May 26, 2020 Volume 16 Issue 20

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

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Thermal cameras for elevated skin-temp screening

FLIR Systems has just announced the availability of their modified thermal cameras for fast and safe non-contact elevated skin-temperature screening. The FLIR EST thermal screening solutions provide front-line screening at building entries and in high-traffic areas to improve safety and help curb the spread of COVID-19. The EST series cameras are designed to simplify the screening process, reducing the burden on screening operators and adhering to recommended social distancing guidelines. Handheld, fixed-mounted, and custom integrated solutions available.
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BAE Systems delivers radiation-hardened radios

BAE Systems has delivered its first shipment of next-gen radiation-hardened software defined radios (SDR) enabled by its RAD5545 computer to Lockheed Martin Space. The radios provide spacecraft with the on-board signals-processing capacity needed to support future space missions -- from planetary exploration to communications, national security, surveillance, and weather missions. These radios can be easily customized. The system leverages modular and standard building blocks including the RAD5545 single board computer (SBC), a SpaceVPX chassis and backplane electrical connectors, Serial RapidIO and Spacewire interfaces, and a fully supported expansion port for a custom interface card.
Learn more about BAE Systems' radiation-hardened electronics.


Solenoid valves for spaceflight applications

Marotta Controls has introduced four new solenoid valves to its CoRe Flow Controls series -- one of the only valve catalogs available for spaceflight. These new products support the commercial space industry's growing use of more efficient in-vehicle system designs and propellants that deliver better performance and greater ROI. CoRe pneumatic valves operate with 1/4-in. to 3/4-in. lines; handle fluids such as helium, methane, nitrogen, and oxygen; and are qualified to the Air Force Space Command's (AFSC) SMC-S-016 standard. These valves include Marotta's customer Qualification-by-Similarity (Qual-by-Sim) support, designed to get customers into orbit faster and with less upfront investment.
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World's lowest-power PDM microphone

TDK has just introduced InvenSense T3902, the world's lowest-power Pulse Density Modulation (PDM) microphone for mobile, IoT, and other consumer devices. The T3902 is an ultra-low-power, low-noise, multi-mode bottom-port MEMS microphone that enhances voice-based services that are now commonplace in many devices. The microphone's AlwaysOn functionality in low-power mode enables immediate accessibility upon wake command. This microphone enables OEM partners to differentiate their product offerings by improving the consumer experience with reduced power consumption.
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Image sensor for automotive viewing cameras boasts top LED flicker-mitigation performance

OmniVision Technologies recently announced the OX03C10 ASIL-C automotive image sensor -- the world's first for viewing applications that combines a large 3.0-micron pixel size with a high dynamic range (HDR) of 140dB and the best LED flicker-mitigation (LFM) performance for viewing applications with minimized motion artifacts. This is also the first viewing image sensor with HDR and LFM that can deliver 1920 x 1280p resolution at the highest rate of 60 fps, enabling greater design flexibility and faster camera-view switching for drivers.
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Tiniest load cell yet

The LLB130 Miniature Load Button from FUTEK has a capacity range from 1,000 g to 50 lb and is RoHS compliant. This mini load cell features low deflection and fast response time, and it is fully internally temperature compensated. These units achieve great accuracy and stiffness. Can be modified or customized to meet your requirements.
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Retrofit legacy devices for wireless, off-premise monitoring and control

Layer N from Omega is a simple, smart, and flexible way to monitor a wide range of industrial equipment such as freezers, ovens, and furnaces without requiring users to be on-premise. Temperature, humidity, light, and barometric pressure readings are captured, stored, processed, and transported in real time to the cloud via wireless smart sensors and gateways, allowing reports to be accessed from anywhere at any time. Using Message Queuing Telemetry Transport, one of the most commonly applied protocols for IoT data transport, Layer N products offer a cost-effective and simple way to retrofit and integrate legacy devices into the digital world.
Learn more.


