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NASA and Partners Demonstrate Unmanned Aircraft Technologies

NASA has signed contracts with three industry partners to demonstrate progress in the use and eventual certification of systems critical to the safe operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS).

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Defense
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Friendly Electromagnetic Pulse Improves Survival for Electronics

An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) emitted by a nuclear weapon exploded high above the United States could disable the electronic circuits of many devices vital to military defense and modern living. These could include complicated weapon systems as well as phones, laptops, credit cards and car computers. Also in trouble might be home appliances, gas station pumps and bank accounts.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Electronic Components, Electronics, Energy, Test & Measurement
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Guard Members to See Expanded Use of Robots

The use of robots continues to grow within the National Guard and Guard members are likely to soon see additional robots with expanded capabilities. Robots are currently used for a number of mission sets including engineering, explosive ordnance disposal, reconnaissance and detection of chemical and biological agents. Future robots will expand on the capabilities of the current Talon series of robots, as well as take on additional, more generalized functions within a unit, said Bryan McVeigh, the project manager in the Force Projection section for the U.S. Army's Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Robotics
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Teams Test Technologies in DARPA Subterranean Challenge

In early April, nine qualified teams will attempt to remotely navigate the dark and dirty corridors of Edgar Experimental Mine in Idaho Springs, Colorado, in preparation for the Circuits Stage of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Subterranean (SubT) Challenge. The SubT Integration Exercise, known as STIX, offers teams an opportunity to try out their technologies, including robotics, sensors and communications solutions, in a representative environment. The locations for the Circuits Stage events have not been announced.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Robotics
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New Coating Repels Ice from Any Surface

Researchers used a new theory in physics called stress localization to create a durable silicone polymer coating capable of repelling ice from any surface. The new material uses elastic energy localization where ice meets the material, triggering cracks at the interface that slough off the ice.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Coating/Surface Modification, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials
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New Products: February 2019 Aerospace & Defense Technology

Defense-Grade FPGAs

Xilinx, Inc. (San Jose, CA) announced availability of its Defense-grade XQ UltraScale+ portfolio of products, providing the benefits of its UltraScale+ architecture plus extended temperature and ruggedized packages to address the needs of the aerospace and defense industry. The new products encompass the XQ Zynq® UltraScale+ MPSoCs and RFSoCs, as well as XQ Ultra-Scale+ Kintex® and Virtex ® FPGAs.

Posted in: Products, Data Acquisition, Computers, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Industrial Controls & Automation, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Composites, Materials, Joining & Assembly, Machinery, Mechanical Components, Automation, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Software, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement
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Ruggedizing Commercial-Grade Computers into MIL-Hardened Systems

As performance capabilities for embedded computing products expand, the requirements for commercial-grade and MIL ruggedized systems blur into similar specifications. There are increasing demands to take feature-rich, successful industrial/commercial enclosure systems into MIL or other harsh environment applications. Similarly, engineers are designing up-front computing platforms that they can expand into harsher environments.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Computers, RF & Microwave Electronics
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An Introduction to PCM Heat Sinks

With the exception of thermal storage heat sinks, the term heat sink is a misnomer. Standard heat sinks for electronics cooling are actually heat exchangers, taking the heat from the electronics, and transferring it to a fluid, either air or coolant. Phase Change Material (PCM) heat sinks are the only heat sinks that actually act as a (temporary) sink for heat. They are emerging in the thermal management realm to solve thermal problems in systems where active solutions cannot be used. When there is no place to dissipate the heat generated by electric components, a PCM heat sink is capable of absorbing the generated waste heat [1] .

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Thermal Management, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials
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Eye Tracking Technology

Much debate surrounds the skills shortage burdening the manufacturing sector of aerospace and defense (A&D). Industry 4.0, the Baby Boomer retirement wave, and a lack of properly trained workers underpins this issue, and while it's widely acknowledged, there's no clearly defined way to address it.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Augmented/Virtual Reality, Cameras, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, MEMs, Detectors, Sensors
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Streamlining EMC Solutions for Avionics Interfaces

Lightning strikes to jet airliners are common - about once every 1000 flight hours. The DO-160G standard, Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment, is a standard for the environmental testing of avionics hardware. Many airplane manufacturers specify DO-160G Section 22, lightning induced transient susceptibility, as a requirement for critical systems like guidance, radars, communications, engine control, and heat and air controls. Aircraft fuselage, wing and tail flight controls, wing tips, fin tips, engine nacelles, and landing gear are the areas most likely to be hit by lightning strikes.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Communications, Electronic Components, Semiconductors & ICs, Test & Measurement
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