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Software for Material/Structural Characterization Across Length Scales

Synthetic and natural micro-architectures occur frequently, and multiphase functionally graded composites are becoming increasingly popular for applications requiring optimized/tailored material properties. When dealing with such materials computationally, one issue that immediately arises is the analysis of the mechanical properties of macroscopically inhomogeneous multi-scale structures. The bulk response of these structures can be determined by performing full finite element analysis (FEA); that is, with the entire geometry discretized at a resolution high enough to accurately model the smallest length scale of interest. However, these full models may easily exceed hundreds of millions, or potentially billions, of degrees of freedom, and solving problems of this magnitude may only be possible with the use of supercomputing facilities.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Information Technology, Computer software / hardware, Composite materials, Materials properties
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Chrono: A Parallel Physics Library for Rigid-Body, Flexible-Body, and Fluid Dynamics

The Chrono::Engine software is a general-purpose simulator for three-dimensional multi-body problems. Specifically, the code is designed to support the simulation of very large systems such as those encountered in granular dynamics, where the number of interacting elements can be in the millions. Target applications include tracked vehicles operating on granular terrain, or the Mars rover operating on discrete granular soil.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Software, Computer software / hardware, Particulate matter (PM), Off-highway vehicles and equipment, Spacecraft
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Terrain Model as an Interface for Real-Time Vehicle Dynamics Simulations

In order to enable off-road vehicle dynamics analysis simulations when traveling on soft soil, a deformable Vehicle Terrain Interface (VTI) model that interfaces with existing vehicle and tire dynamics models was developed. It is modularized to be interfaced to a multibody dynamics vehicle that supports the Standard Tire Interface (STI). Any tire model can be used that supports the STI as well; currently, both rigid and flexible tire models are supported.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Information Technology, Tires and traction, Computer simulation, Off-highway vehicles and equipment, Vehicle dynamics
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ETS researchers develop new methodology for wind tunnel calibration

In recent years, the École de Technologie Supérieure (ETS) Research Laboratory in Active Controls, Avionics, and Aeroservoelasticity (LARCASE) has acquired several research apparatus—a research flight simulator Cessna Citation X, an open return subsonic wind tunnel, and a flight autonomous system (UAV)—making it one of the few multidisciplinary research laboratories in Canada with a wide range of equipment with the capabilities of simulating aircraft models, especially airfoils, and validating the models with experimental data collected on the ground (wind tunnel) and in-flight (UAV).

Posted in: Technology Update, Aerospace, Defense, Test facilities, Aerodynamics, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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Boeing advances automation with smart and portable orbital drilling tools for 787

Since robotic work cells have proven to be highly effective in certain applications, and the technology is always improving, some might dream of a day when aircraft can be made like cars on heavily automated assembly lines with all the associated benefits. Boeing has made an advance in that direction.

Posted in: Technology Update, Aerospace, Defense, Automation, Computer integrated manufacturing, Drilling, Robotics
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RS-232 Serial Adapter

ACCES I/O Products, Inc. (San Diego, CA) has released a new USB serial interface board—the ANDROID-232. Users can now control legacy RS-232 devices directly from modern Android devices. The ANDROID-232 uses the Android Open Accessory protocol to convince an Android device that its onboard USB port (normally limited to USB "slave" or "OTG" modes) is actually an RS-232 port. This two way data port allows external hardware to control the Android unit or for the Android unit to control external hardware. Serial data up to 921.6kbps is supported (a max of 115.2kbps without flow control). Onboard circuitry will provide power to charge your Android device while connected. Multiple status and fault LEDs complete the package, and allow simple and convenient confirmation of operational state.

Posted in: Products
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Power Monitoring IC

Microchip Technology Inc. (Chandler, AZ) has announced a new power monitoring IC, the MCP39F501. This device is a highly integrated, single-phase power- monitoring IC designed for real-time measurement of AC power. It includes two 24-bit delta-sigma ADCs, a 16-bit calculation engine, EEPROM and a flexible two-wire interface. An integrated low-drift voltage reference in addition to 94.5 dB of SINAD performance on each measurement channel allows accurate designs with just 0.1% error across a 4000:1 dynamic range. Operating temperature range is from -40°C to +125°C.

Posted in: Products
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Voltage Controlled Oscillator

Crystek's (Fort Meyers, FL) CVCO55CC-3850-3850 VCO (Voltage Controlled Oscillator) operates at 3850 MHz with a control voltage range of 0.5V~4.5V. This VCO features a typical phase noise of -110 dBc/Hz @ 10KHz offset and has excellent linearity. Output power is typically +7 dBm. Engineered and manufactured in the USA, the model CVCO55CC-3850-3850 is packaged in the industry-standard 0.5-in. x 0.5-in. SMD package. Input voltage is 8V, with a max. current consumption of 35 mA. Pulling and Pushing are minimized to 1 MHz and 0.2 MHz/V, respectively. Second harmonic suppression is -15 dBc typical.

Posted in: Products
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USB Thermocouple Power Sensors

Agilent Technologies Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) has announced the addition of two new models to its U8480 Series USB thermocouple power sensors. The U8480 Series now includes an expanded frequency range to 67 GHz and a measurement speed of 900 readings/second. The U8480 Series’ real-time measurement uncertainty feature, the first of its kind in the industry, significantly reduces overall test time by removing the need for time-consuming manual measurement uncertainty (MU) calculations. Users can now compute MU in real time and at any given point. The feature also allows them to display power measurements and their MU simultaneously.

Posted in: Products
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Hybrid copter is first of its kind

Regulatory authorities in Germany decided to develop a new aircraft category called volocopter to accommodate the new 18-motor VC200. Read more at http://articles.sae.org/12585.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Defense
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