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Robot Stereo Vision Kit

Polaris Sensor Technologies (Huntsville, AL) has developed a stereo vision upgrade kit for the TALON IV robot, the basis of which is a flat-panel Polariz3D 3D display integrated into the TALON operator control unit. The upgrade package is made up of three pieces: replacement display, two replacement cameras, and a TALON software upgrade for control of the stereo cameras. The display is a field-upgradeable replacement of the display in the OCU. Stereo vision de-multiplexing is built into the display electronics. The kit includes support for 3D on Mast and Gripper camera positions.

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Infrared Imaging Engine

Sofradir EC (Fairfield, NJ) offers a line of infrared imaging engines based on cryogenically cooled MCT detectors. The engines can be integrated into a wide range of electro-optical systems. A variety of models is available with shortwave (SW), midwave (MW) or longwave (LW) spectral options, as well as mid- and large-array formats.

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Microcomponent Manufacturing

RepExact LLC (Gastonia, NC) offers specialty precision and microcomponents, including sensor housings manufactured by Tectri SA. The stainless steel components have a barrel drilled to a wall thickness at the end of 0.0004".

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Motion System

Newport Corp. (Irvine, CA) offers the HXP100 Hexapod 6 DOF, a parallel kinematic motion system that utilizes field-proven actuators. The coordinate system allows flexibility in programming complex motions. It is used for military/defense applications such as optical alignment and inspection.

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Laser

RPMC (O’Fallon,MO) has introduced the Tactical Illuminator Designator (TID) laser. The initial configuration is a 50-mJ, 1064-nm/20-mJ, 1.57-um laser with ~3 ns pulses at up to 100 Hz. A higher energy 150 mJ version with longer pulses for designation will be available. The laser is 7.3 × 7.3 × 4" and includes all electronics.The laser head is approximately 30 cubic inches of this volume, with the remainder being electronics. Waste heat is conducted to the base. The user maintains the temperature of the interface within a wide temperature zone.

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Motorized UAV Lens Assembly

StingRay Optics (Keene, NH) has introduced the PN SR0794-A01O 40/100 mm long-wave infrared (LWIR) DFOV lens assembly for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). When paired with a640 × 480, 25-micron un-cooled LWIR detector, the F/1.6 lens offers a wide field of view of ~28° circular when in the 40-mm focal length position, and zooms to a narrow field of view of just over 11° circular in the 100-mm focal length position while offering near diffraction limited performance.The lens is designed for gimbal-based sensor platforms with a compact size and light weight.

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SWIR Video Camera

Sensors Unlimited – Goodrich ISR Systems (Princeton, NJ),offers the SU320HX mil-hardened, uncooled, indium galliumarsenide (InGaAs), shortwave infrared (SWIR) camera that is compact, lightweight, and low power, making it suitable for use in military imaging systems that are deployed and operating in harsh environments under extreme conditions. The camera can image through fog, haze, smoke, or dust conditions during daytime or nighttime. The camera can be used for manned or unmanned ground and air systems, in both surveillance and maritime intelligence applications. With room-temperature operation, the camera consumes less power than cooled mid- or long-wave infrared imagers and shortwave germanium-based cameras.

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Solid-State Drive

Solid-State Drive White Electronic Designs Corp. (Phoenix, AZ) has introduced a Single Level Cell (SLC) NAND solid-state drive (SSD) that provides secure data storage for embedded military applications in rugged and extended-temperature environments. The drive is available as a 4-GByte, 22 × 27 mm plastic ball grid array (PBGA) package and supports various PATA interface protocols. A hardware- and software triggered security erase feature provides enhanced security. After the data purge command is initiated, all data is eliminated in less than 10 seconds, and options are available that also perform sanitization protocols designed to be compliant to the various government agency specifications.

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Submersible Transducers

Stellar Technology (Amherst, NY) offers the Series LWU submersible LVDT displacement transducers available in either DC or AC versions. The units are designed for use in sea water and other submersible environments, including many corrosive liquids. The LWU Series features unguided armatures with stroke lengths from 0.5" to 4" and linearity of ±1%. Operating temperature is from -40 to 140 °F.

