Test & Measurement

Understanding the “Black Art” of RF and Microwave Switching

Understanding RF, especially microwave switching, can be a challenge. In many cases, test systems have been compromised because a test engineer did not consider all the components of their test system: instruments, switching, cabling, Mass Interconnect (test fixture interface), fixture design, and so on. Each component has its own set of characteristics. With RF and microwave components, effects including insertion loss, VSWR, bandwidth, and so on all need to be considered as well.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components, RF & Microwave Electronics, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement

Using Ruggedized Test Equipment to Solve Jet Engine Problems

A jet engine is the very definition of “mission-critical.” A critical failure could cause a serious accident that endangers hundreds of lives. To prevent this from happening, manufacturers perform extensive testing on jet engine components, systems, and manufacturing processes.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components, Data Acquisition, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement

Characterization of Bore Temperatures and Stresses in Small Caliber Gun Barrels

Currently in the small arms community, with the push for lighter, stronger barrels with improved life, a more complete understanding of the bore's thermal and structural behavior is required in order to not only improve future barrel design but to more thoroughly and accurately assess barrels in the current inventory.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Defense, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors, Simulation Software, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement

Friendly Electromagnetic Pulse Improves Survival for Electronics

An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) emitted by a nuclear weapon exploded high above the United States could disable the electronic circuits of many devices vital to military defense and modern living. These could include complicated weapon systems as well as phones, laptops, credit cards and car computers. Also in trouble might be home appliances, gas station pumps and bank accounts.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Electronic Components, Electronics, Energy, Test & Measurement

Hardware Design of a High Dynamic Range Radio Frequency (RF) Harmonic Measurement System

Radio frequency (RF) circuit elements that are traditionally considered to be linear frequently exhibit nonlinear properties that affect the intended operation of many other RF systems. Devices such as RF connectors, antennas, attenuators, resistors, and dissimilar metal junctions generate nonlinear distortion that degrades primary RF system performance. The communications industry is greatly affected by these unintended and unexpected nonlinear distortions. The high transmit power and tight channel spacing of the communication channel makes communications very susceptible to nonlinear distortion.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components, Antennas, RF & Microwave Electronics, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement

New Products: February 2019 Aerospace & Defense Technology

Defense-Grade FPGAs

Xilinx, Inc. (San Jose, CA) announced availability of its Defense-grade XQ UltraScale+ portfolio of products, providing the benefits of its UltraScale+ architecture plus extended temperature and ruggedized packages to address the needs of the aerospace and defense industry. The new products encompass the XQ Zynq® UltraScale+ MPSoCs and RFSoCs, as well as XQ Ultra-Scale+ Kintex® and Virtex ® FPGAs.

Posted in: Products, Data Acquisition, Computers, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Industrial Controls & Automation, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Composites, Materials, Joining & Assembly, Machinery, Mechanical Components, Automation, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Software, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement

Evaluation of Aeronautical Design Standard – 33 Using a UH-60A Black Hawk

In 1982, the U.S. Army Aeroflightdynamics Directorate (AFDD), then assigned under the U.S. Army Aviation Systems Command (AVSCOM), began development of a new handling qualities specification for military rotorcraft. This effort resulted in the U.S. Army's initial Aeronautical Design Standard–33 (ADS-33A), “Handling Qualities Requirements for Military Rotorcraft,” published in May 1987. It was initially applied to the RAH-66 Comanche Helicopter program, meaning the handling qualities requirements generally related more to scout and attack classes of rotorcraft. As more data became available and lessons learned emerged from using ADS-33A, refinements were implemented into ADS-33B and ADS-33C).

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Instrumentation, Test & Measurement, Transportation

Circuit Models for Robust, Adaptive Neural Control

This project seeks to reproduce the neural circuits used by the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans for locomotion. Caenorhabditis elegans is a small (~1.2 millimeter) nematode found in rotting fruit in many parts of the world. It feeds on bacteria and is neither parasitic nor pathogenic. Although capable of sexual reproduction, most laboratory strains reproduce primarily as self-fertilizing hermaphrodites, with each adult hermaphrodite producing approximately 300 progeny (Figure 1).

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Physical Sciences, Instrumentation, Test & Measurement

Using RISC-V to Simplify Data Logging in Space

Worldwide demand for low Earth orbit satellites is increasing at an unprecedented pace, driven by diverse needs such as faster and more affordable Internet access, and faster revisit rates with finer resolution for imaging data. The satellite payload instruments performing communications or imaging functions are becoming increasingly sophisticated and capable and require the collection of increasing amounts of telemetry data to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the satellite.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Power Management, Thermal Management, Mechanical Components, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Semiconductors & ICs, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

Streamlining EMC Solutions for Avionics Interfaces

Lightning strikes to jet airliners are common - about once every 1000 flight hours. The DO-160G standard, Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment, is a standard for the environmental testing of avionics hardware. Many airplane manufacturers specify DO-160G Section 22, lightning induced transient susceptibility, as a requirement for critical systems like guidance, radars, communications, engine control, and heat and air controls. Aircraft fuselage, wing and tail flight controls, wing tips, fin tips, engine nacelles, and landing gear are the areas most likely to be hit by lightning strikes.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Communications, Electronic Components, Semiconductors & ICs, Test & Measurement