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Implementing On-Board Cloud Detection on a Reconfigurable Computer

Reconfigurable Computers (RCs) combine traditional microprocessors with field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), and are characterized by lower form/wrap factors compared to parallel platforms. Therefore, RCs are a promising candidate for on-board preprocessing. The RC used in this real-time cloud detection system is an SRC-6E reconfigurable computer. The system can be used for on-board preprocessing by prototyping the Landsat 7 ETM+ ACCA algorithm on the SRC-6E.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers
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Polymer Matrix Composite Materials for a Structural Multifunctional Fuel Cell

A structural multifunctional fuel cell design enables material elements participating in power or energy processes to also carry significant structural loads. Power and energy components require combinations of materials and components such as dielectrics, electrical conductors, and catalytic or reactive surfaces. Polymer matrix composite (PMC) materials were chosen because they are inherently multi-material systems and are well suited to these complex systems. Secondly, composite material processing provides a great degree of fabrication flexibility. PMC processing requires relatively low temperatures, thus preventing damage to embedded components; it can accommodate complex geometries and sub-components and is scalable to manufacturing settings.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials
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Mechanical Response of an Al-PTFE Composite to Uniaxial Compression Over a Range of Strain Rates and Temperatures

Reactive materials can be loosely categorized as composites of inert solid materials which, when subjected to a violent mechanical stimulus such as an impact, react exothermally with a rapid release of energy. This reaction, while aptly described as “explosive,” differs from a true detonation or deflagration in that it requires a mechanical stimulus to not only initiate the reaction but also to sustain it. Such materials can also be fairly robust mechanically and can serve as substantial structural components. Because of these properties, reactive materials have a number of potential ordnance applications. Various compositions have been investigated to tailor properties of reactivity, strength, and density to suit particular needs.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Composite materials, Materials identification, Materials properties, Impact tests, Thermal testing
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Novel Conductive Coatings of Carbon Nanotubes

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are the material of ever-increasing concern due to their excellent electronic and physicochemical properties. Currently, research has been focused towards their applications for use in chemical and biological sensors as well as their use in optoelectronic devices. One of the major challenges is the construction of flexible electronic devices.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials
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Water Mist System for Shipboard Machinery Space Fires

Water mist has been determined to be a preferred alternative to Halon 1301 total flooding to extinguish fires occurring in ship machinery spaces and pump rooms, because it is toxicologically and physiologically inert. Water mist systems produce a drop size distribution with a range of drop sizes under 1000 μm, while the more conventional sprinkler systems produce much coarser particles. The smaller particle sizes have greater cooling efficiencies because evaporation and cooling are controlled by surface area, and the surface area of a large number of small droplets is greater than that of a small number of large droplets of the same total volume.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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Axial Field Electric Motor

An axial field electric motor comprises one or more elements such as a rotor mounted for rotation and multiple axial flux permanent magnets carried by the rotor. The axial flux permanent magnets are oriented such that an associated magnetic flux produced thereby is at least substantially axially oriented. The axial flux permanent magnets are positioned around the rotor with alternating orientations of flux direction so that a flux direction of adjacent magnets is at least substantially axially oriented but opposite in direction. The radial flux permanent magnets are also carried by the rotor and oriented so that an associated magnetic flux produced is at least substantially radially oriented.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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Miniature Rotorcraft Flight Control Stabilization System

Autonomous rotorcraft provide improved capability in performing military missions such as reconnaissance, targeting, border patrol, and environmental sensing. A common difficulty in applying miniature rotorcraft to these areas is the complexity and specialization of the control. In general, rotorcraft have extreme vibration that make miniature inertial measurement difficult. Sources of vibration include the main rotor, tail rotor, and blade flapping dynamics. Typical sensors include MEMS accelerometers, which are sensitive to vibration. Inclusion of alternative and or redundant sensors may be used to reduce vibration sensitivity and add useful additional feedback.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences
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Studies of Dynamic Fracture in Brittle Materials

A program of research spanning several years ending in November 2005 was dedicated primarily to formulation and analysis of canonical boundary- value problems in mathematical modeling of dynamic fracture in brittle materials. The sub-topics within the broad topic of dynamic fracture in brittle materials that were studied, and the accomplishments in each sub-topic, are summarized as follows:

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences
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Acceleration Strain Transducer Containing Cantilever Flaps

A recently invented acceleration strain transducer is based on the principle of a conventional spring-and-mass acceleration transducer combined with a linear strain sensor that measures the acceleration-induced deflection of the spring. The invention is compatible with any of a variety of linear strain sensors, including conventional foil resistance strain gauges, fiber-optic and fiber-laser strain sensors, and electrically-conductive-liquid strain sensors.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences
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Simulation of Airflow Through a Test Chamber