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Imaging Sensor

Headwall Photonics (Fitchburg, MA) has announced the High Efficiency Hyperspec imaging sensor for airborne spectral sensing missions that require high levels of imaging performance. The hyperspectral sensors are used in the SWIR, NIR, and Extended VNIR spectral regions. It can be utilized for program deployment in volume on UAVs, piloted aircraft, and satellites. The sensor features optical throughput, spectral, and spatial resolution; flight path efficiency; and athermalized design. The Hyperspec platform is based on a patented, aberration-corrected, concentric sensor design. Available spectral ranges for the sensor are Near Infrared (NIR) 900-1700 nm, Shortwave Infrared (SWIR) 900-2500 nm, and Extended VNIR (E-VNIR) 550-1700 nm.

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Digital Signal Processing Engine

Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing (Leesburg, VA) offers the CHAMP-AV5 VME64x DSP (Digital Signal Processing) engine utilizing the dual-core Intel® Core™ i7-610E processor. The multi-processing board delivers performance rated up to 81 GFLOPs. With a 17-GB/s (peak) DDR3 memory subsystem connected directly to the processor, the Core i7 is able to maximize the throughput of its SSE 4.2 vector processing units. With 4 MBytes of cache and two hardware threads per core, the Core i7 processor can process larger vectors at peak rates.

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Gas Detection System

RAE Systems (San Jose, CA) offers the MeshGuard intelligent, connected gas detection system for hazardous gas detection in stationary applications. The MeshGuard family of wireless toxic and flammable gas sensors and monitoring systems is designed for harsh and potentially hazardous locations. MeshGuard wireless systems are available as either system components for custom applications or as a pre-configured Rapid Deployment Kit (RDK) that includes everything required to set up the system and be operational.

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Multiplexer Modules

Aeroflex (Plainview, NY) offers HiRel Analog Multiplexer Mod ules for sending multiple signals to subsystems for monitoring. The Mini MUX8520/21/22/23 are rated for 300 krads with LET of 120 MeV/cm2/mg. The new units offer 16-32 channels and feature built-in decoupling caps, current-limiting resistors, and built-in electronic discharge (ESD) protection, with Kelvin measurement option for remote resistive sensors.

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Considering Software Protection for Embedded Systems

Given the current trend of reprogrammable embedded devices within the Department of Defense and industry, attention needs to be refocused on the benefits or measurability of software protection applied to this domain. Modern reconfigurable embedded systems consider circuits as software and the tamper methods applicable to physical circuits as new threats to a broadened definition of software.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Technology, Cryptography, Cyber security, Embedded software, Integrated circuits, Risk assessments
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Field-Programmable Gate Array-Based Software-Defined Radio

There are existing wideband communications systems that were built using field-programmable gate array (FPGA)-based software-defined radio (SDR) designs. Despite the inherent advantages of these systems, some are functionally restricted by limited output bandwidth.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Integrated circuits, Radio equipment, Wireless communication systems
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FPGA-Based System for Tracking Digital Information Transmitted Via Peer-to-Peer Protocols

Peer-to-peer (P2P) networking has changed the way users search for, send, and receive digital information over the Internet. Instead of relying on interactions with centralized servers to upload and download digital content, users now share content directly with other users. While peer-to-peer networking provides new and powerful applications for the legitimate distribution of digital information, it is also being used for many illicit purposes as well.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Technology, Cloud computing, Cyber security, Integrated circuits, Data management
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Simulation Concept Exploits Tools for Computing Hybrids

The Simulation Concept – How to Exploit Tools for Computing Hybrids (SCHETCH) project is exploring the design modeling and simulation (M&S) process for developing advanced computing technology for future intelligent systems. The goal is to integrate new alternative computing concepts with existing silicon-based computing technology in hybrid computing architectures. A main premise behind this project is that, for an alternative-computing concept to move from the laboratory to a technology ready for the field, the proper M&S process must be in place. Adaptation and integration of commercially available software provides an opportunity to take advantage of existing functionality without investing time into developing new tools for new concepts. It was decided to focus on hardware concepts rather than software implementations, initially looking at three concepts: nanomechanical quantum computing, membrane computing, and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) computing.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Computer simulation, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Product development
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Asymmetric Core Computing for High-Performance Applications

