Developing a Conformal Coating Process for Aerospace Applications

Conformal coatings protect electronic circuits from harsh environments via a chemical film that “conforms” to a circuit board’s topography. These coatings protect against moisture, chemicals, contamination, vibration, corrosion, and thermal stress while improving product reliability by reducing failures. The benefits conformal coating can provide often vary in importance by industry. In aerospace electronics there is an emphasis on benefits of protection from corrosive gasses, outgassing, tin whiskers, and radiation. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on liquid coating materials.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Electronic equipment, Spraying, Coatings Colorants and Finishes

Designing With MIL-STD-1553B Components

The interconnected backbone of a MIL-STD-1553B vehicle depends on the electrical and mechanical reliability of the components, the design, and the installation. With the vast array of MIL-STD-1553B specified sub-assemblies, there are factors that can go overlooked for passive components such as couplers, cables, and connectors. Often built with kilometers of wiring, aircraft in particular can be difficult to troubleshoot and must be inspected frequently for potential failures such as intermittent connections, shorts, and corrosion. Still, these passive components that make up the network can be individually assessed to operate with a high level of integrity.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Board-Level Electronics, Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Connectors and terminals, Electric cables, Wiring, Reliability

New Products & Services: December 2017 Aerospace Manufacturing & Fabrication

Metric-Sized Metal Shapes

Parker Steel Company (Maumee, OH) offers metric-sized metals suitable for applications where presized metric parts are needed. Parker Steel’s cold-finished carbon steel, alloyed and high-strength stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass and tool steel bars/shafting, tubing, sheets and plates, angles, channels and tees; and other specialty shapes can be shipped out the same day as ordered with very few exceptions.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Metals, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Simulation Software, Software, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement, Product development, Fabrication, Steel

Identifying and Isolating Signals Using Radio Frequency Photonics

A single antenna can be used for both transmission and reception. To accomplish this, the transmission must be isolated from the reception. In Figure 1, a radio frequency (RF) circulator is connected right after the antenna. The three-port device separates the transmit path from the receive path. After the circulator, a system can be used to identify the frequency of different signals. Once the frequency has been found, a filter with the right pass-band frequency can be used to isolate signals from each other.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Wireless, Fiber Optics, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optical Components, Optics, Photonics, Antennas, Radio equipment

Joint Effects Targeting System

U.S. Army Operational Test Command
Fort Hood, TX

Forward observers, experts in directing artillery and mortar fire onto enemy targets, have been testing a new piece of targeting equipment recently. “Black Falcon” soldiers of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment, put their hands on the Joint Effects Targeting System (JETS) — a modular, man-portable, hand-held, day/night, all-weather, target observation, location, and designation system. Components of the JETS include a Handheld Target Location Module (HTLM); a Laser Marker Module (LMM); and a Precision Azimuth Vertical Angle Module, all mounted atop a tripod.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense, Trajectory control, Lasers, Military vehicles and equipment

Using Thermoplastic Composites for Aerospace Applications

Recent advancements in composite production and processing are making thermoplastics a viable option in a wider array of aerospace applications.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Composites, Materials, Composite materials, Thermoplastics

High Temperature Graphene-Peek Adhesive

Joining of composites can be a challenging issue. If adhesives are used, the joints are permanent and cannot be undone. If they need to be undone, inserts are often used and these inserts increase cost and weight. Additionally, fibers can be cut in the process leading to a part with weakened mechanical properties.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Joining, Adhesives and sealants, Composite materials, Materials properties

Gun-Mounted Rangefinder

Optics 1, Inc. (Safran)
Bedford, NH

Optics 1, Inc. (Safran) recently announced that its Integrated Compact Ultralight Gun-mounted Rangefinder (ICUGR) has been selected by the United States Marine Corps (USMC). The I-CUGR is a small, lightweight, and rugged weapon-mounted laser rangefinder with integrated illumination and aiming lasers that will give USMC the ability to quickly range targets without taking hands off their rifles – providing more accurate first round hits.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense, Measurements, Optics, Military vehicles and equipment

Bioinspired Surface Treatments for Improved Decontamination: Commercial Products

In January 2015, the Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) began an effort to evaluate and develop top-coat type treatments suitable for application to painted surfaces that would reduce retention of chemical threat agents following standard decontamination approaches. Four commercially available surface treatments were evaluated: NANOskin Hydro Express, Rust-Oleum® NeverWet®, Eagle One Superior NanoWax™, and Rust-Oleum® Wipe New.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Coatings Colorants and Finishes, Hazardous materials, Protective equipment

New Products: December 2017 Aerospace & Defense Technology

Boundary-Scan Test Hardware Interface

JTAG Technologies (Eindhoven, the Netherlands) announced the immediate release of a new JTAG/boundary-scan test hardware interface product compatible with the MAC Panel mass interconnect system. The JT2147/eDAK is a multi-function signal conditioning module that allows ‘ideal world’ connections from JTAG Technologies PXI and PXIe DataBlasters to the MAC panel ‘Scout’ connection system.

Posted in: Products, Data Acquisition, Defense, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Positioning Equipment