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

EBTN LCDs

Lumex (Palatine, IL) has introduced the InfoVue EBTN (Enhanced Background Twisted Nematic) family of custom negative image TN LCD technology. The LCDs offer a contrast ratio of 300 to 1, and are RoHS compliant. They are available in sizes ranging from 1.0 in2 to 5 in2. Sharp, crisp negative images can be displayed using any color backlight.

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DPSS Industrial Laser

Spectra-Physics® (Santa Clara, CA) offers the 355-2 Q-switched diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) industrial laser, which provides over 2W of 355nm output at 90 kHz and a short pulse width of less than 25ns. Features include a motorized third harmonic crystal shifter for stable UV power, an automatic laser purification system (ALPS) to actively clean the UV laser cavity and extend laser life, and automatic data logging.

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CMOS Machine Vision Camera

Viewbits (San Diego, CA) offers the Iyeron™, a 12 megapixel CMOS machine vision camera. It is shock-resistant with a 1.9" CMOS monochrome progressive scan sensor, and offers HXGA 4906 (H) × 3072 (V) pixel resolution at a full frame speed of 25 fps. A programmable Window of Interest (WOI) partial scanning mode offers faster frame speed and can be programmed to display up to 28 square windows within one image. It features high sensitivity of 2000 lx (F5.6), large square pixels (6.0 μm × 6.0 μm), a random trigger shutter, an electric global shutter, a wide dynamic range (multi-slope), and a compact size of less than three inches wide.

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5-Megapixel APO-Xenoplan Lens

Schneider Optics (Van Nuys, CA) has introduced the 5-megapixel APOXenoplan 1.8/35mm lens for 2/3" CMOS/CCD sensors. It features apochromatic correction and broadband coating, is suitable for luminescence applications at 1200nm, and accommodates small pixel sizes of 3.45μ or less.

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Rapid Automated Modular Microscope System

The Rapid Automated Modular Microscope (RAMM) system from Applied Scientific Instrumentation (Eugene, OR) offers a modular design with automated high-speed XY stages, precision piezo and motorized Z focusing, along with a range of scanning options. It is configurable with infinity-corrected optics, dichroic filter cubes, multi-wavelength excitation and emission filterwheels, shutters, and detectors, including cameras and photomultipliers. A wide range of features can be added, including auto-focus, focus stabilization, tracker, and robotic specimen loader. It is suitable for applications in high throughput screening, genetic sequencing, and experimental research. It is designed using high MTBF components to reduce cost.

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Machine Vision Software

Cognex Corporation (Natick, MA) has introduced a new release of VisionPro®, its hardware-independent machine vision software. Vision- Pro 6.1 includes support for Microsoft® Windows 7 and offers line scan distortion correction that eliminates horizontal lens distortion and equalizes pixel width across the sensor. The software also makes calibrating line scan cameras easier by generating the required data using a set of lines from a still object. Analog and Camera Link frame grabbers are compatible with Windows 7 in VisionPro 6.1, and FireWire DCAM and GigE vision drivers have been updated for Windows 7 compatibility. VisionPro 6.1 also introduces ToolBlock, an enhancement to ToolGroup. It adds new features such as Drag & Drop Terminal, a graphical method for linking multiple vision tools, and Simple Script, which reduces the amount of scripting needed to set up complex applications.

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Plug & Play Driver for Pulsed Laser Diodes

Laser Components (Hudson, NH) offers the LSP40 plug & play driver module, which can be used to accurately control pulsed laser diodes (PLDs). With two resistors, the user is able to regulate the operating current (and thus the laser power) and the pulse length. It requires an operating voltage of 12 VDC and an external trigger signal. The laser current can be set to any value up to 40A, and the pulse length can be set to between 30ns and 150ns. At a reduced current, pulse lengths up to 1μs are achievable.

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Solar PV Encapsulant

DuPont (Wilmington, DE) has collaborated with Oerlikon Solar to produce the DuPont™ PV5223 thin white reflective solar PV encapsulant sheet. This thin 0.45-mm white reflective encapsulant eliminates the need for reflective paint typically used to reflect light back to the active layer. Designed for use with Oerlikon Solar's Micromorph® technology, the PV5223 increases light reflectivity by more than 50% versus paint, achieving 94% reflectivity, and delivers stronger adhesion than clear PVB sheet materials, which translates into longer-life modules.

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Photovoltaic Metallization Paste

DuPont Microcircuit Materials (Research Triangle Park, NC) introduces DuPont™ Solamet® PV16x series photovoltaic metallization pastes for crystalline silicon solar cells. The photovoltaic metallizations are suitable for a wide range of printing line widths and processes, which help to meet a variety of photovoltaic market needs.

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Funding for R&D to Support U.S. Manufacturing of SSL

Today, DOE announced the availability of up to $15 million in funding to advance research, development, and market adoption of solid-state lighting (SSL) technologies. The department will select two to eight projects that will help accelerate the adoption of LED and OLED products.

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