also see..

Design & Fabrication

NTA performs a variety of hardware and software design activities required to support test and evaluation, hardware-in-the-loop (HWIL) simulation, and system integration efforts. Typical design areas include navigation system mechanical and electrical test interfaces; test equipment automation; data collection, reduction and analysis tools; modeling and simulation tools; analog and digital electronics used for signal processing/conditioning and data recording; and inertial measurement unit (IMU) prototypes. Digital electronic designs utilize the latest FPGA and VHDL design tools, while analog circuits are verified with PSPICE prior to prototype fabrication. Design tools utilized by NTA include MATLAB, Orcad, Xilinx XST, ModelSim, Mentor Graphics Integrated Systems, PADS and Pro/ENGINEER.

.The Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Flight Data Recorder (FDR) is a specific example of a design and fabrication activity conducted recently at NTA. The FDR is a low-cost alternative to radio-frequency telemetry systems. Instead of transmitting telemetry data from the rocket to a ground station during a flight test, the FDR records the telemetry stream to an on-board flash memory device, which is recovered after impact. This project required design expertise in many areas, from digital logic and microcontroller software to mechanical enclosures and printed circuit boards. NTA's wide range of capabilities provided the resources to take this project from conception to flight test.