A computational-simulation study of the flow of air through a thermo-anemometer chamber was performed to resolve what originally seemed to be an anomaly in the measurement data obtained by use of the chamber. The thermo-anemometer chamber is a test chamber used to measure the rate of generation of heat by a device placed within it. In the original application that produced the apparent anomaly that prompted this study, the chamber was used to measure the power dissipation (as manifested by heating) in an operating power-supply inductor. The apparent anomaly was that the heating of the inductor as calculated from the measurements made by use of the chamber seemed unrealistically high.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences
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Study of Submodeling of a Small Component in a Structure

A study was performed to evaluate the accuracy achievable in the use of submodeling in finite-element modeling of the mechanical response of a structural system that includes components embedded in a larger structure that is subjected to a large transient load. The specific system studied was a simplified model of a “smart” projectile containing a substructure that supported an electronic-circuit board on which were mounted two capacitors and an eight-lead integrated circuit (see figure). The main body or shell of the projectile was represented as a cylindrical ring supporting the substructure. The dimensions of the various components were chosen to be typical of “smart” munitions. The transient load condition was represented by a velocity-versus-time boundary condition, typical of the velocity versus time of a projectile at launch, imposed at the lower surface of the cylindrical ring.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Technology
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Next-Generation Information Systems Architectures

A document describes a paradigm in which low-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with wireless communication capability are used to assist networking among a set of ground stations. This new paradigm is attractive because UAVs can be dynamically deployed in a wide variety of geographical territories. Furthermore, UAVs often have high-quality line-of-sight communication links with other UAVs, and ground stations as aerial links usually suffer relatively little shadowing compared with their terrestrial counterparts.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Technology
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3D Stacked IC Technology (Esc Booth # 1535)

IMEC (Leuven, Belgium) has announced significant progress with its 3D-SIC (3D stacked IC) technology. IMEC recently demonstrated the first functional 3D integrated circuits obtained by die-to-die stacking using 5μm Cu through-silicon vias (TSV). The 3D stacked integrated circuits will be further developed on 200mm and 300mm wafers, integrating test circuits from participating partners. The dies were realized on 200mm wafers in IMEC's reference 0.13μm CMOS process with an added Cu-TSVs process. For stacking, the top die was thinned down to 25μm and bonded to the landing die by Cu-Cu thermocompression.

For Free Info Click Here.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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On-Chip Debug Solutions (Esc Booth #1840)

Macraigor Systems (Brookline Village, MA) has ported their proprietary OCDemon On-Chip Debug Technology to ARM Cortex-M3 processors and is offering full GNU toolsets to be used with these processors. Engineers developing applications for these new processors can control and debug their hardware designs and application software without the use of other system resources such as UARTs, Ethernet channels, or parallel ports. Macraigor's JTAG interface devices are available for use with the ARM Cortex- M3 based cores as well as other ARM family devices including ARM 7, ARM 9, ARM 11, Freescale's iMX series, XScale, and others.

Debug method is available for hardware initialization and debug as well as Flash EEPROM programming, kernel, driver, and application software debug.

For Free Info Click Here

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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SMP Virtual Machine (Esc Booth #1610)

Aonix® (San Diego, CA) now offers the PERC Ultra SMP with support for multicore hardware. PERC Ultra SMP is a multiprocessor and multicore solution for complex mission-critical embedded and real-time Java applications. When the Java language, initially designed for multithreaded programming environments, is coupled with Aonix's PERC Ultra SMP virtual machine, developers are able to leverage full SMP benefits without rewriting code originally designed to run in older, uniprocessor systems. PERC Ultra's real-time garbage collector ensures that real-time microsecond response can be guaranteed even in missioncritical applications.

With PERC Ultra SMP, all Java threads access the same shared objects, making them free to relocate themselves within memory. It also allows threads to migrate between processors, a crucial element to load balancing in multicore systems. To handle these needs, Aonix has developed a special patent-pending synchronization technique that ensures that an application thread on one processor does not attempt to access an object while another process is relocating the desired object as part of the garbage collection process. This performance-optimized solution hinges on the generation of specialized code sequences by the PERC Ultra SMP JIT compiler and on an enhanced real-time garbage collection algorithm.

