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New simulator checks and calibrates all thermocouple instruments

August 4, 2011 9:39 am | Product Releases | Comments

Omega’s new CL540ZA thermocouple simulator can be used to calibrate a thermocouple input instrument and can be used for measuring temperature in a manufacturing facility.

Advanced sensors underpin Japan’s caregiver robot

August 2, 2011 10:07 am | News | Comments

With one of the fastest-aging populations in the world, Japan is using robotics to provide automated care solutions. The latest effort at RIKEN, a robot able to lift a human, relies on the first capacitance-type tactile sensors made entirely of rubber to provide the necessary soft touch.

Electronic tongue expertly samples cava wines

July 28, 2011 8:45 am | News | Comments

Earlier this week, R&D Daily featured efforts by scientists in Scotland to ferret out fake whisky with spectrometry techniques. In Spain, chemists are going a different route to identify types of cava, a sparkling wine similar to champagne.


OLED lighting falls short

July 26, 2011 10:05 am | News | Comments

Organic light emitting diode (OLED) lighting has the potential to create cheap, pleasing light in unique, flexible form factors. However, the technology is immature and costly. Lux Research reports that OLED lighting costs will drop by more than an order of magnitude over the course of this decade. But the technology will still remain uncompetitive with other lighting options, and amount to a mere $58 million market in 2020.

Short, tightly-packed turbines may be the key to wind energy efficiency

July 13, 2011 11:06 am | News | Comments

Caltech researchers have revisited some of the fundamental assumptions that guided the wind industry for the past 30 years, and now believe that a new approach to wind farm design—one that places wind turbines close together instead of far apart—may provide significant efficiency gains.

World-record 25-tesla 'split magnet' makes its debut

July 13, 2011 10:43 am | News | Comments

A $2.5 million magnet that generates 500,000 times the force of the Earth’s magnetic field has recently debuted at Florida State University’s magnetics lab. The “split” design overcomes the structural limitations associated with resistive magnets. Four large elliptical ports allow researchers to access the magnet’s core without disrupting the magnetic field.

PEI-Genesis and Deutsch Aerospace sign global distribution agreement

June 20, 2011 6:47 am | News | Comments

PEI-Genesis, Inc., an assembler of precision connectors and power supplies, announced that they have signed a global distribution agreement with Deutsch Aerospace, a manufacturer of electrical connectors for the industrial vehicle, mil aero, transportation, and oil and gas markets, to assemble their Mil and Civil Aeroconnector products.

Lab-industry partnership to launch deep sea offshore wind demo

June 10, 2011 11:23 am | by Anne M Stark | News | Comments

Livermore Lab has signed a memorandum of understanding with SWAY, a renewable energy company, that has developed floating towers for wind turbines located in deep water. Though California has not yet approved offshore wind turbines, SWAY will launch a 1/5 scale prototype of the technology off the coast of Norway on June 10 to demonstrate how the system could work in the Pacific Ocean.


Solar inverter breakthrough cuts efficiency losses in half

May 26, 2011 12:22 pm | News | Comments

A researcher at Fraunhofer Institute in Germany had a flash of inspiration in 2002. He realized if he could stop the electromagnetic losses caused by the return of current between the output inductor and the input capacitor, he could reduce efficiency losses substantially. His invention resulted in the HERIC technology, which is now being licensed on a large scale.

Expert: China to lose manufacturing edge by 2016

May 20, 2011 5:56 am | News | Comments

Despite its reputation as a manufacturing powerhouse, China’s dominance in this area appears to be at risk, according to an analyst at the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association. Steeply rising wages, a shrinking cost advantage, and a dependence on producing cheaper goods indicate that China may be at less of an advantage than countries like the U.S. and Germany.

Finding reserves on the electrical grid

May 12, 2011 6:15 am | News | Comments

In stormy conditions, grid capacities are often insufficient to handle the electricity generated by wind turbines. To address this problem in Germany, engineers are experimenting with cylindrical sensor nodes that are clamped around transmission lines. These networked sensors can measure the current flow, temperature, wind, and other factors and relay them quickly through grid to help manage the power.

NIST zeroes in on ice maker energy consumption

April 13, 2011 8:18 am | News | Comments

In tests of four different types of new refrigerators, NIST researchers found that ice makers, a common added feature, increased rated energy consumption by 12 to 20%. About three-fourths of that additional energy cost is due to the electric heaters used to release the ice bits from the molds, prompting the investigators to suggest several efficiency improvements.

New cross-disciplinary approach needed for prevention of major systemic failures

February 1, 2011 3:36 am | News | Comments

A Purdue Univ. researcher is proposing development of a new cross-disciplinary approach for analyzing and preventing systemic failures in complex systems that play a role in calamities ranging from huge power blackouts to the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the subprime mortgage crisis.


