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Additive Manufacturing: How 3D Printing Will Transform the A&D Support Chain

3D printing, or additive manufacturing (AM), is quickly becoming a 'must have' for aerospace and defense (A&D) manufacturers rather than just a luxury R&D project with the A&D sector now contributing 12 percent of 3D printing's $3.1 billion global revenue. A&D companies began experimenting with 3D printing as early as 1988, and industry leaders are now starting to recognize the unique capabilities of 3D printing, and searching for ways to exploit them. The U.S. Navy is currently working on 3D manufacturing at sea, which would revolutionize the military support chain, while in civil aviation, companies such as Boeing and Airbus have been using the process to manufacture components for over two years.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Aircraft structures, Maintenance, Repair and Service Operations, Logistics, Additive manufacturing, Marine vehicles and equipment, Military vehicles and equipment
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Advances in Lightweight Electronics Protection

Lightweighting continues to be a key topic for the aerospace, avionics and defense industries as new metals and composites are being integrated into end products and assemblies with the goal of decreasing overall system weight. As technologies continue to evolve, with components often decreasing in size and increasing in complexity, the materials used to manufacture and protect the latest components and systems are also improving. Whether used in commercial or military aircraft, rockets, satellites, terrestrial or water vessels, or the latest in unmanned air, land and sea vehicles; systems within these industries must meet similar requirements – assemblies, components and electronics must be both lightweight and designed to withstand harsh operating conditions.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Electronics, Coatings & Adhesives, Avionics, Electronic equipment, Lightweight materials, Lightweighting, Military vehicles and equipment
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Powering Outer Space: An In-Depth Look at Aerospace Battery Technology

With space’s extreme environments, there is never a one-size-fits-all battery. Nor is any space mission ever the same, so customized batteries for each operation are essential. Saft, has been powering outer space for more than 50 years. Saft’s first battery was launched into space in 1966 aboard the D1A “Diapason”, which was powered with nickel cadmium (Ni-Cd) technology. To date they are the only battery manufacturer to supply all battery technologies used in space: Nickel (Ni-Cd, Ni-H2), primary lithium (Li-SO2, Li-SOCl2 and Li-MnO2) and rechargeable lithium or lithium-ion (Li-ion).

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Batteries, Power Supplies, Batteries, Supplier assessment, Spacecraft
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Using High Bandwidth Oscilloscopes to Analyze Radar and Electronic Warfare Systems

Whether for multi-channel analysis, or for wider analysis bandwidth in a measurement, high bandwidth oscilloscopes offer an alternative to traditional spectrum and signal analyzers for both pulsed RF aerospace/defense and I/Q vector modulated communications application measurements. Signals with spectral content beyond 1 or 2 GHz are now being created to support the higher resolution requirements in radar systems and to move the vast amounts of information in new communications systems.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Wireless, Defense, RF & Microwave Electronics, Test & Measurement, Data exchange, Oscilloscopes, Radar, Military vehicles and equipment
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Bio-inspired Airborne Infrastructure Reconfiguration (BioAIR)

Conventionally, most autonomous mobile nodes, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are operated remotely by human operators. As such, forming a mobile communication network to connect several airborne or ground-based nodes with multiple remotely controlled UAVs can be prohibitively costly and very inefficient because many operators are needed. Furthermore, the operators need to control the deployed UAVs, while coordinating with others and monitoring the performance of the deployed communication network. Hence, a feasible solution must support collaborative communication, sensing and navigation. BioAIR offers a solution to this problem by enabling multiple UAVs to autonomously control themselves based on network performance.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Defense, RF & Microwave Electronics, Attitude control, Communication protocols, Flight guidance systems, Personnel, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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EMI Analysis Software Helps Telescope Group Simulate RFI Mitigation

Challenging Einstein’s seminal theory of relativity to the limits, how the very first stars and galaxies formed just after the Big Bang, the study of dark energy and the vast magnetic fields in the cosmos, and the age old question “Are we alone in the Universe?” – these are some of the key scientific goals of the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) project, led by the SKA Organization from Jodrell Bank Observatory in the UK, supported by 11 member countries: South Africa, Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, New Zealand, Sweden, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Antennas, RF & Microwave Electronics, Antennas, Computer software / hardware, Optics, Remote sensing
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Epitaxial Growth of Rhenium with Sputtering

Epitaxial superconducting films of refractory metals are a promising new template for single crystal tunnel barriers in Josephson junction quantum bit (qubit) devices. In existing Josephson junction qubits, it is believed that the widely-used amorphous AlOx tunnel barriers have undesirable two-state fluctuators. It is speculated that single-crystal tunnel barriers such as sapphire (α-Al2O3) may be free of such decoherence sources.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Computer software / hardware, Conductivity, Metals, Refractory materials
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Processing and Characterization of Polycrystalline YAG (Yttrium Aluminum Garnet) Core-Clad Fibers

YAG-based fiber lasers could offer efficient operation at power levels beyond those achievable in current state-of-the-art silica-based fiber lasers if losses can be minimized. To address this, researchers have investigated creating both single-crystal and polycrystalline YAG fibers. Among the cases reported is the preparation of single-crystal YAG fibers using laser heated pedestal growth (LHPG), which resulted in fiber diameters of 400 μm and optical losses around 1–2 dB/m in the 1–3 μm wavelength range. Single-crystal YAG fibers with diameters of ~ 30 μm have even been reported.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Finite element analysis, Fiber optics, Lasers, Materials identification
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Multi-Scale Analysis of Deformation and Failure in Polycrystalline Titanium Alloys Under High Strain Rates

Extensive use of titanium alloys in critical industrial and military applications, such as compressor blades of jet engines and armor of ground combat vehicles, has motivated researchers to understand, measure and tailor the mechanical properties of these alloys over a wide range of strain rates and temperatures. Of special interest has been the mechanical response of these alloys under high rates of deformation and failure under cyclic/dwell fatigue.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Aircraft structures, Body panels, Failure modes and effects analysis, Materials properties, Titanium alloys, Military vehicles and equipment
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Abrasion Testing of Products Containing Nanomaterials

This SOP describes how to detect and quantify the release of nanoparticles from surface coatings into the air using a mechanical process that employs abrasion to simulate sanding. A material containing nanoparticles will be physically abraded and the materials released will be collected in a custom abrasion testing system. They will then be characterized by different methods such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) or Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and other methods.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Microscopy, Nanomaterials, Wear, Test procedures
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