Articles : Photonics/Optics
How Quantum Dots and Ultra HD Are Changing the Way TV Displays Are Made

Chances are you’re familiar with HDTV. Most of us have one of these in our living rooms. In fact, according to a recent study, more than 80% of US residents probably have at least one HDTV in their homes. And there’s a good possibility these sets are LCDs. They may be a...

Photonics Tech Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Product of the Month: Multi-Functional Goniometer

Lambda Research Corporation (Littleton, MA), the US distributor of opsira metrology equipment and designer and publisher of illumination and optical design software, has introduced the robogonio from opsira. The robogonio is the first robot-driven, multi-functional goniometer that incorporates...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Laser Power/Energy Meter

Ophir Photonics (North Logan, UT) recently announced the 120K-W Laser Power Meter, the only commercial sensor for measuring very high power 120 kW lasers. The 120K-W Laser Power Meter consists of a beam dump with overall dimensions of about 50 cm diameter × 50 cm deep, and a water flow power measurement unit of...

Photonics Tech Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Ultrahigh-Speed Digital Cameras

Vision Research (Wayne, NJ) has enhanced its UHS-Series line of 1 megapixel (1Mpx) ultrahigh-speed cameras. The new Phantom v2512, v2012, v1612, and v1212 cameras are now available with either 72GB, 144GB, or 288GB of memory, providing significantly longer recording times and more data recording flexibility than...

Photonics Tech Briefs : Medical
Ultra-Stable Light Sources

OZ Optics’ (Ottawa, Canada) series of laser diode sources delivers an ultra-stable output, either directly or via a fiber optic cable. Sources are available at wavelengths ranging from 375 nm to 2050 nm, and with output powers up to 300 mW. The system resides in a compact package with both the source and temperature...

Photonics Tech Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Green Pulsed Lasers

The new Revolution series of q-switched, green, pulsed lasers from Coherent, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) provides average power up to 80W at a wavelength of 527 nm, with a beam profile featuring an extremely smooth energy distribution. They also deliver pulse rate flexibility; the repetition rate can be smoothly adjusted from...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Ice Sensors

New Avionics Corp (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) has announced its Ice*Meister™ Model 9732-PLASTIC Ice Detecting Sensor for Aircraft. The unit consists of a probe, housing, circuit board, and lightweight blue cable. The product, tested at NASA Glenn Research Center, complies with in-flight ice-detection standard SAE AS 5498.

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Automotive Sensors

STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland) has introduced two central airbag crash sensors. The AIS1120SX and AIS2120SX single- and dual-axis 120g in-plane MEMS accelerometers are designed to be mounted in the vehicle’s Airbag Control Unit (ACU) responsible for evaluating the sensor data and triggering the appropriate...

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Vehicle Attitude Sensors

Prova Systems (Carbondale, PA) has announced its Vehicle Inertia Monitor (VIM). The VIM is a dual-mode advanced J1939 CAN-bus vibration analyzer and vehicle attitude sensor for heavy duty vehicle prognostics and performance monitoring. The VIM vibration mode helps maintenance engineers plot equipment performance over...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Touch Sensors

Opaque QTC® force touch sensors from Peratech (Richmond, North Yorks, England) can be integrated under a range of top surfaces such as plastics, rubbers, wood, leather, metals, and glass. The “3D multi-touch” matrix sensors provide a human-machine interface (HMI) experience in automotive cockpits. The sensors track multiple...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Ceramic Sensor Elements

The EPCOS NTC sensor element from TDK Corporation (Tokyo, Japan) measures temperatures up to 650 °C. The ceramic sensor element, connected to a metallized aluminum oxide rod and then glass-encapsulated, is available optionally with wires welded to the aluminum-oxide rod. The component is 16-mm long, and the glass...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping

The AS7000 health/fitness biosensor from ams (Unterpremstaetten, Austria) incorporates an integrated optical sensor module accompanied by software to provide heart rate measurements (HRM) and heart rate variation (HRV) readings. Housed in a 6.1 × 4.1 × 1.0-mm package, the AS7000 is intended to be worn constantly, at rest, and when...

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
IoT Platform

WiSilica (Aliso Viejo, CA) has launched a smart end-to-end IoT platform (WiSe) that provides predictive intelligence to connected devices. The secure platform supports legacy and new devices, and can operate locally, in the cloud, or as a hybrid network. Devices can be configured to act on events initiated by other devices....

