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System efficiency as applied to motor-driven rotating equipment

August 6, 2014 2:15 pm | by William Livoti, Power Generation Business Development Manager, WEG Electric Corporation | Articles | Comments

Energy efficiency has become a major focus for our government, municipalities as well as power utilities and the industrial sector. Each entity has a specific area where they focus their attention.  In every case attention was directed to components, i.e. motors, pumps....

Applying COTS principles to motion control

August 6, 2014 12:21 pm | by Nate Holmes, Product Manager, Motion Control at National Instruments | Articles | Comments

When building a motion drive or controller, manufacturers traditionally implement advanced control techniques and package them in a black box with a few gain settings, a slider, or an autotuning feature, and the machine builder or end user may never know or care how the control is implemented....

Creating an automated art installation that runs like clockwork

August 6, 2014 12:01 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Articles | Comments

Imagine being a prospective student interested in attending East Carolina University arriving at the sprawling Greenville, North Carolina campus with your parents in tow and eager to take a look around. Suddenly, two doors on the library’s giant clock tower open up....

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What board-level technologies will be game-changers in the near future?

August 6, 2014 11:02 am | Articles | Comments

In the case of long-term infrastructure planning, it is essential to consider how network function virtualization (NFV), will impact and enable data centers in the next five to 10 years. NFV is an ideal alternative to traditional networking solutions, as it allows organizations to upgrade infrastructure....

Is our own government turning privacy into a myth?

August 6, 2014 10:57 am | by A.J. Watts, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

Even though I am in my early 20’s, I can still remember a time where there was a distinct separation between private and public information. Sadly, privacy seems to be a thing of the past in today’s technologically innovative culture. CNN reports that, “even if you power off your cell phone, the U.S. government can turn it back on....

Listen to the world’s first 3D-printed saxophone

August 6, 2014 7:26 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

It’s official. We can now 3D-print anything. At this point, we’ve had 3D-printed skulls, some candy, and a few odds and ends, but Olaf Diegel has created the world’s first 3D-printed saxophone. Instruments are particularly difficult to print because so much of the sound requires the perfect usage of air....

What engineers think about retirement

August 5, 2014 8:00 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor and Eileen Whitmore, Art Director | Blogs | Comments

Retirement, that Golden Age of relaxation and hard-earned rest where you get to prop up your feet on the porch and yell at the neighborhood kids to get off your lawn. ECN wanted to know what our engineers had planned for their golden years, but as it turns out most of you are pretty happy to be working.

Significance of assertions for bus-interconnect verification

August 5, 2014 7:04 am | by Debjit Roy Choudhury, Anish Mon, Srinivasa Kothamasu, and Nagaraj Mahadevaiah, LSI | Articles | Comments

In any modern day multi-processor based system, bus interconnects are one of the most complex IP blocks. All these system bus-interconnects are the backbone of the whole system for end to end communication, carrying substantial transaction bandwidth across the chip....

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Engineering Newswire: The Army’s new glow-in-the-dark bullets

August 4, 2014 3:15 pm | by Alex Shanahan, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Dubbed, One-Way Luminescence, or OWL, a new tracer round is being developed by engineers at the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center. The engineers are experimenting with a variety of potential solutions, but final design ...

PV connector meets the three highest certification standards on the market

August 4, 2014 2:33 pm | Amphenol | Product Releases | Comments

Amphenol Industrial Products Group (Sidney, NY) now offers a PV connector that meets all three of the highest certification standards on the market, allowing this one connector to be used globally.  The new H4 UTX meets IEC50521 TUV 1500V- Class A (All Access)....

Photos of the Day: eVe — Australia's record-breaking solar-powered car

August 4, 2014 8:31 am | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

The eVe, from the Sunswift project, a group of students from the University of New South Wales, Australia, has officially broken the world speed record for an electric vehicle. The Sunswift vehicle averaged 62 mph over 311 miles at the Australian Automotive research Center in Victoria....

The F-35 will cost a fortune

August 4, 2014 8:02 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

Captain Obvious? Is that you? I’m sure this comes as no surprise, but the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is expensive. Very expensive. So expensive that, according to one estimate, the money spent on the program could buy every ...   

Engineering Update Episode 69 Bloopers

July 31, 2014 12:38 pm | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Who says ECN's editors can't have a bit of fun? Enjoy these bumbles, stumbles, and hilarious outtakes from the latest edition of ECN's premier video series, Engineering Update. Thanks to Digital Editor Jason Lomberg, Managing Editor Kasey Panetta, and Editor-in-Chief David Mantey for being such great sports!

