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RTU Datalogger

The IPm2m® RTU and Datalogger from SIXNET (Ballston Lake, NY) combines RTU (Remote Terminal Unit), datalogger, and telemetry interface in a compact, installation-ready package. The IPm2m has a full complement of communication ports with an Ethernet, RS232, RS485, and USB. This flexible port configuration makes it ideal for connecting to devices in a remote location. Each port supports SIXNET and Modbus protocol along with DNP3 slave. A diverse mixture of discrete and analog I/O is well-suited for remote monitor and control of various instruments.

Datalogging memory of 32MB in flash or dynamic memory provides space to save data that can be accessed at any time. Uninterruptible power protection supplies backup power from a central location to each distributed Etherbus® I/O module using a single Etherbus Fieldbus cable. The Etherbus PoE supply feature will keep the module communicating and powering critical instrumentation during a power failure. IPm2m provides the means to connect remotely to bring real-time data from distributed locations to the Internet or into central information servers. The RTU datalogger is ideal for remote machineto- machine applications such as environmental monitoring, energy/facility management, critical equipment monitoring, resource tracking and control, automated field service, and security systems.

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Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Patient Monitoring Using Capacitive Sensors

Capacitive sensors can be used to measure many different physical parameters that are important when monitoring the health of patients. In particular, the technical advances made by sensor manufacturers in using micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS), fabricated using silicon microchip manufacturing techniques, have opened up new possibilities for integration which improve the ease and adaptability of their use.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Microelectricmechanical device, Sensors and actuators, Medical equipment and supplies, Silicon alloys
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Designing Flexible Printed Circuit Boards

General purpose flexible circuit boards are those with electronic components that can be bent to fit in tight spaces. Most are just one or two layers thick and are meant for "flex to install" applications, as they will tolerate limited flex cycles. Circuit boards like this are often found in a variety of medical and consumer products.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Integrated circuits, Fabrication
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Software Development for Low Power Designs

The increasing emphasis on green technologies has focused more attention on low power design. Microcontroller vendors are responding by increasing their offerings of ultra low power devices that consume as little as 350 uA/MHz and have sub-uA sleep modes.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Computer software / hardware, Power electronics, Sustainable development, Energy consumption
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New Small Form Factor Storage Standard Targets Embedded Systems

To achieve small size, low power consumption and fast time to market requirements, embedded systems designers often look to chipsets found in cell phone handsets or mobile internet devices (MIDs) to cost-effectively meet their design requirements. These components, whether they are off-the-shelf chipsets from Intel, AMD or Freescale, or FPGA's from Xilinx, Altera, or Actel, that later migrate to custom ASICS, often define the available storage interfaces. These chipsets are widely understood and supported and more often than not, make use of USB, SD, MMC or some other type of serial programmable interface that is not usually defined with traditional storage such as PATA or SATA.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Embedded software, Integrated circuits, Data management
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Satellite Phone

The 9555 satellite phone from Iridium Satellite LLC (Bethesda, MD) is compact and features an intuitive user interface, speakerphone, Short Messaging Service and e-mail capabilities, an upgraded mini-USB data port, and an internally stowed antenna. The phone is designed to withstand rugged, remote, and industrial environments, and is shock- and water-resistant. It utilizes Iridium’s commercial satellite global communications network for operation in any location or condition where cellular, radio, or landline services are not available.

Features include an illuminated, weather-resistant keypad; a 21-language menu; programmable international codes for automatic dialing; standby time up to 30 hours; and talk time to four hours.

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Signal Translator

Luxul Wireless (Lindon, UT) has released the Shock- WAV™ frequency-translating amplifier (FTA) for use in secure military, defense, and homeland security applications. The FTA converts signals generated by commercial off-the-shelf 5.x wireless LAN technologies to the secured 4.4 to 4.94 GHz government band, and transmits that signal over long distances. The bi-directional FTA enables any 802.11a wireless LAN radio to operate in the government band.

The FTA is available with a 500-mW output power option and a 2-W output power option. The 500-mW version achieves throughput speeds in excess of 15 Mbps at distances over 20 miles; the 2-W version is being tested at distances to 40 miles.

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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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Posted in: Products, Sensors
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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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