Monday 30 November 2020

Secure product development lifecycle.

HMS Networks is now certified according to the IEC62443-4-1:2018 standard. The certification process was performed by TÜV Rheinland to validate a secure product development lifecycle process within industrial automation and control systems. 

IEC62443-4-1 is part of the IEC 62443-4:2018(E) standard which specifies the process requirements for secure development of products used in industrial automation and control systems. Receiving the IEC62443-4-1 certificate is yet another step on HMS’s cybersecurity journey. The certificate confirms that HMS has a process in place for secure product design, technology to handle vulnerability disclosures, and the ability to transparently work with customers to help them manage security risks. 

“The automation industry needs partners that can provide technology and services which protect the users’ most valuable assets,” says Timo Van´t Hoff, CPO of HMS. “When companies work with HMS, they can rest assured that we always have security in mind, and that security is continually addressed in our daily work” 

The new certification was independently performed by TÜV Rheinland, and the IEC62443-4-1 certificate is adding to an expanding list of acknowledgments for HMS' success in helping customers strengthen their cybersecurity within the area of industrial automation and control systems.

@HMSAnybus @mepaxIntPR #PAuto #Cybersecurity

Friday 27 November 2020

Connections to the moon!

Within a short time SMP connectors from Rosenberger will be taking a long trip: the first ever LTE cellular network on the moon will be operational by the end of 2022. Long-term tested and successfully qualified SMP connectors for aerospace applications will be core components for enabling fast, precise and highly reliable satellite communication across the universe. LTE cellular networks provide the technology required for high-speed transmission of huge data rates: necessary for vital command, control functions and remote control of lunar vehicles for scientific research applications; real-time navigation; and streaming of high definition videos from the lunar surface to earth. 

Rosenberger is the only manufacturer of SMP connectors certified by ESA (European Space Agency) for space applications. Further connector series from Rosenberger - SMA, RPC-2.92 and TNC - are also qualified by the ESA standard ESCC 3402 (European Space Components Coordination) and fulfill the high requirements of the aerospace industry.

For many years, Rosenberger connectors have been providing a precise and reliable service in various space missions. For example, since 2013, the company has supplied 25,000 SMP connectors for Iridium satellites. Furthermore, Rosenberger connectors have been incorporated into Global Star and Galileo projects for several years.

For the ExoMars mission 2020 - postponed to 2022 - SMP as well as SMA connectors are qualified for use on board. Connectors from Rosenberger will therefore play an essential role in the scientific search for biological life on the red planet.

In 2016, Rosenberger had been part of the Russian-European ExoMars mission: On 14 th March 2016, ESA launched the “Trace Gas Orbiter” and the landing demonstrator module “Schiaparelli” to Mars. On board were ESA certified SMP connectors from Rosenberger which supported the communications with ESA ground control.

The goal of the next ExoMars mission in 2022 is to search for evidence of methane and other trace atmospheric gases that could be signatures of active biological or geological processes. The testing of key technologies in preparation for ESA's future missions to Mars will also be an important goal of the expedition.

One challenge in developing and producing connectors for spaceflight applications is the selection of appropriate materials and their assembly to meet the strict requirements for cleanliness. Rosenberger's connectors have therefore been comprehensively tested for compliance with the high electrical requirements of aerospace applications.

@ESA_ExoMars @esa @mepaxIntPR #Rosenberger #Aerospace

Thursday 26 November 2020

Change at top in connectors leader.

Harting Ltd, the British arm of the German owned electrical and electronic connector technology company, will be under new management from January 2021. Current Managing Director, Peter Hannon, announced his retirement earlier this year and will step down in December. He will be succeeded by Simon Asbury, who will step up from his current role as Director of Sales and Marketing.

Simon Asbury
Simon Asbury has worked in the electronics and electrical sector since 1988, gaining experience in a range of engineering and sales roles. He joined Harting Ltd in 1997 as a Sales Engineer, before taking over management of Harting’s distributors.

In 2001 he became Field Sales Manager, with responsibility for the electrical arm of the business, before a promotion to Director of Sales and Market Development in 2007. Since 2018, he has held the position of Director of Sales and Marketing.

Following the announcement, Simon commented; “I would like to begin by thanking Peter for his successful time as Managing Director of Harting Ltd; myself and the team wish him a long and healthy retirement. I am delighted to be appointed as the next Managing Director of Harting Ltd. Alongside the great team in the UK, we will continue to develop our digital strategy including marketing, ecommerce and technical support. We will bring market-leading connectivity and networking solutions to our customers to enable them to digitise, modularise, miniaturise and customise their products and operations. We will also continue to invest in our manufacturing facility in Northampton to bring design support and manufacturing close to our UK and Ireland customers.”

Simon has worked alongside with Peter for several years, which will allow a smooth transition of the business and continuity of leadership. 

Peter Hannon
Peter Hannon has worked for Harting for over 22 years, joining initially as Financial Controller in September 1998. Three years later he became Finance Director, before being appointed Managing Director in October 2005.

Commenting on his time at Harting, he said: “Fifteen years has flown by and a lot has happened during that time. The company has matured and grown significantly and it has exciting plans for the future. I thought it was time for someone else to have a go and I am delighted that Harting have chosen Simon as the next Managing Director. I am proud of what the Harting UK team has achieved together and there are excellent prospects for the future under Simon’s leadership.”


Oscilloscope probes.

Yokogawa has launched a new range of high frequency, high voltage differential oscilloscope probes, combining proven features of its existing probes with new capabilities. The new range replaces six probes with three, offering a simpler choice for development engineers looking to test high performance systems.

“These new probes take our already excellent products to new levels,” says Terry Marrinan, Yokogawa’s Vice President, Test & Measurement, for Europe & Africa. “Manufacturers needing accurate testing of high voltage, high frequency signals or precision monitoring of very low currents now have the features they need in convenient, easy to use probes. With these tools, manufacturers can easily test a wide range of products to meet the needs of new industries and consumers.” 

Recent trends for higher voltages in electric vehicles, railway inverters, new energy sources such as renewable solar and high-voltage commercial power lines such as 400 Vrms have shown the need for oscilloscope probes that can handle these high voltages.

Building on the proven 701927, the 701977 is designed for the evaluation of inverters, including 3.3 kV railway drive inverters, as well as the measurement of high voltage surge noise waveforms.

The 701977 offers a maximum input voltage of 7,000V peak at 50 MHz, with an attenuation ratio of 100:1/1000:1. High voltage black and red alligator clips are supplied as standard. 

