November 2007

Application Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Signal Processing System Supplied For NASA’s SCaN Program
VXS-based satellite communications development system
TEK Microsystems
Chelmsford, MA
978-244-9200
www.tekmicro.com

TEK Microsystems’ first VXS-based satellite communications development system has been ordered by NASA’s Glenn Research Center in...

Application Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Vibration Sensors Monitor Engine Health in Latest Space Shuttle Launch
Endevco Corp.
San Juan Capistrano, CA
949-493-8181
www.endevco.com

On August 8, 2007, three Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs) from Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne lifted the space shuttle Endeavor into orbit and on its way to the International...

Products
Dash 32HF

The Astro-Med Test & Measurement Product Group, West Warwick, RI, has introduced the Dash 32HF multi-channel, high-frequency data acquisition recorder. Engineered to capture high-frequency data and transient signals, the unit records up to 32 channels to an internal hard drive at sample rates up to 500 kHz, and a bandwidth of 100...

Who's Who
Phil Neudeck, Electronics Engineer, NASA's John Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH

The Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate at NASA's Glenn Research Center has developed a new silicon carbide differential amplifier integrated circuit chip that may provide benefits to anything requiring long-lasting electronic circuits in very hot...

Techs for License
Selective Elimination of Nitrogen Oxides from Exhaust Gases

The Environment Purification Materials team of AIST’s Synergy Materials Research Center (Japan) has successfully developed and tested significantly improved electrochemical reactors for the selective elimination of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in a range of industrial exhaust gases...

Techs for License
Chemical Analysis without Reagents

A portfolio of technologies applies mid-infrared spectroscopy to the analysis of fluids. Any fluid can be analyzed, including blood, serum, and other biological fluids. Tests are non-destructive. The techniques require no reagents or other chemicals, and thus there are no chemicals to store or dispose of. The...

Tech Needs
Sustainable Processes for Green Polymer Production

Technologies leading to sustainable and green production of polymers are sought. Candidate technologies should fit recently developed definitions for green chemistries. Chemistries that produce safe chemicals, that use safer solvents and auxiliaries, and/or that produce chemicals designed for...

Tech Needs
Reflective Aerosol

This technology need is for an aerosol with properties that enable it to be easily launched using a pulsed jet fogger. It also must have reflectivity or other optical properties, and must be safe for human cutaneous and pulmonary contact. The aerosol should have optical properties that can be manipulated using laser light or...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Wireless Measurement of Contact and Motion Between Contact Surfaces

This method uses a magnetic-fieldresponse contact sensor that is designed to identify surface contact and motion between contact locations. The sensor has three components: (1) a capacitor-inductor circuit with two sets of electrical contact pads, (2) a capacitor with a set of...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Wireless Measurement of Rotation and Displacement Rate

A magnetic field response sensor is designed to measure displacement or rotation rate without a physical connection to a power source, microprocessor, data acquisition equipment, or electrical circuitry. The sensor works with the magnetic field response recorder, which was described in...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Portable Microleak-Detection System

The figure schematically depicts a portable microleak-detection system that has been built especially for use in testing hydrogen tanks made of polymer-matrix composite materials. (As used here, "microleak" signifies a leak that is too small to be detectable by the simple soap-bubble technique.) The system can...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Cryogenic Shrouds for Testing Thermal-Insulation Panels

Cryogenic shrouds have been designed and built for use in thermo- mechanical testing of samples of thermal- insulation panels on cryogenic vessels. In the original application for which these shrouds were specifically designed, the samples are representative of the large area thermal-...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Free-to-Roll Testing of Airplane Models in Wind Tunnels

A free-to-roll (FTR) test technique and test rig make it possible to evaluate both the transonic performance and the wing-drop/rock behavior of a high-strength airplane model in a single wind-tunnel entry. The free-to-roll test technique is a single degree-of-motion method in which the...

