April 2021

Special Reports: Test & Measurement
Aerospace & Defense Sensing - April 2021

A microwave radiation sensor offers 100,000 times greater sensitivity...Nature-inspired sensors help autonomous machines to see better...New accelerometers aid the development of Electric Vertical...

Special Reports: Electronics & Computers
Medical Manufacturing & Outsourcing - April 2021

How 3D printing is transforming the medical industry...adapting to the manufacturing challenges of COVID-19...improving quality and reliability in PCB production. These are just a few of the...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Emerging robotics technology may lead to better buildings in less time.
Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
In North America alone, the gripper market is worth roughly $100 million — and that number is expected to climb up to 5 percent each year.
Briefs: AR/AI
These robots could perform basic healthcare tasks to support the work of doctors and nurses.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A prototype version could be demonstrated on a large cargo lunar lander.
Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Servo drives, magnetic angle sensors, draw wires, and more.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Shape and environment can cause materials to move without motors or hands.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
These actuators can compete with electrical and pneumatic systems.
Briefs: Transportation
The tiny device accurately measures acceleration in smaller navigation systems and other devices.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Pneumatic technologies such as control valves continue to evolve, incorporating sensors, industrial network interfaces, wireless technology, and more.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
A new type of control system may broaden robots’ range of tasks and allow safer interactions with people.
Articles: Motion Control
Specially designed brake controls are a critical factor of brake performance in any application.
Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
There is a growing demand for direct-drive motors.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The intelligent camera features all three resolutions: spatial, temporal, and spectral.
Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
This system enables battery-free ocean exploration with applications ranging from marine conservation to aquaculture.
Q&A: Energy
Professor Qiaoqiang Gan of the University at Buffalo (NY) and his team developed a unique two-in-one system that uses solar energy for simultaneously cooling and heating — without electricity.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
The system provides high tuning capability and extreme simplicity.
Products: Materials
Displacement sensors, metal 3D printers, shielding materials, and more.
Briefs: Materials
The alloy has applications in jet turbine disks and other high-stress and/or high-temperature environments.
Briefs: Medical
Medical instruments equipped with a soft electronics system improve diagnostic and therapeutic interventions in minimally invasive surgeries.
Briefs: Materials
A combination of polymers and oligomers, when combined with UV light, almost completely kills the coronavirus.
Briefs: Medical
This technology could be a low-cost, in-home alternative to blood draws and clinic-based screening tools.
Briefs: Energy
A new electrocatalyst efficiently converts carbon dioxide into ethanol.
Briefs: Materials
The energy storage device can store a charge up to 900 times greater than state-of-the-art supercapacitors.
Briefs: Imaging
The instrument could bring powerful sensing and imaging capabilities into hospitals, airports, or other settings.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
This compact beam steering technology has applications in autonomous navigation, AR, and neuroscience.
Briefs: Data Acquisition
Edge computing, focused applications, and open connectivity let designers start with little data on their digital transformation journey.
5 Ws: Materials
A medical patch can be folded around minimally invasive surgical tools and delivered through airways, intestines, and other narrow spaces.
Briefs: Materials
Inspired by camel fur, a two-layered material could provide extended cooling to preserve the freshness of perishable goods.
Articles: Aerospace
Highly purified, low-outgassing silicones prevent material degradation in satellites and space vehicles.
Facility Focus: Energy
See the advanced materials, complex systems, and bioengineering technologies being created at Cornell.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
NASA Spinoff: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The inserts use a material that NASA has considered for spacecraft filters.
Briefs: Connectivity
The device recharges the internal battery of implants without invasive surgery.
Briefs: Materials
This nanoparticle-based adhesive is visible in common imaging techniques such as computed tomography (CT).
Briefs: Lighting
The micro-display could enable smartphones and televisions with resolutions of more than 10,000 pixels per inch.
Briefs: Imaging
These technologies help compress 3D camera files and automate focus and exposure settings.
Briefs: Imaging
The single piece of glass produces crisp panoramic images.
Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
This transceiver for wireless communications at the 300-GHz band enables beyond-5G applications.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
NASA's graphene composites, textile pressure sensors, and a better kind of glass.
Briefs: Energy
Biofuels can achieve cost parity with petroleum fuels.
Briefs: Medical
Ultrasound is used to deliver antibodies to treat cancers, infectious diseases, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Articles: Software
The more complex the vehicle, the greater the need for comprehensive design solutions.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
These robust supercapacitors still work when stretched to eight times their original size.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Ultra-Miniaturized Microendoscope
The lens-free scope produces higher-quality images at a fraction of the size.
Briefs: Nanotechnology
This invention holds potential for a range of biomedical applications, from controlled-release drug delivery to tissue engineering.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
This camera enables multi-spectral imaging for metrology.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
This composite can be used in lithium metal batteries.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Assembling tiny chips into unique programmable surfaces dramatically increases the amount of data wireless systems can transmit.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
These glass substrates can be used for displays on smartphones and tablets and for other durable, impact-resistant applications.
Briefs: Imaging
A chip-based technology generates sound profiles with high resolution and intensity to make ultrasound therapy more effective and easier.
Briefs: Tubing & Extrusion
The stent monitors even subtle changes in the flow of blood through the artery.
Products: AR/AI
The GVC1001 computer features dual 10-GigE ports for gigabit Ethernet camera or other sensor inputs.
On-Demand Webinars: Information Technology
Component Authenticity and Traceability: How to Prevent Counterfeits and Gray Market Diversion

