Manufacturing & Prototyping

Industrial Picosecond Lasers

A new generation of industrial picosecond lasers from Coherent, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) combines high-performance and exceptional reliability in a lower-cost platform to make a wide range of precision materials processing economically viable. The HyperRapid NX product range includes 1064 nm output models with pulse energies as high as 250 μJ (typically with 10 ps pulse duration), at repetition rates up to 2 MHz. This enables high-throughput processes, including enough power for the beam to be split in order to run multiple optical trains within one machine. The product line also includes high-power models with output at 532 nm and 355 nm.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Lasers & Laser Systems
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Ultrasonic Piezo Motor Drives

Precision motion and nanopositioning systems specialist PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P. (Auburn, MA) recently released the smallest member in their miniature rotary stage series with ultrasonic piezo motor drives. The U-622 is joining two other high dynamics miniaturized ultrasonic rotary positioners, U-624 and U-628. Vacuum compatible versions to 10-6 hPa are available.

Posted in: Products, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Photonics
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Frame Grabber

The FireBird Camera Link Deca board frame grabber from Active Silicon (Iver, UK) is now available in two form factors: a full-height version with front panel IO and a low-profile/half-height version. The low-profile design allows the FireBird Low Profile board to be used in small embedded PC enclosures and rack-mount cases where full-height PC cards are not suitable. A full-height bracket option is available for use in standard PC form-factor enclosures.

Posted in: Products, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Photonics
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CMOS Cameras

SMARTEK Vision (New London, CT) offers the “twenty-nine” series of CMOS machine-vision cameras. Distributed by FRAMOS Technologies (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), the 29 x 29- mm camera line fits GigE Vision and USB3 Vision with a high-speed sensor front-end into a miniature housing. Pixel sizes range from 5.86 μm and 3.45 μm down to 1.25 μm; sensor formats range from 1/2" to 1/3". The camera connects with C-Mount, Power-over-Ethernet (PoE), and general-purpose IOs (GPIO) via a 6-pin Hirose component.

Posted in: Products, Cameras, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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Motorized Actuators

A new series of low-cost DC drive motors from Siskiyou Corporation (Grants Pass, OR) enables precise, hands-free adjustment of translation stages and mirror mounts, using a simple, push-button control pad. Specifically, the new 500 series actuators can replace manual screw and micrometer adjusters on Siskiyou’s crossed roller bearing linear stages, kinematic mirror mounts, and IS OGP beam steering assembly for microscopes. The hand-held controller for operating these actuators offers two preset drive speeds (0.3 mm/s and 0.1 mm/second), as well as an adjustable low speed range (from 10 μm/s to 30 μm/s). The latter enables consistent, small moves (down to 1.0 μm) with a single, short button press.

Posted in: Products, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Photonics
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Tension Stiffened and Tendon Actuated Manipulator

This configuration offers mechanical advantage and improved efficiency over existing arms that use weighty gearboxes and motors.

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia

NASA’s Langley Research Center is developing a robotic arm with lightweight joints that provide a wide range of motion. The envisioned design provides users with a long reach and numerous degrees of freedom. The arm, ideal for use in aquatic environments or for manipulation of light terrestrial loads, consists of articulating booms connected by antagonistic cable tension elements. The arm elements are structurally efficient and lightweight, and support compact packaging. The inherent mechanical advantage provided by the tendon articulation allows the use of small, efficient motor systems. The manipulator can be scaled over a large range from 10 m (load-bearing arm) to over 1000 m (submersible or float-supported arm). Current efforts are focusing on a 15-m prototype and a 300-m subsystem to test the unique robotic architecture. NASA is seeking partners to assist with the development of its concept system for specific applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Robotics, Biomechanics, Marine vehicles and equipment, Spacecraft
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Lattice Structures Coating Concept for Efficient Thermal Linking Beds

Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama

Conventional air revitalization technology for removal of CO2, moisture, and trace organic contaminants usually involves a packed bed of sorbent pellets that can be regenerated using a concept similar to that of pressure swing adsorption (PSA). Additional heat input for thermal regeneration is preferred during the adsorption-desorption process to increase the regeneration efficiency. Typically, a pair of adsorber modules consisting of the same sorbent material with identical loading capacity is placed in parallel and work in tandem, where one module adsorbs the contaminants from the process air while the other is in regeneration mode. The two adsorber modules have separate housings and may be placed in separate locations.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Life support systems, Oxygen equipment, Oxygen equipment, Coatings Colorants and Finishes, Coatings, colorants, and finishes
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A Statistically Based Approach to Broadband Liner Design and Assessment

The current method targets the entire broadband frequency spectrum simultaneously.

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia

The broadband component of fan noise has grown in relevance with the utilization of increased bypass ratio and advanced fan designs. Thus, while the attenuation of fan tones remains paramount, the ability to simultaneously reduce broadband fan noise levels has become more attractive. Advanced manufacturing techniques have also opened new possibilities for the implementation of broadband liner concepts. This innovation is an integrated method for the design and evaluation of novel broadband acoustic liner concepts for complex engine configurations.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Insulation, Acoustics, Noise, Acoustics, Noise, Fans
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Connection and Repair Techniques for Capillary Tubing in Restrictive Areas and Gas Chromatography Applications

John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Capillary columns offer challenges in gas chromatography (GC) work due to their small size and fragile nature. Typical repair techniques to join two capillary columns require cumbersome metal fittings. This solution is not applicable in all situations due to size and mass limitations. Another repair or joint technique involves the use of polyimide glue with a tapered glass union. Without the bulky glass fitting, this technique is difficult to perform without plugging the column; the low-viscosity glue wicks up the capillary column and fills the small opening of the joint. Polyimide is also a problem due to its hydrolysis when trying to analyze water; the polyimide glue interacts with the water in the sample and affects the analysis. These solutions don’t support a repair of capillary columns for water analysis in a small gas chromatograph module.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Maintenance, Repair and Service Operations, Maintenance, repair, and service operations, Joining, Adhesives and sealants, Gases, Fittings, Hoses, Test equipment and instrumentation
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Products of Tomorrow: August 2016

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just some of the examples of NASA-developed technology used in products today.

Posted in: Articles, Products, Aerospace, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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