Briefs : Materials
Modeling Metamaterials Leads to Advance in Cloaking System Prototype

Modeling software is generally used to show the fields and flows that are impossible to see with the eye or instruments. A group of researchers has done just the opposite: They ran computer simulations that showed it should be possible to fabricate the metamaterials necessary...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Freeze Tape Casting of Functionally Graded Porous Ceramics

Freeze tape casting is a means of making preforms of ceramic sheets that, upon subsequent completion of fabrication processing, can have anisotropic and/or functionally graded properties that notably include aligned and graded porosity. Freeze tape casting was developed to enable...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Electrophoretic Deposition on Porous Non-Conductors

A method of electrophoretic deposition (EPD) on substrates that are porous and electrically non-conductive has been invented. Heretofore, in order to perform an EPD, it has been necessary to either (1) use a substrate material that is inherently electrically conductive or (2) subject a...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Tachometers Derived From a Brushless DC Motor

The upper part of the figure illustrates the major functional blocks of a direction-sensitive analog tachometer circuit based on the use of an unexcited two-phase brushless dc motor as a rotation transducer. The primary advantages of this circuit over many older tachometer circuits include the...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Advanced Ultra-Thin Integrated Electronics on Membranes

A method of fabricating flexible assemblies comprising flexible integrated circuits bonded onto or into flexible membranes has been developed. The method provides for bonding of thinned (more specifically, thin enough to be flexible) integrated-circuit chips to the membranes and for...

Briefs : Software
Algorithm-Based Fault Tolerance for Numerical Subroutines

A software library implements a new methodology of detecting faults in numerical subroutines, thus enabling application programs that contain the subroutines to recover transparently from single-event upsets. The software library in question is fault-detecting middleware that is wrapped...

Briefs : Software
Computational Support for Technology- Investment Decisions

Strategic Assessment of Risk and Technology (START) is a user-friendly computer program that assists human managers in making decisions regarding research- and- development investment portfolios in the presence of uncertainties and of non- technological constraints that include budgetary...

Briefs : Software
DSN Resource Scheduling

TIGRAS is client-side software, which provides tracking-station equipment planning, allocation, and scheduling services to the DSMS (Deep Space Mission System). TIGRAS provides functions for schedulers to coordinate the DSN (Deep Space Network) antenna usage time and to resolve the resource usage conflicts among tracking...

Briefs : Software
Distributed Operations Planning

Maestro software provides a secure and distributed mission planning system for long-term missions in general, and the Mars Exploration Rover Mission (MER) specifically. Maestro, the successor to the Science Activity Planner, has a heavy emphasis on portability and distributed operations, and requires no data...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Phase-Oriented Gear Systems

Phase-oriented gear systems are differential planetary transmissions in which each planet gear has two sets of unequal numbers of teeth indexed at prescribed relative angles (phases). The figure illustrates an application of the phase-oriented gearing concept to a relatively simple speed-reducing differential...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Picosatellite Design Incorporates Thin Aluminum Structure and Self-Clinching Fasteners

The CubeSat standard (10 × 10 × 10 cm and weighing 1kg) has evolved into one of the most widely accepted families of picosatellite designs. A CubeSat can package a universe of payload possibilities for launch into space at a fraction of the cost of...

Briefs : Medical
Two Devices for Removing Sludge From Bioreactor Wastewater

Two devices — a magnetic separator and a special filter denoted a self-regenerating separator (SRS) — have been developed for separating sludge from the stream of wastewater from a bioreactor. These devices were originally intended for use in microgravity, but have also been...

Briefs : Medical
Portable Unit for Metabolic Analysis

The Portable Unit for Metabolic Analysis (PUMA) is an instrument that measures several quantities indicative of human metabolic function. Specifically, this instrument makes time-resolved measurements of temperature, pressure, flow, and the partial pressures of oxygen and carbon dioxide in breath during both...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Flash Diffusivity Technique Applied to Individual Fibers

A variant of the flash diffusivity technique has been devised for determining the thermal diffusivities, and thus the thermal conductivities, of individual aligned fibers. The technique is intended especially for application to nanocomposite fibers, made from narrower fibers of...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
System for Thermal Imaging of Hot Moving Objects

The High Altitude/ Re-Entry Vehicle Infrared Imaging (HARVII) system is a portable instrumentation system for tracking and thermal imaging of a possibly distant and moving object. The HARVII is designed specifically for measuring the changing temperature distribution on a space shuttle as it...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Improved Readout Scheme for SQUID-Based Thermometry

An improved readout scheme has been proposed for high-resolution thermometers, (HRTs) based on the use of superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) to measure temperature- dependent magnetic susceptibilities. The proposed scheme would eliminate counting ambiguities that arise in the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Error Rates and Channel Capacities in Multipulse PPM

A method of computing channel capacities and error rates in multipulse pulse-position modulation (multipulse PPM) has been developed. The method makes it possible, when designing an optical PPM communication system, to determine whether and under what conditions a given multipulse PPM scheme...

