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Portable Simulator for Training in Robot-Assisted Surgery

Aportable apparatus is being developed as a means of training surgeons in robot-assisted surgery, including laparoscopic and other forms of minimally invasive surgery. The apparatus can be characterized as a virtual reality system that includes not only a computer and a visual display subsystem, but also an electromechanical subsystem with which a surgeon in training can interact as though interacting with a console of the type used to control a laparoscopic, endoscopic, or other surgical robot.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Simulation and modeling, Surgical procedures, Robotics
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Imaging System for Characterizing Materials and Processes

Ahigh-performance digital imaging system has been assembled to provide enhanced capabilities for characterizing materials and processes. Highspeed imaging is needed for observation and analysis of such fast dynamic processes as impact fracture (including ballistically induced fracture) in advanced composite materials, dynamic deformation of materials, and hydrodynamic instabilities in jets. Because these dynamic processes occur at diverse temporal and spatial scales, there is a need for an imaging system that can operate at correspondingly diverse frame rates, spatial resolutions, and magnifications, and that is capable of recording various numbers of image frames.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Imaging
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Progress in Research on Bacteria-Powered Motors

Progress has been made on several fronts in research on biomotors and especially on microscopic motors powered by bacteria. The progress consists mostly of advances in the art of attaching motile bacterial cells to surfaces in specific, pre-designed microarrays.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Bacteria
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Fabrication of Lightweight Armored Doors for HMMWVs

A document describes a concept for fabricating lightweight armored doors for the Army’s high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs). Essentially, the concept is to reinforce high-hard (HH) steel armored doors used on some HMMWVs with a laminated, woven, high-tensile-strength glassfiber/ polyester-matrix composite that has performed well as armor material in previous military applications. A fabrication procedure for implementing the concept, described in the document, can be summarized as follows:

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Doors, Fabrication, Composite materials, Glass fibers, Steel, Military vehicles and equipment
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AFRL’s Demonstration and Science Experiments Mission

A document describes the Air Force Research Laboratory's Demonstration and Science Experiments (DSX) mission, dedicated to research needed to advance the ability to operate spacecraft in the harsh radiation environment of medium earth orbit (MEO). The DSX spacecraft, to be launched in late 2009 into an orbit ranging in altitude from 6,000 to 12,000 km, is designed to carry instruments pertinent to studies in three categories:

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Research and development, Spacecraft
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UDE 2.0.7 and UAD2 Debug Tools for Microcontrollers

A debug tool specially tailored to support the individual features of Infineon's new scalable XC2200 microcontoller family was recently released by PLS Development Tools (San Jose, CA). Infineon used the modular components-based Universal Debug Engine (UDE) 2.0.7 and the Universal Access Device 2 (UAD2) family of units from PLS to test its first XC200 microcontrollers and for preparation of software drivers and application examples. Both the UDE 2.0.7 and the UAD2 provide unlimited support for all internal debug resources and peripheral sets of Infineon's new XC200 microcontrollers. The integrated FLASH/OTP programming function of the UDE 2.0.7 enables high speeds in the entire FLASH, but also for external devices from AMD, Intel, ATMEL, and other JEDEC-compatible FLASH memories.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Double-Sided Press-Fit Contacts for Mezzanine Applications

ERNI Electronics (Midlothian, VA) offers a portfolio of connectors from its unshrouded header system series (STL family). The singleor double-row versions are available in many different connection lengths and termination types including press-fit, dip-solder, THR, as well as right-angle versions. These male multipoint connectors are based on 0.025" × 0.025" pin standard and can be combined with a variety of compliant products. Suited for use in mezzanine circuit boards that require unshrouded headers with a 0.100"(2.54-mm) pitch and stamped press-fit zones on both sides, the connectors eliminate the need for a cable connection or an indirect connector link.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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16-bit A/D Transient Recorder PCI Cards

Strategic Test (Woburn, MA) has released six new Transient Recorder cards in the UF2- 4700 series. Using multiple 16-bit ADC's for true simultaneous sampling, the UF2-4700 cards are available with a choice of maximum sampling rates of 100 kS/s, 250 kS/s, and 500 kS/s, and come in 8- or 16- channel configurations. Each channel contains an independent amplifier that allows the user to program it with the voltage range to best match each sensor. Eight ranges are provided from ±50 mV to ±10 V. A self-calibration feature ensures the removal of any DC offsets prior to recording. Based on the new PCI-X (66 MHz/32-it PCI) bus-based UF2 series carrier card, these cards can continuously transfer data to the host PC at up to 112 mega samples (225 Mbyte) per second.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Single-Board Computer Delivers High-Performance I/O

Mosaic Industries (Newark, CA) has released the PDQ Board™, a compact I/O-rich single board computer. The PDQ Board™ includes 1 megabyte of memory, a Motorola 68HCS12 processor, dozens of analog and digital I/O lines, and versatile serial communications links onto a 2.5" × 4" board. It delivers 8 digital I/O lines with counter/timer capabilities, 8 pulsewidth modulated (PWM) digital output signals, and 8 general purpose digital I/O lines. Additional I/O includes 16 analog inputs with 10-bit resolution, dual RS232/485 ports with speeds up to 256 KBaud, and synchronous SPI and IIC serial interfaces.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Lead-Free Solder Paste for Varying Manufacturing Climates

Multicore® LF600, a halide-free, no-clean Pb-free solder paste from Henkel (Düsseldorf, Germany), has been designed for humidity-resistance, making it best suited for varying manufacturing climates. Its formula allows for printing and reflow performance in regions where temperatures are upwards of 30°C (86°F) with 80% relative humidity. Multicore® LF600 features a new activator chemistry that combines coalescence with ultra-low voiding to deliver longterm, in-field reliability results.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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