IZAL series Linear Variable Differential Transformers (LVDTs) are extremely slim, inductive-displacement sensors that can precisely measure path length in highly confined spaces. Although barely larger than a matchstick (the housing is 55 mm long with a 4 mm diameter), the sensors provide a complete differential measuring system with an unguided core and coils.
Manufactured by Inelta Sensorsysteme, the contactless sensors are available with measuring ranges of 1, 2.5, and 5 mm, are linear to within ± 0.5% (optionally 0.25%), and have an operating temperature range of −25°C to 85°C (which can be extended upon request). Housings are made of nickel-plated steel (protection class IP65), making the sensor suitable for use in harsh and demanding environments. Each sensor comes with a 1-m cable (other lengths are optional) and custom versions with options such as individual calibrations are available on request. Units are now available in the U.S. through Hoffmann + Krippner, Inc.
SAP5S/SAP51 is a new generation CMOS integrated circuit for AS-I networks. The low-level field bus AS-I (Actuator Sensor Interface) was designed for easy, safe and cost-effective interconnection of sensors, actuators and switches. It transports both power and data over the same two-wire unshielded cable. SAP5S/SAP51 is used as a part of a master or slave node and works as an interface to the physical bus. The device realizes power supply, physical data transfer and communication protocol handling and is fully compliant with AS-Interface Complete Specification V3.0.
SAP5S/SAP51 can be programmed by the user to operate in Standard Slave Mode, Safety Mode or Master Mode. The special AS-I Safety Mode (SAP5S only) assures short response times regarding security related events. All configuration data are stored in an internal EEPROM that can be easily programmed by a stationary or handheld programming device. SAP5S/SAP51 is optimized for harsh environments by it’s special burst protection circuitry and excellent electromagnetic compatibility.
Alzheimer’s, autism, cerebral palsy — before cures for these neurological disorders and more can be found, scientists must develop a deeper understanding of how neurons in the brain communicate with one another. Researchers at the University of Michigan recently developed what are said to be the smallest LED probes to be implanted in a living brain.
In the field of optogenetics, implanted optical fibers are used to stimulate brain cells by exposing them to pulses of light, and a second device records how they react. Scientists at the University of Michigan found that this setup can’t record the manner in which neurons communicate with one another, but the new probes are capable of doing just that.
Each probe is less than a tenth of a millimeter wide and contains 12 LEDs that are no larger than a neuron’s cell body, along with 32 electrons. Image source: University of Michigan.
Containing 12 LEDs each that are no larger than a neuron’s cell body, along with 32 electrons, each probe is less than a tenth of a millimeter wide. According to the study, any one LED can activate a single neuron, and when it does, the
Keeping your family safe is your number one priority; that’s why it’s so important for you to keep your electrical system up to date. Your electrical system is the whole host of wires running through your walls, as well as the different interchanges and outlets into your house. They keep your lights on, your TV running, and so much more. They’re absolutely essential to running a successful home, but they are also a constant danger. Electricity is one of the most dangerous elemental forces in the world. It can be used to start fires and execute prisoners as well as power your toaster. A well-designed and well-maintained electrical system is not dangerous. A poorly maintained one can be a problem, though. Here’s what you need to do to make sure your electrical system stays safe.
Signs of a Problem
You should keep an eye out for signs of a problem. The signs are often pretty intuitive. If you see any sort of blackening, bubbling, or discolouration around any outlets, you need to call a professional. You should also turn off and unplug anything connected to those outlets. Discoloration or bubbling typically indicates some intense amount of
One of the greatest challenges in the evolution of electronics has been to reduce power consumption during transistor switching operation. In a study recently reported in Nature, engineers at University of California, Santa Barbara, in collaboration with Rice University, have demonstrated a new transistor that switches at only 0.1 volts and reduces power dissipation by over 90% compared to state-of-the-art silicon transistors (MOSFETs).
