September 2020

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Occulter for CubeSat Coronagraph
The instrument has uses in photography where the goal is to image a dim object near a bright one.
This eye-on-a-chip can help treatment of dry eye disease.
The newest version of these combs could revolutionize clocks, telescopes, and telecommunications.
Facility Focus: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Facility Focus: NASA John C. Stennis Space Center
Stennis now is testing RS-25 rocket engines for the Space Launch System (SLS) that will carry humans back to the Moon.
Briefs: Medical
Smartphone App Detects Early Signs of Eye Disorders in Children
The CRADLE app allows parents to screen their children for eye disorders more often throughout their development.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
Technologies Interpret Mood from the Skin
Smart devices measure electrical signals from the skin, indicating stress levels and emotions.
Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
Quantum Sensor Enables Wide Spectral Coverage
The sensor could provide a way to detect communication signals over the entire radio frequency from 1 to 100 GHz.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Laser Technology Assesses Cancer Cells
Laser light induces ultrasonic vibrations in a sample that can be used to image cells, blood vessels, and tissues.
Briefs: Medical
Biomaterial Shields Against Harmful Radiation
A new form of melanin can protect human tissue from X-rays during medical treatment or spaceflight.
Application Briefs: Test & Measurement
Force/Torque Sensor Helps Rover Sample Mars
See how one company reached out to NASA with an offer to develop a custom sensor for the Mars 2020 mission rover.
Applications include high-speed communications, networking, and sensing.
This technique can be used by people who are paralyzed or have neurodegenerative diseases.
This method of machine learning could make communications in the unlicensed bands much more efficient.
Flat-panel technology could transform antennas, wireless, and cellphone communications.
In place of flat breadboards, 3D-printed CurveBoards enable easier testing of circuit design on electronics products.
Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Hermetically Sealed Semiconductors
A new encapsulation technique protects electronic properties of sensitive materials.
Pop-up miniature electronics based on the Japanese art of kirigami can be repeatedly compressed.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Thermally Conductive, Stretchable Rubber Material
This material could be used for artificial muscles that power bio-inspired robots.
Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Technique Mass-Produces Cell-Sized Robots
This process could lead to tiny, self-powered devices for environmental, industrial, or medical monitoring.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
4D Printing Creates Microneedles to Replace Hypodermics
Inspired by parasites, the tiny needles could help eliminate painful shots.
Additive manufacturing creates cooling solutions with sizes and shapes not previously possible.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Quantum Error Correction Method
This method provides a key step toward quantum computers, sensors, and distributed quantum information.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Tunable, Chip-Based, Vortex Microlaser and Detector
This system encodes information in twisting beams of light.
Q&A: Electronics & Computers
Q&A: Wireless Power for Neural Stimulation
Prof. Jacob Robinson developed an implantable neural stimulator the size of a grain of rice.
Articles: Electronics & Computers
Executive Forum: Machine Learning & AI
Tech Briefs posed questions to machine learning/AI industry execs to get their opinions on platform selection, data interpretation, and more.
Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Cost-Effective Printed Sensors for the IoT/IIoT
With accelerated time from design to production, specialized foil sensor arrays will be expanding to many new areas.
Self-powering, color-changing humidity sensors are applicable to various fields including smart windows, health care, and safety management.
Application Briefs: Test & Measurement
Using the IoT for Predictive Maintenance
Predictive maintenance is poised to become much more widely adopted, and that will help to boost productivity in a time when we really need it.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Acoustic Monitoring of Laser Welds
Empa researchers were able to demonstrate real-time acoustic monitoring of laser weld seams.
Special Reports: Electronics & Computers
Test & Measurement - September 2020

See how the latest test tools and methodologies are enabling new applications in aerospace, electronics, robotics, healthcare, and other key industries. This compendium of recent articles is presented by...

