MEMs

32-Bit Microcontrollers

Microchip Technology (Chandler, AZ) has announced low-pincount, 32-bit PIC32 microcontrollers (MCUs) that provide 61 DMIPS of performance in packages 5 × 5 mm. The PIC32 “MX1” and “MX2” MCUs feature dedicated audio and capacitive-sensing peripherals.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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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.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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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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Minimizing Thermal Resistance with Direct Attach Heat Spreaders

As commercial and military electronics applications continue to “push the envelope” with higher powers and smaller packaging requirements, it is becoming more critical to minimize the thermal resistance from the heat load to the heat sink. Ideal packaging materials must have high thermal conductivity and coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) values that are compatible with the integrated circuit device while remaining lightweight and affordable. Given these constraints, removing high heat loads and/or high heat flux from these electronics presents some interesting challenges for design engineers.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Integrated circuits, Thermal management, Conductivity, Valves
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Jamming-Resistant Adaptive Radio System

Developing smart antennas for jam-resistant cognitive or software-defined radio systems entails a number of challenging issues. Researchers at the University of Texas are investigating methods to locate jamming signals and then take evasive action to maintain a communication link. Their work involves the use of large arrays of miniaturized, tunable antennas and adaptive filters to protect the system. The goal is to design a resilient communication system resistant to jamming signals in a wide spectrum of frequencies.

Posted in: Application Briefs, RFM Catchall, Antennas, Communication protocols, Radio equipment, Reliability
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Holographic Radar Pinpoints Rapid Shell Fire

Cambridge Consultants has successfully carried out trials tracking 5 inch shells travelling at over 1,000 miles per hour for the US Department of Defense (DoD). The groundbreaking radar developed specifically for this task was able to measure the trajectory and burst points of shells fired from a naval gun at a rate of one every three seconds — the first time radar has been used this way. The technology will eventually be used by the US DoD for training against attack by fast moving land and sea vehicles.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense, Radar, Marine vehicles and equipment, Military vehicles and equipment
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Rocket Launcher Tubes Protect Troops

The desire to get home safely dwells in the back of the mind of every soldier. The battlefield provides enough mortal dangers without soldiers having to wonder whether or not the weapons they carry could injure or kill them at any moment. A single flaw in the design or fabrication of man-held weaponry could prove fatal for a soldier, leaving weapon suppliers and manufacturers no margin for error in the weapon development process.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense, Failure modes and effects analysis, Product development, Risk management, Military vehicles and equipment
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