High-performance computing (HPC) users have traditionally relied upon two things to supply them with processing power: speed of the central processing units (CPUs) and the scalability of the system. There are problems with this approach. Physical limitations are curtailing clock speed increases in general-purpose CPUs, the von Neumann load-execute-store approach does not map well to every computational problem, and systems of thousands of processors might be very inefficient, depending upon processor interconnection limitations.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Integrated circuits
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Novel Wavelength Standards in the Near Infrared

The goal of this work was to develop a new class of portable optical frequency references based on sub-Doppler spectroscopy inside gas-filled, hollow-core photonic bandgap (PBG) optical fiber. The change in line width with core size, and narrower transitions inside a new “kagome” structured optical fiber, were demonstrated. A simplified and more compact method for observing saturated absorption spectroscopy in half-sealed photonic bandgap fibers, called the “reflected pump technique,” was realized. Two systems, each consisting of a narrow-line fiber laser locked to the P(13) transition in acetylene, were constructed. By comparing those two systems, it was possible to obtain stability data on the fiber-filled references.

A mode-locked Cr:forsterite laser was developed and stabilized to a GPS-disciplined Rb clock with which to characterize the gas-filled, hollow-fiber optical frequency references. It was found that these lasers offer noisier “f0” beats than Ti:sapphire lasers, but a method was found to dramatically reduce the f0 beat width. A study was initiated into the source of the noise and the exact explanation for the narrowing. In the meantime, absolute frequency measurements of the fiber laser locked to the hollow fiber references are in progress.

A generally useful technique was developed for splicing the photonic bandgap fibers to solid-core fibers using an arc fusion splicer, which makes PBG fibers easier to use in the laboratory. Toward making a completely sealed photonic bandgap fiber cell, PBG was spliced to solid-core fibers inside a vacuum system using a CO2 laser. Efforts to reproduce this in an acetylene vapor proved unsuccessful, most likely due to the thermal properties of acetylene.

This work was done by Kristan L. Corwin of Kansas State University for the Air Force Research Laboratory. For more information, download the Technical Support Package (free white paper) at www.defensetechbriefs.com/tsp under the Photonics category. AFRL-0132

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics, Fiber optics, Lasers, Spectroscopy
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Power Enhancement of a Rubidium Vapor Laser with a Master Oscillator Power Amplifier

The concept of alkali lasers was first suggested by Schalow and Townes in the late 1950s. In the 1970s, photo-dissociation of several of the alkali salts produced lasers with wavelengths ranging from the visible to the far infrared. Thirty years later, diode-pumped alkali lasers (DPAL) started rapidly gaining attention as highly efficient lasers as well as brightness converters. These systems partly owe their high efficiencies to the very small energy differences between the pump and lasing levels. Due to recent technological advances in the field of solid-state lasers, direct-diode pumping has provided the efficient, yet compact method for excitation.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics, Amplifiers, Lasers, Thermal management
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Real-Time Intelligent Chemical and Biological Nanosensors on a Flexible Platform

The objectives of this research are to examine the feasibility of real-time sensing of chemical and biological species by using the unique materials and electronic properties of carbon nanotubes, and to demonstrate the multi-agent sensing and information processing capabilities of such devices.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Sensors and actuators, Biomaterials, Chemicals, Nanotechnology
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Templated Synthesis of Aluminum Nanoparticles for Stable Energetic Materials

Reactive nanoparticles as energetic materials have received much recent attention for a variety of existing and/or potential applications. Among more extensively investigated are nanosized (sub-100-nm) aluminum (Al) particles. Their large specific surface area and energy density, when coupled or mixed with oxidative species, make them unique combustible additives in propellant formulations. Nanoscale Al particles are also studied as high-capacity hydrogen storage materials. Therefore, significant effort has been made in the development of synthetic methodologies for Al nanoparticles of desired properties.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Hydrogen storage, Propellants, Fabrication, Aluminum, Nanomaterials
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Performance and Operability of a Dual-Cavity Flame Holder in a Supersonic Combustor

Supersonic combustion has been of interest for many years in order to support future Air Force hypersonic missions. The current generation of hydrocarbon-fueled scramjet combustors typically requires a flame-holding device to facilitate flame ignition and stable combustion. The amount of time available for fuel injection, fuel-air mixing, and combustion is very short — on the order of 1 millisecond. This short dwell time, along with the relatively long ignition delay times of hydrocarbon fuels, makes the flow path and flame holder design extremely important. This study investigates the perormance and operability of using a symmetric dual-cavity flame holder flow path to stabilize and enhance supersonic combustion.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Hydrocarbons, Scramjet engines, Performance tests, Hypersonic and supersonic aircraft, Military aircraft
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Gesture-Directed Sensor-Information Fusion Gloves

