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Dynamic Response and Failure Mechanisms of Layered Ceramic-Elastomer-Polymer/Metal Composites

A thorough study through a combination of ballistic and impact experiments, microscopic failure characterization, and numerical simulations has been carried out in order to decipher the underlying mechanisms involved in the interaction between a blast and/or a blast-induced high-velocity projectile and advanced ceramic-polymer and metal-polymer composites, resulting in an improved ballistic efficiency and impact- and blast-resistant structural system.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Ceramics, Composite materials, Elastomers, Metals, Protective equipment, Military vehicles and equipment
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Ultra-Low-Power Radios for Ad-Hoc Sensing Networks

Anew method has been developed for the design of a miniature, low-power, low-cost radio node capable of self-organization and communication within an ad-hoc network. The integrated radio transceiver, combined with a backend processor in a single networkable node, offers unique network scalability and low power levels that will enable applications that are not possible with any existing sensor node platform. One unique feature of this radio is that the proposed integrated microchip can be mass produced in a CMOS process without a costly external crystal so that the network formed by a set of homogeneous nodes is robust to network changes or node failure. These characteristics enable formation of reliable, inexpensive ad-hoc networks with group intelligence and long lifetimes.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Communication protocols, Integrated circuits, Radio equipment, Durability
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MEMS Resettable Circuit Breaker and Switch for DC-DC Voltage Converters

Resettable circuit breaker cantilevers use silicon dioxide (SiO2) for temper ature compensation. The compressive stress in the SiO2 causes the cantilever to bow upwards 400 μm after release. In the DC-DC voltage converter, the gap between the electrodes is 1.4 μm. After release, the cantilevers are stuck down. A short-loop experiment was conducted to better understand the cantilever behavior by omitting the contact metal and SiO2 layers from test cantilevers.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Microelectricmechanical device, Switches, Test procedures
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Finite-Element Simulations of Field and Current Distributions in Multifilament Superconducting Films

The separation of high-temperature superconducting (HTS) tapes in filaments is a viable approach to reduce AC losses in HTS high-power applications, where AC currents and/or fields may be applied in addition to any DC field present. Methods such as mechanical, laser scribing, photolithography, or direct printing on buffered substrates using inkjet deposition have been used to create the filaments in the second-generation HTS coated conductors in order to reduce hysteretic losses. However, losses of the finely striated tapes can still be noticeably larger than predicted by analytical expressions, due to the addition of coupling currents or lack of field penetration, and such deviation tends to grow with increasing filament density. In order to reduce the magnetic coupling between filaments and the associated AC losses, an in-depth understanding of flux and current dynamics in the multifilamentary HTS, in realistic conditions, is required.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Finite element analysis, Electromagnetic compatibility, Voltage regulators, Conductivity
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Nozzles for Focusing Aerosol Particles

Several nozzles have been designed to aerodynamically focus aerosol particles into a small-diameter jet, so that individual particles can be illuminated by a laser beam and their light scattering and/or laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) spectra can be measured. An additional nozzle can aerodynamically puff selected particles out of the airstream so that they can be sorted and collected.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Nozzles, Test procedures, Aerodynamics
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Parallel Hybrid Vehicles Using Fuzzy Logic Control

A fuzzy logic controller for hybrid vehicles with parallel configuration was proposed. Using the state-of-charge (SOC) of the energy storage, the driver command, and the motor/generator speed, a set of rules was developed. The fuzzy logic controller can determine the split between the electric motor and the internal combustion engine to achieve better fuel economy and low emission performance without losing vehicle performance.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Fuzzy logic, Architecture, Hybrid electric vehicles, Vehicle performance
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Development of an Electrochemical Biosensor for Organophosphate Chemicals

Detection of organophosphate (OP) compounds has attracted much attention in terms of safeguarding human health, owing to their frequent use as pesticides in agriculture and their potential use as chemical warfare agents. Among a variety of biological methods based on the biocatalytic activity of organophosphorus hydrolase (OPH), amperometric, potentiometric, and optical biosensing devices have been developed for detecting OPs. Electrochemical biosensors in particular have been widely investigated to monitor various pesticides including OP compounds such as paraoxon, parathion, sarin, and soman via an enzyme-catalyzed hydrolysis reaction by OPH due to their fast speed, high efficiency, low cost, and small sample size.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Sensors and actuators, Volatile organic compounds, Medical, health, and wellness
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Novel Active Transient Cooling Systems

