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Fatigue Crack Detection Via Load-Differential Guided Wave Methods

Guided waves (e.g., Lamb waves) have been considered for many structural health monitoring (SHM) applications because of their ability to travel long distances and maintain sensitivity to damage. One conventional approach to detect damage is to compare in situ signals to baselines recorded from the undamaged structure. By comparing current signals to damage-free baselines, signal changes caused by structural damage can be tracked. Such methods can handle some structural complexity, but have unwanted sensitivity to variations in environmental and operational conditions (e.g., temperatures and loads).

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Failure modes and effects analysis, Waveguides, Fatigue
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Distributed Fiber Optic Sensing for Homeland Security

To address the need to protect our borders and critical infrastructure, fiber optic sensing technology developed for antisubmarine warfare applications has been adapted to homeland security applications. Ground-based seismic sensing applications have significantly different requirements than traditional underwater acoustic applications. As a result, new optical interrogation and signal processing techniques are needed. Border and critical infrastructure sensor systems must be able to monitor long lengths (several km to several 10s of km) with reasonable spatial resolution (5 to 100 m), and have sufficient seismic sensitivity to detect targets of interest. A fiber optic distributed seismic sensor system was developed that is capable of meeting these requirements.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Architecture, Fiber optics, Security systems, Sensors and actuators
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Direct-Write Polymer Nanolithography in Ultra-High Vacuum

The deposition of materials in vacuum is the foundational technology for creating modern electronic circuits; a vacuum being essential both to preserve the cleanliness of the substrate and the deposited materials, and to minimize the creation of defects. Consequently, most deposition techniques, from thermal evaporation to atomic layer deposition, require a high level of vacuum, preferably ultra-high vacuum (UHV), to be used effectively.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Electronic equipment, Fabrication, Polymers
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Operation and On-Chip Integration of Cavity-QED-Based Detectors for Single Atoms and Molecules

A new experimental platform for studies of transport and quantumlimited measurements of cold, trapped atomic gases was constructed. Using microfabrication processes, a silicon wafer was micromachined to allow for deposition of micrometer-scale electromagnet wires, and for the integration of closely spaced, highly reflective optical mirrors. With this device, nanokelvintemperature atomic gases were produced and placed with nanometer precision within a high-finesse optical resonator. This device was applied to the construction of a cavity optomechanical system with ultracold atomic gases, with the goals of understanding how to conduct quantum-limited measurements of the motion of a macroscopic mechanical object, and characterizing the new phenomena arising in such a hybrid optomechanical quantum system.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Measurements, Optics, Storage, Gases, Silicon alloys
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Reverse Pressure Capable Finger Seal

Each finger seal consists of a number of multiple thin metal laminates, each with a multitude of flexible projections that are referred to as “fingers.” To form a functional seal, multiple laminates are formed into a stack, with each laminate oriented so that the slots between its fingers cover the slots of the neighboring laminates. For protection and support of the laminates, forward and aft cover plates are placed on each side of the finger seal stack. A high pressure exists on one side of the seal, providing a driving force to push the air from one side of the seal to the other.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Coatings Colorants and Finishes, Seals and gaskets
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High-Voltage Amplifier

TREK (Medina, NY) offers the Model 50/12 DC-stable high-voltage linear amplifier that delivers ±50 kV performance. The bipolar amplifier features an all-solid-state design and provides control of output voltages in the range of 0 to ±50 kV DC or peak AC, with an output current range of 0 to ±12mA DC or peak AC. Slew rate is greater than 350V/μs. Small signal bandwidth is DC to greater than 20 kHz, and noise is less than 10V rms.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RFM Catchall, RF & Microwave Electronics
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RF Design Software

Agilent Technologies (Santa Clara, CA) offers EMPro 2011.11 Electromagnetic Professional software, a 3D modeling and simulation platform that features enhancements to further speed and improve RF design and verification. EMPro is used to create 3D models and analyze electrical performance of packages, connectors, antennas, and other RF components.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RFM Catchall, RF & Microwave Electronics
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RF Inductors

AVX Corp. (Fountain Inn, SC) offers the MLO™ 0402 Series, a multilayer organic RF inductor in a 0402 case size that offers tight tolerance in a small footprint. Providing high-Q and high self-resonance, the RoHS-compliant inductors feature an inductance range of 1 nH to 32 nH. The low-profile inductors also offer high SRF (self-resonant frequency), and can support frequencies above 1 GHz. They are expansion- matched to printed circuit boards. The devices are suited for RF power amplifiers, low-noise amplifiers, filter networks, and MRI systems. They can operate between -55 and 125 ºC, and feature a 100 percent tin finish.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RFM Catchall, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Smart Reset ICs

STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland) has introduced a new line of Smart Reset™ chips. The integrated circuits reset ‘frozen’ gadgets, such as mobile phones, media players, and other portable consumer devices.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Battery Simulation Software

Using its low-power EFM32 Gecko microcontrollers, Energy Micro (Oslo, Norway) has introduced a software tool that enables designers to predict battery cell life expectancy. The free energyAware™ Battery Estimator provides a simulation of total system energy usage, taking into account actual battery source, MCU energy modes, peripherals employed, and external circuit components.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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