Application Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Smart Sensors for Hazardous Areas
Smart sensors for hazardous areas monitor essential assets, such as motors and pumps.
A remote forest fire detection and alarm system is powered by nothing but the movement of trees in the wind.
Special Reports: Transportation
Inside the New C8 Corvette - September 2020

The eighth generation Corvette achieves a rare benchmark: a 200 mph supercar that can sprint from standstill to 60 mph in less than three seconds while offering long-distance comfort, ample cargo...

Articles: Electronics & Computers
Long-life Batteries for the IIoT
Choosing the right battery will save trouble and expense in the long run.
Special Reports: Aerospace
Power Electronics - September 2020

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...

Application Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D Ultrasonic Sensors Support New Industrial Applications
These sensors will improve autonomous technologies in the industrial environment, like AGVs or forklifts.
Special Reports: Robotics, Automation & Control
Aerospace & Defense - September 2020

In this compendium of recent articles from the editors of Tech Briefs and Aerospace & Defense Technology, you'll learn about the technology driving the Mars 2020 rover, how NASA will use GPS to...

Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
New Products: September 2020 Sensor Technology
Safety-critical MEMS, absolute pressure sensors, thermal imaging cameras, and more.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Engineers 3D-Print Sensors Onto Moving Organs
Designed to assist in robotic surgeries, biomedical devices can be printed in and on the human body.
Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
USB and GigE Connectivity for Modern Machine Vision
Learn the USB3 and GigE vision standards, how they keep pace with imaging technologies, and how augmenting the cabling is critical for optimal performance.
A new type of motion capture technology accurately tracks an athlete during the push start phase of performance.
Researchers tackled the problem using a geophysical measurement called seismic anisotropy.
One unexpected application for spider silk is its use in the creation of biocompatible lenses.
University of Colorado researchers have described a new silicon chip that improves the resolution and scanning speed needed for a lidar system.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) in Hyperspectral Imagers
Learn how to obtain large signals from hyperspectral imagers.
The COVID crisis is propelling the camera industry toward disruptive transformation.

Thin films and engineered surfaces are used in a myriad of applications including semiconductor electronics, data storage, and precision optics. In many cases, surface roughness and...

High-temp infrared emitter, single-frequency SWIR lasers, hazard testing systems, and more.
Real-time terahertz imaging with a single-pixel detector.
InnoSenT introduced the IMD-3000 radar system as an alternative to pushbutton switches.
This high-strength material could be used to improve safety and reduce the cost of producing cars.
The robots could fly silently for covert operations and stay steady through turbulence.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
Ultra-Sensitive Device Detects Magnetic Fields
The magnetic device is inexpensive to make, works on minimal power, and is 20 times more sensitive than many traditional devices.
Features include unusual color changes and high touch sensitivity.
Products: Data Acquisition
New on the Market: September 2020
Foam gasket tapes, data analytics software, ceramic tape, and more.
This neurostimulator could deliver fine-tuned treatments to patients with diseases such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s.
Briefs: Materials
Liquid-Repelling Substance Works on All Surfaces
The new coating can eliminate complex disinfectant procedures for protective face shields.
The “E-dermis” will enable amputees to perceive through prosthetic fingertips.
In 2019, NASA engineers test-fired a 3D-printed rocket engine combustion chamber.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Automated Robotic Device for Faster Blood Testing
This technology provides rapid results, improving hospital workflow and patient care.
People who use sign language could communicate directly with non-signers, without needing someone else to translate for them.
The material was designed specifically for biomedical or wearable technologies, since sweat and volatile organic compounds evaporate away from the skin.
Bioactive inks printed on wearable textiles can map conditions over the entire surface of the body.
Articles: Communications
Products of Tomorrow: September 2020
An A/C alternative, AI that sharpens blurry images, and a NASA energy harvester.
The ultra-light robotic insect can be folded or crushed, yet continues to move.

The reliability of critical components, systems, and devices takes top priority in today’s healthcare environment. With the continued development of highly sophisticated...

Before delivery drones start carrying packages (and passenger drones start delivering ourselves), engineers will need to keep refining an unmanned aircraft's ability...

