MEMs

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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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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Design Study of a C-Band Crestatron

Total Efficiencies of the designed crestatron and a comparable complex-gain-optimized TWT as functions of frequency were predicted by computational simulation.A design study of a crestatron that would operate in the frequency range from 3 to 6 GHz (which overlaps with the C band) has been performed. The basic crestatron concept was developed during the 1950s. The present interest in crestatrons is spurred by the prospect of realizing compact, efficient, high-power, high-gain microwave transmitters in which crestatrons would be combined with low-noise, solid-state drivers into microwave power modules (MPMs). Such transmitters and MPMs could be attractive for applications in which there are severe constraints on volume and weight.

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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Static vs. Dynamic Detection of Bugs in Safety-Critical Code

In the never-ending quest to produce high-quality software, traditional dynamic testing plays a fundamental role. The weakness of dynamic testing is that it is only as good as the test cases. To be effective, a great deal of effort must go into writing or generating good test cases, and doing so can be very expensive.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Design processes, Computer software / hardware, Reliability, Test procedures
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Taking the Sting Out of Multiprocessor DSP Application Development

Systems engineers face a number of challenges when configuring and programming a complex, heterogeneous multiprocessor system of the type often used in digital signal processing applications. These include:

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Design processes, Computer software / hardware, Systems engineering
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Using CompactPCI to Build Rugged Embedded Systems

The task-specific nature of an embedded system application typically defines a narrow scope of performance requirements. But the range of options for achieving those requirements are broad — from multicore processors and rugged single board computers (SBCs) to I/O devices and the bus systems that tie everything together. And the choices to be made are critical in their impact on cost, on performance efficiency in computeintensive operations, and on the ability to function reliably in hot, cold, dusty or wet environments.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Embedded software, Durability
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Java Object-Oriented Embedded Database (ESC Booth 839)

McObject® (Issaquah, WA) has released Perst™, its all-Java object-oriented, open source embedded database that is compatible with the Android mobile device platform. Perst stores data directly in Java objects, eliminating the need for data-packing or unpacking code to map between the application's data model and the database's data model. Perst is a compact embedded database, with a core of only five thousand lines of code. This small footprint imposes little demand on system resources. Perst does not require administration and it supports transactions with the ACID (Atomic, Consistent, Isolated and Durable) properties.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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PCB Design Software

Sunstone Circuits (Mulino, OR) has released PCB123™ version 3.0, a complete circuit board design solution for the electronics design industry. PCB123 version 3.0's enhancements include real-time, bi-directional views of layout and schematic; full customization via the new PCB123 Software Development Kit; generation and updating of a dynamic bill of materials (BOM) as the user designs; and 3D design 'fly through' viewing features. As with previous versions, PCB123 version 3.0 is free.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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