The problem of counterfeit components is a threat unlikely to disappear anytime soon, presenting a risk for both manufacturers and end users. This 30-minute Webinar examines strategies and tactics to mitigate these risks and remove potentially...

Blog: Automotive
The A.I. system learns from thousands of real-traffic situations, when a self-driving car stopped unexpectedly.
White Papers: Defense
Thunderbolt 3: A Path forward for Avionics Data Bus Interfaces and Abaco’s ARINC 615-3 Data Loader

Engineers using avionics data bus interfaces and data loaders are facing a growing problem: the demise of the PCMCIA and ExpressCard...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will Underwater Exploration Go Battery-Free?

A Tech Brief featured in our April issue highlighted a battery-free pinpointing system from MIT called Underwater Backscatter Localization. Rather than emitting its own acoustic signals, the “UBL” reflects modulated signals from its environment. The reflections provide researchers with positioning...

On-Demand Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control
Creating Custom Multi-Axis Sensors for Robotics

Robotic and actuator applications most often require sensors that measure force, load, pressure, or torque. However, in many cases catalog products or off-the-shelf type sensors are not a suitable option due to space considerations or costly modifications needed to be made to the existing...

On-Demand Webinars: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Simulation

Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) are hot topics in the engineering simulation community. These techniques have applications across the product lifecycle. For example, a design engineer can train an AI system to find optimal designs using data...

Blog: Nanotechnology
Taking inspiration from the insect, Tufts researchers created light-activated composite devices that execute precise, visible movements and form complex three-dimensional shapes, like a "photonic sunflower. "
Blog: Electronics & Computers
Researchers from Cornell University have redesigned the battery so that aluminum more easily integrates into a battery's electrodes.
White Papers: Photonics/Optics
Injection Molding Principles

Optimizing custom part designs for injection molding requires a thorough understanding of the process and outcomes. In this ebook, you'll learn about common molding resins, special molding terms you should know,...

INSIDER: Semiconductors & ICs

Two-dimensional materials can be used to create smaller, high-performance transistors than the ones traditionally made of silicon, according to Professor Saptarshi Das of...

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers

In collaboration with groups from China and the United States, a research team from TU Wien set out to find the optimal heat conductor. They finally found what they were...

INSIDER: Semiconductors & ICs

Two-dimensional (2D) materials have a huge potential for providing devices with much smaller size and extended functionalities with respect to what can be achieved with...

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers

“Tango delta. Touchdown confirmed. Perseverance safely on the surface of Mars, ready to begin seeking the signs of past life.” For more than six years, the...

White Papers: Electronics & Computers
New SmartDisplay™ Products Enable More Versatile HMI Designs

Building better Human-Machine Interface solutions to monitor and control complex equipment and systems is a key priority for design engineers. SmartDisplay™ intelligent...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will Robotic Exoskeletons Help the Elderly?

A team from the University of Waterloo is creating robotic exoskeleton legs that use A.I. to make their own steps and control decisions. "Learning" from a collection of sample-strolls around an environment, the system adjusts its movements based on the surroundings it senses.

On-Demand Webinars: Aerospace

Digital technologies applied to military electronics are fueling the rapid transformation of integrated communication systems. By applying common...

White Papers: Test & Measurement
Video Metadata for Science and Engineering

What happened? Why did it happen? How did it happen? What is going on? These are questions we ask when studying behaviors, events, and exploring the unknown.

White Papers: Test & Measurement
Precision Time Protocol

The Precision Time Protocol (PTP), fully defined within IEEE standard 1588, is a highly accurate scalable time source that efficiently services a wide range of networks and devices at each node. High timing accuracy...

White Papers: Test & Measurement
H.264/H.265 VS JPEG XS

There are three ways to see video: uncompressed, lightly compressed, and highly compressed. For the small screen, highly compressed video is used. For the big screen and for content generation, uncompressed or lightly...

White Papers: Medical
Successful Medical Device Cleaning Validation

Validating cleaning instructions for a tray of reusable orthopedic devices is an important milestone on the path to obtaining FDA clearance for those devices. Although the process of validation...

