May 2019

Special Reports: Materials
Advanced Materials - May 2019

Breakthroughs in plastics, composites, coatings, and other materials technologies are enabling exciting new applications in industries ranging from aerospace to automotive to medical. Read more in this Special...

This invention applies to the field of sputtering, depositing SiGe thin films on sapphire substrates. It is a method of modifying the film...

Rize
Woburn, MA
www.rize3d.com

Headquartered at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey, The United States Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) is the...

The combination of conductive polymers on nanostructures was demonstrated as suited to creating electronic displays as thin as paper. The “paper” is similar to the Kindle tablet. It...

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is a rapidly growing field in which solid objects can be produced layer-by-layer. This...

Briefs: Energy
Measurement Method for Radioactive Methane

Anew method for measuring radioactive methane is an optical one based on spectroscopy. Previously, radioactive methane has been measured with accelerator mass spectrometry involving expensive machines. Optical measuring could be a cheaper and more agile method.

Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A Guide to Collaborative Robot Safety

The ability of collaborative robots to share tasks with humans and flexibly adapt to new requirements can provide high returns on investment in a wide variety of industrial applications. Manufacturers...

Researchers have constructed a “metamirror” device capable of perfectly reflecting sound waves in any direction. The proof-of-principle demonstration is analogous to looking...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Waterproof Graphene Electronic Circuits

The many applications of graphene, an atomically-thin sheet of carbon atoms with extraordinary conductivity and mechanical properties, include the manufacture of sensors. These transform environmental parameters into electrical signals that can be processed and measured with a computer. Due to their...

Most 3D printers, including light-based techniques, build up 3D objects layer by layer. This leads to a “stair-step” effect along the edges. They also have difficulties creating flexible...

Researchers at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center have identified and evaluated recently available miniature spectrometers that enable compact and robust pyrometry...

Anew material was developed that can extract the key ingredient in the most common form of plastic from a mixture of other chemicals while consuming far less energy than usual....

Timken
North Canton, OH
www.timken.com

As NASA prepares for the launch of its newest Mars rover in 2020, Timken engineers have designed and tested its miniature precision...

When engineers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model the flow of air...

Facility Focus: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Facility Focus: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

Founded on July 1, 1960, Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL is one of NASA’s largest field centers. Marshall engineers designed, built, tested, and helped launch the Saturn V...

A current-steering digital-to-analog converter (DAC) was developed that achieves improved switching times (up to 75% faster) in high-speed (gigahertz), high-resolution (8-14...

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a new way to reduce the high-temperature heating requirement of sapphire substrates in wafer production. The growth of...

NASA Spinoff: Test & Measurement
LED Lighting Improves Efficiency and Imaging

Rocket engine testing requires a lot of light since all tests are filmed with high-speed cameras to monitor performance; however, those cameras have to adjust to the bright plume from a firing...

Unwanted porosity is typical to many manufacturing processes — from traditional casting to additive manufacturing (3D printing) — and is difficult to avoid entirely....

Products: Electronics & Computers
New on the Market: May 2019
Position Sensors

Novotechnik, U.S., Southborough, MA, introduced Vert-X 2900 Series sensors that measure angular position and are available in single or redundant versions. Users can specify...

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...

Briefs: Software
Software Could Help Prevent Arrhythmic Heart Disease

The heart’s pumping ability is controlled by electrical activity that triggers the heart muscle cells to contract and relax. In certain heart diseases such as arrhythmia, the organ’s electrical activity is affected.

5 Ws: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
5 Ws of Foldable Mechanical Devices
Who

Manufacturers across medical, space, aviation, military, and automotive industries could use the technology to build complex machines that integrate with surfaces to be very compact, but can deploy...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Technique Reverse-Engineers Complex 3D CAD Models

Nearly all commercial products start as a CAD file — a 2D or 3D model with the product’s design specifications. One method that’s widely used to represent today’s 3D models is...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Singlet-Based Magnet for Enhanced Data Storage

Anew type of magnet — called a singlet-based magnet — was discovered that differs from conventional magnets in which small magnetic constituents align with one another to create a strong...

