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Miniature Snapshot Multispectral Imager

Multispectral imagers use an optical device that can separate the colors to obtain the spectral content in the scene. Such an optical device could be a grating or prism, a filter wheel, a diffractive optic lens, a Fabry-Perot (F-P) etalon, or a tunable filter. All of these optical devices are used with a focal plane array (FPA) and suitable optics for a given spectral region. All such imagers collect images in a time-sequential manner. Recently, some multispectral imagers have been developed that collect images of the scene at all the spectral bands simultaneously.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Imaging, Microelectricmechanical device, Optics
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Evaluation Boards

Bourns (Riverside, CA) offers two evaluation boards for RS-485-port interfaces. The boards use Bourns® TBU® High-Speed Protectors (HSPs), GDTs, TVS diodes, and MOV products. The Bourns RS-485EVALBOARD1 includes two Bourns® TBU® High-Speed Protectors (HSPs), two Bourns® fast-acting GDTs, and two Bourns® TVS diodes. The Bourns RS-485EVALBOARD2 features Bourns® TBU® High-Speed Protectors (HSPs), MOVs, and TVS products.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Membrane Switches

APEM Components (Haverhill, MA) has announced a range of customized, ergonomic, low-power membrane switches. The switches can be made with either non-tactile or tactile feedback through sound and light indication. The membrane switches, which meet IP65, IP67, and NEMA4 standards, operate in moderate to harsh conditions.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Minimizing Thermal Resistance with Direct Attach Heat Spreaders

As commercial and military electronics applications continue to “push the envelope” with higher powers and smaller packaging requirements, it is becoming more critical to minimize the thermal resistance from the heat load to the heat sink. Ideal packaging materials must have high thermal conductivity and coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) values that are compatible with the integrated circuit device while remaining lightweight and affordable. Given these constraints, removing high heat loads and/or high heat flux from these electronics presents some interesting challenges for design engineers.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Integrated circuits, Thermal management, Conductivity, Valves
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