White Papers: Medical
Regulatory Landscape for EO Residue Levels in Medical Devices

Ethylene oxide (EO) gas sterilization, in particular, is one of the most efficient and effective ways of deactivating bacteria and other potentially dangerous living microbes from...

White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
V2X, DSRC, and 5G: What You Need to Know About Vehicle Communications in 2021

Vehicle manufacturers are starting to build cars and trucks with new technology that allows the vehicles to share data, such as location and speed, directly with...

White Papers: Test & Measurement
Principles of Lock-In Detection

Lock-in amplifiers were invented in the 1930s and commercialized in the mid-20th century as electrical instruments capable of extracting signal amplitudes and phases in extremely noisy environments. They...

White Papers: Aerospace
Ensuring Aerospace Safety & Cost-Efficiency with Fiber Optics

Keeping passengers and crews safe, flights on time, and costs and maintenance on-budget requires high-quality, innovative advanced test and measurement capabilities. Whether in...

White Papers: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Fiber Optic Temperature Sensing in Harsh Environments Using Phosphor Thermometry

Fiber optic temperature sensors are entirely controlled by light and do not include any electrical components, making them critical for use in harsh...

White Papers: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Leveraging Magnetic Sensitivity for Better Device Design

Understanding the role and behavior of digital magnetic sensors and sensitivity is essential in order to achieve cost-effective design of electronic applications within major markets...

White Papers: Imaging
Photobiological Safety Measurements

In recent decades, advances in materials science and technology have substantially improved the quality of lighting products. LEDs, in particular, have become more rugged, with higher efficiencies and...

White Papers: Medical
UVC Sensors to Monitor Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI)

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has severely stressed the worldwide healthcare system and has created dangerous shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks,...

White Papers: Research Lab
Understanding Medical Device Extractable and Leachables Testing in 2020

The world of physics has a foundation built on beautiful universal constants that work their way steadfastly into the equations governing electrodynamics, and then...

White Papers: Medical
The New FDA Draft Guidance for Biocompatibility of Certain Devices in Contact with Intact Skin

In October 2020, the FDA released a new draft biocompatibility guidance document that focuses on the biological evaluation of devices in contact...

White Papers: Test & Measurement
Basic RF Amplifier Measurements Using the R&S® ZNB Vector Network Analyzer and “SMARTerCal”

The ZNB vector network analyzers (VNA) from Rohde & Schwarz are the perfect instruments for analyzing RF amplifier small signal linear and...

White Papers: Test & Measurement
Designing for EMI Testing

Today, R&D engineers face challenging time-to-market goals. Extending the product development schedule and delaying the product launch can prove to be extremely costly in terms of opportunity cost and lost...

White Papers: Test & Measurement
EMI Debugging at Board Level

EMI radiation and crosstalk caused by poor shielding can lead to signal quality and performance degradation in electronic RF devices. To minimize the overall EMI of electronic devices, local radiation sources on...

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive
Using Thermoplastics on EV Battery Enclosures/Structures to Improve Weight, Performance, Safety

Battery packs are the heart of electric vehicles. Today, the industry is challenged to remove weight from these systems, while boosting performance and minimizing damage from collisions.

White Papers: Test & Measurement
dB or not dB? Everything you ever wanted to know about decibels but were afraid to ask...

True or false: 30 dBm + 30 dBm = 60 dBm? Why does 1% work out to be -40 dB one time but then 0.1 dB or 0.05 dB the next time? These questions sometimes...

On-Demand Webinars: Photonics/Optics
Optics and Coatings Technology

Precision optics are used in a wide variety of industrial, scientific, medical, and military applications, and their performance is often improved or enhanced by the application of thin film coatings. But how do you know what types of optics will work best for your application (e.g., spheric vs. aspheric,...

Blog: Electronics & Computers
Researchers from RMIT have introduced an ultra-thin material for semiconductors that could lead to transparent electronics.
White Papers: Sensors/Data Acquisition
From Concept to Complete OEM Sensor Solution

In many applications requiring force, load, pressure, or torque measurements, however you may not have the ability to install a standard off-the-shelf sensor due to space considerations or costly...

White Papers: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The Engineer’s Guide to Masking Solutions

Download this guide to learn how to select an appropriate material suited to your operating temperature and application process. Masking is an essential part of the production and finishing process...

Blog: Manufacturing & Prototyping
A new, sustainable take on the 3D printer reduces waste by eliminating the need for printed supports.
Question of the Week: Photonics/Optics
Do You See Potential for Objects That Change Shape via Light?

Taking inspiration from the butterfly, Tufts University researchers created light-activated composite devices that execute precise, visible movements and form complex three-dimensional shapes, without the need for wires or other actuating materials or energy sources.