MOSFETs have been the building blocks of everyday electronic products since the 1970s. However, to sustain the ever-growing need for increased transistor densities, miniaturization of MOSFETs has given rise to a power dissipation challenge due to the fundamental limitations of their turn-on characteristics.
“The steepness of a transistor’s turn-on is characterized by a parameter known as the subthreshold swing, which cannot be lowered below a certain level in MOSFETs,” explained Kaustav Banerjee, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UC Santa Barbara. A minimum gate voltage change of 60 millivolts at room temperature is required to change the current by a factor of ten in MOSFETs. In essence, the existing state of transistor technology limits the energy efficiency potential of digital circuits in general.
The research group of Professor Kaustav Banerjee at UC Santa Barbara took a new
Inside plants, microbes, and other living things, cells quickly and continuously create transport networks, which move nutrients and wastes. The networks’ diversity and stability inspired scientists to design a process that co-opts natural biomolecular protein machines to extrude tubes and assemble them into networks.
This development could lead to new pathways to make complex, robust polymer structures using biological molecules. Also, exploiting biomolecular machines to continuously assemble reconfigurable networks may enable a new class of self-healing materials. These self-repairing materials could lead to longer lasting solar cells, automatically repairing damage from long exposures to sunlight.
For the first time, biomolecular machines have been exploited to perform mechanical work to deform and dynamically assemble complex, far-from-equilibrium polymer networks. In biology, tubular structures formed from proteins, e.g., microtubules, function as highways for transporting small molecules. These complex networks could be used to create self-repairing, long-lasting materials. The challenge is that artificial versions of these tubular highways are not very robust. Further, today’s synthesis methods cannot create the diverse structures needed. In contrast, cells produce intricate structures. Biology’s ability to direct formation and deformation of networks to manage assembly processes inspired scientists at Sandia National Laboratories.
The scientists used biomolecular machines, specifically kinesin motors,
For the first time, researchers demonstrated controlled generation of magnetic islands known as skyrmions — the magnetic version of a new class of exotic particles at room temperature. These skyrmions were controllably moved with extremely low electric current pulses, which could significantly reduce power requirements and related heat generation in future electronic devices.
Previously, individual skyrmions could be generated only at low temperatures. A practical, room temperature method for generating magnetic skyrmions in readily accessible materials could advance spintronics. This new method could also enable skyrmions to create more energy-efficient and compact electronics. Skyrmions offer a host of benefits: small size, high stability, and the ability to move by applying very low electric currents.
For the first time, researchers at Argonne National Laboratory and the University of California, Los Angeles have experimentally generated magnetic skyrmion bubbles at room temperature. The researchers’ approach is reminiscent of blowing soap bubbles. Efficient manipulation using electric current makes magnetic skyrmions ideal information carriers for computers and other devices as the magnetic bubbles are low power, nonvolatile, and electrically reconfigurable.
Previously, creating magnetic skyrmions required low, cryogenic temperatures in exotic material systems. The transformative aspect of this research is the generation and manipulation of magnetic skyrmions
More energy-efficient computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices often begin with new materials. One promising material is vanadium dioxide (VO2) due to its ability to rapidly transform from an insulator into a conductor in femtosecond (10−15 or one millionth of one billionth of a second) timescales. Recently, scientists discovered that VO2 responds non-uniformly on the nanoscale, contrary to prior assumptions, even in well-defined single crystals.
This study identified a non-uniform response in the insulator-to-metal transition, which suggests that the role of defects, strain, and doping (the strategic replacement of a portion of certain elements that make up the material with other elements) has been underestimated. Understanding the factors that influence the transition could inform the design of new materials where electron-electron interactions play a major role in determining proprieties — called “strongly correlated” materials. These materials could lead to more efficient technologies that can reduce energy costs for applications such as optical communications and data storage. Further, the precise characterization approach used in this research could further our understanding of quantum materials for novel approaches to next generation electronics.