Energy-efficient cooling technology is extremely important in today’s society, considering the need for energy conservation and the urgent need to mitigate global warming. Near-room-temperature magnetic refrigeration is an emerging cooling technology that has several advantages compared to conventional gas-compression technology. It utilizes the magnetocaloric effect (MCE) in which heating and cooling of a magnetocaloric material (MCM) is induced by a varying external magnetic field. The magnetocaloric effect (the temperature change of a magnetic material due to the application of an external magnetic field) is the cornerstone of magnetic cooling.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Energy conservation, Cooling, Magnetic materials
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Diode Laser Sensor for Scramjet Inlets

The supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) engine is one of the more promising high-speed flight propulsion technologies. One of the reasons for this is the simplicity of the engine design, having no moving parts and requiring no external ignition source, and the fact that scramjets do not need to provide their own oxidizer. Despite this simplicity, several obstacles to the use of scramjet propulsion systems have become apparent, including the ability to produce sufficient fuel-air mixing at high speed, large total pressure losses, reduction in specific impulse with increasing flight Mach number, and the sensitivity of combustion to inlet temperature. This last problem can be very significant.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Lasers, Sensors and actuators, Combustion and combustion processes, Scramjet engines
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MALDI-MSI Imaging of Latent Fingerprints

For years, forensic scientists have been seeking new methods to improve existing techniques for the visualization of latent fingerprints. The structured combination of optical methods (diffused reflection, luminescence, UV absorption and reflection), physical methods (powdering, vacuum metal deposition, small particle reagent), physico-chemical methods (physical developer, multi-metal-deposition, iodine, cyanoacrylate), and chemical methods (ninhydrin and its analogues, DFO, etc.), permits a highly efficient processing of the secretions deposited by the fingers on a great variety of substrates. To visualize these developed fingerprints, alternative light sources or laser-based detection methods are commonly used. However, like all other existing techniques, these optical methods do not work in all possible cases, and certain types of latent fingerprints or object surfaces with unique characteristics may be problematic.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Imaging, Lasers, Optics, Spectroscopy, Identification
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Compressive Oversampling for Robust Data Transmission in Sensor Networks

A paper discusses recent developments in the area of Compressive Sensing (CS) for data loss in wireless sensing applications. Since many physical signals of interest are known to be sparse or compressible, employing CS not only compresses the data and reduces the effective transmission rate, but also improves the robustness of the system to channel erasures. This is possible because reconstruction algorithms for compressively sampled signals are not hampered by the stochastic nature of wireless link disturbances, which has traditionally plagued attempts at proactively handling the effects of these errors.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Mathematical models, Data exchange, Wireless communication systems, Reliability
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Highly Integrated Core Chip

The XZ1001-BD is a highly integrated transmit/receive 4 port core chip from M/A-COM Tech Asia (Hsinchu, Taiwan). It is designed for applications operating within the 2.5 to 4 GHz range. The XZ1001-BD features 100% Visual Inspection to MIL-STD-883 Method 2010. The core consists of integrated transmit/receive switches, LNA, 6-bit phase shifter, 6-bit attenuator, and driver amplifier.

Posted in: Products
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Handheld Vector Network Analyzers

Anritsu Company (Morgan Hill, CA) introduces the MS202x/3xC VNA Master series of handheld vector network analyzers (VNAs) that provides the performance and capabilities of numerous benchtop instruments in a single highly-portable analyzer. Offering a frequency range of 5 kHz to up to 20 GHz in a handheld VNA, fast sweep times, waveguide support, and advanced time domain capabilities, the MS202/3xC series can be used by RF/microwave engineers to conduct system maintenance and interference hunting in a variety of aerospace, defense, wireless backhaul, and general-purpose applications.

Posted in: Products
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Low-Power FPGAs

Xilinx Inc. (San Jose, CA) offers the Spartan®6Q family of field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) qualified for meeting the rigorous requirements of the aerospace and defense market. The Spartan-6Q family meets the needs of military communications (MILCOM) customers who require a low power, low cost, secure communications platform, while offering missiles and munitions customers a small form factor in a low power secure platform for targeting and data processing in extended temperature ranges.

