August 2021

Special Reports: Power
Power Electronics - August 2021

This compendium of recent articles from the editors of Tech Briefs and Aerospace & Defense Technology looks at the latest advances in power electronics and energy storage for a range of applications...

Articles: Motion Control
Learn the differences between bipolar and unipolar motors, their driving methods, and advantages and limitations.
Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A new generation of long-life electric linear actuators has emerged to give designers more flexibility.
Briefs: Motion Control
Oscillatory and rotational motions of different parts are combined to pave the way to developing super-miniaturized mechanical devices.
Products: Motion Control
Linear motion bearings, magnetic angle encoders, isolation valves, and more.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
A connection between electricity and mechanical motion in soft, rubber-like materials could improve robot range.
Briefs: Motion Control
This artificial muscle technology enables more human-like motion.
Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
RightHand Robotics combines machine vision with an intelligent gripper design to make more adaptable robots.
Articles: Motion Control
These common pneumatic circuits can be used alone or as building blocks in larger pneumatics systems.
Application Briefs: Electronics & Computers
An OEM must think about how to build a machine that will work on any kind of power system.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
This below-the-hook device enables gentle crane placement to decrease the risk of property damage.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
SMA tube elements drive rotary and ring gear motion in compact, powerful actuators.
Briefs: Materials
The chemical process turns plastic into biodegradable chemicals for surfactants and detergents.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
The tough circuits could withstand the grueling demands of energy production, space exploration, and more.
Briefs: Unmanned Systems
Applications include vehicle and aircraft tires, sports helmets, military equipment, and seals and couplings.
Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Epoxies, reverse-engineering software, temperature loggers, and more.
Briefs: Packaging & Sterilization
This treatment has the potential to remove from drinking water nearly all viruses that have an “outer fortress.”
Briefs: Materials
Applications include anti-fouling and anti-contamination, aerodynamic and hydrodynamic drag reduction, and adhesive joining of composite parts.
Briefs: Energy
The Battery Identity Global Passport could be accessible as a scannable QR code or a computer chip.
Briefs: Energy
This technology can be used for large production volumes such as fuel-cell-powered vehicles.
Briefs: Aerospace
Applications include manned deep space exploration and terrestrial CO2 removal systems.
Briefs: Data Acquisition
Gait data and machine learning help to monitor and predict disease progression.
Briefs: Nanotechnology
Applications include aerospace and automotive components, prosthetics, sporting goods, and other uses where strength-to-weight ratio is important.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Material for shoe bottoms could help prevent falls in icy or slippery conditions.
Briefs: Materials
This invention enables improved carrier mobility for solar cells and other electronic devices.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
The switch has uses in circuit protection systems in the electric power grid, high-power military applications, and power for materials processing.
Briefs: Materials
High-quality coated components can be integrated into complex systems in a sustainable way.
Briefs: Wearables
The soft, stretchy skin patch can monitor cardiovascular signals and multiple biochemical levels at the same time.
Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Learn about widely used communications technologies for motion control.
Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
By reclaiming polymers in plastics, the process could cut down on millions of tons of plastic waste.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
The material sets the stage for new forms of electric power in the future.
Briefs: Energy
Chilled panels use less energy than conventional A/C and work in open spaces.
NASA Spinoff: Sensors/Data Acquisition
NASA’s need to contain hazardous lunar dust led to technology that senses other pollutants.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
The technology recovers pure and precious metals from alloys in cellphones and other electrical waste.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
The robot firmly but gently grasps objects as small as 1 millimeter in diameter.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
This novel gel-creation method could open applications in water filtration, batteries, and smart windows.
Briefs: Transportation
Applications include sensor signal conditioning in harsh conditions such as automotive, oil and gas operations, and firefighting.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The solution increases water recovery, prevents mineral scaling, and cuts the volume of brines in half.
Briefs: Nanotechnology
The desalination method produces clean water while, at the same time, potentially capturing valuable metals such as gold.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
A triboelectric generator made of flexible circuit boards creates electricity when the wearer moves.
Application Briefs: Test & Measurement
The Earth Imaging Spectrometer instrument is heading to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2022.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The organic composite material is soft, stretchable, and has good thermoelectric properties for many wearable applications.
Q&A: Electronics & Computers
Kristin Sampayan from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory found a fast way to switch high voltages.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
This new technique shields electronics from ionizing radiation in applications such as military and space exploration.
Briefs: Aerospace
Applications include wind turbines, solar arrays, commercial space mobile launchers, and industrial process stacks and equipment.
5 Ws: Materials
A specially designed hydrogel works against all types of bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant ones.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
The microchips are about 100 times smaller than conventional microchips.
Briefs: Materials
The battery is smaller than a traditional lithium-ion battery due to the elimination of dendrites.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
The oscillator is designed for localized clock signal generation and data transmission in telemetry systems and remote sensing.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Superalloys that withstand extremely high temperatures could be finely tuned for specific properties such as mechanical strength.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
The circuitry uses race logic to solve complex problems with a minimum expenditure of energy.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
These organic solar cells can be useful where constant, low power generation is sufficient.
Briefs: Wearables
The patch can replace blood draws to test for antibodies that signal a viral or bacterial infection such as SARS-CoV-2.
Briefs: Nanotechnology
The technology potentially enables a new generation of miniaturized electronic and optoelectronic devices.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
High-frequency sound waves can be used to build new materials, make smart nanoparticles, and even deliver drugs to the lungs for painless, needle-free vaccinations.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
By introducing defects to a common material, a highly efficient capacitor offers dramatically increased energy density.
Facility Focus: Materials
WPI supports research in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, cybersecurity, and fire safety.
Briefs: Automotive
The lightweight brake rotor design with high heat dissipation uses novel surface cooling technology.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Solid-state batteries offer a higher level of safety and potentially longer life than lithium-ion batteries.
Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
A flexible device worn on the wrist harvests heat energy from the human body to monitor health.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
By capturing more cancer cells than blood draw screening, this device could help doctors understand a tumor’s biology and make decisions about treatment.
UpFront: Aerospace
NASA's Landslide Reporter, a smarter cement, and a way to track microplastics in the ocean.
Application Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
After rigorous ground testing, NASA’s Four Bed Carbon Dioxide Scrubber will be installed on the ISS.
Articles: Transportation
A new COVID test, a "ChromoUpdate," and NASA's brake rotor.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Prototypes show promise as a low-cost, natural filtration option.
Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
The high-quality bioplastics can be molded into a film that can be used in plastic bags and packaging.
Briefs: Energy
An enhanced polymer could be used for more energy-efficient systems with a smaller carbon footprint.
Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
An extrudable thermoplastic 3D printing filament allows users to create lightweight, sponge-like foams.
Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will ‘Air Power’ Boost the Use of Soft Robots?

