Home

NASA Technologies Improve Drone Design

Taking to the sky is what NASA does best. The agency is offering drone design improvements that can help create the next wave of advanced unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Technologies are available that cut wing weight to keep drones flying longer, components that keep UAV swarms in the air despite a broken drone, shape memory alloys that reconfigure aircraft in flight, and a compact droned that flys for 24 straight hours.

Posted in: INSIDER, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials
Read More >>

Making Airplane Parts Without the Massive Infrastructure

A modern airplane’s fuselage is made from multiple sheets of different composite materials that must be wheeled into warehouse-sized ovens where the layers fuse together to form a resilient, aerodynamic shell.

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Composites, Materials, Metals, Fastening, Joining & Assembly, Nanotechnology
Read More >>

High-Speed Real Time Recording Systems

In today’s world of high-speed A/D converters operating in the gigahertz range, real-time signal recording has become a challenging task that requires specialized hardware and intelligent application software. When designing a real-time recorder capable of streaming sustained data to disk at rates of up to 5 GB/sec and higher, the system developer has to consider the limitations presented by the recorder’s operating and file systems, the limitations of disk drive technology, the hardware interfaces, and the RAID controller technology.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Data Acquisition, Research Lab, Test & Measurement
Read More >>

Critical Techniques for High-Speed A/D Converters in Real-Time Systems

To help define the meaning of “high-speed A/D” used in this handbook, we will be focusing primarily on A/D converters with sampling rates higher than 100 MHz. We will review sampling techniques, FPGA technology and we will present the latest Pentek high-speed A/D products and applications based on them.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Communications, Data Acquisition, Electronics & Computers, Government
Read More >>

Putting VPX and Open VPX to Work

Before the advent of OpenVPX, designers of embedded systems took advantage of the extreme connectivity offered by VPX (VITA 46), but were faced with a virtually unlimited number of possible implementations. Specific choices for the control and data channel assignments for each slot, the backplane connectivity, and serial fabrics were often made somewhat arbitrarily to suit the particular needs of the current system. Although following the general framework of VITA 46, each system tended to be so unique, that the boards and backplanes designed for one system were seldom usable in other systems, even from the same vendor.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Data Acquisition, Defense, Electronics & Computers
Read More >>

Software Defined Radio Handbook

SDR (Software-Defined Radio) has revolutionized electronic systems for a variety of applications including communications, data acquisition and signal processing.This handbook shows how DDCs (Digital Downconverters) and DUCs (Digital Upconverters), the fundamental building blocks of SDR, can replace legacy analog receiver and transmitter designs while offering significant benefits in performance, density and cost.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Data Acquisition, Defense, Electronics & Computers
Read More >>

High-Speed Switched Serial Fabrics Improve System Design

Well into its third decade of widespread deployment, VME adopted the new VXS gigabit serial interface, clearly representing the most significant leap in backplane data transfer rates throughout its entire history. Because VXS delivered such a dramatic improvement in embedded system performance, the use of gigabit serial technology was extended to create VPX. The OpenVPX initiative followed shortly thereafter, as risk-averse government agencies mandated the need for industry-wide standards. The hallmark of any successful standard is that it continues to evolve with technology, and none offers a better example than VME’s evolution to VXS and VPX.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Data Acquisition, Electronics & Computers, Optics
Read More >>

Putting FPGAs to Work in Software Radio Systems

FPGAs have become an increasingly important resource for software radio systems. Programmable logic technology now offers significant advantages for implementing software radio functions such as DDCs (Digital Downconverters). Over the past few years, the functions associated with DDCs have seen a shift from being delivered in ASICs (Application-Specific ICs) to operating as IP (Intellectual Property) in FPGAs.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Data Acquisition, Defense, Electronics & Computers
Read More >>

X-59 Supersonic Aircraft Cleared for Final Assembly

NASA’s first large-scale, piloted X-plane in more than three decades entered final assembly and integration of its systems. The X-59 will be flown above select U.S. communities to generate data from sensors and people on the ground in order to gauge public perception. That data will help regulators establish new rules to enable commercial supersonic air travel over land.

