Our electrical engineering team has developed electronics for use in aerospace, research, and rehabilitation. Examples of projects include:

      • Freezers, refrigerators, and incubators for use on the International Space Station and on commercial launch vehicles
      • Video monitoring of protein crystal growth in space
      • Inertial measurement systems for patient rehabilitation
      • Modification of popular game systems to improve accessibility

 

Areas of Expertise

UAB's EITD has a large variety of test equipment that is used to quickly configure a system for proof-of-concept and prototype testing. We have several National Instruments compactRIO and compactDAQ data acquisition and control systems, GPIB controlled power supplies, and digital oscilloscopes. Our engineers have experience using LabView system design software to control devices. We have also used small form factor controllers such as Arduino, along with Bluetooth for remote sensor readings.
Our engineers have developed reliable, low-power, rugged embedded systems for use on the International Space Station and Space Shuttle, and for ground-based applications. Commercial-off-the-shelf components are used where appropriate to shorten development time and reduce cost, with custom printed circuit boards produced as required to meet packaging or performance requirements. Designs have been based on the PC/104, PC/104-Plus, EBX, and PCMCIA specifications, because of their compact form factors and the availability of a variety of module types. Systems have used 80x86 Microprocessors, 8051 Microcontrollers, PIC Microcontrollers, and Programmable Logic Controllers, and have included RS232/RS422/RS485 serial, Ethernet LAN, and UltraSCSI bus interfaces.
Our engineers have expertise in digital and analog circuit design, for use in space flight applications, biological research, and commercial hardware. EITD uses the OrCAD software package for schematic capture, simulation, and circuit board layout. When 3-D models of the board assembly are needed, the Solid Edge CAD package is used; this allows the electronics subassemblies to be imported into higher-level mechanical assemblies. Our designers have extensive experience in selecting electronic components with the reliability and traceability appropriate to the project. Components are derated to extend the operational lifetime of their intended application. Analyses of the thermal, vibration, and radiation environments are done to ensure the circuit will perform under worst-case conditions.
Our engineers are familiar with electromagnetic compatibility requirements for International Space Station and commercial launch vehicle payloads and have performed emissions and susceptibility testing for several flight experiments. For thermal testing, a temperature/humidity chamber is used to simulate a worst-case operating environment, to verify system performance at temperature extremes. If requirements specify a vibration environment, testing is completed at system or subsystem level as needed to verify the design.

 

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