Full-Wave Matching Circuit Optimization Shortens Design Iterations

Full-wave matching circuit optimization (FW-MCO) is a new technology introduced by Remcom, which combines full wave 3D EM simulation and circuit optimization to solve an age-old RF problem:determining which component values provide the desired match for a given matching network layout.

Posted in: White Papers, Communications, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Electronics & Computers, Software

Development of a Multi-User Modem for Space Telecommunications

This technology has applications in the cellphone industry.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Efficient support of planetary surface missions typically requires an orbiting asset that acts as a relay point to/from Earth. Orbital relay passes are normally 5 to 15 minutes in duration over any specific landed site. When multiple landed assets are co-located or near-located in the same coverage circle of a single relay orbiter, their telecom relay support opportunities will overlap. This will be the case with cooperative lander missions, a lander-rover operations pair, distributed intelligent lander missions, and future deployment of multiple equipment components for support of complex sample return or manned operations. In these situations, the capability of simultaneous support to multiple landers is very valuable for mission performance and operations flexibility. This technology work enables simultaneous telecom support to multiple landers (Mars, Titan, Europa), and provides single-radio, multi-mode support to Entry, Descent & Landing (EDL) and emergency operations (e.g., demodulation + Open Loop Recording).

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Satellite communications, Telecommunications systems, Spacecraft

Wire Bonding to Pads in Tilted Planes

This technique can be used in industries where devices need to be made smaller and lighter, such as medical, aerospace, automotive, and military.

Scientific imaging arrays need to have their individual imaging elements arranged in a close-spaced mosaic. The typical single imaging element is a silicon chip mounted on a larger support frame. This excess area of the support frame takes away valuable imaging space from the mosaic. This appears as a grid of black (no data) in the overall mosaic image. Making the support frame smaller makes the amount of lost data smaller, and the imaging elements can be spaced more closely together. Eliminating the support frame altogether brings the imaging elements even closer. This is referred to as four-side buttable.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Imaging and visualization

cFE/CFS Evolution for Multicore Platforms

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

This effort ports the Core Flight Executive (cFE)/Core Flight System (CFS) flight software architecture to multicore processor platforms, and provides mission developers with a common, flightready, flexible software environment that supports single, multi-processor, and multicore systems. Currently the cFE/CFS only supports single-core processors.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Avionics, Communication protocols, Computer software and hardware

Hermetic Feedthroughs for Mission-Critical Electronics

Sealed cavities are important in applications such as power electronics for missiles aboard ships or on high-altitude flights; automotive charging stations; and high-voltage power generation.

Douglas Electrical Components, Randolph, New Jersey

One of the most common causes of electronics failure is moisture. Because water and electronics do not mix well, several strategies exist to protect mission-critical components from moisture and condensation. One of the most successful methods involves hermetically sealed electronics cavities enabled by moisture-blocking component assemblies such as hermetic feedthrough technology.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Electronic equipment, Water, Corrosion

Ultra-High-Power W-Band/F-Band Schottky Diode-Based Frequency Multipliers

These multipliers can be used in millimeter-wave radars or radiometers in national security applications such as standoff personnel screening, mass transit security, and perimeter intrusion.

All-solid-state, room-temperature, multipixel, sub milli meter-wave re ceiv ers are in demand for efficient spatial mapping of a planet’s atmosphere composition and wind velocities for future NASA missions to Venus, Jupiter, and its moons. Roomtemperature operation based on Schottky diode technology is a must in order to avoid cryogenic cooling and enable long-term missions. This technology is also being successfully applied for very-high-resolution imaging radars for standoff detection of concealed weapons. For submillimeter-wave radar imaging, the main issue is that, in order to reach video frame rates with high image pixel density, multi-pixel focal plane transceiver arrays are needed to illuminate targets with many radar beams simultaneously.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Amplifiers, Imaging and visualization, Radar

FPGA Reconfiguration with Accelerated Bitstream Relocation

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

Partial bitstream relocation (PBR) on field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) is a technique to re-scale parallelism of accelerator architectures at run time and enhance fault tolerance. PBR techniques have focused on reading inactive bitstreams stored in memory, on-chip or off-chip, whose contents are generated for a specific partial reconfiguration region (PRR) and modified on demand for configuration into a PRR at a different location.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Computer software and hardware, Data exchange

Real-Time LiDAR Signal Processing FPGA Modules

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

A scanning LiDAR, by its inherent nature, generates a great deal of raw digital data. To generate 3D imagery in real time, the data must be processed as quickly as possible. One method of discerning time-of-flight of a laser pulse for a LiDAR application is correlating a Gaussian pulse with a discretely sampled waveform from the LiDAR receiver.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Imaging and visualization, Lidar

Advanced, Ultra-Low-Loss, High-Frequency Package Module

This module could improve performance of radiometers, high-resolution spectrometers, radars, and communication receivers and/or transmitters.

As electronic circuits approach submillimeter wavelength frequencies (300 GHz) and higher, the traditional low-loss method of packaging electronic circuits in waveguide modules for guiding the signal requires more attention. The reasons are that circuits at higher frequencies have lower signal power levels due to limited gain and output power of semiconductor devices. As a result, the power lost by signals in the waveguide propagation environment becomes even more important at higher frequencies. In addition, previous efforts have based higher-frequency waveguide modules on existing lower-frequency module concepts and internal components.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Semiconductor devices, Waveguides

Next-Generation Electronics Innovations for NASA’s Space and Commercial Future

In 1964, NASA’s Electronics Research Center (ERC) opened in Massachusetts, serving to develop the space agency’s in-house expertise in electronics during the Apollo era. The center’s accomplishments include development of a high-frequency (30-GHz) oscillator, a miniaturized tunnel-diode transducer, and a transistor more tolerant of space radiation. Another development was in the area of holography. At the ERC, holography was “used for data storage, and has permitted a remarkable degree of data compression in the storing of star patterns.”

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Electronics, Electronic equipment, Product development

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