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Small-Footprint Computer Brings Web Connectivity to Embedded Controllers

The Ethersmart Wildcard™, an expansion module from Mosaic Industries (Newark, CA), enables Web connectivity to the company's embedded controllers and operator interfaces. The module can be combined with the company's QCard, a 2 × 2.5" single-board computer, to provide control, communications, and I/O capability. The Ethersmart Wildcard connects with standard Ethernet cables, allowing the QCard to communicate with other computers on a Local Area Network (LAN). The Ethersmart Wildcard implements the SMTP, HTTP, TCP/IP, ICMP, ARP, and DHCP protocols to establish and manage communications. Precoded software allows an application to compose and send e-mail to a specified LAN IP address, open or accept a TCP/IP connection to send and receive binary or ASCII data, and accept connections from a Web browser, serving out dynamic Web pages in response to queries.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Mid-Sized AdvancedMC Modules for Designing Wireless and Wireline Applications

Kontron America (Poway, CA) has released four AdvancedMC modules that will facilitate the security, processing, I/O, and storage configurations of pre-integrated open modular equipment designed for IMS, 3G wireless, and wireline network applications. The AM4330 IPSec is based on the 4HP form factor introduced by the PICMG as an option to full and compact sizes. The midsized module can handle both IPSec and SSL VPN processing applications deployed within mobile communications infrastructure systems, including media gateways, radio network controllers, and serving GPRS support nodes. The AM4330 may be integrated with AdvancedTCA carrier boards, CPU nodes, and MicroTCA-based systems. The full-size AM4520 SAS storage module offers 73-GByte storage capacity. Built in accordance to the AMC.0 and AMC.3 specifications, the AM4520 features a 10K rpm spindle.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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ZigBee™ Protocol Platform Includes Transceiver and Network-Analyzer Tool

Microchip Technology (Chandler, AZ) offers three tools for IEEE 802.15.4 wireless networking. The MRF24J40 is a 2.4-GHz IEEE 802.15.4 transceiver targeted for the ZigBee™ protocol in RF applications requiring low power and RF performance. The ZENA™ wireless network analyzer tool enables development of ZigBee protocol systems using Microchip's semiconductors. The MiWi™ protocol is a free, small-footprint protocol developed by Microchip for customers who do not need ZigBee protocol interoperability but want to use IEEE 802.15.4 transceivers in peer-to-peer, star, and mesh networks. With the MRF24J40 transceiver, Microchip now offers a complete ZigBee protocol platform through the addition of an integrated RF transceiver that requires few external components. Microchip's radio also offers low power consumption and performance that exceeds all IEEE 802.15.4 specifications, with full Media Access.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Motion-SPM Devices in SMD Packaging Optimize Board Space

Fairchild Semiconductor (South Portland, ME) has introduced the FSB50325S (250V), the FSB50250S (500V), and the FSB50450S (500V) Motion-SPM™ devices available in 29 × 12-mm surface-mount-device (SMD) packages. The Motion-SPM in SMD enables designers to achieve energy efficiency, compactness, and low electromagnetic interference (EMI) required by small inverter motor drive applications such as water pumps and fan motors.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Telecom Adapter for Intra-Chassis Communication

Performance Technologies (Rochester, NY) has expanded its family of communication platforms with the PCE385, a quad T1/E1/J1 PCI Express telecom adapter. The device is enabled with NexusWare Core®, the company’s Linux-based software, and includes an onboard MPC8280 PowerQUICC II™ RISC communications processor. It offers various signaling and communications protocols including SIP, SS7 MTP-2, and ISDN and WAN connectivity with Frame Relay, HDLC, LAPD, and X.25.

Posted in: Products, Products, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Card Provides PCI-Based Multi-Axis Motion Control

Performance Motion Devices (Lincoln, MA) offers the Prodigy™-PCI motion card for multi-axis motion control. Available in 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-axis versions, the card provides trajectory generation, performance trace, on-the-fly changes, and commutation. Motor type can be software- selected on a per-axis basis, and includes DC brush, brushless DC, step, and microstepping. The card communicates via a PCI bus, CANbus, or serial port. Card features include S-curve, trapezoidal, velocity contouring, electronic gearing, and user-generated profile modes. The card accepts input parameters such as position, velocity, acceleration, and jerk from the host, and generates a corresponding trajectory.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Data Fusion for Space Situational Awareness

Satellites greatly enhance US defense operations; however, these key assets are vulnerable to perils such as space weather and acts of aggression. Unfortunately, it is difficult to determine the cause of anomalies from the ground. What may first appear as a routine system glitch may, in fact, be something much more serious. Providing the ability to detect—and in some cases, predict—events via multiple data sources can be critical to mission success and the safeguarding of space assets. Threat analysts must be able both to distinguish external, man-made threats, natural threats, and environmental conditions from internal, satellite bus anomalies in real time and to subsequently perform mitigating actions.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Technology
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Near-Precision Soft Landing Resupply Dispenser

AFRL munitions experts teamed with engineers from Systima Technologies, Inc., under a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to develop a Covert Resupply (COVRES) dispenser. The team based its design on an existing Wind- Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD™). The COVRES system, which will enable air delivery of critically needed supplies to troops who are under fire or otherwise isolated, uses the novel employment concept illustrated in Figure 1. As shown, the event sequence begins with (A) high-altitude release, and progresses as follows: (B) a WCMD tail unit provides nearprecision inertial guidance, (C) a drogue chute deploys 25 seconds prior to ground impact, (D) the drogue chute deploys the main parachute, (E) a crushable nose minimizes landing shock, and (F) quickrelease clamps enable easy access to the cargo.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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Blended Wing Body Aircraft

Scientists from Boeing Phantom Works, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and AFRL are testing a new aircraft with the potential to realize up to 30% better fuel efficiency because of its unique "flying-wing" shape. The prototype blended wing body, or BWB, aircraft is a modified, triangular-shaped aircraft configuration with 20 control surfaces along its trailing edge. Researchers believe the BWB configuration will produce better fuel efficiency because a greater portion of the aircraft is involved in producing lift. The additional lift stems from the replacement of the conventional tube-shaped aircraft fuselage with the more aerodynamically efficient wing centerbody.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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Improved Accuracy of Computational Fluid Dynamics Calculations

Understanding how air flows over the surfaces of an air vehicle can help AFRL designers maximize the vehicle's performance and minimize its cost. AFRL scientists recently developed a tool that improves the accuracy of airflow simulations that result from computational fluid dynamics (CFD) calculations. As part of a Small Business Innovation Research effort, AFRL collaborated with Combustion Research and Flow Technology (CRAFT), Inc., to develop the tool for use with unstructured CFD programs. The new tool uses the solver's initial solution to determine where grid points should be added or removed within the CFD mesh, a process which then improves the solver's solution in a second—and any subsequent—iteration. This enhanced accuracy improves AFRL's ability to support the warfighter with lower-cost, higher-value designs.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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