Briefs : Information Technology
Simpler Adaptive Selection of Golomb Power-of-Two Codes

An alternative method of adaptive selection of Golomb power-of-two (GPO2) codes has been devised for use in efficient, lossless encoding of sequences of non-negative integers from discrete sources. The method is intended especially for use in compression of digital image data. This method...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
VCO PLL Frequency Synthesizers for Spacecraft Transponders

Two documents discuss a breadboard version of advanced transponders that, when fully developed, would be installed on future spacecraft to fly in deep space. These transponders will be required to be capable of operation on any deepspace- communications uplink frequency channel between...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Wide Tuning Capability for Spacecraft Transponders

A document presents additional information on the means of implementing a capability for wide tuning of microwave receiver and transmitter frequencies in the development reported in the immediately preceding article, "VCO PLL Frequency Synthesizers for Spacecraft Transponders" (NPO-42909). The...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Adaptive Deadband Synchronization for a Spacecraft Formation

A paper discusses general problems in estimation and control of the states (positions, attitudes, and velocities) of spacecraft flying in formation, then addresses the particular formation-flying-control problem of synchronization of deadbands. The paper presents a deadband-...

Briefs : Information Technology
Analysis of Performance of Stereoscopic Vision Software

A team of JPL researchers has analyzed stereoscopic vision software and produced a document describing its performance. This software is of the type used in maneuvering exploratory robotic vehicles on Martian terrain. The software in question utilizes correlations between portions of the...

Briefs : Information Technology
Estimating the Inertia Matrix of a Spacecraft

A paper presents a method of utilizing some flight data, aboard a spacecraft that includes reaction wheels for attitude control, to estimate the inertia matrix of the spacecraft. The required data are digitized samples of (1) the spacecraft attitude in an inertial reference frame as measured, for...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Increasing the Life of a Xenon-Ion Spacecraft Thruster

A short document summarizes the redesign of a xenon-ion spacecraft thruster to increase its operational lifetime beyond a limit heretofore imposed by nonuniform ion-impact erosion of an accelerator electrode grid. A peak in the ion current density on the centerline of the thruster causes...

Briefs : Information Technology
Spatial Coverage Planning for Exploration Robots

A report discusses an algorithm for an onboard planning and execution technology to support the exploration and characterization of geological features by autonomous rovers. A rover that is capable of deciding which observations are more important relieves the engineering team from much of the...

Articles : Software
Industry Update: Analysis & Simulation Software

Multiphysics, simulation lifecycle management, unified simulation, and other terms are becoming the new trends in analysis and simulation software. There are new capabilities, new options for analysis and simulation management, and even room for growth in the market. We polled executives from...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Optoelectronic System Measures Distances to Multiple Targets

An optoelectronic metrology apparatus now at the laboratory- prototype stage of development is intended to repeatedly determine distances of as much as several hundred meters, at submillimeter accuracy, to multiple targets in rapid succession. The underlying concept of optoelectronic...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Large Solar-Rejection Filter

An optical filter consisting of a multilayer spectral coating on a flexible membrane has been designed to be placed in front of the 200-in. (5.08-m) Hale telescope on Mt. Palomar. The filter is intended to protect the telescope against solar radiant flux and limit solar heating of the interior of the telescope dome...

Briefs : Information Technology
Two Mathematical Models of Nonlinear Vibrations

Two innovative mathematical models of nonlinear vibrations, and methods of applying them, have been conceived as byproducts of an effort to develop a Kalman filter for highly precise estimation of bending motions of a large truss structure deployed in outer space from a space-shuttle payload bay....

Products : Electronics & Computers
Dual-Core VME Single-Board Computer Delivers Low Voltage

Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing (Leesburg, VA) offers the SVME/DMV-1901 6U VME single-board computer with the Intel® Core™ Duo processor running at speeds of 1.67 and 2.0 GHz.

Products : Electronics & Computers
PrXMC/PrPMC Module

The TPA-XMC™ PrXMC/PrPMC Module from Themis® Computer (Fremont, CA) provides dual 64-bit processing and flexible high-speed I/O while consuming as little as 15 watts. The energy-efficient module is based on P.A. Semi's PA6T-1682M PWRficient™ Power Architecture-based processor. The TPA-XMC is designed for a wide...

