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A Guide for Developing Human-Robot Interaction Experiments in the Robotic Interactive Visualization and Experimentation Technology (RIVET) Simulation

Using computer gaming technology to improve the interaction between humans and unmanned ground vehicles.ARL's Intelligent Systems Enterprise vision is to enable the teaming of autonomous intelligent systems with soldiers in dynamic, unstructured combat environments, as well as in non-combat military installations and base operations. To accomplish this vision for interdependent soldier-robot teaming, there has been a paradigm shift in robotic research conducted by ARL from the current instantiation of fielded remote-controlled or teleoperated robots to systems with increased intelligence, decision-making capability, and autonomy. This type of teaming is needed for future joint, interdependent, network-enabled operations.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace

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Identifying the Flow Physics and Modeling Transient Forces on Two-Dimensional Wings

Using mathematics and modeling to understand the flow physics of aircraft wings undergoing highly unsteady maneuvers.The main objective of this research was to better understand the flow physics of aircraft wings undergoing highly unsteady maneuvers. Reduced-order models play a central role in this study, both to elucidate the overall dynamical mechanisms behind various flow phenomena (such as dynamic stall and vortex shedding), and ultimately to guide flight control design for vehicles for which these unsteady phenomena are important.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace

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The Scaling of Loss Pathways and Heat Transfer in Small Scale Internal Combustion Engines

Understanding the performance parameters of small remotely piloted aircraft powerplants.The rapid expansion of the remotely piloted aircraft market includes an interest in 10 kg to 25 kg vehicles (Group 2) for monitoring, surveillance, and reconnaissance. Power plant options for those aircraft are often 10 cm3 to 100 cm3 displacement internal combustion engines. Both power and fuel conversion efficiency decrease increasingly rapidly in the aforementioned size range, with fuel conversion efficiency falling from approximately 30% for automotive and larger scale engines (greater than 100 cm3 displacement) to less than 5% for micro glow fuel engines (less than 10 cm3 displacement).

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace

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How NASA Tracks the Asteroids Flying by Earth

On Wednesday, April 19, an asteroid missed Earth by 1.1 million miles – a distance closer than you might think. This week, Tech Briefs spoke with NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer about the efforts behind tracking this type of flyby.

Posted in: News, News, Aeronautics, Imaging

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NASA Tests Robotic Ice Tools

A robotic claw, one of several innovative tools developed at JPL for exploring icy, ocean worlds like Europa. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech) Since 2015, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has been developing new technologies for use on future missions to ocean worlds. That includes a subsurface probe that could burrow through miles of ice, taking samples along the way; robotic arms that unfold to reach faraway objects; and a projectile launcher for even more distant samples. All these technologies were developed as part of the Ocean Worlds Mobility and Sensing study, a research project funded by NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington. Each prototype focuses on obtaining samples from the surface - or below the surface - of an icy moon.

Posted in: News, Data Acquisition, Defense, Motion Control, Automation, Robotics

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New Robotic System Finds and Destroys Explosive Threats

U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground data collector Janet Chasse (left) observes as Spc. Melvinne Owino readies carriages that use a shaped explosive charge to detonate buried explosive threats as part of the Standoff Robotic Explosive Hazard Detection System (SREHD). (Credit: Mr. Mark Schauer (ATEC)) In combat, land mine and improvised explosive device (IED) clearance is a slow, painstaking, stressful job that physically and mentally drains soldiers and military working dogs. Technologies that seek out a variety of explosive hazards and IED components have matured in recent years to the point that semi-autonomous robots can detect, mark, and even destroy buried threats. The latest such system is called the Standoff Robotic Explosive Hazard Detection System (SREHD), and testing is currently underway at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground (YPG).

Posted in: News, Defense, Robotics

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Swarms of Autonomous Aerial Vehicles Test New Dogfighting Skills

Georgia Tech Research Institute researchers Evan Hammac (left) and Rick Presley prepare Zephyr aircraft for flight during a live demonstration involving teams from the Georgia Tech Research Institute and the Naval Postgraduate School. (U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya) Aerial dogfighting began more than a century ago in the skies over Europe with propeller-driven fighter aircraft carried aloft on wings of fabric and wood. An event held recently in southern California could mark the beginning of a new chapter in this form of aerial combat.

Posted in: News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Robotics

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Heated Concrete Could Pave the Way for Ice-Free Runways

Heated test slabs installed at Des Moines International Airport. (Photo: Halil Ceylan) Iowa State University tested slabs of electrically conductive concrete at Des Moines International Airport. The test slabs are made up of 1 percent carbon fiber and a special mix of cement, sand, and rocks. The carbon fiber allows the concrete to conduct electricity, but there is some resistance to the moving electrons, which creates heat.

Posted in: News, Defense, Sensors

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NASA Puts Dummies to the Test for Airplane Safety

Engineer Greg Dean checks dummies before a fuselage drop test at NASA Langley. (NASA Langley/Kathy Barnstorff) Ten crash test dummies buckled into seats in a cut-out section of a regional jet fuselage will soon help NASA and the FAA develop new crashworthiness guidelines for future airplane designs. It is part of the FAA's efforts to address how to better assess the airworthiness of new transport planes that contain nonmetallic components. The test also included baggage in the cargo hold to see how the luggage interacts with the subfloor separating it from the dummies.

Posted in: News, Defense, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement

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Report from SPIE 2017: Drones Spot Gas Leaks from the Sky

ANAHEIM, CA. During last week’s SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing 2017 conference, panelists from industry, academia, and government demonstrated how miniaturized sensing platforms, and the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) hosting them, can improve the detection of hazardous gas leakage.

Posted in: News, News, Aerospace, Aviation, Detectors, Sensors

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