May 2020

Technology Leaders: Photonics/Optics
Tackling Aircraft Laser Strikes from the Ground
To reduce the increasing frequency of attacks, the ground-based Laser Aircraft Strike Suppression Optical System (LASSOS) has been developed by researchers from the MIT Lincoln Laboratory.
Technology Leaders: Photonics/Optics
Using Lasers in the Automotive Manufacturing Industry

Ever since Henry Ford introduced the first moving production line to the industry in 1913, automotive manufacturers have been constantly striving to streamline their processes,...

Technology Leaders: Photonics/Optics
The Configurable Laser — A Universal Manufacturing Tool
Laser technology will remain at the forefront of tomorrow’s digital manufacturing processes.
Special Reports: Robotics, Automation & Control
Medical Manufacturing and Outsourcing - May 2020

How are advances in automation/robotics, welding, 3D printing, and other fabrication technologies shaping the future of medical device manufacturing? Find out in this Special Report – a...

Special Reports: Electronics & Computers
Electronics Design & Assembly - May 2020

The latest advances in chip and board-level design and manufacturing are spotlighted in this compendium of recent articles from the editors of Tech Briefs and Aerospace & Defense Technology...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Analyzing Wear and Tear of Metal
A new method could enable vehicles and equipment to better withstand high temperatures, loads, and speeds.
Next-generation devices made with a “peel and stack” method could include electronic chips worn on the skin.
Bandages with integrated pH and temperature sensors, and electronically triggered drug release, improve healing.
Facility Focus: Electronics & Computers
Facility Focus: NASA Ames Research Center
This NASA center hosts the world’s greatest collection of wind tunnels and flight simulation facilities
This method uses fiber optic probes for measurement of semiconductors, optical coatings, magnetic read/write heads, and precision machines.
This fast, flexible tool allows researchers to quickly compare and prioritize strategies for converting biomass to fuels and products.
A new process will reduce the cost of manufacturing graphene by a factor of more than 100.
With the recent boom in touch-based, polymer display substrates must be fingerprint-resistant.
Xilinx is now applying AI to the in-cabin environment.
The nonlinear camera captures high-resolution images of the interior of solid objects using terahertz (THz) radiation.
Engineers have developed a new scanning technique inspired by the natural world that can detect corroding metals in oil and gas pipelines.
Photodetectors, ultrafast lasers, energy sensors, and more.
A team is exploring new materials for telecommunications and LIDAR applications.

The last thing you probably do when a fly buzzes toward you is marvel at its graceful wing and body kinematics. But that’s exactly what researchers at Cornell University’s Itai Cohen Group...

