Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Researchers Turn iPhone Camera into Optical Sensor

By integrating an optical Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, or MEMS, chip into an iPhone camera, researchers at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have developed a new,...

Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) are more prevalent than ever, especially in the popular configurations known today as “wearables.” Leading MEMS and...

Historically, high-strength materials have been heavy and dense. The need for high-strength but lightweight materials has become more widespread when designing everything from vehicles and...

Articles: Automotive
WCX17 World Congress Experience

More than 11,000 engineering industry professionals from 55 countries will experience the new WCX — the evolution of SAE World Congress (here) — to be held April 4-6 in Detroit, MI. Attendees will gain new...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Products of Tomorrow: March 2017

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...

Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Autonomous Driving — In a ‘Flash’

By combining CMOS technology with avalanche photodiodes, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS (Duisburg, Germany) have developed a potentially...

ViDAR, developed by Sentient Vision Systems in Melbourne Australia, provides autonomous, real-time, wide-area search capability, optically, from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or...

Application Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
A New Clinical Challenge: Making Sense of Heart Failure

Cardiologist Dr. John Boehmer spends many of his days assisting individuals who have heart disease, a condition affecting approximately 5.7 million US adults, according to the American...

Application Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
NASA Navigation Sensor May Land in Applications Beyond Mars

Although a NASA-built sensor being tested in the Mojave Desert this summer will be used to support the safe landing of rovers on Mars, one of the technology's lead researchers sees...

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

OriginLab, Northampton, MA, released Origin and OriginPro 2017 data analysis and graphing software with more than 100 new features, enhancements, and apps. Features include Trellis plots for creating...

Articles: Motion Control
The Basics of Encoder Selection

Many small motor applications, such as robotics, industrial equipment, and consumer products, employ digital incremental encoders for feedback sensing. Encoder selection is therefore an important part of the...

Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Servo Couplings for High-Tech Systems

Couplings are a critical part of system performance in high-tech applications, yet they are often one of the last components to be specified. Selecting the proper coupling ensures the equipment will meet...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Metallic Glass Shatters Gear Limitations

Gears play an essential role in precision robotics, and they can become a limiting factor when the robots must perform in space missions. In particular, the extreme temperatures of deep space pose...

Articles: Motion Control
Adding SCADA to a Hydraulic Power Unit

With an increased focus on plant productivity and equipment reliability, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems have become vital tools to reduce downtime while increasing asset...

Application Briefs: Motion Control
PLCs Improve Control of Radio Broadcasts

Broadcasting employs the latest technology in many areas, but controlling the broadcast hardware connected to the antenna and the related transmission power, source, and facilities is usually still a...

Articles: Electronics & Computers
Printed Electronics: The Future Is Flexible
Low-Cost Printable Electronics Fabrication

The need for low-cost and environmentally friendly processes for fabricating printable electronics and biosensor chips is rapidly growing. NASA has...

Since 2003, Farzin Amzajerdian has worked on the Navigation Doppler Lidar (NDL), a sensor designed to support safe and precise vehicle landings on Mars and...

For more than 25 years, the Hubble Space Telescope has provided stunning photos of the universe unequalled in their depth, detail, and distinction. But in its early days, Hubble wasn't capable...

Articles: Motion Control
The Basics of Encoder Selection
Positioning: Resolution and Accuracy

An application’s required positioning resolution dictates the choice of encoder resolution. A well-tuned system can maintain the position within one encoder state...

During his time with former employer Science and Engineering Services, LLC, Branimir Blagojevic helped build a remote-sensing device that detected biological...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Product of the Month: January 2017

HP, Palo Alto, CA, unveiled the HP Z2 Mini Workstation designed for users in CAD and other compute-intensive industries. The workstation is 2.3” high, and 90% smaller than a traditional business-class...

Thanks to advancements developed by NASA, today’s aviation industry is better equipped than ever to safely and efficiently transport passengers to their destinations. In fact, every U.S. aircraft and...

The U.S. has an incredibly safe aviation system, partly because safety concerns are identified and corrected before they become real problems. NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) is...

Imagine coming home and dropping your phone, laptop, and Bluetooth® headset on your kitchen table so that they all recharge simultaneously. What if you could drive your electric...

As engineers design new weapons or modify existing ones, reducing time and money on development can be critical in providing soldiers with improved weapons without undue delay. A new sight may be planned for...

Articles: Software
Simulating Material Migration

Accurately tracking and predicting the subsurface migration of specific materials over time and over multiple phases is critical to efficient and effective strategy development and deployment in a growing number...

Cars contain numerous filters for air, fuel, and oil. Those who develop these filters are confronted with many requirements. The products must withstand intense temperature fluctuations and vibrations,...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Designing for 3D Printing

3D printing has progressed over the past decade to include multimaterial fabrication, enabling production of powerful, functional objects. While many advances have been made, it still has been difficult for...

Videos