May 10, 2022 Volume 18 Issue 18

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

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Do-it-yourself high-performance aluminum cold plates

New high-performance aluminum cold plates from Advanced Thermal Solutions (ATS) let engineers safely drill holes in a mounting pattern that matches the specific connection points of hot devices that need cooling, providing lots of customization options. ATS says its cold plates have been demonstrated to provide more than 30% better thermal performance than other commercially available cold plates.
Learn more.


Long-range retro-reflective photoelectric sensors overcome interference

The new 36 series of sensors from Leuze are suitable for demanding requirements in intralogistics, packaging systems, and the automotive industry. They detect objects with different optical properties -- even at a great distance or when sources of interference are present (such as film-wrapped pallets, vibration, or ambient lighting). Available as sensors with background suppression (range to 2.5 m), as retro-reflective photoelectric sensors (up to 17 m), or as throughbeam photoelectric sensors (up to 80 m).
Learn more.


Calculator simplifies cabinet cooling system selection

EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems provide a comprehensive solution for cooling and purging electronic cabinets and come in a litany of different cooling capacities, NEMA ratings, and classifications. With the breadth of available options, choosing the best Cabinet Cooler for a specific environment can be a tedious task and depends on a few key factors. With EXAIR's new Cabinet Cooler Calculator, it's easy to find the ideal Cabinet Cooler System for any specific application.
Learn more.


New low-voltage compact LED bulbs

LEDtronics has released new additions to its industry-leading offering of intermediate-based LED bulbs that fit in enclosed fixtures, featuring low voltage, 160-degree spherical illumination, low power consumption, and high lumen intensity. The B605SM series is available either as a 14-VAC/VDC bulb that replaces incandescent lamps 67, 89, 97, 98, 1095, 1155, and 5008, or as a 28-VAC/VDC bulb that replaces incandescents 71, 303, 623, and 1251. These bulbs are a perfect fit in applications such as machine status or gaming candle indicators, indicator lights for instrumentation, panel-mount pilot lights, accent lighting, and automotive.
Learn more.


Neat. How to prototype 4x machine vision applications on one small embedded system quickly

Teledyne FLIR has put together a neat article that shows how to prototype a machine vision system quickly that runs four simultaneous applications, three of which use deep learning. The system uses the Quartet Embedded Solution for TX2, a customized carrier board that enables easy integration of up to four USB3 cameras at full bandwidth. The example traffic systems application includes license plate recognition, vehicle type categorization, vehicle color classification, and seeing through a windshield -- all simultaneously. Very cool.
Read the Teledyne FLIR application article.


New Gefran inclination sensors use MEMS technology

Automation-Direct has added Gefran inclination sensors to their growing lineup of position transducers. Gefran sensors use cutting-edge MEMS technology (micro-electromechanical devices integrated onto a single silicon chip) to provide reliable and precise tilt angle measurement with respect to gravity. These sensors are rugged and suitable for the harshest environments. M12 quick-disconnect models are fully redundant, having two sensors in one housing.
Learn more.


Affix a heat sink in seconds!

superGRIP is a two-component system from Advanced Thermal Solutions (ATS) that can be installed in seconds to mount heat sinks securely to a wide range of components -- without needing to drill holes in the PCB. It features an injection molded plastic frame clip and a stainless steel spring clip. This clever system provides a strong, even binding force with minimal space required around the component's perimeter, making it ideal for densely populated PCBs.
View the video.


Cool Tools: Entry-level high-tech portable 3D scanner

The GOM Scan 1 from CAPTURE 3D is an affordable, precise 3D scanner with mesh-editing capabilities to accurately digitize physical objects into the 3D world. GOM Scan 1 provides accessibility to the leading GOM blue light 3D scanning technology used by top manufacturers worldwide. Applications include creating a digital file of an object for 3D printing, reverse engineering, manufacturing, quality control, virtual display and 3D modeling, research and education, art and design, and healthcare. GOM Scan 1 offers GOM Inspect 3D inspection software to quickly capture, visualize, and analyze 3D measurement data within the same workflow.
Learn more.


High-def SWIR camera for military apps

Attollo Engineering's new Phoenix HD5 SWIR Camera is an uncooled high-def imager that features the industry's smallest shortwave infrared HD sensor and an ultra-small 5-┬Ám pixel pitch, which permits more pixels on target with a short-focal-length optic. Specifically designed for low size, weight, and power (low-SWaP) applications, the HD5 SWIR camera is ideal for integration into small gimbals, small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS), and handheld and soldier-mounted systems.
Learn more.


Control panel solutions: Wire duct and wire wrap

Automation-Direct sells everything you need to build quality control panels, including a large assortment of wiring duct, flexible duct, wire wrap, wire sleeve, and associated tools and accessories. Check out all that this one-stop shop has to offer. High stocking rates and fast shipping too.
View the video.


Space Applications: Smallest rad-tolerant network storage

Aitech Systems has released the most compact network storage device available for use in near-earth-orbit and low-earth-orbit space applications. With a raw storage capacity of almost 1 TB, the new S999 Aitech is a 2.5-in. solid state drive (SSD) for high-performance spacecraft data processing or distributed computing systems in satellites and human-rated platforms.
Learn more.


Cool Tools: All-in-one laser tracker

Exact Metrology now offers high-performance laser tracker technology in a portable and easy-to-use form factor thanks to the Leica Absolute Tracker AT960. This is a robust, all-in-one laser tracker that fits in a single flight case. Offering high-speed dynamic measurement as standard, it is a complete solution for six degrees of freedom (6DoF) probing, scanning, and automated inspection, as well as reflector measurement. Combined with the Real-Time Feature Pack and Leica T-Mac, the AT960 becomes a laser tracker that meets the deterministic measurement data-delivery requirements of high-end automated installations.
Learn more.


