Tech Briefs

FPGA-Based Communication Channel for Digital Signal Processor Chips

A method for networking, and a network of, digital signal processors (DSP) via at least one field-programmable gate array (FPGA) enables the simultaneous broadcast of data from a DSP to a number of DSPs. The apparatus comprises a host DSP, at least one FPGA in communication with the host DSP for receiving a digital signal from the host DSP, and at least one non-host DSP in communication with at least one FPGA for receiving the digital signal.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Communication protocols, Integrated circuits, Wireless communication systems
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Applying Reconfigurable Computing to Acoustic Sensors Using FPGAs

A novel microsensor processing architecture allows a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) to act as a reprogrammable preprocessor or coprocessor to a general-purpose processor (GPP). The FPGA does most of the computationally complex pieces of the algorithm, while the GPP is lightly loaded, performing control, communications, and housekeeping tasks (Figure 1). The flexible architecture supports a wide range of low-power applications, while still being able to leverage emerging commercial technology.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers
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Delta-Sigma UHF Digital Waveform Generator

A prototype Digital Waveform Generator (DWG) in the ultra-high-frequency (UHF) range uses Delta-Sigma (Δ−Σ) modulation techniques, which permit arbitrary and accurate waveform generation. The DWG meets the demanding and diverse waveform requirements of future radar applications, including linear-FM (LFM) and continuous wave (CW) signals. This DWG also allows for the generation of waveforms at other frequencies by up-conversion or down-conversion.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers
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Network-Enabled Resource Devices

Network Enabled Resource Devices (NERDs) combine the most common electronic components used in robotic applications into a standard electronics box with "plug-n-play" capabilities. Risk reduction efforts, systems testing and integration, and modifying the functionality of evolving systems becomes greatly simplified by standardizing core hardware and software components; in many cases, minimal software modifications are required to adapt an existing NERD for an emergent application.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers
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Cleaning and Protecting Large Mirrors Using a Polymer Solution

Cleaning and protecting optics is a challenge — contamination must be removed without damaging the surface. Preventing recontamination for extended periods of time after cleaning was unattainable prior to use of polymer strip coat films. The SLRSC Western Range Depot Optics Group, WRDOG, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, is a pioneer in the cleaning and protection of precision glass optics, lenses, and large mirrors using polymer solution technology.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics, Mirrors, Coatings Colorants and Finishes, Polymers
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Software-Defined Radios for Urban and Indoor Navigation

Software-defined radios (SDRs) are being developed to provide positioning and communication (POSCOMM) services inside buildings and tunnels, under tree canopies, and in other environments in which local radio- communication systems are accessible but Global Positioning System (GPS) signals are not present or are degraded. These SDRs could be especially helpful for teams of first responders (e.g., firefighters), and military personnel operating in urban settings. These SDRs are capable of navigating by use of GPS signals and can switch over to time-of-arrival (TOA) pseudolite navigation when GPS signals become unavailable, provided that signals from suitably placed TOA pseudolite transmitter nodes are available.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers
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Conjugated Polymers Having High Charge-Carrier Mobilities

A three-year research project encompassed multiple studies of (1) polymer semiconductors that exhibit relatively high electric-charge- carrier mobilities and (2) applications of these polymers in electronic (including optoelectronic and nanoelectronic) devices. Although these polymers are of broad importance to all polymer semiconductor devices — including light-emitting diodes, photovoltaic cells, photodetectors, and electrophotographic imaging devices — the focus in this project was largely upon the use of these polymers in thin-film transistors, organic light-emitting diodes, and related light-emitting transistors.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers
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