Electrical/Electronics

Software Defined Radio Handbook

Software Defined Radio has revolutionized electronic systems for a variety of applications that include communications, data acquisition and signal processing. Recently updated, this handbook shows how DDCs (Digital Downconverters), the fundamental building block of software radio, can replace legacy analog receiver designs while offering significant performance, density, and cost benefits.

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

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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, Aerospace, Electronics

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Putting FPGAs to Work in Software Radio Systems

Recently updated, this handbook reviews the latest FPGA technology and how it can be put to use in software radio systems. FPGAs offer significant advantages for implementing software radio functions such as digital downconverters and upconverters. These advantages include design flexibility, higher precision processing, lower power, and lower cost.

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

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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, Electronics & Computers

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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, Electronics & Computers

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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, Electronics & Computers

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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, Electronics & Computers

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