Researchers described a new strategy of designing metamolecules.
Application Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Properly Designing and Specifying Aspheric Lenses
Aspheric lenses greatly improve the performance and efficiency of a wide range of optical applications.
The ADISRA SmartView 4.0 HMI allows builders to see what's going on in their machines.
Briefs: Aerospace
Supersonic Spike Diffuser
This diffuser provides double the pumping efficiency in one-quarter the space.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Spin Capacitor for Energy-Efficient Electronics
The capacitor could enable a new generation of electronics that will require less power and generate less heat.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
VoroCrust v.1.0 Meshing Software
This program generates a mesh that conforms to a complex model without clipping.
This passive device relies on a layer of material that blocks incoming sunlight but lets heat radiate away.
An inexpensive 3D-printed microfluidics device could be used to personalize cancer treatment.
The material consists solely of components that have already been shown to work well in the body.
A ceramic sensor could be embedded into structures such as bridges and aircraft to monitor their health.
The AI system can help shorten the time required for 2D material-based electronics to be ready for consumer devices.
Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
Radiation-Hardened Gain Digitizer
This instrument has applications in medical equipment, robotics, and satellites.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Computational Model Predicts Human Behavior
This analytic model shows how groups of people influence individual behavior.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Microfluidics Device Detects Cancer Cells in Blood
This device could enable rapid, inexpensive liquid biopsies to help detect cancer and develop targeted treatment plans.
Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
New on the Market: May 2020
Sealing connection tools, oscilloscopes, snap-action switches, and more...
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
High-Efficiency Laser for Silicon Chips
Applications include optical data transfer, infrared and night-vision systems, environmental sensors, and breath analysis for medical diagnosis.
Tech Briefs posed questions to 3D printing/AM industry execs, to get their views on issues like metal printing, new materials, and environmental sustainability.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Mobile, Wearable EEG Device with Nanowire Sensors
This low-cost electroencephalogram (EEG) device provides research-grade signal quality.
Applications include distributed computer systems, computer security, and commercial satellite systems.
Applications include emergency medicine, combat casualty care, and sports injuries.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Electric Nanoscale Device Sees Through Walls
Applications include imaging, sensing, wireless communications, and medical treatments.
Landers to small bodies such as comets and asteroids can use this program to estimate the terrain richness of the previously unmapped small body.
The technique could be used to improve navigation for robots, drones, or pedestrians.
Briefs: Wearables
Wearable Air Conditioning
This on-skin electronic device provides a personal air conditioner without electricity.
This device could give doctors a new therapeutic option for treating patients with conditions such as heart failure.
The material combines two polymers with different properties.
This diagnostic device allows doctors to detect cancer quickly from a droplet of blood or plasma.
Briefs: Data Acquisition
Protocol Improves Storage Efficiency and Output Speed of Computer Systems
This approach enables computer systems to retrieve data much faster.
A highly sensitive, CMOS-compatible, broadband photodetector was created by tailoring material defects.
The material could enable applications such as antennas that change frequencies on the fly or gripper arms for delicate or heavy objects.
5 Ws: Sensors/Data Acquisition
5 Ws of the Infant Smart Jumpsuit
A smart jumpsuit accurately measures the spontaneous and voluntary movement of infants
A liquid crystal elastomer can be programmed to exhibit controllable, dynamic behavior without the need for complex electronic components.
This lightweight and efficient mechanism enables retention, release, and deployment of solar arrays and antennas.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Machine Learning Method for Battery Development
The method slashes battery testing times — a key barrier to longer-lasting, faster-charging batteries for electric vehicles.
A new way of making polymers adhere to surfaces may enable better biomedical sensors and implants.
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.
NASA Spinoff: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Space Station Garden Shines Light on Earth-Based Horticulture
NASA’s LED lighting system enables food and other crops to be grown indoors in places like skyscrapers.
This new design could conserve energy used for defrosting airplanes, appliances, and more.
It can be used both in small, portable devices for field inspections and in very large detectors that use arrays of crystals.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
Foldable Mechanical Devices
These “developable mechanisms” are built into the surfaces of structures.
This framework determines regional landslide probability in near real time.
This gel releases short gene sequences into the heart muscle to heal it following a heart attack.
Articles: Wearables
Products of Tomorrow: May 2020
A cryptographic ID tag, a high-reliability NASA switch, and a stretchable thermoelectric generator...

A low-cost, low-complexity ventilator developed by NASA engineers at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week.

See how NASA engineer Mike Buttigieg is creating a device that will free up ventilators for patients with COVID-19
White Papers: Defense
Advanced Materials Terms and Acronyms

Advanced materials discoveries are revolutionizing the future and enabling technological innovation that benefits society. What are “advanced materials,” and what are some of the terms that are key...

INSIDER: Sensors/Data Acquisition
New Products: May 2020 Photonics & Imaging Insider

Low-Power Sealed Laser

Luxinar (Kingston Upon Hull, UK) has introduced the SR 08s for marking, scribing and kiss cutting applications requiring average rather than peak power. The...

Question of the Week: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Will Biosensors Be Used Effectively in Crowded Environments?

A team used to making pollutant-detection systems is adapting their technologies to spot coronavirus.

Tech Talks: Automotive
Overcoming the Major Challenges of ADAS Development and Validation Infrastructure

The automotive industry is in the midst of a highly competitive transitional period, with the ultimate goal of fully autonomous or “driverless” vehicles likely to be realized within a decade, but both the scale and intensity of this goal are...

A research team has used the Molecular Foundry, a Department of Energy Office of Science user facility, to create miniature lasers. These lasers are stable and work continuously. What...

Stanford University researchers created an inverse design codebase called SPINS that can help researchers explore different design methodologies to...

