Lange Couplers

The construction and port orientation of the Lange Coupler from SemiGen (Londonderry, NH) makes it useful as both a power combiner and splitter for RF and microwave applications. It is a specific type of directional coupler, which allows passive coupling of a defined amount of electromagnetic power. The sweet spot for Lange Couplers has traditionally been UHF to Q-band; the limit becomes frequency. Substrate height and strip width are inversely related to frequency, increasing loss due to the reduced amount of metal available to act as a conductor.

dB and frequency ranges in which Lange Couplers provide the biggest performance advantages, in terms of low loss, compact layout and wide bandwidth are: < 0.4 dB on 10 GHz frequencies (low loss); as low as 10μm lines and spacing (layout); and 10-50 GHz bandwidth.

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Custom Microelectronics

Mercury Systems, Inc. (Andover, MA) announced the defense industry's first trusted custom microelectronics capability targeting SWaP-constrained intelligent sensors for military applications. With tightly integrated design and manufacturing resources, the company has developed deep domain expertise spanning a broad of range of capabilities ideally suited to custom microelectronics for defense applications such as: advanced packaging technologies with surface-mount, flip chip, and wire bond; 2.5D and 3D packaging; thermal management; ruggedization; radio frequency (RF), microwave and mixed signal; scalable manufacturing; advanced testing protocols; and a robust cybersecurity posture.

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Horizontal Machining Center

Mitsui Seiki's (Franklin Lakes, NJ) new HU100-TS 100 tilt-spindle 5-axis horizontal machining center is built to machine large, hard-metal workpieces that are better suited for tilt-spindle processing than trunnion table operations. The horizontal table of the HU-100TS can accommodate workpieces up to 1,900 mm (76”) long and 1,250 mm (50”) in diameter, weighing up to 2,000 kg (4,400 lbs.). X, Y and Z-axis travels are 1,300 mm (52”), 1,500 mm (60”) and 1,400 mm (56”) respectively, with B-axis rotation of 360° and A-axis rotation of -30° to +120°. The machine's compact 5,530 mm (221”) x 8,431 mm (337”) footprint is similar to that of its 4-axis equivalent.

The machine's HSK-A100 taper spindle provides up to 150 kW (201 hp) power and 1508 N-m (1,112 lb-ft) torque. A standard automatic tool changer has capacity for 60 tools (180 optional), up to 500 mm (20”) in length. Maximum tool diameter is 125 mm (5”); tools stored without adjacent tools can be up to 216 mm (8.6”) in diameter.

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Servo-Electric Presses

Beckwood Press Company (St. Louis, MO) announced the launch of EVOx™, a complete line of servo-electric presses. With models ranging from 1,000 lbf – 100,000 lbf (0.5 - 50 tons), EVOx presses are suitable for light-duty assembly applications including clamping, crimping, joining, press fitting, punching/blanking, riveting, spring testing, staking, and swaging.

The EVOx™ line of presses is powered by Exlar® electric roller-screw actuators from Curtiss-Wright, in lieu of hydraulic systems. Eliminating the hoses, pumps, and hydraulic oil improves cleanliness, energy efficiency, and operator safety while lowering operational and maintenance costs. The roller-screw technology ensures Exlar® actuators last longer than traditional ball-screw actuators.

VOx™ presses feature a programmable, intuitive controls system that guarantees positional repeatability to within +/-0.0005” while offering force and positional feedback. Additionally, actuator size, frame style, dwell time, safety guarding, and other parameters are fully configurable.

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Robotics Enclosures

HEMCO (Independence, MO) enclosures are designed to enclose robots and other lab automated processes by providing exhaust air systems or HEPA filtered clean workstations. Enclosures are built to protect robotic processes from contamination and personnel from hazardous fumes. Utilizing a flexible, modular design, enclosures are engineered and built to exact customer size and design requirements. HEMCO also offers a wide selection of standard sizes in vented or HEPA filtered models.

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“Green” Graphene

Goodfellow (Coraopolis, PA) recently announced the availability of ultra-pure “green” graphene, guaranteed metal-free and uniquely applicable in metal-sensitive processes. The graphene is produced by means of a highly scalable process that involves breaking methane gas (CH4), a very potent greenhouse gas, into hydrogen and elemental carbon atoms in a plasma reactor. The carbon atoms then recombine into graphene sheets in the hydrogen atmosphere. Elapsed time from the methane gas entering the plasma reactor to the point when graphene is formed is less than a second.