701978 differential probes

Another development of the 701927, the 701978 meets the needs of renewable energy, high voltage photovoltaic systems. The 701978 offers a maximum differential voltage of 1,500V at 150MHz, with an attenuation ratio of 50:1/500:1. The new probe offers the same accessories as the existing 701927 – Pinchertip (Red, Black), a 1 m extension lead, a 100 Ω resistance adapter and a 150 Ω resistance adapter.

Both these probes are powered from the power terminal of DLM oscilloscopes’ or from separate external power supply and use BNC type connecters.

The 701925 is a new high frequency differential probe. It offers a 500 MHz bandwidth and a wide input voltage range of +/- 35V, with an attenuation ratio of 50:1. This makes the probe ideal for measuring high-speed floating and differential signals such as CAN FD, making it possible to measure large surges accurately, something which existing differential probes can struggle to achieve.

Accessories are as supplied with the 701924 and include 10-cm pair leads, 5-cm pair leads, red and black micro clip and 6-cm ground extension lead. The 701925 is powered through the Yokogawa probe interface of DLM oscilloscopes.

Also launched are two new current probes, offering a wide range combined with high-sensitivity current measurement.

The 702915 and 702916 are three-range current probes designed for low current measurement in the development of consumer products, IoT devices and automotive systems. The new probes offer 10 times the sensitivity of conventional current probes as well as having a higher Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) than existing products.

The bandwidth of the 702915 is DC to 50 MHz (-3 dB), with that of the 702916 being DC to 120 MHz (-3 dB). With three ranges - 0.5A, 5A and 30A - the probes enable a single instrument, an oscilloscope or a Yokogawa ScopeCorder, to analyze all current levels from standby to inrush. 

This makes the probes ideal for many current measurement applications, from measurement of standby-current of home appliances, automotive parts such as ECUs and industrial equipment, measurement of current consumption and standby current for low power IoT devices and control signal currents and inrush currents in motors and industrial equipment.

For example, combining the high sensitivity of the Yokogawa DLM5000 and the new probes allows manufacturers to measure very low currents of less than a milliamp, providing analysis of the extremely low standby currents found in vehicle keyless entry systems.

@Yokogawa_Europe @NapierPR #TandM #PAuto

Wednesday 25 November 2020

Marine power supply and battery charger.

Delta has announced the successful completion of a joint development project with WhisperPower, a leading Netherlands-based manufacturer of ultra-quiet off-grid power electronics, on the new WP-BC Supreme Pro battery charger. Combining the expertise of both companies, led to the successful development of the premium marine power supply and battery charger, which is ideal for systems in commercial shipping, industrial applications and the leisure marine markets. 

Unique in its size, versatility and robustness, the Supreme Pro Battery Charger pushes technological boundaries and sets a new industry benchmark.

“Within our market sector, we see that little is being renewed in the field of charging technology for professional applications," explained Roel ter Heide, Director-Owner of WhisperPower. "That is why, a few years ago, WhisperPower’s design team set about developing a new range of safe and robust 24V WP-BC Supreme Pro chargers. They ensured the highest interference suppression (Class B) and standard UL conformity. For the professional maritime sector, the chargers offer full DNV, GL, and ABS certification. The compact and silent Supreme Pro is equipped with the required alarms and a volt/ampere meter at the front. It’s the perfect main charger/power supply for a GMDSS system with back-up battery.”

“WhisperPower reached out to Delta for its expertise in power supplies, product development, and manufacturing,” said Kevin Hsu, Engineering Manager at Delta Electronics. “The marine environment presents unique challenges when it comes to power supply. This collaboration was a great experience for us, as both companies could learn from each other’s expertise and the result was a truly exceptional product.”

The WhisperPower engineering team and Delta Power Supply R&D engineers needed to ensure the new charger matched the high performance and quality standards of a truly premium product. The products were developed through detailed simulation and selection of performance-driven components. Delta’s team assisted to meet EMI Class B, IP23, thermal and impressive acoustic requirements on the battery chargers and utilized its signature energy efficiency capabilities to make the product environmentally friendly. Both companies set out to create not only a market-conformant product, but a really innovative solution. After optimisation and multiple safety approvals, an uncompromising result that fully reflected WhisperPower’s vision was achieved.

The 24-volt WP Premium Pro BC is designed for systems in commercial shipping, industrial applications, and leisure marine markets. It can charge any type of battery including wet led acid, AGM, gel, and li-ion. The completely silent unit is the most compact of its type and delivers high efficiency. The new battery charger comes with a five-year warranty and is available immediately through the global WhisperPower distribution network.

@DeltaEMEA @WhisperPowerIbe @mepaxIntPR #PSU #Marine #PAuto

Analogue-to-digital converter.

Analog Devices (ADI) has introduced the AD7134 alias-free analogue-to-digital converter (ADC) that significantly simplifies front-end design and speeds up time to market for precision DC-350kHz applications. Traditional precision data-acquisition signal chain design is a time-consuming activity as designers balance anti-alias filter requirements, passive component tolerances, phase and gain errors, as well as high-speed ADC drive requirements. The AD7134 introduces a new architecture for precision ADCs that fundamentally changes the design process. The new device removes the need for anti-alias filter, and its resistive input significantly simplifies ADC drive.

Data sheet, order samples and evaluation boards
• Connect with engineers and ADI product experts on EngineerZone™, the online technical support community
• Watch a video about the AD7134 
• Read the technical article about AC and DC data acquisition signal chains
The AD7134 is a quad-channel, 24-bit precision ADC with output data rate scalable from 10SPS to 1.5MSPS. Inherent anti-aliasing up to 102 dB eliminates the need for an external anti-alias filter, thus requiring 60 fewer passive components and five fewer active components. It also saves 70% board area, relative to a typical alternative implementation. Asynchronous sample-rate converter, simplifies multi-device synchronization, enables user to achieve coherent sampling system with ease, and simplifies isolation requirements.

AD7134 Key Features: • Alias-Free: inherent antialias rejection up to 102.5dB, typical • THD: -120dB typical (ideal for AC, vibration or acoustic measurements) • 108dB Dynamic Range (at ODR = 374kSPS) • Multiple Linear Phase Digital Filter Options (SINC6 for low latency, FIR for passband flatness) • Offset error drift: 0.7uV/°C typical • Gain drift: 2ppm/°C typical

@ADI_News #PAuto 

Nothing fishy about these awards!

Seeq Corporation has announced that it has ranked 76 on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™, a ranking of the 500 fastest-growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences, and energy tech companies in North America now in its 26th year.

Seeq also announced it was chosen as a 2020 Red Herring Top 100 North America Winner which recognizes the continent’s most exciting and innovative private technology companies. 2020 Red Herring Top 100 winners were chosen from thousands of entrants, whittled down to hundreds, and then judged on a wide variety of criteria including financial performance, innovation, business strategy, and market penetration.

