Electronics & Computers

Ultra-Wideband, Dual-Polarized, Beam- Steering P-Band Array Antenna

The novel design geometry can be scaled with minor modifications. A dual-polarized, wide-bandwidth (200 MHz for one polarization, 100 MHz for the orthogonal polarization) antenna array at P-band was designed to be driven by NASA’s EcoSAR digital beam former. EcoSAR requires two wide P-band antenna arrays mounted on the wings of an aircraft, each capable of steering its main beam up to 35° off-boresight, allowing the twin radar beams to be steered at angles to the flight path. The science requirements are mainly for dual-polarization capability and a wide bandwidth of operation of up to 200 MHz if possible, but at least 100 MHz with high polarization port isolation and low cross-polarization. The novel design geometry can be scaled with minor modifications up to about four times higher or down to about half the current design frequencies for any application requiring a dual-polarized, wide-bandwidth steerable antenna array.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Briefs, TSP

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Centering a DDR Strobe in the Middle of a Data Packet

The Orion CEV Northstar ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) project required a DDR (double data rate) memory bus driver/receiver (DDR PHY block) to interface with external DDR memory. The DDR interface (JESD79C) is based on a source synchronous strobe (DQS\) that is sent along with each packet of data (DQ). New data is provided concurrently with each edge of strobe and is sent irregularly. In order to capture this data, the strobe needs to be delayed and used to latch the data into a register.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Briefs

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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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