New Products: May 2017 Aerospace & Defense Technology

Posted in: Products, Aerospace, Defense

Developing a Multi-Modal UGV Robot Control Interface

Unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) are currently being used or developed for operational maneuvers (e.g., reconnaissance and IED defeat), maneuver support (e.g., route clearance), and sustainment (e.g. convoy and resupply) missions. Despite the demonstrable benefits of UGVs, significant challenges remain to their effective integration into military operations.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Sensors and actuators, Human machine interface (HMI), Defense industry, Robotics, Autonomous vehicles, Military vehicles and equipment

A Guide for Developing Human-Robot Interaction Experiments in the Robotic Interactive Visualization and Experimentation Technology (RIVET) Simulation

ARL's Intelligent Systems Enterprise vision is to enable the teaming of autonomous intelligent systems with soldiers in dynamic, unstructured combat environments, as well as in non-combat military installations and base operations. To accomplish this vision for interdependent soldier-robot teaming, there has been a paradigm shift in robotic research conducted by ARL from the current instantiation of fielded remote-controlled or teleoperated robots to systems with increased intelligence, decision-making capability, and autonomy. This type of teaming is needed for future joint, interdependent, network-enabled operations.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Automation, Computer simulation, Imaging, Human machine interface (HMI), Robotics, Autonomous vehicles, Military vehicles and equipment

Solar Powering UAVs

One of the largest problems facing the aerospace industry involves size, weight, and power (SWaP) analysis and the increasing size of payloads with typically a finite amount of power to drive ever more demanding systems. This issue plagues all platforms, regardless of the energy storage medium, the type of propulsion, or system design. Only recently has an opportunity to augment these systems with on-board power generation been deemed not only possible but practical. Much like the space industry, which has benefited from solar technology on satellites that have been aloft for decades, it is now possible for both small and large fixed wing unmanned platforms to drastically increase flight time and payload capabilities.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Solar Power, Solar energy, Unmanned aerial vehicles

Deploying COTS Subsystems in UUVs

In December, 2016 the newest class of unmanned vehicles, Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV) made international headlines after China, in an unprecedented act, seized an unclassified “ocean glider” operated by an oceanographic survey ship, the USNS Bowditch, about 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay in the Philippines. According to the Pentagon, the captured UUV, which was soon returned to the US, was measuring salinity and temperature in the area.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Electronic equipment, Autonomous vehicles, Marine vehicles and equipment

Identifying the Flow Physics and Modeling Transient Forces on Two-Dimensional Wings

The main objective of this research was to better understand the flow physics of aircraft wings undergoing highly unsteady maneuvers. Reduced-order models play a central role in this study, both to elucidate the overall dynamical mechanisms behind various flow phenomena (such as dynamic stall and vortex shedding), and ultimately to guide flight control design for vehicles for which these unsteady phenomena are important.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Automation, Robotics, Wings, Mathematical models, Aerodynamics

The Scaling of Loss Pathways and Heat Transfer in Small Scale Internal Combustion Engines

The rapid expansion of the remotely piloted aircraft market includes an interest in 10 kg to 25 kg vehicles (Group 2) for monitoring, surveillance, and reconnaissance. Power plant options for those aircraft are often 10 cm3 to 100 cm3 displacement internal combustion engines. Both power and fuel conversion efficiency decrease increasingly rapidly in the aforementioned size range, with fuel conversion efficiency falling from approximately 30% for automotive and larger scale engines (greater than 100 cm3 displacement) to less than 5% for micro glow fuel engines (less than 10 cm3 displacement).

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Automation, Heat transfer, Combustion and combustion processes, Engine efficiency, Two stroke engines, Unmanned aerial vehicles

Interoperability Standards Pave the Way for Modular Robotic Manipulators

Unmanned vehicles have long been used by the military to handle situations characterized by the three Ds: dull, dirty, and dangerous. As the use of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), and unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) in the military and industry becomes more complex, the need for interoperability on and between systems has exponentially increased.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Architecture, Communication protocols, Computer software / hardware, Robotics, Autonomous vehicles, Unmanned aerial vehicles

How NASA Tracks the Asteroids Flying by Earth

On Wednesday, April 19, an asteroid missed Earth by 1.1 million miles – a distance closer than you might think. This week, Tech Briefs spoke with NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer about the efforts behind tracking this type of flyby.

Posted in: News, News, Aeronautics, Imaging

NASA Tests Robotic Ice Tools

Since 2015, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has been developing new technologies for use on future missions to ocean worlds. That includes a subsurface probe that could burrow through miles of ice, taking samples along the way; robotic arms that unfold to reach faraway objects; and a projectile launcher for even more distant samples. All these technologies were developed as part of the Ocean Worlds Mobility and Sensing study, a research project funded by NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington. Each prototype focuses on obtaining samples from the surface - or below the surface - of an icy moon.

Posted in: News, Data Acquisition, Defense, Motion Control, Automation, Robotics