July 2020

A research team has built a super-high-speed microscope.
A new low-cost imaging system could make it easier to track mosquito species that carry disease, enabling a more timely and targeted response.
Application Briefs: Imaging
Extended Dynamic Range Camera Imaging
New surveillance sensors are able to perform better than ever under unpredictable and dynamic lighting conditions.
Technology Leaders: Materials
High Quality Optical Surfaces
Make sure the polished optic meets the requirement of a particular application.
Articles: Lighting
Optical In-Line VCSEL Testing
In-line testing of certain LEDs, using nanosecond pulses, will become more and more relevant with time-of-flight applications.
Technology Leaders: Aerospace
ZERODUR: The Highly Technical Glass-Ceramic
Highly technical glass-ceramic delivers optical precision at nanometer scale.
High-speed cameras, ultra-stable mounts, automated inspection systems, and more...
A new iteration of sCMOS camera technology promises even higher sensitivity than prior designs.
Using integrated photonic chips fabricated at EPFL, scientists have demonstrated laser-based microwave generators.
A new CT scan method using intense synchrotron radiation produces higher quality images within milliseconds.
Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Beyond LPW: Debunking the Myth that More is Better
There’s been a race to the top among industrial LED lighting manufacturers as they scramble to squeeze the maximum possible lumens per watt (LPW) out of their products.
Researchers at Linköping University, together with colleagues in China, have developed a tiny unit that is both an optical transmitter and a receiver.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Quantum Computing at Room Temperature
Quantum computer circuits that will no longer need extremely cold temperatures to function could become a reality.
This method creates a thin-film electrode for a bio-nanobattery.
In the operating room, you can produce bioresorbable metal implants, such as screws for bone fractures.
This work potentially opens the door to advances like more energy-efficient electronic devices.
The new technology demonstrates a 20 percent savings in fuel in typical passenger car low-load operating conditions.
Sensors in the hand can actually detect forces being transmitted through the thickness of the robot.
This rapid screening system tests fracture resistance in billions of potential materials.
A quantum material could offset energy demand of artificial intelligence.
The new filament allows low-cost printers to produce parts with mechanical properties competitive with injection molded plastics.
Briefs: Propulsion
SMART Solar Sail
The miniaturized, autonomous, reconfigurable solar sail is capable of very fine maneuvering by small surface deformation.
This method provides a fast way to assess rocket engine performance in a variety of operating conditions.
Automated systems developed for NASA now serve as office conference bridges.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Robot Automates Blood Drawing and Testing
The device provides quick results and gives healthcare workers more time to treat patients in hospitals and other settings.
The patch could serve as a personal thermostat and save energy.
This potentially eliminates the need for future re-synchronizations.
NASA needed help accurately measuring Earth-reflected sunlight.
NIBIB is committed to integrating the physical and engineering sciences with the life sciences to advance basic research and medical care.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Products of Tomorrow: July 2020
NASA's Dry Goods Delivery System, a lung-heart sensor on a chip, and more.
An automated system cuts the energy required for training and running neural networks.
Briefs: Energy
Solid-State Lithium Battery
This thin film battery can be used for on-package power in mass market electric vehicles (EVs) and electronic devices.
Applications exist both on Mars and on Earth.
An adhesive can be deactivated by applying a small voltage.
Aircraft may have a huge amount of data available, but this doesn’t mean it’s the right data to troubleshoot a problem.
Briefs: Propulsion
Bio-Inspired Propulsion
Frequencies and passive dynamics of vehicles moving in air or water help enhance propulsion performance.
A fleet of “roboats” could transport people, collect trash, and self-assemble into floating structures.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Super-Fast Method for Ceramic Manufacturing

Scientists have reinvented a 26,000-year-old manufacturing process into an innovative approach to fabricating ceramic materials widely used in batteries, electronics, and extreme environments....

Briefs: Energy
Sodium-Ion Batteries
These can replace rechargeable lithium-ion batteries commonly used in robotics, power tools, and grid-scale energy storage.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Single-Atom Transistors
Linking multiple copies of these devices may lay the foundation for quantum computing.
How to design for safety, reliability, and connectivity using the latest circuit protection technologies and board layout strategies.
A new design enables artificial photosynthesis to generate fuel that can power homes and vehicles.
Products: Electronics & Computers
New on the Market: July 2020
Photoelectric sensors, cable connectors, power monitors, and USB3 cameras.
Products: Test & Measurement
Product of the Month: July 2020 Tech Briefs
Tektronix announced new digital storage oscilloscopes.
White Papers: Defense
AGM's Environmental Control Hardware Protects Military and Industrial Equipment!