Earlier this year, Seeq landed at No. 261 on the Inc. 5000 list, a prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies published by Inc. magazine.

Seeq enables engineers and scientists in process manufacturing organizations to rapidly analyze, predict, collaborate, and share insights to improve production outcomes. Seeq customers include companies in the oil and gas, pharmaceutical, chemical, energy, mining, food and beverage, and other process industries.

Now in its 26th year, Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 provides a ranking of the fastest-growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences, and energy tech companies — both public and private — in North America. Technology Fast 500 award winners are selected based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2016 to 2019.

In order to be eligible for Technology Fast 500 recognition, companies must own proprietary intellectual property or technology that is sold to customers in products that contribute to a majority of the company’s operating revenues. Companies must have base-year operating revenues of at least $US50,000 and current-year operating revenues of at least $US5 million. Additionally, companies must be in business for a minimum of four years and be headquartered within North America.
“Analytics software for manufacturing customers is an area overdue for innovation,” says Steve Sliwa, CEO and Co-Founder of Seeq. “Spreadsheets replaced pen and paper 30 years ago for analytics and haven’t changed much since. By leveraging big data, machine learning and computer science innovations, Seeq is enabling a new generation of software-led insights.”
Seeq’s innovation and market traction enabled it to close a Series B expansion in September with an investment from Cisco Investments and existing investors. Renewed participation came from Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, Altira Group, Chevron Technology Ventures, Second Avenue Partners, Next47, the venture group for Siemens, and other existing investors. The Series B expansion increased capitalization by approximately $30 million, which is in addition to previous Series B funding led by Altira Group and Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, bringing the total investment in Seeq since its inception to approximately $65 million.
Seeq’s rapid growth is being fueled in part by its partnerships and commitment to cloud-based computing. Seeq is available in the AWS marketplace, is an AWS Industrial Competency Partner, and supports many AWS services including Redshift, Timestream, SageMaker, and others.
On Azure, Seeq has been available in the Azure Marketplace since 2018 and was recently recognized as a 2020 Microsoft Energy Partner of the Year Finalist. Support for Azure services includes Azure Synapse, Azure Data Lake, Azure Data Explorer, Azure Time Series Insights, Azure Notebooks for machine learning integration, and Power Automate.
In addition to cloud data services, Seeq connects to an extensive set of data storage platforms from vendors including OSIsoft, Siemens, GE, Honeywell, Inductive Automation, AVEVA, AspenTech, Yokogawa, InfluxDB, Snowflake, and others.
Seeq is available worldwide through a global partner network of system integrators, which provides training and resale support for Seeq in over 40 countries, in addition to its direct sales organization in North America and Europe.

@SeeqCorporation @DeloitteUS @digitalherring @Inc  #PAuto #USA

The right cable clamp.

Integration of electrical and electronic systems always involves wiring issues regarding such matters as strain relief, accessibility, routing, security and similar, so this new “Guide to choosing the right cable clamp” from Essentra Components (Ireland) is likely to be of interest to all relevant assembly and installation engineers.

This new guide discusses options for mounting cables on the panel boards of various types of enclosures, such as data centre server cabinets or outdoor telecom equipment cabinets.

The guide points out that using a cable clamp has some distinct advantages over cable mounts. For example, if you need to move, adjust, or add to the bundle while using a zip tie mount, you must cut the tie. On the other hand, many cable clamps can be opened to allow for easy adjustments. While ties can still be used for bundling, you'll often find you need fewer of them when bundles are secured with clamps. 

In many instances, they advise that making up a new enclosure is faster when using cable clamps. For example, once the wire cable clamp installation is complete — guided by a good set of layout diagrams — cable and wire installation consists of simply routing the cables and conductors and snapping them into place.

Many clamp designs are illustrated with notes on applications, while CAD downloads are indicated to assist in the design stages of a project.

@EssentraC @tradeandtech #PAuto 

Industrial camera manufacturer expansion.

IDS Imaging Development Systems GmbH has expanded its headquarters in Obersulm-Willsbach (D) – after a construction period of about one and a half years, the technology centre b39 may be moved into. "Despite Covid 19, the work went almost without a hitch," says managing director Jan Hartmann. "We are very pleased that with the new building we can provide our employees with an ultra-modern and at the same time very attractive place to work".

Technology Centre b39
With more than 4,500 square meters of total space, there are a total of 52 offices and six conference rooms of completely different design, as well as an event room with space for up to 200 people. On the top floor, a loft-like open space area with individually designed meeting corners offers plenty of inspiration for creative work. Height-adjustable desks, ergonomic chairs, shower rooms with towel service and a company restaurant supplied by regional producers with meals subsidised by the employer are further benefits for the employees. Also new is the multi-storey car park behind the building, which has 262 parking spaces and charging stations for electric cars.

A central aspect of the striking new building is also its use as a platform for further education. Although, due to the current situation, hardly any face-to-face events are possible at present, this will of course change in the future. On the one hand, the spacious premises will be used by IDS itself to train employees in product-specific topics. On the other hand, the b39 Academy, a new branch of IDS, is located there. The aim is to jointly promote the development of digital specialist, methodological and technical skills, for example through event cooperation and knowledge transfer on topics such as image processing technology and artificial intelligence. Contacts with early-stage start-ups are also a focus. The innovative new building is intended to be a forum for all those who bring fresh ideas with them. "Technological progress, socio-cultural change and new work can best be shaped with specialist knowledge, methodological competence and soft skills," emphasises academy director Miriam Brenner.

Since 1997, the company has been developing and producing high-quality products for industrial image processing at its Obersulm site. Driven by a pioneering spirit and the will to create something really new, founder and owner Jürgen Hartmann has managed to become one of the largest manufacturers of industrial cameras with IDS. With technological foresight and a keen sense of future developments, IDS once made the USB interface for the camera sector suitable for industrial use.

A total of three different product lines enable a limitless spectrum of applications in the fields of equipment, plant and mechanical engineering as well as in non-industrial areas such as medical technology, agriculture or logistics. In addition to powerful USB, GigE and 3D cameras, the latest innovation is the visionary product platform IDS NXT with artificial intelligence – a new generation of vision systems for industrial applications. In future, the company, which has around 300 employees, will thus offer not only cameras but also easy-to-use and flexible complete systems for image processing. In addition to artificial intelligence, IDS is currently focusing on the technology trends of machine vision and robotic applications, which are generating growing demand in the 3D segment for camera manufacturers.

@IDS_Imaging @mepaxIntPR #Pauto #Imaging

Tuesday 24 November 2020

Electronic definition for CAN-FD devices.

