Home

Warhead Life-Extension Program Passes Key Milestone

The program to extend the life of the W80 nuclear warhead recently achieved a significant milestone when the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) gave passing grades to the plans to refurbish certain components and the proposed approach to developing component cost estimates. Passing the milestone confirms that the life extension program (LEP), dubbed the W80-4 LEP, remains on track. The refurbished warhead will be paired with a new cruise missile that is being developed in parallel by the U.S. Air Force, making this the first life extended warhead to be implemented in a new delivery system since the start of the Stockpile Stewardship Program more than 25 years ago.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is the lead nuclear design agency, partnered with Sandia National Laboratories, which is the lead non-nuclear design agency. The work being carried out is driven by military requirements to pair the warhead with the new delivery system and improve weapon safety, security and operational logistics and maintain effectiveness without the need for additional explosive nuclear tests. First production of the W80-4 is planned for 2025.

Posted in: News, Defense, Materials, Monitoring, Test & Measurement
Read More >>

AgilePod Flies on U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper

In March 2018, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Sensors Program Office, working jointly with the AFLCMC Medium Altitude Unmanned Aerial Systems Program Office, sponsored three demonstration flights of an MQ-9 Reaper with AgilePod. The flights were a first for AgilePod on an Air Force major weapon system, and were the result of collaboration between AFLCMC and the Air Force Research Lab.

“These flights mark the culmination of more than two years of cutting-edge technology development led by our colleagues within the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate ManTech team, and Sensors Directorate Blue Guardian team,” said Lt. Col. Elwood Waddell, the advanced technologies branch chief within the Sensors Program Office.”

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Defense, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors
Read More >>

Army Researchers Teach Robots to be Better Teammates for Soldiers

Researchers at the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Research Laboratory and the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University developed a new technique to quickly teach robots novel traversal behaviors with minimal human oversight. The technique allows mobile robot platforms to navigate autonomously in environments while carrying out actions a human would expect of the robot in a given situation.

According to Dr. Maggie Wigness, one of the research team's goals in autonomous systems research is to provide reliable autonomous robot teammates to the soldier.

Posted in: News, Defense, Robotics
Read More >>

Heavy Ground Testing Puts Airbus’ BelugaXL On Track for First Flight

In preparation for its upcoming maiden flight, Airbus’ first BelugaXL is now in its heavy ground test phase – which focuses on the highly modified airframe for this next-generation oversize cargo airlifter.

According to ground test project leader Mathieu Laemle, a total of 72 development and certification ground tests must be performed before the BelugaXL’s high-profile first flight. “With more than 48 tests already completed, we are on time,” he added. “The big challenge was to be able to anticipate or modify the test scheduling so as not to impact final assembly.”

Posted in: News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Test & Measurement
Read More >>

Researchers Push Limits in High-Temp, Polymer Additive Manufacturing

Researchers at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate are “turning up the heat” in the field of polymer additive manufacturing. In conjunction with researchers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center and the University of Louisville, the team successfully printed the highest-temperature capable, reinforced polymer composite parts using additive manufacturing. Consisting of a high temperature thermoset resin infused with carbon fiber filaments, this state-of-the art material breakthrough sets the stage for next generation, cost-efficient Air Force manufacturing needs.

“This is an extremely impactful breakthrough in composite material additive manufacturing,” said Dr. Hilmar Koerner, a scientist on the Polymer Matrix Composite Materials and Processing Research Team and the driving force behind the novel discovery. “These 3-D printed parts can withstand temperatures greater than 300 degrees Celsius, making them potentially useful for turbine engine replacement parts or in hot areas around engine exhaust.”

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Defense, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Composites, Materials, Plastics
Read More >>

Superstrong Al Alloys May Change Aerospace Manufacturing Processes

Purdue University researchers have developed a superstrong material that may change some manufacturing processes for the aerospace and automobile industries.

The Purdue team, led by Xinghang Zhang, a professor in Purdue’s School of Materials Engineering, created high-strength aluminum alloy coatings. According to Zhang, there is an increasing demand for such materials because of their advantages for automakers and aerospace industries.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Metals
Read More >>

Laser-Made Parts Could Transform Aircraft Industry

Researchers are manufacturing steel and titanium aircraft parts using laser metal deposition technology. It can be used to 3D-print parts from scratch or to fix existing parts with a bond that is as strong as, or in some cases, stronger than the original.

The technology could completely transform the concept of warehousing and transporting for defense and other industries. Instead of waiting for spare parts to arrive from a warehouse, an effective solution will now be on-site.

Source

Posted in: News, Defense, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling
Read More >>

NASA UAV Flies Alone in Public Airspace

NASA’s remotely piloted Ikhana aircraft successfully flew its first mission in the National Airspace System without a safety chase aircraft on Tuesday. Flying these large remotely piloted aircraft over the United States opens the doors to all types of services, from monitoring and fighting forest fires, to providing new emergency search and rescue operations. The technology in this aircraft could, at some point, be scaled down for use in other general aviation aircraft.

The flight was the first remotely piloted aircraft to use airborne detect and avoid technology to meet the intent of the FAA’s “see and avoid” rules, with all test objectives successfully accomplished.

Source

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense
Read More >>

Streamlining Machinery and Production Lines With HP Multi Jet Fusion 3d Printing

Machinery and production line component production has typically been served with traditional processes such as CNC machining and injection molding. However, as industries strive to find greater efficiencies and add more value for their customers, machinery and production line manufacturers and runners are looking for ways to enhance and optimize how they produce components–in order to offer unique/customized solutions at low cost to their internal or external customers, drive greater production line efficiencies with lightweight, high performance parts, and maximize equipment uptime. 3D printing opens up a world of new opportunities for machinery and production line component production–both for original and spare parts.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, White Papers, Aeronautics, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Robotics
Read More >>

NASA CubeSats Head to Mars

NASA has achieved a first for the class of tiny spacecraft known as CubeSats. The MarCO-A and MarCO-B CubeSats are designed to trail InSight on the way to Mars, aiming to relay back data about InSight as it enters the planet's atmosphere and attempts to land.

The MarCOs were never intended to collect any science data; instead, they are a test of miniaturized communication and navigation technology that can blaze a path for future CubeSats sent to other planets. They have already traveled farther than any CubeSat before them.

Source

Posted in: News, Communications, Defense
Read More >>