MEMs

Expanding the Use of Aerial Downlinks

Today, airborne downlinks are no longer limited to strategic command applications. More and more, first responders, fire departments, EMS personnel, and others are employing airborne downlinks to meet a diverse array of needs. Through the use of digital downlink technology, these systems are easier to use, eliminating the need for highly trained technical personnel to operate them. They also now have full-featured infrared cameras and secure digital COFDM transmitters, allowing users to share the video intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance information across multiple organizations and agencies.

Posted in: Articles, RF & Microwave Technology, RFM Catchall, RF & Microwave Electronics, Data exchange, Electronic equipment, Optics, Emergency management
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VPX: The State of the Ecosystem

You can never have too much bandwidth. High-speed processing and growing amounts of data to be communicated require generous bandwidth from the board level to the I/O. VPX, with a backplane connector system supporting 6.25 Gb/s in a switched fabric architecture, is the latest generation of VMEbus and offers new levels of performance for embedded computer systems. VPX systems are designed for flexible application of demanding highspeed protocols, such as 10G Ethernet, RapidIO, InfiniBand, and Hyper Transport protocols, in ground, aerospace, and marine applications.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Data exchange, Performance upgrades
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Thin Cavity Cooling of Electronic Circuitry

Anovel tested technology for cooling electronic circuitry is also useful in many other industries. The method is called “Thin Cavity Fluidic Heat Exchanger”(TCFHE). Technology details can be viewed at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Web site, at application 20100078155.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Electronic equipment, Product development, Cooling
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Embedded Video Requirements Drive New Mezzanine Card Format

Sophisticated graphics have hit the embedded systems world and are increasingly demanded by military, aerospace, industrial, and medical applications. The problem, of course, is that graphics are challenging even in the desktop world. In embedded designs, they present unique issues that include very specific, non-standard functionality.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Design processes, Embedded software, Displays
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Computer RTOS

Software Controls Vehicle’s Mission-Critical Computers

General Dynamics UK recently specified Green Hills Software’s INTEGRITY® real-time operating system (RTOS) as the operating system software for all of the mission-critical computers being used in the Scout Specialist Vehicles (SV) program. General Dynamics UK is currently in the demonstration phase of the Scout program. Green Hills Software’s MULTI® integrated development environment (IDE) has also been selected to build the application code that runs on top of the INTEGRITY operating system on all the computer subsystems in the vehicle.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Computer software / hardware
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Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Engine

New Heavy Fuel Engine Gives Unmanned Helicopter Increased Flexibility

Schiebel recently conducted the successful first flight of a heavy-fuel-powered CAMCOPTER® S-100 UAS (Unmanned Air System). After extensive development, the S-100 successfully made its maiden flight with a new heavy fuel engine at Schiebel’s range near the production facility in Wiener Neustadt, Austria. The Schiebel-designed engine fulfilled all expectations and series deliveries are scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Engines, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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Surveillance Systems

New Surveillance System Provides Round-the-Clock Coverage

Logos Technologies has begun delivery of the first two electro- optical/infrared Kestrel wide-area persistent surveillance systems to the U.S. Army for deployment on aerostats at forward operating bases (FOBs) in Afghanistan. Replacing interim, day-only Kestrels rushed to the battlefield last October, the new persistent surveillance systems will now offer sensor operators on the ground round-the-clock coverage of a forward operating base’s environs. This means greater protection for the warfighter in and around “the wire.”

Posted in: Application Briefs, Surveillance, Military aircraft
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Weapons Control System Computer

COTS I/O and Processor Technology Controls Machine Guns

Engineers from SSAI (Support Systems Associates, Inc.) have selected commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) 3U CompactPCI technology from North Atlantic Industries (NAI) in Bohemia, NY to be used in the replacement Loader Weapon Control Panel (LWCP) and Electronic Control Unit (ECU) for the AC- 130U gunship. The LWCP provides user interface for gunner control of the 40-mm and 105-mm weapons installed on the gunship. The ECU takes the mission computer commanded position and senses feedback on actual gun position to control the dynamic aiming of the AC-130U trainable gun mounts.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Electronic control systems, Electronic control units, Military aircraft
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Microwave Radiometers Help Keep Aircraft Safe From Icing

One of the greatest dangers to aircraft — playing a role in numerous destructive and fatal accidents around the world — comes in the form of droplets of water. In clean air, cloud droplets can exist in liquid form down to temperatures as low as -40 °C. These subfreezing, liquid clouds are referred to as being “supercooled.” As soon as supercooled droplets contact an aircraft ascending or descending through the cloud cover, they form layers of ice on any unprotected surface, including the leading edges of wings and rotor blades, tails, antennas, and within jet engines. This ice accretion can cause engine damage and dramatically affect the aerodynamics of the aircraft. On the leading edge of a wing, an ice layer about as thick and rough as a piece of coarse sandpaper can be responsible for as much as a 30% decrease in lift and a 40% increase in drag. This can lead to reduced performance and even catastrophic loss of control.

Posted in: Application Briefs, RF & Microwave Technology, RFM Catchall, RF & Microwave Electronics, Aircraft structures, Radar, Icing and ice detection, Aerodynamics
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Development of High-Resolution Eddy Current Imaging Using an Electromechanical Sensor

An oscillating current flowing through a coil produces an oscillating magnetic field. When an electrically conducting material like a metal is brought close to the coil, the oscillating magnetic field produces eddy currents in the metallic material. The strength of the eddy current depends on the electrical conductivity of the material, the distance between the coil and the material, and the frequency of the excitation of the coil. The eddy currents in the electrical conductor produce a magnetic field opposing the magnetic field generated by the coil. The electrical impedance of the coil, placed in close proximity to a metal, is altered due to the eddy currents in the metal. Measurement of the change in the impedance is a method to determine the electrical conductivity of the metal.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Measurements, Sensors and actuators, Conductivity, Magnetic materials, Metals
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