Q&A: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Q&A: NASA's Dr. Mahmooda Sultana Makes Multifunctional Sensors

Dr. Sultana won funding to advance a nanomaterial-based detector platform that can sense environmental parameters from minute concentrations of target gases and vapors, to atmospheric pressure and temperature, and then transmit that data via a wireless antenna — all from the same 3...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
S-Curve Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer

Time-of flight mass spectrometers are commonly used in analytical chemistry and many other applications. They contain a region where ions travel toward a detector. A new geometry was developed that...

Technology Leaders: Test & Measurement
Changing the Automation Conversation

With advancements in manufacturing processes and materials, components in many industries are more precise with a new level of complex shapes. There is significant demand to create parts and assemblies...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Method Shrinks Objects to the Nanoscale

Existing techniques for creating nano-structures are limited in what they can accomplish. Etching patterns onto a surface with light can produce 2D nano-structures but doesn’t work for 3D structures....

Anyone who skis, wears glasses, uses a camera, or drives a car is familiar with the problem: Coming into a humid environment from the cold causes eyewear, camera lenses, or windshields to...

Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Medium-Frequency Transformer Transitions from AC to DC

Traditionally, electronics are cooled using a heat sink that transfers the heat generated by the electronic system into the air or a liquid coolant. For the heat sink to work, it has to...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Transparent, Self-Healing Electronic Skin

Scientists have taken inspiration from underwater invertebrates like jellyfish to create an electronic skin with similar functionality. Like a jellyfish, the electronic skin is transparent, stretchable, touch-sensitive, and self-healing in aquatic environments.

New adversarial techniques developed by engineers at Southwest Research Institute can make objects “invisible” to image detection systems that use deep-learning algorithms. These techniques...

A team of bioengineers supported through a Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) has...

Application Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Improving Vehicle Fuel Economy with ADAS

Fuel economy is a key factor in worldwide energy-consumption. One way to improve fuel economy is using driver feedback to promote efficient habits (eco-driving). Emerging research is looking into...

Articles: Photonics/Optics
Industrial Blue Lasers
What Does It Takes to Change the Game?

Industrial lasers are integrated into manufacturing and fabrication facilities around the world. Every moment, there is an industrial laser somewhere that is cutting, etching,...

Three-dimensional (3D) imaging applications are used in many different industries ranging from industrial pick and place, palletization/depalletization, warehouse, robotics, and metrology to...

Sony Pregius Sensor

FRAMOS (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) now offers the Sony IMX392, a 1/2.3 type of imager with a square 1920 (h) × 1200 (v) active pixel array. The sensor has a...

One of the frontiers of medical diagnostics is the race for more sensitive blood tests. The ability to detect extremely rare proteins could make a life-saving difference for many...

A Northwestern University research team has developed tiny optical elements from metal nanoparticles and a polymer that one day could replace traditional refractive...

There have been many changes in laser technology over the past 30 years. With each advancement comes new challenges and opportunities. The CO2 laser with 10-micron wavelength was king for many...

Researchers at the University of Houston have created an inexpensive system that can detect lead in tap water at levels commonly accepted as dangerous, using a lens made with an...

Since Robert Hooke's microscopic observations of cork cells in the 17th century, optical imaging has proven an indispensable technique in elucidating the pathophysiology of diseases. Perhaps the real...

Application Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Lighting the Gas Monkey Garage

Gas Monkey Garage (GMG) is arguably America's most recognized hot rod shop. Founded in 2004 by charismatic serial entrepreneur Richard Rawlings, the Dallas, Texas garage is a state-of-the-art restoration and...

Products: Test & Measurement
Product of the Month: May 2019 Tech Briefs

S. Himmelstein and Company, Hoffman Estates, IL, announced Model 700+ Series signal conditioners that are flexible, one- or two-channel signal conditioners/displays. They feature...