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Magnetic Reed Sensors

Littelfuse (Chicago, IL) has introduced the 59022 Series Firecracker Reed Sensor, a compact, cylindrical, magnetically operated device capable of switching up to 265 Vac/300 Vdc at 10 Watt/VA. The sensor has a 5.8 mm diameter, and circuit designers may choose from normally open, normally closed, or change-over contacts. The...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Detection Sensors

H18 SureSense sensors from SICK (Minneapolis, MN) detect objects in a variety of environments and ensure machines and lines operate at full capacity. The IP 69K-rated sensors feature a signal strength light bar that alerts users to maintenance and alignment issues. Other capabilities include configurable part selection; LED and...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Photoelectric Sensors

The S18-2 compact photoelectric sensors from Banner Engineering (Minneapolis, MN) are now available in fixed-field background suppression mode configurations. The compact, self-contained sensors provide up to six detection ranges from 30 to 200 mm. Resistant to fluorescent light, the components also feature a small, bright...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Voltage Sensors

Sendyne (New York, NY) has released the SFP102MOD, a shunt-based enclosed module capable of current measurements to 375 A, with 45 μA resolution. The module achieves ±0.25% accuracy for current magnitudes, as long as the module is within the operating temperature range of -40 °C to +125 °C. When attached to properly-sized...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Motion Sensors

Bosch Sensortec (Kusterdingen, Germany) has announced the BMF055, a compact, programmable 9-axis motion sensor. The new sensor from Bosch Sensortec’s Application-Specific Sensor Node (ASSN) family combines a triaxial 16 bit gyroscope with a range of ± 2000 degrees per second; a triaxial geomagnetic sensor; and a 32 bit Cortex...

Al Bowers, Chief Scientist, Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA

Al Bowers is the program manager of Preliminary Research Aerodynamic Design to Lower Drag, or Prandtl-d. The project’s researchers validated elements of a boomerang-shaped wing design that could greatly improve the efficiency of future aircraft.

News : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Engineers Put 'Spring' in Robots' Step

The ATRIAS robot model developed at Oregon State University uses a "spring-mass" walking approach. The natural-gait method gives human-sized bipedal robots the ability to blindly react to rough terrain, maintain balance, retain an efficiency of motion, and walk like humans.

Question of the Week
Do the benefits of drone registration outweigh the drawbacks?

This week's Question: Last week, the U.S. Transportation Department and Federal Aviation Administration announced that drone hobbyists will have to register their aircraft or face unspecified penalties. The move is an attempt to prevent the unmanned aircraft from compromising air...

News : Photonics/Optics
New Sensor Peers Inside Fingertip

Scientists from The Langevin Institute, Paris, France, have constructed a new fingerprint imaging system that peers inside the finger to take a picture — a more reliable and secure way of identifying individuals. The fingerprint sensor, based on full field optical coherence tomography (FF-OCT), uses an...

Who's Who
Amy Keith, Environmental Engineer, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Environmental engineer Amy Keith and her team developed a low-cost detector of contaminants in plants and surrounding groundwater. The non-destructive technology scans the surface of a leaf for spectral signatures. NASA currently seeks a development partner for the...

News : Aerospace
"Fused Reality" Combines Simulation and Flying to Train Pilots

There are two ways for pilots to gain proficiency in an airplane and evaluate its handling qualities: climb into the cockpit and take off, or practice in a ground-based simulator. Now, it is possible to combine the best of both through a new technology called Fused Reality that is...

News : Aerospace
Researchers Urge Changes to Design of Commercial Aircraft Engines

Virginia Tech researchers are urging changes in how commercial aircraft engines are designed in the wake of a possible new threat to passenger aircraft safety: drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, being sucked into turbofan engines at high speeds. Such an impact would be...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Mapping Human Movement to Improve Rehabilitative Robotics

The Biomechatronics Group at MIT is using a data-driven approach to study the mechanics and control of human walking, with the goal of applying the findings to hardware control. PhD student David Hill is developing a model that could be used to improve assistive devices that can help...

News : Nanotechnology
Nanoclutch Transmits Torque at Small Scales

When driving a car, the clutch mechanically carries the torque produced by the engine to the chassis of the vehicle – a coupling that has long been tested and optimized in such macroscopic machines, giving us highly efficient engines. At microscopic length scales, different physics need to be...

News : Propulsion
NASA’s Green Propellant Spacecraft Moves Toward Launch

The propulsion subsystem for NASA's Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) has been integrated onto the spacecraft, moving the mission another major step toward scheduled launch in 2016. The propulsion subsystem will be the primary payload on the mission’s spacecraft. The mission will...

Question of the Week
Is robo-journalism valuable?

This week's Question: Lars Eidnes, a Norwegian developer, recently created software that uses Recurrent Neural Networks (RNN)—a form of “deep learning”—to write new "clickbait” headlines. After training the software with several million articles from BuzzFeed, Gawker, Jezebel, the Huffington Post, and...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
New Wearable Technology Can Sense Appliance Use

In today’s smart home, technologies can track how much energy a particular appliance like a refrigerator or television or hair dryer is gobbling up. What they don’t typically show is which person in the house actually flicked the switch. But that may change soon. A new wearable technology...

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