Ethernet-to-HRDL Conversion Design

Dual Ethernet inputs are multiplexed into a single HRDL stream to accommodate Ethernet-based ISS instruments.

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

The International Space Station (ISS) uses a fiber optic High Rate Data Link (HRDL) standard for transferring data. ISS experiments, however, may prefer an Ethernet interface. This design allows ISS instruments to keep their Ethernet interface by converting the Ethernet data format into a format compatible with the ISS. The Express Logistics Carrier (ELC) incorporated this design on the ISS in 2010. The design was described with VHDL code. It has been implemented with an Actel RTAX Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). This FPGA is part of the Express Logics Carrier (ELC) onboard the ISS.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Data exchange, Fiber optics, Data exchange, Fiber optics, Spacecraft

Flash LIDAR Emulator

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia

The Flash LIDAR Emulator is a computer system designed to be functionally equivalent to a Flash LIDAR sensor camera. The system has the same hardware interfaces as the sensor, and produces images of comparable quality to the flash LIDAR sensor in real time (30 frames per second). The emulator is then used as a substitute for the LIDAR camera during development and testing of the software algorithms and hardware systems that interface with the camera. The emulator software was custom-developed entirely in-house, and integrates tools and techniques from several computer fields, including parallel processing, ray-tracing, geometric optimization, CPU optimization, CameraLink interfaces, lowlevel networking, and GPU-based general computing. The software was designed to run on an 8-processor Dell workstation with an NVIDIA graphics card to support general-purpose GPU computing, and CameraLink and network interfaces to support the hardware interfaces of the Flash LIDAR camera.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Computer simulation, Lidar, Lidar

Nanotube-Based Device Cooling System

These cooling systems can be used for electronic devices in the computer manufacturing, thermal management, and semiconductor industries.

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are being studied for use in high-strength/lowweight composites and other applications. Recent research on thermal dissipation materials for high-power electronic devices is generating a lot of interest in various industries. Carbon nano tubes have attracted much attention due to their extraordinary mechanical and unique electronic properties. Computer chips have been subjected to higher and higher thermal loads, and it is challenging to find new ways to perform heat dissipation. As a result, heat dissipation demand for computer systems is increasing dramatically.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, Thermal Management, Electronic equipment, Electronic equipment, Thermal management, Thermal management, Cooling, Composite materials, Nanomaterials

Architecture for an Intermediate-Frequency Digital Downconversion and Data Distribution Network

Developed originally for Deep Space Network downlink receivers, applications include high-speed digital receivers for cellular networks.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) is looking to modernize aging downlink receivers for telemetry, tracking, and radio science. It is looking to replace multiple types of custom-built, special-purpose receivers with a unified receiver architecture that can support the various downlink data types. As part of this modernization, it is desired to only digitize the data once and then distribute the data using commercial switching network technology to multiple back-end receiver processing hardware and software. The main problem to be solved is how to distribute efficiently and flexibly high-bandwidth intermediate-frequency (100 to 600 MHz) digitized signals across a signal processing center for use in the DSN.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Antennas, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Data exchange, Switches, Antennas, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Data exchange, Switches

Reliability Assessment of CCGA 1752 Advanced Interconnect Kyocera Packages for Extreme Thermal Environments

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Ceramic Column Grid Array (CCGA) packages have been increasing in use based on advantages such as high interconnect density, very good thermal and electrical performance, compatibility with standard surface-mount packaging assembly processes, etc. These packages are to be used in space applications such as logic and microprocessor functions, telecommunications, flight avionics, and payload electronics. As these packages tend to have less solder joint strain relief than leaded packages, the reliability of CCGA packages is very important for short- and long-term space missions. The assessment of reliability of CCGA 1752 Kyocera packages is of paramount importance to space applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Thermal management, Thermal management, Packaging, Ceramics, Reliability, Reliability

Rittal Hosts President Obama at Germany’s Hannover Fair

"We want to build on the spirit of innovation in the USA," said President Barack Obama in his opening speech at the Hannover Messe trade fair in Germany. Following the official opening, President Obama, accompanied by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, was given a tour of the Rittal Corporation booth. Rittal is the world’s largest enclosure manufacturer and a leader in thermal management of electrical, electronic, and IT equipment.

Posted in: Articles, News, Electronics & Computers, Government, Manufacturing & Prototyping

Magnetic Chips Could Increase Computing’s Energy Efficiency

In a breakthrough for energy-efficient computing, UC Berkeley engineers have shown for the first time that magnetic chips can actually operate at the lowest fundamental energy dissipation theoretically possible under the laws of thermodynamics. This means that dramatic reductions in power consumption are possible — down to as little as one-millionth the amount of energy per operation used by transistors in modern computers.

Posted in: Articles, Electronics & Computers

2D Electronic Devices Could Replace Silicon

Two-dimensional electronic devices could inch closer to their ultimate promise of low power, high efficiency and mechanical flexibility with a processing technique developed at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Posted in: Articles, Electronics & Computers

Smartwatches Can Now Track Your Finger in Mid-Air using sonar

As mobile and wearable devices such as smartwatches grow smaller, it gets tougher for people to interact with screens the size of a matchbook. That could change with a new sonar technology developed by University of Washington computer scientists and electrical engineers that allows you to interact with mobile devices by writing or gesturing on any nearby surface — a tabletop, a sheet of paper or even in mid-air.

Posted in: Articles, Electronics & Computers, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Wireless communication systems, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Wireless communication systems, Human machine interface (HMI), Kinematics, Acoustics, Acoustics

1U CPU Cooler

Specifically designed for use with data storage, high-density, backup, or cloud servers, Jaro's (Boca Raton, FL) new low-profile, 1U CPU cooler (with heat-sink) is perfect for Intel processors that interact with square socket (2011) types. The high-quality coolers come in two sizes, one of which provides a narrow heat-sink solution. Both are popular in small space applications. This new (dual bearing) CPU cooler & heat-sink combination is enhanced by skived, copper fins. As each copper fin is individually attached to the heat-sink, it is able to provide evenly-distributed levels of cooling. The 1U boasts an impressive 70,000 hours of long life, at 40 DegC / 65%.

Posted in: Products, Electronics & Computers

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