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Verifying Structural Integrity of 3D Metal-Printed Parts

Interest in 3D printing is remaking the manufacturing landscape. Consulting firm IDC says global spending on 3D printers, both desktop and industrial, hit about $11 billion in 2015 and is forecast to reach$27 billion by 2019. Another research company (MarketsandMarkets) is saying 3D printing will experience 30% compound annual growth and reach \$30 billion by 2022. In its April 2016 study, “3D Printing Comes of Age in US Industrial Manufacturing,” Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) says compared to two years ago, more manufacturers (52% this year compared to 38% in 2014) expect 3D printing to be used in high-volume production in the next three to five years.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Technical reference, Technical review, Additive manufacturing, Metals, Parts, Quality assurance, Quality assurance

Uncertainty Propagation for Force Calibration Systems

There are several labs operating throughout the world that do not follow a designated guideline for calculating measurement uncertainty for force calibrations. Realizing the need for guidance, Morehouse decided to draft this document explaining how to calculate measurement uncertainty and how uncertainty propagation for force calibration systems works.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Calibration, Measurements, Standardization

Finding Alternatives to Cadmium in Aerospace Applications

It is both an exciting and a difficult time for the aerospace industry. While the sector is at its most buoyant with demand soaring in the commercial market, this is placing a strain on the manufacturing supply chain, and putting the MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) market under pressure to keep aircraft in operation for as long as possible. In addition, OEMs and MRO businesses are being forced to consider potential ever-evolving legislation, particularly regarding the use of various chemicals used in the plating process, most notably the use of cadmium. This toxic metal has long been the topic of debate in the industry, with companies facing the threat of a European ban on cadmium being extended to the global aerospace industry if studies into possible alternatives prove fruitful.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Supply chain management, Plating, Chemicals

Modelling and Simulation Tools for Systems Integration on Aircraft

The provision of integrated modeling, simulation and optimization tools to effectively support all stages of aircraft design remains a critical challenge in the aerospace industry. While several breakthroughs have been achieved in this area, costly iterations are still often necessary to successfully design, develop, integrate, validate and verify the components and subsystems of modern aircraft. The high level of system integration that is characteristic of new aircraft designs is dramatically increasing the complexity of both design and verification – in particular for fault condition analysis and the implementation of defect-free software (Figure 1).

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, CAD / CAM / CAE, CAD, CAM, and CAE, Architecture, Architecture, Systems engineering, Aircraft

Small Form Factor Embedded Systems

New Technologies Drive Diverse Solutions

As sensor processing hardware like data converters, FPGAs and CPUs evolve to handle more channels with higher signal bandwidths, designers can develop powerful distributed signal acquisition and pre-processing subsystems in small form factor (SFF) enclosures located right next to the sensors. They connect to central processing or storage resources using wideband gigabit serial links, now often exploiting low cost, standardized optical cables and interfaces. Major benefits include high signal quality over long distance, improved maintainability, and easier insertion of new technology. Since these same benefits apply across many different applications and installations, SFF system vendors now offer a bewildering array of enclosures targeting the unique requirements of each customer.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Architecture, Embedded software, Integrated circuits, Sensors and actuators, Architecture, Embedded software, Integrated circuits, Sensors and actuators

Cassini Stays in Touch with NASA's Radio Science Subsystem

After almost 20 years in space, NASA's Cassini spacecraft begins the final chapter of its remarkable story of exploration. From now until September, Cassini will undertake a set of orbits that is, in many ways, like a whole new mission. Following a final close flyby of Saturn's moon Titan, Cassini will leap over the planet's icy rings and begin a series of 22 weekly dives between the planet and the rings.

Rotorcraft Anti-Icing Systems

Flying anytime, anywhere, in all-weather conditions is one of the most challenging technology and capability goals across the rotorcraft industry to meet a growing demand for reliability, safety and the ability to allow platforms and their operators to deliver whenever needed. Countering the detrimental and dangerous effects of ice on rotorcraft is part of this mission and Leonardo Helicopters has devoted significant efforts over the years to design, develop, test and integrate ice protection systems onto its current generation production aircraft models.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Aircraft deicing, Product development, Rotary-wing aircraft

Making Laser Weapons a Reality

Directed energy weapons first took a step towards reality in the 1980s under President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), dubbed “Star Wars” by the media. But, the technology didn't really materialize at that time and the cessation of the Cold War largely removed the immediate impetus to develop it. Since then, lasers have become widely used in military applications, particularly for target designation and aircraft countermeasures, but there is still no significant deployment of lasers as offensive weapons. Now, advances in high power fiber laser technology, particularly in the efficiency, compactness and weight of their pump diode lasers, are poised to make laser weapons a practical reality.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Fiber optics, Lasers, Fiber optics, Lasers, Defense industry, Military vehicles and equipment

Redundant Transmitting System in Aircraft (RTSA)

In air navigation, a flight transponder (transmitter-responder) is a device that emits an identifying signal in response to an interrogating received signal. Transponders are used as Identification of Friend or Foe (IFF) systems in military aviation, and also in Air Traffic Control (ATC) Secondary Surveillance Radar (beacon radar) systems for general aviation and commercial aviation.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Radar, Wireless communication systems, Radar, Wireless communication systems, Aircraft