The  CAN in Automation association has released the CiA 1311-1 specification. The document provides the XML schema Definition for CANopen FD profiles. Technically, an XML schema is an abstract collection of metadata, consisting of a set of schema components: mainly element and attribute declarations and complex and simple type definitions.

CiA 1311-1 is a subset of the CiA 311 XML schema components and rules limited to the mandatory components and extended with the CANopen FD specific components. It is based on the definitions given in ISO 15745-1:2003/Amd 1:2007. The annex of part 1 provides XML schema files for generation of the generic device description in XDD file format and configuration description in XDC file format. A web resource for the XML scheme namespace and location of scheme files is a work in progress.

Configuration and design tools can use XDD files compliant to CiA 1311 to read electronically the functionality of a CANopen FD device. Such XDD files are also necessary for the mandatory conformance test by CiA.

• See also CAN FD on wikipedia

@CANopen #PAuto #Automotive

Sales & Manufacturing manager for gas analyser manufacturer.

The gas analyser manufacturer Signal Group has announced the appointment of Stephane Canadas as Sales and Marketing Manager. 

Stephane Canadas
“In recent years we have invested heavily in product development, so this is a great time for Stephane to join the company,” comments Signal MD James Clements. “In many respects, our latest products are significantly ahead of other analysers on the market, so Stephane will be focused on expanding our global distribution network and explaining the advantages of these instruments to our rapidly expanding customer base.

“As an electronics engineer with 30 years of experience in instrumentation, working in product management, projects, sales and marketing positions for world leading automation and analytical companies, Stephane has hit the ground running at Signal, and we are delighted to welcome him to the team.”

Stephane says: “With my technical background and a career spent understanding the needs of engineers, I am hugely excited by this opportunity to exploit the impressive features that Signal has designed into its products.

“The new Series IV analysers, with removable screens and the latest communications capabilities, will disrupt the gas analyser market, and the prospect of QAL 1 approval for the Signal FIDs will be of great interest to any organisation with a need to measure VOC emissions.”

Born in France, but having lived most of his life in Britain, Stephane is bilingual and is particularly looking forward to developing Signal’s international operations.

@GasAnalysers @_Enviro_News #PAuto 

Monday 23 November 2020

Automating measuring points safely and economically.

Through the combined use of an automatic cleaning control and a retractable probe housing, e.g. in pH measurement technology, the regularly required maintenance of the sensors can be reduced and thus the manual workload per measuring point minimised.

Compared to traditional, permanently installed measuring points, retractable probe housings offer the plant operator various advantages. Used correctly, benefits, for example in pH measurement technology, include a significant reduction in maintenance work on the measuring point, an extended lifespan of the sensors used and increased reliability and availability of the measurement value. At the same time, an efficient cleaning control is of essential importance to the safe and economical automation of the retractable probe housing.

With the new product EXmatic 470, Exner is bringing a successor to the established predecessor model EXmatic 460 onto the market. The new control impresses not just with the use of state-of-the-art technology. The construction as well as the available functions were also developed in a user-orientated manner. Thus, many technical features already known from the EXmatic 460 have been retained. These include the openness of the system, i.e. the control is not tied to a specific manufacturer of sensors or transmitters.

Simultaneously, operation has been simplified for the user with a clear menu structure and the use of a touch-sensitive colour display. Additionally, the new product type has even more flexibility in use. For instance, the EXmatic 470 control now allows up to three different media valves to be connected, meaning the user can make use of a larger selection of possible cleaning solutions e.g. in the event of stubborn soiling.

@PresseBox #Exner #PAuto 

Friday 20 November 2020


Now that drones are being used more, either experimentally or more generally, in delivery services and other applications we thought this item might be of interest to our visitors.

IDTechEx’s recent market research report on Drones and their associated technologies predicts the drone market to be over $22Bn (€19bn) by 2041. The report “Drone Market and Industries 2021-2041” covers the key areas of the drone environment, such as the hardware, software and sensors which are critical to drone use cases and adoption. This article discusses the key areas of the drone market and drone design.

What are the main use cases for drones in 2030, 2040?
Who are the major players in the drone market?
What are the key drivers for market growth?
What is the projected revenue for the drones market from 2020 onwards?
What is the drone market segmentation?
What is the drone segmentation between consumer and commercial drones?
Drones have, once again, opened up the possibility of experimenting with the aerodynamic design of flying objects. The aircraft industry itself spent decades experimenting with the design of aircraft, both in civilian and military applications. Indeed, numerous technologies failed and some succeeded before the outlines of the general dominant designs emerged.

Drones have also represented an opportunity for novel designs: they are light-weight, battery-powered, and electrically-propelled. All these components can be arranged in many new novel ways, which in the past few years led to an explosion of designs. This report provides you with the insight and understanding to make insightful decisions about this key market area.

Different drones have different applications. Rotary drones are typically more efficient designs for smaller drone sizes. This is due to their design. With four fixed-pitch props, there are few moving parts and this reduces the cost of the drone. However, this design does not scale up very well.

Quadcopters require a stabilization for each of their motors in order to fly. In order for the drone to stay stable in the air, it needs to individually adjust the thrust in each of its props. As a quadcopter requires its motors to speed up or slow down to adjust the thrust, there needs to be a built-in time delay to how fast the drone can react, as it takes time to change the speed of the prop due to its inertia. So scaling the drone up to a larger size does not work, because the larger the propeller, the more energy it takes to change its speed. This either needs a drastic oversize of each motor, which would increase the weight, or have a slow dynamic response, which would impact handling.

As a result of this, fixed wing drones are typically used for longer distances, where less dynamic handling is required. Use cases include surveying or mapping, where the drone can follow a fixed path and map a large area whilst remaining in the VLOS of the drone pilot.

With different designs of drones, different use cases are more suited to them. The report provides  insight into the different applications for drone technologies. The use cases of agricultural, search and rescue, mapping and localization, delivery, and consumer drones are considered and analyzed with forecasts for both 2021-2031 and 2031-2041. It provides an understanding in each of these use case areas and their market predictions for the next two decades. 

One key area of importance is regulations for different use cases. For example, there are restrictions over where the drone can fly. It cannot fly in built-up areas, around airports (up to 5km) away, and similar urban situations. This limits applications such as drone delivery, as the drones will only be able to deliver to rural locations. Furthermore, privacy restrictions do not permit recordings over private property in some countries. This limits the use cases in delivery or infrastructure management for a domestic setting. The report covers the different country restrictions for drones, and summarizes the impact of these on the drone market in the future.

Drones sales revenue. Source: IDTechEx


Air quality data and connectivity and information recogntion.

South Coast Science has been shortlisted in the Information, Data and Connectivity category for its partnership with Ricardo Energy & Environment.  

