May 2021

Special Reports: RF & Microwave Electronics
RF & Microwave Electronics - May 2021

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...

Products: Test & Measurement
Fiber coatings measurement, single-frequency laser, optical filters, and more.
Products: Electronics & Computers
Cable ties, milling software, snap-action switches, and more.
Products: Electronics & Computers
Battery analyzers, uninterruptible power supplies, adhesives, and more.
Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
A smart temperature transmitter delivers measurements via Bluetooth.
Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Learn about the benefits of SWIR imaging, from food inspection to surveillance.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
A heat source near the optical path can introduce image warping that locally shifts the position of the image content. Learn how to fix the flaw.
Articles: Test & Measurement
Conductive cellulose, composites testing, and a light-emitting tattoo.
Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
These 6 advancements are leading us to cleaner, faster aircraft.
Articles: Energy
As the vehicle platform size decreases, the pulse power discharge rates of the Energy Storage System (ESS) increase.
Articles: Electronics & Computers
Lithium-metal solid-state batteries can provide a safer, more energy-dense alternative to current technology.
Articles: Electronics & Computers
A disruptive manufacturing technology now offers reduced manufacturing costs and improved volumetric energy density in all-solid cells.
Articles: Electronics & Computers
A comparison of passive and active supercapacitor charging methods emphasizes the need for a close inspection on power source and supercapacitor demand.
Articles: Electronics & Computers
The online Battery and Electrification Summit on June 15 and 16, 2021 offers two days of expert insight, innovation, and emerging applications.
Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
See how WiBotic — a maker of wireless charging and fleet energy management technologies — is preparing robots for the Moon.
Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Learn about tooling challenges and other considerations when designing micro-optics, including metrology equipment capabilities, and post-molding assembly.
Application Briefs: Test & Measurement
What you need to know before you incorporate large diameter aspheres into your optical systems.
Application Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
See how makers of an automated truck wash system added a monitoring option for customers.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A flexible, free-standing THz sensor array images blind ends of irregularly shaped objects.
Briefs: Imaging
Northwestern researchers have developed a new microscopy method that allows scientists to see the building blocks of “smart” materials being formed at the nanoscale.
Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
A team has introduced a new method for taking high-res images of fast-moving and rotating objects in space, such as satellites or debris in low-Earth orbit.
Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics

Innovators have developed an RFID-based system for sensing the angular position of rotating systems. The RFID-Based Rotary Position Sensor can be used as a position/orientation sensor or implemented in a...

Briefs: Motion Control

NASA Marshall Space Flight Center developed designs for two micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) motion and position sensors: a single-axis accelerometer and a gyroscope....

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
This additively manufactured alloy is tailored for high-temperature applications.
Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
Using microwaves reduces the cost of launching rockets.
Briefs: Nanotechnology
The thruster provides a low-cost, extremely efficient propulsion source for miniature satellites.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
The wearable prototype can stream, in real time, an identifying signature based on the electrical activity of a person's heart.
Briefs: Aerospace
These engines will allow upper stage rockets for space missions to become lighter, travel farther, and burn more cleanly.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
The electrochemical sensor can detect the presence of the virus in less than five minutes.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
This affordable, scalable sensor could be a vital tool in the fight against air pollution and its associated health risks.
Briefs: Materials
The paper-like material could be useful in soft robots, sensors, artificial muscles, and electric generators.
Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
This could reduce the environmental impact of styrene manufacturing.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
An algorithm runs onboard a vehicle, providing important real-time data to aid in steering the craft.
Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Normally an insulator, diamond becomes a metallic conductor when subjected to large strain.
Briefs: Aerospace
The new hinge is the key to get loadbearing, large quadrotors to climb a few dozen feet in seconds.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
The sensors could be used in medical applications such as neuroscience and metabolism processes.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
This technique has applications in strain, temperature, pressure, vibration, and acoustic sensing.
Briefs: Energy
This method increases burn rate of solid propellants.
Briefs: Unmanned Systems
This technology provides drones sufficient time and distance to react, avoid wires, and navigate follow-on maneuvers.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
The miniaturized detector mimics the process dogs use to detect cancer and other diseases by smell.
Briefs: Aerospace
The proposed design could reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 95 percent.
Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
This invention achieves sustainable freshwater production in a variety of climates at minimal energy cost.
Briefs: Materials
Flea-sized, hollow blocks can be filled with materials that improve healing.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Applications include monitoring of earthquakes and tsunamis as well as manmade infrasonic sources such as boats.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
A new method could jump-start the creation of tiny medical devices for the body.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Programmed magnetic nanobeads are used to detect the virus in 55 minutes or less.
Briefs: Energy
Thrusters based on magnetic reconnection could complete long-distance missions in a shorter period of time.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
The portable lab-on-a-chip detects many contaminants in water supplies.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Autonomous quadcopters can be trained using simulations to increase their speed, agility, and efficiency.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
This model can be used to design better aircraft without having to wait months for supercomputer calculations.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Potential applications include parachutes, hot air balloons, weather balloons, blimps, sails, and parasails.
Briefs: Materials
The structures’ small size and porosity make them well-suited for building components such as replacement joints.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Synthetic materials can mimic how living organisms expand and contract soft tissues, achieving complex 3D movements and functions.
Briefs: Materials
Bioinspired cellulose nanofibrils can be controlled by electricity.
Briefs: Energy
This technology provides highly efficient grid-scale electricity storage at a fifth of the cost of current storage technologies.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The cathodes could enhance energy density of next-generation Li-ion batteries.
Briefs: Energy
The alloy could influence the way energy storage devices are designed and manufactured.
NASA Spinoff: Robotics, Automation & Control
With a clever design by NASA, waiting for hot water could be a thing of the past.
5 Ws: Robotics, Automation & Control
A research team programmed two robots — a humanoid figure and a robotic arm — to measure human physiological signals.
Q&A: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Rutgers researcher Xiaoran Fan developed a "HeadFi" method that uses ordinary headphones as sensors.
Technology Leaders: Photonics/Optics
Thanks to new innovations in measurement technologies, manufacturers and users now have a wide range of options for proactively measuring the laser beam.
Technology Leaders: Data Acquisition
Test technologies are available as technologies evolve to 800Gbps and 1.6Tbps for next-generation data center architectures.
Special Reports: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Advanced Materials & Coatings - May 2021

