Aerospace

Electronics is becoming increasingly important to the aerospace sector. With the development of X by wire systems and the start of a move to more electric aeroplanes, those involved in the sector, as well as those looking to enter the aerospace supply chain, need to keep up to date.

New Electronics covers developments in the aerospace sector, bringing technology updates and opinion from the market.

CES 2016 suggests technology business is alive and well

Looking for a drone? Angling for an HDR enabled TV or a virtual reality headset? Want the latest in smart home devices or to find out more about recent developments in autonomous vehicles, then the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held in Las Vegas last month, wouldn’t have disappointed.

What is the usable power in a DC/DC converter?

The term ‘high usable power’ is widely used by the manufacturers of DC/DC converters to describe their product’s performance. Many engineers though tend to focus on the datasheet’s rated current and assume that, by selecting a more expensive, higher power converter, it will give them more derating and improved reliability.

Security challenges in the e-enabled aircraft

The e-enabled aircraft can provide many benefits to operators in terms of operational efficiency, passenger comfort and MRO (maintenance, repair, and overhaul). Systems on these aircraft transmit their data via satellite or ground-based communications networks to analytics services, which provide airline operators with excellent situational awareness data, leading to many value-added services. However, to benefit from this real-time Internet of Things (IoT) data, there are significant data bandwidth and security challenges to be addressed once systems are connected to a network. Systems security is of particular importance as the risks associated with allowing passengers to hack or accidentally infiltrate insecure data and systems, including associated legal issues such as breaches of data privacy, must be considered throughout the whole lifecycle of the communications network. In addition, the scope, threats, risk assessment, architecture and testing must be assessed and mitigated for every internal and external interaction undertaken by the network.

Expect broader application of software-driven hardware verification in 2016

The system and semiconductor worlds are in transition. In the past, the focus in verification used to be on bug identification. Today, the electronic design industry is seeing a shift towards greater efficiency in finding bug root causes and in bug remediation. To that end, SoC providers have been looking to provide software with their products. While this higher value speeds design in time, it has the tendency to increase verification complexity and moves the responsibility of hardware-software verification to the SoC provider. As a result, in 2016, we can expect to see broad application of software-driven hardware verification methodologies.

Boosting the health of UK manufacturing industry using photonics technology

One of the big themes being pursued by the recently elected Conservative Government is the revival of manufacturing as one way to reduce the country’s dependence on the financial and services sectors. While the UK’s manufacturing sector remains in the world’s top 10, it has been drifting down the league table since the 1970s and productivity has been of particular concern.

Could smart factories help to revitalise UK manufacturing?

Smart factories will be at the heart of the Industry 4.0 revolution, a future vision of manufacturing in which factories are populated by machines that will be self-optimised, self-configured and even employ artificial intelligence to complete complex manufacturing tasks and, in the process, provide cost efficiencies for companies and improved levels of service and quality for customers.

Real world sensors and Star Wars

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… the Star Wars universe introduced millions of science fiction fans to an epic saga that had many anxiously anticipating the release of the next instalment late last year. Being an engineer, I can’t help but think back to the original movies and the ideas created within them that are now a reality today. Lightsabers, unfortunately, we can still only imagine, but just focusing on “droids”, it’s remarkable where we are today.

The ‘blackest material yet’ could improve the performance of satellite based instrumentation

Carbon nanotubes have been seen as having a wide range of potential applications for many years, but their use in the ‘real world’ has been a long time coming. The first research into such structures was reported in 1952 by a Russian team, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the technology began to gain some traction. Even today, their use – particularly in industrial applications – remains the exception

Do engineers know what they like and like what they know?

Engineers can select from a range of technologies which might be appropriate for their next design. Options include ASICs, FPGAs and embedded CPUs. But there is a suspicion that, rather than selecting the platform which will be best for the job, engineers fall back on something with which they’re familiar.

Why security is critical to the success of IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) has exploded on to both the consumer and business markets in the last few years and is starting to have a major impact in almost every industry. From construction and manufacturing to retail and healthcare. Like it or not, IoT is here to stay.

Understanding the need for protection from lightning induced surges

Without question, the feat of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth, has been one the greatest engineering accomplishments in history. The complexities of escaping gravity, entering orbit, and then travelling on to Earth’s ethereal rock companion still boggle the mind nearly fifty years later. Along with thrust, propulsion, astrophysics, and zero gravity considerations, perhaps the most critical element to be considered in the success of the lunar missions was circuit protection.

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