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Augmented Reality Simplifies Aircraft Inspection

The Air Force Research Laboratory is using augmented reality to simplify and expedite nondestructive inspection of aircraft. This approach eliminates the need to scan several displays and/or hard copies in parallel. In this way, inspectors can increase their focus on the process at hand.

Users of this inspection capability can navigate and customize the display with a set of simple verbal commands and hand gestures while following menu prompts visible in the augmented reality field of view. As the technology becomes more advanced, the team will seek to make the wearable device smaller and, in its most ideal form, integrate it into safety glasses.

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Posted in: News, Defense
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Spatial Resolution and Contrast of a Focused Diffractive Plenoptic Camera

The concept of an imaging system that captures both spatial and spectral information has existed for a while. An example of one such imaging system that encodes both location and wavelength into an image is a Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS).

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Cameras, Imaging, Optical Components, Optics
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Integrated Magneto-Optical Devices for On-Chip Photonic Systems

The magneto-optical (MO) oxide layer consists of (Bi,Y)3Fe5O12 or BiYIG, bismuth garnet. This material was selected because it has a better figure of merit than the CeYIG previously used, especially at lower wavelengths (1310 nm vs. 1550 nm). A top-down deposition process was developed in which BiYIG/YIG stacks are grown on the Si waveguide with YIG on top. The stack is annealed at 800°C/5 min to crystallize both layers, with the YIG templating the BiYIG leading to garnet phases rather than other oxides, and the BiYIG is directly on the Si waveguide. Initial attempts led to a film with Bi oxide phases, because the Bi was in excess and could not escape during the anneal as occurs in Si/YIG/BiYIG stacks. Hence the composition was adjusted to include slightly more Fe, which yielded films with only garnet peaks.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace
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Low Power Optical Phase Array Using Graphene on Silicon Photonics

Despite enormous advances in integrated photonics over the last decade, an efficient integrated phase delay remains to be demonstrated. This problem is fundamental – most monolithic thin film deposition relies on centro symmetric materials (such as silicon, silicon dioxide, silicon nitride), which by definition do not have an electro-optic effect. Such materials have been shown to be excellent transparent materials, however they are either optically passive, or rely on very small plasma dispersion effect or power-hungry thermo-optic effect for tunability. These phase change materials have losses associated due to heating or carrier injection in the waveguides. This research shows that graphene can be used to provide electro-optic properties to traditionally passive optical materials.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace
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Combating Infrared Threats on the Battlefield

There have been several news headlines lately about offenders pointing commercial lasers at helicopters or police personnel, temporarily blinding and distracting them. An increasing number of “laser assault” incidents have led to tougher penalties with fines and jail time in various countries. The lasers typically used in these attacks operate in the visible light spectrum; therefore, these lasers can be blocked by special absorbing optical dyes contained in special laser defense eyewear.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Fiber Optics, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optical Components, Optics, Sensors
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Remote Weapon Station

General Robotics
Beit Nehemia, Israel
+972 (0) 77 512 1020
www.glrobotics.com

General Robotics, a company that specializes in developing, manufacturing and marketing advanced robotic systems for defense and Homeland Security, manufactures an ultralight remote weapon station with anti-drone capabilities called the Pitbull. The Pitbull provides a solution for detecting and tracking all types of drones during flight, enabling their neutralization and downing.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Imaging, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement
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Armored Vehicle Mission Management System

Bird Aerosystems
Herzliya, Israel
+972 9 9725700
www.birdaero.com
Plasan Sasa
Kibbutz Sasa, Israel
+972-4-680-9000
www.plasan.com

Plasan Sasa and BIRD Aerosystems have teamed up to offer a SandCat armored intervention vehicle equipped with BIRD’s advanced mission management system (MSIS).

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Defense, Data Acquisition, Sensors
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Enhanced SATCOMs for Unmanned Aerial Systems

Satellites launched with the purpose of relaying communications have been enabling around-the-globe transmissions of information for half a century. And in this current era of hybrid warfare, that means this decades-old hardware needs to be able to manage the command and control of unmanned aircraft.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Aviation, Communications, RF & Microwave Electronics, Software
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Nano-Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

FLIR Systems
Wilsonville, OR
503-498-3547
www.flir.com/blackhornet.com

FLIR Systems, Inc. was recently awarded a $2.6 million contract from the United States Army to deliver FLIR Black Hornet® Personal Reconnaissance Systems (PRS). The units delivered under this contract will support squad-level surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in the Army’s first batch order for the Soldier Borne Sensor (SBS) program.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Data Acquisition, Defense, Displays/Monitors/HMIs, Imaging, Data Acquisition, Sensors
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Optical Interconnect Design Challenges in Space

More and more aerospace applications are incorporating fiber optics technology into their designs due to its many advantages over copper. The thinner fiber solutions provide higher speed over a longer distance, are more reliable, offer higher noise immunity and, in many cases, lower the cost of ownership. Additionally, for the same diameter, fiber can pack more data than copper. Fiber is faster than the category 5 and 6 copper cables, approaching the speed of light (31% lower). For copper, pushing the speed beyond 1G is a challenge, but for fiber 10G is quite common. Copper is limited by distance. Usually, signal degradation with copper will occur after about 90 meters (2.7 km maximum for custom systems), while fiber can achieve more than 1.5 km without a problem and can deliver over 80 km depending on transmission signal quality.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components, Fiber Optics, Optical Components, Optics
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