Electronics & Computers

Fully Configurable Interrupt Controller

The controller is used in a method for authorizing critical effector commands in a space-based integrated modular avionics system. Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas An interrupt is a signal in an interrupt controller (IC) that pulses to indicate an event or error. The IC is responsible for processing multiple internal interrupts and making these interrupts available to a host computer via a data bus or external output pins. Since there exist numerous interrupts, a method must be developed for routing the interrupts to the external output pins.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Software, Briefs

Read More >>

Using a Multicast File Transfer Protocol to Update the Firmware of Multiple Embedded Devices Simultaneously

This method minimizes the amount of time and network bandwidth required to update the firmware in all smart sensor devices. John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida Smart sensors for measuring temperature and pressure have been developed as part of the Advanced Ground Systems Maintenance (AGSM) project. The sensors have flash memory for storing firmware, calibration data, and configuration information. In anticipation of the sensors being installed at multiple locations (possibly numbering in the hundreds) around the Kennedy Space Center, a method was devised to update the firmware of many sensors quickly and easily.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Software, Briefs

Read More >>

Model of Radiation Effects on Electronics (MREE)

Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama An updated software model has been developed for predicting the single-event effect (SEE) rates in circuit designs as they are being designed. This tool will be used for estimating the frequency of the various SEEs, such as logic upsets and circuit latch-up. It may also be used to estimate the total radiation dose effects to microelectronic devices operated in the natural space radiation environment or in ionizing radiation test environments.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Software, Briefs

Read More >>

COVE: A CubeSat Payload Processor

This processor is a reconfigurable FPGA-based electronics payload for advanced data processing applications. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California The COVE (CubeSat Onboard processing Validation Experiment) Payload Processor is JPL’s first on-orbit demonstration with the Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA (field-programmable gate array). The electronics payload is designed to provide a platform for advanced data processing applications while conforming to CubeSat specifications. Measuring 9 × 9.5 × 2 cm, COVE carries the new radiation-hardened Virtex-5 FPGA (V5QV), magnetoresistive RAM (MRAM), and phase-change memory. All data access to/from the payload is facilitated through a shared memory interface via a direct serial peripheral interface (SPI). Multiple configuration options enable COVE to be reconfigured in flight with new FPGA firmware.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Briefs, TSP

Read More >>

Dynamic Range Enhancement of High-Speed Data Acquisition Systems

Reversible non-linear amplitude compression is used. John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio The innovation is a technique to overcome hardware limitations of common high-speed data acquisition systems in order to be able to measure electronic signals with high dynamic range, wide bandwidth, and high frequency.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Briefs, TSP

Read More >>

HALT Technique to Predict the Reliability of Solder Joints in a Shorter Duration

This methodology can reduce product development cycle time for improvements to packaging design qualification. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California The Highly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT) process subjects test articles to accelerated combined environments of thermal, dynamic, voltage, and current to find weak links in a given product design. The technique assesses fatigue reliability of electronic packaging designs used for long-duration deep space missions by testing using a wide temperature range (–150 to +125 °C), and dynamic acceleration range of up to 50g. HALT testing uses repetitive, multiple-axis vibration combined with thermal cycling on test articles to rapidly precipitate workmanship defects, manufacturing defects, and thermal cycling-related weak links in the design. This greatly reduces the product development time by rapidly finding problems and qualifying the packaging design quickly. Test vehicles were built using advanced electronic package designs using the surface mount technology process.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Briefs, TSP

Read More >>

GaN Schottky Diode-Based Frequency Multiplier

New GaN fabrication process has been applied to the design fabrication and tests of frequency doublers and triplers. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California State-of-the-art GaAs Schottky diode technology, which is being used for local oscillators (LOs) in heterodyne receivers and transmitters for radar applications, has limitations in terms of power-handling capabilities. That makes it difficult to generate necessary LO power to drive multi-pixel heterodyne receivers beyond 500 GHz, and to extend the operation frequency of single-pixel receivers beyond 2 THz up to 4.7 THz (63 μm OI line).

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Briefs

Read More >>