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Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, IEEE

Issue 10 • Date Oct. 2000

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Displaying Results 1 - 23 of 23
  • The engineering of systems engineers

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 3 - 8
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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  • What is systems engineering?

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 9 - 10
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    There are probably more definitions of "Systems Engineering" than there are AESS members. In its simplest form systems engineering is the design of the whole as opposed to the design of the parts. The vast number, complexity and diversity of elements can overwhelm and degrade system performance and reliability. Embedded processing and software can be both a boon and a bane. A systems engineer analyzes and optimizes an ensemble of elements that relate to the flow of energy, mass and communications into a design that performs the desired function. "Systems engineering" is used herein to cover a very broad spectrum of processes and controls to engineer a product at the many levels required to satisfy all aspects of the original requirement. Our definition is not intended to either include or exclude systems engineering and integration as used in the computer field. In any case, systems engineering is the application of solid engineering principles to design and develop a large enterprise within cost and schedule to satisfy the needs of the ultimate user. It involves conceptualization, design, development, test, implementation, approval/certification and operation (including human factors) of a system. In essence, systems engineering is a problem-solving discipline for the modern world. View full abstract»

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  • Electronic technologies that enabled aerospace

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 11 - 14
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    This section highlights early electronics milestones that have made significant contributions to aerospace and defense. Today everyone thinks digital, whereas more than 50% of electronic advances since society founding 50 years ago were in the analog or continuous domain. It is too easy to forget that before the 1970s and 1980s analog systems had been the norm. Digital electronics emerged late in WWII, when the US Army contracted with the University of Pennsylvania to compute extensive artillery firing tables. The Cold War substantially accelerated advances in solid state electronics which led to the microelectronics that are so ubiquitous today. Defense and then aerospace programs were symbiotic with electronics in the development and mass production of transistors, integrated circuits, microelectronics, microprocessors, magnetic and then solid state memory. Small, reliable, low power and high performance electronics were the key to aerospace progress. The government backed virtually all these developments out of necessity. The power of computers has increased by over a million since 1972 and is still climbing. The initial enabling technology for advances in military electronics was the almost forgotten vacuum tube. The existence of electrons was first recognized as the "Edison Effect" in 1883. The seminal event in electronics was the audion invented by Lee De Forrest in 1906. The audion appeared just three years after the first Wright brother's flight and four years before the Army purchased their first Wright airplane. Up until the World War I (WWI) radio amateurs were the electronics pioneers, but the war created new demand for radio communications. Electronics expanded from communications into radar, navigation and control systems in World War II (WWII). Both wars brought about dramatic improvements in electronics, which resulted in a surplus of equipment and trained personnel to fuel postwar advances. View full abstract»

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  • Impact of aerospace on computers

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 15 - 18
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    Electronics and computers have long been associated with aviation, defense and aerospace. Many aerospace advances would have been impossible without digital computers, and digital computers would not have progressed as rapidly without aerospace. In some sense you may thank aerospace for the computer on your desk and Internet in your life. DoD and NASA programs drove computer technology for the first 25 years, but in the 80s the primary thrust transitioned to the commercial sector. Aerospace computation requirements have driven the development of many electronic components such as transistors, ICs and memory technology. Advances in memory technology progressed from delay lines to electrostatic tubes to magnetic cores and now solid-state memory. As the need for number crunching grew, computers transitioned from batch processing, time-sharing, real-time computing, networking to the ubiquitous PC and Internet. How far is it from your hand-held PDA to the nano computer?. View full abstract»

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  • Systems progress

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 17 - 18
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  • Energy and power

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 19 - 26
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    Energy sources for aerospace systems include electrochemicals, mechanical rotation, solar illumination, radioisotopes, and nuclear reactors. Energy is converted to power with engines, turbines, photovoltaics, thermoelectric and thermionic devices, and electrochemical processes. Although some early spacecraft flew with battery power, for longer flights the choice has been either solar or nuclear. Manned spacecraft must have power for the total mission duration including boost into orbit, on-orbit, and subsequent re-entry. Batteries are too heavy for extended manned space missions; tradeoff study alternatives range from radioisotope heated thermionic converters to hyperbolic-fueled engines. Arrays of solar cells are the obvious choice for powering space stations and for other extended-duration missions. This article emphasizes developments for space and airplane power systems. Enabling technologies are described along with significant spin-offs and future systems. View full abstract»

