GSPS DACs Enable Ultra-Wide Bandwidth Applications

To meet the increasing capacity demand of mobile customers, the emerging E-band market requires wider bandwidth capabilities compared to traditional microwave backhaul wireless architectures. Due to increased capacity, 2-GHz E-band systems will be needed in the near future. This white paper covers the demands of current E-band point-to-point systems, and how Analog Devices’ high-speed digital-to-analog converters (DACs) provide the necessary bandwidth and sampling frequencies to support them.

Posted in: White Papers, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Data Acquisition, Sensors

CMOS-Compatible Ohmic Contact RF MEMS Switch

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas

Radio frequency (RF) microelectromechanical system (MEMS) switches have advantages over their solid-state counterparts. However, ohmic contact MEMS devices face several significant limitations, preventing entry into the mass market. These limitations are cost, reliability, packaging, and integration.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Microelectromechanical devices, Radio equipment, Switches

Miller-Jogging for Synthesizer Lock Algorithm Extension

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) has developed a wide range of CMOS (complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor) phase lock loop (PLL) chips with self-healing/self-calibration capabilities, allowing them to adapt, on the fly, to changes in temperature and other environment parameters. All CMOS PLLs typically have three major settings that self-healing and calibration can adjust: VCO (voltage controlled oscillator) coarse tuning, divider tuning, and CML (current mode logic) tuning. Previous work done at UCLA uses these “knobs” or settings exclusively to self-lock a PLL. Locking criteria is established by monitoring the control voltage with an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) to see if the PLL loop is settled in the middle of the range (locked), or sitting at the ground or supply (unlocked).

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Mathematical models, Semiconductors

Deployable Antenna Circuit Board Material Design and Fabrication Process

This technology has applications in solar arrays for small satellites.

The Integrated Solar Array and Reflectarray (ISARA) antenna requires a rugged circuit board material that will meet the following requirements: (1) remains sufficiently flat over the required operating temperature range with solar cells mounted, and under full solar illumination, including heat dissipation due to ≈30% efficiency solar cells; (2) provides a sufficiently high-quality RF-grade circuit board material needed to print the reflectarray antenna; (3) is sufficiently thin (<2.5 mm) to fit within the available stowage volume; and (4) has low mass density (≈5 kg/m2).

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Antennas, Integrated circuits, Fabrication

Full-Wave Matching Circuit Optimization Shortens Design Iterations

Full-wave matching circuit optimization (FW-MCO) is a new technology introduced by Remcom, which combines full wave 3D EM simulation and circuit optimization to solve an age-old RF problem:determining which component values provide the desired match for a given matching network layout.

Posted in: White Papers, Communications, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Electronics & Computers, Software

Next-Generation Electronics Innovations for NASA’s Space and Commercial Future

In 1964, NASA’s Electronics Research Center (ERC) opened in Massachusetts, serving to develop the space agency’s in-house expertise in electronics during the Apollo era. The center’s accomplishments include development of a high-frequency (30-GHz) oscillator, a miniaturized tunnel-diode transducer, and a transistor more tolerant of space radiation. Another development was in the area of holography. At the ERC, holography was “used for data storage, and has permitted a remarkable degree of data compression in the storing of star patterns.”

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Electronics, Electronic equipment, Product development

How to Avoid PCB Re-spins when IC’s Change or are Obsoleted

Working with printed circuit boards (PCBs) for sophisticated military, aerospace, or medical systems can be a frustrating – and expensive – exercise, particularly when the customer requests “a simple upgrade” or modification after the boards have been made or after deployment. Thanks to Murphy’s Law, these “simple upgrades” are never as simple as they should be. Aries has developed a unique solution that can save you from having to re-spin your PCB due to IC obsolescence or package change.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars, Electronics, Semiconductors & ICs

2015 Create the Future Design Contest: Electronics Category Winner

Real-Time Fiber Optic Sensing System

Lance Richards NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center Edwards, CA “The entire team of researchers who have dedicated years to the development of the FOSS technology is honored to receive this award. Since the beginning of our work, we wanted to create a better sensing system, making structural monitoring more comprehensive and lightweight. As we realized how broadly applicable FOSS was, we were inspired to keep innovating.“

A team at NASA Armstrong has developed fiber optic sensing system (FOSS) technology that represents a major breakthrough in high-speed operational monitoring and sensing. Driven by ultra-efficient algorithms, FOSS can be used to determine, in real time, a variety of critical parameters including strain, shape deformation, temperature, liquid level, and operational loads. This state-of-the-art sensor system delivers reliable measurements in the most demanding environments confronted by aerospace, automotive, and energy sectors. FOSS is ideal for monitoring the structural health of aircraft, buildings, and dams; improving the efficiency of turbines and industrial equipment; and detecting instabilities within tunnels and power plants.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Electronics, Design processes, Fiber optics, Sensors and actuators, Wireless communication systems, Fuel cells, Product development

Reducing Interconnection Weight in Autosports

In Formula 1 and other autosports, weight reduction is critical to competitive advantage. A few grams saved here and a few more saved there can add up to significant savings. There is also a move toward high-density packaging of electronics parts. As the electronics content of cars increases, the natural drive is to miniaturize the package to gain maximum efficiency in the use of space.

Posted in: Articles, Electronic Components, Electronics, Composites, Fiber Optics, Connectors and terminals, Electric cables, Composite materials, Lightweighting, Motorsports

Magnetic Fluids Deliver Better Speaker Sound Quality

NASA’s liquid magnetization technology helps Sony increase sound amplitude while reducing distortion.

In the early 1960s, NASA scientists were trying to move fuel into an engine without the benefit of gravity. A scientist at Lewis Research Center (now Glenn Research Center) came up with the idea to magnetize the liquid with extremely fine particles of iron oxide. That way, fuel could be drawn into the engine using magnetic force.

Posted in: Articles, Spinoff, Electronics, Joining & Assembly, Seals and gaskets

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