When visibility is poor, instrument landing systems (ILS) create a "picture" of the runway for pilots so that they can bring a plane down more safely. But because most systems involve extensive and expensive equipment installation on the ground and in the aircraft, only the busiest airports are equipped. A new, low-cost instrument landing system promises to make ILS more affordable for more airports.
The landing system analyzes RF signals and uses measurements of aircraft attitude and altitude to create the runway image that the pilot can view on display.
Based on monolithic millimeter-wave integrated circuits, the system uses a single, fixed, on-board multi-beam antenna system, called a radiometer, and six RF beacons on the ground. Four beacons outline the runway, and two more widely spaced apart provide a more accurate indication of range.
Since the system uses a minimal amount of equipment, it doesn't produce a "camera-like" picture. However, overlapping RF beams provide an accurate image of the runway relative to the aircraft. Each ground-based emitter uses an amplitude-modulated frequency. Narrow, millimeter-wave-receiving signals from the antenna pick up the RF transmission. Then conversion circuitry converts them into video signals that can be segregated by a fast Fourier transform processor. Another application of the millimeter-wave technology is in a fully populated focal plane array.
Merit Shoucri, TRW, 1 Space Park, Redondo Beach, CA 90278; Tel: (310) 812-5161; E-mail: email@example.com.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.