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Design and Development of a Package for a Diluted Waveguide Electro-Absorption Modulator

Externally coupled electroabsorption modulators (EAMs) are commonly used in order to transmit RF signals on optical fibers. Recently, an alternative device design with diluted waveguide structures was developed. Bench tests show benefits of lower propagation loss, higher power handling (100 mW), and higher normalized slope efficiency. Bench tests were performed in order to characterize the optical coupling of the EAM. The photo current maximum was offset from the optical power output maximum. The transmissions vs. bias voltage curves were measured, and an XY scanner was used to record the mode field of the light exiting from the EAM waveguide in each position. The Beam Propagation Method was used to simulate the mode field and the coupling efficiency. Based on the bench tests and simulation results, a design including mechanical, optical, and RF elements was developed.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics, Design processes, Fiber optics, Waveguides
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Developing Fleets of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) have a demonstrated capability to collect valuable data for scientific and military purposes. Historically, individual vehicles have been used. To reduce the overall time and cost of acquiring data over large areas, multiple vehicles must be used. A fleet of five AUVs, capable of underwater commendation, was fabricated. These AUVs include small submarines, referred to as “swimmers,” and small, two-tracked vehicles, referred to as “crawlers.” The control and communication algorithms developed in this work will enable AUVs to use formations to search for mines and to communicate with each other in order to implement cooperative behavior. Languages and logics were developed to enable collaborative operations among the vehicles.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Communication protocols, Electronic control systems, Fleet management, Autonomous vehicles, Marine vehicles and equipment
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Stability Analysis of Distributed Engine Control Systems

Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC), based on a centralized architecture framework, is being widely used for gas turbine engine control. However, current FADEC is not able to meet the increased burden imposed by the advanced intelligent propulsion system concepts. This has necessitated development of the Distributed Engine Control (DEC) system. FADEC based on Distributed Control Systems (DCS) offers modularity, improved control sys-tem prognostics, and fault tolerance, along with reducing the impact of hardware obsolescence.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Architecture, Performance upgrades, Engine control systems, Gas turbines
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Optimized Robust Adaptive Networks in Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems

The Electric Power and Communica - tion Synchronizing Simulator (EPOCHS) system could provide great benefits to private industry and Department of Defense (DoD) power systems infrastructure by allowing simultaneous, synchronous simulation of communication and power system simulators to better understand the power grid under anomalous situations. Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems and the power grid infrastructure have recently been the focus of attention given the recent disclosure of potential cyber attacks. Applying Special Protection Schemes like the one used by the EPOCHS systems could provide a solution not only to cyber attack, but to possible cascading failures typical to power systems on current high-load demands. Utilizing an Internet-like architecture to implement such a backup and communication system is likely to be the most logical solution to providing a power grid intranet.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Technology, Computer simulation, Failure modes and effects analysis, Architecture, Cyber security, Telecommunications systems, Electric power grid
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Evolvable Approaches to Software Verification and Validation

Research was conducted to integrate and advance current techniques in compilers, hardware architectures, and security to develop novel techniques to protect against physical attacks on encrypted embedded systems. The innovation in the approach was in exploiting the power of integrated software-hardware methods that do not require processor re-design. The hardware side of the innovation comes from using reconfigurable logic to implement security techniques in hardware. The reconfigurable logic in hardware, when combined with the ability of the compiler to instrument the code, can be used in powerful ways to strengthen the security of computing platforms. Several techniques were proposed and designed to address these objectives.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Technology, Computer software / hardware, Cryptography, Cyber security, Research and development, Quality assurance
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Core 2 Duo® Rugged System

General Micro Systems (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) has introduced the “Raider” S705 Core 2 Duo®-based system. Raider is based on the GMS P70x module, a Core 2 Duo processor providing up to 2.16 GHz of power and 4 MB of L2 Cache, and up to 2 GB of 667 MHz DDR-2SDRAM. The S705 is available in a variety of configurations that are completely upgradeable and compatible along the Intel® migration path. To its power and expandability, Raider provides performance levels equal to full-size ATR systems.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Color Touchscreen PLC

Unitronics (Quincy, MA) has added the V570-57-T20B to the company’s Vision570™ series of 5.7” Color Touchscreen PLCs. The model is lower in cost and has a white LED instead of fluorescent display backlight. The display of the V570-57-T20B is also TFT QVGA. Onboard I/Os can be added to this model by snapping a module onto the back of the PLC, and snap-in I/O Modules come in several configurations. I/O Expansion modules enable integrating up to 512 I/Os per Vision PLC.

Posted in: Products, Products, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Environmentally Sealed LCD Monitor

Stealth.com Inc. (Ontario, Canada) has released the Stealth TT-840, a rugged, environmentally sealed LCD monitor for harsh environments. The TT-840 is an 8.4 inch sunlight-readable LCD encapsulated in a rugged aluminum enclosure that has been sealed to IP68/NEMA 6P specifications. The high-performance LCD is watertight to survive liquid, dust, and dirt. The LCD will operate in extreme temperatures from -20 to +60ºC.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Freescale Processor-Based SOM

The TX37 Freescale i.MX37 processor-based System on Module (SOM) from Strategic Test (Woburn, MA) measures just 67.6mm x 26mm x 4.2 mm. It contains a 532 MHz i.MX37 processor coupled with 128 MB mobile DDRSDRAM, 128 MB NAND flash memory, and a 200-pin SODIMM connector. The TX37 is pin-compatible with the existing TX27 i.MX27 processor-based module. Both modules can be supplied with the Development Kit-5 hardware reference platform that includes support for Microsoft Windows Embedded CE 6.0.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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LCD Touch Panel Computer

Advantech (Cincinnati, OH) introduces the TPC-1780H, a 17" SXGA TFT LCD fanless touch panel PC with an Intel® Core™ 2 Duo CPU. The TPC-1780H provides one extension slot, such as RS-422/485, PCI-104, and CAN-bus, to provide data bus extension. There are multiple standard communication ports (three serial ports, two Gigabit Ethernet LANs, four USB 2.0 ports, two PS/2, and one VGA) allowing connectivity with a variety of peripherals. The TPC-1780H supports Microsoft® Windows XP, XP Embedded, CE 5.0, and CE.NET.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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