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Compact Antennas

Antenna Factor (Merlin, OR) offers the HW Series 1⁄2-wave center-fed dipole antennas and 1⁄4-wave monopole antennas that attach using an FCC-compliant RP-SMA connector or standard SMA connector. The 1⁄2-wave dipoles are available in standard center frequencies of 868 and 916 MHz, while the 1⁄4-wave monopoles are available in 315, 418, and 433 MHz.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Microwave Signal Generators

The 2500B series of microwave signal generators from Giga-tronics (San Ramon, CA) covers 100 kHz to 50 GHz with low phase noise, high rejection of harmonics, sub-harmonics, and spurious, high output power level. Six models cover 2.5, 8, 20, 26.5, 40, and 50 GHz. Accumulator High Frequency Feedback (AHFF™) technology delivers a switching speed of typically less than 500 μs for a 1 GHz step and as fast as 100 μs for small steps. Close to carrier phase noise is -90 dBc/Hz at 100 Hz. Generator noise performance is 10 kHz offset with a typical performance of -110 dBc/Hz. This series is suitable for radar and EW applications.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Antenna Design Simulation

Magus (Stellenbosch, South Africa), in conjunction with FEKO (Hampton, VA), offers Antenna Magus, a design simulation software solution for antenna design and placement analysis. It offers a searchable collection of antennas, which can be explored to find, synthesize, and export antenna models. It can export synthesized antennas as FEKO models, which may then be refined, customized, analyzed, and optimized in FEKO. The software can also analyze electrically large structures, such as the MLFMM and hybrid asymptotic methods (MoM-PO, MoMGO, and MoM-UTD).

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Compact Antennas

ETS-Lindgren (Cedar Park, TX) offers two compact-sized, open-boundary, quad-ridge horn antennas. The 3164-06 (300 MHz – 6 GHz) covers the main wireless bands and the entire UHF band common in tapered chambers, while the 3164-07 (700 MHz – 6 GHz) also covers the main wireless band and is suitable for use in rectangular chambers. They are equipped with dual ports so that simultaneous measurements can be made in two orthogonal polarizations of the field. They also include flanges for wall mounting and brackets for tripod mounting. The rear assembly is milled from a solid block of material.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Power Transistor

RF Micro Devices (Greensboro, NC) offers the RF3931, a 48-volt, 30-watt gallium nitride (GaN) power transistor in a hermetic, flanged, ceramic package. It enables the development of high-efficiency HPAs for a range of applications, including cellular and WiMAX infrastructure, CATV, military communications, public mobile radio, radar, and radar jammers.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Multilayer Capacitor Chips

The UQ Series multilayer capacitor (MLC) chips from AVX Corp. (Myrtle Beach, SC) are suitable for RF/microwave applications ranging from 10 MHz to 4.2 GHz. With precious metal electrodes and a fine-grained, high-density, high-purity dielectric material to keep out moisture, the chip offers low ESR, high series resonance, and lower equivalent series resistance than previous versions. Applications include RF/IF amplifiers, mixers, oscillators, low-noise amplifiers, filter networks, and medical devices such as MRI coils.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Signal Analyzer

Agilent Technologies (Santa Clara, CA) has introduced the N9030A PXA signal analyzer, which provides frequency coverage up to 26.5 GHz and features up to 75 dB spurious-free dynamic range at 140-MHz analysis bandwidth. It also features -128 dBc/Hz phase noise at 10 kHz offset (1 GHz), 0.19 dB absolute amplitude accuracy, and sensitivity of -172 dBm displayed average noise level at 2 GHz, (with preamplifier and Noise Floor Extension technology). One-button measurements and advanced measurement applications are also available. It features code compatibility; emulation of remote programming language; default settings, timings, and couplings; arbitrary and second IF output; fast-risetime logarithmic video output; and Y-axis output. MATLAB® software is available as an option.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Chip Attenuator

International Manufacturing Services (Portsmouth, RI) offers the VGX-3725WA high-power 0.375 x 0.250" aluminum nitride chip attenuator that includes wraparound terminals for solder or epoxy attachment. It dissipates 100W at a 100 °C baseplate temperature. Standard impedance is 50 ohm and attenuation values to 30 dB are available, including 0.5-dB increments. Achievable VSWR is 1.3:1 to 6 GHz depending on implementation, and attenuation accuracy starts at ±0.2 dB. They are suitable for RF and microwave applications.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RF & Microwave Electronics
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RF Switch Matrices