Posted in: Products
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Military-Grade Cable Markers

New printable CM-NMX military-grade cable markers for identification of large wire bundles, cables, pipes, and conduits have been launched by Tyco Electronics (Harrisburg, PA). The markers are well-suited for the industrial, energy, and aerospace and defense industries as they are constructed using a highly-durable and flame-resistant meta-aramid material that withstands exposure to harsh environments.

Posted in: Products
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Ruggedized Low-Loss RF Cable Assemblies

Crystek (Fort Meyers, FL) offers the Armored LL142 rugged low-loss RF cable assemblies with a spiraled stainless steel casing and heavy-duty adhesive strain relief with a Neoprene jacket. At 18 GHz, the cable assemblies feature attenuation of 0.36 dB/ft and VSWR characteristics of

Posted in: Products
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Rugged Mobile Computers for Military and Homeland Security Operations

NextComputing (Nashua, NH) has released the Vigor Evo Plus rugged mobile computers to support high-end software applications in deployed environments. Created for military and homeland security operations, the standalone, transportable workstation/server platform can incorporate up to three built-in HD monitors. The computers feature mil-anodized external chassis and shock-mounted internal chassis, one or two Intel® Xeon® processors, up to 16 GB ECC RAM, internal storage capacity nearing 11 terabytes, and up to six full-length, full-height PCI Express and PCI-X slots. Other features are an integrated 17” HD display, and optional second and third “swing-out” displays for panoramic viewing.

Posted in: Products
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Uni-Directional Material for Ballistic Vests

DSM Dyneema (Stanley, NC) offers Dyneema® SB51 vest-grade uni-directional (UD) material for use in ballistic vests that protect against handgun ammunition, fragments, and knives. The ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) Dyneema® fiber is intended for use by personnel in the military and law enforcement. It can be combined with trauma liners and stab-resistance solutions in vests designed to meet various international standards. It also can be used both in tactical and concealed vest designs. Its use enables vests to be designed with low Back Face Signature while remaining thin, light, and comfortable. It is resistant to moisture, UV rays, and chemicals, and vests can be upgraded to protect against heavier rifle fire using inserts made with Dyneema.

Posted in: Products
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Microwave Switch Carrier and Relay Driver

VTI Instruments Corp. (Irvine, CA) offers the EX1200-7100 26.5-GHz microwave switch carrier and relay driver. The carrier incorporates RF and microwave signal routing into the platform. The scalable solution provides an electronic test system switching and I/O core. A range of switch configurations from leading microwave switch manufacturers is available, including dual SPDT, SP4T, SP6T, and Transfer switches. Each module occupies two plug-in-slots, and can be mixed and matched with other EX1200 plug-in modules to configure high-density customized switching solutions. Nearly 60 switch points can be maintained within a 1U rack space. An embedded Web interface provides virtual monitoring and control of all switches and instruments.

Posted in: Products
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12V Front-End Distributed Power Supply

Emerson Network Power (Carlsbad, CA) has introduced the DS2900, a high-wattage 12V front-end distributed power supply. The Emerson DS2900 is rated for up to 2900W of adjustable output power at 240A. In addition to 12 VDC output, it offers 3.3 VDC auxiliary output for powering standby circuitry, and an optional alternative 5.5 VDC auxiliary output. The compact 2U × 3U form factor offers system-level power density of more than 24W per cubic inch. It offers typical operating efficiency of approximately 91 percent at 50 percent load. The power supply’s shorter form factor also allows mid-plane rack configurations, while same-side AC inputs and DC outputs allow hot-plug rack configuration.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Replacement End-Of-Life Semiconductors

Rochester Electronics (Newburyport, MA) provides authorized reverse engineering services to recreate, manufacture and distribute pin-for-pin replacement parts with matched cycle for cycle timing for aftermarket semiconductor devices. Through its unique Rochester Semiconductor Replication Process™ (SRP™), customers can avoid system re-qualification steps as the Rochester-designed and manufactured parts deliver the same specifications and performance characteristics as the original products.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Universal Injection Transformer

OMICRON Lab’s (Houston, TX) new universal injection transformer, B-WIT 100, was developed for the stability analysis of switched mode power supplies and control loops of any kind. Due to its special design, the B-WIT 100 combines a very wide frequency range (1Hz - 10 MHz) with a 600V CAT II compliant output.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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PCB Design-Tool

