Electronics & Computers

Data Review Tool

The PeerReview Complete™ tool from SmartBear Software (Beverly, MA) allows engineers to share, review, and annotate schematics, 2D drawings, diagrams, images, HTML, and other digital content. PeerReview Complete features include: synchronous and asynchronous reviewing; live chat; threaded comment tracking and automated review notification; reviews of hardware description languages; centralized reporting; customizable workflows and fields; “Print to Review” functionality; and search capabilities.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Evaluation Boards

Bourns (Riverside, CA) offers two evaluation boards for RS-485-port interfaces. The boards use Bourns® TBU® High-Speed Protectors (HSPs), GDTs, TVS diodes, and MOV products. The Bourns RS-485EVALBOARD1 includes two Bourns® TBU® High-Speed Protectors (HSPs), two Bourns® fast-acting GDTs, and two Bourns® TVS diodes. The Bourns RS-485EVALBOARD2 features Bourns® TBU® High-Speed Protectors (HSPs), MOVs, and TVS products.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Membrane Switches

APEM Components (Haverhill, MA) has announced a range of customized, ergonomic, low-power membrane switches. The switches can be made with either non-tactile or tactile feedback through sound and light indication. The membrane switches, which meet IP65, IP67, and NEMA4 standards, operate in moderate to harsh conditions.

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Designing High-Speed, Rugged Data Recorders

High-speed recorders represent a major share of electronic instrumentation found in commercial, industrial, scientific research, government, and defense applications. Each system captures specific classes of analog and digital inputs from among an enormous range of sensors, networks, and interfaces.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Electronic equipment, Durability, Event data recorders
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Improving Software Reliability in Satellite and Spacecraft Applications

In the space industry, much of the effort to refine system engineering processes has been done by hand using tools as divergent as Microsoft PowerPoint to IBM Rational Doors. While these tools are valuable, they do not provide a direct connection to source code and test results.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Avionics, Computer software / hardware, Reliability, Satellites, Spacecraft
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Prognostic Health Management for Avionics System Power Supplies

Electronic systems such as electronic controls, onboard computers, communications, navigation, and radar perform many critical functions onboard military and commercial aircraft. All of these systems depend on electrical power supplies for direct current (DC) power at a constant (regulated) voltage to drive solid-state electronics. With these power supplies playing an important role in the operation of aircraft systems and subsystems, flight and ground crews need health state awareness and prediction tools that diagnose faults accurately, predict failures, and project life remaining of these components.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Avionics, Electronic equipment, Electric power, Prognostics, Commercial aircraft, Military aircraft
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Energy-Scalable Protocols for Battery Operated Micro Sensor Networks

Networks of microsensors can greatly improve environment monitoring for many civil and military applications. Multiple sensors provide fault tolerance and can provide valuable inferences about the physical world to the end user. In order to prolong the lifetimes of wireless sensors, all aspects of a sensor system should be energy efficient. To maximize battery lifetimes of distributed wireless sensors, network protocols and data fusion algorithms should be designed with low-power techniques. Network protocols minimize energy by using localized communication and control and by exploiting computation/communication tradeoffs. A sensor network system that uses a localized clustering protocol and beamforming data fusion was developed to enable energy-efficient collaboration.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Mathematical models, Architecture, Sensors and actuators, Surveillance, Energy consumption
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Wide-Field Imaging System and Rapid Direction of Optical Zoom

A breadboard system has been developed for demonstrating nonmechanical zoom using flexible thin films. The project consists of three major task areas: material characterization, diagnostic system development, and imaging system development. The material characterization phase involves two components: development of modeling tools, and measurement of material properties for use in the tools. The diagnostic system development phase will apply the tools and knowledge developed in the first phase to build algorithms for modeling and testing one-dimensional films with multiple actuators. These models will then be compared to experimental results and modified as needed. The imaging system development phase will conclude the effort by building a sensor system with variable zoom based on optical-quality PVDF films.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Imaging, Sensors and actuators, Diagnostics, Product development, Systems engineering, Materials properties
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Rad-Hard FPGAs

The rad-hard and rad-tolerant reprogrammable Virtex®- 5QV FPGA from Xilinx (San Jose, CA) supports specified Total Ionizing Dose (TID) and characterized Single-Event Effects (SEE). The space-grade field programmable gate arrays are also optimized with embedded MPUs, embedded DSP elements, built-in Ethernet MAC blocks, and high-speed serial connectivity.

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Graphics Processor

AMD (Sunnyvale, CA) has introduced the AMD Radeon™ E6460 discrete graphics processor. With support for up to four simultaneous displays, the E6460 GPU enables an immersive experience with desktop-level 3D graphics and multimedia features. A 3D graphics engine and programmable shader architecture support Microsoft DirectX® 11 tech nology for graphics rendering. The unified video decoder also provides dual HD decode of H.264, VC-1, MPEG4, and MPEG2 compressed video streams.

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