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


Full RF Signal Chains from 0 Hz to 110 GHz

Analog Devices (ADI) has expanded its RF capabilities in the full signal chain, including companion products, in the full bandwidth from 0 Hz to 110 GHz.This white paper provides examples of the wider frequency spectrum covered by ADI, and explains that true DC is important. Off signal chain performance is also critical, and this paper shows how low-noise, high-stability control and power components are important to overall RF signal performance.

Posted in: White Papers, Electronics, Semiconductors & ICs, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Test & Measurement


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


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