Microwave Analog Signal Generators

Agilent Technologies (Santa Clara, CA) has introduced two microwave analog signal generators: the N5183B MXG and N5173B EXG. The MXG has phase noise of less than -124 dBc/Hz (at 10 GHz, 10 kHz offset). The EXG offers +20 dBm at 20 GHz and low harmonics of <-55 dBc to characterize broadband microwave components, such as filters and amplifiers. The generator also supports continuous-wave (CW) blocking for receiver testing or basic local-oscillator upconversion for point-to-point microwave backhaul links.

Posted in: Products, Aerospace, Defense

Top products

Engine fuel pump bushings

Metallized Carbon Corp.’s Metcar carbon-graphite bushings offer advantages over traditional metals for use in gear pumps that pump aviation fuel for aircraft engines. The carbon-graphite bushings are used to support both the drive gear shaft and the idler gear shaft. The bushings are preferred for this application because they can use aviation fuel as the bushing lubricant. The bushings are self-lubricating—they can run dry for short periods of time without catastrophic pump failure or significant wear. In addition, they are dimensionally stable, which permits close bushing-to-shaft running clearances. More detail at http://articles.sae.org/12700.

Posted in: Products, Aerospace, Defense

The Attack-Counterattack Game

Leveraging Digital RF Memory Electronic Jammers for Modern Deceptive Electronic Attack Systems

In the world of electronic counter measures (ECM), there is a constant battle of one-upmanship, where each side is continually innovating to stay ahead of the other. ECM are typically developed and implemented to thwart an adversary’s specific radar technology. To be effective, Electronic Attack* (EA) systems must be able to identify emitters in the environment and then selectively attack with specific techniques. They must also possess the ability to attack multiple emitters simultaneously with a combination of noncoherent and coherent jamming techniques.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Radar, Military vehicles and equipment

Covert Infrared Battlefield Combat Taggants

Modern warfare often involves poorly defined battle lines accompanied by multilevel fire support systems that can deliver firepower with high precision and devastating lethality from a long distance. The ability to immediately and accurately discriminate through sight between friend and foe is of great importance to military operations for effectively destroying hostile forces while preventing fratricide. This ability is even more crucial for irregular and unconventional warfare such as anti-terrorism operations where US forces often engage enemy combatants well entrenched in urban settings or rugged terrains at night. In such battlefield conditions, using conventional daylight and thermal imagery often exceeds the ability to accurately identify targets as friend or foe, and more reliable battlefield identification methods are needed.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Photonics, Imaging, Identification, Military aircraft, Military vehicles and equipment

Small Form Factor Strategies for Military Embedded Systems

The proliferation of unmanned military vehicles tasked with critical communications and radar requirements drives the need for powerful data acquisition and signal processing products that must fit into increasingly tighter spaces. New industry standards meeting these needs offer smaller circuit boards and enclosures, optical gigabit serial links, and advanced thermal management strategies. With new resources found in the latest processors and FPGAs, system designers can now create powerful, compact systems surpassing performance levels achievable only a few years ago.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Electronics & Computers, Electronic equipment, Radar, Thermal management, Data acquisition, Autonomous vehicles, Military vehicles and equipment, Unmanned aerial vehicles

Toward Smarter Manufacturing and Materials

At the U.K.’s new Advanced Manufacturing Research Center, engineers and innovators have at their disposal some of the world’s most advanced design and manufacturing assets for precision engineering.

by Richard Gardner

For well over a century the word “Sheffield” has been synonymous with high-quality steel products, ranging from cutlery to heavy engineering products for bridges, railways, and aircraft. Following many years of industrial decline as much traditional large-scale manufacturing departed in the direction of low-wage Asian economies, the region suffered accordingly.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Production engineering, Composite materials

More Electric, Integrated Fuel Systems

Global warming and environmental friendliness considerations have recently been key for multiple global industries. In the commercial aviation industry, reduction of aircraft emissions, including CO2 and noise, is an urgent priority. Both aircraft and aircraft engine manufacturers are striving to improve design to accommodate the needs of commercial airlines. Engine manufacturers in particular have worked long and hard to improve each engine component, e.g., compressors, turbines, combustors, etc.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Emissions control, Electric motors, Engine components, Fuel pumps, Commercial aircraft

RF FPGAs for Multi-Function Systems

A dynamically reconfigurable, wideband programmable RF FPGA transceiver will provide reduced lifecycle cost, reduced redesign cost, and service for multiple DoD platforms, while maintaining near-optimal performance for each application.

State-of-the-art RF integrated circuits (ICs) achieve high performance via custom circuit elements with dedicated signal paths for application-specific functions, but long design lead times and non-recurring fabrication costs increase time-to-market for new applications and limit reuse. The key to developing an RF FPGA (radio frequency field-programmable gate array) is to provide RF switching components with very low insertion loss and high isolation that can be integrated with high-performance RF circuits in silicon germanium (SiGe) and gallium nitride (GaN) technologies, and integrating these circuits in a reconfigurable topology to allow an RF FPGA to perform a wide variety of functions.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, RF & Microwave Electronics, Radio equipment, Switches

3D Software Helps Development of Vehicle-Mounted Defense Systems

L-3 Communications Linkabit (Melbourne, FL) develops defense communications and electronic warfare systems to protect soldiers and save lives on the battlefield. A division of L-3 Communications, the sixth-largest defense company in the United States, Linkabit focuses on developing systems that safeguard troops in the field by obscuring visibility, jamming radar signals, intercepting communications, and disrupting infrared transmissions.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Computer software / hardware, Product development, Protective systems, Military vehicles and equipment

Vacuum Regulators to Simulate Altitudes

Fletcher, NC

To support air assets, the US Navy’s Altitude Laboratory in Maryland is tasked with testing On-Board Oxygen Generating Systems (OBOGS). The lab has three hypobaric chambers to assess mechanical breathing simulators at altitudes up to 60,000 feet. The altitude in the chambers is simulated by precisely regulating the vacuum pressure.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Scale models, Aircraft operations, Aerodynamics