The company operates on the principle that air quality data must be validated in the field, not in the lab. Validation in the field requires more research time and expertise than a lab-based exercise, therefore it’s tempting to sidestep extensive field testing. Which begs the question - is it really such a big deal how the data is validated? 
In short, yes! Consumer confidence and the future of the industry depends on it. Low-cost air quality monitoring is a nascent industry and to really gain confidence in the market and therefore traction, the quality of the data output must be assured. Instruments must produce data proven to be accurate, repeatable and reliable across a wide range of environmental conditions. 

Air quality can be a contentious issue, therefore confidence in the data must be high and (crucially!) visible to all stakeholders to engage a local community, drive behaviour change and support effective decision making in a commercial environment.

The clear need for validation with field data doesn’t, however, reduce the scale of such an undertaking. This is where partnership with global engineering and environmental consultancy Ricardo has played a key role in developing robust data.

South Coast Science follows this open approach to product development. It’s a pragmatic response to the need for transparency to build trust in the market. It also makes sense to collaborate with an independent expert to test and validate (relatively) new technology and it pays dividends in understanding customer requirements, dividing the effort and sharing the rewards.

The rewards of the collaboration so far? A repeatable and field-tested validation algorithm. Customers using Praxis devices have access to raw sensor values, as well as the corrected data. They can be confident of the results returned by using an error correction model tested in locations worldwide and verified by experts in their field. 

This ongoing validation work puts South Coast Science’s devices in an excellent position to lead the way in preparation for upcoming air quality standards. This would have been impossible to achieve without an ongoing collaboration with Ricardo, Alphasense and others like the United Nations Environment Programme.  Openness truly is the key to innovation and the support from organisations like ‘The Engineer Magazine’ through the Collaborate to Innovate Awards underscores this point.

#southcoastscience #Environment #Pauto @RicardoMedia

Collaborative robots.

Collaborative robots that can be flexibly applied to a small-volume but large-variety production line, focus on human-robot collaboration and facilitate smart manufacturing are emerging.

Compared to other industries, the level of automation in the automotive industry is much higher. The latest report from Kenneth Research predicts that the shipment and sales revenue brought by collaborative robots in the automotive industry will increase by 43% every year by 2022.

A well-known Japanese car manufacturer adopts Techman Robot to process the final quality check of all detailed assembly inspections. Techman Robot helped the customer to install the “next generation smart inspection system” utilizing a customized stand including‍ four Techman collaborative robots. Besides the built-in smart vision, 36 external front and rear cameras were also installed. Moreover, each collaborative robot is equipped with three types of lenses, including short, middle and long. The Japanese car manufacturer mentioned that among their global production lines, this is the only one using the automated optical inspection (AOI) system and AI smart inspection solution. The ceiling-mounted arm can move inside/outside the car elastically to inspect items including wipers, horn, seats, seat belts, steering wheel, dashboard, center console, remote control, fog lamps, and stickers, etc. All inspection data can be photographed and saved to enable quality traceability as well as guarantee the outgoing quality.

The leading Japanese car manufacturer commented that TMflow, the innovative and user-friendly interface of Techman Robot, allows the well-trained insider to quickly program based on different car types or demands without asking the system integrator to come to the factory, and thus achieves a significant reduction of time, manpower and cost. Meanwhile, the built-in smart vision allows the customer to record all inspection data more efficiently to improve quality and implement data archiving and traceability which cannot be realized by manual inspection.

Since 2018, Techman Robot has become an officially approved supplier of “Continental,” another world-famous manufacturer in the automotive industry, and started to improve the automated process in its signature factory located in Budapest, (HU). This factory mainly produces telematics control units (TCU) for car manufacturers. Techman Robot not only optimized the pick and place application, but also enabled the customer to save the cost of installing a third party camera with the built-in smart vision. Moreover, the customer could also swiftly copy the program to different stations through “TM Landmark” to significantly reduce the time of training a collaborative robot to recognize the position and object. The “Plug and Play” gripper can run tests quickly to reflect the project performance in time. Techman robot, with the built-in smart vision, is the best choice to meet the smart manufacturing demand of highly flexible production in the automotive industry.

@techmanrobot @mepaxIntpr #Robotics #Automotive #PAuto

Design build distinction awarded.

The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) has named Water Design-Build Council (WDBC) Executive Director Mark Alpert, PE, as one of the five industry leaders chosen for the 2020 Class of DBIA Fellows. Designated Design-Build Professional™ Fellow status is the highest level of DBIA certification and acknowledges the achievements of the nation’s most accomplished design-build professionals.

Mark Alpert
Jim Whitaker, FAIA, FDBIA, and Chancellor of the DBIA College of Fellows explains, “Design-build is the fastest growing and most popular delivery method in our nation’s architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry. Much of that success is driven by the incredible leadership of design-build innovators like those elevated to the DBIA College of Fellows. The addition of these five new DBIA Fellows in 2020 is just one indicator of the depth of experience and passion for collaboration which drives design-build’s success nationwide. Congratulations to Mark Alpert, Jeff Gagne, Marty Hedlund, Mark Shambaugh, and Phil Sheridan. I look forward to your contributions to the DBIA College of Fellows…”

For more than 40 years, Mark Alpert has been a pioneer in the development of collaborative project delivery for water and wastewater projects. Even before the term “design-build” was commonly recognized, Mark was focusing on cost-effective design and construction, which led to the formalization of design-build and other collaborative-delivery methods.

DBIA Fellows must meet the following requirements:
· At least 10 continuous years as a Designated Design-Build Professional™, as well as 10 continuous years of membership in DBIA
· Notable career contributions to the design-build profession
· Notable contributions to DBIA organization
· Election by the Jury of Fellows
· Continuous DBIA membership
As a former senior vice president of design-build for CH2M HILL (now Jacobs), Mark directly influenced the successful development and delivery of more than 75 design-build projects. He has been an active member of the DBIA since 1995 and has served on the board of the WDBC since its inception in 2006 and as its executive director since 2014. In 2009 Mark was given the Brunelleschi Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest award given by DBIA.

In addition to his WDBC position, Mark serves as president of Integrated Delivery Solutions, a company providing advisory services to public and private sector owners for engineering, architecture, construction, and technology matters. He is a member of the Water Environment Federation, the American Water Works Association, and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Elevation to Fellow status celebrates individual career achievements and promotes DBIA principles through the DBIA College of Fellows. DBIA Fellow status is limited to 2% of Designated Design-Build Professionals, each of whom are elected to Fellowship by a jury of their peers. 

@DBIAnational @H2ODesignBuild #PAuto #Water #USA

Thursday 19 November 2020

Wearable connectivity .

