Special Coverage

NASA Supercomputer Simulations Reveal 'Noisy' Aerodynamics
Robotic Gripper Cleans Up Space Debris
Soft Robot “Walks” on Any Terrain
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Using Microwaves to Produce High-Quality Graphene
Transducer-Actuator Systems for On-Machine Measurements and Automatic Part Alignment
Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors
Heavy Lift Wing in Ground (WIG) Cargo Flying Boat
Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space

New battery coating could improve smart phones and electric vehicles

High-performing lithium-ion batteries are a key component of laptops, smart phones, and electric vehicles. Currently, the anodes, or negative charged side of lithium-ion batteries, are generally made with graphite or other carbon-based materials.

Posted in: News, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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Precision work: Defect-free coatings for silicon spheres

The prototype kilogram is the unit of mass upon which the weight of a kilo is based. And it’s becoming increasingly lighter. The reason for this, however, is unknown. Now researchers are seeking alternatives for the platinum-iridium alloy artefact that is stored in a safe in Paris. The basic plan is to redefine the kilogram. In the future, a physical constant will replace the material kilogram.

Posted in: News, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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Designing the fuel-efficient aircraft of the future

As much as we complain about air travel, the fact is, flying has gotten considerably cheaper, safer, faster, and even greener, over the last 60 years.

Posted in: News, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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Lab researchers 3D-print with high-performance carbon fiber

Lawrence Livermore National Lab researchers have become the first to 3D-print aerospace-grade carbon fiber composites, opening the door to greater control and optimization of the lightweight, yet stronger than steel, material. The research represents a "significant advance" in the development of micro-extrusion 3D-printing techniques for carbon fiber.

Posted in: News, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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5 Steps to a 15+ Year Rackmount Computer Lifecycle

Many applications, such as government, military, medical, and embedded system designs struggle with the typical computer product lifecycles. Most commercial-grade computers have a 1-2 year lifecycle before the computer is EOL (End of Life). There are also very few assurances that the rack mount computer is properly revision-controlled so you can rest assured that nothing inside the computer changes the form, fit, or function. Engineers spend a lot of time and energy determining the right specs, validating the product, getting industry certifications, and then finally getting to full production...and in many cases this spec, test, and certification process can take longer than the computer’s 1-2 year lifecycle.

Posted in: White Papers, Electronics & Computers
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Pen Device Identifies Cancer in Seconds

Engineers at The University of Texas at Austin have invented the MasSpec Pen that rapidly and accurately identifies cancerous tissue during surgery, delivering results in about 10 seconds — more than 150 times as fast as existing technology. The instrument gives surgeons precise diagnostic information about what tissue to cut or preserve, helping improve treatment and reduce the chances of cancer recurrence.

Posted in: INSIDER, Detectors
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Mini Spectrometer Has Big Potential

Researchers have created a miniaturized, portable version of the mass spectrometer, which traditionally has been bulky, limiting its in-field potential. Other smaller spectrometers have been less sensitive and more likely to break down.

Posted in: INSIDER, Instrumentation, Test & Measurement
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Simplify and Accelerate Application Development With a Software Development Kit for Power Architecture Mcus

NXP has introduced a comprehensive, automotive-grade Software Development Kit (SDK) that includes the key software components necessary to operate the automotive MPC57 family MCUs. The first MCU that is supported by this SDK is our leading-edge microcontroller for gateway applications, the MPC5748G.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars, Software
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Learning to Crawl: Origami Robot Moves Like an Earthworm

A new mechanical innovation unfolded this month at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a team of engineers built a new kind of crawler robot. The wheel-less design takes inspiration from two unconventional sources: origami and the earthworm.

Posted in: News, Materials, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Robotics
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Do you see valuable applications for 3D-printed Kapton?

Our lead INSIDER story today showcased a new Kapton-like material, developed by a team at Virginia Tech. The researchers hope that the 3D-printed polymer will support new applications, including deep space exploration.

"We're only used to designing a product and then wrapping it in this foil," engineer Chris Williams told Tech Briefs. "The fun part now is to actually show this to a designer and get them to start dreaming about what is possible."

What do you think? Do you see valuable applications for 3D-printed Kapton?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials
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