MEMs

Vertical Take-Off and Landing UAV

The Air Force has announced that the MLB V-Bat Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) UAV from the MLB Company (Sunnyvale, CA) has been selected for a Phase II SBIR award. The military branch seeks a vehicle that has an 8-ft wingspan, 10-hour endurance, 55-lb gross take-off weight, and 70-mph cruise speed. The V-Bat’s combination of VTOL operational convenience with the safety of a shrouded fan and fixed-wing duration in a small UAV system will enable local situational awareness for UAV operations in confined areas. Last year, under a DARPA contract, MLB demonstrated precise emplacement of small payloads from the V-Bat, operating in hover mode under a vision-based control system.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Military aircraft, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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Electronics Authentication Program

To deal with the crisis of counterfeit electronics flooding into the US defensesupply chain, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), a procurement and supply arm of the U.S. Department of Defense, is considering a mandate requiring defense contractors to use the authentication services of Stony Brook, NY-based Applied DNA Sciences (APDN). If a mandate goes into effect, DLA would require contractors to implement APDN’s SigNature® DNA marking program for microcircuits provided to the military. Defense contractors would have to prove that their microcircuits are marked with SigNature DNA.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Counterfeit parts
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Solar and Thermal Energy Harvesting Textile Composites for Aerospace Applications

The proposed research focuses on developing novel energy harvesting devices that can be integrated with loadbearing structures in an air vehicle (e.g. a UAV). Several ambient energy sources are available on a UAV: light, heat, and vibration. The amount of energy available from light and heat exceeds that in vibration, so this work focuses on the first two modes of harvesting.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Aircraft structures, Solar energy, Heat exchangers, Composite materials, Textiles
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Thermo-Elastic Nondestructive Evaluation of Fatigue Damage in PMR-15 Resin

New aircraft are expected to use more composite materials. This drives the need for nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of composite materials. Current aircraft are flown beyond their design lives, and have to be inspected for fatigue and other types of damage. This necessitates a need to understand the NDE signal-material relationship to evaluate the component state.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Aircraft structures, Composite materials, Fatigue, Resins, Non-destructive tests
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Characterization of Ceramic Composite Materials Using Terahertz Nondestructive Evaluation Techniques

This work describes the use of nondestructive evaluation (NDE) techniques to characterize defects such as rust, voids, etc. in materials, and to analyze and predict strain and stress-induced breakdown. The use of terahertz (THz) imaging as an evaluation tool for novel materials and systems has found much success in recent years. While suggested as a potential NDE tool for use in the field of ceramic and ceramic matrix composite materials, the use of THz spectroscopy and imaging in the examination of the effects of mechanical and thermally induced strain on ceramic composite materials is not well established. In order to assess the effectiveness of THz imaging for use in the analysis of ceramic composite material health, it is necessary to determine if THz spectroscopic imaging can clearly highlight areas of the samples that have been affected by mechanical and thermal stress.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Ceramics, Composite materials, Materials properties, Non-destructive tests
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High Strain Rate Mechanical Properties of Glassy Polymers

Arange of experimental data has been generated describing the response of glassy polymers to high strain rate loading in compression. Recently, research programs that study the combined effects of temperature and strain rate have made significant steps in providing better understanding of the physics behind the observed response, and also in modeling this response. However, limited data are available in tension, and even more limited are data describing both the compressive and tensile response of the same polymer. In those studies that do examine tensile response, often there are large gaps in the strain rate dependence. These gaps are due to the relative difficulty of performing characterization experiments in tension, especially on polymers and especially at high rates.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Materials properties, Polymers, Tensile Strength
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3D Body Motion Tracking System

Xsens (Enschede, Netherlands) and STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland) recently demonstrated the world’s first wearable wireless 3D body motion tracking system based on consumer-grade MEMS combo sensors. Xsens built the demonstrator by combining their patented sensor-fusion algorithms and wireless protocols with STMicroelectronics’ iNEMO-M1, the 9-axis “Smart System” combining iNEMO MEMS motion combo sensors and the STM32 microprocessor from ST. Having supplied the motion-capture technology for Hollywood productions such as Alice in Wonderland, Iron man 2 and X-Men, Xsens is now reaching out to partners in consumer electronics to help create unique next-generation user experiences and solutions for 3D body motion tracking. Wearable wireless 3D body motion tracking will enable the next wave of innovation in cloud-connected wearable sports, fitness, healthcare and gaming sensor accessories for smartphones.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Thermoelectric Power Generators

Nextreme Thermal Solutions (Durham, NC) has announced a new series of thin- film thermoelectric power generators that offer higher power, more robust mechanical design and ease of integration with common sources of thermal energy. The eTEG(TM) PG8000 Series harvests waste heat from thermal sources, converting it into electricity for a variety of self-powered applications in the wireless sensor, automotive, aerospace, industrial and medical device markets. The eTEG PG8000 Series includes five new modules that can produce between 2.7mW to 21.6mW of output power and open circuit voltages of 0.17V to 1.35V at a temperature differential of only 10K. At a temperature differential of 50K, the series can produce 65mW to 520mW of power and open circuit voltages of 0.85V to 6.8V. The modules can be configured electrically in series to produce higher output voltage.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Projected Capacitive Touchpanel

EVERVISION Electronics Europe (Karlsruhe/Germany) has unveiled a new capacitive touch panel product line called IPCT (Improved Projected Capacitive Touchpanel). IPCT specifically addresses industrial electronics and medical technology applications that until now have used resistive touch panels and but now require capacitive touch technology. EVERVISION offers the IPCT in diagonals from 3.5“ to 10.2“ that are already mounted ex works on the corresponding EVERVISION TFT displays. The IPCT touch panel features a durable surface hardness of 7H, reliably detects up to five fingers and is neither sensitive to detergents nor to disinfectants. Its transparency is 85 percent. Further characteristics are an I²C interface (USB in Q1/2013) and a chip-on-flex structure.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Free 32-bit MCU Compiler

Microchip Technology (Chandler, AZ) is offering a free C++ compiler with unlimited code generation. The MPLAB XC32++ compiler supports all of Microchip’s 32-bit PIC32 microcontrollers (MCUs), and enables designers to develop and reuse C++ projects by making all of Microchip’s C language extensions available in an environment that is compliant with the majority of C++98 and C++2003 ANSI standards. Additionally, the Free MPLAB XC32++ Compiler includes Dinkumware(R) standard C, C++, and template libraries. The Free version of the MPLAB XC32++ Compiler — available for download now at Microchip’s Web site — has no time or memory limits, and can be used in commercial applications.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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