Fischer Connectors is enhancing the integration capability of its versatile plug & use Fischer Freedom™ Series. The product line has been extended with new products and accessories allowing design engineers to further optimize cable management in line with their SWaP (size, weight and power) requirements, and integrate low-profile connectors, cable assemblies and active devices easily into all sorts of materials, even the most flexible of fabrics.

The ruggedsewing junction of the new Fischer Freedom™ Quick Detach System allows to easily convert flexible material into a potential panel, e.g., heavy duty tarp cover/tent, sail, vehicle tire blankets, smart backpacks. The system’s adapter and retaining ring facilitate the quick fit and interchange of receptacles.

The new Fischer Freedom™ cabled receptacle in size 08 is a smaller version of the receptacle introduced to the market last year. With a metal housing, four signal and power contact tracks, IP68 sealing and EMI shielding, this new cabled receptacle is ready to use under any conditions, easy to integrate into garments or mount on panels, and quick to fit and remove.

Easy integration: two recent applications: 
The multiple award-winning Fischer Freedom™ technology platform enables design engineers to integrate more technology and functionality into fixed, portable or wearable devices and ecosystems in markets such as: defense & security, medical, instrumentation, industrial and civil engineering, robotics, wearables, the Internet of Things (IoT). 

The two following applications recently introduced to the defense and industrial markets show how the unique features of Fischer Freedom™ – easy 360° mating, easy cleaning, easy integration thanks to low-profile design and ergonomics – benefit OEM integrators.

Wearin’s connected vest (Platinum 2020 Technology Innovators Award) is a centralized, integrated connectivity system featuring six Fischer Freedom™ 7-contact receptacles fitted using the new Quick Detach System. VRaktion’s design engineers have integrated a Fischer Freedom™ 4-contact receptacle in plastic into a smart work shoe using an obstacle warning system with laser sensors.

@FischerConnect @VRaktion @mepaxintPR #Pauto #Connectors #Safety #IoT

High performance probe for strict humidity monitoring and control.

The new HMP1 probe from Vaisala, provides the best performance for measurements in critical production and storage facilities as well as in locations such as data centers where measurement accuracy, easy maintenance, and robustness are crucial.

“We are very excited about the news! The HMP1 and software launch together sum up our ambitions perfectly: Helping our customers across industries to optimize their processes for better results by building on our very strong technology base, and to provide industry’s most reliable solutions to measurement challenges in demanding applications,” comments Vaisala’s Product Manager Jarkko Ruonala.

Vaisala, a global leader in weather, environmental, and industrial measurements, has today introduced a new HUMICAP® Humidity and Temperature Probe HMP1. With its top-of-the-line accuracy and sensor purge functionality that ensures excellent stability over time, the HMP1 is an ideal choice for demanding humidity measurements in environments such as pharmaceutical facilities, data centers, cleanrooms, or any other environments that require strict humidity monitoring and control. 

The product features the recognized and space-proof HUMICAP® sensor technology, which is known to endure demanding conditions. 

The HMP1 complements the Indigo product family, which is a premium solution for multi-parameter measurements with flexible connectivity. The modular product family consists of interchangeable smart probes, transmitters, and Vaisala Insight PC Software, which together create a strong chain of data to ensure energy efficiency, safety, and end-product quality. 

The probe is compatible with any Vaisala Indigo series transmitter. The possibility to detach the probe from the transmitter allows efficient maintenance and calibration. With the Indigo200 series transmitter the HMP1 probe forms a single wall-mounted unit with no probe cable or probe holder needed. The robust Indigo520 transmitter offers installation flexibility and allows optimal positioning of the probe. It also enables dual-probe installations for extended parameter monitoring or extreme accuracy.  

The unique combination of measurement performance, easy maintenance, and the extensive range of additional features in the Indigo transmitter series creates a premium solution for wall-mounted humidity and temperature measurements in demanding applications.

The HMP1 can also be used as a standalone wall-mounted transmitter over Modbus RTU serial bus. Whether the HMP1 is used as a standalone unit or with an Indigo transmitter, it can be connected to the complimentary Vaisala Insight PC Software for easy field calibration, probe configuration, and device analytics.

Software update for the Indigo520 transmitter: In addition to the product launch, Vaisala has also announced a software update for the Indigo520 transmitter that includes temperature compensation. Together with the Indigo-compatible humidity and temperature probe HMP7 and the temperature probe TMP1, it now also delivers accurate and reliable relative humidity data in condensing environments such as test chambers or fuel cells, where traditional instruments fall short.

@VaisalaGroup #PAuto #Environment #HVAC

Swiss army knife for CAN.

The Ixxat® CANnector, a flexible solution for logging, bridging and extending CAN networks has been introduced by HMS Networks. Complementing the existing CAN@net NT and CANbridge NT series, CANnector offers additional interfaces and functions, as well as data logging functionality. Since it is compatible with CAN@net NT and CANbridge NT, CANnector enables easy expansion of existing installations.

Like CAN@net and CANbridge NT, CANnector is a stand-alone device, which means that no PC is needed. In addition to a generic CANnector, three preconfigured versions are offered:

  • CANnector Range – For simple CAN(FD) range extension via Ethernet or as a CAN interface connected to the PC via Ethernet.
  • CANnector Bridge – CAN(FD) bridge/gateway, frame or signal based and with func-tions, like e.g. online floating-point data manipulation for all bus systems.
  • CANnector Log – Data logger with trigger and ring buffer as well as low-power sleep mode with wake-up on CAN(FD), for logging frame or signal based CAN(FD) data.

After unpacking and connecting, all three versions can be used directly. As the base hardware is the same, and the different functions of CANnector are provided by loadable configurations, all CANnectors can be reconfigured to include the functionality of choice.

A powerful Linux platform allows CANnector to execute complex applications and data manipulations directly on the device. The support of bus description files also enables operation on signal level.

By using "Wake-up on CAN" and the possibility to switch off the TX function on the CAN buses, the device can be used in applications which are sensitive to power and safety.

CANnector is available in different hardware versions, which differ only in the number of supported interfaces. The maximum number of interfaces is eight CAN(FD), two LIN, two Digital IO and one EtherCAT slave interface as well as Ethernet and USB. The EtherCAT slave interface is implemented using an Anybus® CompactCom technology from HMS, allowing future support of other industrial Ethernet protocols as well. USB extensions like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are available as an option.

Ixxat CANnector offers numerous additional functions which enable for example live data visualization and simulation using mobile devices (smartphone or tablet) via Wi-Fi, or cloud connectivity via OPC-UA, MQTT or via HMS Hub™ - HMS’ own solution for industrial data connectivity.Using the EtherCAT slave interface, CANnector enables a direct connection of CAN(FD)-based networks to industrial Ethernet networks or a PLC. All functions can be executed in parallel on the CANnector device, so that e.g. logging of data can be executed in parallel to CAN(FD) bridging and data visualization on mobile devices.

