Electron Energy Corp. (EEC; http://rbi.ims.ca/3849-539) has been awarded a NASA contract to study the effects of radiation and thermal stability of samarium cobalt (SmCo) high-temperature permanent magnets for space power generation and for ion propulsion thrusters. Previous SmCo magnets designed and manufactured by EEC were used in NASA's Deep Space 1 Ion Engine launched in 1998. Future commercial, land-based applications may include sensors, instrumentation, generators, actuators, vacuum, medical, and semiconductor processing.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.