Features

Dual-Channel Transceiver

Red Rapids, Richardson, TX, introduced the Model 372 FPGA-configurable dual-channel transceiver that features a dual-channel 16-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) and dual-channel 16-bit digital-to-analog converter (DAC) clocked at 310 MHz. The converters are coupled to a Xilinx Kintex-7 FPGA that is also connected to high-throughput SRAM. The transceiver is available on a single XMC, CCXMC, or PCI Express half-length form factor board. The SRAM interfaces to the FPGA through separate 18-bit read and write ports to achieve a combined 8 Gbytes/sec data transfer rate.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Control Solutions Synchronize Operation of Space Launch System Heavy Transporters

Control panels, embedded PCs, automation software, and servomotors and drives Beckhoff Automation Savage, MN 952-890-0000www.beckhoffautomation.com Large NASA production facilities, such as the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) in New Orleans, are among the largest manufacturing facilities in the world, with more than 1,870,000 square feet of floor space for assembly and manufacturing space that NASA shares with commercial aerospace and U.S. government contractors. A major activity at MAF is the assembly of core stage components for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket program. The most powerful rocket ever built, the SLS will be capable of carrying the highest payload mass in history. When fully assembled, the SLS measures 322 feet high with a launch weight of 5.5 million pounds, and a payload capacity of 77 tons. NASA uses Wheelift® Self-Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMTs), manufactured by Doerfer Companies of Waverly, IA, to move the rocket components.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace

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Anti-Creep Mechanism Enables Ultra-Precise Motor Table Positioning

Motion control is essential for the digitization and automation of high-tech equipment, but bearings remain basic to frictionless movement. Bearing Engineers, a bearing distributor, recently changed its name to Motion Solutions (Aliso Viejo, CA) to better reflect their evolution into a custom designer of motion solutions for high-tech electromechanical systems. Developing custom solutions has lead to developing lines of proprietary products that the company manufactures in-house.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control

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Vibration Sensors Add New Touch to Prosthetics

The sense of touch is complex, and an instructor at the University of California – Santa Barbara (UCSB) has the technology to prove it. Yon Visell, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and his students designed an apparatus that captures the unique vibration patterns associated with touch-specific actions, from gripping a coffee mug to tapping on a flat surface. The findings could support new applications in prosthetics, robotics, and virtual reality.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Sensors

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Editor’s Choice: June 2016

A small, metallic thermometer is hermetically sealed, has an essentially unlimited shelf-life, is insensitive to radiation, has no electronics or mechanisms, can operate in any orientation or gravity, and provides good thermal conductivity. It features an off-the-shelf ultra-high vacuum flange and permanently records temperatures in extreme environments. The low-cost device is read by visual inspection after opening the seal. Find out more HERE.

Posted in: UpFront, Aerospace

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NASA Public Domain Patents Benefit U.S. Industry

NASA has released 56 of its formerly patented technologies into the public domain, making them freely available for unrestricted commercial use. In addition, a searchable database is now available that catalogs thousands of expired NASA patents already in the public domain.

Posted in: UpFront, Aerospace

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NASA and FAA Demonstrate Wireless Communication with Aircraft

For the first time ever, engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center conveyed aviation data — including route options and weather information — to an airplane over a wireless communication system for aircraft on the ground. The demonstration, conducted in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration and Hitachi, demonstrated two technologies that could change airport operations worldwide.

Posted in: UpFront, Aerospace

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