HMS provides a free Windows tool which enables easy configuration of CANnector, in which the "connections" between source and target are established using a Drag and Drop concept. CAN(FD) bus descriptions can optionally be imported for configuration. The standard range of functions can be extended using the integrated development and debug environment and own C-user code or Matlab/Simulink models, which can be executed directly on the device.

@HMSIxxat @hmsnetworks @mepaxIntPR @CANopen #Pauto

Camera is particularly affordable, particularly compact and particularly powerful .

The new uEye XLE camera family from IDS has been specially developed for high-volume and price-sensitive projects. "It is particularly affordable, particularly compact and particularly powerful when the essentials matter," said a spokesman. Thanks to their space-saving design, practical USB3 interface and support of the USB3 Vision Standard, the industrial cameras can be easily integrated into any machine vision system. Customers can choose between single-board cameras with or without C-/CS-mount or S-mount as well as variants with coated plastic housing. The first models will be equipped with the light-sensitive 5 MP sensor ON Semiconductor AR0521.

There are almost no limits to the possible applications of the new camera family. "It will prove its worth in small appliance construction, measurement technology, transport and even agricultural applications," explains Jürgen Hejna, Product Manager at IDS. 

The cameras also show their strengths in classic industrial applications such as surface inspection. Thanks to their compact dimensions, the models fit into the smallest of spaces, for example as embedded vision solutions. The price-optimised design makes the cameras particularly interesting for applications where costs are the main concern. Therefore, the company also offers a large number of inexpensive lenses for the cameras.

All uEye XLE models feature a USB3 interface (SuperSpeed USB, 5 Gpbs) and are 100 percent GenICam-compliant. The cameras can be used with any software that supports the USB3 Vision Standard. For an optimal user experience, the company recommends the use of IDS peak. The free SDK includes all necessary components from source code samples to transport layer, so that customers can start developing their own applications right away.

@IDS_Imaging #PAuto 

Constant machine condition monitoring.

The new FLIR SV87-KIT Offers a Low Cost, Easy-to-Configure, and 24/7 Remote Vibration and Temperature Sensing Solution

Often before industrial machinery start showing issues that require immediate maintenance, pending problems can be detected through minute vibration changes. Therefore, the first component of effective condition monitoring is a combined remote vibration and temperature sensing monitoring solution.

Manufacturing facilities from paper mills, to food and beverage processors to the oil and gas industry benefit from 24/7 remote condition monitoring of critical infrastructure and machinery. By combining the power of FLIR’s vibration and temperature detection, industries now have a complete solution kit that maximizes production output, improves worker safety, and reduces operational costs.

Vibration detection not only provides early warning to help eliminate maintenance surprises before they happen, it also empowers staff to prioritize and streamline its maintenance schedule to maximize efficiency while reducing down-time. However, traditional wired continuous vibration monitoring systems can be expensive, not always up to date, and cumbersome to install.

The FLIR SV87-KIT™, on the other hand, is low cost, easy-to-configure and can install on any surface with wireless connectivity to a Wi-Fi network. This also provides maintenance staff with the ability to track changes in vibration and heat in real time and over time, providing operational insights to predict potentially serious problems before failure.

Available for purchase today, the FLIR SV87-KIT includes four wireless SV87™ Vibration and Temperature Remote Sensors, along with a wireless FLIR GW65™ Gateway for 24/7 continuous monitoring of asset vibration and temperature data. The SV87-KIT is also expandable with options to purchase additional SV87 Remote Sensors or GW65 Gateways.

The data can be transferred to any tablet, smartphone or computer via a Wi-Fi network, and allows the user to visualize trends and receive alerts via an app or email in the event of exceeding a threshold. Configuration of thresholds can be set manually for customized applications or based on common ISO standards. 

The FLIR SV87-KIT is available to purchase globally today through FLIR and authorized FLIR distributors for £834.00 (€845 or $999) with shipments beginning in the fourth quarter 2020. 

@flir @mepaxIntPR #Pauto #Vibration #MachineHealth

Wednesday 18 November 2020

Sensing solutions for Europe.

EBV Elektronik, (an Avnet company) has signed a distribution agreement with ACEINNA, the worldwide leader in the development of innovative Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and current sensing technologies that are essential to next generation cars, robots and other autonomous applications. EBV will offer ACEINNA’s complete range of MEMS based sensing solutions and technologies to its customers.

“With ACIENNA in our linecard of technology manufacturers we have a perfect addition to provide comprehensive solutions for our customers developing autonomous vehicle navigation/guidance and high-performance power supply & management technologies. ACEINNA’s technology solutions support a wide range of automotive, industrial, automation and communication applications, enabling EBV to deliver an even broader range of leading-edge technology solutions to our customers,” said Thomas Staudinger, Senior Vice President Sales & Demand Creation EBV Elektronik.

"This partnership between EBV and ACEINNA is big step forward for the industry," said Dr. Yang Zhao, CEO at ACEINNA. "By working together, we are making it much more efficient and easier for engineering teams to efficiently research, source and obtain the best possible sensing solutions for the design of next generation autonomous vehicles and power management applications."

@EBVElektronik @MEMSsensortech #PAuto #Automotive #Transport

Videoscope for underground utility vaults.

FLIR Systems has announced the FLIR VS290-32™, an industry-first, videoscope that combines thermal imaging and a visible camera specifically designed for safer and more efficient inspections of hard-to-reach underground utility vaults. The VS290-32 is the company’s first industrial-grade, electrical safety-rated, flexible dual-sensor videoscope on a replaceable, two-meter-long camera probe.

“The ruggedized and electrical-safety rated videoscope with MSX will drastically increase the ease of thermal inspections within tight, hard-to-reach places at power generation plants, power distribution systems, manufacturing facilities, and for public safety, and building diagnostics inspections,”
 said Rickard Lindvall, General Manager, Solutions Business at FLIR Systems.

For use in the most demanding environments, the VS290-32 is CAT IV 600 V safety rated for electrical inspections, along with an IP67-rated camera tip and IP54 base unit to protect against dust and water. The device features FLIR Systems’ patented Multi-Spectral Dynamic Imaging (MSX®), which improves image clarity by embossing visual scene details onto full thermal images, providing crucial context to accurately and safely assess and identify potential issues to prevent blackouts and asset failures. A low-profile tip and bright LED work light provides illumination for MSX in dark environments, including under manhole covers or in other tight spaces such as attics, within HVAC systems, and inside machinery.