The resulting graphene nanoplatelets are very thin and slightly crumpled and they do not stack (unlike exfoliated materials), ensuring optimal electrical, thermal and mechanical performance. These characteristics make this easy-to-use product an extremely good nanofiller suitable for electronic inks, polymers, metal composites and coating.

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SPI to MIL-STD-1553 Interface

Data Device Corporation (DDC) (Bohemia, NY) has introduced the Nano-ACE® BC/RT/MT MIL-STD-1553 terminal, the latest evolution in its Enhanced Mini-ACE® series, which has been in operation since 1999 with more than 800 million hours of in-service history. This new Nano-ACE® (BU-67833LC), which is an upgraded version of the BU-67743LC Nano-ACE RT, offers complete BC/RT/MT functionality, along with increased 32K ×17 RAM including parity capability, comprehensive autonomous built-in self-test, and the option to auto-initialize from an external EEPROM.

The Nano-ACE® BC/RT/MT utilizes a fast 50 MHz Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) to reduce pin count and package size, enabling users to benefit from DDC's market-leading 1553 functionality and reliability, in an ultra-small package that provides the ability to create more compact and higher density boards. The BU-67833LC Nano-ACE's highly efficient +3.3V transceivers minimize power consumption and heat dissipation, enabling further board miniaturization through the use of smaller power and heat sinking components.

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Solid State Power Amplifier

COMTECH PST (Melville, NY) has introduced a new Gallium Nitride (GaN) amplifier for applications in the X-Band pulsed radar market. The AB linear design operates from 9.0 to 9.9 GHz frequency range over any instantaneous bandwidth of 500 MHz. Development of this product is intended for use in ruggedized radar applications. The amplifier design features Self Protection for Load VSWR, Duty Factor, Pulse Width, Temperature, as well as a graceful degradation in case of a RF power module failure. Custom configurations and features are available as well as specific power levels up to 16 kW.

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2.4 kW Fuel Cell Module

Intelligent Energy (Loughborough, UK) launched a new 2.4 kW fuel cell power product for the commercial UAV market with first deliveries planned for October 2019. This latest product can achieve much longer flight times, for example on a DJI M600 frame with an 11-liter 350Bar hydrogen cylinder, a retrospectively fitted 2.4 kW FCPM could achieve a flight time of over 2 hours compared to just 25 minutes with its battery power pack.

Two 2.4 kW modules can also be linked in parallel to provide up to 4.8 kW of power without the need for additional hardware. The module provides the continuous power to the UAV and is hybridized with a small battery to manage the peak loads. The module can be fitted onto a number of off-the-shelf frames. However, according to the manufacturer, efficiencies and flight time can be optimized even further on a customized frame.

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System Diagnostic Toolkit

Abaco Systems (Huntsville, AL) recently announced the Health Toolkit, a unique and innovative solution designed to maximize system reliability and success in mission critical environments such as electronic warfare, digital radar and flight control. Health Toolkit is a software/middleware tool, operating between the underlying hardware and the application software, that interrogates all aspects of the hardware's performance, optionally reports on its health via an intuitive GUI and enables corrective measures to be taken if necessary.

The Health Toolkit is unique in that it not only analyzes and reports on Abaco VPX hardware within the system, but also enables third party and custom hardware to be both integrated and interrogated and does so in a unified manner that makes the gathering and interpretation of data substantially easier. The granular data provided by the Health Toolkit can be used to identify patterns of behavior that can lead to hardware malfunction, enabling corrective action to be taken to prevent system failure. It also reports on resource utilization, allowing resources to be reassigned if necessary.

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Single Board Computer

Aitech (Chatsworth, CA) and Embedded Flight Systems, Inc. (EFSI) have partnered to integrate NASA's cFS (core Flight System) into Aitech's modular, powerful and flexible SP0-S space SBC. NASA's cFS is a platform-and project-independent, reusable software framework and set of reusable software applications. The cFS architecture is composed of three key aspects—a dynamic run-time environment, layered software and a component-based design—that combine to make the cFS suitable for reuse on any number of NASA flight projects and embedded software systems, at a significant cost savings.

The Aitech SP0-S features multiple hardware I/O and software options, including ample ECC-protected SDRAM. It also includes user Flash and EEPROM and auto-failover, redundant boot Flash, in addition to two on-board GbE ports, serial ports, discrete I/O, temperature sensors, three Watchdog timers, and more.