New diamond super-material enhances military aircraft survivability…a gold film gives robots “chameleon skin”…shape-shifting nanomaterial offers exciting biotech...

Facility Focus: Robotics, Automation & Control
Notable graduates of the school include Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos, Google executive Eric Schmidt, Internet pioneer Bob Kahn, former Chrysler head Lee Iacocca, and six NASA astronauts.
White Papers: Automotive
Customized Silicone Solutions for EV Battery Packs and Electronic Components

Achieve your design requirements with CHT’s silicone series of 1-part adhesives, potting compounds, encapsulants, and gels to seal and protect sensitive...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics

Uncooled Thermal Lens

British threat detection specialist Silent Sentinel (Hertfordshire, UK) has expanded its Aeron Ranger suite of cameras to include a brand-new 25-150mm Long...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics

New research shows how to measure the super-short bursts of high-frequency light emitted from free electron lasers (FELs). By using the light-induced ionization itself to create...

INSIDER: Data Acquisition

Fiber optic technology is the holy grail of high-speed, long-distance telecommunications. Still, with the continuing exponential growth of internet traffic,...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics

Photonics has the potential to transform all manners of electronic devices by storing and transmitting information in the form of light, rather than electricity. Using...

Question of the Week: Aerospace
Will We See Human Exploration on Mars by 2040?

An INSIDER story last week highlighted another recent achievement on Mars: A rover instrument known as “MOXIE” created oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. The NASA-led demonstration is a first step toward human presence on the Red Planet, according to MOXIE principal lead Michael Hecht.

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive
Next-Gen Vehicle Innovation: Streaming Analytics for Smart Factory and Connected Vehicles

Smart factory technologies, when combined with testing and simulation, quality and process control, and autonomous machines/robotics, can help automotive OEMs and suppliers increase efficiency, reduce costs, and create new revenue streams. Real-time...

Tech Talks: Medical
Motorized Ball Screw Actuator: Linear Precision for Space-Saving Medical Devices

This Tech Talk examines the benefits of motorized ball screw actuators and how they can provide linear precision for medical devices. It also explains how a precision ground ball screw is integrated directly into a NEMA 17 stepper motor to achieve a...

On-Demand Webinars: Software
Using Virtual Prototypes to Accelerate Software Development for Renesas R-Car SoC Platform

The software complexity of automated driving/ADAS and connected vehicle applications is growing drastically. Along with this complexity comes strict safety and security requirements and shrinking development cycles. The virtual prototype for the...

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive
Trends in Passenger-Vehicle Component Design Simulation

Simulation is taking an increasingly dominant role in the design of components for light vehicles. With onboard real estate at a premium, an ongoing drive for modularity and smart packaging, and increasingly condensed development timelines, it’s clear that designing components in...

Blog: Materials
An international team used 3D printers and a novel bioprinting technique to print algae into living, photosynthetic materials that are tough and resilient.
White Papers: Medical
OEM Peristaltic Pump Solutions for Engineers

Our pumps are proven in many medical devices that have been on the market for decades. These predicate devices that use our technology can reduce the amount of validation testing, and achieve a...

Blog: Manufacturing & Prototyping
By adjusting a surface's wettability and texture, IIT Bombay researchers demonstrate how to best limit the spread of coronavirus.
White Papers: Aerospace
Top 10 Reasons to Switch to a Better Parts Cleaning Solvent

Once considered the favorites of the industry, TCE and nPB cleaning solvents are now under regulatory scrutiny and could be phased out in the U.S. soon. This paper outlines the top...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control

MIT researchers developed RF-Grasp, a robot that uses radio waves to sense occluded objects. RF-Grasp uses both a camera and an RF reader to find and grab tagged objects, even when they’re fully blocked from...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control

Using 3D bioprinting, researchers have created biobots at the centimeter size range that can swim and coast like fish with unprecedented velocity. Rather than working with stiff or tethered...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has a new mission. Having proven that powered, controlled flight is possible on the Red Planet, the Ingenuity experiment will soon embark on a new operations...

