In-Flight, On-Demand Hydrogen Production for Greener Aircraft

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology developed a process that can be used onboard aircraft while in flight to produce hydrogen from water (including wastewater on the plane) and aluminum particles, safely and cheaply. The hydrogen can then be converted into electrical energy for in-flight use. While the use of hydrogen fuels has been a potential greener energy solution for some time, storing hydrogen has always been a problem.

Posted in: News, Defense, Green Design & Manufacturing

New Products: May 2017 Aerospace & Defense Technology

The following companies will be exhibiting at AUVSI's XPONENTIAL 2017 at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas, TX, May 8 – 11, 2017.

Posted in: Products, Aerospace, Defense

Fast-Tracking Autonomous Vehicles with Simulation

Artificial intelligence developments are set to fundamentally transform mobility, whether it is mobility of weapon payloads, supply deliveries, urban commuters, warehouse goods, delivery packages, or intercontinental bulk shipments.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Semiconductors & ICs, Sensors, Computer simulation, Mathematical models, Artificial intelligence, Computer software and hardware, Neural networks, Autonomous vehicles

Developing a Multi-Modal UGV Robot Control Interface

Unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) are currently being used or developed for operational maneuvers (e.g., reconnaissance and IED defeat), maneuver support (e.g., route clearance), and sustainment (e.g. convoy and resupply) missions. Despite the demonstrable benefits of UGVs, significant challenges remain to their effective integration into military operations.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Sensors and actuators, Human machine interface (HMI), Defense industry, Robotics, Autonomous vehicles, Military vehicles and equipment

Solar Powering UAVs

One of the largest problems facing the aerospace industry involves size, weight, and power (SWaP) analysis and the increasing size of payloads with typically a finite amount of power to drive ever more demanding systems. This issue plagues all platforms, regardless of the energy storage medium, the type of propulsion, or system design. Only recently has an opportunity to augment these systems with on-board power generation been deemed not only possible but practical. Much like the space industry, which has benefited from solar technology on satellites that have been aloft for decades, it is now possible for both small and large fixed wing unmanned platforms to drastically increase flight time and payload capabilities.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Solar Power, Solar energy, Unmanned aerial vehicles

Deploying COTS Subsystems in UUVs

In December, 2016 the newest class of unmanned vehicles, Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV) made international headlines after China, in an unprecedented act, seized an unclassified “ocean glider” operated by an oceanographic survey ship, the USNS Bowditch, about 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay in the Philippines. According to the Pentagon, the captured UUV, which was soon returned to the US, was measuring salinity and temperature in the area.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Architecture, Computer software and hardware, Electronic equipment, Autonomous vehicles, Marine vehicles and equipment

Interoperability Standards Pave the Way for Modular Robotic Manipulators

Unmanned vehicles have long been used by the military to handle situations characterized by the three Ds: dull, dirty, and dangerous. As the use of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), and unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) in the military and industry becomes more complex, the need for interoperability on and between systems has exponentially increased.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Architecture, Communication protocols, Computer software and hardware, Robotics, Autonomous vehicles, Unmanned aerial vehicles

Experimental Confirmation of an Aquatic Swimming Motion Theoretically of Very Low Drag and High Efficiency

Researchers used an anguilliform swimming robot to replicate an idealized “wakeless” swimming motion.

It has been established theoretically that self-propulsion of deformable bodies in ideal fluid can occur with a careful specification of the deformation mode shape. With the fluid assumed ideal, vortex shedding, rotational wake, and induced drag would not occur. The implication is that for a real fluid, provided the existence of a thin boundary layer, similarly configured bodies with the same deformation mode shape self-propel without vortex shedding, rotational wake, and induced drag. Only viscous drag effects, due to the existence of the thin boundary layer, are present and unavoidable. The motion mode in question is the little-exploited anguilliform mode exhibited in some aquatic animal swimming. The Anguilla includes the snake, eel, lamprey, and leach, among others.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, TSP, Aerospace, Automation

Gesture-Based Controls for Robots: Overview and Implications for Use by Soldiers

Developing a more effective means to communicate with robotic devices.

Afuture vision of the use of autonomous and intelligent robots in dismounted military operations is for soldiers to interact with robots as teammates, much like soldiers interact with other soldiers. Soldiers will no longer be operators in full control of every movement, as the autonomous intelligent systems will have the capability to act without continual human input. However, soldiers will need to use the information available from, or provided by, the robot. One of the critical needs to achieve this vision is the ability of soldiers and robots to communicate with each other. One way to do that is to use human gestures to instruct and command robots.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Aerospace, Automation, Robotics

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, TSP, Aerospace, Automation