Electrical/Electronics

High-Speed Switched Serial Fabrics Improve System Design

Recently updated, this handbook reviews the development of switched gigabit serial fabrics to enhance the VMEbus and PMC mezzanines; the role of FPGAs in implementing this technology; and, finally, how some of the latest VXS, XMC, OpenVPX, PCIe, and AMC products can be used in high-speed data acquisition, recording, and software radio systems.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers

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Performance Characteristics of Digital Frequency Discriminators

Digital frequency discriminators are key components of instantaneous frequency measurement (IFM) receiver systems as well as many other complex electronic warfare (EW) systems. However, to obtain optimum results it is essential to match DFD performance levels to a specific application. DFDs are integral components of IFM receiver systems; they may also be imbedded into a wide range of military systems such as radar warning receivers (RWRs), electronic countermeasures (ECM) systems, and electronic support measures (ESM) platforms, where they help provide instantaneous frequency measurement capability.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, White Papers, White Papers

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Ultra-High-Power W-Band/F-Band Schottky Diode-Based Frequency Multipliers

These multipliers can be used in millimeter-wave radars or radiometers in national security applications such as standoff personnel screening, mass transit security, and perimeter intrusion. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California All-solid-state, room-temperature, multipixel, sub milli meter-wave re ceiv ers are in demand for efficient spatial mapping of a planet’s atmosphere composition and wind velocities for future NASA missions to Venus, Jupiter, and its moons. Roomtemperature operation based on Schottky diode technology is a must in order to avoid cryogenic cooling and enable long-term missions. This technology is also being successfully applied for very-high-resolution imaging radars for standoff detection of concealed weapons. For submillimeter-wave radar imaging, the main issue is that, in order to reach video frame rates with high image pixel density, multi-pixel focal plane transceiver arrays are needed to illuminate targets with many radar beams simultaneously.

Posted in: Briefs

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FPGA Reconfiguration with Accelerated Bitstream Relocation

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland Partial bitstream relocation (PBR) on field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) is a technique to re-scale parallelism of accelerator architectures at run time and enhance fault tolerance. PBR techniques have focused on reading inactive bitstreams stored in memory, on-chip or off-chip, whose contents are generated for a specific partial reconfiguration region (PRR) and modified on demand for configuration into a PRR at a different location.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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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

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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. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California 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

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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, Electronics

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