Two-Way, Freeform, Speech-to-Speech Translation Systems for Tactical Use

The Spoken Language Communication and Translation System for Tactical Use (TRANSTAC) is developing and fielding freeform, two-way translation systems that enable speakers of different languages to communicate with one another in real-world tactical situations without an interpreter. To date, several prototype systems have been developed for traffic control points, facilities inspection, civil affairs, medical screening, and combined operations domains in Iraqi Arabic (IA), Mandarin, Farsi, Pashto, Dari, and Thai. Systems have been demonstrated on various-size platforms ranging from personal digital assistants (PDAs) to laptop-grade platforms.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Technology, Computer software / hardware, Cryptography, Terminology, Military vehicles and equipment

Universal Sparse Modeling

Sparse data models, where data is assumed to be well represented as a linear combination of a few elements from a dictionary, have gained considerable attention in recent years, and their use has led to state-of-the-art results in many signal and image processing tasks. Sparse modeling calls for constructing a succinct representation of some data as a combination of a few typical patterns (atoms) learned from the data itself.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Technology, Mathematical models, Data management, Terminology

Web Service and Interface for Remote Electronic Device Characterization

A lightweight Web Service (WS) and a Web site interface have been developed that enable remote measurements of electronic devices as a “virtual laboratory.” Using standard browsers without additional plug-ins (such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, or even Safari on an iPhone), remote users can control a Keithley Instruments’ source-measurement unit and monitor results in real time from anywhere on the Internet. The present interface is flexible, and could be expanded to many other devices and instruments, such as remote measurements of bionanotechnology or micromechanical devices.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Technology, Measurements, Computer software / hardware, Internet, Human machine interface (HMI), Test equipment and instrumentation

Comparison of Subpixel Phase Correlation Methods for Image Registration

When working sequences of images, registration of the frames to a common point of reference is an essential prerequisite for many types of image analysis. The phase correlation method (PCM) is a popular Fourier domain method to register two images. It computes a phase difference map that (ideally) contains a single peak. The location of the peak is proportional to the relative translation [dx, dy] between the two images. The PCM is resilient to noise and image defects and is readily automated.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Technology, Analysis methodologies, Imaging, Satellites

Using High-Level Language to Implement Floating-Point Calculations on FPGAs

The scientific community is interested in using field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) for scientific computations because they can be targeted for specific applications and achieve greater throughput at a lower power cost. However, these gains can usually only be achieved by a user with expert knowledge of hardware design. Therefore, despite improvements in FPGA technology that have allowed their use to become attractive for a wider range of applications, inexperience with hardware design remains a barrier for many.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Integrated circuits, Technician training

Managing Security in FPGA-Based Embedded Systems

Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) combine the programmability of processors with the performance of custom hardware. As they become more common in critical embedded systems, new techniques are necessary to manage security in FPGA designs. Because FPGAs can provide a useful balance between performance, rapid time to market, and flexibility, they have become the primary source of computation in many critical embedded systems. However, techniques beyond bitstream encryption are necessary to ensure FPGA design security.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Cyber security, Integrated circuits, Safety critical systems

CMOS-Memristor Hybrid Nanoelectronics

The memristor is the fourth fundamental passive electronic device in addition to the resistor, capacitor, and inductor. By integrating with complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) devices, memristors show promise for development of revolutionary new nanoelectronic computing architectures with significantly reduced size and extremely low consumed power. The proposed effort explores a novel, high-payoff nanotechnology area that exploits crossbar nanoelectronic logic elements as well as the recently demonstrated phenomena of memristance. Specifically, the goal of this project was to explore CMOS-memristor hybrid nanoelectronic circuits for memory, FPGA, DSP, analog, and neuromorphic applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Downsizing, Architecture, Semiconductor devices, Energy consumption, Nanotechnology

Dynamically Reconfigurable Software-Defined Radio for GNSS Applications

Historically, the military has used special- purpose Global Positioning System (GPS) radios for radio navigation. This has the disadvantage of locking users into fixed technology solutions designed to meet a fixed set of requirements. Software Defined Radios (SDR) have the advantage of being able to easily adapt to provide new capabilities using current-generation technology. Continued improvements in SDR technology are enabling their use for Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) applications that require small-form-factor, low-power designs. This has the added benefit of allowing the signal processing algorithms for future GPS signals to be included in the GNSS SDR design without changing or modifying the hardware of the GPS receiver.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Computer software / hardware, Global positioning systems, Global positioning systems (GPS), Radio equipment, Military vehicles and equipment, Satellites

32-Bit Microcontrollers

Microchip Technology (Chandler, AZ) has announced low-pincount, 32-bit PIC32 microcontrollers (MCUs) that provide 61 DMIPS of performance in packages 5 × 5 mm. The PIC32 “MX1” and “MX2” MCUs feature dedicated audio and capacitive-sensing peripherals.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers

Data Review Tool

The PeerReview Complete™ tool from SmartBear Software (Beverly, MA) allows engineers to share, review, and annotate schematics, 2D drawings, diagrams, images, HTML, and other digital content. PeerReview Complete features include: synchronous and asynchronous reviewing; live chat; threaded comment tracking and automated review notification; reviews of hardware description languages; centralized reporting; customizable workflows and fields; “Print to Review” functionality; and search capabilities.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers