NASA and Partners Demonstrate Unmanned Aircraft Technologies

NASA has signed contracts with three industry partners to demonstrate progress in the use and eventual certification of systems critical to the safe operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS).

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Defense

New Flight Strategy Could Land Heavier Vehicles on Mars

The heaviest vehicle to successfully land on Mars is the Curiosity Rover at 1 metric ton. Sending more ambitious robotic missions to the surface of Mars, and eventually humans, will require landed payload masses in the 5- to 20-ton range. A recent study was conducted to determine how to land more mass.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Propulsion

Friendly Electromagnetic Pulse Improves Survival for Electronics

An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) emitted by a nuclear weapon exploded high above the United States could disable the electronic circuits of many devices vital to military defense and modern living. These could include complicated weapon systems as well as phones, laptops, credit cards and car computers. Also in trouble might be home appliances, gas station pumps and bank accounts.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Electronic Components, Electronics, Energy, Test & Measurement

Guard Members to See Expanded Use of Robots

The use of robots continues to grow within the National Guard and Guard members are likely to soon see additional robots with expanded capabilities. Robots are currently used for a number of mission sets including engineering, explosive ordnance disposal, reconnaissance and detection of chemical and biological agents. Future robots will expand on the capabilities of the current Talon series of robots, as well as take on additional, more generalized functions within a unit, said Bryan McVeigh, the project manager in the Force Projection section for the U.S. Army's Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Robotics

Teams Test Technologies in DARPA Subterranean Challenge

In early April, nine qualified teams will attempt to remotely navigate the dark and dirty corridors of Edgar Experimental Mine in Idaho Springs, Colorado, in preparation for the Circuits Stage of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Subterranean (SubT) Challenge. The SubT Integration Exercise, known as STIX, offers teams an opportunity to try out their technologies, including robotics, sensors and communications solutions, in a representative environment. The locations for the Circuits Stage events have not been announced.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Robotics

New Coating Repels Ice from Any Surface

Researchers used a new theory in physics called stress localization to create a durable silicone polymer coating capable of repelling ice from any surface. The new material uses elastic energy localization where ice meets the material, triggering cracks at the interface that slough off the ice.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Coating/Surface Modification, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials

New Products: February 2019 Aerospace & Defense Technology

Defense-Grade FPGAs

Xilinx, Inc. (San Jose, CA) announced availability of its Defense-grade XQ UltraScale+ portfolio of products, providing the benefits of its UltraScale+ architecture plus extended temperature and ruggedized packages to address the needs of the aerospace and defense industry. The new products encompass the XQ Zynq® UltraScale+ MPSoCs and RFSoCs, as well as XQ Ultra-Scale+ Kintex® and Virtex ® FPGAs.

Posted in: Products, Data Acquisition, Computers, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Industrial Controls & Automation, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Composites, Materials, Joining & Assembly, Machinery, Mechanical Components, Automation, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Software, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement

Hardware Design of a High Dynamic Range Radio Frequency (RF) Harmonic Measurement System

Radio frequency (RF) circuit elements that are traditionally considered to be linear frequently exhibit nonlinear properties that affect the intended operation of many other RF systems. Devices such as RF connectors, antennas, attenuators, resistors, and dissimilar metal junctions generate nonlinear distortion that degrades primary RF system performance. The communications industry is greatly affected by these unintended and unexpected nonlinear distortions. The high transmit power and tight channel spacing of the communication channel makes communications very susceptible to nonlinear distortion.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components, Antennas, RF & Microwave Electronics, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement

An Introduction to PCM Heat Sinks

With the exception of thermal storage heat sinks, the term heat sink is a misnomer. Standard heat sinks for electronics cooling are actually heat exchangers, taking the heat from the electronics, and transferring it to a fluid, either air or coolant. Phase Change Material (PCM) heat sinks are the only heat sinks that actually act as a (temporary) sink for heat. They are emerging in the thermal management realm to solve thermal problems in systems where active solutions cannot be used. When there is no place to dissipate the heat generated by electric components, a PCM heat sink is capable of absorbing the generated waste heat [1] .

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Thermal Management, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials

Eye Tracking Technology

Much debate surrounds the skills shortage burdening the manufacturing sector of aerospace and defense (A&D). Industry 4.0, the Baby Boomer retirement wave, and a lack of properly trained workers underpins this issue, and while it's widely acknowledged, there's no clearly defined way to address it.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Augmented/Virtual Reality, Cameras, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, MEMs, Detectors, Sensors