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  • Radar in the twentieth century

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 27 - 46
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    Heinrich Hertz, who first demonstrated the basic principle of radar, might be called the first radar scientist. A fellow German, Christian Hulsmeyer, can be called the first radar engineer. In the early 1900s, Hulsmeyer built, patented, demonstrated, and tried to sell to various shipping companies and navies a shipborne radar, based on Hertz's apparatus, for avoiding collisions of ships with one another. He had no success in selling his radar. His work faded from memory, even in Germany where it had to be reinvented when the need for it finally arose. Although the basic principle of radar had been demonstrated in the early part of the 20th century, there was no further activity for over thirty years. The occurrence that, led to modern radar was when the World War I fabric-coated, externally braced biplane having fixed landing gear and open cockpit was replaced by the all-metal single-wing monoplane with its retractable landing gear, enclosed cockpit, and high horsepower engines that allowed it to fly long distances at high altitude carrying a large bomb-load. In the thirties, attack by bomber aircraft was a serious concern and military leaders were pessimistic about being able to defend against it. It was said at that time that "the bomber will always get through." In the 1930s, however, the development of VHF technology was rapidly flourishing in many countries, and it wasn't long before it was noticed that an aircraft, ship, or person passing through the propagation path of a two-way communications link produced a disturbance at the receiver. Radar was thus reborn. The early history of radar has been told in detail in many places, so it need not be repeated here. Suffice to say that at the start of World War II, in September 1939, eight countries had independently and almost simultaneously discovered and explored radar, and most had operational systems available by the time they entered the war. These countries were the US, UK, Germany, France, the Soviet Union- Japan, Italy, and the Netherlands. View full abstract»

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  • Aero-transport electronics getting from here to there

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 45 - 46
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  • Aviation electronics/avionics

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 47 - 61
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    International regulations prohibit aircraft from entering high-density airspace and heavily trafficked over-ocean airways without suitable avionics. The widespread use of GPS navigation and increasing complexity of passenger entertainment systems have become the latest electronics trends on large commercial aircraft. The cost of avionics plus software is approaching 50% of the total. New aircraft have multiple computers and millions of lines of software. The following sections present the most important avionics subsystems and highlight some differences between military and commercial aircraft. View full abstract»

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  • Launch vehicle booster avionics

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 62 - 64
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    The following topics are discussed: guidance and navigation; closed loop radio guidance; inertial systems; analogue and digital autopilots; and on-board computers. View full abstract»

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  • Spacecraft avionics

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 65 - 70
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    The following topics are dealt with: orbit determination; attitude control; spacecraft sensors; control torque; and redundancy management. View full abstract»

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  • Air traffic control systems

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 70 - 78
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    The following topics are dealt with: ATC evolution; navigation and landing; navigation aids; surveillance and weather; automation systems. View full abstract»

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  • The future of transportation systems

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 79 - 82
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    The emergence of a world-wide duopoly in the design and production of large commercial aircraft at the end of the 1990s and cutbacks in aerospace and defense has put significant pressure on the number of avionics manufacturers. A similar duopoly exists very nearly for US military aircraft. In 1999, mergers created two large avionic suppliers in the USA. European avionics suppliers have also been consolidating. At worst, these larger entities will have a negative effect upon US aerospace employment, and further discourage the best and brightest engineers. Commuter and general aviation, where competition still reigns (more than ten manufacturers exist in 2000), may lead the avionics charge into the future. View full abstract»

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  • Space systems

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 83 - 84
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  • International Space Station (ISS)-a star is born

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 84 - 88
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    The impact of systems engineering approach, materials science developments and robotics on further developments of Space Stations is discussed. View full abstract»

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  • Global Positioning System-the newest utility

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 89 - 95
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    The Global Positioning System (GPS) has become the high tech utility of the 20th century. It was developed by the US Department of Defense as a precise navigation reference for the military services. Although the signal available to civilian users had been purposely degraded in what is called selective availability (SA), it is one of a few technological success stories that had positive unintended consequences. Recent announcements indicate that this SA impediment has been removed. GPS currently has a huge civilian market in commercial and private aviation, ship navigation, mapping and surveying, telecommunications position determination, and recreational boating and hiking. By 2003 sales of GPS based products are expected to be $16 billion. View full abstract»

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  • Satellite communication-a continuing revolution