Records broken in patent totals for 2010

January 10, 2011 12:26 pm | News | Comments

2010 patent grants hit an all-time high, 31% over 2009. Once again, IBM tops the list as the first company to break 5,000 patents in a single year, and it did so handily. Other notable filers include Apple, Qualcomm, NEC, and SAP, all of which saw 70+% gains in patents this year.

Study evaluates measurement uncertainty in analyzers and reflectometers

May 26, 2010 6:37 am | White Papers

W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. (Gore) has announced results of a study in which they compared the measurement uncertainty between vector network analyzers and time domain reflectometers. They designed an experiment which determined if both instruments possess similar levels of measurement precision.

Solar power supply designed for wireless sensing apps

November 19, 2009 10:41 am | Product Releases | Comments

Banner Engineering's FlexPower Solar Supply, BWA-SOLAR-001, includes an integrated charge controller, rechargeable battery pack, AC wall charger and mounting hardware for powering SureCross Wireless Network devices. The supply can be used in a variety of configurations.

Understanding Contract Labs

October 21, 2009 4:25 am | by Lindsay Hock, Managing Editor | Articles | Comments

With pressure to get new products to market, companies are faced with meeting rigorous standards and the time consuming development and testing to make their products market ready. Since the development process is time consuming, taking from months, up to years, there is no doubt that outside, unbiased help could be beneficial. When faced with deadlines, companies turn to contract laboratories to meet their needs.

Contract Laboratory Profile: Indesign LLC

October 21, 2009 4:20 am | Articles | Comments

Indesign provides electronic product design services. This includes full turn-key product development starting with concept development, continuing through detailed product design and prototyping, and finishing with production support. Indesign develops products for clients in a wide range of markets: medical, military, consumer, industrial, communications, and computer peripherals.

Gateway transformation

September 26, 2008 11:25 am | Award Winners

Gates control the opening and closing of these transistors, which are insulated from the gate by a dielectric. Intel Corp. (Santa Clara, Calif.) saw an opportunity to reduce this transistor leakage and developed the Intel 45 nm High-k Metal Gate Transistor Technology for its new 45-nm process chips.

Voltage-steady LED leaves DC power problems behind

September 24, 2008 3:11 pm | Award Winners

AceLED, Alternating current light-emitting diode The LED is a semiconductor junction effect device that emits light under a direct current power source of the right polarity and voltage. Unfortunately, LEDs can often only be directly powered in an alternating current environment with bulky and inefficient AC-DC converter sub-asssemblies. With its AceLED, Industrial Technology Research Institute (Chutung, Hsinchu, Taiwan), has designed a way around this and other limitations.

RF test multiplies

September 24, 2008 3:09 pm | Award Winners

4x4 MIMO RF Test System, RF test system The 4x4 MIMO RF Test System, from Keithley Instruments Inc. (Cleveland, Ohio), was designed to accommodate the growing test needs for next-generation systems and a wide range of communications standards.

LED headlight illuminates the way forward

September 24, 2008 3:07 pm | Award Winners

Automotive LED Headlamps, LED headlamp Intensive development in light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for general lighting has yet to yield the reduced energy consumption and long-life lighting necessary to replace incandescent bulbs. But for use in automotive applications, the LED has made great strides. Automotive LED Headlamps from Koito Manufacturing Co. (Tokyo, Japan) mark the first such devices fitted for low-beam use on a road vehicle, namely the 2007 Lexus LS600h/LS600hL.

Fiber-optic sampler cuts out artifacts

September 24, 2008 3:05 pm | Award Winners

Unwanted artifacts are unavoidable in electrical sampling because of non-ideal impedance matching. Typically, oscilloscopes used for sampling high-speed telecom use hardware-based clock recovery and trigger. It’s a costly and power-intensive solution that PicoSolve Inc. (Fogelsville, Penn.) and Chalmer Univ. of Technology (Gothenburg, Sweden) avoid with their Optical Sampling Oscilloscope.

Appliance controller cuts risk of brownouts at the source

September 23, 2008 7:33 am | Award Winners

Extreme voltage fluctuations, caused by electrical faults resulting in a drop in voltage, have the capacity to take down large sections of the power grid. The Grid Friendly Appliance Controller, developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, Mass.), operates within household appliances to reduce stress on the grid by automatically modifying power usage on the fly.

Grid recloser feeds on power faults

September 23, 2008 7:28 am | Award Winners

The S&C TripSaver Dropout Recloser, from researchers at S&C Electric Co., is a significant improvement, weighing just 20 lbs. The TripSaver saves bulk by exploiting the fault current itself to provide motive and power control through a solenoid which incorporates a secondary winding for control power and a primary winding for motive power.

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