Special Coverage

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
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines

Pegasus 5.2 Software for Automated Pre-Processing of Overset CFD Grids

Pegasus software is used as a pre-processor for overset-grid Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations. It provides the hole-cutting and connectivity information between structured overset grids. The main features of the software include automated hole-cutting algorithms, a projection scheme for fixing small discretization errors in overset surface, efficient interpolation search methods, hole-size optimization based on adding additional layers of fringe points, and an automatic restart capability. The code can run in parallel using the Message-Passing Interface (MPI) standard.

Posted in: Briefs, Software

Fast, Sensitive Hydrogen Sensor

This sensor can be used in stationary fuel cell installations, nuclear reactors, battery charging, medical diagnostics, petroleum refining, and mine safety.

Hydrogen is a promising potential fuel for cars, buses, and other vehicles, and can be converted into electricity in fuel cells. It already is used in medicine and space exploration, as well as in the production of industrial chemicals and food products.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors

Feed Mechanism and Method for Feeding Minute Components

This mechanism singles out one component from a disorganized batch of bulk components, and presents it to an exact location.

Electrical circuits such as printed wiring boards or hybrid microcircuits designed to utilize surface mount electrical components are commonly assembled by computer-controlled automated equipment. These machines typically use a vacuum nozzle to pick up and handle the components during assembly. Three methods are commonly used to feed surface mount components to automatic assembly equipment: tape reel feeders, linear or bowl-type vibratory feeders, or waffle-style packages.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components

Vibration-Dampening Pedestal for MEMS

This thin-film modular pedestal provides passive dampening of undesirable external vibrations that can affect MEMS devices.

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are critical devices for various highly sensitive applications; however, the development and potential fielding of these next-generation smart systems is currently impeded by the inability to satisfy the stringent performance standards for precision and control. These advanced smart systems currently suffer from severe inaccuracies caused by a critical failure of a MEMS inertial measurement unit (IMU), i.e., the angular rate sensor (ARS).

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components

Self-Healing, Self-Lubricating Tribofilm

This technology could improve the efficiency and durability of engines and other moving metal parts.

Tribologists have developed a diamond-like film that is generated by the heat and pressure of an automotive engine. The ultra-durable, self-lubricating tribofilm — a film that forms between moving surfaces — can be made to develop self-healing, diamondlike carbon (DLC) tribofilms. The film generates itself by breaking down the molecules of the lubricating oil, and can regenerate the tribofilm as it is worn away.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials

Fiber-Optic Environmental Radiation Dosimeter

An all-optical, fiber-optic-coupled remote radiation sensor was developed using luminescent, copper-doped quartz material. The key to the technology is the doped quartz material, which produces a luminescence signal that is directly proportional to the radiation dose.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics

Functionally Graded Metal-Metal Composite Structures

This structure can be used in pressure vessels, ballistic-impact-resistant structures, and metallic glass alloys.

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a functionally graded metal-metal composite structure. The structure is created using a method that avoids deleterious reactions between the different metal constituents, as would be observed via conventional melt processing. The results are unique alloy compositions and arrangements not typically available through conventional processing routes.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials

Compact, Portable Device for Structural Vibration Reduction

The device has use in theaters, malls, and other areas where high-traffic floor vibrations can be unsettling to occupants.

Tuned mass dampers are used worldwide to mitigate vibrations in structures like buildings and bridges where excessive movement can be alarming or even sickening to occupants. The vast majority are multi-ton devices that occupy an average of 1,000 square feet, and are complex and costly to install, tune, and maintain.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components

6 Critical Errors to Avoid in Reusable Packaging Design

Designing a reusable, durable packaging solution for your product or service is much more than picking a type of package and a size. There are many things to consider about how your product will be used, where it will be used, and who will be using it. This list of six common errors will ensure your initial design decisions put you on the path to the most cost- effective case that combines the required protection with superior usability.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, White Papers, Defense, Electronics, Test & Measurement

Technical Webinar Series from the Editors of SAE: The Art of NVH Attenuation

In Conjunction with SAE

When vehicle engineers set out to develop new cars and trucks, their attention is increasingly on reducing noise, vibration, and harshness to create a customer-pleasing driving experience. NVH attenuation is also critical as more quiet electric propulsion solutions are developed.

Posted in: Upcoming Webinars, Research Lab

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