Satellite Communications Ball Offers More Bandwidth, Greater Portability

While it may resemble a giant beach ball, the inflatable ground antenna transmit and receive (GATR) ball is actually the Army's latest piece of satellite communications equipment. The technology is so new that the 369th Sustainment Brigade's GATR ball has a serial number in the single digits. Designed to be lighter and more compact than traditional, rigid satellite dishes, the GATR ball can be broken down into just a few cases and hand carried anywhere in the world. The self-contained system can then be inflated and set up in less than two hours, ready to provide a variety of communication services.

Posted in: News, Communications, Wireless, Defense

Development of High Quality 4H-SiC Thick Epitaxy for Reliable High Power Electronics Using Halogenated Precursors

Development of robust semiconductor devices with high energy efficiency and reliability is a key objective towards 'Energy Conversion and Power Management ' for naval system applications. The goal of this research is to create the fundamental knowledge needed for the development of novel approaches to synthesize high-quality, thick SiC epitaxial layers (> 100μm) for reliable high voltage (≥10kV) / high power (>100 kW) electronics for navy ship applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Electronics & Computers, Semiconductor devices, Research and development, Materials properties, Marine vehicles and equipment

Silicon Based Mid-Infrared SiGeSn Heterostructure Emitters and Detectors

Enhancing the performance of GeSn p-i-n photodiodes using gold metal nanostructures.

The goal of this research project was to advance the science and technology of silicon-based photonic devices using SiGeSn heterostructures. Such devices work in mid-IR spectral range and form the foundation for mid-IR photonics that enable on-chip systems for applications ranging from vibrational spectroscopy, chem/bio sensing, medical/health uses, to environmental monitoring. This project was mostly directed toward improving GeSn detectors with the use of surface plasmons induced by carefully designed metal nanostructures. The goal was to replace the current mid-IR detectors that are usually photodiodes made from narrow bandgap III-V or II-VI semiconductor compounds such as InGaAs, InSb, HgCdTe (MCT) or type-II In-GaAs/InGaSb superlattice. These photodiodes are incompatible with the CMOS process and cannot be easily integrated with Si electronics. The GeSn mid-IR detectors developed in this project are fully compatible with the CMOS process.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Semiconductors & ICs, Integrated circuits, Sensors and actuators, Silicon alloys

Reconfigurable Electronics and Non-Volatile Memory Research

The purpose of this research was to investigate non-volatile memory device technologies that could be applied to reconfigurable electronics applications to provide power reduction, radiation tolerance, smaller size, and improved reliability over existing non-volatile memory devices. The research encompasses: 1) materials and device design, and 2) fabrication and testing of the devices. The types of memory devices that were investigated are divided into three categories:

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Semiconductors & ICs, Electronic equipment, Research and development, Reliability

Energy-Filtered Tunnel Transistor: A New Device Concept Toward Extremely Low Energy Consumption Electronics

Altering the thermal characteristics of semiconductors can prolong battery life.

Excessive heat dissipation (or power consumption) of modem integrated circuits is an undesirable effect that imposes substantial limitations on the performance of many electronic devices. For example, the level of heat dissipation /power consumption of smart phones, tablets, and laptops is such that it prohibits a continuous and prolonged operation of these devices, requiring frequent recharging. Large power consumption of electronic devices requires large energy storage in batteries, increasing the battery weights that soldiers carry in their missions or the weights of remote controlled equipment such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Therefore, technology that enables electronic devices to operate with extremely small energy consumption promises a broad range of commercial, military and space applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Transistors, Energy conservation

Open Standard Middleware Enables New HPEC Solutions

The military embedded computing landscape has been transformed from where it was 20 years ago — and that has been almost entirely enabled by the ability of prime contractors, systems integrators, and OEMs to leverage the products of COTS manufacturers who take leading edge commercial technologies and apply them successfully to the world of military computing. A look at the commercial landscape today reveals cell phones that are putting vast amounts of location- aware information — and the ability to process that information — directly into the hands of consumers. The Internet of Things has become a deployable reality, with data derived from millions of connected sensors.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Defense, Electronics & Computers, Sensors, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Internet of things, Military vehicles and equipment

Cooling Your Embedded System: What Can Your Open Standard Architecture Handle?

Embedded computing systems for Mil/Aero applications are often conduction-cooled in an ATR or nonstandard chassis. However, there are many designs that require 19" rackmount systems with forced-air cooling. As more processing performance is packed into tight spaces, enclosures that provide advanced cooling options are increasingly common.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Thermal Management, Computer software / hardware, Embedded software, Cooling, Mountings, Fans

Evaluating Key Certification Aspects of Multicore Platforms for Safety Critical Avionics Applications

High performance, low power consumption and small footprint requirements imposed by the embedded market on the processor industry is causing a definite move away from single-core processors to multicore processors. Multicore processors have been deemed as the future of Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) constrained applications like military and avionics. They provide higher performance (MHz/W) at lower power. They also allow consolidation of multiple functions/ applications onto a single platform.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Electronics & Computers, Avionics, Computer software / hardware, Safety critical systems, Certification

Simulating and Analyzing Flow for an Air-to-Air Refueling System

Long-range bombers may have missions halfway around the world. Fighter jets may have to stay in the air longer than their relatively small fuel tanks will allow, or may find they have exhausted their fuel unexpectedly, such as during supersonic flight or evasive maneuvers. In these situations, large tanker aircraft are deployed that carry sufficient fuel to refill several smaller aircraft in a single mission (Figure 1). The task of injecting volatile jet fuel from one aircraft to another while both are moving at high speed and altitude is fraught with risk.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Test & Measurement, Computer simulation, Refueling, Aerodynamics, Freighter aircraft

The Ins and Outs of Spaceflight Passive Components and Assemblies

RF and microwave components deployed in spaceflight applications can experience hundreds of degrees of temperature variation, massive amounts of radiation, and can be expected to operate at an elevated level, sometimes for decades. The demands of operating in a space environment bring unique challenges and unforgiving reliability requirements. Designing passive components to meet these rigorous operation criteria necessitates a high level of design expertise, qualifications/certifications, and testing capability.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, RF & Microwave Electronics, Electronic equipment, Durability, Reliability, Total quality management, Spacecraft