Two of the key instruments aboard NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars are the CheMin, a mineral sample analyzer, and the ChemCam, a spectroscopic imaging system. Both systems require precise, fast motion control, capable of surviving a harsh environment. Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineers found a solution with piezo-based technology from Physik Instrumente and miCos. But first it would need to pass rigorous testing.
Within the pharmaceutical industry, the rapid identification, elucidation and characterization of synthetic, process impurities and degradation products is an intense and comprehensive undertaking. In the development of a formulated drug substance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that all impurities introduced in the proposed process above 0.1% must be isolated and fully characterized.
Commercially available as instrumentation designed for macro-size sampling, Raman spectroscopy drew interest for providing information similar but complementary to infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy for chemical identification. In addition to chemical fingerprinting, the technique could provide molecular backbone information, materials morphology, sensitivity to symmetric bonds and the ability to analyze inorganic samples and components.
The demand for algae is surging as researchers discover new applications for it across the food, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmetic and biofuel industries. Algae can be used as a nutritional supplement to add vitamins or healthy fats to food; as a producer of biologic and all-natural drugs; as an antioxidant in food supplements or rich oils in cosmetics and as the basis for clean fuels such as biodiesel.
Honeycomb sandwich panels, with their high strength-to-weight ratios, have significant advantages over monocoque construction for certain applications. Twin-skinned plates/shells with a honeycomb core are widely used in the aerospace industry for structures such as aircraft fuselages, engine cowlings and impact protection shields.
Whatever the industry, researchers and scientists in laboratories are certain to use analytical and laboratory instruments such as analyzers, balances, chillers, fume hoods, meters, mixers/stirrers and spectrometers in their work. Researchers and laboratory managers are likely to ask several questions before selecting or purchasing this equipment, however.
Today, users of electronic test instrumentation strive to get their products to market quickly as design and development cycles are becoming shorter. They require consistency in their test strategy, yet flexibility in form factor. Current electronic test instrumentation vendors demonstrate this by offering a diversity of test products that leverage common test functionalities.
The effort to better understand nanoscale properties has produced large-scale government and industrial research organizations, such as the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) and the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI). These efforts, each funded in the billion-dollar range, depend on the ability of researchers from around the world to effectively use the analytical tools.
Innovations in optical spectroscopy have helped the technology reach a point where performance previously seen only in laboratory settings can be obtained in the field with compact and easy-to-use systems. These improvements, made to detectors, software and overall design, have greatly affected instrument characteristics such as speed, miniaturization, price and reliability.
Oscilloscopes display and measure the wave shape of an electrical signal. High-performance oscilloscopes, which are capable of measuring signals at very high frequencies, are primarily used in high-speed applications. Agilent Technologies recently released the Infiniium 90000 Q-Series oscilloscope, which is the world’s highest bandwidth commercially available real-time oscilloscope and the first to reach the 60-GHz barrier.
The modeling and simulation of various manufacturing processes is important because, in many cases, it’s impractical or even impossible to measure the specific operating parameters involved that contribute to the resulting products. This is particularly true in high-temperature processes like blast furnaces or the welding of large metal structures such as those used in shipbuilding and reactor vessels.
Thomson Reuters announced its 2013 Top 100 Global Innovators this week, a list of the who’s who in innovation based on a series of proprietary patent metrics using its Derwent World Patents Index database. The 2013 honorees comprise many of the likely suspects: AT&T, Apple, Google, Ford, L’Oreal and Microsoft, as well as some that aren’t so likely: Alcatel Lucent, Blackberry and Ericsson.
Mobile devices are an increasingly critical component of modern life, and that trend holds true for laboratories as well. Regardless of industry, the incredible and constantly evolving features on these devices can enable technicians to easily capture new types of data more accurately and from more remote locations.
Earlier this year, physicists working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, determined the ionization potential for astatine, a naturally occurring element so rare that, until now, its ionization potential couldn’t be determined. All told, less than a tenth of a gram exists on Earth, which led researchers to create artificial astatine in the laboratory, then test it later using laser spectroscopy.
Today’s digital designs are evolving in a variety of ways, prompting new approaches to design, simulation, measurement and debug. One change is the use of more serial buses. Another is the use of system-on-a-chip (SOC) integrated circuits or advanced field-programmable gate arrays with SOC capability. Despite this evolution, there's still a role for classic parallel buses in many designs and the need to measure those buses.