Since 1970, AGM Container Controls, Inc. (Tucson, AZ) has led in the design and fabrication of environmental control hardware for the military, defense,...

A reader asks our NASA expert: "What kind of redundancy is built into the Mars 2020 rover?"

You can design the best product in the world but what if the parts, assemblies, and sub-components for your idea aren’t there?

White Papers: Packaging & Sterilization
What to Look for When Selecting Your Compact Air Cylinders

Not all compact air cylinders are created equal. Many components have similar features, and some look alike. How do you decide which one to use? This paper explores air cylinder...

Question of the Week
Can Camera Systems Replace the Wall-Mounted Thermostat?

Our lead INSIDER story today showcased an autonomous 'HEAT' camera system that uses facial temperatures to determine a room's optimum temperature.

What do you think? Can Camera Systems Replace the Wall-Mounted Thermostat?

Share your questions and comments.

Ben Jennet is a PhD student at MIT and a former space research fellow at NASA. He is working with NASA to develop a new kind of aircraft wing that's flexible and changes mid-flight.
On-Demand Webinars: Defense
On-Demand Web Seminar: Preparing for the Future of Aerospace and Defense

How can the aerospace and defense industry adapt to today’s challenges to enable a more connected universe?

White Papers: Transportation
Servo-Electric is Changing “Buzz, Squeak and Rattle” Auto Testing

For more than 40 years, servohydraulic four poster test systems have contributed to major improvements in automotive safety and quality. However, in recent years, the...

The Mars rover Perseverance has a helicopter. Will the rover have to carry it around?

The market for wearable technology in healthcare is exploding.

White Papers: Photonics/Optics
Board-Level Cameras: The Benefits of a Smaller Design

When too much tech can weigh down a UAV, you need lighter parts. See the kinds of compact board-level cameras being used to support aerial imaging, handheld vision systems, and more.

Question of the Week: Aerospace
Will Morphing Wings Take Off?

Our lead INSIDER story today showcased a morphing MADCAT aircraft wing.

“From a first glance, it literally doesn’t look like anything that anyone’s ever seen before,” said MIT researcher Ben Jennet in our Here's an Idea episode.

How about you? Will Morphing Wings Take Off?

O-rings are a ubiquitous, uncomplicated sealing solution for virtually millions of products. They seal out moisture and environmental contaminants, separate surfaces to...

A new way of making large sheets of high-quality, atomically thin graphene could lead to ultra-lightweight, flexible solar cells, and to new classes of...

Carolin Frueh is among only a handful of researchers who have persisted in using a complex technique that can diagnose a problem from thousands of miles away based on how a...

Ultraviolet-Enhanced Circular Photodetector

Opto Diode Corporation (Camarillo, CA) has introduced the UVG5S, an ultraviolet-enhanced photodiode with a 5 mm² circular active area....

Just as a meter stick with hundreds of tick marks can be used to measure distances with great precision, a device known as a laser frequency comb, with its...

White Papers: Test & Measurement
Understand Radar Signals with Real-Time Analysis

The transient nature of radar pulses combined with modern pulse compression schemes often demand carefully designed test setups. This Primer will cover measurements methods, choosing your...

A tiny underwater robot may someday filter out water contaminants by catching them with its tentacles.
Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will ‘Roboats’ Catch On?

Our July issue of Tech Briefs highlighted a fleet of “roboats” that could someday transport people, collect trash, and self-assemble into floating structures.

The Roboat autonomous robotic boats — rectangular hulls equipped with sensors, thrusters, microcontrollers, GPS modules, cameras, and other...

On-Demand Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control
The Path to High-Level Autonomy for Commercial Vehicles

Automated-driving technology experts continue to project commercial vehicles as the most promising early adoption sector for high-level automation. But ever-evolving technology...

White Papers: Automotive
Programmable Logic: Accelerating Automotive Applications

As the demands on automotive capability increase, Xilinx XA portfolio of automotive devices and supporting tool chains provide designers with the ability to achieve not only the...

