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Fluctuating Forces of Flight Captured by High-Tech Paint

Amber Favaregh of Langley Research Center prepares a model of the Space Launch System rocket for testing with pressure-sensitive paint in a wind tunnel at Ames Research Center. (NASA/Dominic Hart) A rocket is buffeted by a chaotic flow of air during flight. At high speeds, airplanes experience a similar, unsteady flow of air over their wings. A method to precisely measure these fluctuating forces uses pressure-sensitive paint (PSP), called Unsteady PSP, which emits a bright crimson glow in the presence of high-pressure airflow.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Defense

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Discovery Could Lead to Cleaner, More Efficient Jet Engines

Researchers at The Ohio State University found a way to improve the high-temperature properties of superalloys used in jet engines. The method tailors an alloy’s composition and exposes it to high heat and pressure to prevent microscopic defects from forming, actually making the alloy stronger. This “phase transformation strengthening” eliminates the formation of defects and decreases alloy deformation by half. When an engine can run at very high temperatures, it consumes its fuel more thoroughly and produces lower emissions.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense

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NRL Develops Novel Monolayer Ferroelectric Hybrid Structures

Domains consisting of electric polarization dipoles are written in a checkerboard pattern into a thin film of lead zirconium titanate (PZT) with a conductive atomic force microscope, and imaged with the same instrument (left panel). Both intensity and spectral distribution of the photoluminescence emitted from a monolayer of tungsten disulphide (WS2) transferred onto the PZT surface is strongly modulated by these polarization domains (right panel). (U.S. Naval Research Laboratory) Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Materials Science and Technology Division, have demonstrated that the intensity and spectral composition of the photoluminescence emitted from a single monolayer of tungsten disulphide (WS2) can be spatially controlled by the polarization domains in an adjacent film of the ferroelectric material lead zirconium titanate (PZT). These domains are written in the PZT using a conductive atomic force microscope, and the photoluminescence (PL) is measured in air at room temperature. Because the polarization domain wall width in a ferroelectric can be as low as 1-10 nm, this approach enables spatial modulation of PL intensity and the corresponding carrier populations with potential for nanoscale resolution.

Posted in: News, Defense, Electronic Components, Electronics, Integrated circuits, Microelectromechanical devices, Microscopy, Semiconductor devices

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US Navy Synthesizes Slime to Assist Military Personnel

Dr. Ryan Kincer demonstrates the elasticity of the hagfish slime secreted from the the Pacific hagfish within the net aboard Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD). (U.S. Navy photo by Ron Newsome (Released) 161129-N-PB086-014) A team of U.S. Navy scientists and engineers at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) have successfully re-created a natural material used for marine wildlife defense to assist military personnel.

Posted in: News, Defense, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Biomaterials, Elastomers, Fibers, Materials properties

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Satellite Communications Ball Offers More Bandwidth, Greater Portability

Signal Soldiers of the 369th Sustainment Brigade practice aligning a Ground Antenna Transmit Receive (GATR) Ball at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. The GATR Ball is a portable satellite communications system that can be deployed to remote areas in a relatively short amount of time. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jeremy Bratt) While it may resemble a giant beach ball, the inflatable ground antenna transmit and receive (GATR) ball is actually the Army's latest piece of satellite communications equipment. The technology is so new that the 369th Sustainment Brigade's GATR ball has a serial number in the single digits. Designed to be lighter and more compact than traditional, rigid satellite dishes, the GATR ball can be broken down into just a few cases and hand carried anywhere in the world. The self-contained system can then be inflated and set up in less than two hours, ready to provide a variety of communication services.

Posted in: News, Communications, Wireless, Defense, Antennas, Data acquisition and handling, Data exchange, Electronic equipment, Radio equipment, Telecommunications, Telecommunications systems, Wireless communication systems

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Open Standard Middleware Enables New HPEC Solutions

The military embedded computing landscape has been transformed from where it was 20 years ago — and that has been almost entirely enabled by the ability of prime contractors, systems integrators, and OEMs to leverage the products of COTS manufacturers who take leading edge commercial technologies and apply them successfully to the world of military computing. A look at the commercial landscape today reveals cell phones that are putting vast amounts of location- aware information — and the ability to process that information — directly into the hands of consumers. The Internet of Things has become a deployable reality, with data derived from millions of connected sensors.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Defense, Electronics & Computers, Sensors, Architecture, Computer software and hardware, Internet of things, Military vehicles and equipment

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Cooling Your Embedded System: What Can Your Open Standard Architecture Handle?

Embedded computing systems for Mil/Aero applications are often conduction-cooled in an ATR or nonstandard chassis. However, there are many designs that require 19" rackmount systems with forced-air cooling. As more processing performance is packed into tight spaces, enclosures that provide advanced cooling options are increasingly common.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Thermal Management, Computer software and hardware, Embedded software, Cooling, Mountings, Fans

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Evaluating Key Certification Aspects of Multicore Platforms for Safety Critical Avionics Applications

High performance, low power consumption and small footprint requirements imposed by the embedded market on the processor industry is causing a definite move away from single-core processors to multicore processors. Multicore processors have been deemed as the future of Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) constrained applications like military and avionics. They provide higher performance (MHz/W) at lower power. They also allow consolidation of multiple functions/ applications onto a single platform.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Electronics & Computers, Avionics, Computer software and hardware, Safety critical systems, Certification

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Simulating and Analyzing Flow for an Air-to-Air Refueling System

Long-range bombers may have missions halfway around the world. Fighter jets may have to stay in the air longer than their relatively small fuel tanks will allow, or may find they have exhausted their fuel unexpectedly, such as during supersonic flight or evasive maneuvers. In these situations, large tanker aircraft are deployed that carry sufficient fuel to refill several smaller aircraft in a single mission (Figure 1). The task of injecting volatile jet fuel from one aircraft to another while both are moving at high speed and altitude is fraught with risk.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Test & Measurement, Computer simulation, Refueling, Aerodynamics, Freighter aircraft

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The Ins and Outs of Spaceflight Passive Components and Assemblies

RF and microwave components deployed in spaceflight applications can experience hundreds of degrees of temperature variation, massive amounts of radiation, and can be expected to operate at an elevated level, sometimes for decades. The demands of operating in a space environment bring unique challenges and unforgiving reliability requirements. Designing passive components to meet these rigorous operation criteria necessitates a high level of design expertise, qualifications/certifications, and testing capability.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, RF & Microwave Electronics, Electronic equipment, Durability, Reliability, Total quality management, Spacecraft

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