New programmable angle sensors

Novotechnik U.S. has just introduced the Vert-X 37E Series of programmable touchless rotary sensors that use a magnetic pick-up secured to the rotating object, so there is no direct mechanical linkage between the shaft and the measuring system -- and therefore no wear. The hermetically sealed Vert-X 37E Series can be programmed by customers or at the factory, so customers can order angle sensors optimized for their specific application. These sensors can help achieve time and cost savings by eliminating the need for other components to specify the angle end points, choose an intermediate plateau, sense of rotation function, CW or CCW, or create V-output.
Learn more.


Guard against Li-ion battery overcurrent and overcharging

The ITV Series from Littelfuse is a three-terminal, surface-mountable Li-ion battery protector designed to guard against the damage caused by both overcurrent and overcharging. It's a good solution for protecting power tools, robotic appliances, e-bikes and e-scooters, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), emergency radios, and more. The innovative design provides fast response and reliable performance to interrupt the charging or discharging circuit before the battery pack becomes overcharged or overheated. Five packages available with current ratings from 12 A to 45 A.
Learn more.


Remote access VPN router for machines and systems

Automation-Direct StrideLinx VPN routers provide an outgoing, secure connection from remote machines or systems to the StrideLinx platform. Routers are easily configured and have a built-in firewall to isolate company and control networks. These easy-to-use, IT-friendly industrial VPN routers minimize costly field support by providing remote programming, monitoring, and troubleshooting. Multiple router connection options are available including wired (gigabit), WiFi, and AT&T or T-Mobile 4G cellular where Internet connections are not readily available.
Learn more.


Electrical components for medical equipment

SCHURTER's high-performance AC connectors, circuit protection, switches, and EMC products safely and reliably optimize performance for critically needed COVID-19 medical equipment including ventilators, respirators, diagnostic, therapeutic, and medical laboratory equipment. Examples include the compact and versatile DG12 series power entry modules that integrate an IEC inlet, EMC filter, and rocker-style circuit breaker with optional IP67 protection, making them suitable for use in environments exposed to splashing water. The TA35 series of miniature circuit breakers, filtered Power Entry Modules, and metal line switches resistant to harsh cleaning processes are other offerings. Many more solutions available.
Learn more.


High-speed camera for manufacturing analysis

High-speed video capture can help engineers troubleshoot manufacturing processes and researchers analyze fast-acting events, but traditional large-format, high-speed cameras can quickly run out of storage. Mikrotron has solved this problem with its MotionBLITZ CVR recording system that combines an EoSens 4MP CoaXPress color camera remotely connected to an industrial-grade DVR. The MotionBLITZ CVR is capable of recording video sequences of up to 12 sec at 560 fps and 2,336 x 1,728-pixel resolution directly into RAM, then quickly downloaded to the 2-TB RAID drive. It also can be configured to record up to 35,000 fps in smaller image formats. The detachable camera easily fits into tight spaces.
Learn more.


Cabinet coolers with digital control resist heat and corrosion

EXAIR's new Dual 316 Stainless Steel Cabinet CoolerŪ Systems with ETC (Electronic Temperature Control) are a low-cost and reliable way to keep electrical enclosures cool with 20°F (-7°C) air while maintaining the NEMA 4X rating of the enclosure and removing the heat that could adversely affect the internal components. The wear, corrosion, and oxidation resistance of Type 316 stainless steel assures long life and maintenance-free operation within food, medical, pharmaceutical, chemical, and other harsh environments. Cooling capacities up to 5,600 Btu/hr are ideal for larger enclosures and heat loads.
Learn more.


New ultra-bright miniature bayonet-based LED bulbs

LEDtronics' miniature solid-state bulbs are used for critical applications in industries such as defense and aerospace, transportation, and power plants. The BSD-1118/1318/1319 series directly replaces similar Ba9s bayonet-base incandescent lamps. These LEDs offer up to 90 percent energy savings, higher intensity, more even lighting, and reduced heat and relamping costs in critical status-indication applications such as indicator lights for instrumentation, panel-mount pilot lights, accent lighting, automotive indicators, and more.
Learn more.