Posted in: INSIDER, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense
Read More >>

Nano-Barrier Could Strengthen Spacecraft Payloads

The University of Surrey developed a robust, multi-layered nano-barrier for ultra-lightweight and stable carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRPs) that could be used to build high precision instrument structures for future space missions.

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense, Coatings & Adhesives
Read More >>

Starliner Completes Test Objectives

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner did not reach its planned orbit and dock to the International Space Station last month but completed test objectives related to NASA’s Commercial Crew Program including a successful launch of the first human-rated United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket; testing of the propulsion systems, communications, and docking system; and tracker alignments using its navigation system.

Posted in: INSIDER, Aerospace, Defense
Read More >>

Novel Instrument Enhances Ability to Measure Nuclear Materials

Researchers with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) designed and built an instrument called NAUTILUS to provide new measurement capabilities to measure nuclear, cosmo/geo-chemical, and electronic materials.

Posted in: INSIDER, Data Acquisition, Defense, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement
Read More >>

New Standards Developed to Improve Metal Detector Testing

Metal detectors now appear routinely in the entrances of many schools, airports and even houses of worship. They serve as portals to correctional facilities, prisons and courthouses, and guards often wave hand-held models around the bags of incoming ticketholders at sports arenas. The increased usage is making it more important than ever to know that these machines will always work as expected and can be counted on to help detect weapons and other threats. To help meet these demands, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have researched and developed four metal detection testing standards. Three have been published by the ASTM International standards organization and a fourth is still in development.

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense, Metals, Inspection Equipment, Monitoring, Test & Measurement
Read More >>

Researchers Shine a Light on Wearable Technology

Researchers at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Chemical Biological Center are looking at LEDs to help warfighters battle chemical warfare agents (CWA). Co-primary investigators, Hui Wang, Ph.D. and John Landers, Ph.D. are investigating ways to embed tiny light sources in warfighter uniforms.

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense, LEDs, Materials, Detectors, Sensors, Wearables
Read More >>

Memory Metals Shape the Evolution of Aviation

Shape-memory alloy (SMA) is a functional metal with unique properties that allow it to be trained to move on its own. Researchers at NASA Glenn partnered with Boeing to test how shape-memory alloys can be used in deployable vortex generators (VGs), the tiny fins you might have noticed on airplane wings that help control airflow during flight.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Materials, Metals
Read More >>

Researchers Turn to Carbon Nanotubes to Build Better Heat Shields

The world of aerospace increasingly relies on carbon fiber reinforced polymer composites to build the structures of satellites, rockets, and jet aircraft. But the life of those materials is limited by how they handle heat.

Posted in: INSIDER, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Imaging, Materials, Propulsion
Read More >>

Molecular Engineering for Mechanically Resilient and Stretchable Electronic Polymers and Composites

The ability to predict the mechanical properties of organic semiconductors is of critical importance for roll-to-roll production and thermomechanical reliability of organic electronic devices. This research describes the use of coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations to predict the density, tensile modulus, Poisson ratio, and glass transition temperature for poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and its blend with C60. In particular, it is shown that the resolution of the coarse-grained model has a strong effect on the predicted properties.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Composites, Materials, Mechanical Components, Semiconductors & ICs
Read More >>

Software-Defined Analog Filters: A Paradigm Shift in Radio Filter Performance and Capability

In many applications, conventional filters fall short.
Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Wireless, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, RF & Microwave Electronics
Read More >>

Streamlining Post-Processing in Additive Manufacturing

By focusing just on the AM build process, a fundamental part of the production process chain is often overlooked: post-processing.
Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Thermal Management, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials, Plastics, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement, Testing Procedures
Read More >>

Reducing the High Cost Of Titanium

With such great abundance, why is titanium so expensive?
Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials, Metals, Machinery, Mechanical Components
Read More >>