Strain sensor can help prevent structural disasters

Developed to help prevent civil disasters and save lives, HEIDENHAIN's ESR digital strain sensor monitors the structural health of bridges, buildings, wind turbines, and even automation equipment. This fatigue-free measurement concept provides high-resolution digital input into a system of choice. With a renewed emphasis on improving the national infrastructure, the digital ESR strain sensor is the perfect option, since it offers significantly higher accuracy and increased robustness when compared to conventional strain and vibration gauges. It also offers transferable mounting, allowing users to move the one-gauge sensor to multiple locations.
Learn more.


Custom air knives for unique applications

EXAIR's Air Knives are an efficient and highly effective tool for blowoff, cooling, cleaning, and drying in a myriad of manufacturing processes. To accommodate the wide variety of unique problems manufacturers face, EXAIR has the ability to tailor Air Knives to different specifications -- from size, shape, and material to custom mounting holes and dimensions. They solve distinct manufacturing problems not already addressed by the industry's largest selection of Air Knives, which are available in Super, Standard, and Full-Flow styles that all can be customized.
Learn more.


Great Resources: Flexible circuit design guide

Tech-Etch uses advanced techniques to manufacture flex and rigid-flex circuits to exacting customer specifications. Special processes include selective plating a single circuit with two different finishes, contoured circuits with variable metal thickness, semi-additive and subtractive techniques, open window or cantilevered contact leads, plus SMT for component assembly. Tech-Etch specializes in flexible circuits for medical device, medical implant, diagnostic ultrasound, and patient monitoring applications, in addition to telecommunications, aerospace, semiconductor, and other high-reliability electronic applications.
Learn about flex circuits and download the guide (no registration required).


Navy conducts successful terrestrial microwave power beaming demo

By Paul Cage, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

A team of researchers from the U.S. Naval Research Lab (NRL) recently demonstrated the feasibility of terrestrial microwave power beaming by transmitting 1.6 kilowatts (kW) of power over 1 kilometer (km) at the U.S. Army Research Field in Blossom Point, MD, the most significant power beaming demonstration in nearly 50 years.

Microwave power beaming is the efficient, point-to-point transfer of electrical energy across free space by a directive microwave beam. The project, called Safe and COntinuous Power bEaming - Microwave (SCOPE-M), was funded by the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering's Operational Energy Capability Improvement Fund and led by the project principal investigator, Christopher Rodenbeck, Ph.D., Head of the Advanced Concepts Group, NRL.

Within 12 months, NRL established the practicality of terrestrial microwave power beaming and beamed 1 kW of electrical power over a distance of 1 km using a 10-gigahertz (GHz) microwave beam. SCOPE-M demonstrated power beaming at two locations, one at the U.S. Army Research Field at Blossom Point in Maryland, and the other at The Haystack Ultrawideband Satellite Imaging Radar (HUSIR) transmitter at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Massachusetts.

"The reason for setting those targets is to push this technology farther than has been demonstrated before," said Paul Jaffe Ph.D., Power Beaming and Space Solar Lead. "You don't want to use too high a frequency, as it can start losing power to the atmosphere," Rodenbeck said. "10 GHz is a great choice, because the component technology out there is cheap and mature. Even in heavy rainfall, loss of power is less than five percent."


VIDEO: Safe and Continuous Power Beaming Microwave (SCOPE-M) is an NRL research project that delivers 1 kW of electrical power at a distance of a kilometer using a microwave beam.

In Maryland, the team exceeded their target by 60% by beaming 1.6 kW just over 1 km. At the Massachusetts site, the team did not have the same peak power, but the average power was much higher, thereby delivering more energy. Jaffe said these demonstrations pave the way for power beaming on Earth, in space, and from space to Earth using power densities within safety limits set by international standards bodies.

"As engineers, we develop systems that will not exceed those safety limits," Jaffe said. "That means it's safe for birds, animals, and people."

Jaffe went on to say that during past experiments with laser power beaming using much higher power densities, the engineers were able to successfully implement interlock systems so if something approached the beam it would turn off.

"We did not have to do that with SCOPE-M, because the power density was sufficiently low that it was intrinsically safe," Jaffe said.

Brian Tierney, Ph.D., SCOPE-M electronics engineer, said the DOD is interested in wireless power beaming, particularly wireless power beaming from space, and that a similar rectenna (rectifying antenna) array as used for SCOPE-M could be used in space. A rectenna is a special type of receiving antenna for converting electromagnetic energy into direct current electricity in wireless power transmission systems.

"Although SCOPE-M was a terrestrial power beaming link, it was a good proof of concept for a space power beaming link," Tierney said. "The main benefit of space-to-Earth power beaming for the DOD is to mitigate the reliance on the fuel supply for troops, which can be vulnerable to attack."

Besides being a DOD priority, Rodenbeck stated power beaming is the ultimate green technology. Unlike other sources of clean energy, which provides intermittent and sporadic electrical power, power beamed from space to Earth can provide power continuously, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. [Power beamed from space would most likely be solar.]

"That is something no other form of clean energy can do today," Rodenbeck said. "From the standpoint of technology readiness level, I feel we are very close to demonstrating a system we can truly deploy and use in a DOD application."

Published May 2022

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