

White Papers: Electronics & Computers
Engineer’s Guide to the Digitization of Analog Signals

Learn about the most common technologies for digitizing analog signals for digital logging and processing, and understand the variables that impact the quality and consistency of an...

Blog: Test & Measurement
A Berkeley Lab system provides a much more sensitive probe of the chemical state of battery electrodes, especially when the battery is operated under high capacity mode.
Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Can Solar-Powered Desalination Solve Water-Scarcity Challenges?

“Seawater is a very abundant resource for clean water, but the problem is how to desalinate it,” MIT researcher Lenan Zhang told Tech Briefs in our April issue.

Blog: Materials
A team at Northwestern University is developing a material so porous that if you were able to unfold a gram of it, you could go farther than a football field.
Blog: Software
To speed up the design process, researchers from the University of Texas are finding more efficient ways to predict, or "learn," a rocket's behavior.
INSIDER: Medical

ApolloBVM – an open-source emergency ventilator developed by Rice University students – could help COVID-19 patients who are less-critically ill while they await...

Blog: Sensors/Data Acquisition
A team used to making pollutant-detection systems is adapting their technologies to spot coronavirus.
Question of the Week: Automotive
Will 'Metal-Air Scavengers' Power Vehicles and Robots?

Penn Engineering researchers have introduced a "metal-air scavenger" vehicle, which gets energy not from a battery, but from breaking chemical bonds in the aluminum surface it travels over. The technology, which works like both a battery and an energy harvester, has 13 times more energy...

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
By taking a closer look at the delta deposits on Mars, Stanford University researchers concluded that the Jezero Crater is still the best place to search for signs of life on Mars.

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