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Rugged COM Express Module

The CB71C Rugged COM Express Module from MEN (Nuremberg, Germany) is based on the AMD Ryzen Embedded family and can now be equipped with the new Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC in addition to the Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC. The new AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC features a Radeon Vega graphics engine with three compute units and support for up to three displays with a resolution of up to 4k without additional graphics hardware. With up to four powerful “Zen” processor cores, when using the AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC, the CB71C is also suitable for virtualization.

The modules with AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 provide passive cooling and a temperature range from -40°C to +85°C are possible with the low-power versions. The CB71C can be equipped with up to 32 GB directly soldered DDR4 main memory and a 16 GB eMMC. PCI Express 3.0, DDI (DP, eDP, HDMI), SATA 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 are available as high-speed interfaces.

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2U MicroTCA Chassis

Pixus Technologies (Waterloo, Ontario) now offers a 2U high rackmount MicroTCA chassis holding a range of AdvancedMCs. The 2U MicroTCA chassis comes with 1 MCH (MicroTCA Carrier Hub) slot and 7 AdvancedMCs (AMCs) standard. The backplane supports 40 GbE and PCIe Gen3 speed signals. Other backplane sizes and configurations are available upon request.

The chassis platform has the card cage recessed within the enclosure, providing protection for the AMCs and the cabling. The left side of the card cage is raised slightly to allow for cabling to be channeled to the rear of the enclosure. The rear of the chassis is extra deep with a cavity for mounting various devices, including RF modules. The pluggable power module slots are located securely within the rear of the chassis and are cabled over to the rear panel. Single or dual redundant power options are available.

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Integrated Measurement Assembly Platforms

RPI UK (Bath, UK) has supplied five integrated measurement assembly platforms (iMAPs) to Rolls-Royce and its approved MRO facilities. RPI's iMAP, which can reduce inspection times by 90% and improve gauge repeatability and reproducibility by up to 10-times, will be used by Rolls-Royce to measure and assemble engine turbine rotors at its sites in Derby and Germany.

iMAP's data acquisition software, AccuScan, enables manufacturers to measure up to 4,000 data points on up to eight surfaces simultaneously per revolution, thereby significantly reducing process times compared with other available methods. This inspection data is then used by IntelliStack, iMAP's Rotor Stacking Program, to solve the mathematical problem of how to best assemble a multi-stage rotor assembly to achieve minimum runout or unbalance of the finished rotor.

Specifically designed to inspect large and heavy components, RPI's iMAP machines combine a motorized high precision air bearing rotary axis, rigid column unit, anti-vibration granite base and AccuScan multi-channel circular geometry inspection software.

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Arbitrary Waveform Generator

Tektronix, Inc., (Beaverton, OR) has launched the AWG70000B Series Arbitrary Waveform Generator with new features that enable it to fully support the testing of complex electronic warfare and wireless communications systems that require the ability to dynamically alter signal sequences during test scenarios.

The Streaming Waveform ID feature provides users with immediate access to a total of 16,383 sequence steps through a direct Ethernet interface. For wireless communications research, engineers can now change modulation types on the fly to simulate Doppler radars, building obstructions or other obstacles to improve orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) signal durability in real-world deployments. The new AWG70000B Series also includes support for the Microsoft Windows 10 operating system to meet IT security mandates for instrument operation in government agencies and corporate IT departments.

The AWG70000B Series provides up to 50 GSamples/s, 10-bit vertical resolution and spurious-free dynamic range (SFDR) of up to -80 dBc. This enables generation of highly precise RF signals and gives users high confidence in their measurement stimulus system. The signal generator works with advanced SourceXpress PC-based software to simplify and accelerate test signal creation.

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High-Speed End Launch Connectors

Fairview Microwave Inc. (Irvine, CA) has introduced a new extended series of mmWave, removable, end-launch, PCB connectors that consists of 16 models operating in a wide bandwidth that supports high data rates and VSWR as low as 1.10:1. They are offered with four end launch connector interface options: 1.0mm (110 GHz), 1.85mm (67 GHz), 2.92mm (40 GHz) and 2.4mm (50 GHz).

These high-performance, end launch connectors are reusable and don't require any soldering. Some of the models in this line feature reduced profiles with a 0.350-inch mounting width, allowing for more launches to fit into the same PCB area. These connectors are offered in male and female versions and are constructed with an outer conductor made of stainless steel and a gold-plated beryllium copper center contact.

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Aerospace & Defense Technology Magazine

This article first appeared in the June, 2019 issue of Aerospace & Defense Technology Magazine.

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