Special Coverage

Soft Robot “Walks” on Any Terrain
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Using Microwaves to Produce High-Quality Graphene
Transducer-Actuator Systems for On-Machine Measurements and Automatic Part Alignment
Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors
Heavy Lift Wing in Ground (WIG) Cargo Flying Boat
Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines

12-Volt System with Mini-ITX Motherboard

ITOX (East Brunswick, NJ) has partnered with Systium® Technologies to introduce the Model 132 “mini” series 12-volt system utilizing the ITOX NP101-D16C Mini-ITX motherboard. The Systium Model 132 “mini” series system platform is designed for cost-sensitive applied computing and x86 embedded systems applications requiring high-quality, long-life modular computing solutions. This is particularly applicable to medical electronics, industrial control, security and surveillance, telecommunications, ATM/POS, digital signage, gaming, and kiosk systems fields. The motherboard utilizes the 45nm 1.6 GHz Intel® AtomTM N270 processor with Intel 945GSE Express chipset and ICH7M I/O controller hub. The platform exhibits a thermal design power of less than 15 watts, delivering higher performance-per-watt than previous platforms. A single 12 VDC power input also reduces overall system configuration and operating costs.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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DB9 Adapter

Sealevel (Liberty, SC) has developed a compact, rugged DB9F-to-5 screw terminal block adapter that allows users to connect their field wiring to DB9 connectors on USB Serial adapters, Ethernet Serial servers, and other Sealevel RS-485 products with a DB9M connector. It is RoHS compliant, works with 2- and 4-wire RS-485 networks, and can be secured to the serial port with thumbscrews to prevent accidental disconnection. The screw terminals accept 16-28 AWG gauge wiring.

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Embedded Virtualization Manager

TenAsys® Corporation (Beaverton, OR) is now shipping eVMTM for Windows®, an embedded virtualization manager software product that enables different real-time operating systems (RTOSes) to run alongside Windows on the same multi-core processor platform. Using eVM, applications that have been developed for standalone RTOSes such as QNX®, VxWorks®, and Windows CE, can be run on multi-core Windows platforms with full native performance. eVM utilizes hardware-assisted features built into Intel® processors to allocate hardware resources and ensure that time-critical I/O processes are not interrupted.

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Rugged Waterproof Computer

SmallPC.com (Burlington, Ontario, Canada) has released its latest waterproof computer. The SC240ML is designed and tested for reliable operation in the most extreme wet, dirty, and dusty environments, hot or cold. The SC240ML’s rugged aluminum chassis uses a unique heat pipe
assembly along with a set of specialized I/O connectors and cables to provide a high performance computer that is sealed to IP67/NEMA 6 standards. The operating temperature range
is -20°C to +60°C.

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Ternary Content Addressable Memory

Renesas Technology America (San Jose, CA) now offers the TCAM (Ternary Content Addressable Memory) Series of memory products to enable high-speed packet processing for networking equipment such as routers and switches. The first product in the series is the R8A20410BG TCAM, which has a capacity of 20 Mbits and delivers high-speed search performance of up to 360 MSPS (mega-searches per second)/Table. TCAM memory cells can store three data states: 0, 1, and X (“Don’t Care”). It is suitable for applications such as networking equipment because it achieves deterministic, high-speed searches by using simultaneous parallel operation to compare data strings input from an external device with data strings stored in the memory and outputting the matches.

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LPDDR2 Compliance and Protocol Test Tools

Agilent Technologies Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) has introduced a new comprehensive low-power double data rate 2 (LPDDR2) compliance and protocol test application package and industry-first LPDDR2 ball-grid array (BGA) probes. The Agilent N5413B LPDDR2 test application, which runs on Agilent Infiniium 9000 Series oscilloscopes, provides LPDDR2 physical-layer compliance measurements. The Agilent B4623A LPDDR2 bus decoder and the B4622A DDR protocol compliance tool, which run on the Agilent 16900 Series logic analyzers, provide debug and protocol compliance measurements.

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Single-Chip OTN Platform

Zarlink Semiconductor (Ottawa, Canada) has introduced ClockCenter, a platform for high-speed optical transport network (OTN) and communications equipment. ClockCenter synchronous products synchronize “any rate, any port, all the time,” meaning the single-chip solution accepts and generates any frequency (1 kHz to 720 MHz) required to support all communication services delivered over optical and Ethernet networks. The ClockCenter free run products are suitable for designing equipment for a range of applications that have traditionally relied on multiple oscillators, logic converters, and fan outs to time processors, memory chips, PHY chips, and more. The free run clock products allow equipment manufacturers to replace multiple external components with an integrated single-chip device.

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Holographic Vortex Coronagraph

This apparatus offers potential advantages of performance and manufacturability over conventional coronagraphs.

A holographic vortex coronagraph (HVC) has been proposed as an improvement over conventional coronagraphs for use in high-contrast astronomical imaging for detecting planets, dust disks, and other broadband light scatterers in the vicinities of stars other than the Sun. Because such light scatterers are so faint relative to their parent stars, in order to be able to detect them, it is necessary to effect ultra-high-contrast (typically by a factor of the order of 1010) suppression of broadband light from the stars. Unfortunately, the performances of conventional coronagraphs are limited by low throughput, dispersion, and difficulty of satisfying challenging manufacturing requirements. The HVC concept offers the potential to overcome these limitations.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Physical Sciences, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Sun and solar, Product development
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Photon Counting Using Edge-Detection Algorithm

Improved optical communications links can be used in building-to-building networks in high-attenuation conditions such as rain or fog.

New applications such as high-data-rate, photon-starved, free-space optical communications require photon counting at flux rates into gigaphoton-per-second regimes coupled with sub-nanosecond timing accuracy. Current single-photon detectors that are capable of handling such operating conditions are designed in an array format and produce output pulses that span multiple sample times. In order to discern one pulse from another and not to over-count the number of incoming photons, a detection algorithm must be applied to the sampled detector output pulses. As flux rates increase, the ability to implement such a detection algorithm becomes difficult within a digital processor that may reside within a field-programmable gate array (FPGA).

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Mathematical models, Communication protocols, Integrated circuits, Optics, Communication protocols, Integrated circuits, Optics
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Optical Structural Health Monitoring Device

This non-destructive, optical fatigue detection and monitoring system relies on a small and unobtrusive light-scattering sensor that is installed on a component at the beginning of its life in order to periodically scan the component in situ. The method involves using a laser beam to scan the surface of the monitored component. The device scans a laser spot over a metal surface to which it is attached. As the laser beam scans the surface, disruptions in the surface cause increases in scattered light intensity. As the disruptions in the surface grow, they will cause the light to scatter more. Over time, the scattering intensities over the scanned line can be compared to detect changes in the metal surface to find cracks, crack precursors, or corrosion. This periodic monitoring of the surface can be used to indicate the degree of fatigue damage on a component and allow one to predict the remaining life and/or incipient mechanical failure of the monitored component.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Aircraft structures, Lasers, Sensors and actuators, Lasers, Sensors and actuators, Fatigue, Non-destructive tests
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