Current chemical-protection gear for warfighters on the ground inhibits electronic communication via keyboards, cell phones, and remote-control devices. To improve communications capabilities for the warfighter wearing protective gear in hazardous environments, a series of eGloves has been developed with a view toward freeing the warfighter of the need to type on a keyboard while wearing a Mission-Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) suit. The eGloves can help the warfighter transmit gestures with the hands and fingers from within the protective gear, or they can be used to transmit encoded ASCII characters.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Communication protocols, Human machine interface (HMI), Product development, Protective clothing, Military vehicles and equipment
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GigE Advanced Imaging Sensor

The Wide-Field Dynamic Range (WFDR) camera is a high-sensitivity, wide-field-of-regard sensor of importance to future military surveillance and survivability systems. It is intended to be used in harsh, noisy military platforms with multiple camera streams simultaneously gathered. By developing a Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) video transport solution for multiple cameras with low latency and high data reliability, a flexible processing architecture will be developed that allows optimization of processor throughput for real-time imaging in defense applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Architecture, Optics, Sensors and actuators, Surveillance, Military vehicles and equipment
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Liquid-Crystal-Based Optical Phased Array for Steering Lasers

A paper describes the basic design and concepts of tunable liquid-crystal polarization gratings with a nematic liquid crystal (LC) optical phase plate, with a large, continuous in- plane gradient that is variable, and its application to a beam steering device with high efficiency.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Calibration, Lasers, Waveguides
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Channel Modeling for a Wireless Transmission System

A wireless transmission system provides high-quality video transmission over severely impaired wireless links between nodes that are connected within airborne networks. The target bit rate for the proposed video communication can be in the range between 24 Kbps and 384 Kbps with relatively high visual quality. However, the system may operate at extreme low bit rates down to 10 Kbps and at high bit rates up to 1.5 Mbps. To accommodate the large range of the data rate for heterogeneous wireless links and devices, the H.264 SVC standard for video coding and decoding was adopted.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Technology, Mathematical models, Cryptography, Imaging, Wireless communication systems
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Clock Oscillator

Crystek Crystals (Fort Myers, FL) has released the CCSO- 014-1090, a 1.090-GHz surface acoustic wave (SAW) clock oscillator that produces low-noise, low-jitter performance with true SineWave output, and -138 dBc/Hz phase noise at 10 kHz offset. It comes in a 14 PIN DIP hermetically sealed package, features a 12V input voltage, and generates a true sinewave with +12 dBm minimum output power. It has no sub-harmonic, and the second harmonic is -40 dBc max. Operating temperature is -55 °C to 105 °C.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Gain Horn Antennas

The 600 Series standard gain horn antennas from Narda, an L-3 Communications company (Hauppauge, NY), are suitable for EMI and EMC testing applications covering waveguide bands from 2.6 to 40 GHz. Seven models cover 2.6 to 3.95 GHz, 3.95 to 5.86 GHz, 5.4 to 8.2 GHz, 8.2 to 12.4 GHz, 14 to 18 GHz, 18 to 26.5 GHz, and 26.5 to 40 GHz. Directivity patterns for all models include a beamwidth in the E and H planes from 23° at 40 GHz to 34° at 2.6 GHz. Weight ranges from 6 pounds for the 2.6 to 3.95 GHz model to 4.5 grams for the 18 to 40 GHz model. They are supported by waveguide-to-coax adapters from either Type-N female or SMA/3.5/2.9-mm female connectors.

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Microwave Power Sensors

Anritsu (Morgan Hill, CA) offers MA24108A/ MA24118A microwave USB power sensors that provide average power measurements from 10 MHz to 18 GHz over 60 dB of dynamic range. Employing a dual-path architecture, they can measure CW, multi-tone, and digitally modulated signals used in aero space/defense systems. They have built-in external trigger circuitry and an MCX connector interface to receive triggers from external stimuli. They also include a microcontroller, signal conditioning circuitry, ADC, and power supply.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RF & Microwave Electronics
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