Manufacturing & Prototyping

Prototyping Platform

Avnet, Phoenix, AZ, released the ONIXVU440 flexible platform based on the Xilinx Virtex® UltraScaleTM XCVU440 FPGA. The board is designed for rapid prototyping and ASIC emulation of high-performance, highcomplexity systems. It supports three modes of operation: desktop standalone mode, PCIe plug-in card mode, and mezzanine module mode. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/61057-109

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Spring Connectors

Harwin, Salem, NH, offers Spring Contact Connectors including extended C and Positive Stop models in nine heights that maintain a positive force against a mating surface. They are available in different widths for a choice of spring contact forces, and offer “positive stop” to prevent damage caused by over-compression. They feature gold-plated contacts and current rating up to 1.0A, and can withstand up to 10,000 mating cycles. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/61057-112

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Made in Space: 3D Printing in Zero-G

NASA’s In-Space Manufacturing (ISM) project is responsible for developing the manufacturing capabilities that will provide on-demand, sustainable operations during NASA long-duration missions to destinations such as Mars. The very first step in the initial part of ISM was getting the first 3D printer into space. A 3D printer had never flown in space until the 3D Printing in Zero-G experiment was launched on SpaceX-4 on September 21, 2014. This demonstration was the first attempt to test the effects of microgravity on additive manufacturing in space. The printer was designed and built by Made in Space under a NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract. Learn how NASA and Made In Space worked together to design, develop, and deploy the printer, and how they are taking the next steps to create an Additive Manufacturing Facility in space.

Posted in: White Papers

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Stable, Flat Packaging Concepts for Large Detector Arrays

Applications include packing of back-illuminated and delta-doped arrays without damage to sensitive surfaces. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A ceramic vacuum chuck is used to hold large detector arrays flat while being attached parallel to a rigid substrate. Once held in the vacuum chuck, the component is typically seized by epoxy against a rigid substrate. The problem that interferes with this operation happens when the epoxy spreads to places where it is not wanted, even into the gap between the component and its vacuum chuck, and over electrical contacts that are intended for wire bonding.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Dual-Polarized W-Band Metal Patch Antenna Element for Phased Array Applications

Interlaced transmit/receive all-metal patch elements eliminate the need for discrete isolators and increase efficiency. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California W-band active phased array antennas have a very small inter-element pitch (≈2 mm). In this innovation, instead of trying to integrate isolators into the unit cell to separate transmit and receive signals, an interlaced triangular grid of metal patch elements has been developed. The isolation between transmit elements and receive elements has been demonstrated to be on the order of 25 dB or more, precluding the need for discrete isolator circuits. Using metal patch technology, the element and associated interconnect loss has been demonstrated to be 0.5 dB at 94 GHz, which represents an efficiency of 89%.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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High-Temperature Superconducting Bolometric Devices on Amorphous Silicon Nitride Membranes

Applications include defense-related infrared launch detection and night vision. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California There has been a great deal of interest in building bolometers from hightemperature superconductors due to their high transition temperatures and the associated ease of cooling. High-temperature superconducting (high Tc) bolometers are difficult to fabricate because the standard method of thermal isolation is not compatible with these materials. A method is described that allows a standard thermal isolation technique (using amorphous silicon nitride membranes) to be used with high-temperature superconductors.

Posted in: Briefs

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Uniformly Etched Lateral Gratings Applied to Pre-existing Ridge Waveguides

New technology is 100 times smaller and has fewer components with possibly the same performance. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California There is great difficulty in implementing lateral gratings in GaSb-based lasers. Commercially, single-frequency GaSb lasers have been fabricated using metal gratings deposited laterally to the ridge-waveguide (RWG) stripe. The disadvantage of this is that the laser performance is compromised by additional optical loss due to radiation absorption by the metal. Fabricating lasers in this way limits the potential for high-power performance. A better method is to etch gratings into the semiconductor, but generally, patterning these grating structures is difficult because of nonuniformity of the grating pattern and etching difficulty due to sub-micrometer dimensions.

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