Vanadium dioxide (VO2) shows significant promise for technological applications, ranging from advanced optical materials to data storage, and has encouraged
By carefully tuning the chemical composition of a particular compound, researchers have created a “topological crystalline insulator,” whose bulk acts as an insulator but whose surface conducts electrical currents through a process that is related to the coupling between the motion and spin of electrons.
Combining a topological insulator with a superconductor could enable the design of advanced materials with broad potential application in semiconductor electronics and computing, including novel approaches such as spintronics and quantum computing.
Scientists discovered a compound that exhibits the true properties of a topological crystalline insulator, with unusual electronic conduction at the surface but no conduction within the bulk. Theorists have predicted the possibility that certain materials might behave as topological insulators, in which electronic conduction can only take place at the surface by electrons whose spin and momentum are coupled. This coupling has the favorable property of protecting the moving surface electrons from backscattering by imperfections in the material.
Because, ideally, the bulk of the sample is insulating, a current flowing along a sample could only involve spin-polarized surface electrons that are protected by such quantum mechanical coupling. Experimentalists have synthesized a number of compounds that exhibit the predicted topological surface states; however, so far
A team of researchers from the University of California, Davis and the University of Washington have demonstrated that the conductance of DNA can be modulated by controlling its structure, thus opening up the possibility of DNA’s future use as an electromechanical switch for nanoscale computing. Although DNA is commonly known for its biological role as the molecule of life, it has recently garnered significant interest for use as a nanoscale material for a wide-variety of applications.
In their paper published in Nature Communications, the team demonstrated that changing the structure of the DNA double helix by modifying its environment allows the conductance (the ease with which an electric current passes) to be reversibly controlled. This ability to structurally modulate the charge transport properties may enable the design of unique nanodevices based on DNA. These devices would operate using a completely different paradigm than today’s conventional electronics.
“As electronics get smaller they are becoming more difficult and expensive to manufacture, but DNA-based devices could be designed from the bottom-up using directed self-assembly techniques such as ‘DNA origami’,” said Josh Hihath, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at UC Davis and senior author on the paper. DNA origami is the folding
An optical device at nanoscale which allows light to pass in only one direction has been developed at TU Wien (Vienna). It consists of alkali atoms which are coupled to ultrathin glass fibres.
If light is able to propagate from left to right, the opposite direction is usually allowed as well. A beam of light can normally be sent back to its point of origin, just by reflecting it on a mirror. Researchers at TU Wien have developed a new device for breaking this rule. Just like in an electrical diode, which allows current to pass only in one direction, this glass fibre-based device transmits light only in one direction. The one-way-rule holds even if the pulse of light that passes through the fibre consists of only a few photons. Such a one-way-street for light can now be used for optical chips and may thus become important for optical signal processing.
Optical Signal Processing Instead of Electronics
Elements which allow light to pass in only one direction are called “optical isolators.” “In principle, such components have been around for a long time,” says Arno Rauschenbeutel, from the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology at the Atominstitut at TU Wien. “Most
Current semiconductor technology is based on silicon, an inorganic semiconductor material in which impurity atoms are introduced or doped for use in electronic components to increase conductivity and tailor the electronic structure. However, organic solid-state materials made of conjugated molecules or polymers can also exhibit promising semiconducting properties that make their application feasible for organic electronics.
Guest molecules in a host structure
The enormous application potential of organic electronics has been clearly demonstrated for example by the success of organic LEDs (OLEDs) in the recent years. Oligothiophene (4T) and polythiophene (P3HT), two typical organic semiconductors, can be doped with a second type of molecule such as a strong electron acceptor (F4TCNQ) for example to control the electrical conductivity. However, until recently, how these guest molecules are exactly integrated into the host structure was poorly understood. A homogenous distribution analogous to that in inorganic semiconductors had therefore always been assumed.
