Cascading Failures in Coupled Distributed Power Grids and Communication Networks

Emerging distributed power grid systems will integrate tightly coupled networks, namely a power grid and a communication network, to provide distributed power monitoring and control. While distributing power monitoring and control away from a central site enhances the robustness of the power grid to multiple, dispersed failures and attacks, such communication-based distributed control schemes can introduce complex cascading failure scenarios in the face of large-scale weapons of mass destruction (WMD) attacks.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Telecommunications, Electric power grid, Hazards and emergency management

Implementing Interconnected Generation in Future Civil Aircraft

In addition to providing thrust, the engines on conventional civil jet airliners generate power for onboard systems and ancillary loads in the form of pneumatic, hydraulic, and electrical power. There is a move to begin replacing mechanically, hydraulically, and pneumatically powered aircraft systems with electrical equivalents, towards the ultimate goal of achieving the All-Electric Aircraft (AEA).

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Electrical systems, Business and general aviation aircraft

Automated drilling machine takes the burr out of fuselage joint

More than 1200 large-diameter (up to ¾-in) holes must be drilled into titanium/ carbon stacks for the side-of-body joint on a particular Boeing commercial aircraft fuselage. This is the joint between the upper shell (section 44) of the center fuselage and the lower corresponding section (section 45), which includes the wingbox and the landing gear well.

Posted in: Technology Update, Aerospace, Defense, Fuselages, Automation, Drilling

Redesign of composite parts for structural integrity

In the case of composite materials, material properties are vastly dependent on the manufacturing process. While shifting the manufacturing process of a composite part from preimpregnated to a new liquid resin injection process, the Composites Development team at Bombardier Aerospace had to redesign the component to a new set of design allowables. The Integrated Product Development Team (IPDT) was able to quickly provide a turnkey solution that assessed three aspects of airframe engineering: design, materials and processes (M&P), and stress.

Posted in: Technology Update, Aerospace, Defense, Airframes, Forming, Composite materials

UPS Devices Keep UAVs in the Air

The simplistic definition of UAV reads like this:

“An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), colloquially known as a drone, is an aircraft without a human pilot on board. Its flight is controlled either autonomously by computers in the vehicle, or under the remote control of a pilot on the ground or in another vehicle.”

Posted in: Articles, Defense, Electronic equipment, Unmanned aerial vehicles

Free Space Optical Communications System for Advancing Superiority on the Battlefield

Fixed and tactical information networking, especially for defense applications, has begun to require increasing data transmission capacity as the volume of information available to warfighters grows through more sophisticated sensors and capabilities. The breadth of the information grid is growing beyond the capacity of radio frequency (RF) or microwave broadband direct line of sight (DLoS) links. RF systems in particular are gridlocked by a congested spectrum, can be limited by licensing issues, and in hostile environments, can be jammed.

Posted in: Articles, Defense, Data acquisition and handling, Telecommunications

The Influence of Material Processing on the Performance of Composite Parts

The production of composite parts relies on an ever increasing number of processing technologies which have a large impact on the performance of the part. The manufacturing step, or processing, is usually optimized for specific materials by using process simulation tools. Commonly used technologies are injection molding, injection-compression molding, compression molding, fiber draping or placement software. All of these approaches are applied in combination with short, long, and continuous fiber reinforced plastics for additional strength. Composite materials are heavily influenced by the processes used to create the part, which can lead to non-uniform material behavior throughout the final manufactured part, adding another challenge to the design process.

Posted in: Articles, Defense, Computer simulation, Composite materials, Fibers, Parts

Kestrel Wide-Area Sensor Upgrades

In late May, Logos Technologies delivered the first payload upgrade to the Kestrel wide-area sensor, employed on U.S. Navy and Army aerostats in Afghanistan. The new hardware will provide better image stability, increased system reliability, and easier maintenance of Kestrel units already in the field.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Articles, Defense, Sensors and actuators, Surveillance, Maintainability and supportability, Military aircraft, Military vehicles and equipment

Post Deployment Build-7 (PDB-7) Software

Raytheon Company (RTN) has started delivering a new release of software, Post Deployment Build-7 (PDB-7), to its worldwide Patriot customer base. The Patriot air and missile defense system protects against advanced threats, including aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Articles, Defense, Computer software / hardware, Radar, Military vehicles and equipment, Missiles, Unmanned aerial vehicles

iSLC Flash Technology

Robots have been employed by the military to assist in missions where it would be, and has been, too dangerous to have a human being take on the task. These robots can detect and disable bombs. Some can be thrown into rooms where they land on their “feet”, and scan the room for counter-insurgents. Others blow up mine fields, to ensure safe travel of ground vehicles and the personnel they carry.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Defense, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Data management, Robotics, Military vehicles and equipment