Here are innovative solutions for your biggest challenges in Electronics and Software - Power Supplies and Management, Board-Level Electronics, Components and Batteries. You’ll find applications essential to military, aviation, medical and automotive design engineering.

Briefs : Information Technology
System for Estimating Horizontal Velocity During Descent

The descent image motion estimation system (DIMES) is a system of hardware and software, designed for original use in estimating the horizontal velocity of a spacecraft descending toward a landing on Mars. The estimated horizontal velocity is used in generating rocket-firing commands to...

Briefs : Information Technology
Opto-Electronic Oscillator Using Suppressed Phase Modulation

A proposed opto- electronic oscillator (OEO) would generate a microwave signal having degrees of frequency stability and spectral purity greater than those achieved in prior OEOs. The design of this system provides for reduction of noise levels (including the level of phase noise in...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Wirelessly Interrogated Position or Displacement Sensors

Two simple position or displacement sensors based on inductance-capacitance resonant circuits have been conceived. These sensors are both powered and interrogated without use of wires and without making contact with other objects. Instead, excitation and interrogation are accomplished by...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Inductive Linear-Position Sensor/Limit-Sensor Units

A new sensor (see figure) provides an absolute position measurement. The figure presents a schematic view of a motorized linear- translation stage that contains, at each end, an electronic unit that functions as both (1) a non-contact sensor that measures the absolute position of the stage and...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Hilbert-Curve Fractal Antenna With Radiation-Pattern Diversity

A printed, folded, Hilbert-curve fractal microwave antenna has been designed and built to offer advantages of compactness and low mass, relative to other antennas designed for the same operating frequencies. The primary feature of the antenna is that it offers the advantage of...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Single-Camera Panoramic-Imaging Systems

Panoramic detection systems (PDSs) are developmental video monitoring and image-data processing systems that, as their name indicates, acquire panoramic views. More specifically, a PDS acquires images from an approximately cylindrical field of view that surrounds an observation platform. In example of a...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Interface Electronic Circuitry for an Electronic Tongue

Electronic circuitry has been developed to serve as an interface between an electronic tongue and digital input/output boards in a laptop computer that is used to control the tongue and process its readings. Electronic tongues were described in two prior NASA Tech Briefs articles:...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Inexpensive Clock for Displaying Planetary or Sidereal Time

An inexpensive wall clock has been devised for displaying solar time or sidereal time as it would be perceived on a planet other than the Earth, or for displaying sidereal time on the Earth. The concept of a wall clock synchronized to a period other than the terrestrial mean solar day...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Efficient Switching Arrangement for (N + 1)/N Redundancy

An efficient arrangement of four switches has been conceived for coupling, to four output ports, the output powers of any subset of four devices that are members of a redundant set of five devices. In normal operation, the output power of each of four of the devices would be coupled to one...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Lightweight Reflectarray Antenna for 7.115 and 32 GHz

A lightweight reflectarray antenna that would enable simultaneous operation at frequencies near 7.115 GHz and frequencies near 32 GHz is undergoing development. More precisely, what is being developed is a combination of two reflectarray antennas — one for each frequency band —...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Alternative Controller for a Fiber-Optic Switch

The figure is a simplified diagram of a relatively inexpensive controller for a DiCon VX (or equivalent) fiber-optic switch — an electromechanically actuated switch for optically connecting one or two input optical fibers to any of a number of output optical fibers. DiCon VX fiber-optic...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Motor Control Integrated Circuit

iC-Haus Corp. USA (Naperville, IL) introduces the iC-MH, a system-on-chip solution for magnetic sensor applications. The iC-MH’s 5 x 5 mm QFN28 package contains integrated Hall sensors with signal amplifier and gain control, two A/D converters for incremental and commutation signals, integrated RS-422 line...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
MMIC Amplifiers for 90 to 130 GHz

The figure shows two monolithic microwave integrated-circuit (MMIC) amplifier chips optimized to function in the frequency range of 90 to 130 GHz, covering nearly all of F-band (90 – 140 GHz). These amplifiers were designed specifically for local-oscillator units in astronomical radio telescopes such as the...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Low Power 65nm FPGA

Altera Corporation (San Jose, CA) announced the shipment of the EP3C120, the largest member of its new low-cost 65nm Cyclone® III FPGA family. Leveraging Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's (TSMC's) 65-nm low-power (LP) process, Cyclone III FPGAs offer low power, a rich supply of logic (5K to 120K logic elements),...

Briefs : Information Technology
Representing Functions in n Dimensions to Arbitrary Accuracy

A method of approximating a scalar function of n independent variables (where n is a positive integer) to arbitrary accuracy has been developed. This method is expected to be attractive for use in engineering computations in which it is necessary to link global models with local ones...

