Electrical/Electronics

Stackable Form-Factor Peripheral Component Interconnect Device and Assembly

Applications include fault-tolerant computing systems, high-speed data acquisition, embedded servers, and intelligent transportation systems.

The invention is a design for a peripheral component interconnect (PCI) local bus controller and target in a PC/104-Plus form-factor. The design uses a flash-based field programmable gate array (FPGA) to provide immediate functionality from power-on to avoid delay after power is applied. It can be reprogrammed from connectors directly on the board, and is able to both receive and drive the clock for system and local peripherals, allowing it to function as either a PCI bus host controller or PCI target device interface. Fully compliant with the PC/104-Plus specification, the design has associated schematics and Gerber files in a vendor-ready state. The design was developed to support ongoing research in fault-tolerant computing systems.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Communication protocols, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Architecture, Communication protocols, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware
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Self-Healing Wire Insulation

Microcapsules release healant that repairs minor cuts, nicks, and abrasions.

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is seeking commercial partners for licensing or further development of a novel high-performance, flexible, low-melt polyimide film with self-healing properties. The self-healing properties of the film are provided by embedded microcapsules containing a solvent-soluble polyimide. When cut or otherwise damaged, these capsules release their contents, which dissolve and heal the damaged area.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Wiring, Wiring, Product development, Adhesives and sealants, Coatings Colorants and Finishes, Coatings, colorants, and finishes, Insulation, Polymers
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Vibration Damping Circuit Card Assembly

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center has developed a particle impact damper (NASA damper) that can be used in circuit card assemblies to reduce vibrations encountered during space vehicle launch. The damper, filled with high-density metallic beads, is attached to printed circuit boards (PCBs) and printed wiring assemblies (PWAs) to dissipate vibrations and improve component reliability and robustness. Testing has demonstrated an order-of-magnitude reduction in observed peak vibration response, and dramatic improvement in circuit component life span. The NASA technology provides simple and inexpensive vibration reduction for sensitive heritage or commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) electronics in applications where the vibration environment is either severe or exceeding its original design envelope. The technology can benefit heritage hardware in a wide range of applications as a retrofitted upgrade, or can be incorporated into the design of new circuit cards.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Dampers and shock absorbers, Dampers or shock absorbers, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Vibration, Vibration, Launch vehicles
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Development of a Metallic Bilayer Liftoff Mask

A large variety of cryogenic detectors need to be fabricated on thin dielectric membranes in order to have high signal-to-noise attributes. Unfortunately, many of the etching processes used to define the detectors can roughen or even completely dissolve the membranes. These types of membrane damage degrade the detector performance and limit fabrication yield.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Product development, Coatings Colorants and Finishes, Coatings, colorants, and finishes, Copper, Corrosion, Materials properties, Titanium
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High Reliability Crystal Oscillators

Saelig Company, Inc. (Fairport, NY) has announced two new ranges of military specification crystal oscillators, designed for use in applications that demand high reliability. Available in industry standard dual-in-line packages, the new EQXO-1000BMK and EQXO-3000BMK clock oscillators feature a custom-designed quartz crystal and a CMOS/TTL compatible hybrid circuit mounted on a ceramic substrate. The frequency range available is from 200kHz to 200MHz, with a calibration tolerance of ±30ppm at 25°C and a frequency tolerance of ±100 to ±50ppm over the full military temperature range from -55 to +125°C (±100 to ±30ppm over industrial temperature range from -40 to +85°C).

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Posted in: Products, Electronics & Computers
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Fanless Embedded Computers

ADLINK Technology (San Jose, CA) released its new Matrix MXE-5500 Series of fanless embedded computers, featuring 6th generation Intel® Core™ i7/i5/i3 processors, and delivering rich I/O, and easy device access, all in a compact package. The MXE-5500 Series sustains reliable performance at -20°C to 70°C (Extended Temperature Option), shock up to 100G, and vibration up to 5 Grms. ADLINK’s MXE-5500 Series offers single-side access I/O featuring 2x DisplayPort + DVI-I, 4x GbE, 6x COM, 4x USB 3.0+4x USB 2.0, and 8x isolated DI/O. Storage options are also extremely flexible with 2x 2.5“ hot-swappable SATA III, 1x M.2 2280, and 1x CFast w/ RAID support.

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Posted in: Products, Electronics & Computers
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RF Connectors

Design engineers can now leverage the utility of a 38999 format high-speed RF connector in harsh environment applications, following PA&E's (Wenatchee, WA) release of its new hermetic 38999 BMA (Blind Mate Attach) RF connector line. These new high-performance BMA connectors are available in laser-weld or jam-nut configurations with 1, 2, 4, 6 or 8 contacts. Six key-way patterns and 11-80, 17-75, 21-48, 21-75, 23-06 and 25-08 shell sizes are also available. All formats provide RF performance of ≤1 db insertion loss at 18 GHz and have a hermetic leak rate of ≤1x10-9 cc He@1 ATM.

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Posted in: Products, Electronics & Computers
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OpenVPX, VME/CPCI Shelf Managers

Pixus Technologies (Waterloo, Ontario) now offers shelf managers that comply to VITA 46.11 for shelf management of OpenVPX systems.  There are also configurations for use in legacy VME/64x and CompactPCI systems. The Pixus SHM200 shelf manager is IPMI 2.0 compliant and is available in various size formats. The unit offers temperature monitoring of at least 6 temp sensors, monitoring of 12 fans, and 8 voltage monitors.  The SHM200 also has fan PWM control and up to 16 digital inputs and outputs. The standard panel interface on the SHM200 includes RS-232, Ethernet, and indicator LEDs. 

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Posted in: Products, Electronics & Computers
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High Field Superconducting Magnets

Applications include MRI machines, mass spectrometers, and particle accelerators.

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

This superconducting magnet developed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center comprises a superconducting wire wound in adjacent turns about a mandrel to form the superconducting magnet; a thermally conductive potting material configured to fill interstices between the adjacent turns; and a voltage limiting device disposed across each end of the superconducting wire, and is configured to prevent a voltage excursion across the superconducting wire during quench of the superconducting magnet. The thermally conductive potting material and the superconducting wire provide a path for dissipation of heat.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Wiring, Wiring, Magnetic materials
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Distributed Diagnostics and Prognostics

The distributed health management architecture is comprised of a network of smart sensor devices.

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California

NASA has developed a method that prevents total system failure during emergencies, allowing parts of the system to continue to function, and making overall system recovery faster. A heterogeneous set of system components monitored by a varied suite of sensors and a health monitoring framework has been developed with the power and flexibility to adapt to different diagnostic and prognostic needs. Current state-of-the-art monitoring and health management systems are mostly centralized in nature, where all the processing is reliant on a single processor. This requires information to be sent and processed in one location. With increases in the volume of sensor data as well as the need for associated processing, traditional centralized systems tend to be somewhat ungainly; in particular, when faced with multi-tasking of computationally heavy algorithms. The distributed architecture is more efficient, allows for considerable flexibility in number and location of sensors placed, scales up well, and is more robust to sensor or processor failure.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, On-board diagnostics, On-board diagnostics (OBD), Architecture, On-board diagnostics, On-board diagnostics (OBD), Diagnostics, Prognostics, Vehicle health management
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