Tiny UAS Could Be Warfighters’ Eyes in the Sky

The basic small-unit fighting capability of the Army is the squad. One of its weaknesses is broad-area situational awareness, particularly in unfamiliar environments, according to Col. Phil Cheatham, deputy branch chief of the Electronics and Special Developments Branch at the Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCOE), Fort Benning, Georgia. A likely solution? A nano unmanned aerial system (UAS) with reconnaissance capability called the Soldier Borne Sensor (SBS).

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Defense

Creating Simulated LIDAR Images of Human Poses in a Virtual Laboratory

LIDAR is a partial 3D standoff sensing method that illuminates a target with rotatory or flash laser beams, analyzes the reflected lights, and provides both the distance to the target’s surface and the target’s surface shape. An array of laser reflections can be used to map the facing-side surface of a target object as a partial point cloud. Unlike a 360° surface model generated by a traditional full body scanner, the partial point cloud from a LIDAR is a viewing angle dependent 3D representation of the target shape. The resolution of these maps depends on the density of the laser detector array; a good image of a human may require hundreds of detection pixels to capture enough detail to clearly detect changes in limb positions.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors, Cartography, Lidar, Security systems, Anatomy, Kinematics, Medical equipment and supplies

Advanced Sensors for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

The objective of this work was to use miniaturized, state-of-the-art pressure/temperature sensors engineered at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to measure the immediate increases in intracranial pressure (ICP) combined with longer-term measurements of biological ICP and intracranial temperature. The experience gathered from this work provided valuable data on sensor placement, long-term brain tissue responses to implanted sensors, and sensor capability of dual measurement of biologic ICP and impact pressure transients.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors, Sensors and actuators, Medical equipment and supplies, Nervous system, Prostheses and implants, Head injuries

Multifunctional Core-Shell and Nano-Channel Design for Nano-Sized Thermosensor

This work focused on developing novel nano-sized thermal sensors based on a multifunctional core/shell and nano-channel design that can be used to measure temperature and retaining thermal history of the biological agents experienced during the testing of agent-defeat weapons.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors, Sensors and actuators, Thermal management, Nanotechnology, Military vehicles and equipment

Molecularly Imprinted Polymer (MIP)-Coated Microbeam MEMS Sensor for Chemical Detection

Monitoring trace gases is of great importance in a wide range of applications. Detecting a diverse range of chemical agents requires an adaptable sensor platform capable of identifying threats before they cause harm. Research and development in hazardous-materials detection technology focuses on increasing speed, sensitivity, and selectivity while reducing size and cost. Although the current state-of-the-art vapor detector (Joint Chemical Agent Detector) is lightweight, handheld, and easily attaches to a belt, it still provides added bulk to a soldier on foot. Recently, microcantilever-based technology has emerged as a viable platform due to its many advantages such as small size, high sensitivity, and low cost. However, microcantilevers lack the inherent ability to selectively identify chemicals of interest. The key to overcoming this challenge is to functionalize the top surface of the microcantilever with a sorbent layer (i.e., polymer) that allows for selective binding between the microbeam and analyte(s) of interest.

Posted in: Briefs, Sensors, Sensors and actuators, Chemicals, Coatings Colorants and Finishes, Gases, Polymers, Hazardous materials

Next Generation FPGAs for Electronic Warfare Systems

Designers of virtually all electronic warfare system applications exploit CPUs and FPGAs, each offering unique strengths and advantages for handling a wide range of tasks. This diversity arises from fundamental differences in the devices. FPGAs consist of hardware logic, registers, memories, adders, multipliers and interfaces connected together by the user to perform a specific function. CPUs consist of ALUs, instruction execution engines, cache memory, dedicated I/O and memory ports all connected in a fixed architecture, whose resources are driven by program execution.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Electronic equipment, Defense industry

Managing the Impact of Nanomaterials in Aerospace Manufacturing

As the aerospace industry continues to make improvements to safety, comfort and affordability of aircraft, nanomaterials are making their way into more elements of aircraft structure, electronics, glass, textiles and other components. While these materials provide tangible advantages in terms of weight, strength, speed and comfort, their effect on the humans that come into contact with them is still being studied and debated.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Composites, Aircraft structures, Human factors, Materials properties, Nanomaterials

Turbine Flow Meters: Technology-of-Choice for Measuring Critical Fluid Flow Applications

The aerospace industry has some of the most difficult operating conditions imaginable. Sensors of all kinds used in this industry must stand up to the environment and be able to perform under harsh conditions, fit in extremely tight spaces, and have electronics that can compensate for variable conditions in order to provide precise, repeatable results.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials, Computational fluid dynamics, Downsizing, Sensors and actuators

Designing a Power Generation System for a More-Electric Aircraft

It is theorized that systems and equipment for an All Electric Aircraft (AEA) will be developed 20 years hence as a More-Electric Aircraft (MEA) with no bleed system, which is a concept typified by the Boeing 787, and electric powered propulsion (including electric distributed thrust or electric hybrids by gas turbine power generation), which is expected to be realized after the 2040s. In this trend, a More-Electric Engine (MEE) plays the roles shown in Table 1.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Alternative Fuels, Electric power, Fixed-wing aircraft


At AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems 2015 in Atlanta Georgia, it was announced that the conference and trade show was being officially rebranded in 2016 to XPONENTIAL – An AUVSI Experience. The event, which runs from May 2 – May 5 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA, will feature more than 180 speakers, 335- plus educational sessions, and over 600 exhibitors representing more than 20 industries in the commercial, defense and civil arenas.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Robotics, Autonomous vehicles, Unmanned aerial vehicles