Real-Time LiDAR Signal Processing FPGA Modules

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland A scanning LiDAR, by its inherent nature, generates a great deal of raw digital data. To generate 3D imagery in real time, the data must be processed as quickly as possible. One method of discerning time-of-flight of a laser pulse for a LiDAR application is correlating a Gaussian pulse with a discretely sampled waveform from the LiDAR receiver.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers


Advanced, Ultra-Low-Loss, High-Frequency Package Module

This module could improve performance of radiometers, high-resolution spectrometers, radars, and communication receivers and/or transmitters.As electronic circuits approach submillimeter wavelength frequencies (300 GHz) and higher, the traditional low-loss method of packaging electronic circuits in waveguide modules for guiding the signal requires more attention. The reasons are that circuits at higher frequencies have lower signal power levels due to limited gain and output power of semiconductor devices. As a result, the power lost by signals in the waveguide propagation environment becomes even more important at higher frequencies. In addition, previous efforts have based higher-frequency waveguide modules on existing lower-frequency module concepts and internal components.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers


EADIN Lite Communication Network

DEC is part of the Transformational Tools and Technologies (TTT) project under the Advanced Aeronautics research program. John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio The distributed engine controls (DEC) task seeks to investigate the capabilities of a distributed network for aircraft engine controls. Traditional aircraft engine control systems use analog systems to communicate with sensors and actuators. The ability to upgrade an engine after manufacture, by swapping out sensors or actuators, is limited due to the analog signal component. Digital signals do not have this limitation, and additionally they do not require dedicated cabling, which may decrease engine weight. To understand the interactions between a new digital network and the engine controller, a representative model of the networks is required.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers


Iris DSN-Compatible, CubeSat-Compatible Transponder

RF portions are combined with FPGA processing inherited from prior systems, which opens up a series of new possibilities. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California No CubeSat-compatible, Deep Space Network (DSN)-compatible communications and navigation transponder exists at the time of this reporting. In order for CubeSats and other small spacecraft to go into deep space, a DSN-compatible capability is needed.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronic Components


Cockpit Avionics Upgrade Display Atlas, Generic Display Software, and Electronic Procedure System

This computer training system uses nine screens to mimic avionics controls. Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas Modern avionics permit user interfaces on spacecraft to be performed on computer screens instead of with physical controls. This saves a great deal of weight; however, it presents challenges with representing all the various controls and gauges as well as flight procedures and data on the limited screen real estate available in a practical cockpit.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronic Components


Multi-Frequency, THz Quantum Cascade Laser Source

THz sources are used in receivers for terrestrial commercial applications such as imaging, and space science applications such as sensing and spectroscopy. John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio Interest in the use of THz detectors outside the laboratory for space, atmospheric, and terrestrial applications has grown immensely in the past half-century. Of particular interest in recent years is the development of the quantum cascade laser (QCL) as a THz frequency source.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronic Components


Avionics/Electronics Box Rail Mount System

Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama There is limited space available to install numerous avionics boxes with the caveat that each box is a line replacement unit (LRU). Access to enable the removal of the boxes is limited, and it is critical that no tools and/or loose parts exist to ensure that no damage is done to aft-located components. Boxes are mounted on pallets and secured by captive screws with a tool. Most installation/removal requires two technicians.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers


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