Question of the Week: Materials
Will ‘Living Materials’ Catch On?

Our lead story today highlighted the possible applications for a "living material" made from microalgae and cellulose.

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive
Advanced Testing Solutions for Powertrain System and AC/DC Automotive Components

The challenges that engineers face during vehicle design verification, performance evaluation, and mass production involve strict power testing requirements, higher voltages, fast current switching and better seamless switching, as well as compliance...

White Papers: Automotive
Automotive Industry: Appearance Control and Management

Once considered the favorites of the industry, TCE and nPB cleaning solvents are now under regulatory scrutiny and could be phased out in the U.S. soon. This paper outlines the top 10...

On-Demand Webinars: Photonics/Optics
Lunch & Learn: Latest in Digital Microscopy

Today’s 20-minute Lunch & Learn delves into why incomplete microscopy inspection may be a bigger problem than you realize. Classic inspection systems offer a shallow depth of field, which can cause sample parts not to be in focus and, thus, leads to missing features, user fatigue, and...

On-Demand Webinars: Aerospace

Modern technology for ground vehicles and aircraft are placing ever-increasing demands on thermal management systems’ capabilities. From the need for almost...

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
Computer scientists at UC San Diego developed a navigation system that will allow robots to better negotiate busy environments in a hospital
White Papers: Connectivity
How to Overcome The 5 Main Technology Challenges Around Autonomous Driving?

With the size of the autonomous car market forecast to grow to US$60bn by 2030, and with 220 million connected vehicles already on roads worldwide, the market for...

Blog: Materials
A team from Texas A&M developed a battery that's metal-free and replaces cobalt with organic, recyclable materials.
White Papers: Transportation
Your Guide to Custom Cap and Plug Solution

Download this engineering guide to learn more about the different caps and plugs offered, and to ensure your products are safe and functional from damage and contamination.

On-Demand Webinars: Aerospace
Accelerating Electrified Aircraft Development with Multi-Physics Simulation

The trend toward more electric aircraft continues to accelerate. Simultaneously, simulation continues to increase to manage the complexity that comes with electric strategies. This 30-minute Webinar examines how simulation with GT-SUITE can shorten development...

Question of the Week: Materials
Will Metal-Free Batteries Catch On?

Our lead story today highlighted a metal-free battery that degrades on demand. While a cobalt-less battery has its sustainability benefits, more work will need to be done for the Texas A&M-developed technology to compete with the lithium-ion standard.

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive

As electrical content in vehicles continues to increase, the need for miniaturized automotive terminals and connectors is greater than ever. But OEMs are often hesitant to move to the smaller...

Webinars: Medical
Sony NUCLeUS: Groundbreaking Video-Over IP Imaging Capability for Post-Pandemic Product Design

The pandemic has triggered dramatic changes in technology for hospital design and integration. The need to access and easily route important video and vital patient data to anywhere – at any time – within a facility to care for high-risk...

Blog: Materials
A better aerogel features a kind of biological scaffold made from a surprising ingredient found in nature: seaweed.
On-Demand Webinars: Medical
Miniaturization of Medical Components

The advent of minimally invasive surgery, combined with the demand for both portable and wearable devices, has led to the need for ever smaller components. From temperature sensors, integrated circuits, and miniature valves to micro motors and drive systems, miniaturized components are enabling a new...

Blog: Automotive
A reader asks: "What are the main challenges in simulating powertrain systems? What do we struggle to model now?"
Question of the Week: Aerospace
Will 'Zero-Impact' Planes Take Off?

Our May issue of Tech Briefs highlighted a hybrid-electric aircraft design from MIT that, according to its creators, could reduce global nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 95 percent.

On-Demand Webinars: Medical
New Solutions to Further Enhance the Safe and Sustainable Use of EO

Ethylene oxide (EO) sterilization technology plays a vital role in enabling critical medical products and devices to safely reach patients worldwide. According to the FDA, “more than 20 billion devices sold in the U.S. every year are sterilized with EO, accounting for...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control

As part of the Artemis program, NASA is planning to send its first mobile robot to the Moon in late 2023 in search of ice and other resources on and below the lunar surface. Data from the Volatiles...

Blog: Photonics/Optics
Researchers from CU Boulder gave their optical "rectennas" a ghost-like way to turn wasted heat into power.
Blog: RF & Microwave Electronics
NC State researchers have made what they believe to be the smallest state-of-the-art RFID chip: a device measuring 125 micrometers (μm) by 245μm.
White Papers: Manufacturing & Prototyping
A New Era of Manufacturing in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: $7 Billion of Possibilities Uncovered in Michigan

Michigan’s manufacturing industry is consistently a driver of economic growth. And it has been able to adapt and change with...

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