Articles

Cool and Green: Vehicle Thermal Management

Air conditioning is a ‘must-have’ for most new cars. But the fluorocarbon refrigerant HFC-134a – the global standard – is one of the ozone-depleting greenhouse gases causing global warming. With these concerns, the European Union has passed regulations phasing out the compound beginning in 2011 and mandating the use of alternatives with less environmental impact.

Posted in: Features, Articles, Greenhouse Gases

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Microinverters Are Launching a Solar Renewable Revolution

Given that solar-photovoltaic (PV) generating technology has been around for decades, one might think its general application in commercial and consumer circles might be a little more pervasive. After all, it is clean, safe, and relatively simple. Ask any expert and it’s likely you’ll get a litany of reasons why it has not gained more general acceptance — implementation costs, tricky installation aspects, long ROI, performance, and reliability are just a few. Fortunately, there is a game-changing technology — microinverters — that is ready to push solar PV’s acceptance and application past many of the current barriers.

Posted in: Articles, Features, Articles

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Jet Propulsion Laboratory

This feature is the first in a series of monthly profiles of NASA’s ten field centers located across the country. Each month, we’ll highlight a NASA center’s unique facilities, capabilities, and areas of research, as well as specific missions and projects underway at each center. If you are interested in partnering with a particular center, or in licensing specific technology, check out the More Information section at the end of each profile for contact information.Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a division of the California Institute of Technology, is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) of NASA. The Laboratory has a wide-ranging charter for solar system exploration, Earth observation, astrophysical research, and technology development. It is located on 176 acres in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains near Pasadena, CA, and employs approximately 5,000 scientists, engineers, and support personnel. JPL also operates and manages NASA’s Deep Space Network, a worldwide system of antennas that communicates with spacecraft and conducts radar and radio astronomy studies.

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Laser Beam vs. Electron Beam Welding Which process works best for what?

Proponents of laser beam welding (LBW) and electron beam (EBW) welding each pronounce the singular praises of their favored technology, but often the best solution for a customer is to use both technologies together. Both processes are well suited to joining components with complex geometries, and capable of meeting the most stringent demands for metallurgical characteristics of the final assembly.

Posted in: Articles, Features, ptb catchall, Photonics

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Using FPGAs to Improve x86 Processor I/O Flexibility

By offering the ability to update application functionality, provide a reconfigurable solution and enable easy design customization, Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology has long been known as a cost-effective design resource. Similarly, x86 processor architectures share many of the same extended ecosystem, installed base, and multi-functionality benefits as FPGAs.

Posted in: Articles, Articles

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Small Form Factor Computing in OpenVPX

The new OpenVPX™ (VITA 65) standard helps military system designers build compatible embedded systems by defining “profiles” to which vendors can adhere when designing boards, and system integrators can use to locate available COTS solutions. The market is seeing a proliferation of 6U VPX boards, which have numerous interconnect pins and are able to support many more simultaneous external connections with a single profile. In comparison, 3U VPX boards have fewer interconnect pins available, resulting in a far wider fragmentation of profile support, since vendors can support fewer external connections with a single 3U card profile. That makes it all the more important for designers of small form factor VPX systems to understand how to effectively use OpenVPX profiles.

Posted in: Articles, Articles

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Stackable Computer Architecture Moves to 3rd Generation

Change is a concept that is well known in the computer industry. Designers and manufacturers alike have embraced this trend in an ongoing race to increase computing power while reducing size, weight, and power and cost (SWaPaC). With the latest round of ultra-low power processors from Intel, VIA, AMD and DMP, stackable computer systems need to adapt as well, especially with respect to I/O, while striking a balance between new and legacy technology.

Posted in: Articles, Articles

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