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2016 Create the Future Design Contest: Electronics Category Winner

1,000X BETTER DATA COMPRESSION AND REAL-TIME DECODING OF HIGH-RESOLUTION MAPS Shaun McWherter, Mark Skoog, and Jamie Willhite, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA; and Loyd Hook, University of Tulsa, OK “Our team is honored to receive this award. Our improvements to data handling and compression will hopefully go on to save many lives in the future. This award will help garner the attention of potential licensees and build interest in this advancement. We are very grateful to NASA Tech Briefs and the judges for their consideration.” This NASA-developed data-compression technology is capable of encoding massive amounts of data into a package more than 1,000 times smaller than with standard compression, which can transform the use of digital terrain maps (DTMs) in restricted environments such as tablets, smartphones, and embedded systems. Created at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, the software system integrates innovative encoding and decoding algorithms to provide a 5,000:1 compression ratio and rapid/continuous decompression in constrained computing situations. It enables users to access and create customized DTMs from a variety of data sources using a single graphical user interface.

Posted in: Articles, Electronics, Cartography, Computer software and hardware, Imaging and visualization, Data management

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USB Hub

ACCES I/O Products, San Diego, CA, announced the USB-104-IHUB rugged, industrial-strength 4-port isolated USB hub that features Tru-Iso™ signal isolation up to 4kV, temperature operation from -40 to 85 °C, high-retention USB connectors, and an industrial steel enclosure for shock and vibration mitigation. The hub expands the number of USB ports and provides up to 4kV isolation between the host computer and connected USB peripherals.

Posted in: Products, Electronics & Computers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Test & Measurement

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Power Supplies

SL Power Electronics, Ventura, CA, announced the TE240 Series external power supplies. The single-output models are designed for integration with test and measurement equipment and industrial applications. Features include up to 240 Watts of DC power, electrolytic capacitors, and industrial levels of EMC per EN61000-4-X for protecting end-use equipment from harsh electrical environments including 8/15kV for ESD and 4kV for input surge protection.

Posted in: Products, Power Supplies, Test & Measurement

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Sponge Connectors

Fujipoly® America Corp., Carteret, NJ, offers Fujipoly® Self-Supporting Sponge Connectors for connecting LCD displays to circuit boards. Each connector is made from an electrically conductive Zebra® core that is supported by a low-compression-force silicone sponge on either one or two sides. The soft supports create a larger base width and eliminate the need to install a separate holder. The connector is available in a choice of widths to accommodate LCDs with a minimum glass lip overhang of 0.060"/1.5 mm.

Posted in: Products, Electronics & Computers

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Keylock Switches

APEM, Vista, CA, introduced LK Series keylock switches available in nickel-plated or black overmolded barrel shutter and key. The multi-position switches are available in momentary and maintained functions, and in single or double pole configurations. They feature two-, three-, and four-position locking configuration with positive detent and multiple key-pull locations. They are rated for 4A at 125 VAC or 28 VDC, with a mechanical lifespan of 6,000 cycles at full load.

Posted in: Products, Electronic Components, Mechanical Components

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Antenna Basics

The antenna is the most intrinsic component of all RF systems, yet the principles of antenna design and wave propagation are rarely discussed outside the entry level engineering classes. Rohde & Schwarz has developed an educational white paper on Antenna Basics to reteach the basic principles in a simplified manner.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Aeronautics, Defense, Electronics & Computers, RF & Microwave Electronics

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Researchers Create Smallest Transistor Ever

A research team led by faculty scientist Ali Javey at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has created a transistor with a working 1-nanometer gate — the smallest to date.

Posted in: News, Board-Level Electronics, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, PCs/Portable Computers

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