Pickering Interfaces (Clacton on Sea, UK) offers 60-730 and 60-770 RF matrices that are designed for switching signals to frequencies up to 2.5 GHz. The 60-770 is a 50Ω RF matrix available in 32×8, 24×8, 16×8, and 8×8 configurations within a 3U rack-mountable case. Front-panel SMA connectors are included. The 60-730 is a 75Ω RF matrix available in 32×16, 16×16, 16×8, and 8×8 configurations within a 6U rack-mountable case. Front panel connectors are F Type, for use in coaxial video applications. For Free Info

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RF & Microwave Electronics
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DC-DC Converters

VPT (Blacksburg, VA) has introduced the VPT100+ 2800 Series DCDC converter modules that offer up to 100W of output power per unit and parallel operation of up to five units. They are available in single output versions of 3.3V, 5V, 7V, 12V, 15V, and 28V, as well as dual output versions of ±12V and ±15V. They feature low output noise, up to 91% efficiency, and an input voltage range of 16 to 40 volts, meeting MIL-STD-704 requirements for avionics applications. Operating temperature ranges from -55 °C to 100 °C. In a compact, quarter-brick size, the modules include six-sided metal cases for improved EMI and mechanical/environmental performance. They also feature a high-input transient voltage of 50 volts for one second, magnetic feedback, undervoltage lockout, indefinite short circuit protection, and current limit protection.

Posted in: Products, Electronics, Power Supplies
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Rugged Computer Servers

ZX 1-2-3 Series rugged computer servers from Z Microsystems (San Diego, CA) are available in 1.70", 3.45", or 5.15" heights for mission- ready applications. The system architecture supports any extended ATX form-factor motherboards with support for up to 3, 6, or 12 rugged hot-pluggable TP2 removable drives, a DVD-RW dual layer, and an environmental control board to support proper thermal regulation. Features include a front-accessible power switch, two front-accessible USB ports, and a quick-release top-access cover. PCI card hold-down brackets secure cards in the X/Y/Z axes. The front panel provides a filtered dust door with a systems status display to monitor the status of the server. Dual redundant 650W power supplies ensure support for all multicore processors and high-end PCI Express graphics cards. They are 19" rack-mountable and 20" deep. The chassis are designed to meet MIL-STD-810G requirements for shock, vibration, humidity, and high/low temperature.

Posted in: Products, Computers
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Gold-Plated Toggle Switches

Toggle switches from C&K Components (Newton, MA) feature 50 μ-inch selective gold contact plating and are rated for logic level to 5A resistive loads and 2A inductive loads. They feature a mechanical life to 20,000 operations and electrical endurance to 10,000 operations, and operate over temperature extremes of -25 °C to 71 °C. Flame-retardant housing material and epoxy-sealed terminals for process compatibility are also included. The switches meet both MIL-S-83731 and MIL-STD-202 qualifications for vibration, shock, salt spray, moisture resistance, explosion, and sand and dust resistance.

Posted in: Products, Electronic Components
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GPS-Enabled Mobile Computer

The Industrial Automation Group of Advantech (Cincinnati, OH) has introduced the PWS-8033M handheld computer that features an XScale PXA270 624-MHz processor with 3.7" transflective VGA TFT LCD, GPS, 802.11 WiFi, and built-in Bluetooth. It is certified to military- grade MIL-STD-810F and MIL-STD-461E standards, and operates over temperature extremes of -20 °C to 60 °C. It provides GPS communication support using u-blox technology and Assisted GPS online and offline services. It also receives and tracks GPS and Galileo signals. It provides antishock and vibration when dropped up to 1.5 m. It is constructed with an IP67 rating, guaranteeing total protection against dirt, dust, and complete immersion in under 1.2 m of water. A high-capacity battery provides eight hours of continuous operation, and a sleeve with hand strap and vehicle mounting bracket are also included. The 8033M supports Windows® CE 5.0 and Mobile 6.1.

Posted in: Products, Computers, PCs/Portable Computers
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LVDT Position Sensors

Macro Sensors (Pennsauken, NJ) offers HSTAR 750 Series hermetically sealed, high-temperature, rugged LVDT linear position sensors that can be used to monitor fuel/oil and control flight surfaces of airplanes and rudder positions of aircraft carriers, tankers, ships, and submarines. They can withstand 400° temperature peaks and function as single- or multiple-channel devices. Options include metric threaded cores, smaller diameters, and lowmass cores. They can also be constructed for immersion in pressurized fluids and exposure to radiation at 3×107 Rads for 40 years. The 3⁄4"- diameter AC-operated linear position sensors are available in ranges of ±0.050" to ±10". They are suitable for use in some quad-channel systems for military aircrafts, such as the C-17 to the JSF fighter. They may also serve as feedback devices on active suspensions for load leveling as well as artillery platform leveling, or used to monitor moving surfaces, such as the skew of flaps.

