Method of Fault Detection and Rerouting

John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida

NASA seeks partners interested in the commercial application of the In Situ Wire Damage Detection and Rerouting System (ISWDDRS). NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is soliciting licensees for this innovative technology. The ISWDDRS consists of a miniaturized inline connector containing self-monitoring electronics that use time domain reflectometry (TDR) to detect wire faults and determine fault type and fault location on powered electrical wiring. When a damaged or defective wire is identified, the system is capable of autonomously transferring electrical power and data connectivity to an alternate wire path. When used in conjunction with NASA’s wire constructions that use a conductive detection layer, the system is capable of detecting and limiting damage not only to the core conductor, but also to the insulation layer before the core conductor becomes compromised.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Failure analysis, Sensors and actuators, Wiring, Sensors and actuators, Wiring
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Metal Oxide Vertical Graphene Hybrid Supercapacitors

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California

NASA has developed a novel hybrid supercapacitor system utilizing vertical graphene as an electrode material grown directly on collector metals using a plasma enhanced chemical vapor de - position. Supercapacitors are an alternative to batteries for energy storage, offering high power density and rapid charging time. Nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes and graphene offer high surface area and porosity to construct the electrodes. Vertical graphene grown directly on a collector metal substrate enables construction of a supercapacitor. The key to the hybrid supercapacitor technology is the growth of vertical graphene directly onto an inexpensive metal substrate without the use of bulk graphene, catalysts, or binders, resulting in increased power density. Adding the metal oxide or electrically conducting polymer to the vertical graphene adds redox (reduction and oxidation) capacitance, thus increasing the overall performance of the device.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Energy storage systems, Ultracapacitors and supercapacitors, Energy storage systems, Ultracapacitors and supercapacitors, Metals, Nanomaterials
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Reconfigurable Drive Current System

Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has developed compact, reconfigurable electronic devices to drive and control avionics instruments. Typical avionics systems function through centralized power distribution units (PDUs), which have complex, expensive, and time-consuming design, development, test, and evaluation (DDT&E) cycles. To increase efficiency and lower design and implementation costs, the Standardized Multipurpose Avionics with Reconfigurable Technology (SMART) has been developed, replacing the PDU and sensor signal conditioning functions. By replacing the PDU, the system is able to process commands and condition signals at the application site, thus lowering system load. SMART can also be reconfigured for new tasks without changing hardware. This means functions can be added or changed later in the DDT&E cycle and even during integration, helping to reduce cost and schedule impact while enabling responsiveness to changing application needs.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Avionics, Electronic control units, Avionics, Electronic control units, Maintainability and supportability
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System and Method for Transferring Telemetry Data Between a Ground Station and a Control Center

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) employs many advanced innovations developed at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and in collaboration with other organizations. The applications and benefits for these technologies are advantageous for many other industries as well. One of those technologies is the Space Link Extension Return Channel Frames (SLE-RCF) software library. This software library enables a mission control center to receive telemetry frames from a ground station. The technology implements the SLE-RCF protocol as defined by the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS). Software routines can be reused from mission to mission.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Electronics & Computers, Software, Communication protocols, Data exchange, Satellite communications, Telemetry, Communication protocols, Data exchange, Satellite communications, Telemetry
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4-Quadrant Drive

American Control Electronics (ACE) (South Beloit, IL) introduces the DCR Series, a low-voltage 4-quadrant drive that provides control of PMDC motors in a variety of applications. The DCR Series is able to maintain variable speed control while batteries discharge, delivering an increased run time for battery-powered devices. A wide power range – 1/100 HP to 7.5 HP – makes the DCR Series ideal for mobile equipment and linear actuators. The DCR Series can also control portable or remote products that utilize solar power. The microprocessor-based design offers flexibility for customized OEM solutions with multiple I/O configurations, wired and wireless control capabilities and packaging options.

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Posted in: Products, Electronics & Computers
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Customizable Smart Graphics Displays

The OMEGA® (Stamford, CT) OM-SGD Series of panel meters with bright color TFT smart graphics displays are available in 3 screen sizes. They offer an operating power supply voltage range of 4 to 30 VDC and two alarm outputs. Waterproof NEMA 6 (IP67) versions are also available. Using the provided Simple Wizard based configuration software, select from over 40 standard display configurations to program in seconds. Customize colors, text labels, input scaling and units before uploading the selected display configuration to the meter via USB interface to the PC.

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Flexible Circuits

Metrigraphics (Lowell, MA) recently introduced a series of micron-scale flexible circuits and thin film devices. Micron-scale flexible circuits can be achieved with six or more layers high with traces (circuit lines) as narrow as 3 microns (11.81x10-5 inches). Metrigraphics employs a mix of proprietary and industry-standard processes including high-resolution photolithography as well as sputtered thin-film and plated metal deposition. Multilayer flexible circuits are constructed of several independently stacked, aligned and interconnected layers composed of very thin sputtered metal or thicker-plated metal, such as gold or copper, on polyimide substrates. Plated conductive vias connect the different layers as required. Metrigraphics offers via sizes down to a 25-micron diameter.

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Posted in: Products, Electronics & Computers
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Fan Speed Controllers

Orion Fans (Dallas, TX) has introduced the low-cost OA11/22 dual channel phase control unit that allows users to control fan speed for single or multiple AC fan assemblies. The units work off of 120/220 VAC, can accommodate higher current options by special order, offer four user adjustable speeds (off, low, medium, and high), and come equipped with a 2A input/output circuit breaker. Four factory presets allows for maximum flexibility with minimum setup time.

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Posted in: Products, Electronics & Computers
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3U CompactPCI Serial Board

CPU platform based on Intel’s Xeon D-1500 System-on-a-Chip (SoC). The 3U SBC is first in a family of CompactPCI Serial boards designed specifically for high data bandwidth based on PCIe 3.0, PCIe 2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet via the backplane. To enable easy handling of high data volumes, MEN Micro's G25A supports two 10 Gb Ethernet interfaces on RJ45 or M12 connectors, a USB 3.0 port, an RS232 port for configuration as well as a PCIe 3.0 interface via the backplane. Available versions come with 4, 8 or 16 cores to provide modular computing performance.

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Wireless Power Reference Kit

Integrated Device Technology, Inc. (San Jose, CA) introduced a new wireless power reference kit that helps make integrating wireless charging into compact electronics easy and affordable. The new IDT® Qi-based transmitter and receiver reference kit targets designs requiring 3W or less, such as smartwatches, headphones, health and fitness trackers and portable medical devices. Suited for applications ranging from 0.5 – 3W, the reference kit is comprised of both a transmitter (P9235A-R) and receiver (P9027LP-R), with three different coil size options supporting various applications, form factors and power levels.

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