White Papers: Motion Control
Kit Encoders: New Technologies for a Dynamically Changing Market

Closed-loop motion control systems use feedback to ensure the precise positioning of mechanical components. Self-contained position sensors, such as rotary encoders, can do a...

White Papers: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Breaking the (Injection) Mold

Since its creation in the 1980s, 3D printing has evolved tremendously, with more printing technologies and material types available. Research shows that engineers in North America are optimistic about the future...

White Papers: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The 3-D Printer Manufacturer's Guide to High-Performance Linear Motion

The application of 3D printing/additive manufacturing to complex industrial uses is exploding. Linear motion components play a critical part in the successful operation...

A Cornell team developed paramecium-sized robots that can be controlled with lasers.
White Papers: Automotive
Using Built-in-self-test Hardware to Satisfy ISO 26262 Safety Requirements

Semiconductor content in today’s vehicles is growing rapidly and we are approaching the point where the value of the electronics is expected to exceed 50% of the...

White Papers: Automotive
Achieve Alternative Fuel ROI in Less Than Five Years with ANG

Learn how adsorbed natural gas (ANG) can bring operational benefits for your fleet and pay for itself in less than five years. ANG is specifically suited to light-duty fleets and...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Are You OK With a Robot Taking Your Vitals?

The "Spot" robot, developed by Boston Dynamics, can measure skin temperature, breathing rate, pulse rate, and blood oxygen saturation in healthy patients, from a distance of 2 meters.

White Papers: Medical
Multicore Systems Management: Hypervisor or Multicore Framework

With increasing application of multicore to embedded devices, a number of important decisions are necessary to ensure optimal design. One such decision concerns the overall...

White Papers: Aerospace
Flame Retardant Epoxies and Silicones Meet Critical Safety Requirements

Used in aircraft applications, epoxies and silicones must maintain their primary role as adhesives or coatings while exhibiting resistance to heat and flame in...

On-Demand Webinars: Photonics/Optics
Alignment Strategy for Complex Part Geometries

When developing a CMM measurement program, alignments are necessary to form a stable frame of reference for the workpiece to be measured. Non-standard geometries with complex surfaces, such as a jet engine turbine airfoil, can be aligned by using datum target points defined on a print or...

A new modeling tool from USC engineers generates automatic indicators when data and predictions from AI algorithms are trustworthy.
On-Demand Webinars: Sensors/Data Acquisition
LiDAR Technology Advancements and Market Trends

LiDAR appears to be the fastest moving of all automated-vehicle hardware development efforts. By some estimates, there are more than 80 companies currently developing LiDAR for passenger- and commercial-vehicle applications, and many boast of having superior proprietary technology. After...

A reader asks our expert: When it comes to autonomous vehicles, what’s best: Radar, LiDAR, or cameras?
On-Demand Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Next-Generation Design for Heavy Equipment

Heavy equipment manufacturers face new challenges every day. As the industry moves toward machines that provide zero harm, zero downtime, and zero emissions, there is increasing pressure from competition, regulators, and customers to meet and exceed expectations. As if that isn’t enough,...

On-Demand Webinars: Software
How to Perform Accurate, Automated 3D Fatigue Crack Growth Predictions

This 30-minute Webinar demonstrates how to use your own CAD models and FEA tools to perform accurate, automated 3D component-level fatigue crack growth predictions.

Like biological fat reserves store energy in animals, a new rechargeable zinc battery integrates into the structure of a robot to provide much more energy, a team led by...

Researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have created next-generation solar modules with high efficiency and good...

Researchers at the University of Warwick have found that asymmetric stresses within electrodes used in certain wearable electronic devices provides an important clue as to how to...

A team led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) developed a novel, integrated approach to track energy-transporting ions within an ultra-thin...