As always, the Air Force Research Laboratory had a huge presence at AUVSI’s XPONENTIAL show in Chicago.
A Navy Sea Glider can look for a target in mid-air or underwater.
Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: Helicopter Drones
Three new unmanned helicopters were unveiled at AUVSI’s XPONENTIAL show in Chicago.

Software for Enhanced Laser Processing

Prima Power Laserdyne (Champlin, MN) released of the FASTTRIM™ CAD/CAM software for use with its multi-axis precision laser processing...

X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) produce incredibly powerful beams of light that enable unprecedented studies of the ultrafast motions of atoms in matter. To...

A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is possible using...

An international team led by a group of Boston College researchers reported that a recently discovered Weyl semimetal delivers the largest intrinsic conversion of light to electricity of any...

White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
Diesel Engine Cylinder Deactivation for Improved System Performance over Transient Real-World Drive Cycles

Eaton’s Vehicle Group, was part of a team that authored “Diesel Engine Cylinder Deactivation for Improved System Performance over...

If a short circuit starts a fire up on the International Space Station, Dr. Yuji Nakamura has an idea to extinguish it: The vacuum.
White Papers: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Productivity Enablement for the Aerospace Shop Floor

For suppliers, floorspace is at a premium. You need to deliver a combination of speed and quality on the shop floor to stay competitive in the crowded field competing for OEM business....

Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
For Prototyping, Do You Prefer 3D Printing or CNC Machining?

During a live presentation this month, a Tech Briefs reader had a question for Proto Labs machining pro Gus Breiland:

“When can 3D printing be a viable alternative to CNC machining?”

A reader asks: "With medical robots, what's in it for surgeons?"
White Papers: Electronics & Computers
5G Terms and Acronyms Brochure

With so many 5G terms talked about these days, it’s easy to get confused. Even more terms and acronyms are on the way. We’ve got you covered with our up-to-date publication quality list of over 90...

White Papers: Automotive
Grinding Burn Inspection Using Barkhausen Noise Analysis

With Barkhausen noise analysis you can detect stress and micro structural defects on the surface and also below the surface due to improper heat treatment and grinding. Unlike...

White Papers: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Aging of Optical Fibers in Aggressive Environments: Mimicking Downhole and Undersea Applications

The main goal of the study is to mimic certain aspects of downhole and undersea application conditions for glass optical fibers. A series of...

News: Robotics, Automation & Control
Want a Magnetized Medical Robot? Just 3D Print It
A microrobot can take up to 8 hours to make. With the help of a 3D printer, University of Toronto engineers got the process down to 20 minutes
Articles: Test & Measurement
The Inside Story of Pico's 9400 SXRTO
Pico’s RF Business Development Manager Mark Ashcroft introduces the company's SXRTO Sampler Extended Real Time Oscilloscope.
Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Would You Use a Robot to Help with Household Tasks?

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have built Blue, a low-cost robot that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and deep reinforcement learning to master human tasks like folding laundry or making coffee.

Your smartwatch can count your steps, but can it tell if you’re typing on a keyboard? Or chopping a vegetable?

White Papers: Communications
Get Updated Network Analysis Measurement Science Poster

This complimentary poster was just updated to guide you through the essentials on network analysis measurement science including S-parameters basics. It also includes common...

News: Imaging
5-Minute Sample Processing Enhances DNA Imaging and Analysis

JILA scientists have developed a fast, simple sample preparation method that enhances imaging of DNA to better analyze its physical properties and interactions. This gentle yet effective process involves binding DNA to mica, a flat silicate mineral. This process extends the DNA's...

News: Imaging
Improving Molecular Imaging Using a Deep Learning Approach

Generating comprehensive molecular images of organs and tumors in living organisms can be performed at ultra-fast speed using a new deep learning approach to image reconstruction developed by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The research team's new technique has the...

