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Propulsion Performance Model for Efficient Supersonic Aircraft

For the design process of the class of aircraft known as an efficient supersonic air vehicle (ESAV), particular attention must be paid to the propulsion system design as a whole including installation effects integrated into a vehicle performance model. The propulsion system assumed for an ESAV considered in a recent study done by Optimal Flight Sciences LLC and the Air Force Research Laboratory was a three-stream variable cycle engine (VCE).

Posted in: Technology Update

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High-Strength Aluminum Powder Developed for Additive Manufacturing in Aerospace, Automotive

Metal laser melting has made a successful leap from rapid prototyping to an approved manufacturing technology, and the method is increasingly becoming an option for companies in high-tech industries, according to Toolcraft. And now the German manufacturer has teamed with Airbus APWorks to offer another option for additive manufacturing—the Airbus subsidiary’s Scalmalloy high-performance aluminum powder.

Posted in: Technology Update

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Big Data, Aircraft, and a Better Future

Aircraft manufacturers are exploiting the opportunities that come with collecting the vast amount of data available, from customer reports to engine exhaust temperatures. Why is it potentially so useful? What are some of the best ways to use it? The hype phrase today is “Big Data.” It is a phrase Mark Bünger, Research Director for Lux Research, believes can have a number of definitions depending on who is doing the defining. Bünger was the lead analyst on a report that Lux published in April 2015 that surveyed both the technology as it is today and how various industries are adapting to the opportunities—and perils—in trying to exploit it.

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Let the Good Times Continue to Roll

The booming international commercial aviation sector continues to be a bright light leading the future of the aerospace industry. It is hard to imagine just how radical the change in fortunes for the world’s major commercial aerospace manufacturers has been in the last few years. Just ten years ago the smart money in aerospace pointed to the defense sector as the best source of future profitability. But just as this was reaching a peak, the full impact of a near meltdown in global financial markets brought home to Western governments that defense budgets couldn’t just keep on expanding and a new era of military program cuts began.

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Testing Multijunction Solar Cell Efficiency

Different architectures were tested to provide insight on how their optical environments affect overall efficiencies. U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, DC The photovoltaic community is closer than ever to achieving ultra-high multijunction solar cell efficiencies (>50%). Subcells from III–V compound semiconductors are approaching ideal Shockley–Queisser behavior and emit significant radiation of photons with energies equal to or above the optical bandgap because non-radiative recombination has been minimized with advanced growth processes. The optical environment of a solar cell controls where the radiated photons from a subcell are directed, and this greatly affects its efficiency. Thus the optical design of multijunction architectures is crucial for maximizing performance. To date, light trapping and radiative coupling have been investigated as promising optical design strategies. Light trapping inhibits the radiative emission of a subcell in order to reduce the dark current and increase voltage.

Posted in: Briefs

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Thermal Response of Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) Materials in a Flash Flame Test

UHMWPE fabric and composite material, protected by a flame-resistant fabric outer layer, were tested in a flash flame environment to determine melting point. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Natick, Massachusetts Testing was performed on Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) fabric and composite material in a flash flame environment when protected by a flame-resistant (FR) fabric outer layer. UHMWPE material has excellent ballistic protection properties, but has generally not been considered for ballistic protection garments due to its low melting point. This research was conducted to determine if UHMWPE materials could be considered for use in the recently developed protective undergarment (PUG) if worn beneath an FR uniform.

Posted in: Briefs

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Thermal Conductivity Measurement Setup for Low-Temperature Characterization of Laser Materials

Cryogenic lasers substantially increase the efficiency and power of existing room-temperature lasers. Army Research Laboratory, Adelphi, Maryland Operating lasers at cryogenic temperatures gained maturity only in the mid-90s due mostly to the progress in transparent, laser-grade ceramics and semiconductor pump sources. The main limiting factors for power scaling of room-temperature solid-state lasers are thermal effects such as thermal lensing, induced polarization losses, and fracture.

Posted in: Briefs

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