An international group headed by the Molecular Systems Joint Research Team at the HZB and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin has now been able to demonstrate that this is not the case for either oligothiophene or polythiophene. The group, co-led by Dr. Ingo Salzmann and Prof. Norbert Koch, had previously experimented with and
Large retailers know this. They have loss prevention departments that analyze each dollar spent for its return on investment. Because they are proven to enhance the bottom line, nearly every major retailer in the world has implemented electronic article surveillance (EAS) as a major part of their theft prevention efforts.
Here’s how EAS systems benefit you
• Reduces your shoplifting losses
• Identifies thieves as they walk out
• Provides a deterrent effect
• Boosts impulse sales by moving items from locked cased to counters and open sales floors
• Creates a more pleasant shopping environment
You can utilize the same technology, from the same manufacturer, as major companies like Target, Walgreen’s, Albertson’s, CVS, the Gap, Barnes & Noble, the US Postal Service and literally thousands of other retailers throughout the world. Here’s how they work
Small security tags, applied to high theft merchandise, alerts you when shoplifters try to take stolen items through electronic sensors at your door.
Checkpoint Systems, Inc. is the most reliable name in electronic article surveillance systems, providing tags and labels for nearly every type of products.
EAS systems are less expensive, and have a quicker payback than you might think
…in most cases six to twelve months.
Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) and Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID)
Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) and Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) are currently 2 technologies that are used separately to reduce theft of retail merchandise and track retail merchandise respectively. RFID technology actually provides retailers with many operational and marketing benefits other than tracking products through the supply chain, which is why RFID has been on the rise for many years now. EAS is an extremely simple technology used solely to protect retail merchandise from being stolen, which is why leading EAS and/or RFID companies are designing and promoting products that combine the 2 technologies. In the not too distant future, standard EAS Security Systems and passive Security Tags and Security Labels will become obsolete. They will become overshadowed by readers and tags that contain all of the components necessary for security, shipment tracking through the supply chain, inventory management, applying QR codes, and much more. If they haven’t already, retailers should start searching now for companies developing products that will allow a smooth and gradual transition from current EAS and RFID platforms to a single solution.
Retail loss prevention is an expensive problem with imperfect solutions. Thinfilm tags utilize the advantages of its proprietary printed electronics process to improve traditional Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) technology by introducing a new category of anti-shoplifting tags that are compatible with a large global base of installed 8.2MHz RF EAS infrastructure.
Legacy RF EAS tag technology has limited capabilities in source tagging and direct integration of EAS labels into garments and footwear due to unwanted tag reactivation, also known as the ‘Lazarus Effect’.
Hard tags are a common alternative to integrated source tags, but suffer from being expensive, bulky, visually distracting. Furthermore, they require costly hours of in-store employee labor to apply, remove, recycle, ship back to the vendor, and otherwise handle.
Key Features of Thinfilm EAS Technology
A reliable solution for source tagging of fashion and footwear with PERMANENT DEACTIVATION
Source tagging and garment integration can improve security, reduce false alarms, eliminate clothing damage caused by hard tags, and reduce labor costs related to loss prevention
False alarms caused by unwanted reactivation disappear, so staff responsiveness to legitimate alarms can improve
Capable of revitalizing 8.2MHz RF EAS infrastructure with improved total cost of ownership
Increase customer satisfaction while reducing overall shrinkage
A lack of understanding about how Electronic Article Surveillance or EAS works is most often the downfall in achieving the best results. The information below will help you understand how it all works together for optimum results.
What is an EAS System?
Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) is a technological method for preventing shoplifting.
It usually involves three components:
Deactivator or Detacher
Special tags and labels are fixed to merchandise or books. These tags or labels are removed or “deactivated” by the clerks when the item is properly bought or checked out.
Labels are deactived using a “Label Deactivator”.
While ringing up purchases a cashier should pass each product label across the “Deactivation Pad”.
To remove a Hard Tag a cashier uses a “Detacher” which releases the pin.
After a label is deactivated or a tag is removed the customer can then pass by the antenna without any alarm.
At the exits of the store, a detection system sounds an alarm or otherwise alerts the staff when it senses active tags are passing by.
