Electrical/Electronics

Method for Authorizing Critical Effector Commands in a Space-Based Integrated Modular Avionics System

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas An Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) architecture provides a common platform for software partitions with shared processing and input/output (I/O) resources. A key feature of the IMA architecture is I/O partitioning. An IMA system will prevent one software partition from changing an I/O resource that is owned by another software partition. This prevents one software partition from controlling the outputs of another due to hardware fault or software error. The IMA system must have protection mechanisms in place to enforce the I/O partitioning.

Posted in: Briefs

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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: Briefs

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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: Briefs

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Model of Radiation Effects on Electronics (MREE)

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: Briefs

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Electronic Noses Detect Chemical Warfare Gases

Researchers at the Polytechnic University of Valencia have developed a prototype electronic "nose" for the detection of chemical warfare gases, mainly nerve gas, such as Sarin, Soman, and Tabun.

Posted in: News, Electronics, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors

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Prosthetic Arm Controlled by Imagining a Motion

Controlling a prosthetic arm by just imagining a motion may be possible through the work of Mexican scientists at the Centre for Research and Advanced Studies. First, it is necessary to know if there is a memory pattern in the amputee's brain in order to know how the arm moved. The pattern is then translated to instructions for the prosthesis.

Posted in: News, Electronics, Implants & Prosthetics, Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy

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NASA Tests Robot Swarms for Autonomous Movement

NASA engineers and interns are testing a group of robots and related software that will show whether it's possible for autonomous machines to scurry about an alien world such as the Moon, searching for and gathering resources just as an ant colony does.

Posted in: News, Wireless, Antennas, Machinery & Automation, Robotics

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