White Papers: Medical
The Right X-Ray Solutions for Medical Components, Assemblies and Devices

Manufacturers in the medical device sector face quality and process control challenges. Medical device components frequently need to be inspected without being...

The Perseverance rover has an almost human-like way of keeping its lenses clean.
We plug in our headphones everyday. Now a robot can perform the task.

As COVID-19 has spread throughout the world, it has ushered in a new era of medical device design — one that involves open-source designs, shared design specifications,...

White Papers: Medical
Learn How the Right Connectivity Solutions Enable Life-saving Medical Equipment

The medical field is one of the most specialized markets with very specific and stringent needs. Ensuring equipment is properly connected via power, signal, and...

Can NASA "joystick" the landing of the next Mars rover? A Tech Briefs reader asks our NASA expert.

Watch NASA experts review this week's preparations, as the Perseverance rover launches and begins its journey to Mars.

White Papers: Photonics/Optics
Understanding Key Real-Time Spectrum Analyzer Specifications

Spectrum analyzers are the fundamental instrument used by RF engineers to measure individual signals across a defined frequency band. They capture and display wanted and unwanted...

Question of the Week: Aerospace
Will Electric Aircraft Take-Off in Everyday Aviation?

In May of 2020, the “eCaravan” aircraft, powered by a 750-horsepower electric motor and more than 2000 pounds of lithium-ion batteries, flew to a height of over 2500 feet, at over 100 miles per hour. The all-electric airplane was built by magniX, Seattle-based electric propulsion...

White Papers: Imaging
Back to the Future of Video Encoding

Have you ever seen pixilation, or have noticed face details disappear, confetti in dark areas or simply muddy video? These are negative effects of compression. Compression is needed to enable transport...

In the past 24 months, there has been increased skepticism regarding the ability of the automotive industry to deliver fully functional Level 3...

Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Watch: NASA's Mars 2020 Sample Return Briefing

Watch below as NASA experts review how they plan to return samples from the surface of Mars back to Earth.

Mars 2020 NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and other NASA experts offer a briefing on this week's launch of the Perseverance rover.
INSIDER: Motion Control
Self-Latching Piezocomposite Actuator

NASA Langley has developed a self-latching piezocomposite actuator with power-off, set-and-hold capability. If integrated into an aerodynamic control surface or engine inlet, deflections could be...

As the aerospace industry continues to evolve toward more energy-efficient systems, new technologies are emerging. An example is the need for very large...

Tech Talks: Medical
Fiber Extrusion for Medical Devices 201: How Melt Spinning Works

As implantable medical devices become more advanced, fiber extrusion experts must continue to innovate to meet the increasingly critical requirements for polymer-derived fibers and yarns used for textile components. Going beyond the core principles of fiber extrusion...

White Papers: Semiconductors & ICs
PCIe Simulation Speed-Up Using Mentor QVIP with PLDA PCIe Controller for DMA Applications

This paper discusses how verification engineers can use Mentor’s Questa Verification IP (QVIP) to improve productivity during the functional...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Human-Like Hands with Flexible, Hybrid Actuators

In industrial settings, robots often are used for tasks that require repetitive grasping and manipulation of objects. A humanoid hand design that is a soft-hard hybrid flexible gripper can...

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
Watch: The Mars 2020 Perseverance Launch

Watch below as the Perseverance rover and its Ingenuity helicopter make their way to Mars.

“Food supply” goes beyond just crop production. See how NASA is offering a more comprehensive look at food security and agriculture.
White Papers: Automotive
Mastering Tolerances for Machined Parts

Mastering CNC tolerances can be challenging, even for experienced engineers, designers, and machinists. Are general tolerances good enough? When does it make sense to call out for tighter tolerances?...

On-Demand Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control
Collaborative Robotics: Sharing the Workspace

Manufacturing robots were kept in cages previously, programmed by specialists, and often used for a single task. Today’s collaborative robots are being used by manufacturers to automate...

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Electronics & Computers

OpenVPX Technology: The Future of Military Computing

Upcoming Webinars: Lighting

Driving Ahead of the Curve: Visionary Headlamp Concept

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

The New DIS ISO/SAE 21434: Road Vehicles – Cybersecurity...

Upcoming Webinars: Medical

Conformal Coating Protection of Critical Medical Technologies

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

Alignment Strategy for Complex Part Geometries

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Next-Generation Design for Heavy Equipment

Videos