Our second INSIDER story today highlighted William Grover and his UC Riverside team’s efforts to swap electronics with air.

White Papers: Imaging
Automated Optical Inspection (AOI): 101

Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) is a process that uses digital cameras to inspect every square millimeter of your printed circuit board for defects and errors. In concert with human inspection, AOI...

On-Demand Webinars: Electronics & Computers
Maximizing Power in High-Reliability Applications – Applying SWaP to Connectivity

This 60-minute Webinar examines SWaP (size, weight, and power) and how it relates to connector selection for high-reliability applications. It looks at each aspect in detail and reviews the implications that system designers must consider when selecting...

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive
New Frontiers in Dynamic Gesture Sensing for Automotive Applications

Automakers predict driver safety will improve when gesture and proximity sensing replace knobs and touchscreens for infotainment, phone, side mirror, climate, trunk, sunroof, and reading lamp controls. However, most gesture-sensing systems in today’s market are based...

White Papers: Defense
Evolution of the NanoRF Interconnect

SOSA is the future of standardization. The new military standards accelerate design, testing and upgrading. TE Connectivity (TE) has the SOSA-aligned products and expertise to support defense engineers....

Webinars: Medical

It’s a fact that 60% of a device's cumulative lifetime cost is committed in the concept/architecture phase. Breaking away from traditional trial-and-error product development can reduce...

White Papers: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Say Goodbye to Stencils

Using stencils is how assembly manufacturers traditionally transfer solder paste onto the surface of printed circuit boards. Simply put, PCB assemblers use customer-provided stencil files to laser-cut metal stencils....

