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How Lean Manufacturing Adds Value to PCB Production

In an earlier paper, we established the importance of Design for Manufacturing (DFM) in today’s PCB manufacturing environment. PCBs designed using those techniques typically experience reduced failure rates, cost less to manufacture, and minimize waste during production.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, White Papers

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Dual-Leadframe Transient Liquid Phase Bonded Power Semiconductor Module Assembly and Bonding Process

This module package and bonding process enable device operation at temperatures exceeding 400 °C. A high-temperature-capable widebandgap semiconductor power module package, coupled with a new high-temperature- capable bonding process (with an optimized assembly and manufacturing process), has been developed that, together, can allow device operation at temperatures exceeding 400 °C, with the potential for higher-temperature operation depending on the semiconductor device characteristics. The semiconductor module is an ultracompact, hybrid power module that uses double leadframes and direct lead-frame-to- chip transient liquid phase (TLP) bonding. The unique advantages include very high current-carrying capability, low package parasitic impedance, low thermomechanical stress at high temperatures, double-side cooling, and modularity for easy system-level integration. The new power module will have a very small form factor with 3 to 5× reduction in size and weight from the prior art, no failure-prone bond wires, and will be capable of operating from 450 to –125 °C.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Semiconductors & ICs, Briefs

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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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