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NASA UAV Flies Alone in Public Airspace

NASA’s remotely piloted Ikhana aircraft successfully flew its first mission in the National Airspace System without a safety chase aircraft on Tuesday. Flying these large remotely piloted aircraft over the United States opens the doors to all types of services, from monitoring and fighting forest fires, to providing new emergency search and rescue operations. The technology in this aircraft could, at some point, be scaled down for use in other general aviation aircraft.

The flight was the first remotely piloted aircraft to use airborne detect and avoid technology to meet the intent of the FAA’s “see and avoid” rules, with all test objectives successfully accomplished.

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Posted in: News, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense
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Streamlining Machinery and Production Lines With HP Multi Jet Fusion 3d Printing

Machinery and production line component production has typically been served with traditional processes such as CNC machining and injection molding. However, as industries strive to find greater efficiencies and add more value for their customers, machinery and production line manufacturers and runners are looking for ways to enhance and optimize how they produce components–in order to offer unique/customized solutions at low cost to their internal or external customers, drive greater production line efficiencies with lightweight, high performance parts, and maximize equipment uptime. 3D printing opens up a world of new opportunities for machinery and production line component production–both for original and spare parts.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, White Papers, Aeronautics, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Robotics
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NASA CubeSats Head to Mars

NASA has achieved a first for the class of tiny spacecraft known as CubeSats. The MarCO-A and MarCO-B CubeSats are designed to trail InSight on the way to Mars, aiming to relay back data about InSight as it enters the planet's atmosphere and attempts to land.

The MarCOs were never intended to collect any science data; instead, they are a test of miniaturized communication and navigation technology that can blaze a path for future CubeSats sent to other planets. They have already traveled farther than any CubeSat before them.

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Posted in: News, Communications, Defense
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Aircraft Scheduling Models Ease Traveler Frustration

Flight schedules that allow for a little carefully designed wiggle room could prevent the frustration of cascading airport delays and cancellations. By focusing on the early phases of flight schedule planning and delays at various scales, researchers have developed models to help create schedules that are less susceptible to delays and easier to fix once disrupted.

A reduction in delays, cancellations, and their cascading downstream impacts would greatly benefit the U.S. airline industry and travelers. Existing models are unable to distinguish the cascading downstream impact of one solution over another.

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Posted in: News, Defense, Mathematical/Scientific Software, Software
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Scientists Join Effort to 3D Print Parts for U.S. Navy

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) are lending their expertise in metal additive manufacturing to a new collaboration aimed at 3D printing critical replacement parts for the U.S. Navy.

The Office of Naval Research recently announced an award of $9 million to fund a collaboration led by GE Global Research and aimed at developing a rapid process for creating exact digital models of replacement or newly designed parts for naval, marine and aviation assets. The collaboration involves scientists and engineers from LLNL, GE’s aviation and additive divisions, Honeywell, Penn State University, the Nuclear National Lab (NNL) and the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM).

Posted in: News, Defense
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New Device Detects Damage to Body Armor

Cardiff University’s School of Engineering joined forces with California-headquartered Microsemi to develop A-Ultra – a lightweight handheld system that uses ultrasound to spot damage to personal protective equipment.

Around five million armor units used by the UK’s armed forces are shipped periodically around the globe for X-ray inspection, representing a significant cost. The A-Ultra system allows the robustness of protective armor to be monitored locally, delivering both enhanced safety for the UK’s armed forces and savings for the Ministry of Defence.

Posted in: News, Defense
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Army Develops Dual Pulse Rocket Motor to Support Warfighter

A team at the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Center, Aviation and Missile, has been working to develop a new dual pulse rocket motor incorporating insensitive munitions capabilities. A dual pulse rocket motor contains propellant that is divided into multiple sections by an internal barrier, which will perforate as the second igniter fires to allow the propellant to exhaust through the same nozzle as the first propellant.

The project was born in FY13 out of a program known as the Accelerated Improved Interceptor Initiative, or AI3 Interceptor, as a potential upgrade to the baseline rocket motor. The AI3 Interceptor program was halted, causing the JIMTP funded team to change their focus and downscale. Because the team was successfully demonstrating insensitive munitions technologies that hadn't been demonstrated before, the program was encouraged to continue.

Posted in: News, Defense
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Automated Process Prints Aircraft Parts

Copper cables run through the fuselage of aircrafts. They transmit electrical signals for temperature-measuring sensors, LEDs in ceilings, or electronic connections in seats. During their installation, individual cables are combined into harnesses. A new manufacturing process eliminates the classic laying of the cable harnesses, saving space and weight.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Defense, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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Maintenance-Free Engines Power Deep-Space Science

There are no gas stations in deep space, so engines must be reliable for the long haul. NASA has successfully operated a free-piston Stirling engine for more than 110,000 hours of cumulative operation.

Posted in: News, Defense, Power Transmission, Propulsion
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Non-Contact Method Measures Aircraft Internal Stresses

Scientists have developed a non-contact method of internal voltage control in polymer composites, making it possible to assess the degree of internal damage during the operation of aircraft parts. The method uses amorphous soft magnetic circuits to assess the stress state in composite materials. Wires are laid between the carbon fiber layers, forming a stress-sensitive grid.

Posted in: News, INSIDER, Aerospace, Defense, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors
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