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Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Touchscreen Controller ICs (Esc Booth # 316)

Atmel® Corporation (San Jose, CA) has introduced charge-transfer, capacitive touchscreen controller ICs that are suitable for mobile phones and other personal electronics. Highly reliable standard Two Touch™ and Single Touch touchscreen controllers are available. Two Touch controller ICs can track and report one or two simultaneous touches as separate X and Y positions. Common user-initiated gestures, including tap, double tap, flick and drag, as well as two-touch gestures such as zoom in, zoom out, and rotate are implemented in the touchscreen controllers.

Users can also implement the touch surface as a combination of touch keys and scrolling devices for additional flexibility – this is configurable by the host processor through the industry standard two-wire, I2C compatible interface. For single touch applications, a unique single layer sensor minimizes the mechanical stack. The reduction of scatter and absorption of the available backlight results in improved light transmission and reduced power consumption.

The first Two Touch devices, AT42QT5320 and AT42QT5480, support screen sizes of up to 8" with a 16:9 aspect ratio. The single touch devices, AT42QT4120 and AT42AT4160, support screen sizes of up to 4.3" with aspect ratios of 16:9 or 4:3. The AT42QT5320 comes in a 5×5 mm QFN package. The AT42QT5480 is available in 5×5 mm BGA, a 7×7 mm QFN, and a 10×10mm TQFP package and also supports up to four user-controlled GPOs. All packages are RoHS-compliant.

For Free Info Click Here.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Bluetooth Modules (ESC Booth #1809)

Laird Technologies (St. Louis, MO) has introduced a range of Bluetooth® modules designed to support the demands of medical equipment manufacturers. Designed for data applications, the BTM411 is a fully integrated, sub-miniature Bluetooth data-oriented module based on Cambridge Silicon Radio's BC04 chipset. Incorporating a full Bluetooth stack and supporting a serial port profile, the module provides a UART interface and comprehensive AT command set to allow easy interface to a host processor.

For medical products that require DSP applications, the BTM520 series offers a wide range of functions including a high-gain, multilayer ceramic antenna that provides +10dBm output for multimedia requirements. The integrated Bluetooth stack provides a comprehensive range of profiles. The 32-bit Kalimba DSP, running at 64MIPS, allows onboard implementation of a variety of advanced applications.

The modules are based on the latest Bluetooth standard, Version 2.1+EDR, and deliver Secure Simple Pairing. This allows for simpler user interfaces that make products easier to use and, subsequently, reduces support costs. Designed for high reliability, these modules support an industrial operating temperature range of -30ºC to +70 ºC.

For Free Info Click Here.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Reference Design Platform (ESC Booth #626)

Express Logic, Inc. (San Diego, CA) and Renesas Technology America, Inc. (San Jose, CA) have teamed up to offer a comprehensive reference design platform for powerful, inexpensive media players. The media player platform is based on Renesas' 200-MHz SuperH SH-2A microcontroller architecture and Express Logic's ThreadX® RTOS, and enables access and display of media from USB flash drives or SD memory cards. The reference design features a 640x480 VGA display and application software that enables touch screen user interface, image display, and audio file play. Also featured is the ability to display and play PC-compatible image files (.jpg, .bmp) and audio files (.mp3, .wav, .wma, .aac, .ogg). The reference design is aimed at system developers, providing them with a starting point for their products that saves significant time and greatly assists in timely project completion and faster time to market.

All software components are available through royalty-free licenses, which means that none of the software adds to bill-of-material cost. The device's application code is designed to use its floating-point unit (FPU) and on-chip RAM for audio processing, while displaying images from a USB hosted memory stick or SD memory card on a VGA TFT LCD using its on-chip LCD controller. Peripheral drivers and a board support package are available as part of the reference design.

For Free Info Click Here.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Micro-ATX Motherboard (ESC Booth #1940)

The EL330-DR micro-ATX form factor motherboard from ITOX (East Brunswick, NJ) utilizes the Intel® Q45 Express chipset with Intel® I/O Controller Hub 10DO. The embedded board supports the 45nm Intel® Core™2 Quad processor Q9400 with up to 6MB of shared L2 cache and up to 1333 MHz Front Side Bus (FSB), delivering high-performance computing in multi-threaded and multitasking environments.

The EL330-DR microATX platform supports Intel® Trusted Execution Technology (Intel® TXT) to protect against software-based attacks, and safeguard the confidentiality and integrity of data stored or created on an embedded system. The industrial motherboard features an integrated Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500 to enhance multi-media applications. Maximum performance is leveraged with up to 8GB of DDR3 800 MHz or 1066 MHz memory and two PCIExpress Gigabit Ethernet controllers. The EL330-DR also provides four Serial ATA ports with speed up to 3Gb/s, one UltraDMA 100 controller supporting two IDE devices, eight USB 2.0 ports, two Serial COM ports, one PCI Express x16 slot, one PCI Express x8 slot, and two PCI slots.

