Low Noise Advances in RF & Microwave Signal Analysis Platforms

Spectrum measurements are essential to RF and microwave testing. The newer signal analyzers available today deliver performance far better than those of just a few years ago. The older classic swept spectrum analyzer is a super heterodyne downconverter, perhaps with a high band front end. This downconverter feeds a filter and then an amplitude or envelope detector. The detector produces a single-ended output proportional to the magnitude of the signal, and discards phase information.

Posted in: Application Briefs, RFM Catchall, Analysis methodologies, Radio equipment, Test equipment and instrumentation

New Wiring Technology Could Reduce EMI Susceptibility in Army Helicopters

Minnesota Wire’s R&D division, Minnovate, has been awarded a Phase One Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract by the U.S. Army’s Program Executive Office (PEO) for Aviation. The objective of the R&D project, titled “Lightweight EMI Resistant Wiring Solutions,” is to demonstrate and develop technologies that can reduce the electromagnetic interference (EMI) susceptibility and impact of both existing and future power wiring harnesses on Army helicopters.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Electromagnetic compatibility, Wiring, Military aircraft, Rotary-wing aircraft

Flight Simulators Help Train Unmanned Aircraft Crews

L-3 Link Simulation & Training (L-3 Link) recently delivered six additional Predator Mission Aircrew Training Systems (PMATS) and associated support equipment to two U.S. Air Force installations and one Air National Guard site. Four units were delivered to Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.; one was delivered to Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.; and one was delivered to the Syracuse Air National Guard at Hancock Field, N.Y. The systems support high-fidelity modeling of the Predator MQ-1 and Reaper MQ-9 unmanned aircraft.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Computer simulation, Education, Military aircraft, Unmanned aerial vehicles

Fundamental Interaction Between Gold Nanoparticles and DNA

Quantum dots (QDs) and nanoparticles (NPs) are made of metal and/or semiconductor materials with diameters ranging from 5 to 100 nm. The properties of these nanomaterials, which depend on their size and the material they are made from, are usually completely different than the properties of their corresponding bulk materials. There may be anywhere from 1 to 1,000 electrons in a single QD, providing numerous possibilities for their opti-

cal and electrical properties.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Composite materials, Materials properties, Metals, Nanomaterials, Semiconductors

High Critical Current in Metal Organic Derived YBCO Films

High-temperature superconducting (HTS) YBCO wire is a versatile technology for a number of military and commercial applications. However, anticipated military applications such as energy-dense electric propulsion systems (including motor and adjustable speed motor drives), directed-energy weapons (including the gyrotron magnet and power supply), and commercial applications such as motors, generators, transformers, and power transmission lines require improvement in the performance of such wires before these applications are broadly realized.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Electric cables, Materials properties, Industrial vehicles and equipment, Military vehicles and equipment

Airbrush-Fabricated Carbon Nanotube Supercapacitor Electrodes

In order for the batteries used by soldiers to provide peak power, an increase in battery size and weight is necessary, which is becoming a burden. A light, compact alternative to large batteries for supplying peak power is electrochemical double-layer capacitors. These supercapacitors have a much higher energy density than conventional capacitors. Supercapacitors also have a higher cycle life, higher efficiencies, and a higher specific power than conventional batteries. Such supercapacitors will complement batteries and fuel cells to produce hybrid systems with extended capabilities.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Ultracapacitors and supercapacitors, Lightweight materials, Nanomaterials

Compact Superconducting Power Systems for Airborne Applications

In the development of future airborne megawatt-class power generation, it is important to minimize both the size and the weight of the system. The primary means of increasing the power density within the generator, as for all rotating machinery such as motors and alternators, is to maximize the magnetic flux density. This can be achieved by using a higher current-carrying capacity wire to increase the ampere-turns in the windings without adding more turns via a longer length of wire. This has already been accomplished through the incorporation of superconducting wire in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) magnets used in the medical field.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Avionics, Electric cables, High voltage systems, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Semiconductors

Development and Test of a Medium-Voltage Converter for Ocean Observatories

A critical component in regional-scale undersea power systems is the medium-voltage converter (MVC). The MVC is a DC-DC converter in the primary network infrastructure that receives a medium-voltage power input from the shore-based power feed equipment (PFE) via the telecom cable, typically at 1-10 KVDC, and provides down-conversion to one or more lower-voltage outputs, typically 300-600 VDC, to feed power to science nodes and instrumentation in the secondary network infrastructure.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Voltage regulators, Electric power, Marine vehicles and equipment

Two-Phase Electronics Cooling for Vehicle Applications

Replacing many of the traditional mechanical power and control systems with electronic equivalents will enable significant improvements by reducing weight, lowering fuel usage, increasing design flexibility, and enhancing overall functionality. This trend is apparent in “drive-by-wire” and “fly-by-wire” system designs. The past few iterations of Army vehicle programs have focused on increasing the use of electrical systems throughout the vehicle for many of the same reasons. Some of these programs have focused on new fully hybrid vehicles, while others have looked at improvements that can be made to legacy systems.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Electrical systems, Electronic equipment, Cooling, Hybrid electric vehicles, Military vehicles and equipment

Dense Transducer Array

A dense transducer array is an acoustic transducer with relatively high operational bandwidth. It includes a cable harness component that provides and organizes various conductors within piezocomposite substrates to form transducer arrays with minimum impact on electroacoustic performance. Several underwater sonar applications exist for high-frequency wideband transducer arrays having individual elements. In order to form and steer acoustic beams with an array of individual elements, the array elements must be spaced not more than one-half the acoustic wavelength at the highest frequency of interest. This implies, for square-shaped elements at least, that the elements' lateral dimensions are inversely proportional to frequency. Therefore, for fully populated radiating apertures, the number of elements increases exponentially as the spacing decreases.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Electronic equipment, Acoustics, Marine vehicles and equipment