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NASA Tests 3D-Printed Rocket Part

Engineers successfully hot-fire-tested an RS-25 rocket engine with a large 3D-printed part for the first time, marking a key step toward reducing costs for future engines that power NASA’s new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System.

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing
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Unmanned Helicopter Enables Rapid Resupply

Autonomy options for the Marine Corps have taken a major step forward, as the Office of Naval Research completed a helicopter flight demonstration with autonomous capability that will enable the Marine Corps to rapidly resupply forces on the front lines.

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense
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Drones More Damaging to Aircraft than Birds

An FAA study concluded that drone collisions with aircraft cause more structural damage than birds of the same weight for given impact speed. Even small unmanned aircraft systems can do significant damage to engines.

Posted in: INSIDER, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense
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NASA Data Aids California Wildfire Response

NASA’s Earth resources aircraft, as well as multiple satellites, are providing critical data to aid various agencies responding to the wildfires damaging vast areas of southern California. NASA operates two Lockheed ER-2 Earth resources aircraft as flying laboratories in the Sub-Orbital Science Program, collecting information on Earth resources, atmospheric chemistry and dynamics, and oceanic processes.

Posted in: INSIDER, Data Acquisition, Defense
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New Invention Could Lead to Novel Terahertz Light Sources

A new device could open new avenues for the generation of high-frequency radiation with applications in science, radar, communications, security and medical imaging.

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense, Energy, Imaging
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New Unmanned Air System Tested on USS Coronado

Researchers from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) successfully tested their Nomad flight vehicle off of USS Coronado (LCS 4) recently. This test demonstrated the Nomad’s upgraded launch and control capabilities as well as a new recovery capability by launching multiple vehicles in quick succession, conducting formation flying operations, and recovering all vehicles sequentially onboard the USS Coronado.

Posted in: INSIDER, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Defense, Robotics
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Army Developing Lasers That Pierce Fog, Dust to Destroy Targets

A lot of people think that high-energy lasers, or HELs, can't penetrate fog, rain and dust, said Thomas Webber, director of the Directed Energy Division's Technical Center, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command. That's just plain wrong.

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optics
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Expert INSIDER: How Mehdi Khorrami Uses Simulation to Address Aircraft Noise

NASA’s Mehdi Khorrami explains how he uses high-performance computing to handle one of the FAA’s biggest complaints: aircraft noise.
Posted in: News, News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Simulation Software, Software
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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
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Quality Control for Additive Manufacturing Parts Using Non-Destructive Testing

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is growing in importance as a fabrication process for the space industry, enabling weight and cost savings through optimized designs for components. The use of AM gives aerospace engineers an alternative to more traditional manufacturing processes, but also retains the challenge of producing parts without defects. These problems can be approached using nondestructive methods such as X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) and Finite Element Modelling (FEM) to inspect geometries and quantify the impact of defects on the mechanical properties of a part, taking into account factors such as internal stress from metal cooling during fabrication.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace Manufacturing and Fabrication, Aerospace, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Mechanical Components, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Simulation Software, Software
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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 Manufacturing and Fabrication, Aerospace, Defense, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials
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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 Manufacturing and Fabrication, Aerospace, Board-Level Electronics, Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Power Management
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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
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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
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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
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Improving the Surface Finish of Additive Manufactured Parts

South West Metal Finishing has been working on an additive manufacturing surface treatment process for the last three years and believes it could be the future choice of aircraft manufacturers around the world, such as the likes of Safran, UTC Aerospace and Airbus.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Coatings & Adhesives, Additive manufacturing, Metal finishing
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High-Reliability Capacitors

Maintaining technological superiority remains critical for national defense forces. Many face informal adversaries that are adept at harnessing today’s sophisticated civilian technologies, like mobiles, M2M communication and social media, to launch attacks unexpectedly. Defense operations are intelligence-led; responses must be surgical and precision-guided to avoid harming civilians; and every measure must be taken to avoid injury to soldiers or loss of equipment. At the same time, government funding of defense forces, particularly in the West, is under pressure.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Capacitors, Cyber security
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WIAMan

The newest crash test dummy in development is actually a blast test dummy. WIAMan (Warrior Injury Assessment Manikin) is a ground-breaking anthropomorphic test device (ATD) being developed by the U.S. Army. It’s the first test dummy designed specifically for vertical loading in under-body blast (UBB) scenarios, like the ones soldiers may experience in combat from IEDs. A key goal of the program is to develop a scientifically-valid injury criteria for blast testing of military ground vehicles. This test data will be the most advanced of its kind and will be used to develop new, safer vehicles and associated equipment to help reduce injury risk for warfighters. Another first coming out of this program is the high-tech data acquisition system that is entirely contained within the dummy, making it the first completely autonomous device of its kind.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Imaging, Sensors, Anthropometric test devices, Protective structures, Military vehicles and equipment
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Joint Effects Targeting System

