Electronics & Computers

2018 Create the Future Design Contest: Aerospace & Defense Category Winner


Hidden PFM-1 anti-personnel landmines are unexploded ordnance (UXO) devices that pose a difficult challenge to conventional landmine detection methods like metal detecting because the mines are primarily composed of plastic and only weigh 75 g. As a remnant of the Soviet-Afghan War, there are an estimated 10 million such devices scattered throughout Afghanistan. These mines remain in isolated locations, frequently out of reach of de-mining nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and act to thwart local economic and social development. The PFM-1s are infamously referred to as “toy mines,” as children often mistake the mines for toys and set off the 525 kg of cumulative pressure it takes to detonate them.

Posted in: News, Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Batteries, Power Management, Power Supplies, Green Design & Manufacturing, Imaging, Composites, Materials, Metals, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors, Software

Using Electromagnetic Brakes to Keep Thrust Reversers IN PLACE

Applying reverse thrust redirecting engine power to oppose the direction of travel is a standard technique for decelerating aircraft after touchdown. The approach saves wear on the brakes of the landing gear wheels and reduces stopping distance. Although accidental deployment of the thrust reverser cowl could and did happen, it was assumed for decades that this would only present a hazard in the moments around takeoff and landing. With changes to engine design and aircraft aerodynamics, this assumption no longer held, as demonstrated by the catastrophic loss of Lauda Air Flight 004.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Power Management, Power Supplies, Materials, Machinery, Mechanical Components, MEMs, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Positioning Equipment, Power Transmission, Propulsion

Digital Transformation for a CONNECTED ENTERPRISE

Manufacturers around the world are grappling with the challenge of continuous innovation in the face of increasing complexity. In aerospace and defense (A&D), complexity is nothing new, but digital transformation to become a more connected enterprise that allows programs to run independently while achieving enterprise-wide processes remains an elusive goal. Today, organizations around the world are rethinking their strategies and turning to more open and agile approaches to create a connected enterprise that can enable faster innovation.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Defense, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Industrial Controls & Automation, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Data Acquisition, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Electronics & Computers, Simulation Software, Software, Test & Measurement

Thermostatic Solutions for Temperature Control Applications

The wax-filled thermostatic element was invented in 1936 by Sergius Vernet (1899-1968). Its principal application was in automotive thermostats used in the engine cooling system. Wax thermostatic elements transform heat energy into mechanical energy using the thermal expansion of waxes when they melt. In addition to engine cooling systems, this wax motor principle also finds applications in heating system thermostatic radiator valves, plumbing, industrial, and agriculture. Today this technology is widely used across a broad spectrum of industries including aerospace & defense, most often for temperature control of various fluid systems.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Thermal Management, Materials, Metals, Fluid Handling, Joining & Assembly, Machinery, Mechanical Components, MEMs, Data Acquisition, Sensors

Compact Power Amplifier Solution for Electronic Warfare

Wolfspeed, a Cree company, provides field-tested silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) power and RF solutions. As a leader in wide-bandgap semiconductor technology, Wolfspeed partners with designers to build faster, smaller, lighter, and more powerful electronic systems.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Board-Level Electronics, Power Management, Power Supplies, Materials, Machinery, Mechanical Components, Power, Power Transmission, RF & Microwave Electronics, Semiconductors & ICs

Bringing RF into the Embedded World: It's Time

Embedded systems have been almost entirely digital throughout their long history, while RF and microwave technologies were separate subsystems with no effective interface between the two. For many reasons, this “RF/digital divide” should finally be connected.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Board-Level Electronics, Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, RF & Microwave Electronics

New Products: October 2018 Aerospace & Defense Technology

Microstepping Motor Driver

US Digital (Vancouver, WA) announced the release of the MD3 Programmable Microstepping Motor Driver, capable of driving motors from NEMA size 14 to 42. The MD3 accepts 9-50 VDC power inputs and is rated for currents up to 7A continuous duty. In addition to digital input controls, the MD3 can be configured and controlled using the open MODBUS RTU protocol over a RS485 bus. A GUI application is supplied that allows many settings to be changed including the number of microsteps per full step, acceleration/deceleration rates, speed and current cutback. The design supports multiple MD3 units on the same RS485 bus and allows for programmable motion profiles. In addition, the MD3 has a brushed DC motor speed control mode.

Posted in: Products, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Board-Level Electronics, Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Positioning Equipment, Power, RF & Microwave Electronics, Data Acquisition

New Products: September 2018 Aerospace & Defense Technology

Pin Fin Heat Sinks

Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc. (ATS) (Norwood, MA) has a family of Pin Fin heat sinks designed as cost-effective solutions for systems with adequate airflow. The high aspect ratio design enables ATS Pin Fin heat sinks to provide low thermal resistance from base to fins in systems where the airflow measures 200-plus LFM (linear feet per minute). The cross-cut design also allows the Pin Fin heat sinks to be effective in systems where airflow is ambiguous.

Posted in: Products, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Data Acquisition, Thermal Management, RF & Microwave Electronics, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors, Software, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

High-Performance Computing for the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle

The development of the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) will require technological advancements in many areas, including lethality, protection, autonomy, human–agent teaming, and electromagnetic capabilities. What ties all of these future capabilities together is the need for vast computational resources to support the artificial intelligence (AI) implicit in bringing these advancements to the battlefield. The operating environment of the NGCV will be such that communications will be severely limited, if available at all; systems will be under constant cyber-attack; and adversarial AI may be actively attempting to deceive all sensors — all occurring under severe size, weight, power, and time-available constraints. These factors, and more, are the motivation for developing a strategy of mobile High-Performance Computing (HPC) for the NGCV.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Automotive, Communications, Computers, Video, RF & Microwave Electronics, Data Acquisition, Sensors

Merging Antenna and Electronics Boosts Energy and Spectrum Efficiency

By integrating the design of antennas and electronics, researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have boosted the energy and spectrum efficiency for a new class of millimeter-wave transmitters, allowing improved modulation and reduced generation of waste heat.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Smart Grid, Antennas, RF & Microwave Electronics, Semiconductors & ICs