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

Chip-Scale Device ‘Fine-Tunes’ Wireless Communications

Achip-scale optical device, developed by a team from the University of Sydney’s Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology (AINST), achieves radio frequency signal control at sub-nanosecond time scales. The photonics breakthrough has the potential to provide broader bandwidth instantaneously to more users.

Posted in: Articles, Cameras, Imaging, Photonics, Internet, Optics, Radio equipment, Wireless communication systems, Internet, Optics, Radio equipment, Wireless communication systems
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Round Lens. Square Pixels. Accurate Images. Really?

Alens is cylindrical. It captures light in a circular plane for collection onto a rectangular digital sensor plane. This collection of photons is then transformed into electricity by smaller square pixels. Just how do these disparate shapes work together to provide usable images?

Posted in: Articles, Cameras, Imaging, Photonics, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Sensors and actuators, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Sensors and actuators
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Drones Spot Gas Leaks From the Sky

As part of a project to improve energy pipeline industry safety, a JPL-developed miniature methane sensor is flight tested on a small unmanned aerial system. (Credit: University of California, Merced)

Posted in: Articles, Optics, Sensors, Gases, Hazardous materials, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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MEMS Move Wearables Beyond Touch Interfaces

We use touch, the dominant user interface for years, to tap keyboards on laptops and tablets, to communicate with our car’s portable GPS, and to text friends and take photos from our smartphones.

Posted in: Articles, MEMs, Sensors, Microelectricmechanical device, Microelectromechanical devices, Microelectricmechanical device, Microelectromechanical devices, Human machine interface (HMI)
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Sensors’ Role Evolves as New Wearables Emerge

Microelectromechanical system (MEMS)-based components, such as sensors and actuators, began penetrating the wearable products market about a decade ago, when the first accelerometers replaced mechanical springs in pedometers and step counters.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors, Microelectricmechanical device, Microelectromechanical devices, Sensors and actuators, Microelectricmechanical device, Microelectromechanical devices, Sensors and actuators
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Products of Tomorrow: June 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 innovation.

Posted in: Articles, Electronics, Materials, Plastics, Additive manufacturing, Elastomers, Materials properties, Plastics, Semiconductors
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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

In 1928, physics professor Ernest O. Lawrence left his faculty position at Yale University for a job at the University of California's Berkeley campus. While at Berkeley, Lawrence invented a unique particle accelerator called a cyclotron that would prove his hypothesis: whirling charged particles around to boost their energies then casting them toward a target is an effective way to smash open atomic nuclei. Lawrence won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for the cyclotron, and ushered in a new era in the study of subatomic particles.

Posted in: Articles, Research Lab, Education, Education and training, Historical reference, Test facilities
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Virtual Fabrication and Assembly Documentation

Over the years, the term “virtual” has become associated with many different domains. Virtual machines are now commonplace as a substitute for physical laptops or desktops, allowing for the emulation of computer systems. Of course, virtual reality is in the news daily as new headsets, apps, and games provide a substitute for images and sounds, allowing for the simulation of a three-dimensional environment. In the printed circuit board (PCB) space, some fabrication and assembly information such as artwork, drill, netlist, test, and component placement have been conveyed virtually to manufacturing for more than 30 years.

Posted in: Articles, Electronics & Computers, Documentation, Assembling, Fabrication
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Wire Sensors Detect Dangerous Conditions in the Clouds

Sensors designed to keep aircraft safe are also helping in climate studies.

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 health and medicine, consumer goods, transportation, public safety, computer technology, and environmental resources.

Posted in: Articles, Sensors, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Weather and climate
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How Metal 3D Printing is Redefining Part Design

It's one of the basic rules of manufacturing: As part complexity increases, so do machining and assembly costs. But what if there were a different way to produce metal parts — one with fewer limitations than traditional milling, turning, and grinding processes, and able to build complex parts in less time and with little human intervention?

Posted in: Articles, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Additive manufacturing, Machining processes, Metals, Parts
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