The future’s getting brighter for solar power. Researchers from CU Boulder have created a low-cost solar cell with one of the highest power-conversion efficiencies to...

An empty airport tells you more than you might think.

On-Demand Webinars: Materials
What Can Structural Adhesives Do for You?

Structural adhesives are the answer to many challenging transportation challenges. Need to improve a vehicle's durability? Crashworthiness? Make it lighter? Enable more design flexibility? Enhance stiffness for better handling? Accommodate many different types of materials? Check, check, and...

White Papers: Photonics/Optics
White Paper: Optical Components for SWIR Imaging

For many applications in harsh or low-light environmental conditions such as nighttime, fog, smoke, water vapors, etc., devices operating in the visible range of light cannot process or...

White Papers: Packaging & Sterilization
Choosing the Right Robot

Robots now come in many sizes, and in configurations of two to seven axes. They can do simple or complicated work, even surgery, and are easier to integrate than ever into any manufacturing or processing...

There are several safety concerns for patients with metallic implants who require MRIs, including magnetic forces, torques, radio-frequency-induced heating,...

On-Demand Webinars: Electronics & Computers
How Single Pair Ethernet Streamlines Aircraft Networks

Bandwidth-hungry electronics are increasing on aircraft as passengers and crews expect more from in-flight entertainment, cabin lighting, security and freight monitors, and other...

Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Will ‘Flexoskeletons’ Catch On?

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have found a new way to make soft, flexible, 3D-printed robots. The “flexoskeletons” are both made of a rigid material and a thin sheet of polycarbonate that acts as a flexible base. Watch the demo on Tech Briefs TV.

What do you think? Will...

On-Demand Webinars: Software
Application and Use of Virtual ECUs Within an AUTOSAR Software Development Environment

The AUTOSAR Classic Platform architecture is now widely used across the automobile industry to address the complex interaction between hardware, software, and physical components. The AUTOSAR Classic methodology requires powerful software development...

White Papers: Defense
Magnet Valves for Rapid Decompression

When transporting sealed containers by air, protecting against rapid decompression is a constant concern. Traditionally, spring-actuated valves have been used to address this design challenge....

On-Demand Webinars: Electronics & Computers
Touch-Safe High-Voltage Battery Connectivity Solutions

The mass production of battery-powered electric vehicles requires a high safety level during assembly, daily operation, and maintenance. This is particularly relevant to battery connectors, where touch safety is vital, in addition to electrical and mechanical performance over the...

A proof-of-concept soft robot has a cheetah-like gait that avoids the usual crawl.
White Papers: Defense
Learn about Electronic Warfare Signal Generation: Technologies and Methods from Keysight Technologies

Traditionally, the technology needed to simulate realistic environments for electronic warfare has been complex and costly. These custom...

On-Demand Webinars: Test & Measurement
Addressing a Unique Challenge of Testing with NVH Sensors on Electric Vehicles

The development of noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) sensors for automotive applications, in the past, has been without regard for high-voltage (HV) electro-magnetic (EM) fields, which are now present in electric vehicles (EV) and hybrid electric vehicles...

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive
The Criticality of Autonomous and Electric Car E/E Systems

Innovation and integration of technologies have resulted in a tremendously complex system of electronic control units, sensors, and actuators, as well as the wiring to connect it all together. The size and complexity of these architectures create new challenges for automotive...

A team at Georgia Tech has discovered a Velcro-like way of mass-producing gecko-inspired adhesives.
On-Demand Webinars: Electronics & Computers
SWaP-C: How to Maximize PCB Space With Connector Selection

Connectors are often the last components considered during a high-reliability PCB design, yet they account for a considerable amount of board space and a large percentage of the overall bill-of-material value. When specified in the right way, the resulting savings in PCB space...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will Soft Robots Reach Cheetah-Like Speeds?

Our lead INSIDER story today featured a proof-of-concept robot that moves at almost 3 body lengths a second.

On-Demand Webinars: Defense
Eyes in the Sky: Drone Technology

This Technical Webinar from the editors of Tech Briefs Media examines some of the cutting-edge technologies being designed into modern unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), from those used by the military for surveillance and reconnaissance missions to those being applied in civil, agricultural, and commercial...

