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Precision Assembly of Systems on Surfaces (PASS)

Functionalized carbon nanotube devices could be used as chemical sensors. U.S. Army Research Office, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina Chemiresistors represent a powerful class of chemical sensors that can be readily integrated into any electrical system, can be miniaturized, are readily multiplexed, and take nearly zero-power to operate. One of the greatest limitations to these sensors is a lack of selectivity, which is the electronic equivalent of noise. Interference from large varying background signals, such as humidity, can compromise the sensor signal to a point where there is no useful data. To address this challenge, new ways to integrate molecular constructs into carbon nanotube compositions that produce enhanced selectivity to certain molecules or classes of molecules were investigated to increase the signal to noise level in chemical sensors.

Posted in: Briefs

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Development of a Novel Electrospinning System with Automated Positioning and Control Software

System automates the production of fiber scaffolds through a single user interface. Naval Medical Research Unit, San Antonio, Texas Electrospinning is a nanofiber fabrication technique that has grown in popularity due to its potential in numerous biomedical applications. The process uses an electrical charge to draw ultrafine fibers from liquid polymer solution to form a non-woven fiber scaffold. The polymer fiber diameters can range from millimeters to as small as nanometers in scale. Figure 1. Electrospinning schematic. A high voltage is applied to a polymer solution dispensed from a syringe pump. Electrostatic forces stretch the droplet at the needle tip, and a thin jet of polymer is ejected from the cone, which dries and whips as it travels toward the grounded collector plate.

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Advanced Multifunctional Materials for High Speed Combatant Hulls

A new additive manufacturing process for producing composite materials with prescribed RF properties. Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Virginia Currently small boat combatant design focuses primarily on speed and maneuverability. It would be advantageous to expand these capabilities to include reduced radar cross-section, and enhanced survivability to blast and ballistic threats for both the structure and warfighters.

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Fiber Optic Rotary Joints Add a Spin to Sensing, Mobile, and Robotic Fiber Systems

To the passing optical signals, fiberoptic rotary joints (FORJs) are nothing more than fiber connectors, which provide connection between one or multiple fibers. Their unrestricted ability to rotate, however, gives them a critical role in many sensing, mobile, and robotic fiber systems such as ROVs (remotely operated vehicles), aerostat radars, submarines, satellite antennae, OCT (optical coherence tomography), mining vehicles, cranes, wind turbines, robotic vehicles, broadcasting (mobile cameras), etc. This article discusses some of the applications where optical rotary joints are indispensable. www.princetel.com Download White Paper

Posted in: Photonics, White Papers, White Papers, Photonics

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Autonomous Underwater Munitions and Explosives of Concern Detection System

AUV uses a magnetometer to detect dangerous submerged munitions. Environmental Security Technology Certification Program, Alexandria, Virginia The objective of Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) Project MR-201002, Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Munitions and Explosives of Concern (MEC) Detection System, was to integrate an untethered and unmanned underwater vehicle with a total field magnetometer for underwater munitions detection and upgrade magnetic noise compensation software to reduce interference from electrical and dynamic influences such as vehicle heading, pitch and roll.

Posted in: Briefs, Machinery & Automation

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Power-Line UAV Modeling and Simulation

Computer program helps UAVs avoid collisions with overhead wires. Army Research Laboratory, Adelphi, Maryland The Army Research Laboratory Power-Line Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Modeling and Simulation (ARL-PLUMS) Software Tool allows a user to model, compute, and analyze the quasistatic electric and magnetic fields around alternating current (AC) power lines. ARL-PLUMS comes with an interactive graphical user interface (GUI), which accesses a compute engine to calculate these fields around these lines due to various ground and line geometries and load conditions. ARLPLUMS allows the user to rapidly define all significant model parameters and compute the electric and magnetic fields along a UAV path or in a cutting plane. In addition, a set of false-color plots can be created to show the time-varying nature of the fields as a movie. ARL-PLUMS also comes with an application programming interface (API) for accessing some of these features from MATLAB without using the GUI.

Posted in: Briefs, Machinery & Automation

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Design of a Multi-Segmented Magnetic Robot for Hull Inspection

This flexible, climbing robot could perform hazardous maintenance functions. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, San Diego, California Hull, deck plate, and tank inspection for corrosion, deformation, and fractures is a necessary part of ship maintenance to ensure functional integrity and proper operation of the ship. These inspections are labor intensive, expensive, and often dangerous. A multi-segmented magnetic wheeled robot can assist the surveyors in these tasks.

Posted in: Briefs, Machinery & Automation

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