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Messaging Communications Bus

Real-Time Innovations (Sunnyvale, CA) offers RTI Data Distribution Service, Safety-Critical Edition, a smallfootprint version of real-time messaging middleware to meet safety certification standards such as DO-178B. It is designed for communication within and between avionics systems and unmanned aircraft system (UAS) ground control stations. It provides a message bus for integrating distributed components of avionics systems such as control systems, sensors, actuators, and displays. It allows individual subsystems to be added or upgraded without impacting existing software.

The Safety-Critical Edition supports the standard DDS interoperability protocol and the Real- Time Publish-Subscribe Protocol (RTPS). Applications developed using the middleware can seamlessly communicate with other systems developed using RTPS-compliant DDS middleware. This allows military UASs to be integrated with net-centric combat systems.

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Submersible Pressure Sensors

The AST4520 media-isolated, submersible pressure sensor from American Sensor Technologies (Mt. Olive, NJ) features a flush diaphragm steel cage design with stainless steel construction for level monitoring of turbulent tanks with viscous media. It is approved to UL/cUL913 Class 1, Division 1 IS, Groups C and D with an approved barrier. The steel cage design allows for proper flow of media while keeping the sensor at the bottom of the tank or well. It also features an engraved 316L housing and Kynar PVDF cable.

Units operate at temperature ranges of -40 to 185°F and offer pressure ranges from 0-5 to 0-15 PSIG. All units come standard with EMI/RFI protection of 100V/meter and a 4-20mA output.

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Avionics Bus Box

Ballard Technology (Everett, WA) offers the Avionics BusBox 2000 Series, a DO-160 box designed for rugged environments. The embedded computer has built-in interfaces for standard peripherals and various avionics databases. Using application-specific software, the box also is expandable. Con - ductively cooled, it is suitable for rugged applications such as serving and recording data, converting protocols, and providing federated control.

The box features a user-programmable PowerPC processor that controls the standard (serial, Ethernet, and USB) and avionics databus (MIL-STD-1553, ARINC 429/708717) interfaces. Programs are developed on a host computer and uploaded to the box, where they can be saved in non-volatile Flash memory. Applications can then boot from the Flash memory and run without host intervention.

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Posted in: Products, Aviation
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Aerospace Engine Components

Sandvik Coromant (Fairlawn, NJ) has released an Aerospace Engine Solutions Package that contains five standard products to support the aerospace engine industry. The GC1115 is a PVD-coated grade for high-temperature alloys that offers wear resistance; the CoroCut angled inserts are a grooving system that uses 24 standard articles in grade GC1115 to provide access to complex features in disc, shaft, and casing manufacturing; and the SL70 modular serration lock and oval blade coupling combines with Coromant Capto to provide accessibility and stability. The carbide solutions come equipped with high-pressure coolant nozzles and are available for CoroCut, ceramic RCGX, and carbide RCMT.

The other two products are the CoroMill Plura conical ball nose end mills, which are 12 standard articles with radii and taper options for the 5-axis machining of titanium blisk and impeller turbo parts; and the CoroMill 316 solid carbide with exchangeable head coupling that has diameter and radii options for features such as scallop milling on discs, casings, and shafts.

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Thermal Wind Tunnel

OMEGA Engineering (Stamford, CT) offers the WT-2000 thermal wind tunnel in a portable, benchtop design. Made of clear polycarbonate and PVC, it is designed to provide uniform and repeatable airflow up to 1000 fpm. The control box allows for open-loop, full-scale operation of individual fans, groups of two fans, or all fans at once. The large test chamber with a hinged access door and access panel allows for comparison testing or different size heat sinks and circuit boards. The unit is CE compliant.

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Robotic Platform

The Chaos™ robotic platform from Auton - omous Solutions (Logan, UT) is designed to remotely access hazardous areas previously accessible only by foot, reducing risk to personnel. The robot is able to navigate over rough, steep, and loose terrain with four independent drive tracks that can continuously change orientation a full 360 degrees. It can alter its pitch, roll, and yaw to navigate surfaces too uneven for other tracked platforms.

The robot features a high payload capacity and an available manipulator arm with a 50-pound capacity at full reach of 72". Its low base weight allows it to be lifted out of a vehicle and deployed by two people. As a JAUS-compatible platform, the robot allows addition of a variety of sensors and other robotic payloads.

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Air-Cooled Enclosures

Carlo Gavazzi Computing Solutions (Brockton, MA) has introduced the 715 Series of recirculating, air-cooled, rugged ATR enclosures for protection of commercial off-the-shelf convection-cooled cards de ployed in caustic environments. The enclosures withstand extremes in temperature, vibration, humidity, and contaminants. The cooling system uses a recirculating fan on the inside to transfer circuit card heat energy to the conducting walls. The walls are engineered thermal cores that provide heat transfer to the exterior surfaces of the system. The enclosures feature a brazed aluminum frame construction and are available with scalable power options for a variety of airborne and vehicle applications.

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Aerospace Seals

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions (Fort Wayne, IN) has introduced Turcon® Varilip® PDR industrial seals for the aerospace industry. They are designed for high-speed rotating applications, and are constructed from one or multiple PTFE-based sealing elements, which are mechanically retained in a precision-machined metal body. The metal body provides a static seal against the housing, preventing thermal cycling. The Turcon sealing element provides positive dynamic sealing on the shaft at high rotary speeds.

The seals reduce temperature generation, permit higher peripheral speeds, and lower power consumption. The seals offer a choice of standard parts in various corrosion-resistant materials and lip geometries.

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Increasing System Flexibility Using FPGAs

The proliferation of FPGAs into the embedded computing industry has opened up many new pathways for designers to design cost-effective systems that will withstand technology upgrades, changes in application requirements, and requests for low volumes for system components. Because it allows a user to update functionality after the device has left the manufacturer, FPGA technology gives embedded designers the flexibility to configure both customized and standard products. They can rethink the way systems are constructed and build ones that significantly advance existing technologies and blaze new paths for cutting-edge embedded systems.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Embedded software, Integrated circuits, Cost analysis
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StackableUSB™ Adapting PC Technology to the Embedded Market

Embedded systems and desktop PC's have had a love hate relationship over the years. The PC has been the source of significant technological advances that have enabled embedded systems to evolve to their current levels of sophistication, using the faster processors and highly-integrated functionality of the CPU cores available today. Additionally, the PC world has also spun off I/O buses, both serial and parallel, that have enabled embedded systems designers to expand and configure their system I/O. On the other hand, the embedded industry has often been wary to adopt PC technology due to the short life cycle some PC technologies experience.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Design processes, Architecture, Embedded software, Performance upgrades
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