White Papers: Electronics & Computers
Flexible Footprint to the Rescue: A Unique Design Approach for Adding Component Redundancy

Unless you live under a rock, you have heard about part shortages and how they are impacting everything in the PCB world. From defense projects to...

White Papers: Test & Measurement
Stumbles in Signal Processing: Oscilloscope Frequency Response

As electrical engineers move towards digital circuits with increasingly short rise-times, it is sometimes useful to remember that our test equipment is not always able to...

White Papers: Test & Measurement
A New Spectral Analysis System Designed to Measure High-performance Optical Filters

An increased demand for high-performance optical filters with edge transitions steeper than 0.5% of edge wavelength from 90% transmission to OD6 (-60dB),...

White Papers: Electronics & Computers
Simplified Fuel Cell Testing Made Easy

To determine the safety, service life, and minimum efficiency of fuel cells, various test procedures are necessary. However, the special requirements of fuel cells create challenges for electrical...

White Papers: Motion Control
How All-Software RTOS Machine Control Architecture Protects Machine Builders

Around the world, IntervalZero’s real-time operating system (RTOS) is used by a multitude of customers with prestigious brands in dozens of different industries...

White Papers: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
RTX – The Ideal RTOS Platform for the IoT Era

Next-generation industrial, vision, medical, and other systems that depend on determinism seek to combine high-end graphics, rich user interfaces, Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud...

White Papers: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Symmetric Multiprocessing or Virtualization

The continuous advance in multicore technologies is the catalyst for software innovation that is spawning a new generation of embedded systems that are less costly to develop, higher performing,...

White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
Three Key Decisions for Building a Deterministic Machine Vision System

Machine vision is used in most manufacturing industries to boost quality, productivity, and performance and is becoming a major differentiator for machine builders in the...

White Papers: Aerospace
Design Considerations for Harsh-Environment Connectivity

As humans continue to explore the depths of the oceans, the heights of the mountains, and the far reaches of galaxies, the technologies we use in these extreme conditions push...

White Papers: Design
A Closer Look at TVS Diodes for ESD Protection

Transient voltage suppression (TVS) diodes help protect electronic circuits from surge voltages associated with an electrostatic discharge (ESD) event and are commonly placed alongside I/O...

White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
High Rate Pulse Ultrawideband Physical Layer Testing and Certification

Ultrawideband (UWB) is a radio technology operating in the unlicensed spectrum for near-field communications with low power consumption and low complexity at low cost....

White Papers: Test & Measurement
Measuring Multi-Antenna Isolation Using a Multiport VNA

The proliferation of wireless technology is leading to higher densities of Radio Frequency (RF) transmitter and receiver antennas on many platforms. A single platform – such as an...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control

USC researchers unveiled a new simulator for robotic cutting that can accurately reproduce the forces acting on a knife as it slices through common food such as fruit and vegetables....

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control

MIT researchers have designed a sharp-tipped robot finger equipped with tactile sensing to meet the challenge of identifying buried objects. Digger Finger was able to dig through granular media such as...

White Papers: Test & Measurement
Testing and Optimizing Low-Power Designs

Power consumption is a key performance parameter for almost every electronics device. Conserving energy is good for the environment and has a large impact on operational costs, customer experience,...

White Papers: Test & Measurement
Understanding and Selecting Power Sensors

A power sensor is a fundamental measurement tool in RF engineering. However, today's marketplace is filled with myriad choices, and many are making bold claims about attributes such as measurement...

White Papers: Materials
Metal Alloys for Stamping & Deep Drawn Part Manufacturing

Formability and deep draw capabilities are a huge concern for manufacturers and part-makers. Deep drawing requires annealed properties with a homogeneous fine grain microstructure and...

White Papers: Medical
Biological Detection Using rTMV and M13 Virus Lasers

Detecting biomolecules, such as proteins or cells, with precision and high sensitivity is labor intensive with traditional assay devices. Researchers from the United Kingdom have developed...

White Papers: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Direct Drive Motor vs. Rotary Gear Motor

For decades, geared servo motors have been one of the most common tools in the industrial automation toolbox. Offering excellent performance for positioning, velocity matching, electronic camming,...