For Free Info Click Here.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Qseven Computer Module (ESC Booth #1223)

Congatec AG (Deggendorf, Germany) now offers conga-QA, a computer module based on the Qseven form factor. The conga-QA is fitted with the Intel® Atom™ Z5xx range of processors and the Intel® US15W system controller hub. The module provides fast, serial differential interfaces such as PCI Express and SATA, and avoids old legacy interfaces such as EIDE and PCI. The conga-QA module provides 8x USB 2.0, 1x SATA, 1x SDIO, 1x PCIe, LPC bus, I²C bus, as well as gigabit Ethernet and high definition audio.

The module offers up to 4 GByte onboard flash storage. The flexible SDIO interface means that SD cards can also be used as easy and robust mass storage. With 8 bit bandwidth, MMC 4.0 cards can be used with a data transfer rate of up to 52 MByte/s. As well as storage media, cards with functions such as WLAN, Bluetooth, and RFID are also available for the SDIO standard.

The Intel® US15W system controller hub contains the Intel® GMA500 graphics engine. The 3D-capable onboard graphics use a frame buffer of up to 256 MByte and support DirectX 9.0E and OpenGL 2.0. Video applications are accelerated by MPEG2 and MPEG4 decoding in hardware. Graphics output is either via a 1x24 bit LVDS channel or an SDVO port. The conga-QA module uses VESA standard "DisplayID" to automatically recognize any flat displays connected.

For Free Info Click Here.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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STD Bus x86-Based SBC (ESC Booth #435)

The LPM-LX800-G from WinSystems (Arlington,TX) is a high-integration STD Bus single board computer (SBC) that incorporates the low power, AMD Geode™ LX800MHz 0.9W CPU. The LPMLX800- G can be populated with up to 1 GByte of system DRAM and up to 16 GBytes of CompactFlash. A high-performance video engine is onboard that supports LCD and CRT displays simultaneously. An Intel 82551ER, 32-bit PCI 10/100 Ethernet controller supports networking. Further I/O support includes four USB 2.0 ports with in-rush and over-current protection, four independent RS- 232/422/485 full-duplex serial UARTs, 48-lines of TTL-compatible digital I/O, and AC97 audio.

The LPM-LX800 contains the core logic to provide PC-compatibility for the I/O and bus interface logic including the UDMA100 controller for hard disks, keyboard/mouse controller, LPT interface, real-time clock, and interrupt controller. A precision power-fail reset circuit, activity LED, PC/104-Plus expansion, and watchdog-timer are also included. The 4.5" × 7.0" STD Bus board operates as a standalone SBC, or users can add off-the-shelf or user-designed IEEE 961 STD Bus cards, PC/104, or PC/104-Plus expansion I/O modules to match their exact application. The RoHS-compliant LPM-LX800 will operate over the industrial temperature range of -40° to +85°C and does not require a fan.

For Free Info Click Here.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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AC/DC Switching Power Supply (ESC Booth #1028 )

Kontron (Poway, CA) introduces the CP3210 rugged conduction-cooled 3U CompactPCI® CPU board. The CPU board offers a clock rate of 733 MHz and DDR SDRAM of 226 MHz. The CP3210 incorporates a thermal sensor for health monitoring and thermal management. The 3U CompactPCI® CPU board is designed to meet the harshest and most demanding requirements through its very low-power dissipation, real-time and certifiable software support, and conduction- cooled design.

The Kontron CP3210 CompactPCI® CPU board offers a range of standard functions and expansion options including the new PowerPC G3 750FX RISC processor clocked at 733 MHz, onboard user memory of 512 MB DDR SDRAM with ECC clocked at 266 MHz, 128 MB of System Flash memory, 256 MB of User Flash memory, and 128 KB of nvSRAM with realclock. It also offers two onboard serial lines, two Ethernet channels (one Gigabit and one 10/100), and one 33/66 MHz PMC expansion slot (PCI Mezzanine Card). An additional PMC can be implemented via the rugged PMC carrier CPMC1. The CP3210 has reliable operation in temperatures ranging from -40°C to +85°C according to VITA 47 recommendations.