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PXI Interface Modules

National Instruments (Austin, TX) has introduced AIM PXI interface modules for military and aerospace avionics applications as well as real-time and Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) avionics solutions. They offer single-, dual-, and quadchannel MIL-STD-1553 interfaces; 8- and 32-channel ARINC 429 interfaces; and a dual-channel AFDX interface. Every module features an onboard application support processor, multiple bus interface unit processors, onboard memory, and an IRIG-B time code generator/decoder. They are compatible with NI LabVIEW, the NI LabVIEW Real-Time Module, NI LabWindows™/CVI, C, and C++.

Posted in: Products, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics
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Designing the Next Generation of Military Robots

Many recent blockbuster films and best-selling books depict the robotic apocalypse and have shed a negative light on military robotics. However, not all unmanned system development is aimed toward building autonomous machines that spy on foreign nations or neutralize enemy threats. The United States Department of Defense (DoD) continues to aggressively invest in developing unmanned systems and technologies because robots can perform the tasks that are too dull, dirty, or dangerous to warrant warfighter intervention.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Robotics, Autonomous vehicles, Military vehicles and equipment
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USB-to-Synchronous Cable Enables IP Data Communications for Tactical Radios

Warfighters can benefit greatly from having radio IP-based data communications at the theater level. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the 750,000 tactical radio systems currently in use do not have the necessary built-in hardware and software to send IP-based data communications. The installed base of tactical radios is comprised of various makes and models that are not interoperable, further making it difficult to achieve theater-level data communications.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communication protocols, Computer software / hardware, Internet, Performance upgrades, Military vehicles and equipment
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Improved Interference Rejection Using Multi-Static Radar Signal Processing

In multi-static radar (MSR), the transmit/ receive aperture is divided into a number of sub-apertures that can be placed in various locations relative to each other. These locations can be chosen to optimize the performance of the radar in terms of some specific task. Two multi-static approaches have been investigated:

Posted in: Articles, RF & Microwave Technology, Aerospace, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Analysis of On-Chip Heat Distribution in the Design of RF Power Detectors and Transistor Arrays

The simulation of electromagnetic (EM) and thermal properties of semiconductor and substrate materials has been demonstrated to be particularly helpful in the optimization of the design of Monolithic Micro wave Integrated Circuit (MMIC) power amplifier (PA) modules. Various design challenges, however, have to be dealt with in specific ways, and may require efficient approaches that accommodate reasonable approximations in the development and troubleshooting phases. EM and heat transfer analysis at the semiconductor device structure level allows building accurate models for simulation tools.

Posted in: Application Briefs, RF & Microwave Technology, Defense, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Power for Micro Autonomous Systems

The Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology (MAST) Collaborative Technology Alliance (CTA) has been initiated to spur basic research in small autonomous robots, particularly in four main areas: Microsystem Mechanics, Autonomous Processing, Micro electronics, and Integration. In order to focus its efforts, the Army proposed multiple scenario missions of increasing difficulty to work towards: small unit building search (flat, straight walls, no wind, etc.), a small unit cave search (potential for wind gusts, no regular surfaces to use as reference points), and perimeter defense (longer required mission time, and range and potentially harsh environments). The size ranges considered were defined as “palm-size” and below, where no lower limit was specified.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Microelectricmechanical device, Robotics
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Low-Power Circuit for an Electromagnetic Warning System Sensor

Low-power sensors are important to the Army for monitoring infrastructure of the lifecycle of an operation. Isotope batteries can power and operate compact, low-power sensors for decades. A lowpower circuit has been developed to generate a repetitive radio frequency (RF) impulse, which will be used to indicate that a sensor has detected a target. This sensor circuit has been modeled and built to evaluate several isotope batteries in preparation. A parametric study of components in the circuit has been performed to minimize power consumption as a function of repetition rate and pulse width of the light-emitting diode indicator or RF impulse output.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Batteries, Integrated circuits, Radio equipment, Sensors and actuators, Test equipment and instrumentation
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Effects of Differing Carbon Nanotube Field-Effect Transistor Architectures

Understanding the differing methods and materials that can be used for producing carbon nanotube (CNT)- based electronic components means an informed use of materials and architectures can unleash the potential of carbon nanotube field-effect transistors (CNTFETs) for a wide array of future electronic applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Electronic equipment, Transistors, Nanomaterials
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Silicon Carbide Junction Field-Effect Transistor Devices for Scalable Solid-State Circuit Breakers

