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High Frequency Communications Systems Development

Fact Sheet

Advanced Devices and Applications
Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram science and engineering laboratory operated for the Department of Energy. Since its inception, Sandia has had program responsibility for all electronics in DOE weapons systems. The mission of Department 1716, Advanced Devices and Applications, is the directed development of applications based on microelectronics and photonics research projects at Sandia National Laboratories. The focus of our work is on the insertion of advanced devices into communications systems including TAGs, high speed modems and free-space optical interconnects. Other areas of significant effort include microwave component support for Defense Program Radars and the transition of compound-semiconductor research to development and subsequent application insertion.

The following communications technology areas currently have significant research and development efforts at Sandia:

[Communications System]
The radiation hardened, 60 GHz, 50 Mbps satellite communications system was developed for BMDO. This system was extensively tested in above ground radiation simulators. Modulation of the 60 GHz carrier has been shown in excess of 1 Gbps.
[PLD Board]
The PLD board is designed to fit in a Nicolet Micropro data acquisition system and provide GPS based timing for independent systems operating from remote wind turbines. The timing accuracy is microsecond accurate. This board contains an ALTERA PLD having 70,000 programmable gates, temperature sensors, relays for power control and dual UARTs.
[PLD11 Board]
The PLD11 board contains over 1.1 Million programmable gates and can pump data through at over 38.4 Gbps. This board is currently being used by multiple programs at Sandia including encryption and compression of ATM cells. This Sandia board is the winner of the 1998 Veribest Superior Systems Award.
[Thick Oxide Layers]
The flexible optical interconnect board utilizes 64 element VCSEL and FET receiver arrays to achieve nearly 10 Gpbs communications between circuit boards. Unique pointing and tracking piezoelectric actuators are used to maintain the link.

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy.
Steve Martin

(505) 844-9723

Last modified: August 23, 1999

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