On-Demand Webinars: Electronics & Computers
Electronic Component Sourcing & Covid-19 Research Results: Top Challenges & Their Impact

Sourcing for electronic components is unlike other traditional supply chain commodities. The rapid changes due to supply market volatility, part complexity, shortening lifecycles, and unique cost drivers make it extra challenging for sourcing...

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive
Automotive Electronics: Space Saving Micro Fastening Technology

As electronics-based vehicle systems rise in number and complexity, attachment challenges are also increasing. The trend toward smaller, lighter, thinner designs has engineers looking for new ways to fit and fasten hardware components in extremely restrictive design spaces...

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive
Adsorbed Natural Gas and Its Automotive Benefits

This 30-minute Webinar examines the benefits of adsorbed natural gas (ANG) for automotive applications and how they can be delivered at a fraction of the operational parameters of compressed natural gas (CNG).

The Los Angeles, CA-based company Nanotech Energy is using graphene to prevent thermal runaway and create a non-flammable battery.
Researchers have tested a new imaging method to understand the brain as an individual develops Alzheimer's disease.
Simon Fraser University researchers will use their pioneering imaging technology – called Mango, for its bright color – to develop coronavirus testing kits.
A new tool for medical professionals may help shed light on tumors.
Novel biosensors allow the simultaneous study of both neuronal activity and transcription factor dynamics.
White Papers: Medical
The Advantages of Electropolishing

Stamping and machining leave behind a variety of surface imperfections that affect the fit, form, and safety of metal parts. Learn how the process of electropolishing can fix one of the most common...

Question of the Week: Materials
How Would You Use Gecko-Inspired Adhesion?

A team at Georgia Tech has discovered a Velcro-like way of mass-producing gecko-inspired adhesives. Principal investigator Prof. Michael Varenberg believes his team’s technology can someday be used on pick-and-place industrial machines, wall-scaling cleaners, and even small repair robots that travel...

On-Demand Webinars: Software
The Role of Analytics in the Digital Twin

In the era of Industry 4.0, the digital twin has emerged as a new technology that brings together physical and simulated information to deliver greater value from existing resources. When paired with the latest in analytics, digital twins can lead to better decision making at each step of the...

Tech Talks: Materials
Longer Lifetimes, Lower Costs: The 94 AU 30000 Material Advantage

Seals are the workhorses of hydraulic systems, and the demands placed on seals can be extreme in today’s increasingly rugged industrial applications. Challenges such as higher temperatures, fluctuating pressures, aggressive media, difficult terrain, longer working hours,...

White Papers: Photonics/Optics
Introduction to 3D Printing with PµSL

Small devices that require high precision, high resolution, and high accuracy are all around us. From the electronic connectors in cellphones to the tiny valves in medical pumps, these devices aren’t...

White Papers: Manufacturing & Prototyping
7 Key Challenges for BEV/PHEV/PEV Large Scale Adoption

Large scale electrified vehicle adoption is both necessary and exciting, as it enables fleets to meet fuel efficiency mandates and brings advanced performance capabilities to a wider set...

White Papers: Medical
Compact, Smooth, Repeatable Accuracy: NSK Motorized Ball Screw Actuator

NSK’s MBSA series combines a precision-ground ball screw with an ultra-accurate stepping motor. It’s the ideal integrated solution for medical devices and laboratory...

Robots are helping to redefine healthcare delivery with robotics-assisted therapies such as autonomously guided waterjet ablation and focused ultrasound that destroys...

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...

White Papers: Aerospace
White Paper: 4 Approaches to Solve Today's Obsolescence Challenges in Aerospace and Defense

Test engineers spend as much as 50 percent of their time (or even more in some cases) actively dealing with obsolescence in their test program sets....

New software sets the stage for A.I.-enabled robotic prostheses that predict user terrain and initiate mechanical changes accordingly.
White Papers: Defense
White Paper: Solving Tomorrow's Obsolescence Challenges Today

Test engineers spend as much as 50 percent of their time (or even more in some cases) actively dealing with obsolescence in their test program sets. Read about best practices in...

Question of the Week
Would You Use a ‘SwingBot?’

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