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Motion-SPM Devices in SMD Packaging Optimize Board Space

Fairchild Semiconductor (South Portland, ME) has introduced the FSB50325S (250V), the FSB50250S (500V), and the FSB50450S (500V) Motion-SPM™ devices available in 29 × 12-mm surface-mount-device (SMD) packages. The Motion-SPM in SMD enables designers to achieve energy efficiency, compactness, and low electromagnetic interference (EMI) required by small inverter motor drive applications such as water pumps and fan motors.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Telecom Adapter for Intra-Chassis Communication

Performance Technologies (Rochester, NY) has expanded its family of communication platforms with the PCE385, a quad T1/E1/J1 PCI Express telecom adapter. The device is enabled with NexusWare Core®, the company’s Linux-based software, and includes an onboard MPC8280 PowerQUICC II™ RISC communications processor. It offers various signaling and communications protocols including SIP, SS7 MTP-2, and ISDN and WAN connectivity with Frame Relay, HDLC, LAPD, and X.25.

Posted in: Products, Products, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Card Provides PCI-Based Multi-Axis Motion Control

Performance Motion Devices (Lincoln, MA) offers the Prodigy™-PCI motion card for multi-axis motion control. Available in 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-axis versions, the card provides trajectory generation, performance trace, on-the-fly changes, and commutation. Motor type can be software- selected on a per-axis basis, and includes DC brush, brushless DC, step, and microstepping. The card communicates via a PCI bus, CANbus, or serial port. Card features include S-curve, trapezoidal, velocity contouring, electronic gearing, and user-generated profile modes. The card accepts input parameters such as position, velocity, acceleration, and jerk from the host, and generates a corresponding trajectory.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Data Fusion for Space Situational Awareness

Satellites greatly enhance US defense operations; however, these key assets are vulnerable to perils such as space weather and acts of aggression. Unfortunately, it is difficult to determine the cause of anomalies from the ground. What may first appear as a routine system glitch may, in fact, be something much more serious. Providing the ability to detect—and in some cases, predict—events via multiple data sources can be critical to mission success and the safeguarding of space assets. Threat analysts must be able both to distinguish external, man-made threats, natural threats, and environmental conditions from internal, satellite bus anomalies in real time and to subsequently perform mitigating actions.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Technology
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Near-Precision Soft Landing Resupply Dispenser

AFRL munitions experts teamed with engineers from Systima Technologies, Inc., under a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to develop a Covert Resupply (COVRES) dispenser. The team based its design on an existing Wind- Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD™). The COVRES system, which will enable air delivery of critically needed supplies to troops who are under fire or otherwise isolated, uses the novel employment concept illustrated in Figure 1. As shown, the event sequence begins with (A) high-altitude release, and progresses as follows: (B) a WCMD tail unit provides nearprecision inertial guidance, (C) a drogue chute deploys 25 seconds prior to ground impact, (D) the drogue chute deploys the main parachute, (E) a crushable nose minimizes landing shock, and (F) quickrelease clamps enable easy access to the cargo.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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Blended Wing Body Aircraft

Scientists from Boeing Phantom Works, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and AFRL are testing a new aircraft with the potential to realize up to 30% better fuel efficiency because of its unique "flying-wing" shape. The prototype blended wing body, or BWB, aircraft is a modified, triangular-shaped aircraft configuration with 20 control surfaces along its trailing edge. Researchers believe the BWB configuration will produce better fuel efficiency because a greater portion of the aircraft is involved in producing lift. The additional lift stems from the replacement of the conventional tube-shaped aircraft fuselage with the more aerodynamically efficient wing centerbody.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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Improved Accuracy of Computational Fluid Dynamics Calculations

Understanding how air flows over the surfaces of an air vehicle can help AFRL designers maximize the vehicle's performance and minimize its cost. AFRL scientists recently developed a tool that improves the accuracy of airflow simulations that result from computational fluid dynamics (CFD) calculations. As part of a Small Business Innovation Research effort, AFRL collaborated with Combustion Research and Flow Technology (CRAFT), Inc., to develop the tool for use with unstructured CFD programs. The new tool uses the solver's initial solution to determine where grid points should be added or removed within the CFD mesh, a process which then improves the solver's solution in a second—and any subsequent—iteration. This enhanced accuracy improves AFRL's ability to support the warfighter with lower-cost, higher-value designs.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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Remote-Controlled Aerial Vehicle for Application of Pesticides

AFRL demonstrated its Remotely Controlled Aerial Vehicle for Application of Pesticides (RCAVAP) at the Force Protection Equipment Demonstration (FPED) conducted at Quantico Marine Corps Base, Virginia. During times of war, disease has historically caused more deaths than bullets, far outnumbering any other cause. Consider, for example, the Mexican-American war. Over 1,000 soldiers were killed in action, 529 died of wounds sustained on the battlefield, 362 suffered accidental death, and 11,155 perished from disease— mostly yellow fever, a viral illness transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. During World War II, malaria ravaged the troops. Spread by the female anopheline mosquito, the disease affected thousands of American soldiers. More recently, a single 2-week period in Baqubah, Iraq, saw 250 cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis, a disfiguring parasitic disease spread by the female sandfly.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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AFRL Proves Feasibility of Plasma Actuators

AFRL is laying the groundwork for the development of revolutionary hypersonic aerospace vehicles (see Figure 1). Accordingly, AFRL engineers are examining the feasibility of replacing an air vehicle's traditional, mechanically or electrically actuated flight control surfaces (e.g., wing flaps) with plasma actuators that require no moving parts and are therefore potentially less expensive and more reliable. As part of the laboratory's Boundary Layers and Hypersonics program, the engineers conducted a wind tunnel test to evaluate the feasibility of using plasma actuators for airframe flight control.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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Composites Design and Structural Analysis Tool

AFRL researchers developed a unique design and structural analysis tool for composite materials, and they subsequently transitioned their product to manufacturers of helicopters and other rotorcraft. The new tool, the B-Spline Analysis Method (BSAM), makes it quicker and less expensive to characterize and predict the behavior of flaws or damage in the structures used to build these aircraft. AFRL developed the technology in coordination with the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) and the United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) and then transitioned it to Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials
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