Army Explores 3-D Printing's Future Applications

These parts were made using additive manufacturing, which creates plastic items and other durable components by adding material, layer by layer, using 3-D printers. (Photo: U.S. Army) A soldier heads back to camp, grabs a power bar and unloads his gear. The power bar, which was "printed" minutes earlier, contains all the nutrients his body currently needs, according to sensors that are embedded in his uniform. While this may sound like a scene from a sci-fi movie, engineers and scientists at the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) are looking at ways to use additive manufacturing (aka 3-D printing) to make it a reality.

Posted in: Articles, News, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Composites, Materials, Metals, Plastics


Additive Manufacturing: How 3D Printing Will Transform the A&D Support Chain

3D printing, or additive manufacturing (AM), is quickly becoming a 'must have' for aerospace and defense (A&D) manufacturers rather than just a luxury R&D project with the A&D sector now contributing 12 percent of 3D printing's $3.1 billion global revenue. A&D companies began experimenting with 3D printing as early as 1988, and industry leaders are now starting to recognize the unique capabilities of 3D printing, and searching for ways to exploit them. The U.S. Navy is currently working on 3D manufacturing at sea, which would revolutionize the military support chain, while in civil aviation, companies such as Boeing and Airbus have been using the process to manufacture components for over two years.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping


Advances in Lightweight Electronics Protection

Conformal Coatings Increase Reliability of Aerospace and Military AssembliesLightweighting continues to be a key topic for the aerospace, avionics and defense industries as new metals and composites are being integrated into end products and assemblies with the goal of decreasing overall system weight. As technologies continue to evolve, with components often decreasing in size and increasing in complexity, the materials used to manufacture and protect the latest components and systems are also improving. Whether used in commercial or military aircraft, rockets, satellites, terrestrial or water vessels, or the latest in unmanned air, land and sea vehicles; systems within these industries must meet similar requirements – assemblies, components and electronics must be both lightweight and designed to withstand harsh operating conditions.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Electronics, Coatings & Adhesives


Powering Outer Space: An In-Depth Look at Aerospace Battery Technology

With space’s extreme environments, there is never a one-size-fits-all battery. Nor is any space mission ever the same, so customized batteries for each operation are essential. Saft, has been powering outer space for more than 50 years. Saft’s first battery was launched into space in 1966 aboard the D1A “Diapason”, which was powered with nickel cadmium (Ni-Cd) technology. To date they are the only battery manufacturer to supply all battery technologies used in space: Nickel (Ni-Cd, Ni-H2), primary lithium (Li-SO2, Li-SOCl2 and Li-MnO2) and rechargeable lithium or lithium-ion (Li-ion).

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Batteries, Power Supplies


Using High Bandwidth Oscilloscopes to Analyze Radar and Electronic Warfare Systems

Whether for multi-channel analysis, or for wider analysis bandwidth in a measurement, high bandwidth oscilloscopes offer an alternative to traditional spectrum and signal analyzers for both pulsed RF aerospace/defense and I/Q vector modulated communications application measurements. Signals with spectral content beyond 1 or 2 GHz are now being created to support the higher resolution requirements in radar systems and to move the vast amounts of information in new communications systems.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Wireless, Defense, RF & Microwave Electronics, Test & Measurement


Bio-inspired Airborne Infrastructure Reconfiguration (BioAIR)

Conventionally, most autonomous mobile nodes, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are operated remotely by human operators. As such, forming a mobile communication network to connect several airborne or ground-based nodes with multiple remotely controlled UAVs can be prohibitively costly and very inefficient because many operators are needed. Furthermore, the operators need to control the deployed UAVs, while coordinating with others and monitoring the performance of the deployed communication network. Hence, a feasible solution must support collaborative communication, sensing and navigation. BioAIR offers a solution to this problem by enabling multiple UAVs to autonomously control themselves based on network performance.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Defense, RF & Microwave Electronics


EMI Analysis Software Helps Telescope Group Simulate RFI Mitigation

Challenging Einstein’s seminal theory of relativity to the limits, how the very first stars and galaxies formed just after the Big Bang, the study of dark energy and the vast magnetic fields in the cosmos, and the age old question “Are we alone in the Universe?” – these are some of the key scientific goals of the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) project, led by the SKA Organization from Jodrell Bank Observatory in the UK, supported by 11 member countries: South Africa, Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, New Zealand, Sweden, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Antennas, RF & Microwave Electronics