Power electronic converters functioning as components in high-power systems, such as those of hybrid military ground vehicles, require fast fault isolation, and in most cases, benefit additionally from bidirectional fault isolation. To prevent converter damage or failure, fault current interrupt speeds in the hundreds of microseconds to few millisecond range are necessary. Presently used mechanical contactors do not provide adequate actuation speeds, and suffer severe degradation during repeated fault isolation. Instead, it is desired to use a large array of semiconductor devices having a collectively low conduction loss to provide large current-handling capability and fast transition speed for current interruption.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Power electronics, Transistors, Semiconductors
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Indoor Navigation for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

This research proposed the use of inexpensive, lightweight range sensors for indoor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) navigation. Two potential range sensors were tested for suitability and error characteristics. The SHARP infrared range sensors provide a narrow beam and a higher resolution distance measurement, at the expense of de creased range (approximately 150–180 cm maximum). The MaxBotix® EX1™ ultrasonic range sensors had a longer range (up to 6.45 m) and a wider beam.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Navigation and guidance systems, Sensors and actuators, Flight tests, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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Modular, Portable, and Reconfigurable Wireless Sensing System

A modular, portable, reconfigurable wireless sensor system monitors and records environmental conditions in an aircraft cabin. By designing a sensor system that can be easily configured for different needs (with the ability and flexibility to accommodate different/ extra sensors), the system can be used to measure parameters that meet multiple research requirements. Through design considerations such as generalized signal interface, and hierarchical code structure that can be easily reworked for new sensors, this system can be used to measure parameters that meet multiple research requirements. This sensor system, the ASCENT 1000, is configured with temperature, humidity, sound level, carbon dioxide, and pressure sensors. The system has been calibrated in the laboratory without the use of a pressure chamber.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Sensors and actuators, Wireless communication systems, Passenger compartments
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Performance Evaluation of Commercial Carbon Monofluoride Materials in Lithium Batteries

The performance of six different commercially available carbon monofluoride (CFx) materials was evaluated at four different discharge rates. The physical and chemical properties of the CFx materials were correlated to cell performance in lithium coin cells. This study was undertaken to determine how the physical and chemical properties of commercial CFx materials affect discharge capacity, discharge voltage, rate capability, and voltage delay in Li-CFx cells.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Lithium-ion batteries, Performance tests, Test procedures
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Nanodomain Model of Polymer-Derived Ceramics

Areport discusses a model developed to explain the unusual properties of polymer- derived ceramics (PDCs), which are so named because they are made by controlled pyrolysis of cross-linked polymers. PDCs are metastable ceramics that have potential to be further developed into high-temperature materials that can be tailored to have properties needed to perform specific functions. The PDCs studied thus far have comprised silicon, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen. The unusual properties of PDCs are the following: They bear similarity to both polymers and metallic glasses, even though the pyrolysis temperatures used in producing them are with experimental data.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Simulation and modeling, Ceramics, Heat resistant materials, Materials properties, Polymers
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Lightcraft Propulsion for Launching a Small Satellite

A study of lightcraft propulsion systems in general has led to the conception and analysis of such a system for launching a small (having a mass no more than a few kilograms) satellite into a low orbit around the Earth. This study built on theoretical and experimental investigations of the feasibility of lightcraft, performed by a number of researchers during the past two decades. The word “lightcraft” signifies an aircraft or spacecraft that derives its propulsive energy from a laser beam aimed toward it from an external platform that, for the purpose of the present study, would be a ground station.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Mirrors, Lasers, Propellants, Satellites
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Eccentric Mounting and Adjustment System for Belt-Driven Devices

This design relates to an eccentric mounting and adjustment (EMA) system for belt driving, or for belt-driven devices, that is installed and operated within the restricted confines of an engine compartment, typically a motor vehicle. It satisfies two essential requirements for automotive devices driven by an endless flexible belt, including a reliable mounting to the engine block assembly, and a continuous provision of a proper amount of tension to the belt for either driving or driven devices. As a result, there is minimal wear and tear on device bearings and the belt, which reduces operational failures and assures maximum efficiency for these devices.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Mountings, Engine components
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Mass Spectrometer Saves Power While Tracking Harmful Substances

British researchers who received R&D assistance from the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) are marketing a new tool that could zero in on toxic chemicals in baby formula, lead paints in toys and on walls, and poisonous substances in the blood stream.

Posted in: Tech Transfer Reports, Detectors
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