News: Aerospace

NASA's New Horizons probe performed the first-ever flyby of Pluto, zooming within 7,800 miles of its frigid surface. The close encounter is giving researchers their first up-close looks...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics
'Electron Camera' Reveals Nature's Fastest Processes

Using a method known as ultrafast electron diffraction (UED), a scientific instrument from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory reveals nature's fastest processes, including the rapid motions of atoms and molecules.

Question of the Week
Can an app improve your mood?

This week's Question: Smartwatches allow users to track exercise, heart rate, and other health factors, but what about mood? The design studio Ustwo has a new app that aims for a more approachable model of delivering psychological therapy. The technology, called Moodnotes, acts as a basic journaling app. The user...

INSIDER: Materials
Simulations Reveal Material with Record-Setting Melting Point

Using advanced computers and a computational technique to simulate physical processes at the atomic level, researchers at Brown University have predicted that a material made from hafnium, nitrogen, and carbon would have the highest known melting point: 4,400 kelvins (7,460 degrees...

Question of the Week
Will Google Glass make a comeback in the workplace?

This week's Question: According to The Wall Street Journal, Google has been distributing a new version of its smart eyewear, Google Glass, to companies, engineered specifically for professionals in workplaces like health care, manufacturing, and energy. The new version will have improved...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics

It’s often said that necessity is the mother of invention. Such was the case for Ames Laboratory physicist Adam Kaminski who took a challenge he was facing and turned it...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics

A research team has realized one of the long-standing theoretical predictions in nonlinear optical metamaterials: creation of a nonlinear material that has opposite refractive...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics

Zygo Corporation (Middlefield, CT) has introduced the ZeGage™ Plus optical profiler, a full-featured instrument for the 3D measurement of surface topography and roughness. The ZeGage Plus utilizes ZYGO’s...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics

Spark Lasers, a start-up currently in incubation at ALPhANOV (Talence, France), has introduced two new industrial picosecond lasers. Sirius and Vegas provide excellent beam quality with a linear...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics

LASER COMPONENTS‘(Bedford, NH) FLEXPOINT® laser module series now includes dot and line lasers with 488 nm, in addition to 405 nm and 450 nm wavelengths in the blue spectral range. Depending on the beam profile, the output...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics

Princeton Optronics Inc. (Mercerville, NJ) has introduced a VCSEL-based miniature line generator. The wavelength of the line generator is in the 820- 840nm range, has a 20mW CW power output, a fan angle...

Articles: Test & Measurement

There are a variety of reasons we need to know the temperature of an object or a process — to prevent product damage, ensure sterilization, determine biological health, ensure...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Manufacturers in the process industries need to adjust to smaller batches and different types of product in the same plant. Plants based on the “Lego principle”...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Electrochemically Enhanced Mechanical Polishing of Optics

Optical component fabrication using metals or ceramic materials involves many grinding and/or machining and polishing steps to achieve the proper form to the tolerances of imaging or photonic focusing instruments. These instruments range from infrared sensors, through visible and...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Expendable Cooling System for Venus Lander Concept

This innovation is a concept for a novel thermal architecture that would enable a day-long surface mission on Venus. A Venus lander mission could last much longer than a few hours on the surface of the planet by absorbing heat from the Venus environment, and from the electronics within the...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Rapid Quench Furnace for Processing Powder in an Inert Environment

Ongoing work in the development and characterization of sensory materials requires the development of shape memory alloy (SMA) powder or particles. These are embedded in structural material so that the progression of localized damage that occurs during fatigue crack growth will...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

The Centaur 2 (C2) platform is a compact vehicle with four independently steered and actuated wheel pods, allowing the vehicle to pivot in place and tilt in two directions. It is designed to...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Deep space missions, like the ones going to outer planets and those that rely on solar photovoltaic power, need extremely large solar arrays to produce that power for...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Existing technologies [Loop Heat Pipe (LHP) and passive Thermal Control Valve (TCV)] are integrated and made to work together to provide a passive variable thermal link. The...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Low-Cost Solar-Simulated Radiometric Calibration Source

An integrating sphere is a spherical shell that has its internal wall coated with a highly reflective, diffuse scattering material. It typically includes both entrance and exit ports where illumination sources and light monitoring sensors are added to produce a well-known uniform light...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Future cryogenic far-infrared (IR) missions will require moderate-resolution far-IR spectrometers operating at the photon background limit. Full utilization of these facilities requires...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Nanosensors for Medical Diagnosis

Many diseases are accompanied by characteristic odors, and their recognition can provide diagnostic clues, guide the laboratory evaluation, and affect the choice of immediate therapy. The study of the chemical composition in human breath using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) has shown a correlation...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Passive Voice-Enabled RFID Devices

Radio-Frequency IDentification (RFID) is a technology that provides automatic identification of objects, and relies on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders. The RFID tag is an object that can be applied to and/or incorporated into a product, animal, or person for...

Briefs: Materials
Lightweight, Flexible, Energy-Manageable Polymer Nanocomposites

Solar energy has attracted keen attention because it is a unique, clean, and sustainable energy resource. It is also widely utilized as a power source in space exploration. A lightweight, durable, deployable, and highly efficient all polymer-based solar power panel was developed...

Briefs: Materials
Nanocomposites for Radiation Shielding

Currently, lead and lead-based materials are used to fabricate shields not only for X-rays, but also for other types of radiation. With the growing environmental concern about the toxicity of lead, and the high costs associated with transporting heavy lead-based shields in spacecraft, alternatives are...

Briefs: Materials
Lightweight, High-Strength Nanocomposite Magnesium for Radiators

The next generation of radiators will be designed using a composite with the combination of the lowest density, highest thermal conductivity, and highest strength. A scalable, low-cost process was developed to advance state-of-the-art metal matrix thermal conductors to reach a...

Briefs: Materials
Advanced Protective Coatings for Graphite Substrates

The purpose of this innovation is to develop advanced multilayered coating architectures to protect graphite substrates from hot hydrogen attack. The concept consists of coating the graphite substrate with metallic and non-metallic layers consisting of ZrC; Nb, Mo, and/or Nb-Mo alloy; and/or...

Briefs: Materials
Plasma Extraction of Oxygen from the Martian Atmosphere

Extraction of oxygen from the abundant carbon dioxide present on Mars (96% atmospheric composition) is an important objective in preparation for missions to the planet. Oxygen is not only a fundamental reactant with high-specific-energy chemical fuels such as hydrogen and methane, but,...

Briefs: Materials
Application of Carbon Nanotube Hold-Off Voltage for Determining Gas Composition

In this innovation, a method and associated system have been created to vary a voltage applied to an exposed end of a carbon nanotube for a selected time interval to promote gas discharge, and to estimate a gas component involved in the discharge. Each component of a...

Videos