Electrical/Electronics

ISO 26262 & Automotive Electronics Development

Compliance standards, especially those that involve relatively new functional safety elements, will likely add additional requirements to the development process. But ISO 26262, in particular, will add more than new requirements to the product life cycle for automotive hardware-software systems. This Functional Safety standard will act as a framework impacting integrated requirements traceability, risk management, validation, verification, documentation and collaboration throughout the systems engineering “V” model life cycle process (see Figure). ISO 26262 will also require the qualification of tools used to create automotive systems. This paper examines the impact of the standard on the development process and support tool chains for automotive electronics.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Information Sciences, Semiconductors & ICs, Software, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Life cycle analysis, Safety regulations and standards
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PTC Heater Brings Greater Control for Hand-held Medical Devices and Disposables

Point of Care diagnostics devices, whether handheld or single-use, often require a brief application of tightly controlled heat. The disposable nature of these devices requires a low-cost component capable of delivering that heat reliably and safely. Heatron's new PTC heater solution uses a polymer-based heater technology that controls heat to within ±2°C of the target temperature, and reduces unit cost by eliminating sensors and applied controls.

Posted in: White Papers, Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Thermoelectrics, Medical, Medical equipment and supplies, Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC), Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC), Polymers
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Deployable Antenna Circuit Board Material Design and Fabrication Process

This technology has applications in solar arrays for small satellites.

The Integrated Solar Array and Reflectarray (ISARA) antenna requires a rugged circuit board material that will meet the following requirements: (1) remains sufficiently flat over the required operating temperature range with solar cells mounted, and under full solar illumination, including heat dissipation due to ≈30% efficiency solar cells; (2) provides a sufficiently high-quality RF-grade circuit board material needed to print the reflectarray antenna; (3) is sufficiently thin (<2.5 mm) to fit within the available stowage volume; and (4) has low mass density (≈5 kg/m2).

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Antennas, Integrated circuits, Antennas, Integrated circuits, Fabrication
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Moon Tours Android

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

This Android app provides a native interface to the Lunar Mapping and Modeling Portal’s (LMMP) lunar data archive and analysis tools. It complements the iOS app previously released, incorporating a very similar feature set. Both apps contain a subset of the functionality available in the desktop/Web version. Compared to the iOS version of the LMMP, the Android version provides the additional tools necessary to perform elevation analysis and perimeter/area measurements.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Electronics & Computers, Software, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Historical reference
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Development of a Multi-User Modem for Space Telecommunications

This technology has applications in the cellphone industry.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Efficient support of planetary surface missions typically requires an orbiting asset that acts as a relay point to/from Earth. Orbital relay passes are normally 5 to 15 minutes in duration over any specific landed site. When multiple landed assets are co-located or near-located in the same coverage circle of a single relay orbiter, their telecom relay support opportunities will overlap. This will be the case with cooperative lander missions, a lander-rover operations pair, distributed intelligent lander missions, and future deployment of multiple equipment components for support of complex sample return or manned operations. In these situations, the capability of simultaneous support to multiple landers is very valuable for mission performance and operations flexibility. This technology work enables simultaneous telecom support to multiple landers (Mars, Titan, Europa), and provides single-radio, multi-mode support to Entry, Descent & Landing (EDL) and emergency operations (e.g., demodulation + Open Loop Recording).

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Satellite communications, Telecommunications systems, Satellite communications, Telecommunications systems, Spacecraft
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Wire Bonding to Pads in Tilted Planes

This technique can be used in industries where devices need to be made smaller and lighter, such as medical, aerospace, automotive, and military.

Scientific imaging arrays need to have their individual imaging elements arranged in a close-spaced mosaic. The typical single imaging element is a silicon chip mounted on a larger support frame. This excess area of the support frame takes away valuable imaging space from the mosaic. This appears as a grid of black (no data) in the overall mosaic image. Making the support frame smaller makes the amount of lost data smaller, and the imaging elements can be spaced more closely together. Eliminating the support frame altogether brings the imaging elements even closer. This is referred to as four-side buttable.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Imaging, Imaging and visualization
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cFE/CFS Evolution for Multicore Platforms

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

This effort ports the Core Flight Executive (cFE)/Core Flight System (CFS) flight software architecture to multicore processor platforms, and provides mission developers with a common, flightready, flexible software environment that supports single, multi-processor, and multicore systems. Currently the cFE/CFS only supports single-core processors.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Avionics, Communication protocols, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Architecture, Avionics, Communication protocols, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware
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FPGA Reconfiguration with Accelerated Bitstream Relocation

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

Partial bitstream relocation (PBR) on field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) is a technique to re-scale parallelism of accelerator architectures at run time and enhance fault tolerance. PBR techniques have focused on reading inactive bitstreams stored in memory, on-chip or off-chip, whose contents are generated for a specific partial reconfiguration region (PRR) and modified on demand for configuration into a PRR at a different location.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Data exchange, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Data exchange
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Real-Time LiDAR Signal Processing FPGA Modules

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

A scanning LiDAR, by its inherent nature, generates a great deal of raw digital data. To generate 3D imagery in real time, the data must be processed as quickly as possible. One method of discerning time-of-flight of a laser pulse for a LiDAR application is correlating a Gaussian pulse with a discretely sampled waveform from the LiDAR receiver.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Lidar, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Lidar
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EADIN Lite Communication Network

DEC is part of the Transformational Tools and Technologies (TTT) project under the Advanced Aeronautics research program.

John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio

The distributed engine controls (DEC) task seeks to investigate the capabilities of a distributed network for aircraft engine controls. Traditional aircraft engine control systems use analog systems to communicate with sensors and actuators. The ability to upgrade an engine after manufacture, by swapping out sensors or actuators, is limited due to the analog signal component. Digital signals do not have this limitation, and additionally they do not require dedicated cabling, which may decrease engine weight. To understand the interactions between a new digital network and the engine controller, a representative model of the networks is required.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, Engine control systems
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