News: Imaging
New Method Improves Infrared Imaging Performance

A new method developed by Northwestern Engineering's Manijeh Razeghi has greatly reduced a type of image distortion caused by the presence of spectral cross-talk between dual-band long-wavelength photodetectors. The work opens the door for a new generation of high spectral-contrast infrared...

News: Imaging
PET Imaging Biomarker Could Better Predict Alzheimer's Progression

Researchers have discovered a better way to predict the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

Question of the Week: Aerospace
Can a Spray-On Coating ‘Ice-Proof’ Airplanes?

University of Michigan researchers have developed a coating that they believe could lead to the achievement of a long-time goal: Ice-proofing airplanes.

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will Hummingbird Robots Help with Search-and-Rescue?

Purdue University researchers have created small flying robots that act like hummingbirds. Artificial intelligence, combined with flexible flapping wings, allows the robo-bird to teach itself new tricks.

White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
Driving Change in the Age of Electric Vehicles

In the 21st century, electric vehicles will be king. Gasoline prices, energy security concerns and environmental awareness are the converging forces driving behavior change at the policy,...

Blog: Manufacturing & Prototyping
HP’s Digital Disruption

On the opening day of the RAPID + TCT Show in Detroit, HP introduced the new Jet Fusion 5200 Series 3D printing solution – an industrial 3D printing system – and the Digital Manufacturing Network, a new...

At RAPID + TCT in Detroit today, Markforged introduced Blacksmith artificial intelligence-powered software that makes manufacturing machines “aware” so they can automatically adjust programming...

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
A Leech-Like Robot Climbs Up the Walls

Doctoral Programs student Ayato Kanada came up with his leech-like robot in a place you’d least expect it: His bathroom.

White Papers: RF & Microwave Electronics
Strategies for Deploying Xilinx’s Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC

Xilinx’s new RFSoC brings a powerful and unique solution for addressing some of the most demanding requirements of high bandwidth and high channel count system. This paper provides...

Question of the Week: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Would You Use a Wearable That Detects Hand Activity?

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University turned a standard smartwatch into a detector of specific hand activities, from playing the piano to scrolling through the phone. Read the Tech Briefs Q&A.

White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
Driving an Automotive Revolution

Today’s automotive sector is increasingly consumer driven, so companies must adapt to keep up with the faster pace of demand for product innovation. This includes vehicles with complex contours, which...

White Papers: Photonics/Optics
Fiber Optic Rotary Joints Add a Spin to Sensing, Mobile, and Robotic Fiber Systems

To the passing optical signals, fiberoptic rotary joints (FORJs) are nothing more than fiber connectors, which provide connection between one or multiple...

“Nothing is going to slow 5G down. I mean nothing," said one NIWeek panelist.
White Papers: Design
Designing with Fastening in Mind

Problems derived by non-optimized assembly methods can jeopardize what would otherwise be a successful new product development. Collaboration with a fastener company can be valuable at any stage in the...

White Papers: Motion Control
Precise Satellite Positioning to the Nearest Micron

OHB Systems AG is constructing a new hyperspectral satellite called EnMAP for terrestrial monitoring. Five mirrors, six prisms and three cameras are being mounted in an exceedingly compact...

INSIDER: Motion Control
“Knitting” Soft Actuators

Carnegie Mellon University researchers used computationally controlled knitting machines to create knitted objects that are actuated by tendons. The objects emerge from the knitting machines in their desired...

INSIDER: Motion Control
Changing How Sound Moves Particles

Researchers at Aalto University have discovered a surprising phenomenon that changes how we think about how sound can move particles. Their experiment is based on an experiment in which particles move...

An Ohio State researcher shares with Tech Briefs the promise of potassium-oxygen batteries.
White Papers: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Best Practices for Users of Mass Flow Meters and Controllers

Flow meters and controllers are used every day in general purpose industrial and laboratory applications and in the semiconductor industry. Have you ever wondered how capillary...

Videos