The VS290-32 features a FLIR Lepton® thermal sensor and offers the option of hot/cold color alarms, or isotherms, to quickly identify areas of concern across a temperature range from -10 to 400 degrees Celsius (14 to 752 degrees Fahrenheit). The device includes a dual battery charger along with lithium ion rechargeable batteries that each provide up to six hours of continuous use.

“Safety is Con Edison’s top priority,” said Andrew Reid, Section Manager for Engineering and Analysis in Distribution Engineering at Con Edison. “This new tool allows our crews to safely, efficiently, and effectively inspect vented manholes and identify potential problems without having to remove the cover or even having to enter the structure. This reduces the physical effort required by our crews, the time it takes to complete an inspection and enhances data collection activities to support our ongoing infrastructure planning and maintenance.”

@flir @ConEdison @mepaxIntPR #PAuto #Power 

RFID readers.

The new KW2D series of smart radio frequency identification (RFID) readers has been launched by IDEC Corporation. These intelligent RFID readers are designed for easy installation into the typical 22mm panel-mount holes used with machinery, are readily integrated with automation systems, and enable OEMs and end users to easily apply advanced authentication and authorization measures.

Industrial-Grade Identification and Authentication

Authenticating users and authorizing them to perform actions and equipment control is fundamental to maintaining safety and security for any operation. Access management also provides traceability for regulatory and analytical purposes. RFID cards and tags are simple and inexpensive to manage, secure, contactless, and robust for industrial environments—while providing flexible ways to configure, manage, and modify privileges. These benefits overcome the problems with other traditional or complex methods such as key switches, magnetic strip cards, passwords, and biometrics.

Built for the Field
The IDEC KW2D series RFID readers are compact UL listed all-in-one devices installed into typical 22mm panel-mount holes right along with other switches, buttons, and lights. They maintain IP65/67 water-, dust-, and oil-proof ratings, and feature push-in power supply terminals. A built-in Ethernet port facilitates easy connectivity to host devices like PLCs and HMIs using Modbus TCP. Three-color white/green/red LED lighting is clearly visible from the front and sides—even at a distance—to indicate standby, successful verification, or error respectively, while a built-in auxiliary buzzer provides audible feedback of successful and error conditions.

Users can mix-and-match various RFID tag formats: commercial-style cards, wristbands, stickers, and IDEC-supplied color-coded key fob or card-style tags. The key fob tags are available in five colors, are durable for field conditions, and include enhanced encryption compared with other tag types.

RFID Benefits
RFID tags are low cost and passive, responding to a short-range radio signal generated by the RFID reader when the two are in close proximity. The KW2D operates at standard 13.56 MHz high-frequency (HF) providing a reading distance of up to 15mm depending on the tag style. Several ISO/IEC communication speeds (type V, A, or F) are supported.

IDEC provides the Windows-based RFID configuration software tool free of charge, so users can set up the reader IP address, Modbus TCP server details, tag information, and passwords. Users can take advantage of default authorization levels, or they can customize up to 500 tags with up to 255 authority levels. Configurations can be quickly modified, and lost tags can simply be blocked.

Safe and Secure Applications
RFID systems are useful for machine tools, material handling, and manufacturing machinery for industries like automotive production, food and beverage, life sciences, plastics, and others. Designers can use the IDEC KW2D RFID reader and tags to supersede traditional locking methods, providing advanced user level access and safety-related authorization. Traceability is established with RFID-sourced timestamped logs detailing operator activities and operations. RFID tags help end users improve productivity in a convenient and cost-effective manner, maximizing safe and secure operation of equipment.


Tuesday 17 November 2020

Taking a selfie on Mars with Perseverance!

On July 30th, NASA successfully launched their Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission, scheduled to land on the Red Planet on February 18th, 2021. The primary mission is to search for signs of ancient microscopic life and collect the first ever Martian soil samples to bring back to Earth. But the NASA team is also preparing this trip for another first: footage of a spacecraft landing on another planet. For the first-ever filming of a spacecraft landing, the engineers included 6 FLIR RGB machine vision cameras.

Perseverance mission on its way!

Previous Mars missions have taken still photos of the planetary descent, but no landing has ever been filmed. While everything about a space mission takes expert engineering, landing the rover is an especially high-stakes endeavor. The entire process of entry, descent, and landing takes only 7 minutes, during which a wrong move can leave the whole mission in flames.

Position of camera on spacecraft (Pic:NASA)
6 FLIR CMOS cameras will be taking high-definition video of the spacecraft during entry, descent, and landing activity (EDL, i.e. the “7 minutes of terror”). The cameras used for the Mars mission are from the FLIR Chameleon3 family, and include five 1.3-megapixel CMOS cameras and one 3.2-megapixel USB camera. Most people know FLIR for thermal imaging, but the Chameleon3 cameras are examples of our range of leading edge non-thermal industrial machine vision cameras.

Here’s how the landing (and filming) will go. Before entering the Martian atmosphere, the Perseverance will disconnect from the rocket stage, protected by a two-piece shell containing a parachute and a heat shield.

About 7 miles from the surface, the parachute will deploy (video). Just before this point, three parachute up-looking cameras will begin recording, capturing footage of the parachute inflating supersonically. 

Five miles off the ground, the heat shield will drop off and expose the rover down-look camera, which will start recording the rover’s progress as it’s lowered from the descent stage.

Then the rover will drop away from the back shell (and parachute). From there its descent will be managed by a rocket-powered descent stage called the “SkyCrane.” Another down-looking camera as well as an up-looking camera will start recording, and capture the moment the rover touches down on the surface and begins its historic mission.

The Curiosity rover had a similar ELD.

The 4 parachute and descent stage cameras will be jettisoned with the back shell and descent stage. The up and down-looking cameras on the rover will remain attached, but engineers don’t expect them to survive too long in the harsh temperature extremes of Mars (they were designed for life on Earth, sorry NASA!). But by that time, the unprecedented footage of spacecraft landing will have already been captured.

Though the cameras may not have been designed for operations in space, FLIR's dedication to quality on both camera manufacturing and process control gave NASA confidence that any samples they evaluated would be representative of the units which were actually flown. FLIR machine vision cameras are designed and tested to work 24/7 in challenging industrial situations, but we have never had the opportunity to test in scenarios with no gravity and temperatures of absolute zero. Thanks to NASA for providing the extraterrestrial test!

Getting the landing footage back to Earth might take several weeks. NASA expects to record about 25,000 images in total at frame rates ranging from 12 to 75 images per second, in a format similar to cell phone footage. Once it arrives, we will be able to watch the very first real footage of a spacecraft landing on Mars.

 This is what the descent should look like

@flir @NASAPersevere @mepaxIntPR #Aastronautics #camera

Looking at the first pictures after landing! (18 Feb 2021)