Modernizing the EV Battery Test Lab

Closeup of charging cable plugged into a white electric vehicle

Every year, the NI Connect event brings together engineers and business executives from across the globe to discuss the most recent developments in cutting-edge technologies and strategies. At the most recent NI Connect in Munich, NI announced the High Power System-17000, their highest performing EV battery cycler to date. With 150kW of power, the HPS-17000 offers a modular design created to improve scalability, flexibility, and performance.

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How-To: Submitting a RMA Request

Closeup of a green circuit board being repaired

Even the most well maintained systems will encounter issues every now and again. When the unexpected happens, the last thing you want is to jump through hoops to get a repair- which is why Apex Waves is making it even easier to request a return merchandise authorization form. In this post, we will go over how to utilize the new Apex Waves online request form and answer some common questions about the RMA process.

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The Space Tech of Planetary Defense

Rendered graphic of the DART spacecraft in space

On September 26, 2022, NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission successfully collided with the asteroid “Dimorphos”. While this relatively small asteroid does not pose a threat to Earth, it provided the perfect target to test NASA’s ability to steer a spacecraft to contact an asteroid in order to divert it. While DART is the first mission of its kind when it comes to testing full scale planetary defense, it is only a part of NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), which was established in 2016.

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Electronic Color Coding

Cut the red wire!” This is a familiar line to any fan of high-stakes action movies like Lethal Weapon. In the movies, characters hoping to diffuse a bomb before it’s too late are faced with a dilemma- what color wire do they cut? While the answer to that question may depend on the film- the difference in color coded wires has real life consequences. How does a color coded system improve electrical safety? Are all color coding systems still used today? Most importantly- what do all of these different colors mean?

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Are AI Images Real Art?

4 AI generated images showing water at night with glowing green and blue

In August 2022, Jason M. Allen won first place at the Colorado State Fair Fine Arts Competition. The category for his submission was “digital arts/digitally manipulated photography”. Normally this award wouldn’t make national news headlines, but the prize-winning image was controversial in its creation. Allen used the AI image generator Midjourney as the base to create his piece, leading to a divisive debate: are AI images truly art, owned by the artist? Are these AI generators another artistic tool, or are they just the product of randomized computer code?

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The Flexible Functionality of Op-Amps

Picture of 8 black op-amps on a wooden surface

Before the modern digital technology we use in computers today, electronic computations were conducted by utilizing both voltages and currents as representations of numerical values. This process needed circuitry capable of carrying out a wide range of analog signal processing tasks, which led to the use of operational amplifiers (often referred to as op-amps). The engineering concept of negative feedback, which forms the basis of practically all automatic control procedures, holds the key to the utility of these tiny circuits.

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LEGO®, LabVIEW, and Robots- Oh My!

Lego Robot and assorted pieces on a play mat

As one of the largest companies in the world, the bright colors of plastic Lego bricks are a familiar sight to any toy aisle. These interlocking bricks provide an engaging outlet for creativity and innovation, going far beyond playtime and becoming a valuable asset to classrooms around the globe. Through the robotics kits of Lego Mindstorms®, engineering and programming concepts are taught in a way that actively engages children while also imparting important life skills.

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The Potential of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

As the new school year starts, there are classrooms full of engineering students who do not remember the time before the use of both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth was commonplace. These technologies did not become widely available to the public until the early 2000s, but given their prevalence within everyday life in 2022, it is clear that these short-range communication networks are catalysts for innovation. With so much technological advancement in such a short amount of time, it’s worth asking the question- how did we get here, and what does the future look like?

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The Tech of Electronic Communication

Picture of dark cityscape with arched lights connecting different places

Today’s world is connected now more than ever before in history. Gone are the days of wired telegraphs and telephones, limited to one place. Cellular technology and wireless signals have forever changed how humans interact- both with each other and the world around them. Images, sounds, and written messages can be sent almost instantly across long distances, and information can be searched with the touch of a button. With convenient communication as the new normal, it is easy to take these advancements of electronic communication systems for granted. The truth is, it takes many different technologies working in tandem to make such communication possible.

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Advancing Water Sustainability in Manufacturing

Closeup of a large body of water being churned by waves

Utilizing water in a way that manages the ecological, societal, and economical concerns we are currently facing without jeopardizing our ability to do so in the future is the focus of many in the manufacturing industry. On July 6, 2022, it was announced that the Taiwan-based design and building firm WaterPark Environment Corp. was acquired by Gradiant, a global solutions company and cleantech water provider based in Boston. This merger is expected to help bring advanced manufacturing and semiconductor production even closer to the goal of water sustainability.

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