Compact, Two-Stage, 120-W GaN High-Power Amplifier for SweepSAR Radar Systems

This innovation can be used for geophysical remote sensing radar applications.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Next-generation synthetic aperture radar (SAR) remote sensing platforms utilize new concepts such as the SweepSAR techniques that provide increased swath size, high resolution, rapid global coverage, and subcentimeter interferometry and polarimetry. An L-band SweepSAR mission would use multiple transmit/receive (T/R) channels and digital beamforming to achieve simultaneously high resolution and large swath. One of the key challenges in implementing the SweepSAR concept is the development of space-qualified efficient transmit/receive modules (TRMs) that provide the amplitude and phase stability necessary for repeat pass interferometry.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Amplifiers, Radar
Read More >>

Eliminating Wires in Making Electrical Connections to a Stack of Electron and Ion Optical Components

This technology can be used in environmental monitoring applications that require miniature, robust mass spectrometers.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Making electrical connections inside a vacuum chamber to a stack of electron and ion optical components using the conventional approach of discrete wires is not efficient because: (1) the separate wires must be insulated from each other and the interior structures; (2) the wires must be spot welded or mechanically secured at their end points to the electrical feedthroughs and optical components, both of which are typically bulky and prone to failure in vibration; and (3) the wires are a major source of failure in high-G applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Finite element analysis, Connectors and terminals, Electrical systems, Wiring
Read More >>

Graphene Composite Materials for Supercapacitor Electrodes

Graphene is combined with a metal oxide nanocomposite.

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California

In recent years, electrochemical capacitors, or supercapacitors, have gained the most intense interest as an alternative to traditional energy storage devices such as batteries. The demands of the potential supercapacitor applications range from plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) to backup power sources. While the power density of supercapacitors surpasses that of most batteries, most commercially available batteries have a significantly higher specific energy density than supercapacitors. Electrode composite materials have been developed that combine graphene with a metal oxide nanocomposite of MnO2 and Co3O4.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Energy storage systems, Ultracapacitors and supercapacitors, Composite materials
Read More >>

Integrated, Radiation-Hardened Radio Frequency Digitizer and Signal Processing Electronics

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

Imaging LiDAR systems such as Goddard’s Reconfigurable Solid-state LiDAR (GRSSLi) must collect and process reflected pulses of light in order to correctly assemble a three-dimensional image of the scene. These pulses of light generally range from 2-5 nanoseconds in duration. Consequently, to collect a large number of samples for this short pulse, a high-sample-rate analog to digital converter (ADC) must be used. Other methods such as threshold detection could be used, but generally these detection methods suffer degradation in overall range, measurement accuracy, and precision due to the random nature of return pulse intensity. In addition, scientifically valuable information can be gleaned from the shape of the returned waveform.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Electronic equipment, Imaging and visualization, Sensors and actuators
Read More >>

Hybrid DC Circuit Breaker Based on Cryogenic Technique

This hybrid solution combines mechanical and solid-state technology.

John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio

DC protection systems such as circuit breakers play a key enabling role for the DC power system in applications such as aviation, the power grid, and the like. Conventional electromagnetic circuit breakers are a mature technology. However, the large size and high response time make it unsuitable for an electrical system in aviation that requires fast response time. Compared with a mechanical circuit breaker, the solid-state circuit breaker based on high-power semiconductors can provide a fast response time to make the fault current fully controlled. The on resistance of the semiconductors creates high conduction loss, which leads to low efficiency. Therefore, a hybrid solution that combines both mechanical and solid-state technology is desired.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Electrical systems
Read More >>

Modular Propulsion and Deployment Electronics System

The new approach is flexible enough to quickly accommodate design changes.

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) required an innovative and modular approach to the design and development of the electronics needed to control the propulsion and deployment components, as well as the electronics necessary to support safety inhibits for personnel and range requirements. Since these electronics would be designed in parallel with the systems they would interface with, they would need to be flexible enough to quickly accommodate ongoing design changes.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Design processes, Electronic control systems, Spacecraft
Read More >>

6 Watt DC-DC converters

XP Power (Sunnyvale, CA) has introduced the ITQ series of 6 Watt DC-DC converters. Packaged in a compact SIP 8-pin format, with a footprint measuring just 0.86 x 0.44 x 0.36 inches, the ITQ series delivers a power density of up to 44 Watts per cubic inch and is highly efficient, typically 87%, making it well suited to modern green standard end products. The high efficiency means the ITQ produces less wasted heat and does not require forced airflow or heatsinking for cooling. The fully regulated single and dual output models accept a wide 4:1 input voltage range of 9-36 VDC or 18-75 VDC. Single output models provide standard +3.3, +5, +9, +12, +15, +24 VDC and duals +/-5, +/-12 or +/-15 VDC.

Posted in: Products, Electronics & Computers
Read More >>

Hardening Electronics Against Difficult High-Temperature Environments

This technology provides extended performance for enhanced digital electronics while significantly increasing mean time between failures (MTBF).

Silicon Space Technology (SST), Austin, Texas

A new technology delivers temperature hardening in a number of products at the CMOS process level while increasing overall product reliability and longevity. Providing solutions that operate successfully in extreme temperature applications in the oil and gas, space, automotive, aerospace, and medical industries, as well as broader applications like industrial automation and high-performance computing, is paramount. As a result of the technology, system engineers are able to extend the limits of what’s possible in designing ruggedized and broader electronics for today’s extreme and difficult environments.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Electronic equipment, Hardening
Read More >>

Stacked Capacitor Special Lead Adapter

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

The current installation method for tall, stacked capacitors is very cumbersome because the lead form is very sharp and prone to solder cracking due to thermal cycling. An astringent installation process was developed to obtain the best chance of a successful solder joint with a proper heel fillet so the chance of cracking is minimized.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Finite element analysis, Capacitors, Joining
Read More >>

Nanoscale Vacuum Channel Transistor

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California

This invention presents a nanoscale vacuum tube or vacuum transistor fabricated entirely using current silicon integrated circuit manufacturing techniques. Vacuum is better for electron transport than any semiconductor since there is no electron scattering. In addition, vacuum devices are immune to radiation. Nevertheless, vacuum devices lost out to silicon devices due to ease of large-scale manufacturing, robustness, versatility, and low cost. Here, the best of vacuum and silicon technologies are combined to produce nanoscale vacuum transistors that are amenable to large wafer fabrication and are inexpensive, while providing exceptional performance.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Electronic equipment, Fabrication
Read More >>

The U.S. Government does not endorse any commercial product, process, or activity identified on this web site.