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New apps smooth out your nighttime smartphone addiction

July 31, 2014 10:02 am | by A.J. Watts, Editorial Intern | News | Comments

My smartphone and I have built up a pretty special bond. I’m an Apple junkie, myself, but I understand why people love their “crackberries” – my iPhone almost feels like a part of me. That being said, a smartphone can also make it impossible to fall asleep sometimes....

Engineering Update Episode 69: A new record for electric vehicles

July 31, 2014 9:57 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

A group of students at the University of New South Wales in Australia recently set a new world speed record for an electric vehicle at the Australian Automotive research Center in Victoria. The Sunswift car averaged 62 mph over 311 miles, beating out the 26 year old previous record of 45 mph over 311 miles....

This first-aid kit is a must-have

July 31, 2014 8:55 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The Clever Medkit is a first-aid kit to end all first-aid kits. This over-the-top technologically advanced kit is technically designed for businesses, but I would consider this for a home purchase because I am a germaphobe and hypochondriac. (Yesterday, I used a Lysol wipe on my pens.) So, let’s walk through the process of injuring yourself and using this bad boy.

Engineering Live: AC vs. DC (On Demand)

July 29, 2014 3:54 pm | by ECN Staff | Videos | Comments

In the old war of currents between Edison and Tesla, Tesla’s alternating current proved to be the winner in grid distribution. We wonder if it will prevail when it comes to local and regional distribution. The new distribution extends deeper than the power grid....

This helmet lets fighter pilots ditch their night vision goggles

July 28, 2014 9:41 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Blogs | Comments

Military jobs are synonymous with stress, but one of the most stressful jobs even by military standards is that of the jet fighter pilot. Not only are they required to process a lot of operational information very quickly, they must do it while wearing headgear that can strain the head and neck the faster the plane flies....

This Army helicopter can fit in your pocket

July 25, 2014 8:36 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

It weighs 16 g, can fly for up to 20 minutes, and fits in the palm of your hand. It’s the Prox Dynamics PD-100 Black Hornet, a mini helicopter which uses embedded cameras and a digital data link to provide real-time video for ground troops. Information is king on the battlefield....

Engineering Update 68: Marines begin testing robotic mule

July 24, 2014 11:00 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

The United States Marines Corps recently began testing Boston Dynamics' legged squad support system (or the LS3) at the Kahuku training area in Hawaii. For those who don’t know, the LS3 is a robotic pack mule that could function autonomously and follow troops over rugged terrain, toting up to 400 pounds of equipment....

5100 W DC power supplies designed for high voltage and solar array applications

July 23, 2014 1:10 pm | B&K Precision Corporation | Product Releases | Comments

B&K Precision (Yorba Linda, CA) introduced three new models of high power programmable DC power supplies, models PVS10005, PVS60085, and PVS60085MR. The new PVS Series delivers output power up to 5.1 kW with excellent regulation, low noise, and fast transient response times....

This is what a fireball in space looks like

July 23, 2014 9:22 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

This mission on the International Space Station has been full of social media adventures, including the very first Space Vine! (Full disclosue: I coined the term Space Vine! and you probably won't see it anywhere else.)  Reid Wiseman is an American astronaut and naval aviator currently serving on Expedition 41 in the ISS....

Please don't 3D print me when I'm dead

July 23, 2014 8:49 am | by David Mantey, Editor-in-Chief | Blogs | Comments

When I die, please don’t grow pieces of me. Whether the practice is in the name of science, art, or engineering, after I’ve been harvested of all viable organs in my remaining vessel, do not reconstruct and 3D print any body part to be kept alive inside a case of "nourishing liquid"....

Bootstrap circuit for gate driver optocoupler

July 22, 2014 4:27 pm | by See Leng Kian, Principal Product Engineer of the Optoelectronic Business Unit of Fairchild. | Articles | Comments

IGBTs are commonly used in inverter systems, which are used for adjustable motor drives, solar inverters and UPS. Inverters can be single-phase or three-phase, which is basically an extension of the H-bridge. Figure 1 illustrated one of the six gate driver optocouplers from Fairchild Semiconductor driving the IGBT module for the implementation of the three-phase inverter system.

Any way the wind blows....

July 21, 2014 9:14 am | by Joshua Israelsohn, Director, JAS Technical Media | Articles | Comments

When I hear or read the phrase wind power, I immediately imagine tall-towered machines with tri-blade impellers tracing out huge arcing sweeps against partly cloudy skies. Your imagery may vary. Globally, wind generation capacity climbed to 318 GW in 2013 and has increased, year-over-year, an average of 37 MW since 2008....

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