Features

Understanding the Unique Requirements of Portable Data Acquisition Systems

Portable data acquisition applications have to meet a number of stringent requirements not present in traditional laboratory systems. Environmental conditions such as extremes in temperature, humidity, shock and vibration, are all factors that must be considered when selecting portable data acquisition equipment. Other concerns include whether the data acquisition equipment is capable of supporting the mix of particular sensors that will be used, as well as if there is adequate memory/storage to support the test.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Design processes, Data acquisition and handling, Test equipment and instrumentation
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Ultra-Wideband Recording Stretches to Keep Up With Digitizers

Systems designers are always pressing for faster and faster real-time performance, and data acquisition technology continues to evolve to meet that need. Currently available high-performance digitizers perform in the range of 2 to 5 GS/sec, and some new instruments are featuring 7 GS/sec digitizers for transient capture.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Data acquisition and handling, Electronic equipment, Performance upgrades
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Using Ethernet for Process Automation

The use of Ethernet communications in industrial applications is growing because it enables the real-time exchange of information between processing equipment and companies' Ethernet-based management systems. Some of the factors encouraging the use of Ethernet technology include:

the speed advantages over lower baud rate protocols the number of tools available for troubleshooting and optimizing a network, the broad base of competitive vendor support and solution options and the large pool of trained personnel who are familiar with the technology.

In addition, the ability to bridge existing proprietary communications schemes makes it possible to phase in the use of Ethernet rather than having to replace everything at once.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Telecommunications systems, Automation, Industrial vehicles and equipment
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How PCI Express Is Changing Machine Vision

PCI Express is the peripheral bus now being adopted by next-generation PCs, servers, and industrial computers. It provides a scaleable, high-bandwidth, point-to-point pathway between peripheral cards and the computing core while retaining application software compatibility with previous generations. For machine-vision systems, the architecture and higher bandwidth of PCI Express yield major increases in achievable frame rate and image size as well as simplifying the implementation of multi-channel capability.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Artificial intelligence, Computer software / hardware, Automation
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Energy Storage for Hybrid Military Vehicles

The benefits of hybrid electric vehicles have been recognized by the U.S. Army and other military services. As a consequence, hybrid vehicles are being considered as future combat and tactical platforms. In order to achieve an All Electric Combat Vehicle (AECV), integration challenges have to be overcome for every system in the new vehicle.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace
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Update on NASA’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

In the August issue of Defense Tech Briefs, we highlighted NASA’s Altair/Predator B unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for Earth science missions. A lot has happened in the past two months, so we’re providing an update on the latest aircraft and applications in NASA’s growing UAV program.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace
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SpaceWire: The Standard for Aerospace Communications

Developed in 1999 under the auspices of the European Space Agency, SpaceWire answered a longstanding spaceflight problem: no standard, high-speed communications protocol existed for flight electronics. Therefore, all spaceflight electronic payloads (such as processing units and onboard computers) were customdesigned, which resulted in long development periods, high costs, and elevated risks. The SpaceWire standard was developed as a network of nodes and routers interconnected through bidirectional, high-speed serial links, limiting the customdesign problem by designing a standard with flexibility, modularity, and reusability.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace
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