White Papers: Design
H2OLock Advanced Desiccant

AGM’s H2OLock Advanced Desiccant is a dense, shapeable, composite desiccant, that combines superior moisture adsorption with strength sufficient for use as a structural design component through a wide...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will 'Biomorphic' Batteries Support a Future of Tiny Robots?

A Tech Briefs TV video highlighted a rechargeable zinc battery from the University of Michigan that integrates into the structure of a robot to provide much more energy. The “biomorphic” battery, according to researchers, could provide 72x more energy for robots.

On-Demand Webinars: Imaging
High-Speed Imaging

High-speed imaging is used in a variety of applications, from pure science and research to military ballistics testing. In this 60-minute Webinar from the editors of Tech Briefs Media, three experts look at this unique technology and what it can do.

White Papers: Power
Choosing the Right Medical Power Supply

Because modern medical equipment heavily leverages advances in the computing and electronics fields, it is increasingly critical to select the right power supply to meet functional and regulatory...

Machine Vision Cameras

Teledyne DALSA (Waterloo, Canada) announced its new Falcon4-CLHS M4480 and M4400 cameras, based on the Teledyne e2v Lince 11.2M monochrome sensors. The...

University of North Texas professor Anupama Kaul straddles the line between electrical engineering and materials science, which puts her in the perfect place to develop...

New research from the University of Southampton has discovered a way to bind two negatively charged electron-like particles which could create opportunities to form novel...

Almost all satellites are powered by solar cells – but solar cells are heavy. While conventional high-performance cells reach up to three watts of electricity per gram,...

Tech Talks: Photonics/Optics
Multicore Optical Fiber Grating Array Fabrication for Medical Sensing Applications

The growing interest in high-performance fiber grating arrays can be attributed to today’s acceptance of optical fiber sensors in more medical applications such as shape-sensing fiber incorporated into surgical instruments. This presentation looks at a...

The new approach could help pave the way for smaller battery packs and greater driving range in electric vehicles.
As Brazil begins mass-producing a NASA-developed ventilator, a Tech Briefs reader asks why NASA didn't go open-source.
Tech Talks: Communications
Amplifying Satellite Communications: Next-Generation Deployable Antenna Mesh

Deployable antenna mesh is frequently used in communication satellites for transmitting and reflecting radio frequency signals. How does this highly sought-after material remain so resilient in the extreme conditions of space?

On-Demand Webinars: Electronics & Computers
Calibre nmLVS-Recon Early Circuit Verification Helps Reduce Time to Market

This Webinar explains how to speed up early design analysis while reducing overall design closure time. It also discusses why early verification is necessary in today’s market and why you should use it to focus on the errors most likely to slow down your process...

On-Demand Webinars: Electronics & Computers
Introduction to Visualizer for VHDL Users

Testing and methodology with complex silicon require powerful but simple-to-use debug solutions. The Visualizer Debug Environment provides a common solution for simulation, emulation, and other engines, including Verilog, VHDL, UVM, SystemC, C/C++, Assertions, and Coverage.

On-Demand Webinars: Electronics & Computers
What Is This RISC-V Thing, Anyway?

Are you considering leveraging the cost-saving benefits of RISC-V in your next design? The RISC-V processor architecture is revolutionizing the business model for deployment of architectures in the embedded systems marketplace. While the processor design is maturing rapidly, the RISC-V software...

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive
Verification of ADAS and Autonomous Vehicles

Automotive OEMs are taking more control of electronic control unit (ECU) hardware/software architecture definition and exploration, mainly due to the rise of new technologies in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicles. The increasing number of cars with ECUs...

Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Can Courtesy Be Programmed Into Self-Driving Cars?

During a recent webcast, a Tech Briefs reader raised an interesting question about self-driving cars:

White Papers: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Viton™ Fluoroelastomers: Improving the Durability of Automotive Turbocharger Hoses

High-performance fluoroelastomers provide the best balance of performance in response to turbocharger hose demands. The excellent extrusion properties, heat...

Liquid silicone rubber (LSR) materials enable health care device designers and equipment manufacturers to introduce improved material features for critical...