White Papers: Energy
The Future of Active Front End Drives

A variable frequency drive is an electronic device that allows for the control of speed in an electric motor. Depending on the application, having this ability can provide a number of benefits including...

Blog: Software
A team of researchers at USC is helping artificial intelligence imagine the unseen.
On-Demand Webinars: Test & Measurement

This 30-minute Webinar examines five common mistakes that engineers make when designing sealed enclosures to protect their projects from...

Blog: Electronics & Computers
Researchers at North Carolina State University demonstrated a low-cost technique for retrieving — and then reusing — nanowires from electronic devices.
White Papers: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Source Control, Git, and Industrial Automation

Source control systems have become ubiquitous in the IT world but have not become a major component of operational technology (in particular, PLC programming). There is an increasing, popular...

White Papers: Energy
Programmable DC Power Supply

Choosing the right DC programmable power supply for your test system or application can feel overwhelming if you are not sure of all the considerations involved. This book guides you through the process of...

White Papers: Power
Testing Electric Vehicle Motor and Controller with a Bidirectional Power Supply

Each year ,vehicle electrification continues to increase, with all signs pointing to this trend accelerating in the future. Some of the factors contributing to...

White Papers: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Digitalization of New Product Development

Today’s New Product Development (NPD) projects are mechatronic with a tremendous amount of electronics and software. In fact, data shows that 20-50% of warranty issues in vehicles include...

White Papers: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The Perfect Climate Inside Your Enclosure

Electrical systems are becoming increasingly compact and the number of circuits per unit volume is growing, leading to higher heat generation per unit volume. The rule of thumb for...

White Papers: Electronics & Computers
Why You Need Bidirectional DC Power Supplies to Test Batteries

In today’s fast-paced world, the need to create quicker, more mobile mechanical devices is steadily increasing. One primary method for doing this is to replace traditional...

Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Could Digital Twins Be Used on ‘Any System?’

An INSIDER story this month highlighted efforts to use sensors to improve the virtual design model known as a digital twin.

On-Demand Webinars: Motion Control
Crucial Considerations When Choosing the Right Enclosure for Your Application

You have many considerations when selecting the right enclosures for your application or facility. What equipment will the enclosure protect? What is the environment like? Which material is best? And of course, there are cable management concerns and internal...

INSIDER: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Ultrathin, flexible computer circuits have been an engineering goal for years, but technical hurdles have prevented the degree of miniaturization necessary to achieve high performance....

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers

When you pick up a balloon, the pressure to keep hold of it is different from what you would exert to grasp a jar. And now engineers at MIT and elsewhere have a way to precisely...

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers

A study by researchers at the Texas A&M University School of Public Health shows that inexpensive and convenient devices such as silicone wristbands can be used to yield quantitative...

INSIDER: Nanotechnology

Researchers from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) fabricated brain-inspired highly scalable neuromorphic hardware by co-integrating single transistor neurons...

On-Demand Webinars: Photonics/Optics
Advanced Components to Enhance Laser System Performance

Laser systems perform to the level of their weakest component. This 30-minute Webinar showcases the role that critical supporting components such as pump diodes, optical fiber, crystals, and other design choices will have on laser system performance. This Webinar offers practical...

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive
Innovations and Techniques for Joining Dissimilar Materials

The never-ending effort to reduce vehicle weight brings a widening spectrum of materials as candidates for vehicle bodies and structures, as well as interior components and trim. Invariably, these dissimilar materials must be joined. The science that enables this task is...

Supplements: Motion Control
Explore manufacturers and products in over 25 motion-design categories.
Blog: Sensors/Data Acquisition
A new pressure-sensor from MIT detects small and fast changes in pressure at the fingertip, such as from lightly rubbing fingers together.
Blog: Materials
Researchers from the University of Minnesota discovered a way to convert "stubborn" metals like platinum and tungsten into thin films.
Question of the Week: AR/AI
Does A.I. Need to Be Able to ‘Imagine?’

An INSIDER story this month highlighted efforts from USC researchers to train artificial intelligence to imagine the unseen. The artificial-intelligence system uses the attributes that it "knows" to then think up a never-before-seen object.