Products : Electronics & Computers
IP Core Software for FPGA Chips

SERCOS International (Santa Rosa Beach, FL) has introduced Easy-I/O, a freely downloadable IP core software for low-cost FPGA chips that allows SERCOS III to be integrated into basic I/O slave devices with minimal development and integration effort. To minimize the costs for a slave interface, the functionality of...

Products : Electronics & Computers
SHB Express™ and PICMG® 1.3

Trenton Technology (Atlanta, GA) announces five new SHB Express™ and PICMG® 1.3 backplanes designed to meet the needs of a wide variety of fields including medical diagnostics, military, telecom, and advanced imaging markets. Trenton's BPG6615, BPX6610, BPG6714 and BPX6719 backplane configurations support...

Products : Electronics & Computers
High-Speed Digitizer

Agilent Technologies Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) has introduced the Acqiris DP1400 high-speed digitizer. Designed in a standard short PCI card format, the compact DP1400 combines data converter ASIC technology with component integration for a reduced power consumption of less than 15 W. It can be used in all standard PCI bus...

Products : Electronics & Computers
GPU Processors

NVIDA (Santa Clara, CA) has released its new family of NVIDA® Tesla™ processors based on a new graphics processing unit (GPU). The family includes the Tesla™ GPU Computing Processor, which is a computing board that scales to multiple GPUs in a single PC or workstation. It features 128 parallel processors and up to...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Terminal Blocks

The MTB Series from BlockMaster Electronics (Elk Grove Village, IL) is available in configurations from 2 to 18 poles at a 3.5 mm. pitch, accepting a wire size range of up to 16AWG. Rated voltage is at 300V with a current rating of up to 17.5 Amps depending on utilized wire.

Products : Electronics & Computers
Power Supply for PC/104, PC/104-PLUS

The MESA 4P20 is an 11W POE power supply for PC/104 and PC/104-PLUS systems from MESA Electronics (Richmond, CA). The 4P20 allows a remote PC/104 system to get power from a single CAT5 cable up to 100 meters long. The 4P20 supplies 5V at up to 2A, +12V at up to 200 mA, and -12 at up to 100 mA via the bus...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Digital I/O Board

The new MSXB 078 digital I/O expansion hardware from Microstar Laboratories, Inc. (Bellevue, WA) combines simultaneous operation on all channels with an isolated ground to protect applications from sources of error. The expansion board provides 16 digital inputs and 16 digital outputs on an HD 62 connector with headers for...

Products : Electronics & Computers
6U CompactPCI Express CPU Board

One Stop Systems (Escondido, CA) has announced the release of its 6U CompactPCI Express (CPCIe) Core™ Duo 1.66GHz CPU Board. The two-slot wide CPCIe CPU board features front panel I/O with standard interfaces including two Gigabit Ethernet ports, two Serial ATA ports, four USB 2.0 ports, one RS-232 port, and...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Broadband Surface Mount TO-5 Relays

The SGRF100 and SGRF300 are two ultraminiature broadband TO-5 relays from Teledyne Relays (Hawthorne, CA). The hermetically sealed RF relays feature a surface-mount solution and unique ground shield. They cover frequencies from DC to 4 GHz and perform over a wide temperature range of - 65°C to +125°C....

Products : Electronics & Computers
Thin Film Thermoelectric Cooler

Nextreme (Research Triangle Park, NC) has developed the eTEC™, an advanced thin film embedded thermoelectric cooler designed to address thermal management needs of the electronics, photonics, bio-tech, defense, and aerospace industries. The eTEC functions as a miniature, solid-state heat pump and is ideal...

Products : Electronics & Computers
DSP Development Kit

VMETRO™ (Houston, TX) and Impulse Accelerated Technologies, Inc. (Houston, TX) have announced the V5+C, an advanced platform for rapid prototyping and algorithm development. The DSP development kit, which includes the latest generation Impulse C-to- VHDL compiler tools and a VMETRO PMC module based on the Xilinx®...

Application Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Embedded Design and Technology Trends in the Military

A presidential election... the continuance or end of deploying troops in Iraq...Phoenix spacecraft landing on Mars...2008 could be an exciting year, so let's take a moment to look at a few trends that could affect the military embedded Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) market.