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 95 - 107
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    SATCOM technology has revolutionized communications over the last 40 years. Initial SATCOM systems provided trunk telephony through large, fixed stations; current systems offer many services to smaller, fixed and mobile terminals. Personal Communications Systems, when fully implemented, will allow individuals to communicate with "anyone, anywhere, anytime," and thus transform the world into a truly global village. New systems (currently being planned) will offer innovative services, such as computer networking and multimedia to the expanding mass market at an affordable cost. The rate of SATCOM progress shows no sign of slowing, and this revolution is expected to continue well into the future. View full abstract»

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  • Communicating across the solar system

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 108 - 117
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    The next chapter in our ongoing quest for discovery began in the last half of the 20th century, with the initiation of robotic exploration of our solar system. In less than fifty years, we have broken free of Earth's gravity and flown spacecraft to every planet in the solar system except Pluto. The ultimate goal of this exploration is to establish a virtual (and, perhaps, someday, an actual) human presence throughout the solar system. Clearly, communications is one of the central elements of creating such a virtual presence, and also one of the biggest technical challenges in planetary exploration. Transmit performance is characterized by the product of antenna gain and transmitter power, while receive performance scales with the ratio of aperture effective area to system noise temperature. A number of key communications technology advances have enabled our planetary exploration to date, and future technology will open the door to new vistas in space exploration. View full abstract»

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  • Space-borne imaging

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 118 - 124
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    Radar's ability to "see" through darkness, clouds and smoke and to cover large areas gives it unique power as a global remote-sensing tool. Imaging radar evolved from its beginnings 50 years ago through airborne research to space-borne systems. Operational space-borne systems of today are capable of generating global geological and topographic maps, using advanced synthetic aperture radar techniques such as polarimetry and interferometry. The future holds great promise for increased use of imaging radar for remote sensing, including, more accurate elevation mapping, natural hazards monitoring, soil moisture mapping and biomass estimation. View full abstract»

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  • Automated testing

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 125 - 130
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    Since the DoD was the leader in incorporating transistors, ICs and embedded processors, they also were on the forefront in developing automatic test equipment. The term automatic test equipment (ATE) encompasses all phases of computer controlled testing. It is based on the integration of instruments, computers and software. These systems generally include five basic elements: control, stimulus, measurement, switching and software. A special interface device or interface test adapter connects the unit under test (UUT) to the ATE. Test program software connects the ATE to the appropriate UUT test points, programs the input stimulus and monitors the output response. View full abstract»

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  • Security technology

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 131 - 136
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    Security requirements and capabilities have changed dramatically over the past fifty years. Personal identification and detection of illegal substances including explosives have come to the forefront. With the proliferation of computers the security of information has also become a major concern. Substantial advances have been made over the last three decades in entry control, counter-terrorism, cryptology and airport protection. The utilization of technology has become an irreversible trend. Electronic devices and systems are capable of automatically and tirelessly monitoring and reporting breaches of security. For example, airport security began with physical protection of the facility with fences and area surveillance. The most recent concern is detecting explosives in both checked and early-on baggage, Other techniques relate to monitoring passengers for weapons as they transit the terminal building, especially crowds gathered at the metal detectors and X-ray machines. The application of electronics has produced reliability improvements and cost savings in systems that protect against unauthorized entry and numerous other threats. PCs have become the heart of security command and control systems. Most PC platforms rely on the proven software stability of Windows NT and present data in human-friendly, graphic format. It is expected that in the near future security monitoring will be consolidated in a central location, possibly to be integrated with other command and control functions. View full abstract»

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  • Today... tomorrow [of multidisciplinary systems of systems]

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 137 - 144
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    Some recent or near future examples of multidisciplinary systems of systems are illustrated. They include: upgraded Shuttle avionics; Airbus fly-by-wire; integrated modular electronics; electric automobiles; all-electric aircraft; and JointSTARS system. View full abstract»

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  • Into the future

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 144 - 148
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    A look into some future developments is presented. These are: the concept of an air vehicle that can stay aloft for days, weeks, even months; free flight; satellite navigation; intelligent transportation systems; automobile autopilot; personal airmobile; STAP; systems of systems; nanotechnology and MEMS. View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

The IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine publishes articles and tutorials concerned with the various aspects of systems for space, air, ocean, or ground environments.

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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Teresa Pace, PhD EE
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