For Free Info Click Here.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Increasing System Flexibility Using FPGAs

The proliferation of FPGAs into the embedded computing industry has opened up many new pathways for designers to design cost-effective systems that will withstand technology upgrades, changes in application requirements, and requests for low volumes for system components. Because it allows a user to update functionality after the device has left the manufacturer, FPGA technology gives embedded designers the flexibility to configure both customized and standard products. They can rethink the way systems are constructed and build ones that significantly advance existing technologies and blaze new paths for cutting-edge embedded systems.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Embedded software, Integrated circuits, Cost analysis
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StackableUSB™ Adapting PC Technology to the Embedded Market

Embedded systems and desktop PC's have had a love hate relationship over the years. The PC has been the source of significant technological advances that have enabled embedded systems to evolve to their current levels of sophistication, using the faster processors and highly-integrated functionality of the CPU cores available today. Additionally, the PC world has also spun off I/O buses, both serial and parallel, that have enabled embedded systems designers to expand and configure their system I/O. On the other hand, the embedded industry has often been wary to adopt PC technology due to the short life cycle some PC technologies experience.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Design processes, Architecture, Embedded software, Performance upgrades
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Using Virtualization to Secure Mobile Device Designs

Mobile devices are increasingly coming under attack from malicious applications. As more complex operating systems (OS), such as Symbian, Windows Mobile, and Linux are used in handsets, providing security updates and identifying new vulnerabilities has become more complicated. Addition ally, frequent patching and rewriting of code to keep one step ahead of hackers undermines the utility and longevity of legacy software. What developers really need is an environment that is inherently safe from attack and provides the appropriate level of security for all code running in the target device. Secure, segregated areas for critical code must be combined with secure communications in order to provide protection for mobile devices.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Communication protocols, Cyber security
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Real-Time Data Distribution for Industrial Automation Systems

The quest to bring lockstep efficiency to labor intensive factory production at first relied on mechanical ingenuity. Over time, as reliable and cost-effective microprocessor technology became available, assembly lines were retooled to use the new electronics to achieve greater automation and productivity. Today, pervasive network technology, including the Internet, is bringing about another evolutionary change in industrial automation. No longer is it sufficient for individual machines to perform their specific tasks independently. Instead, individual parts of a larger process must be aware of each other; they must exchange data in realtime, and adapt to changes in the process or environment. Additionally, it is increasingly necessary to exchange data outside of the traditional industrial network and beyond the factory floor, and to include enterprise LANs and the Internet. Up-tothe- minute information on manufacturing processes needs to be available to analysts, inventory managers, and others within the office environment.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Data exchange, Automation, Production, Industrial vehicles and equipment
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Prognostic Health Management of an RF System Using GPS

Prognostic health management (PHM) of electronic systems presents challenges that traditionally were not worth the cost of pursuit. Recent changes in weapons platform acquisition and support requirements have spurred renewed interest in electronics PHM, revealing accessible data sources and previously unexplored predictive techniques. This article discusses the development and validation of electronic prognostics for a radio frequency (RF) system. The solution has applicability to a broad class of mixed digital/analog circuitry, including radar and software-defined radio.

Posted in: Articles, RF & Microwave Technology, Avionics, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Developing a Beam Former for Electronically Steered Antennas

There are several applications for phased arrays in Army communication systems. This spans frequency bands ranging from UHF to Ka bands and performance requirements that include single and multiple beams, various scanning speeds, and different polarizations. The radiating apertures can be planar, conformal, or segmented and distributed over multi-faceted structures. Examples include distributed apertures on military vehicles, conformal aperture on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) aircraft body, an antenna on an elevated post or tower on a stationary or mobile platform, and others.

Posted in: Articles, RF & Microwave Technology, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Telemetry Encoder

Mistral Solutions (Dallas, TX) offers the PCM telemetry encoder, a fully configurable Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) onboard system for analyzing flight parameters in airborne applications. The system is designed to withstand extreme environmental conditions and is AMC PPC405-based. It is comprised of a data acquisition system, a conversion system, a frame-processing FPGA, and a PCM output section. It supports multiplexed sampling of 64 analog channels and conforms to IRIG 106 Standard for PCM frame encoding.

The system features a MIL-STD-1553 monitor/remote terminal with a dual-redundant bus interface to monitor and capture onboard 1553 bus transactions. The MIL-grade aluminum enclosure measures 140 × 110 × 115 mm. The system has an operating temperature range of -40 to 70°C.

For Free Info Click Here

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Ultrasound Imaging Camera

The Acoustocam I500 ultrasound imaging camera from Imperium (Silver Spring, MD) is a portable real-time imaging system for the nondestructive detection of defects within materials such as composite and metal structures. It detects a variety of internal flaws such as impact damage, voids, delaminations, disbands, corrosion, and internal cracks. The device is a camcorder for ultrasound that generates real-time video of internal flaws. It has applications in aerospace, marine, microelectronics, and automotive industries.

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Posted in: Products
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