Wire Grid Polarizers

High-contrast IR wire grid polarizers from Edmund Optics are suited for broadband IR applications that require high transmission and contrast, including spectroscopy and thermal imaging. The polarizers are made by applying a thin layer of aluminum microwires to a glass window. They are designed using a lightweight, thin silicon substrate, making them well suited for weight-sensitive systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles. More detail at http://articles.sae.org/12793.

Posted in: Products, Aerospace, Defense

Voltage Controlled Oscillator

Crystek’s CVCO25CL-0902-0928 VCO operates from 902 to 928 MHz, with a control voltage range of 0.5 to ~3.5V. It features a typical phase noise of -108 dBc/Hz @ 10 kHz offset and has excellent linearity. Output power is typically +3 dBm. The model is packaged in the industry-standard 0.5- × 0.5-in SMD. Input voltage is 3V, with a max. current consumption of 15 mA. Pulling and pushing are minimized to 0.5 MHz and 0.5 MHz/V, respectively. More detail at http://articles.sae.org/12795.

Posted in: Products, Aerospace, Defense

Using Forensic Lasers in Modern Warfare

In the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the enemy’s guerilla tactics have muddled the distinction between terrorism and warfare. To deal with the challenges of this new type of combat, the military has quietly built up impressive forensic capabilities, with technology more usually found in domestic crime labs than on the battlefield. Just as they have in numerous areas of weapons technology, lasers play a cutting-edge role in this work, which is performed on location, within mobile labs in Afghanistan, as well as in the US.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Photonics, Test equipment and instrumentation, Military vehicles and equipment

Open Generic Avionics Architectures and Distributed Processing Using Ethernet and VPX

The backplane and hardware module standards help to increase part commonality and the reuse of components in different system architectures and applications, but this is only one part of the system design challenge. While the specified footprint, backplane format, and electrical signal characteristics help the design of modular hardware and open architectures, they still tell very little about how modular (and unambiguous) the interfacing among functions and their interactions are. This aspect is covered at the system integration (network) layer.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Avionics

Comparing Blade-Element Momentum Modeling to 3-D CFD

Many small unmanned aerial vehicles (SUAVs) are driven by small-scale fixed-blade propellers, and the flow produced by the propeller can have a significant impact on the aerodynamics of the SUAV itself.

Small unmanned aerial vehicles (SUAVs) are becoming increasingly popular for surveillance and numerous other applications. These SUAVs come in various sizes, and the smallest are referred to as micro aerial vehicles (MAVs). For purposes here, SUAV will be used to refer to all UAVs that are portable by a man.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Test & Measurement, Computational fluid dynamics, Computer simulation, Unmanned aerial vehicles

Europe's Aerospace Industry Looking Confident

Talk of further consolidation within Europe’s dynamic aerospace sector has been on the lips of industry watchers for several years, but although the major European-based global players have not progressed toward further mergers, the continent’s biggest aerospace company, the former EADS, has achieved a very significant business restructuring, sweeping all its diverse companies into one giant, three-division entity, and adopting the new corporate identity of the Airbus Group.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Production, Business and general aviation aircraft, Commercial aircraft, Military aircraft

Advances and Challenges in Developing Radar Applications

Radar is used to detect and/or track target objects and their attributes, such as range, speed, and other information obtained through signals at RF and microwave frequencies. The broad classes of radar systems are active and passive (Figure 1). Passive radar systems use non-cooperative source(s) of illumination, such as a target’s emitted signals, broadcast signals, or cellular communication signals, to obtain information about the target. Since radar performance relies on the sensing capabilities of the receiver, significant innovations have been made in areas such as phased array antennas, digital beam-forming, detection algorithms, and source separation algorithms. Active radar uses cooperative sources of illumination by generating its own signal(s) to illuminate the target. Within the class of active radar, there is monostatic radar, where the signal source is collocated with the receiver, and multistatic radar, where there are two or more receiver locations.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, RF & Microwave Electronics, Radar, Product development

Simulation Tools Prevent Signal Interference on Spacecraft

NASA Technology

Launching a satellite into space requires painstaking preparation, not only to make sure that a multitude of technologies are functioning, but also to ensure that critical components are working together in unison. A great example: the communication systems onboard satellites and the rockets used to launch them.

Posted in: Articles, Spinoff, Aerospace, Defense, Information Technology, RF & Microwave Electronics, Software

Transparent Display Technology

Edgewood Chemical Biological Center
Aberdeen, MD

The U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) has partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (MIT-ISN) and the Harvard University Department of Physics to develop a transparent display technology. Through ECBC’s In-House Laboratory Independent Research program, the teams have explored how particles scatter and absorb light efficiently.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Displays, Nanomaterials

Spatial Disorientation Flight Simulator

Environmental Tectonics Corporation (ETC)
Southampton, PA

Aircrew Training Systems (ATS), a division of Environmental Tectonics Corporation, has been selected by the U.S. Army Contracting Command to provide the Colombian Air Force (FAC) with a spatial disorientation flight simulator. The GYRO IPT II will help FAC pilots to recognize in-flight conditions that contribute to spatial disorientation. The new system will be installed at the FAC Aerospace Medicine Center (CEMAE) in Bogotá, Colombia next spring.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Simulation Software, Computer simulation, Human factors, Career and professional development, Education