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

Using RISC-V to Simplify Data Logging in Space

Worldwide demand for low Earth orbit satellites is increasing at an unprecedented pace, driven by diverse needs such as faster and more affordable Internet access, and faster revisit rates with finer resolution for imaging data. The satellite payload instruments performing communications or imaging functions are becoming increasingly sophisticated and capable and require the collection of increasing amounts of telemetry data to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the satellite.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Power Management, Thermal Management, Mechanical Components, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Semiconductors & ICs, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

Streamlining EMC Solutions for Avionics Interfaces

Lightning strikes to jet airliners are common - about once every 1000 flight hours. The DO-160G standard, Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment, is a standard for the environmental testing of avionics hardware. Many airplane manufacturers specify DO-160G Section 22, lightning induced transient susceptibility, as a requirement for critical systems like guidance, radars, communications, engine control, and heat and air controls. Aircraft fuselage, wing and tail flight controls, wing tips, fin tips, engine nacelles, and landing gear are the areas most likely to be hit by lightning strikes.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Communications, Electronic Components, Semiconductors & ICs, Test & Measurement

Ruggedizing Commercial-Grade Computers into MIL-Hardened Systems

As performance capabilities for embedded computing products expand, the requirements for commercial-grade and MIL ruggedized systems blur into similar specifications. There are increasing demands to take feature-rich, successful industrial/commercial enclosure systems into MIL or other harsh environment applications. Similarly, engineers are designing up-front computing platforms that they can expand into harsher environments.

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

Aircraft Parachute Recovery Systems

BRS Aerospace
South St. Paul, MN

BRS Aerospace has engaged Wichita State University's National Institute for Aviation Research (WSU-NIAR) to develop testing protocols for evaluating the safety and performance of aircraft parachute recovery systems in General Aviation (GA) and Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft. Working with WSU-NIAR's Crash Dynamics and Virtual Engineering laboratories, BRS Aerospace will develop whole aircraft parachute recovery system Supplemental Type Certificates for a range of existing general aviation aircraft and approvals for new models currently under development in addition to advanced VTOL technology.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aeronautics, Aviation, Defense, Mechanical Components