Special Coverage


Single Board Computer

VersaLogic Corp. (Eugene, OR) offers the Sidewinder, a single board computer (SBC) designed to complement their existing EBX product line. The Sidewinder is a reliable fanless design featuring a robust array of onboard I/O functions including 8-channel 12- bit analog input, and 32- channel digital I/O. The RoHS-compliant Sidewinder includes VersaLogic’s proprietary SPX™ expansion interface that allows users to easily add a wide range of low-cost I/O options to the platform.

Posted in: Products


Performing Failure Mode and Effect Analysis

Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) is a methodology for analyzing potential problems early in the product development cycle where it is easier to take action to overcome potential issues, thereby enhancing reliability through design. The tool is used to identify relationships between process and product requirements and the potential for unacceptable outputs and their effects.

Posted in: Application Briefs


Designing COTS Computers for Harsh Environments

The need for commercial off the shelf (COTS) single board computer (SBC) products continues to grow as higher processing, smaller footprints and lower power requirements become more critical. For design engineers in medical, military, industrial, aeronautics and other fields, the desire for reduced size and heat also parallels an additional requirement for fanless operation. In this environment, engineers are constantly faced with the challenge of trading off various aspects of functionality to stay within a particular form factor. Finding COTS products that have all the desired characteristics and are also rated to perform in extreme harsh environments creates an additional challenge. However, there are a number of industrial grade SBC manufacturers who have been successful in designing and manufacturing COTS products specifically for use in harsh environments.

Posted in: Articles


Estimating Mixing Heights Using Microwave Temperature Profiler

A paper describes the Microwave Temperature Profiler (MTP) for making measurements of the planetary boundary layer thermal structure — data necessary for air quality forecasting as the Mixing Layer (ML) height determines the volume in which daytime pollution is primarily concentrated. This is the first time that an airborne temperature profiler has been used to measure the mixing layer height. Normally, this is done using a radar wind profiler, which is both noisy and large.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs


Multiple-Cone Sunshade for a Spaceborne Telescope

A document describes a sunshade assembly for the spaceborne telescope of the Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph mission. During operation, the telescope is aimed at target stars in the semi-hemisphere away from the Earth’s Sun. The observatory rotates about its pointing axis during a single star observation, resulting in relative movement of the Sun. The sunshade assembly protects the telescope against excessive solar-induced thermal distortions for times long enough to complete observations.

Posted in: Physical Sciences, Briefs, TSP


Project Integration Architecture

All information of technological processes can be readily originated, manipulated, shared, propagated to other processes, and viewed by man or machine. The Project Integration Architecture (PIA) is a distributed, object- oriented, conceptual, software framework for the generation, organization, publication, integration, and consumption of all information involved in any complex technological process in a manner that is intelligible to both computers and humans. As used here, “all information” signifies, more specifically, all information that has been or could be coded in digital form. This includes not only experimental data, design data, results of simulations and analyses, organizational and financial data, and the like, but also sets of rules, computer programs, processes, and methods of solution.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs, TSP


Algorithm Optimally Orders Forward-Chaining Inference Rules

Requirements for exhaustive data-flow analysis are relaxed. People typically develop knowledge bases in a somewhat ad hoc manner by incrementally adding rules with no specific organization. This often results in a very inefficient execution of those rules since they are so often order sensitive. This is relevant to tasks like Deep Space Network in that it allows the knowledge base to be incrementally developed and have it automatically ordered for efficiency.

Posted in: Information Sciences, Briefs, TSP


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