U.S. Army Operational Test Command
Fort Hood, TX
254-287-9993
www.otc.army.mil

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
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Gun-Mounted Rangefinder

Optics 1, Inc. (Safran)
Bedford, NH
603-296-0469
www.optics1.com

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
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Enterprise Imaging System

Fujifilm Medical Systems U.S.A., Inc.
Stamford, CT
1-800-872-3854
www.fujifilmhealthcare.com

Fujifilm Medical Systems U.S.A., Inc., was recently awarded a new 10-year contract with a maximum value of $768 million as part of the Digital Imaging Network-PACS (DINPACS) IV project from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Specifically, U.S. government healthcare providers can now purchase and install various technologies from Fujifilm’s Synapse enterprise imaging portfolio including Synapse 5 PACS, Synapse Mobility Enterprise Web Viewer, Synapse 3D, Synapse CV (Cardiovascular) and Synapse VNA (Vendor Neutral Archive).

Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense, Computer software / hardware, Medical equipment and supplies, Data management
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3D Printed Aircraft Parts

Stratasys Direct Manufacturing
Valencia, CA
1-888-311-1017
www.stratasysdirect.com

Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, a subsidiary of Stratasys Ltd., was recently chosen by Airbus to produce 3D printed polymer parts for use on A350 XWB aircraft. The company will print non-structural parts such as brackets, and other parts used for system installation, on Stratasys FDM production 3D Printers using ULTEM™ 9085 material. The project will help Airbus achieve greater supply chain flexibility and improve cost competitiveness, while leveraging on reduced material consumption and waste.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense, Additive manufacturing, Parts, Aircraft
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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
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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
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Processing and Characterization of Lightweight Syntactic Materials

Conventional composite materials, in which a matrix material is reinforced by particulates, whiskers, and/or continuous fibers, have long been of interest as potential materials solutions to engineering needs. Typically, the benefits of these reinforcements are observed for cases of tensile loading, with only minimal improvement for cases of compressive loading. As a result, recent attention has grown in the use of hollow spheres as a potential reinforcement in metallic systems.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Metallurgy, Composite materials, Lightweight materials, Materials properties, Tensile Strength
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Mechanical Characterization and Finite Element Implementation of the Soft Materials Used in a Novel Anthropometric Test Device for Simulating Underbody Blast Loading

Anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) have been used in automotive safety research since the 1970s to predict injuries. ATDs must repeatedly perform under a dynamic range of loading rates and reliably distinguish between injuries ranging from minor to severe.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Finite element analysis, Foams, Anthropometric test devices, Military vehicles and equipment
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Stress-Corrosion Cracking and Corrosion Fatigue Impact of IZ-C17+Zinc-Nickel on 4340 Steel

The protection of cathodic metallic materials used for aircraft components, like 4340, Aermet 100, and PH 13-8 corrosion-resistant steel, is critical to keeping the steel from pitting and cracking due to exposure to the operating environment. Two important properties are resistance to stress-corrosion cracking (SCC) and corrosion fatigue. These are insidious failure mechanisms that can lead to part failure in service.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Corrosion, Fatigue, Nickel alloys, Steel, Zinc alloys
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Sensors Detect Aircraft Damage as it Occurs

The Army developed and tested networked acoustic emission sensors that can detect airframe damage on conceptual composite UH-60 Black Hawk rotorcraft. The sensing method can be used to reliably detect and locate the initiation and growth of damage that may occur during service.

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense, Sensors
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NASA Unveils the Future of Science Drones

NASA scientists now have use of two agency-developed unmanned aerial systems that some say represent the future for drone aircraft. The drones purposely were designed for scientific investigations and offer the scientific community complementary, easy-to-use capabilities at a lower cost.

Posted in: INSIDER, Aerospace, Defense
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A Better Understanding of Space — Via Helicopter

An algorithm that helps engineers design better helicopters may help astronomers more precisely envision the formation of planets and galaxies. The new model understands how black holes, planets, and galaxies emerge from the vortex-rich environments of space. Researchers drew inspiration from a mechanical engineering algorithm that shows how air flows past a helicopter’s rotor blades.

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense, Mathematical/Scientific Software, Software
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