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Wind Tunnel, Lasers Provide Hypersonic Proving Ground

It’s about speed, and Sandia National Laboratories, with a hypersonic wind tunnel and advanced laser diagnostic technology, is in a position to help U.S. defense agencies understand the physics associated with aircraft flying five times the speed of sound. With potential adversaries reporting successes in their own programs to develop aircraft that can be flown at Mach 5 or greater speeds, U.S. development of autonomous hypersonic systems is a top defense priority. That has made aerospace engineer Steven Beresh of Sandia’s aerosciences department and his colleagues at the hypersonic wind tunnel popular lately.

Posted in: INSIDER, Data Acquisition, Defense, Propulsion, Test & Measurement
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Self-Generated Power Will Reduce Soldier Load

The bionic power knee harvester, also known as the PowerWalk, is an energy-harvesting device that is attached to both the upper and lower areas of both legs and generates power from movement. The device extracts the energy when the knee is flexed and negative work is being performed. The system adjusts to a person’s gait, so soldiers don’t feel like they are wearing a device and can even forget that they have it on.

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense, Power, Robotics
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Smart Skin Simplifies Spotting Strain in Aircraft

Thanks to one peculiar characteristic of carbon nanotubes, engineers will be able to measure the accumulated strain in an airplane over the entire surface or down to microscopic levels. They’ll do so by shining a light onto structures coated with a two-layer nanotube film and protective polymer.

Posted in: INSIDER, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense
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New Products: December 2018 Aerospace & Defense Technology

Round TFT LCD Displays

Data Image (Winter Park, FL) has announced new round TFT LCD color displays in two sizes: 3" and 4.2" in diameter. They can be used as digital avionics, power meters, speedometers, rpm gauges, temperature indicators, strain gauges, volt/current meters or a simple clock. The display can show a single gauge or display multiple parameters. The formats for the displays are 432 × 432 for the 3" and 720 × 720 for the 4.2". Both have a brightness of 1000 nits typical and wide viewing angles thanks to the IPS glass technology used on both versions. Both have wide temperature rating. They are available with or without capacitive touch panels for user interface.

Posted in: Products, Aerospace, Communications, Wireless, Defense, Board-Level Electronics, Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Power Supplies, Displays/Monitors/HMIs, Fastening, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Positioning Equipment, Lasers & Laser Systems, Photonics, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Simulation Software, Software, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement
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Metal Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (AM) – the process of building up solid layers of material to form a finished solid part — is an emerging and exciting technical discipline. Also referred to as “3D printing,” many misconceptions exist about the capabilities and promises of the technology.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Materials, Metals, Plastics, Machinery, Mechanical Components
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Cognitive Radio: The New Architecture of Space Communications

NASA spacecraft typically rely on human-controlled radio systems to communicate with Earth. As collection of space data increases, NASA looks to alternative radio technologies to meet demand and increase efficiency.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Aviation, Communications, Defense, Solar Power, Antennas, Avionics, RF & Microwave Electronics, Satellite/Spacecraft Communications, Software, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement
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Single Event Effects in High Altitude Aerospace Sensor Applications

There are many advantages to utilizing active electronics versus the passive systems often used in aircraft applications, such as pressure, temperature, and flow sensors. Some of these advantages are increased accuracy, reduced noise, transmission over longer signal paths, and the addition of signal conditioning. With these benefits comes the consideration that high altitude operation will expose the electronics to high-energy neutron solar particle radiation. Without proper design and component selection, this radiation may affect the reliability of measurements from aircraft sensors.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace
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Testing Military Vehicle Steering Systems

Military vehicles play a vital role in protecting our society — and inevitably encounter many extreme conditions across their lifespan. From the varying weight, to the rough terrain, there is a lot that can go wrong. Military steering systems must therefore be engineered to take on such extremes. This begins at the design stage and ends with analysis through testing. It's here the parts are tested to their limits and validated against the original specification and real-life requirements.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Automation, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement, Transportation
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Fiber-Reinforced Thermoplastic Composites

Reinforcing polymers with strong/stiff fibers is nothing new. Such materials have been used pretty much since aircraft were first created. In those pioneering days, wings were reinforced with woven cotton, or silk fabric skins, impregnated with nitrocellulose ‘dope’ to seal against the wind, and laminated wood was reinforced with fabric bonded with adhesive. Although there have been a myriad of developments along the way from those early days to where we are now in the 21st century, the principles of reinforcement are much the same.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Thermal Management, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Composites, Materials, Metals, Plastics
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Applying Augmented Reality Technology to Aerospace Manufacturing

