Electrical/Electronics

Stable "Superoxide" Opens the Door to a New Class of Batteries

While lithium-ion batteries have transformed our everyday lives, researchers are currently trying to find new chemistries that could offer even better energy possibilities. One of these chemistries, lithium-air, could promise greater energy density but has certain drawbacks as well. Thanks to research at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Argonne National Laboratory, however, one of those drawbacks may have been overcome.

Posted in: Articles, Electronics & Computers
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Device-Level Software Platform

The new Wubby (Palo Alto, CA) platform simplifies the development of IoT and Smart Home devices by providing a programming environment that supports Python code execution in the microcontroller of the device. At the core of the Wubby (pronounced Wha-bee) platform is the Wubby VM, accompanied by Wubby IDE, a platform agnostic development environment for configuration, debugging and simulation of everyday objects; Wubby Cloud, which is a collection of protocols and web services for application deployment and backend device management; and Wubby Client, which is the main tool for user interaction with everyday objects including managing them and installing/updating new apps. Click here to learn more.

Posted in: Products, Electronics & Computers
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Board Mount AC-DC Power Supplies

TDK Corporation (National City, CA) has announced the introduction of the TDK-Lambda KWS-A board mount AC-DC power supplies. Capable of starting up at -40°C, the convection cooled units will operate in ambient temperatures of up to 85oC and are rated for full load over a -10 to 45/55°C range (model dependent). The encapsulated series offers four power levels and four output voltages - 5V, 12V, 15V and 24V. The 5W and 10W models measure 38.1 x 25.4 x 21.5mm, the 15W 50.8 x 25.4 x 24mm and the 25W models 63.5 x 25.4 x 29mm. The KWS-A series accepts an input voltage of 85 to 265Vac, 47 - 440Hz, and requires no external fuses or electrolytic capacitors. Click here to learn more.

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Compact Broadband Amplifiers

Rohde & Schwarz (Munich, Germany) has expanded its R&S BBA150 broadband amplifier family with the D series to cover the frequency range from 690 MHz to 3.2 GHz and power levels up to 800 W. Both frequency bands, from 1.2 GHz to 1.4 GHz and 2.7 GHz to 3.2 GHz, as are necessary for automotive radar pulse tests with high field strength, are integrated in only one amplifier. With a frequency range starting at 690 MHz, the amplifiers meet the requirements of the LTE, GSM700, UMTS and WLAN mobile communications standards. The high power levels are required for compliance tests in EMC labs. To learn more, click here.

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PC/104 Single Board Computers

Sundance Multiprocessor Technology Ltd. (Chesham, UK) announced that it has integrated Xilinx’s new SDSoC development environment on to its EMC2-Z7030 single board computer (SBC). Sundance’s EMC2 range is a family of industrial-grade and deployment-ready SBC’s that feature a Xilinx Zynq SoC with integrated dual-core ARM-A9 CPUs coupled to 1Gb of DDR3 memory, four-lanes of PCI-Express and re-programmable logic with Kintex-7 FPGA technology. The EMC2 range is designed to the latest, yet long-established, PC/104 form factor of 90mm by 96mm, called OneBank. The Xilinx SDSoC development environment has a full, system-optimizing C/C++ compiler. Click here to learn more.

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CMOS-Compatible Ohmic Contact RF MEMS Switch

Radio frequency (RF) microelectromechanical system (MEMS) switches have advantages over their solid-state counterparts. However, ohmic contact MEMS devices face several significant limitations, preventing entry into the mass market. These limitations are cost, reliability, packaging, and integration.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Microelectricmechanical device, Microelectromechanical devices, Radio equipment, Switches, Microelectricmechanical device, Microelectromechanical devices, Radio equipment, Switches
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Miller-Jogging for Synthesizer Lock Algorithm Extension

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) has developed a wide range of CMOS (complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor) phase lock loop (PLL) chips with self-healing/self-calibration capabilities, allowing them to adapt, on the fly, to changes in temperature and other environment parameters. All CMOS PLLs typically have three major settings that self-healing and calibration can adjust: VCO (voltage controlled oscillator) coarse tuning, divider tuning, and CML (current mode logic) tuning. Previous work done at UCLA uses these “knobs” or settings exclusively to self-lock a PLL. Locking criteria is established by monitoring the control voltage with an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) to see if the PLL loop is settled in the middle of the range (locked), or sitting at the ground or supply (unlocked).

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Mathematical models, Semiconductors
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Deployable Antenna Circuit Board Material Design and Fabrication Process

This technology has applications in solar arrays for small satellites.

The Integrated Solar Array and Reflectarray (ISARA) antenna requires a rugged circuit board material that will meet the following requirements: (1) remains sufficiently flat over the required operating temperature range with solar cells mounted, and under full solar illumination, including heat dissipation due to ≈30% efficiency solar cells; (2) provides a sufficiently high-quality RF-grade circuit board material needed to print the reflectarray antenna; (3) is sufficiently thin (<2.5 mm) to fit within the available stowage volume; and (4) has low mass density (≈5 kg/m2).

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Antennas, Integrated circuits, Antennas, Integrated circuits, Fabrication
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Rigorous Antenna Noise Temperature Calculation Method for International Space Station Visiting Spacecraft

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas

The temperature of the orbiting space station’s Sun-facing side could be up to 250 °F (≈120 °C) and will be a significant antenna noise temperature contributor for visiting spacecraft communication and tracking systems during rendezvous. The conventional antenna noise temperature calculation does not take into account the space station reflection effects, and results in an underestimated antenna and system noise temperature. Thus, the visiting spacecraft communication and tracking system performance could be overestimated during rendezvous.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Electronics & Computers, Software, Antennas, Telecommunications, Antennas, Telecommunications, Thermodynamics, Thermodynamics, Noise, Noise, Spacecraft
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Recurring Anomaly Detection System (ReADS)

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California

NASA Engineering & Safety Center (NESC) subject matter experts analyze records in various International Space Station and shuttle databases to identify recurring anomalies. The key problems these experts face in analyzing such database records are:

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Electronics & Computers, Software, Analysis methodologies, Data acquisition and handling, Data acquisition and handling, Spacecraft
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