Air Caster Technology

If there is a prime example of the need for friction-free, precise and delicate equipment movement in the aerospace and defense industries, satellite positioning during the testing cycle should be at the top of the list. Whether in a clean room or another environment, there is no margin for error when it's time to move the “bird” even a short distance. Anything short of a smooth relocation means unacceptable property loss and project delays if this most intricate piece of aerospace equipment is damaged. Disassembly is hardly an option.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Positioning Equipment, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement, Testing Procedures

Operational Considerations for High-Reliability Interconnects in Military and Aerospace Applications

In the recent past, military acquisition has shifted from being locked into large long-term contracts to developing complex systems in discrete increments that can be further optimized in future design cycles. These shorter design cycles allow for equipment to be deployed more rapidly, thereby mitigating the risk of subsystems going obsolete as increasing proportions of budget dollars go towards operation and support (O&S). This transition to evolutionary acquisition (EA) leaves a major opportunity for vendors to develop commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components that are military-compliant.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Fastening, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components, RF & Microwave Electronics, Semiconductors & ICs, Test & Measurement

Understanding Fiber Optic Transceiver Design and Test Rules

The design of avionics systems must balance several factors. First, engineers want to increase the performance of the systems installed in aircraft or spacecraft. Second, they want to reduce the size and weight of the equipment that must be carried. Third, they want to maximize the safety of the in-flight systems and maintain communication between the aircraft or spacecraft and other flight vessels and the command center, regardless of the circumstances.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Thermal Management, Mechanical Components, Fiber Optics, Optical Components, Optics, Inspection Equipment, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement, Testing Procedures

Acceleration Resistant HiK Heat Spreader

As electronic technologies advance in defense and aerospace applications, heat fluxes are becoming larger and more centralized[1,2]. In order to meet the performance specifications of new technologies, thermal solutions must also advance. The push for more capable thermal technologies is evident with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) signing an agreement with private companies and contractors for the development of innovative vapor cooling technologies capable of handling high heat fluxes[2].

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Power Supplies, Thermal Management, Materials, Metals, Power, Semiconductors & ICs

Shape-Shifting Origami Could Help Antenna Systems Adapt On-the-Fly

Conventional reconfigurable electrical and radio frequency (RF) structures commonly used in applications involving real-time reconfigurability in response to fast varying operational scenarios require specialized substrates or complex electrical circuits. Origami-based RF reconfigurable components and modules offer a solution with unique properties. First, they enable re-configurability over continuous-state ranges (as opposed to discrete states). Second, they do not require specialized mechanical support for multilayer frequency-selective surface structures. Moreover, deployable origami-based RF structures can achieve large surface re-configurability ratios from folded to unfolded states. Finally, these structures allow for independent control of multiple figures of merit: bandwidth, frequency of operation, and angle of incidence.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Defense, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Energy, Energy Harvesting, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Antennas, RF & Microwave Electronics, Semiconductors & ICs, Sensors

NASA Eyes GPS at the Moon for Artemis Missions

The Global Positioning System (GPS), a satellite-based navigation system used by an estimated four billion people worldwide to figure out where they are on Earth at any moment, could be used to pilot in and around lunar orbit during future Artemis missions to the Moon.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Positioning Equipment, Antennas

Flight Computer

Abaco Systems
Huntsville, AL

Abaco Systems’ FORCE2 flight computer has been chosen by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) to be at the heart of GA-ASI's Certifiable Ground Control Station (CGCS). The CGCS was recently used to control the complete flight of an MQ-9B SkyGuardian unmanned aerial vehicle – including take-off and landing. This was the first time the CGCS has been used to control an entire end-to-end flight of a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), and was an important step in achieving GA-ASI's goal of the SkyGuardian being the first certifiable RPA certified to fly in national and international airspace.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aeronautics, Aviation, Communications, Defense, Board-Level Electronics, Computers

Ultra-Light Rocket Launchers

Arnold Defense
Arnold, MO

Arnold Defense has been awarded a $53.8 million contract for the delivery of 2.75-inch rocket launchers and sub components to support the U.S. Navy, Army and Air Force, along with foreign military sales to Australia. Recently announced by the U.S. Department of Defense, the contract includes options that, if exercised, will raise the cumulative total to $74.3 million over a 4-year period, with final delivery expected to be complete in 2023.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aeronautics, Aviation, Defense, Power Transmission, Propulsion

Rugged Network File Servers

Ampex Data Systems
Hayward, CA

Ampex Data Systems (Ampex), a Delta Information Systems Company, recently received a Full Rate Production Lot 7 (FRP-7) contract from Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation. In addition to multiple TuffServ®282 (TS282) Rugged Network File Servers (NFS), Ampex will be delivering supporting storage media for use in the United States Navy's E-2D Hawkeye airborne surveillance aircraft. Ampex will supply multiple shipset systems over a five-year period.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Data Acquisition, Defense, Power Management, Power Supplies, Mechanical Components, Power, RF & Microwave Electronics, Data Acquisition

Data Recorder and Mission Computer

Curtiss-Wright Corporation
Ashburn, VA

Curtiss-Wright's Defense Solutions division was awarded a contract by Tactical Air Support, Inc. (Tactical Air) to provide a cockpit accessible rugged data recorder and a pre-integrated mission computer to upgrade its fleet of F-5AT (Advanced Technology) Tiger II Military supersonic tactical fighters.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Communications, Wireless, Data Acquisition, Defense, Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Internet of Things, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Mechanical Components, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement