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Finding Alternatives to Cadmium in Aerospace Applications

It is both an exciting and a difficult time for the aerospace industry. While the sector is at its most buoyant with demand soaring in the commercial market, this is placing a strain on the manufacturing supply chain, and putting the MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) market under pressure to keep aircraft in operation for as long as possible. In addition, OEMs and MRO businesses are being forced to consider potential ever-evolving legislation, particularly regarding the use of various chemicals used in the plating process, most notably the use of cadmium. This toxic metal has long been the topic of debate in the industry, with companies facing the threat of a European ban on cadmium being extended to the global aerospace industry if studies into possible alternatives prove fruitful.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Supply chain management, Plating, Chemicals
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New Products: June 2017 Aerospace & Defense Technology

Ultra-Wideband Amplifier

The Lemos (Barrington, RI) PATHPA21G is a low noise, ultra-wideband amplifier, based on GaN technology. Compact and lightweight, the PATHPA21G has good N.F, high output power P1db of 24 dbm, and high gain of 30 db. The unit can achieve even better specs if the user doesn't need the entire frequency band of 0.8-21 GHZ and only needs, for example, 6-18 GHZ. Low Current 220 mA Max. Meets MIL-STD 810F requirements. Physical dimensions are 1.20” x 0.64” x 0.45.” Weight equals 17 grams.

Posted in: Products, Aerospace, Defense
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Imaging Detonations of Explosives

An effort has been made within the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) to extract quantitative information on explosive performance from high-speed imaging of explosions. Explosive fireball surface temperatures are measured using imaging pyrometry (2-color 2-camera imaging pyrometer; full-color single-camera imaging pyrometer). Framing cameras are synchronized with pulsed laser illumination to measure fireball/shock expansion velocities, enabling calculation of peak air-shock pressures. Multicamera filtering at different wavelengths enables visualization of light emission by some reactant species participating in energy release during an explosion. Measurement of incident and reflected shock velocities is used to calculate shock energy on a target.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Imaging, Imaging, Thermodynamics, Defense industry, Missiles
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Laser Integration on Silicon Photonic Circuits Through Transfer Printing

The purpose of this project was to develop a transfer printing process for the massively parallel integration of III-V lasers on silicon photonic integrated circuits. Silicon has long offered promise as the ultimate platform for realizing compact photonic integrated circuits (PICs). That promise stems in part from the material's properties: the high refractive-index contrast of silicon allows strong confinement of the optical field, increasing light-matter interaction in a compact space—a particularly important attribute for realizing efficient modulators and high-speed detectors.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Photonics, Integrated circuits, Lasers, Fabrication, Materials properties, Semiconductors
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Modelling and Simulation Tools for Systems Integration on Aircraft

The provision of integrated modeling, simulation and optimization tools to effectively support all stages of aircraft design remains a critical challenge in the aerospace industry. While several breakthroughs have been achieved in this area, costly iterations are still often necessary to successfully design, develop, integrate, validate and verify the components and subsystems of modern aircraft. The high level of system integration that is characteristic of new aircraft designs is dramatically increasing the complexity of both design and verification – in particular for fault condition analysis and the implementation of defect-free software (Figure 1).

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, CAD / CAM / CAE, Architecture, Systems engineering, Aircraft
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Small Form Factor Embedded Systems

As sensor processing hardware like data converters, FPGAs and CPUs evolve to handle more channels with higher signal bandwidths, designers can develop powerful distributed signal acquisition and pre-processing subsystems in small form factor (SFF) enclosures located right next to the sensors. They connect to central processing or storage resources using wideband gigabit serial links, now often exploiting low cost, standardized optical cables and interfaces. Major benefits include high signal quality over long distance, improved maintainability, and easier insertion of new technology. Since these same benefits apply across many different applications and installations, SFF system vendors now offer a bewildering array of enclosures targeting the unique requirements of each customer.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Architecture, Embedded software, Integrated circuits, Sensors and actuators
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Determining Detection and Classification Potential of Munitions Using Advanced EMI Sensors in the Underwater Environment

Hazardous ordnance items are present along coastlines and in rivers and lakes in waters shallow enough to cause concerns for human recreational and industrial activities. The presence of water makes it difficult to detect and remove these hazardous legacies induced from wars, military training and deliberate disposal. Various techniques have been proposed to detect and characterize Unexploded Ordnances (UXO) and discarded military munitions (DMM) in the underwater environment including acoustic waves, magnetometery, and electromagnetic induction (EMI).

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Sensors, Sensors and actuators, Water, Defense industry, Conductivity, Hazardous materials, Marine vehicles and equipment, Missiles
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High Energy Computed Tomographic Inspection of Munitions

An advance computed tomography (CT) system was recently built for the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ, for the inspection of munitions. The system is a charged coupled device (CCD) camera based CT system designated with the name “experimental Imaging Media” (XIM). The design incorporated shielding for use up to 4MeV x-ray photons and integrated two separate cameras into one single field of view (FOV). Other major distinguishing characteristics include its processing functions to digitally piece the two cameras together, use of advanced artifact reduction principles, performing reconstruction simultaneously during acquisition, and its development in accurate beam hardening corrections through digital means.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Photonics, Charge coupled devices, Imaging, Defense industry, Inspections, Missiles
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Redundant Transmitting System in Aircraft (RTSA)

In air navigation, a flight transponder (transmitter-responder) is a device that emits an identifying signal in response to an interrogating received signal. Transponders are used as Identification of Friend or Foe (IFF) systems in military aviation, and also in Air Traffic Control (ATC) Secondary Surveillance Radar (beacon radar) systems for general aviation and commercial aviation.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Radar, Wireless communication systems, Aircraft
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Cassini Stays in Touch with NASA's Radio Science Subsystem

After almost 20 years in space, NASA's Cassini spacecraft begins the final chapter of its remarkable story of exploration. From now until September, Cassini will undertake a set of orbits that is, in many ways, like a whole new mission. Following a final close flyby of Saturn's moon Titan, Cassini will leap over the planet's icy rings and begin a series of 22 weekly dives between the planet and the rings.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Data exchange, Radar, Radio equipment, Spacecraft
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