White Papers: Automotive
A Detailed Introduction to Automotive Radar Technology

Automotive radars have become a ubiquitous part of safety systems in modern vehicles. This article introduces some of the most fundamental concepts that may be needed to better...

White Papers: Automotive
Using PXI-based Fault Insertion & Sensor Simulation in Electronic Test

Simulation and fault insertion are essential in mission-critical applications typically found in the aerospace and automotive sectors. Many companies turn to modular...

On-Demand Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Sealing and protecting electrical splices across a range of demanding applications from automotive to aerospace to marine requires not only the appropriate heat shrink...

White Papers: Motion Control
Electroacoustic Transducers and Systems Are Not the Same as Electronic Components

This paper examines the complexity of ultrasonic and sonar sensing devices, and challenges the misconception that transducers are a commodity component that...

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive
Advanced Crimp Theory for Small Wire Applications

Industry trends toward miniaturization are driving connector designs ever smaller. Small wire terminations present unique challenges for crimp tooling designers and end users. This 60-minute Webinar focuses on factors that affect the quality of small wire terminations and special...

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
A new algorithm finds robots the best path across uneven terrain — and the best placement for a robot’s arms and feet.
Blog: Data Acquisition
Robotic floats — 4,000, in fact — are in the ocean, monitoring oxygen levels.
White Papers: Medical
Why Do Bolts Loosen

Nord-Lock’s eBook "Why Do Bolts Loosen" explores the topic of why bolted joints lose preload and how to prevent it from happening.

White Papers: Automotive
White Papers: Aerospace
Prove Satellite Performance at mmWave Frequencies

In our spectrum-constrained world, the idea of going to higher frequencies seems like a dream come true. Moving to millimeter-wave frequencies has advantages for satellite communications....

Question of the Week: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Would You Use a ‘Cold Tube?’

Our August issue of Tech Briefs highlighted a technology that offers an energy-efficient alternative to the air conditioner: The Cold Tube.

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive
Understanding TISAX: Automotive Industry Cybersecurity Requirement

Information security systems for numerous Fortune 500 companies and U.S. federal agencies are under attack. As a result, companies in the automotive supply chain face questions on how to protect their data with a robust security system. The first step to securing...

White Papers: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Perfect Optical Inline 3D Measurements

The surfaceCONTROL 3D 3500 snapshot sensor is used for inline inspection of geometry, shape and surface on diffuse reflecting surfaces such as metals, plastics and ceramics. The 3D sensor is designed...

On-Demand Webinars: AR/AI
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence for Decision-Making Under Uncertainty

Uncertainties abound in today’s world: the COVID-19 pandemic, environmental change, and personalization in products and services. The engineering world is no different; uncertainty plays a large role in simulation, autonomous vehicle design and...

Upcoming Webinars: Aerospace
SOSA’s Impact on OpenVPX Technology

The OpenVPX Systems Specification, which improves the interoperability of COTS 3U and 6U VPX boards through the implementation of predefined system topologies, has been in existence for a decade and has had a major impact on military computing. SOSA (Sensor Open Systems Architecture), as a major new...

Special Reports: Imaging
Aerospace Manufacturing - August 2021

Demanding applications in the aerospace industry require products and systems that are manufactured using the latest technologies – from design and simulation, to fabrication and final testing. To help...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control

Engineers at MIT and Shanghai Jiao Tong University have designed a soft, lightweight, and potentially low-cost neuroprosthetic hand. The prosthetic, designed with a system...

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive
Beyond Battery Cycling: Testing Batteries in the Automotive Industry

As automotive battery technologies continue to advance, battery testing is a critical step in the process of bringing a vehicle to market, particularly for hybrid and battery electric vehicles. Battery designs need to incorporate strong thermal management, shock and...

Trending Stories

NASA Spinoff: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Nanotechnology Repairs Engine Damage in Cars

Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing

Nitrous Oxide/Paraffin Hybrid Rocket Engines

Articles: Defense

Smart Sensor Technology for the IoT

Q&A: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Q&A: Turning Trash into Valuable Graphene

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control

Choosing the Right Brake for Robotic Applications

Blog: Energy

A 'Charging Room' Powers Devices Through the Air

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