New low-noise, solid-state relays

Instead of using moving components as mechanical power relays do, solid-state relays (SSRs) from Sensata Technologies rely on silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) technology that allows SSRs to provide quieter operation (no clicking), longer life, and more precise switching control. The new LN series SSRs from Sensata's Crydom brand conform with IEC 60947-4-3 Environment B and CISPR 11 standards for low-voltage domestic, commercial, and light industrial locations and installations, and are compliant with C-UL-US and TUV certifications. The LN Series of panel-mounted solid-state relays offers reliable back-to-back SCR switching up to 75 A at 528 VAC.
Learn more.
Read the Sensata application note: SSRs for Professional Food Equipment.


Engineers develop way to improve efficiency and heat tolerance of devices

Xin Chen (left), a doctorate candidate in the Department of Materials Sciences and Engineering at Penn State, and Qiming Zhang, distinguished professor of electrical engineering, test a film capacitor in this photo taken in January. [Credit: Penn State College of Engineering]

 

 

 

 

When it comes to increasing electric storage efficiency and electric breakdown strength -- the ability of an electrical system to operate at higher voltage and temperatures with great efficiency -- increasing one traditionally has led to a decrease in the other. Penn State researchers, led by Qiming Zhang, distinguished professor of electrical engineering, recently developed a scalable method that relies on engineered materials to increase both properties.

The researchers altered a dielectric capacitor, a device that stores and regulates energy and is commonly used in electronics and electric systems. Using dopants -- small, engineered materials also called metamaterials -- the researchers altered the dielectric capacitor to increase storage capacity while also increasing electric charge efficiency, meaning the capacitor can withstand greater voltage with very little energy loss at temperatures higher than 300 F.

While other researchers have been able to do this for dielectric capacitors, the methods have been too expensive to scale for use with real products. Zhang and the other Penn State researchers reported their results in a recent issue of Science Advances.

"What we have done is to use interface effects in nano-dopants to increase both the storage efficiency and electric breakdown strength with a very small quantity of dopants and at a low cost," Zhang said. "A lot of people think they need to fill the capacitor with a lot of fillers to achieve the greater energy storage efficiency, but we showed you can accomplish it in the opposite direction, that is, by using very low-volume content fillers with very low-cost materials, which can also lead to greater breakdown strength. This keeps the cost low and makes this highly scalable."

Increasing the electric breakdown strength in a capacitor will enable the device to handle higher temperatures without a failure in the system. This is an important trait in many electronics and electrical systems, including electric cars, industrial drills, and electric grids.

"Hybrid electric vehicles now use a capacitor made of a material known as BOPP," Zhang said. "They work well up to 80 degrees Celsius (176 F). However, vehicles can get very hot, so you have to use a cooling agent. It increases cost and also adds volume. Now, you can use this new capacitor with metamaterials, which are smaller, to replace the existing capacitor and not worry about the cooling loop since it can handle higher temperatures."

Equipment used for deep drilling also will potentially benefit from having an increased temperature threshold and a smaller, less expensive capacitor. The electric grid will potentially benefit from this new technological development, particularly in terms of the increased energy efficiency and higher electric breakdown strength.

"We did not create a new material, but by using metamaterials in this way, we can greatly enhance the performance of existing materials without adding cost," Zhang said.

Other Penn State researchers working on this project are Tian Zhang, graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science, and Xin Chen, graduate student in materials science and engineering, both first authors; Yash Thakur, graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science; Blao Lu and Qlyan Zhang, post-doctoral fellows in electrical engineering and computer science; and James Runt, professor emeritus of polymer science.

The Office of Naval Research funded this research.

Source: Penn State

Published May 2020

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