Application Briefs

Embedded Design and Technology Trends in the Military

A presidential election... the continuance or end of deploying troops in Iraq...Phoenix spacecraft landing on Mars...2008 could be an exciting year, so let’s take a moment to look at a few trends that could affect the military embedded Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) market.

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DisplayPort Technology — Heir Apparent to VGA?

For the last 20 years we have connected our monitors to our computer systems having the confidence that upon turn-on, we could surf or create with never a consideration of whether the display would operate satisfactorily. VGA (Video Graphics Adaptor) technology enabled us to do that with CRTs as well as with flat panel displays. Now, however, the viewing benchmarks are being reset, as are system design considerations. There’s a new interface on the horizon called DisplayPort!

Posted in: ptb catchall, Applications, Photonics, Application Briefs

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Vibration Sensors Monitor Engine Health in Latest Space Shuttle Launch

Model 7704M7 vibration sensors Endevco Corp. San Juan Capistrano, CA 949-493-8181 www.endevco.com On August 8, 2007, three Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs) from Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne lifted the space shuttle Endeavor into orbit and on its way to the International Space Station. The three SSMEs were fitted with Advanced Health Management (AHMS) controllers, using Endevco Model 7704M7 vibration sensors, to actively monitor engine health and performance.

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Signal Processing System Supplied For NASA’s SCaN Program

VXS-based satellite communications development system TEK Microsystems Chelmsford, MA 978-244-9200 www.tekmicro.com TEK Microsystems’ first VXS-based satellite communications development system has been ordered by NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH. The system will be used for Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) compatibility test sets as part of NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Program. Responsible for providing communications and navigation services to flight missions, the SCaN Program also supplies terrestrial communication needs.

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Improving Lens Performance With Transmitted Wavefront Error Testing

During design and manufacturing, optical systems and lenses are toleranced and tested to ensure the smallest possible performance error. Matching most optics manufacturing companies’ capabilities, lenses are traditionally toleranced with individual surface specifications — surface power and irregularity, or form, error. These tolerances and the associated tests control performance of a single surface, not the entire lens. Because lens designs are built around transmission characteristics such as spot size and RMS wavefront error, the performance of the entire lens, not the individual surfaces, is the true target. Transmitted wavefront error (TWE), which is the error in transmission of light through a lens, is the true target. For aspheric surfaces, traditional single-surface, three-dimensional surface form metrology is not easy. Aside from testing the true target, it may be easier and faster to make use of TWE for aspheric lenses. Using innovative metrology and developing a feed-forward manufacturing strategy, tolerancing and testing TWE can reduce risk in optical designs, improve performance and reduce cost and lead time.

Posted in: ptb catchall, Applications, Photonics, Application Briefs

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Brake System Development Accelerated With 3D Modeling

Tractair Ltd., based in Brough, UK, designs, manufactures and installs air and hydraulic brake systems for special applications. The company works closely with the design engineers of major international tractor manufacturers and other OEMs to ensure that the braking systems are fully integrated. The company has been closely involved in the development of air brakes for agricultural and other off-road vehicles since 1985 and continues to adapt available technologies to meet the demands of increasing loads and speeds handled by agricultural and construction vehicles, both on and off the highway.

Posted in: Applications, Motion Control, Application Briefs

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Motor System Enables Elevators to Ride Smoothly

Many factors have contributed to the fact that in the past five years, home elevator sales have doubled. These include the aging of the affluent baby-boom generation. In the next five years, an estimated 70 million people will be of retirement age; many of them will be looking at retaining their independence by staying in their own homes and adding features such as elevators to make living more accessible, or moving to customized homes that already include such advantages. According to a Florida State University study, a home elevator can add 10% to the selling price of a home.

Posted in: Applications, Motion Control, Application Briefs

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