Experts predict that by 2040, most forms of transportation will leverage electric motors and/or cleaner sources of fuel to meet heightened emissions standards....

New software from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) wants to predict all traffic possibilities, so that self-driving vehicles will never get into accidents.
White Papers: Test & Measurement
Creating a GNSS Test Plan: A Start to Finish Guide

You might think that if your GPS/GNSS receiver is tested in the factory, you don’t have to evaluate how your receiver will perform in the field. But every operating environment is...

White Papers: Test & Measurement
Test Engineering Insights: Aerospace, Defense, and Government

Better test strategies mitigate risk and win programs.

Whether you’re putting pencil to paper for your next program bid, assessing the mass-migration costs to move your...

For planned robotic and crewed missions to the Moon and Mars, NASA is developing and testing precise landing and hazard-avoidance technologies. A combination of laser sensors, a camera, a high-speed...

Tech Talks: Medical
Advanced Textile Solutions for Structural Heart Devices

Choosing the right medical textiles for cardiovascular devices used in structural heart procedures, such as transcatheter heart valve replacement or repair of left atrial appendage occlusion, requires careful consideration. Medical textiles must act as flexible conduits and barriers...

White Papers: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Combining Customizable High-Speed Interfaces with FPGA Coprocessing

Built for harsh environments, high performance, and sensitive budgets, the new FPGA-based XMC meets VITA 47 rugged specs and offers custom or pre-configured high-speed...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Controller Helps Robots Avoid Collisions

MIT startup Realtime Robotics invented a solution that gives robots the ability to quickly adjust their path to avoid objects as they move to a target. The Realtime controller can be connected to...

Tech Talks: Automotive
Addressing Friction, Discharge, and Misalignment in an E-Mobility Powertrain

As electric vehicles continue to generate new consumer interest and demand, advanced technology is required to address e-mobility powertrain challenges such as friction reduction, elimination of electrical discharge, electromagnetic interference, and safety and...

Question of the Week: Software
Do Software Advancements Make You Feel Safe in an Autonomous Vehicle?

Our lead story today features self-driving car software that prevents accidents by understanding and anticipating safe traffic behaviors.

A new composite from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) increases the electrical current capacity of copper wires, providing a new material that can be scaled for use in ultra-efficient, power-dense electric vehicle traction motors.
Webinars: Materials
Metal Injection Molding

This 60-minute Webinar examines metal injection molding (MIM), a unique process that eliminates the need for complex, expensive machining when producing small, intricate steel and stainless steel components....

White Papers: Communications
The Value and Necessity of External Surge Protection in PoE Applications

PoE network engineers should deploy high-quality external surge protection devices (SPDs) to help ensure safe, secure network operation, reduce downtime, minimize site...

Thermal cameras detect heat radiation and can be used to identify the surface temperature of objects and people. So what's their limit, asks a reader.

Their ability to design profiles that “put the metal where it’s needed” is one of the attributes of aluminum extrusions that can...

White Papers: Medical
Implantable Medical Devices: a Clinical Approach to Designing Preclinical Studies

Implantable medical devices are being increasingly used in both established and novel clinical applications. Given their invasive nature, such devices are...

White Papers: Test & Measurement
Things You Should Know About Cartridge Heaters

Backer Hotwatt cartridge heaters can provide high heat in the smallest of spaces. Learn the benefits of cartridge heaters and how to obtain effective heat transfer and long life. Available for...

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Materials

Protecting Power Electronics from EM and RF Interference

Upcoming Webinars: Electronics & Computers

Vehicle Electrification

Upcoming Webinars: Sensors/Data Acquisition

The Evolution of SOSA

Upcoming Webinars: Software

Next-Gen Vehicle Architectures and the Role of HPCs

Tech Talks: Medical

Testing Home Healthcare Medical Devices

Upcoming Webinars: Software

Accelerating Pre-Silicon Software Development with Next-Gen...

Videos