Using Real-World Methodologies to Calculate SSD Usable Life

With more embedded systems using SSDs in critical applications, designers are now asking the question, “How long will this SSD last in my application?” To help answer this pressing question, it is important to review the recent changes in NAND flash technology.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Computer software / hardware, Life cycle analysis

Middleware Offers Integration Framework for Dynamic UAV Applications

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) like the MQ-1 Predator have excelled in the theaters of war in which they have been deployed. However, the ability of those controlling the UAV to conceive of new missions for the Predator and other deployed UAVs in the field has led to the U.S. Air Force recognition that the fundamental architectural approach to development of complete Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs), including ground stations and other elements, has to put integration capability front and center as a key design issue.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Architecture, Systems engineering, Military aircraft, Unmanned aerial vehicles

Interaction Methods for Virtual Reality Applications

The potential of Virtual Reality (VR) technology has not been fully realized because the user interfaces are not designed to effectively support the user. One of the most critical interface aspects is the possibility to interact with the system within the virtual environment. The initial idea of optimizing the user interaction was to transfer the interaction that occurs in the real world as accurately as possible into the VR environment. In this case the user, theoretically, would have no problems interchanging between the two worlds.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace

Microfabrication and Testing of a Thermoelectric Device for Generating Mobile Electrical Power

Several attractive features of thermo-electric (TE) technology include no moving parts, light weight, modularity, covertness, silence, high power density, low amortized cost, and long service life with no required maintenance. Many of the potential uses for mounted/ dismounted power, such as recharging batteries, are therefore ideal for TE technologies. However, these applications will require more interconnected, smaller-scale modular devices than are currently available. Most commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) TE devices are optimized for cooling, not for generating power, so new device structures with materials and geometries better optimized for power generation are needed for broader use of TE technologies.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Architecture, Fabrication, Electro-thermal engines, Test procedures

Detector Module for Testing Silicon Carbide Semiconductor Devices

Long-term stress testing of silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductor devices is required to determine suitability for power electronics applications. During testing, preventable catastrophic failures can occur due to drift in steady-state operation or transients that shift the device outside of its safe operating range. Both steady-state and transient drift are easily monitored values including temperature, on-state resistance, voltage, and current, as well as others. By measuring and reacting to shifts in these values, device damage can be minimized.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Power electronics, Semiconductor devices, Fatigue, Silicon alloys, Test equipment and instrumentation

Automated Data Acquisition for a Prognostics and Diagnostics Health Monitoring System

A highly flexible automated prognostics and diagnostics sensor module (PDSM) prototype is presently under development to be incorporated for data acquisition in a Prognostics and Diagnostics Health Monitoring System (PDHMS). PDHMS acquires, stores, and communicates data gathered from sensors that monitor essential platform components to determine its current diagnostic status. This diagnostic data is used to make reliable prognostications of remaining operational life expectancy based on a platform usage profile.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Data exchange, Sensors and actuators, Diagnostics, Prognostics

Wettability Tests of Polymer Films and Fabrics

High-strength polymer materials are useful components in many multifunctional materials applications. However, because of low reactivity, their use is inhibited in many processing techniques. Polymer films and fibers possess low surface energies and need to be modified through surface activation prior to being used in composite systems where adhesive bonding is an issue. Treatment of polymer materials through plasma processing is one route to greatly increase surface reactivity. Once the surface has been plasma-modified, wettability by liquids can be examined to determine the treatment effects on the polymer material’s surface reactivity.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Joining, Composite materials, Fibers, Materials properties, Polymers

Using a Steering Shaping Function to Improve Human Performance in By-Wire Vehicles

Currently, there is a performance issue regarding vehicle control at higher speeds for some indirect-vision, by-wire military vehicles; that is, those vehicles in which mechanical links between the driver and control devices are replaced by electronic or computerized signals. Work has been performed to assess the current state of knowledge regarding the shaping function. The overall goal was to identify design parameters critical to improving the current by-wire implementation for military tactical vehicles, and to ultimately optimize system (i.e., human-vehicle) performance for the execution of secure mobile operations.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Steer-by-wire, Human machine interface (HMI), Military vehicles and equipment, Vehicle dynamics

Manufacturing Cylindrical Parts Using Deep Draw Technology

In applications where product performance is mission critical, commercial, military, and aerospace companies require technology to manufacture deep- drawn cylindrical product components. Conventional production alternatives such as impact, spinning, and supplemental annealing processes often do not deliver reliable results for certain applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Molding, Production engineering, Parts

Advanced Lithium Ion Systems for Military Vehicles

The higher energy and power density of Li-Ion battery technology offers a significant reduction in the weight and volume for hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) battery systems compared to lead acid and nickel metal hydride technologies. Saft’s High Power Li-ion battery technology has demonstrated specific power of over 6,000 W/kg under continuous discharge, and a pulse discharge of 8,000 to 12,000 W/kg.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Lithium-ion batteries, Hybrid electric vehicles, Military vehicles and equipment