July 2020

Special Reports: Design
Vehicle Electrification - July 2020

The global transition to electric vehicles presents new design, manufacturing, and infrastructure challenges. To help you keep pace with the rapid changes in vehicle electrification technology, we present...

Special Reports: Photonics/Optics
Exploring Mars - July 2020

As NASA prepares this week to launch its latest robotic rover to the Red Planet, we are excited to present this commemorative publication chronicling – through historic images and video – six decades of Mars...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
A research team has built a super-high-speed microscope.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
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: Sensors/Data Acquisition
New surveillance sensors are able to perform better than ever under unpredictable and dynamic lighting conditions.
Technology Leaders: Materials
Make sure the polished optic meets the requirement of a particular application.
Articles: Test & Measurement
In-line testing of certain LEDs, using nanosecond pulses, will become more and more relevant with time-of-flight applications.
Technology Leaders: Photonics/Optics
Highly technical glass-ceramic delivers optical precision at nanometer scale.
Products: Imaging
High-speed cameras, ultra-stable mounts, automated inspection systems, and more...
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
A new iteration of sCMOS camera technology promises even higher sensitivity than prior designs.
Briefs: Communications
Using integrated photonic chips fabricated at EPFL, scientists have demonstrated laser-based microwave generators.
Briefs: Materials
A new CT scan method using intense synchrotron radiation produces higher quality images within milliseconds.
Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
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.
Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
Researchers at Linköping University, together with colleagues in China, have developed a tiny unit that is both an optical transmitter and a receiver.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Quantum computer circuits that will no longer need extremely cold temperatures to function could become a reality.
Briefs: Aerospace
This method creates a thin-film electrode for a bio-nanobattery.
5 Ws: Materials
In the operating room, you can produce bioresorbable metal implants, such as screws for bone fractures.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
This work potentially opens the door to advances like more energy-efficient electronic devices.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
The new technology demonstrates a 20 percent savings in fuel in typical passenger car low-load operating conditions.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Sensors in the hand can actually detect forces being transmitted through the thickness of the robot.
Briefs: Software
This rapid screening system tests fracture resistance in billions of potential materials.
Briefs: AR/AI
A quantum material could offset energy demand of artificial intelligence.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The new filament allows low-cost printers to produce parts with mechanical properties competitive with injection molded plastics.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
The miniaturized, autonomous, reconfigurable solar sail is capable of very fine maneuvering by small surface deformation.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
This method provides a fast way to assess rocket engine performance in a variety of operating conditions.
NASA Spinoff: Communications
Automated systems developed for NASA now serve as office conference bridges.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The device provides quick results and gives healthcare workers more time to treat patients in hospitals and other settings.
Briefs: Wearables
The patch could serve as a personal thermostat and save energy.
Briefs: Software
Application Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
NASA needed help accurately measuring Earth-reflected sunlight.
Facility Focus: Test & Measurement
NIBIB is committed to integrating the physical and engineering sciences with the life sciences to advance basic research and medical care.
Articles: Semiconductors & ICs
NASA's Dry Goods Delivery System, a lung-heart sensor on a chip, and more.
Briefs: AR/AI
An automated system cuts the energy required for training and running neural networks.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Solid-State Lithium Battery
This thin film battery can be used for on-package power in mass market electric vehicles (EVs) and electronic devices.
Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Applications exist both on Mars and on Earth.
Q&A: Semiconductors & ICs
An adhesive can be deactivated by applying a small voltage.
Technology Leaders: Aerospace
Aircraft may have a huge amount of data available, but this doesn’t mean it’s the right data to troubleshoot a problem.
Briefs: Transportation
Bio-Inspired Propulsion
Frequencies and passive dynamics of vehicles moving in air or water help enhance propulsion performance.
Briefs: Motion Control
A fleet of “roboats” could transport people, collect trash, and self-assemble into floating structures.
Briefs: Materials

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
These can replace rechargeable lithium-ion batteries commonly used in robotics, power tools, and grid-scale energy storage.
Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
Linking multiple copies of these devices may lay the foundation for quantum computing.
Articles: AR/AI
How to design for safety, reliability, and connectivity using the latest circuit protection technologies and board layout strategies.
Briefs: Energy
A new design enables artificial photosynthesis to generate fuel that can power homes and vehicles.
Products: Data Acquisition
Photoelectric sensors, cable connectors, power monitors, and USB3 cameras.
Products: Test & Measurement
Tektronix announced new digital storage oscilloscopes.
Blog: Photonics/Optics
A reader asks our NASA expert: "What kind of redundancy is built into the Mars 2020 rover?"
Blog: Manufacturing & Prototyping

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

Question of the Week: Imaging
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.

Podcasts: Robotics, Automation & Control
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.
Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
The Mars rover Perseverance has a helicopter. Will the rover have to carry it around?
Question of the Week: Materials
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?

INSIDER: Energy

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...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics

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...

INSIDER Product: Imaging

Ultraviolet-Enhanced Circular Photodetector

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

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics

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...

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
A tiny underwater robot may someday filter out water contaminants by catching them with its tentacles.
Question of the Week: Unmanned Systems
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...

Blog: Test & Measurement
The Perseverance rover has an almost human-like way of keeping its lenses clean.
Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
We plug in our headphones everyday. Now a robot can perform the task.
Blog: Software
Can NASA "joystick" the landing of the next Mars rover? A Tech Briefs reader asks our NASA expert.
Blog: Aerospace

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

Question of the Week: Propulsion
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...

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control

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

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
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

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...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control

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: Aerospace

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

Blog: Data Acquisition
“Food supply” goes beyond just crop production. See how NASA is offering a more comprehensive look at food security and agriculture.

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