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Army Awards Combat Laser Weapon System Contract

The U.S. Army issued a contract award to accelerate the rapid prototyping and fielding of its first combat-capable laser weapon system. This prototype will deliver 50 kilowatt-class lasers on a platoon of four Stryker vehicles in Fiscal Year 2022, supporting the Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) mission. The directed energy M-SHORAD capability is intended to protect maneuvering Brigade Combat Teams from unmanned aerial systems (UAS), rotary-wing aircraft, and rockets, artillery and mortar (RAM).

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Lasers & Laser Systems
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Air Force Scientists Study Artificial Silk for Body Armor, Parachutes

Who doesn’t like to feel warm in the winter and cool in the summer?

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Materials, Wearables
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FAA Adopts NASA’s Distress Beacon Recommendations

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has adopted NASA’s Search and Rescue (SAR) office’s recommendations regarding the installation and maintenance of Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs), the NASA-designed, satellite-aided search and rescue beacons installed in planes.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense
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Air Force Refines 3D Printing of Composite Inks

In January 2016, researchers from AFRL started focusing on the ability to 3D-print parts for the Air Force – specifically, polymer architectures that can replace heavier and complex metal parts currently used in low-cost aircraft or on jet engines.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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New Products: August 2019 Aerospace & Defense Technology

Temperature Elements for Flight-Critical Equipment

FCI Aerospace’s (San Marcos, CA) AS-TE Temperature Element Series sensors utilize precision resistance temperature detectors (RTDs) to provide superior accuracy, repeatability and long-life. The AS-TE sensors are typically designed with Platinum RTD or MIL-T-7990 Nickel RTD sensors. The Platinum RTDs are available in several Ro (ice point resistance) values and in either two-, three- or four-wire configurations to ensure optimal performance and system compatibility.

Posted in: Products, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Communications, Defense, Board-Level Electronics, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Fastening, Joining & Assembly, Machinery, Mechanical Components, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Positioning Equipment, Fiber Optics, Optical Components, Optics, RF & Microwave Electronics, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Inspection Equipment, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Metrology, Monitoring, Test & Measurement, Testing Procedures
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How Miniaturized Distributed Modular Architecture Advances Avionics Design

Most of today’s collision-avoidance, in-flight-entertainment (IFE), air-to-ground-communications, and other avionics systems employ electronics packaging based on the Aeronautics Radio INC (ARINC) 600 standard. Compared to the older ARINC 404 standard dating from the 1970s that defined “black box” enclosures and racks within aircraft, ARINC 600 specified a Modular Concept Unit (MCU) – the basic building block module for avionics. An ARINC 600 metal enclosure can hold up to 12 MCUs, allowing a lot of computing power to be placed in a centralized “box.” By making it possible to run numerous applications over a real-time network, ARINC 600 enabled “next generation” integrated modular avionics (IMA).

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Communications, Wireless, Data Acquisition, Defense, Internet of Things, Fastening, Joining & Assembly, Fiber Optics, Optics, Data Acquisition, Sensors
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Peridynamic Modeling: An Alternative Approach to Analyzing Material Failure

A critical technology challenge for structural material applications in the aerospace and defense industries is to have a means for the reliable analysis of material damage and failure. Experimental structural assessments are typically expensive and often do not provide full information about coupled, multiscale damage processes. Computer-aided analysis has established itself as a useful tool for complementing experimental structural assessments. A comparative summary of current computer-aided approaches is presented in the accompanying table.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Materials, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Software, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement
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Microturbine Propulsion for UAVs

Seventy years ago, military aviation moved from reciprocating engines to vastly more reliable turbo jets and turboprops. Shortly after, the commercial air transport industry followed suit, enabling modern air transport. Today, virtually all large aircraft rely on turbine propulsion, yet small aircraft, both manned and unmanned, have not exploited the advantages of turbines for propulsion.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Power Supplies, Mechanical Components, Power, Power Transmission, Propulsion
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Preventing Ice Buildup on Electric Aircraft

Fuel economy is one of the biggest challenges facing the aviation industry. To overcome these challenges, researchers are working on next generation aviation systems.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Power Management, Thermal Management, Cameras, Imaging, Composites, Materials, Fluid Handling, Mechanical Components, MEMs, Power, Power Transmission
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Critical Communications Break Out of the Analog Mold

Once firmly rooted in its analog origins, critical communications is now steadily evolving to provide enhanced situational awareness. The latest public safety and military communications (MilCom) radios are more versatile and reliable, supporting ad-hoc networks to improve or enable connectivity. With higher-data-rate capabilities, critical communications solutions can send and receive high-resolution images, videos, and other types of data-intensive content. At the same time, they provide higher-quality voice communications while maintaining security. To ensure communications and interoperability, they still can support analog communications as a failsafe. These myriad capabilities are possible through the ongoing adoption of new technologies, ranging from digital public safety standards and modulation formats, to technologies like wireless local area networking (WLAN) and Long Term Evolution (LTE).

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Wireless, Data Acquisition, Defense, Imaging, Video, Manufacturing & Prototyping, RF & Microwave Electronics
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