Briefs : Information Technology
Automated Recognition of 3D Features in GPIR Images

A method of automated recognition of three-dimensional (3D) features in images generated by ground-penetrating imaging radar (GPIR) is undergoing development. GPIR 3D images can be analyzed to detect and identify such subsurface features as pipes and other utility conduits. Until now, much of...

Briefs : Information Technology
Algorithm Plans Collision-Free Path for Robotic Manipulator

An algorithm has been developed to enable a computer aboard a robot to autonomously plan the path of the manipulator arm of the robot to avoid collisions between the arm and any obstacle, which could be another part of the robot or an external object in the vicinity of the robot. In...

Briefs : Information Technology
Hybrid Automated Diagnosis of Discrete/Continuous Systems

A recently conceived method of automated diagnosis of a complex electromechanical system affords a complete set of capabilities for hybrid diagnosis in the case in which the state of the electromechanical system is characterized by both continuous and discrete values (as represented by...

Briefs : Information Technology
State-Estimation Algorithm Based on Computer Vision

An algorithm and software to implement the algorithm are being developed as means to estimate the state (that is, the position and velocity) of an autonomous vehicle, relative to a visible nearby target object, to provide guidance for maneuvering the vehicle. In the original intended...

Briefs : Information Technology
Accumulate-Repeat-Accumulate-Accumulate Codes

Accumulate-repeat- accumulate-accumulate (ARAA) codes have been proposed, inspired by the recently proposed accumulate- repeat-accumulate (ARA) codes. These are error-correcting codes suitable for use in a variety of wireless data-communication systems that include noisy channels. ARAA codes can be...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
MCM Polarimetric Radiometers for Planar Arrays

A polarimetric radiometer that operates at a frequency of 40 GHz has been designed and built as a prototype of multiple identical units that could be arranged in a planar array for scientific measurements. Such an array is planned for use in studying the cosmic microwave background (CMB).

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Two-Band, Low-Loss Microwave Window

A window for a high-sensitivity microwave receiving system allows microwave radiation to pass through to a cryogenically cooled microwave feed system in a vacuum chamber, while keeping ambient air out of the chamber and helping to keep the interior of the chamber cold. The microwave feed system comprises a...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
WGM-Based Photonic Local Oscillators and Modulators

Photonic local oscillators and modulators that include whispering-gallery- mode (WGM) optical resonators have been proposed as power-efficient devices for generating and detecting radiation at frequencies of the order of a terahertz. These devices are intended especially to satisfy anticipated...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Aperture-Coupled Thin-Membrane L-Band Antenna

The upper part of the figure depicts an aperture-coupled L-band antenna comprising patterned metal conductor films supported on two thin polyimide membranes separated by an air gap. In this antenna, power is coupled from a microstrip line on the lower surface of the lower membrane, through a slot in...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Focal-Plane Arrays of Quantum-Dot Infrared Photodetectors

Focal-plane arrays of semiconductor quantum-dot infrared photodetectors (QDIPs) are being developed as superior alternatives to prior infrared imagers, including imagers based on HgCdTe devices and, especially, those based on quantum-well infrared photodetectors (QWIPs). HgCdTe devices...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Laser Range and Bearing Finder With No Moving Parts

A proposed laser-based instrument would quickly measure the approximate distance and approximate direction to the closest target within its field of view. The instrument would not contain any moving parts and its mode of operation would not entail scanning over of its field of view. Typically,...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Miniature L-Band Radar Transceiver

A miniature L-band transceiver that operates at a carrier frequency of 1.25 GHz has been developed as part of a generic radar electronics module (REM) that would constitute one unit in an array of many identical units in a very-large-aperture phased-array antenna. NASA and the Department of Defense are...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Cathodoluminescent Source of Intense White Light

The device shown in the figure exploits cathodoluminescence to generate intense light in the visible and near-infrared regions of the spectrum. This device is suitable for use as a source of white light for general illumination or microscopy or as a broad-band light source for spectroscopy. Unlike...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Robotic Vision-Based Localization in an Urban Environment

A system of electronic hardware and software, now undergoing development, automatically estimates the location of a robotic land vehicle in an urban environment using a somewhat imprecise map, which has been generated in advance from aerial imagery. This system does not utilize the Global...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Cell Technology Tackles 3D Medical Imaging Reconstruction Challenges

Medical imaging is an information processing technique that takes data samples from medical devices such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computer tomography (CT) scanners and translates them into 2D, 3D or even 4D images. Advances in sensor technology allow for the...