Webinars: Medical
Advances in Medical Imaging

Medical imaging is one of the most valuable tools doctors have to detect and diagnose diseases. While medical imaging has come a long way, many CTs, X-rays, ultrasounds, and MRI scans produce 2D renderings that require doctors to use their imagination and experience to piece together what they are seeing. With...

White Papers: Electronics & Computers
An "Under the Hood" Look at Technology Supporting the World's Fastest EV Dragster

As more EV engineers adopt a non-Hall-effect approach to measuring current in their li-ion battery management systems (BMS), some components from...

White Papers: Packaging & Sterilization
Medical Device Cooling Considerations for Your Next Design Project

The term “Medical Device” covers an expansive range of applications ranging from large MRI machines to hand-held surgical devices and diagnostic tools. These pieces of...

On-Demand Webinars: Test & Measurement
Secrets to Efficiently Sustaining Your Automated Test System

When designing a test system, it is important to plan for problems. The reason is simple. If a test system goes down, your product line loses revenue. This 60-minute Webinar discusses how a well-designed test system – and strategy – can get a system up quickly when a...

White Papers: Aerospace
4 Types of Parts Contaminant and How to Remove Them

When it comes to metal fabricating, parts are commonly contaminated during production or transport. Parts contamination, or soils, fall into four basic categories. This paper explores each...

On-Demand Webinars: Medical
Designing with Medical Grade Silicone: Considerations for Medical Product Design Engineers

This 30-minute Webinar focuses on the possibilities for medical device design. A silicone expert presents how silicones can help you develop innovative medical devices.

Blog: Aerospace
The technology demonstration is a first step in showing that humans could someday live (and breathe) on Mars.
On-Demand Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control
How Critical Are Localization and Perception Technologies for Enhanced Autonomous Driving?

Today autonomous driving solutions leverage diverse sensors, along with high-definition maps, to plan and maneuver their path. In an extremely competitive market, automakers are racing to deliver the next levels of autonomy driven by a mixed set of...

Blog: Transportation
Tech Briefs readers ask a series of questions about the future of plastics in battery electric vehicles.
White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
How High-efficiency Climate Control Solutions Save Energy and Cost

High temperatures in industrial settings are a leading cause of downtime. Controlling units and microprocessors age quickly under heat pressure, so generated heat...

On-Demand Webinars: Transportation
Design Challenges for Ethernet Adoption in Commercial Transportation

Industrial and commercial vehicle manufacturers are designing a greater degree of sensitive, data-intensive features into trucks, buses, special-use vehicles, agricultural, and heavy-duty construction equipment. The trend is similar to what we’ve seen in the personal...

Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Can Moving Pins Cut 3D-Printing Costs?

An INSIDER story last week highlighted a 3D printer that uses a platform of movable pins to provide support for the created part. The invention eliminates the need for printed supports.

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive
Total Appearance Measurement System for Automotive Applications

Traditional tools for appearance measurement used in automotive applications have put the focus on surface waviness. However, visual quality is more than waviness. Using image projection and analysis to mimic human visual perception, a Total Appearance Measurement System...

White Papers: Medical
Control Under Pressure

Biomedical and life science applications depend on precise, repeatable liquid handling. Pressure-controlled liquid dispensing systems provide a simple, quick and cost-effective way to dose nanoliter- to...

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive
Automotive Lighting: Material Solutions to Address Trends/Emerging Needs for Next-Gen Vehicles

A number of trends and emerging needs are shaping developments in automotive lighting. Among them: more intricate lighting designs, thinner and smaller parts, LiDAR and radar systems integration, and sustainability. This 30-minute Webinar...

Blog: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Wearable gas sensors being developed at the Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH) display an instantaneous visual holographic alarm.
News: Electronics & Computers

Wind and solar power are increasingly popular sources for renewable energy. However, they have intermittency issues. A potential solution to this problem involves the...

News: Automotive

New research conducted by the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) has identified a specific building block that improves the anode in...

INSIDER: Motion Control

Northern Arizona University researchers developed high-performance artificial muscle technology based on linear actuators. Because of their helical structure, the actuators generate more power,...

Webinars: Medical
PQ Dose Mapping and Routine Irradiation of Products with Non-Uniform Density Distribution

Operational Qualification dose mapping of gamma irradiators is performed using homogeneous materials. Product sent for irradiation may deviate substantially from this model, which introduces complexity into Performance Qualification dose mapping as...

On-Demand Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Implementing Smart Factory Solutions

The smart factory is much more than just an automated facility. It is a fully connected digital production system that has a constant stream of data coming from sources including production machinery, pick-and-place equipment, machine vision systems for inspection, robots of different types, and...

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
New software being developed at Ohio State University will allow creation of more complex DNA robots, at much faster speeds.

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