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Digital Controller

ZMDI, Dresden, Germany, released the ZSPM2000 configurable digital PWM controller with integrated MOSFET driver for smart digital point-of-load (POL) solutions. The controller operates as a synchronous step-down converter in a single-rail, single-phase configuration. It features an integrated power-stage driver, and digital communication and control via the PMBus™ interface. Other features include digital-control algorithms, anti-cross-conduction, and power-saving features.

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Source Measure Instrument

Keithley Instruments, Cleveland, OH, introduced the Model 2460 SourceMeter® Source Measure Unit (SMU) instrument with a capacitive touchscreen graphical user interface. It offers power sourcing up to 105V, 7A DC/7A pulse, 100W max, with 0.012% basic measurement accuracy and 6½-digit resolution. It combines the functionality of a power supply, true current source, 6½-digit multimeter, electronic load, and trigger controller in one half-rack instrument. Other features are a full-color 5" touchscreen, graphical plotting, quickset modes, and instrument control software.

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JWST IV&V Simulation and Test (JIST) RT Logic T501 Emulator

Emulator using only software implements the behavior of a processor. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland In order to develop a software-only test environment for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) mission, a solution was needed to send commands and receive telemetry between the TCTS (Telemetry and Command Test Set) and CMM-S card. The as-is solution requires the utilization of commercial off-the-shelf hardware (RT Logic Telemetrix T501 processor) and custom CMM-S hardware.

Posted in: Articles, Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers

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New Navigation Software Cuts Self-Driving Car Costs

A new software system developed at the University of Michigan uses video game technology to help solve one of the most daunting hurdles facing self-driving and automated cars: the high cost of the laser scanners they use to determine their location.Ryan Wolcott, a U-M doctoral candidate in computer science and engineering, estimates that the new concept could shave thousands of dollars from the cost of these vehicles. The technology enables them to navigate using a single video camera, delivering the same level of accuracy as laser scanners at a fraction of the cost."The laser scanners used by most self-driving cars in development today cost tens of thousands of dollars, and I thought there must be a cheaper sensor that could do the same job," he said. "Cameras only cost a few dollars each and they're already in a lot of cars. So they were an obvious choice."Wolcott's system builds on the navigation systems used in other self-driving cars that are currently in development, including Google's vehicle. The navigation systems use three-dimensional laser scanning technology to create a real-time map of their environment, then compare that real-time map to a pre-drawn map stored in the system. By making thousands of comparisons per second, they are able to determine the vehicle's location within a few centimeters.The software converts the map data into a three-dimensional picture much like a video game. The car's navigation system can then compare these synthetic pictures with the real-world pictures streaming in from a conventional video camera.SourceAlso: See more Software tech briefs.

Posted in: News, Cameras, Lasers & Laser Systems, Photonics

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Design and Analysis Software Ensures Safety of Launch Vehicle Structures

NX‘and Teamcenter® software Siemens PLM Software Plano, TX 800-498-5351 www.siemens.com/plm One of ATK Aerospace Group’s current projects involves the Space Launch System (SLS). The SLS is the largest rocket ever built for entirely new human exploration missions beyond Earth’s orbit, and will take astronauts farther into space, eventually including missions to Mars. Its first flight is scheduled for 2017.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Articles, Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE)

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Brainwave Monitoring Software Helps Distracted Minds

Software designed to help pilots stay attentive now improves workplace, school, and sports performance. Imagine moving an object using only your mind. Software company Unique Logic’s Time on Task exercise makes that possible, at least on a computer screen. The game is one of the company’s Play Attention educational line, and is designed to teach people how to sustain their attention in order to complete tasks. It involves getting a forklift operator to transport a stack of crates from the ground onto the back of a truck. Instead of using a remote control to dictate the action, you use your concentration — measured by sensors that detect patterns of brainwave activity — to induce the operator to complete the job.

Posted in: Articles, Simulation Software

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Product of the Month: January 2015

SpaceClaim Corp., Concord, MA, released ANSYS® SpaceClaim™ 2015 software for the creation, editing, and repair of 3D data. It provides editing and management of faceted models, improved toolpath functionality for the machinist, and more complex geometry creation upgrades for editing or creating 3D models. Additional improvements include imprint and wrap tools for easier simulation edits, clean and detection functionality, and improved integration with ANSYS Workbench™. A 3D Printing module includes tools for repairing models and analyzing print success. Intuitive Pull and Move tools enable direct editing of meshes. Other enhancements were made to concept design, manufacturing preparation, detailing, and interoperability.

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