Sensors are playing an increasingly important role in the American military's race to hold onto its technological edge. The U.S. Army's Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) II program, awarded late last year, offers improved thermal sights that are smaller and take less energy to use. The supplier, Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace AS, is using thermal imaging modules from BAE Systems. BAE's TIM1500 are said to be the longest-range uncooled imager, offering a smaller size than cryogenically cooled imagers that require much more power. CROWS II is being added to U.S. Army vehicles such as the M1114 up-armored High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicle and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected trucks.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
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 radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.