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Image Sensors Decades Old But Not Yet Mature

There’s no rule that says when a technology becomes mature, but one might think that image sensors would be by now, 40 years after their conception. Nothing could be further from the truth. After decades of use in fax machines, scanners, and camcorders, image sensors are now in the largest growth...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
DisplayPort Technology — Heir Apparent to VGA?

For the last 20 years we have connected our monitors to our computer systems having the confidence that upon turn-on, we could surf or create with never a consideration of whether the display would operate satisfactorily. VGA (Video Graphics Adaptor) technology enabled us to do that with CRTs as...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Optoelectronic System Measures Distances to Multiple Targets

An optoelectronic metrology apparatus now at the laboratory-prototype stage of development is intended to repeatedly determine distances of as much as several hundred meters, at submillimeter accuracy, to multiple targets in rapid succession. The underlying concept of optoelectronic...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Large Solar-Rejection Filter

An optical filter consisting of a multilayer spectral coating on a flexible membrane has been designed to be placed in front of the 200-in. (5.08-m) Hale telescope on Mt. Palomar. The filter is intended to protect the telescope against solar radiant flux and limit solar heating of the interior of the telescope dome...

Products
Product of the Month: Military-Grade PDA

Inhand Electronics, Inc. (Rockville, MD) along with the Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center (Natick, MA) and the Army Research Lab (Adelphi, MD), have announced the Soldier Flex PDA (SFPDA), the first general-purpose, military-grade PDA utilizing low-power, flexible display...

Products
CMO Development Program

A Complex Monolithic Optics (CMO) Development Program has been announced by Agilent Technologies Inc. (Santa Clara, CA). The program offers customers the opportunity to incorporate the latest high-precision optics design technology into their optical system designs. Agilent developed CMOs to address the needs of...

Products
Metal Marking System

Epilog Laser (Golden, CO) offers the FiberMark Laser System, a piece of equipment that allows users to mark directly on metal surfaces including titanium, steel, aluminum, carbide, alloys, brass, and more. The piece of machinery can mark all types of metal with barcodes, text, logos, and other graphics, using a beam of light...

Products
Full-Color LED Package

OPTEK Technology (New York, NY) has developed a full-color surface mount LED package called the OVSPRGBCR4. The package offers RGB color capabilities, a high CRI rating, and full 130° viewing angle. Applications for the OVSPRGBCR4 include automotive interior and exterior lighting, architectural indoor and outdoor...

Products
Seed Laser

Quintessence Photonics (Sylmar, CA) offers a new laser designed to deliver high power in a single mode beam for seeding fiber and solid state lasers and for use in direct applications. The seed laser can produce single-frequency beams of up to 1.5 W CW at 1064 nm and up to 1 W CW at 1550 nm. The design uses a two-part chip that...

Products
Programmable Radiometer/Photometer

Labsphere, Inc. (North Sutton, NH) recently launched the new SC 6000 programmable radiometer and photometer. The new system controller allows for up to 100 programmed calibrations, and users are able to create, upgrade, or expand a calibration using a wide variety of interchangeable detector assemblies,...

Products
PCX Condenser Lenses

Commercial Grade Large PCX Condenser Lenses are now available from Anchor Optics® (Barrington, NJ). The plano-convex (PCX) lenses are used in illumination applications such as large format projectors, spotlights, and enlargers, and are ideal for collecting and directing light from large angular area sources. Commercial...

Products
Laser Repair System

New Wave Research, Inc. (Fremont, CA) has introduced the QuikLaze 200 laser repair system equipped with the BDS1000 industrial microscope. The QuikLaze 200 and BDS1000 combine to create a rugged optomechanical platform that readily withstands 3g. The repair system includes beam-shaping optics, high-efficiency beam delivery,...

Products
High Resolution Camera

The new 2.0MP Flea®2 camera from Point Grey Research® Inc. (Scottsdale, AZ) delivers full resolution 1624 x 1224 images at 14 frames per second. It incorporates the Sony® ICX274 1/1.8" progressive scan CCD image sensor with square pixel array. The ultra-compact camera has jackscrew connectors for secure locking, pixel...

Products
Gigabit Ethernet Camera

JAI (San Jose, CA) offers the TM-2040GE, a high resolution, high performance Gigabit Ethernet camera. The TM-2040GE offers two-megapixel UXGA resolution of 1600 × 1200 pixels at 34 frames per second. The camera features JAI’s high fidelity front-end circuitry and low noise power supply with a typical signal-to-noise...

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