New and powerful projection based augmented reality (AR) technology is transforming the way products — ranging from turbine engines to pacemakers — are made, while dramatically streamlining and error-proofing the manufacturing and assembly process.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace Manufacturing and Machining, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Displays/Monitors/HMIs, Imaging, Visualization Software, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement
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Lightweighting Parts Using 3D Metal Printing

Metal additive manufacturing (3D printing), also known as Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) or Powder Bed Fusion (PBF), is changing the way metal parts are designed and produced. New software, processes and materials are redefining manufacturing value equations for specific types of parts, which can lead to improvements on existing products, new business models and new markets.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace Manufacturing and Machining, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials, Metals, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Simulation Software, Software
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Does Your Coating System Require Climate Control? What to Look For and What to Expect

There is one aspect of the paint and coatings finishing business virtually guaranteed to give the budget director heart failure: climate control. There's no way around it – climate control systems are expensive.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace Manufacturing and Machining, Aerospace, Automotive, Defense, Thermal Management, Coatings & Adhesives, Machinery, Mechanical Components, Automotive
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Optimizing Plasma Treatments to RESOLVE Challenging Adhesion Issues

The process of determining the ideal plasma treatment that will resolve a challenging bonding or adhesion issue is an exact science, often the domain of chemists and physicists.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace Manufacturing and Machining, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Composites, Materials, Plastics, Fastening, Joining & Assembly, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement
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Missile Defense Battle Manager

Northrop Grumman Corporation
Falls Church, VA
703-280-2900
www.northropgrumman.com

The Northrop Grumman Corporation-developed Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS) successfully demonstrated its ability to scale up and network across long distances during a recent U.S. Army-led test. The evaluation was conducted by U.S. Army soldiers over a five-week period with air and missile defense assets located at sites in New Mexico, Texas and Alabama.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Communications, Defense, RF & Microwave Electronics, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Test & Measurement
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Custom Flexible Shafts

S.S. White Technologies
St. Petersburg, FL
727-626-2800
www.sswhite.net

S.S. White Technologies, a company that specializes in the design and manufacture of flexible shafts and related assemblies, is currently offering bespoke flexible shaft solutions for aerospace applications.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components, MEMs, Medical, Motion Control, Positioning Equipment
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Compression Molding Press

Beckwood Press Company
Fenton, MO
636-343-4100
www.beckwood.com

Beckwood Press Company, a company that specializes in the design and manufacturing of custom hydraulic presses, automation systems, and the Triform line of precision forming equipment, was recently awarded a contract by the United States Army—Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Center (NSRDEC) to produce a custom 1,000-ton hydraulic press that will be used to consolidate ballistic composites in a compression molding application.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense, Thermal Management, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Machinery, Mechanical Components, MEMs, Motion Control, Automation, Sensors, Software
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Biological Threat Detectors

FLIR Systems, Inc.
Wilsonville, OR
1-800-254-0630
www.flir.com/IBAC2

FLIR Systems, Inc. announced recently that it has received a delivery order for FLIR IBAC™ 2 biological agent detector systems to support the United States (U.S.) Forces Korea (USFK). The delivery order is under a 10-year indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract in support of the Joint United States Forces Korea Portal and Integrated Threat Recognition (JUPITR) program led by the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD). The order is valued at $4 million with deliveries beginning in July 2018.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Data Acquisition, Defense, Lasers & Laser Systems, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement
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Laser Guided Rocket System

Arnold Defense
St. Louis, MO
636-575-9190
www.arnolddefense.com

Arnold Defense, the St Louis based international manufacturer and supplier of 2.75-inch rocket launchers, recently announced the commencement of initial low-rate production of their “FLETCHER” land-based, 2.75-inch/70 mm weapon system. The FLETCHER system can just as easily be mounted on military vehicles as well as base defense platforms.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Lasers & Laser Systems, Propulsion, Instrumentation, Test & Measurement
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Microstructural and Mechanical Characterization of 2-D and 3-D SiC/SiNC Ceramic-Matrix Composites

The purpose of this endeavor was to investigate the effect of 3-D weave architecture on PIP-processed ceramic-matrix composites (CMC). Microstructural studies were performed to document the resulting microstructure and mechanical testing was performed to determine the high-temperature durability of the five different variants of SiC/SiNC CMC investigated.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Imaging, Ceramics, Composites, Materials, Mechanical Components
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Evaluation of Peel Ply Surface Preparation of Composite Surfaces for Secondary Bonding

Lightweight composite structures offer significant long-term cost-saving opportunities for the U.S. Army as replacements for traditional metal structures. However, high-strength economical bonding processes must be developed to join composites in order for them to be viable replacements. The Army is exploring approaches, also under evaluation in the commercial aerospace industry, to reduce the process steps associated with composite bonding.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Ceramics, Materials, Metals, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components
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Enhanced Contacts for Inverted Metamorphic Multi-Junction Solar Cells Using Carbon Nanotube Metal Matrix Composites

