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New Products: September 2017 Aerospace & Defense Technology

Measurement Software

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence (North Kingstown, RI) has launched PC-DMIS 2017 R2, the latest edition of their popular measurement software. This is the second of two major releases scheduled for PC-DMIS in 2017, with continued service pack updates to ensure maximum reliability of the platform.

Posted in: Products, Aerospace
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Radiation Tolerant “Smart Backplanes” for Spacecraft Avionics

In recent years there has been a trend towards the wider use of COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) equipment in space missions. This trend has been mainly driven by the restrictions in R&D budgets and a growing demand for shorter design cycles. Funding Agencies are encouraging designers of spacecraft systems to identify and overcome the obstacles that previously prevented the use of COTS products for space missions.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Architecture, Avionics, Reliability, Radiation, Radiation protection, Spacecraft
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On-Orbit Satellite Refueling Flow Measurement

Over 7000 satellites have been placed in Earth-orbit since the beginning of the space age. 3000 are currently in orbit, of which 1000 are active, making our near space neighborhood a pretty crowded place. Now, plans are in motion to launch constellations of globe-girding communication satellites that will number in the thousands to provide worldwide internet connectivity. This is in addition to the ever-expanding constellation of LEO, geo synchronous and geo stationary satellites. Clearly, the number of satellites in orbit is on a trajectory of significant growth and we are approaching a point when the economics will demand longer life from these expensive assets just as the costs to put them in orbit continue to fall. NASA’s Restore-L mission, under the direction of the Agency’s Satellite Servicing Projects Division (SSPD) headquartered at the Goddard Space Center, is a major step towards realizing key technologies needed to provide in-space satellite servicing in order to increase on-orbit asset life.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Measurements, Refueling, Satellites
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NASA Miniaturizes Century-Old Radio Sounder Technology

A century-old technology that scientists use to probe the ionosphere — the important atmospheric layer that can interfere with the transmission of radio waves — is getting smaller.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, RF & Microwave Electronics, Downsizing, Radio equipment
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Eliminating Electrical Arcing in Satellite Systems

In 1995, Boeing Satellite Systems introduced a new family of communication satellite buses, with bodies that contain power, control, and propulsion systems. They used a high-voltage bus connected to a 100V stabilized power source, instead of the standard 27V. This introduced an increase in operating voltage that decreased operating currents and lowered the corresponding ohmic losses in the conductors. However, it also introduced a potentially catastrophic failure to the satellites’ electronic systems: electrical arcing (Figure 1).

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Architecture, Connectors and terminals, High voltage systems, Reliability, Satellites
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Using Heat Pipes to Cool Embedded Computers

Heat pipes are a well-known thermal management solution used in computing applications. Nearly all laptop computers contain some number of heat pipes to effectively remove heat from heat generating components like the CPU and GPU.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Computer software / hardware, Embedded software, Thermal management, Cooling
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Developing an Airborne Optical Systems Testbed (AOSTB)

The United States shares 5,525 miles of land border with Canada, and 1,989 miles with Mexico. Monitoring these borders, which is the responsibility of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), is an enormous task. Detecting and responding to illegal activity while facilitating lawful commerce and travel is made more difficult by the expansive, rugged, diverse, and thickly vegetated geography that spans both often-crossed borders. To help mitigate the challenges to border surveillance, a group of researchers at MIT Lincoln Laboratory is investigating whether an airborne ladar system capable of imaging objects under a canopy of foliage could aid in the maintenance of border security by remotely detecting illegal activities.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Lidar, Surveillance, Test equipment and instrumentation, Military aircraft
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Electronically Dimmable Aircraft Windows

That was the challenge posed to Gentex by Boeing. Window shades typically do the job on an airplane, but they’re cumbersome to operate, expensive to maintain, and do little to reflect the hightech nature of today’s modern aircraft. They’re an analog technology holdover operating in the digital age.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Windows and windshields, Electronic equipment, Human factors, Glass, Materials properties, Commercial aircraft
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Torpedo Transducer Array/Nose Shell Assembly

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

The U.S. Navy recently awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a $9.6 million contract, with options up to $40.5 million, to produce the Transducer Array/Nose Shell Assembly of the MK 48 heavyweight torpedo. The MK 48 is the primary offensive weapon deployed from all U.S. Navy submarines.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense, Sensors and actuators, Suppliers, Production, Marine vehicles and equipment, Missiles
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Missile Test System

Marvin Test Solutions
Irvine, CA
949-263-2222
www.MarvinTest.com

The Indonesian Air Force recently selected Marvin Test Solutions’ MTS-206A Maverick Field Test Set and MTS-916-3 Modular Target Simulator to support testing of their AGM-65 (Maverick) missile and launcher systems, as part of an FMS (Foreign Military Sale) contract. Part of Marvin Test Solutions’ comprehensive suite of test solutions for both legacy and today’s precision-guided “smart” weapon systems, the MTS-206A and MTS-916 provide advanced testing capabilities to maintainers at the intermediate and depot levels.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense, Test equipment and instrumentation, Military vehicles and equipment, Missiles
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