Sunstone Circuits (Mulino, OR), the printed circuit board (PCB) prototype solutions provider, is launching the newest version of their design software, PCB123® v4. This free-to-use, no license required design-tool has an intuitive CAD interface that lets you create new PCB designs quickly, offering freedom and flexibility in your schematic and layout editing.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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UPS With Long-Life Batteries

Falcon Electric, Inc. (Irwindale, CA) has introduced a long-life battery in its SSG Series™ Industrial-Grade Uninterruptible Power Systems (UPS) Plus product line. The units are available in models from 1.5 to 3kVA and in both 120 VAC and 230 VAC versions, and are capable of withstanding elevated temperatures of up to 55°C for prolonged periods of time. The long-life battery is particularly suited to environments with temperatures that exceed 40°C, such as a factory floor, a desert setting, or any computer rack. In such temperatures, the batteries are rated to last at least twice as long as a standard five-year/40°C rated battery. Specifically, the long-life battery has an expected life of seven years at 40°C and four years at 50°C, as compared to a standard battery, which is rated to last less than two years at 40°C and less than a year at 50°C.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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DC Power Converter Module

Lineage Power Corporation (Plano, TX), a Gores Group company, has expanded its Picot LynxTM DC-DC converter family with a new 2-amp model that is an energy-efficient, non-isolated, point-of-load (POL) converter. The 2A PicoTLynx boasts an efficiency of 93.1 percent at 5 Volt (V) out. This POL converter is capable of continuous full-load operation under extreme conditions up to 85°C and no air flow. The ruggedized version of this product is capable of full-load operation at 105°C and no air flow.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Using Parallel Processing on GPUs to Accelerate Finite-Difference Time-Domain Algorithms for Electromagnetic and Seismic Applications

Many scientific, technical and engineering applications in finance, medical imaging, modeling, simulation, and image processing can benefit greatly from the floating point acceleration offered by modern general purpose graphics processing units (GPGPU). Today’s graphics processors have evolved into sophisticated, massively-parallel, highly-programmable compute engines ideally suited for algorithms with a high degree of data parallelism. Combined with modern parallel programming languages and application interfaces such as industry standard OpenCL™, GPGPU offers a new paradigm for high-performance computing (HPC).

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Mathematical models, Architecture, Displays
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Using Multiprocessing in Industrial Automation Systems

Automated industrial control systems are an integral part of today’s manufacturing facilities. As these systems’ capabilities advance, the engineer shifts from someone who oversees processes to one who manages the data produced and functions performed by these systems to ensure product quality. Manufacturing systems need to be reliable, since downtime is an expensive alternative. Automation has reduced the number of people staffed at each facility so, if a system goes down, it’s probably not feasible for people to actually step in and move production along. If a system stops, so does production.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Computer software / hardware, Systems engineering, Automation, Manufacturing equipment and machinery, Productivity, Reliability
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Using FPGAs for Automated Design Validation

In the design process, after the first prototype returns from fabrication, engineers often use traditional test equipment to make low-level measurements such as digital rise times, voltage thresholds, and leakage currents, and analog harmonic and spurious distortion, noise, and more. Once these parameters are verified to be within specification, higher-level attributes such as protocol compliance on digital devices and modulation parameters on communications devices are then checked. This gives the engineer a good understanding of how the device behaves, and whether or not that behavior allows the device to properly interact with the world around it. However, how can you guarantee that the device will continue to operate over time, with the myriad of permutations of device state, data content, and in the presence of non-ideal, real-world conditions? Who has the time to run all those tests?

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Design processes, Integrated circuits, Automation, Quality assurance, Test equipment and instrumentation, Test procedures
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Implementing Rack-Level I/O Consolidation

The desire to consolidate datacenter I/O has existed for several decades. It has been driven by I/O hardware providers who didn’t want to develop multiple versions of the same I/O card for different computer busses, and by end-users who did not want to stock multiple cards, as well as manage different fabrics with different tools. The problems that I/O consolidation needs to solve are:

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Communication protocols, Computer software / hardware
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RF Vector Network Analyzer

National Instruments (Austin, TX) has introduced the NI PXIe-5630 6 GHz two-port vector network analyzer (VNA), available in a compact, modular two-slot PXI architecture that allows engineers to perform parallel multisite RF tests by combining up to eight modules in a single PXI chassis.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RFM Catchall, RF & Microwave Electronics
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