Electronics & Computers

Submerged AUV Charging Station

Potential uses include studying ocean climate change, pollution, salinity, and currents. Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) are becoming increasingly important for military surveillance and mine detection. Most AUVs are battery powered and have limited lifetimes of a few days to a few weeks. This greatly limits the distance that AUVs can travel underwater. Using a series of submerged AUV charging stations, AUVs could travel a limited distance to the next charging station, recharge its batteries, and continue to the next charging station, thus traveling great distances in a relatively short time, similar to the Old West “Pony Express.”

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Briefs, TSP

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Using a Commercial Ethernet PHY Device in a Radiation Environment

This work involved placing a commercial Ethernet PHY on its own power boundary, with limited current supply, and providing detection methods to determine when the device is not operating and when it needs either a reset or power-cycle. The device must be radiation- tested and free of destructive latchup errors.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Briefs

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Telematics: An Industry Game-Changer

Telematics is the transmission of machine data to a remote consumer. If that remote consumer is an electronic device rather than a human, the process is called machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The emerging M2M revolution is based on innovations in hardware and software that are converging to form a whole new way of transacting business.

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

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Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detector With Selective Polarization Coupling

Low-noise detector and readout functionality are combined into one device. A conventional low-noise detector requires a technique to both absorb incident power and convert it to an electrical signal at cryogenic temperatures. This innovation combines low-noise detector and readout functionality into one device while maintaining high absorption, controlled polarization sensitivity, and broadband detection capability. The resulting far-infrared detectors can be read out with a simple approach, which is compact and minimizes thermal loading.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Briefs, TSP

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Flexible Microstrip Circuits for Superconducting Electronics

Improved wiring geometry should further reduce the size of the wiring while also reducing the crosstalk among wire pairs. Flexible circuits with superconducting wiring atop polyimide thin films are being studied to connect large numbers of wires between stages in cryogenic apparatus with low heat load. The feasibility of a full microstrip process, consisting of two layers of superconducting material separated by a thin dielectric layer on 5 mil (≈0.13 mm) Kapton sheets, where manageable residual stress remains in the polyimide film after processing, has been demonstrated. The goal is a 2-mil (≈0.051-mm) process using spin-on polyimide to take advantage of the smoother polyimide surface for achieving high-quality metal films. Integration of microstrip wiring with this polyimide film may require high-temperature bakes to relax the stress in the polyimide film between metallization steps.

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

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High-Temperature, Distributed Control Using Custom CMOS ASICs

Integrated circuits capable of operating at elevated temperatures are needed in applications including automotive control, turbine engine control, and downhole well logging systems. Four application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) that provide sensing, actuation, and power conversion capabilities for distributed control in a high-temperature (over 200 °C) environment were developed. The four ASICs are combined with a digital signal processor (DSP) to create a distributed control node. Patented circuit design techniques facilitate fabrication in a conventional 0.5-micron bulk complimentary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) foundry process.

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

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Use of Highly Integrated Components in the Design of Small Gasoline Engine Controllers

Both the vehicle and power-tool small-engine markets can benefit from this circuit topology. As small gasoline engines evolve to use more sophisticated electronic engine controls, new challenges will face the smallengine manufacturers, including constraints in size and cost, as well as having to meet new emission and fuel efficiency standards driven by recent legislation. The rapid miniaturization of electronic components, as a side benefit of the smartphone and tablet market explosion, will help manufacturers meet these challenges, but new system and circuit topologies will also be required.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Briefs

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