Communications

Lost in Space: Smart Spacesuits Feature 'Home' Button

During a routine spacewalk, astronauts can easily lose their sense of orientation and direction. Creators of a new kind of spacesuit aim to address the challenge — with the push of a button.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Communications, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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Zero-Power Radio Receiver

There are several different types of wireless radio frequency identification (RFID) tags that are truly zero-power radios. Currently, most unpowered wireless RFID tags only have a range of a few meters. There are longrange, low-powered tags that draw energy either from a battery or some other form of localized power. A passive, or zero-power, radio receiver uses no direct electrical power, but makes sole use of the power available from a transmitter via the radio spectrum.

Posted in: Briefs, Communications
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System Integrates High-Speed Data and Wireless Power Transfer

Sources of wireless power — such as wireless cellphone charging pads — require near-physical contact with the pad, limiting the usefulness of a truly wireless power source. Recent work has extended wireless power to mid-range, which can supply power at inches to feet of separation. Most of these wireless power systems have only focused on the power problem, not the data that needs to accompany smart devices.

Posted in: Briefs, Communications
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Tunable, High-Isolation RF/Microwave Circulator

A new high-isolation RF circulator provides enhanced detection ranges (radar) and improved reception (communications) by reducing signal leakage and undesirable internal reflections between ports at a tuned frequency (or frequency range) of interest. Isolation values exceeding 70 dB have been demonstrated, which far exceeds the 20 dB typical to conventional three-port circulators.

Posted in: Briefs, Communications
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Autonomous Positioning and Navigation Network

Engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center have developed a machine-to-machine (M2M) network navigation protocol to enable spacecraft to perform autonomous navigation and positioning, even in the most challenging environments. Designed to facilitate deep space communication between spacecraft without the need for ground system support, this enhancement of onboard navigation capabilities allows assets to operate accurately in GPS-denied areas, determine position fixes relative to other assets, and minimize reliance on operator intervention. Additionally, implementation of the network architecture may be as simple as a software update, with no requirement of extensive designated hardware. Through providing these benefits, the NASA technology could improve the operational capabilities of aircraft navigation systems; advance autonomy, coordination, and safety features in unmanned aerial vehicles; and serve as a substitute or supplement for GPS positioning.

Posted in: Briefs, Communications
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Paper-Thin Device Acts as a Loudspeaker and Microphone

A paper-thin, flexible device was created that can generate energy from human motion, and can act as a loudspeaker and microphone. The transducer is ultrathin, flexible, scalable, and bidirectional, meaning it can convert mechanical energy to electrical energy, and vice-versa.

Posted in: Briefs, Communications
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GPS Correction Technology Lets Tractors Drive Themselves

Spinoff is NASA’s annual publication featuring successfully commercialized NASA technology. This commercialization has contributed to the development of products and services in the fields of health and medicine, consumer goods, transportation, public safety, computer technology, and environmental resources.

Posted in: Articles, Automotive, Communications, RF & Microwave Electronics, Software, Automotive, Transportation
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‘Twisted’ Light Could Illuminate New Path for Wireless Communications

Scientists have taken an important step towards using ‘twisted’ light as a form of wireless, high-capacity data transmission which could make fiber optics obsolete.

Posted in: INSIDER, Communications, Wireless, Optics, Photonics
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Wideband Radar Signal Generation and Analysis

In designing modern radar systems you face significant challenges. You must develop solutions with the flexibility and adaptability required for next-generation threat detection and avoidance. To succeed, you need capable tools for the generation and analysis of extremely complex pulse patterns and you need to validate designs with advanced scanning methodologies – tools that can handle complex radar baseband, IF and RF signals.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars, Communications
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Personal Annunciation Device (PAD)

Many industrial and commercial plants, government and private research facilities, and industrial facilities perform potentially dangerous processes. Automated warning and alarm systems alert personnel to dangerous or abnormal conditions inside or near a plant so the personnel may take prompt protective action such as evacuation, co-location, or shelter in place. Such automated systems include simple fire and smoke detectors that detect the presence of fire or smoke and immediately activate a connected, audible alarm confined to a specific area of a plant. Many systems include a central hub for receiving detection signals from detectors located throughout a plant. In some systems, the central hub also is connected to a network of alarms including audible alarms — both siren-like and information-based — and visual alarms, including flashing emergency lights and textual-based information screens.

Posted in: Briefs, Communications, Security systems, Wireless communication systems, Security systems, Wireless communication systems, Smoke detection, Smoke detection, Automation, Evacuation and escape, Fire detection
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