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Methods for Mitigating Space Radiation Effects, Fault Detection and Correction, and Processing Sensor Data

A combination of three innovations enables increased efficiency, stability, and flexibility of data management and systems functionality. The Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) architecture being developed for space applications requires that sensor data be autonomously sampled and transmitted to the system network. This transmission needs to occur on a predetermined, fixed schedule to avoid conflicts on the network. It needs to be capable of building packets of sensor data for individual application partitions (i.e., environmental control, propulsion, and vehicle management). It must be easily configured for flexibility in system scheduling.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Briefs

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Quad First Stage Processor: A Four-Channel Digitizer and Digital Beam-Forming Processor

A 4-channel digitizer was designed, built, and tested. The very large, complex board enables SweepSAR. The proposed Deformation, Eco-Systems, and Dynamics of Ice Radar (DESDynl-R) Lband SAR instrument employs multiple digital channels to optimize resolution while keeping a large swath on a single pass. High-speed digitization with very fine synchronization and digital beam forming are necessary in order to facilitate this new technique.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Briefs

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Compact Ka-Band Antenna Feed with Double Circularly Polarized Capability

This design could be used for the feed component in highgain antennas. NASA has an interest in utilizing the Ka-band frequency allocation. One of the main reasons for migrating to Kaband is the need for higher frequency bandwidth to enable higher data rates. A dual circular polarized wideband antenna for Ka-band communications applications was designed leveraging a novel Ka-band polarizer design used in Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter/Solar Dynamics Observatory (LRO/SDO). The proposed design merges two components (polarizer and antenna) into one unit, reducing its overall size. Its simulated bandwidth extends beyond the allocated bandwidth for NASA at Ka-band. This novel design could be used as well for the feed component in high-gain antennas (HGAs).

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Briefs

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StarVX - A Generic Scalable Computer Architecture

Kontron’s StarVX™ is a High Performance Embedded Computer (HPEC) system that brings supercomputing I/O bandwidth and performance, previously only achieved in IT datacenters, to the harsh environments.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, White Papers

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When Wire Feedthroughs Make Sense

Engineers who work with pressure and vacuum chambers usually reach for off-the-shelf sealed bulkhead connectors when they need to pass power and signal wires through the chamber wall. And while these connectors may seem like the best or only way to breach the chamber walls, they can actually drive cost, impose unnecessary mechanical design constraints and trigger electrical problems. So what’s the alternative? Wire feedthroughs hermetically sealed with epoxy.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, White Papers

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Reworked CCGA-624 Interconnect Package Reliability for Extreme Thermal Environments

The effect of the number of reworks is examined on the reliability of this technology for harsh, extreme thermal environments. During the past two decades, large, high-density, high-input/output (I/O) electronic interconnect SMT (surface mount technology) packages such as ceramic column grid arrays (CCGAs) have increased usage in avionics hardware of NASA projects. The test boards built with CCGA packages are expensive and often require rework to replace reflowed, reprogrammed, failed, or redesigned CCGA packages. Theoretically, a good rework process should have a similar temperature- time profile as that used for the original manufacturing process of solder reflow. A multiple rework process may be implemented with CCGA packaging technology to understand the effect of the number of reworks on the reliability of this technology for harsh, extreme, thermal environments.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Briefs

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Windows CE Development for RISC Computers Made Easy

Windows CE (a.k.a. Windows Embedded Compact), originally released in 1996, can be an attractive alternative to the full Windows operating system offering system designers the ability to control power, size, and cost in a new product. For example, the runtime license cost of the CE operating system alone can save as much as $150 over the license cost for standard Windows.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, White Papers

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