Types of EAS systems and how they work.
There are several major types of electronic article surveillance systems :
Magnetic or magneto-harmonic
Acousto-magnetic or magnetostrictive
Magnetic systems or ‘Electromagnetic’ (or EM) systems
The human machine interface (HMI) is recognized as key part of electronics design and uptake of HMIs that are based on touch has been something of a phenomenon. Why exactly is that, what does touch bring that alternative methods could not?
Well, basically HMIs provide a highly effective way for us to interact with modern technology. Through properly-orchestrated HMIs better user experiences can be derived – leading to more intuitive and efficient control processes for all manner of different pieces of electronics equipment. Thanks to the mounting utilisation of touchscreen technology over the last decade, the HMI has proved to be a principal route via which manufacturers can differentiate their products from those of their competition.
So can the HMI be what leads to a product being a success or failure?
On an increasing number of occasions, this is definitely the case. If the HMI that is built into a product is poorly realized, then it is going to have a detrimental effect on that product’s operation. This will be of annoyance to the user and means that the product is less likely to thrive in the long term, with other options being seen as more appealing. So not putting enough thought into
Obama administration officials have released new intelligence indicating North Korea is building mobile ICBMs that will soon be able to reach the United States. This was reported in the Washington Times, which states, “New intelligence indicates that North Korea is moving ahead with building its first road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile, an easily hidden weapon capable of hitting the United States.” (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/dec…)
ICBMs typically carry nuclear warheads, and they can easily target cities on the West Coast such as Los Angeles or Seattle. But even this threat doesn’t compare to the “doomsday weapon” that China or Russia could almost certainly launch right now: A high-altitude EMP weapon (HEMP for short, and I’m not joking).
High-Altitude EMP could fry the USA back into the pre-industrial age
HEMP weapons are detonated in the high atmosphere, theoretically as high as 300 miles above the ground (well above the orbits of most satellites, even). Once detonated, the energy released by these weapons interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field, producing an extremely fast and powerful electromagnetic burst that rushes to the ground at 94% the speed of light, slamming everything on the ground with as much as 50,000 volts per square meter at high amps.
Our regular readers know we’ve got a lot of heartburn when it comes to the antics and actions of the Transportation Security Administration and a number of goofballs this rogue agency regularly employs. As we have well documented, it is one of the most lawless federal agencies in existence.
But for the most part, that is us talking; it’s incredibly more damning when one of the agency’s current, – or, in this case, former – personnel talk about the TSA’s culture of criminality.
Pythias Brown, a former TSA employee at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, who spoke to ABC News recently in his first public comments after being released from prison, said he was part of a “culture” of apathy within the agency that permitted corrupt employees – and there are a lot of them, apparently – to prey on passengers’ luggage and personal items with abandon, thanks in large part to nonexistent oversight and tips from fellow TSA workers.
“It was very commonplace, very,” said Brown, who admitted lifting in excess of $800,000 worth of items from luggage and security checkpoints over a four-year span. “It was very convenient to steal.”
If you thought the concept of medically-injectable microchips was something out of a science fiction novel, think again. A cohort of scientists from universities the world over has developed a new type of implantable microchip capable of performing various pre-programmed functions inside the body for a certain period of time, and later dissolving into oblivion.
Published in the journal Science, a new study on the technology explains how “transient electronics” are the exact opposite of traditional electronics, which are designed with stability and long-term durability in mind. Dissolvable electronics, on the other hand, are specifically designed to melt away once they have accomplished their respective tasks, or at least this is what we are being told.
“A remarkable feature of modern silicon electronics is its ability to remain physically invariant, almost indefinitely for practical purposes,” says the study abstract. “Although this characteristic is a hallmark of applications of integrated circuits that exist today, there might be opportunities for systems that offer the opposite behavior, such as implantable devices that function for medically useful time frames but then completely disappear via re-absorption by the body.”
One example of this might be implantable chips designed to target open wounds with heat in order to prevent