In order to address issues related to mechanical and vibrational stresses that are commonly experienced in mounting, launch, and deployment of spacecraft, metal matrix composite (MMC) electrodes were fabricated with carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as reinforcement. The research plans were centered on first developing and selecting appropriate processes for fabricating CNT-MMCs based on characterization of their material properties, followed by optimizing MMC designs based on electrical testing under stress. Efforts in the program were also directed toward implementing the CNT-MMCs into solar cell device processing in a process compatible with standard clean room procedures.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Materials, Metals, Mechanical Components, Nanotechnology, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement
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Reusable Rapid Prototyped Blunt-Impact Simulator

Rapid prototyping (RP) is the term most commonly used to describe additive manufacturing technologies. An additive manufacturing technology is any manufacturing process that fabricates a part by adding one layer of material at a time, one on top of the other, to produce detailed 3-D geometries directly from 3-D computer-aided design (CAD) models.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Simulation Software
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Producing Manufacturing Aids with HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printing

In the era of mass production and lean manufacturing, companies are looking for ways to help boost productivity and reduce unit costs while maintaining quality and repeatability. The focus is on continuously improving production techniques, accelerating the various phases within the Product Lifecycle while keeping costs at a minimum. Manufacturing aids such as jigs, fixtures, quality control aids, dies and punches and dummy parts play a critical role here.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Automation, Robotics
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Airbus, Georgia Tech Open Aircraft Design Center

Airbus and Georgia Tech opened the Airbus/Georgia Tech Center for Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE)-enabled Overall Aircraft Design (OAD). The center will contribute to the development and demonstration of a concurrent overall aircraft design process with a team of 30 Georgia Tech researchers, doctoral students, and Airbus experts.

Source

Posted in: INSIDER, Aviation, Defense
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Ducted Fans for Aircraft Propulsion

One alternative aircraft propulsion technology being explored is an array of electrically powered ducted fans distributed across the wing span or integrated into the wing. Researchers are studying the cross-communication – or cross coupling – between the aircraft engine’s RPM and the airflow characteristics about the airplane wing.

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense, Propulsion
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Electronic Warfare Creates Battlefield on a Different Wavelength

Soldiers on the ground are now capable of rapidly reacting to electronic and cyber data rather than waiting on their higher echelons. Soldiers assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, currently deployed in Poland, are among the first brigades supporting Atlantic Resolve to train on a new system that enables a team to forward deploy and respond to enemy frequencies using new electronic warfare (EW) technology.

Posted in: INSIDER, Data Acquisition, Defense, RF & Microwave Electronics, Data Acquisition
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Sandia Delivers First DOE Sounding Rocket Program Since 1990s

A new rocket program could help cut research and development time for new weapons systems from as many as 15 years to less than five. Sandia National Laboratories developed the new program, called the High Operational Tempo Sounding Rocket Program (HOT SHOT), and integrated it for its first launch earlier this year under the National Nuclear Security Administration’s direction.

Posted in: INSIDER, Aerospace, Defense, Propulsion
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Army, ASU Collaboration Produces Alloy with Superhero-Like Strength

Researchers from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and Arizona State University (ASU) have designed a super-strong alloy of copper and tantalum that can withstand extreme impact and temperature. It's likely the closest material on earth to vibranium, a rare, fictitious metallic substance found in Marvel's Wakanda and used in Captain America's shield.

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense, Materials, Metals, Nanotechnology
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2018 Create the Future Design Contest: Aerospace & Defense Category Winner

DETECTING PLASTIC LANDMINES

Hidden PFM-1 anti-personnel landmines are unexploded ordnance (UXO) devices that pose a difficult challenge to conventional landmine detection methods like metal detecting because the mines are primarily composed of plastic and only weigh 75 g. As a remnant of the Soviet-Afghan War, there are an estimated 10 million such devices scattered throughout Afghanistan. These mines remain in isolated locations, frequently out of reach of de-mining nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and act to thwart local economic and social development. The PFM-1s are infamously referred to as “toy mines,” as children often mistake the mines for toys and set off the 525 kg of cumulative pressure it takes to detonate them.

Posted in: News, Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Batteries, Power Management, Power Supplies, Green Design & Manufacturing, Imaging, Composites, Materials, Metals, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors, Software
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Optimizing Winglets for More Efficient Flight

Airplane winglets reduce drag, which can translate to higher speed or to allow a pilot to throttle back and save fuel. It also helps to reduce wingtip vortices that can be problematic for airplanes flying in their wake. Although winglets have been around since the mid-1970s, there is still a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and angles.

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense, Simulation Software
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