Virtual Environment-Based Training Tools

Charles River Analytics
Cambridge, MA

Charles River Analytics Inc., a developer of intelligent systems solutions, has received a follow-on contract from the US Navy to develop more efficient training tools in virtual environments. Shiphandling Educator Assistant for Managing Assessments in Training Environments, or SEAMATE, supports experienced instructors as they monitor and interact with larger numbers of students in the classroom, increasing training efficiency while reducing costs and maintaining effectiveness. The contract is valued at just under $1 million with a contract extension option close to $500,000, if exercised.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Virtual reality, Education, Marine vehicles and equipment

Precision Assembly of Systems on Surfaces (PASS)

Chemiresistors represent a powerful class of chemical sensors that can be readily integrated into any electrical system, can be miniaturized, are readily multiplexed, and take nearly zero-power to operate. One of the greatest limitations to these sensors is a lack of selectivity, which is the electronic equivalent of noise. Interference from large varying background signals, such as humidity, can compromise the sensor signal to a point where there is no useful data. To address this challenge, new ways to integrate molecular constructs into carbon nanotube compositions that produce enhanced selectivity to certain molecules or classes of molecules were investigated to increase the signal to noise level in chemical sensors.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Electrical systems, Sensors and actuators, Humidity, Chemicals, Nanotechnology, Noise

Development of a Novel Electrospinning System with Automated Positioning and Control Software

Electrospinning is a nanofiber fabrication technique that has grown in popularity due to its potential in numerous biomedical applications. The process uses an electrical charge to draw ultrafine fibers from liquid polymer solution to form a non-woven fiber scaffold. The polymer fiber diameters can range from millimeters to as small as nanometers in scale.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Medical equipment and supplies, Fabrication, Fibers, Nanotechnology, Polymers

Advanced Multifunctional Materials for High Speed Combatant Hulls

Currently small boat combatant design focuses primarily on speed and maneuverability. It would be advantageous to expand these capabilities to include reduced radar cross-section, and enhanced survivability to blast and ballistic threats for both the structure and warfighters.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Radar, Crashworthiness, Marine vehicles and equipment, Military vehicles and equipment

Multifunctional Shear Pressed CNT Sheets for Strain Sensing and Composite Joint Toughening

The main goal of this work is to obtain a scientific understanding of the possibilities provided by, and the behavioral features of, a novel type high performance carbon nanotube (CNT) reinforced composite material incorporated in the interfaces of composite laminates and bonded joins with the following two purposes: (a) providing enhancement of the interlaminar fracture toughness and strength and (b) serving as a continuous strain monitoring sensor.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Joining, Coatings Colorants and Finishes, Composite materials, Fatigue, Materials properties, Nanomaterials

Antenna Design Turns Entire Vehicles into Broadcasting Equipment

High-frequency antennas transmit radio waves across vast distances and even over mountain ranges using very little energy, making them ideal for military communications. These devices, however, need to be huge to operate efficiently. Instead of adding more bulk, however, University of Wisconsin–Madison engineers are working to increase the effective size of antennas by turning the military vehicles that carry them into transmitters,using the structures that support the antennas themselves to help broadcast signals.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Communications, Defense

Army Scientists Synthesize High-Performing Energetic Material

Scientists at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory recently synthesized a new material called bis-isoxazole tetranitrate, or BITN, with potential applications in propulsion and lethality.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Propulsion

High-Tech Bird Watching Could Lead to Shapeshifting Airplane Wings

An international team of engineers and biologists will gain unprecedented insights into how birds fly so efficiently and then use that knowledge to build unmanned aircraft with shapeshifting wings. These planes should be lighter, faster and dramatically more maneuverable than today’s stiff-winged aircraft.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Defense

Using SWaP-C Reductions to Improve UAS/UGV Mission Capabilities

The defense and aerospace market continues to push for reductions in size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) to support advanced sensor/vetronics payloads onboard unmanned platforms. Groundbreaking SWaP-C reduction for processor and network switch systems are enabling UAS (unmanned aircraft system) and UGV (unmanned ground vehicle) platforms to expand their mission capabilities. Several technologies are driving this small form factor revolution, including tightly integrated system- on-chips (SoCs), semiconductor packaging advancements (i.e. smaller nanometer dies, lower voltage chips), and micro-miniature rugged connectors.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Downsizing, Connectors and terminals, Packaging, Semiconductors, Autonomous vehicles, Unmanned aerial vehicles

Designing Rugged Computing Platforms for UGVs

While the military’s proliferation of unmanned aircraft, or drones, continues to grab the headlines, the deployment of unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) is also anticipated to expand based on their role in helping military operations become more agile, responsive and safe. Intensifying mission requirements for UGVs called for in Future Combat Systems (FCS) depends on their ability to cost-effectively contribute to significant increases in intelligence through reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition, coupled with the ability to handle high-risk or labor intensive tasks and the efficient transporting of personnel and materials.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Computer software / hardware, Autonomous vehicles, Military vehicles and equipment