Articles

Articles : Aerospace
Los Alamos National Laboratory

Established in 1943, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico was site Y of the Manhattan Project for a single purpose: to design and build an atomic bomb, which took just 27 months. The Los Alamos...

Articles : Motion Control
Selecting a Force Measurement Solution to Minimize Variables and Protect Tensile Testing Data

Computers and software play a major role in force measurement and quality control. Whether in the engineering lab, quality control inspection area,...

Articles : Data Acquisition
Design Issues with Wearables From the Perspective of Electromechanical Components

Life Alert's “I've fallen and I can't get up®!” became one of the most famous infomercial catchphrases in the late 1980s. The company's device,...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Products of Tomorrow: July 2018

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that...

Articles : Imaging
Remote Sensing for Smarter Forest Fire Fighting

Spinoff is NASA's annual publication featuring successfully commercialized NASA technology. This commercialization has contributed to the development of products and services in the fields of...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Eyes in the Sky: Using Optical Filters to Observe and Measure Earth From a Different Perspective

“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Principles of Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopes

Today’s high-resolution laser scanning confocal microscopes (LSCM), also referred to simply as laser scanning microscopes, are powerful high-magnification surface metrology instruments with...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Rethinking FPGAs for Smart Cameras

The term “smart camera” has been used for decades, but there has been little agreement on the actual definition. This article will use the term “smart” as the Merriam Webster dictionary defines it:...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Taking It to the Streets: Designing Streetlamp Optical Components

The task of creating a streetlamp optical system has changed over the last 20 years and due to this change, so has optical design software. Let’s compare the task of...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Sensors Expo Preview

The 2018 Sensors Expo and Conference will be held at the McEnery Convention Center, San Jose, CA from June 26 – 28. It is an opportunity to catch up on the latest trends and products in this increasingly important technology sector. Major themes of the event include IoT, maximizing the usefulness of raw data, and improving...

Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Benefits of Using Encoders to Improve Step Motor System Performance

Step motors are widely used in automation due to their high resolution, precision positioning, minimal control electronics, and low cost. As an open loop system, traditional...

Articles : Materials
Plastic Bearings Reduce Weight and Improve Durability

When engineer Mark Doyle started to put together plans for an exoskeleton to support surgeons in 2012, he wanted to develop a lightweight product that they could wear comfortably for...

Articles : Test & Measurement
Sensing the Future of Pneumatics

Some species of sharks must constantly swim to keep water flowing over their gills to stay alive. That same concept also tends to apply to technology — once a technology stops evolving and moving forward,...

Articles : Medical
How Sophisticated Wearable Sensors are Changing Healthcare

In the traditional model of healthcare, a patient would visit a doctor regularly for checkups or for evaluations when there’s an ailment. This model, however, isn’t ideal for...

Articles : Medical
Paired Sleep Tracker and Light Therapy Tools Retrain Circadian Rhythms

Spinoff is NASA’s annual publication featuring successfully commercialized NASA technology. This commercialization has contributed to the development of products and...

Question of the Week
Which Superpower Do You Want Most?

Technology Leaders