Ethernet-to-HRDL Conversion Design

Dual Ethernet inputs are multiplexed into a single HRDL stream to accommodate Ethernet-based ISS instruments.

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

The International Space Station (ISS) uses a fiber optic High Rate Data Link (HRDL) standard for transferring data. ISS experiments, however, may prefer an Ethernet interface. This design allows ISS instruments to keep their Ethernet interface by converting the Ethernet data format into a format compatible with the ISS. The Express Logistics Carrier (ELC) incorporated this design on the ISS in 2010. The design was described with VHDL code. It has been implemented with an Actel RTAX Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). This FPGA is part of the Express Logics Carrier (ELC) onboard the ISS.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Data exchange, Fiber optics, Data exchange, Fiber optics, Spacecraft

Flash LIDAR Emulator

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia

The Flash LIDAR Emulator is a computer system designed to be functionally equivalent to a Flash LIDAR sensor camera. The system has the same hardware interfaces as the sensor, and produces images of comparable quality to the flash LIDAR sensor in real time (30 frames per second). The emulator is then used as a substitute for the LIDAR camera during development and testing of the software algorithms and hardware systems that interface with the camera. The emulator software was custom-developed entirely in-house, and integrates tools and techniques from several computer fields, including parallel processing, ray-tracing, geometric optimization, CPU optimization, CameraLink interfaces, lowlevel networking, and GPU-based general computing. The software was designed to run on an 8-processor Dell workstation with an NVIDIA graphics card to support general-purpose GPU computing, and CameraLink and network interfaces to support the hardware interfaces of the Flash LIDAR camera.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Computer simulation, Lidar, Lidar

Nanotube-Based Device Cooling System

These cooling systems can be used for electronic devices in the computer manufacturing, thermal management, and semiconductor industries.

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are being studied for use in high-strength/lowweight composites and other applications. Recent research on thermal dissipation materials for high-power electronic devices is generating a lot of interest in various industries. Carbon nano tubes have attracted much attention due to their extraordinary mechanical and unique electronic properties. Computer chips have been subjected to higher and higher thermal loads, and it is challenging to find new ways to perform heat dissipation. As a result, heat dissipation demand for computer systems is increasing dramatically.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, Thermal Management, Electronic equipment, Electronic equipment, Thermal management, Thermal management, Cooling, Composite materials, Nanomaterials

Architecture for an Intermediate-Frequency Digital Downconversion and Data Distribution Network

Developed originally for Deep Space Network downlink receivers, applications include high-speed digital receivers for cellular networks.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) is looking to modernize aging downlink receivers for telemetry, tracking, and radio science. It is looking to replace multiple types of custom-built, special-purpose receivers with a unified receiver architecture that can support the various downlink data types. As part of this modernization, it is desired to only digitize the data once and then distribute the data using commercial switching network technology to multiple back-end receiver processing hardware and software. The main problem to be solved is how to distribute efficiently and flexibly high-bandwidth intermediate-frequency (100 to 600 MHz) digitized signals across a signal processing center for use in the DSN.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Antennas, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Data exchange, Switches, Antennas, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Data exchange, Switches

Reliability Assessment of CCGA 1752 Advanced Interconnect Kyocera Packages for Extreme Thermal Environments

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Ceramic Column Grid Array (CCGA) packages have been increasing in use based on advantages such as high interconnect density, very good thermal and electrical performance, compatibility with standard surface-mount packaging assembly processes, etc. These packages are to be used in space applications such as logic and microprocessor functions, telecommunications, flight avionics, and payload electronics. As these packages tend to have less solder joint strain relief than leaded packages, the reliability of CCGA packages is very important for short- and long-term space missions. The assessment of reliability of CCGA 1752 Kyocera packages is of paramount importance to space applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Thermal management, Thermal management, Packaging, Ceramics, Reliability, Reliability

Radiation-Hardened, High-Voltage, Quad-Channel Amplifier

Aradiation-hard, 130-Volt, 100-KHz capable, quad-channel operational amplifier with corresponding power supply and 6th-order Bessel filter circuitry has been designed, fabricated, and successfully tested. To control two-axis microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based mirrors, a differential high-voltage amplifier is required. The bandwidth of these mirrors is generally

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Mirrors, Amplifiers, Microelectricmechanical device, Microelectromechanical devices, Amplifiers, Microelectricmechanical device, Microelectromechanical devices

Reduced-Cost, Chirped Pulse, Fourier Transform Microwave (CP-FTMW) Spectrometer Using Direct Digital Synthesis

This technology could be used to further extend the bandwidth of the instrument.

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

Microwave spectroscopy is an invaluable tool for studying the structure, dynamics, and even the handedness of gas phase species. In particular, the specificity of microwave spectroscopy has been central to the unambiguous identification of the great majority of molecules detected in the interstellar medium. Applications of microwave techniques to problems in physical chemistry and molecular astrophysics have been greatly accelerated by developments in laboratory techniques.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Spectroscopy, Spectroscopy, Identification, Chemicals, Gases, Test equipment and instrumentation

Signal Digitizer and Cross-Correlation ASIC

The device can correlate outputs from a large number of receivers.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Microwave interferometry provides a means of synthesizing large scanning antennas that are not otherwise physically practical for spaceborne Earth observational systems. By cross-correlating multiple receivers of an array, high-resolution images are synthesized from a sparse — or thinned — array of small antennas rather than relying on extremely large mechanically scanned antennas. For Earth observations from space, high-datarate cross correlators are required that operate with low power and have low mass and complexity. ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) cross-correlators are an enabling technology for space-based interferometry. An ASIC CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) cross-correlator was developed to correlate outputs from a large number of receivers.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Antennas, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Satellite communications, Surveillance, Antennas, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Satellite communications, Surveillance

Image Capture to Stereo Correlation in an FPGA

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

In this work, there were four independent vision modules implemented in an FPGA: a CameraLink camera interface, rectification, bilateral filtering, and stereo disparity correlation. Each module was originally designed to run from end to end, not in a pipeline with the other modules. This limited throughput to 3.75 Hz.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Electronic equipment, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Optics, Architecture, Electronic equipment, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Optics

Offset IQ Modulation Technique for Miniaturized Radar Electronics

This innovation can be used in aerospace and commercial weather radar applications.

Constellations of low-cost, small instruments provide global, distributed, and frequent coverage, enabling unique science observations. However, radars are active instruments with size, mass, and power requirements that are often not compatible with small satellite platforms such as CubeSats or SmallSats.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Downsizing, Radar, Radar, Satellites

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