Articles

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 : Lighting
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 : Motion Control
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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...

Articles : Materials
Shape Memory Alloys Achieve High Force and Precision

With very little fanfare, a special class of alloys has been finding its way into our daily lives. From indestructible eyewear, to smartphone cameras, to coronary stents, this material is...

Articles : Defense
Army Research Laboratory

In October 1992, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) was activated, consolidating the seven corporate labs of the Laboratory Command (LABCOM) with other Army research elements to form a centralized laboratory...

Articles : Materials
Products of Tomorrow: June 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 : Software
Connecting the Digital Twin: From Idea Through Production, to Customers and Back

Rapidly advancing technology and groundbreaking innovations are changing the world of manufacturing. Trends such as Big Data, Cloud Technology, and the Internet...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
5 Ws of The Sentinel Wrap

Who

Food manufacturers, as well as manufacturers of medical supplies and instruments.

Articles : Automotive
Depth-Sensing Imaging System Can Peer Through Fog

An inability to handle misty driving conditions has been one of the chief obstacles to the development of autonomous vehicular navigation systems that use visible light. These systems are...

Articles : Test & Measurement
All-in-One Lab Device Gets New Instruments via Software Update

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

Articles : Medical
Products of Tomorrow: May 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 : Energy
5 Ws of Invisible Glass

Who

Users of consumer electronics devices and solar cells, and high-power pulsed laser applications.

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
The Less is More Approach to Robotic Cable Management

In recent years, cable management has come into the limelight because machine reliability has increased dramatically, even though robots have grown more complex. Unfortunately, the...

Articles : Data Acquisition
Understanding Smart Machines: How They Will Shape the Future

Powered by smart machines, the new industrial revolution is changing how machine builders design, and how manufacturers operate today and in the future. To remain competitive and...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

This year, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) marks 75 years as a research institution. Located in Oak Ridge, TN, ORNL is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and...

Articles : Test & Measurement
Essential Principles for Designing and Specifying Laser Optics

Laser engineers are leveraging new materials, unusual gain mechanisms, and innovative cavity designs to push laser performance into new regimes. Pulse lengths are getting...

Articles : Software
Novel Laser Power Sensor Technology for Process Control

The need to measure laser output characteristics, including average power, pulse energy, and pulse shape, is a common requirement across many industrial and research applications....

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
High-Speed Multi-Sensor Imaging

Machine vision plays a key role in the automation of production processes. Since the advent of vision in industrial manufacturing, there have been many advances in camera and image sensor technology. Right...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
3D Imaging in Space

NASA is digging ever more deeply into understanding the makeup of the surfaces of Mars and our Moon. A lot can be learned by sending instruments to land on these places, but vastly more can be discovered by bringing back...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Lab on Wheels

Next-generation manufacturing takes on a 50-year-old icon as ORNL researchers transform the classic Shelby Cobra sports car into a 3D-printed laboratory on wheels. Additive manufacturing enables the seamless...

Articles : Test & Measurement
Protecting Sensitive Instruments with Piezo-Driven Active Vibration Isolation Platforms

As the need for nano precision has become increasingly important in many fields of research and manufacturing — such as microelectronics fabrication,...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Choosing the Right Brake for Robotic Applications

Industrial robots play an essential role in manufacturing, from assembly, to pick-and-place, to packaging. One of the major risks of robotics — and what OEMs seek to mitigate — is...

Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Industrial Rotary Encoders: Selecting the Right Device for Your Application

Rotary encoders play important roles in motion control and industrial automation systems, providing control systems with information about the motion of motor...

Articles : Motion Control
Cobots and Industrial Robots: Choose the Right Robot for the Job

Automating manufacturing processes is a complex issue, with no one-size-fits-all solution. Robots range from insect-like microrobots to industrial robots powerful enough to...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Circuit Protection Challenges for Battery Management Systems

The market for higher-voltage automotive systems is expanding. The number of electric vehicles that use battery-powered drive systems having voltage equal to or higher than 48V is...