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Army Researchers Add Power and Range to Artillery

Picatinny Arsenal (NJ) engineers are improving artillery by extending its range, power and versatility using an electrically-responsive method to control energetic materials such as propellants. "Electrically responsive" means that the materials are controlled by electricity. "Energetic materials" are items such as explosives, propellants and pyrotechnics.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Defense
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Armor Plating Has Built-In Transparent Ceramic Eyes

Protecting yourself usually involves a tradeoff. If you want maximum physical protection, whether from biting predators or exploding artillery shells, it generally compromises your ability to see. But sea-dwelling creatures called chitons have figured out a way around that problem: Tiny eyes embedded within their tough protective shells have transparent lenses made of the same ceramic material as the rest of their shells — and they’re just as tough.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Defense
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Mineral Could be Used to Create Transparent Armor

Imagine a glass window that’s tough like armor, a camera lens that doesn’t get scratched in a sand storm, or a smartphone that doesn’t break when dropped. Except it’s not glass; it’s a special ceramic called spinel {spin- ELL} that the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has been researching over the last 10 years.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Defense
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Structural Composites with Tuned EM Chirality

Several metamaterials show promise in providing advanced radio frequency control.

Work on structural composites with tunable chiral elements has produced electronically tunable overall chiral composites, mechanically tunable chiral composites, flat lenses with soft hyperbolic focusing due to indefinite overall permittivity, a tunable flat lens based on chiral elements with adjustable focal spot based on applied mechanical deformation, and a three-phase periodic composite that demon strates positive and negative refraction, depending on the input frequency and angle of incidence. A MATLAB code directly computes the group velocity and pass bands for a given set of wave vectors, and generates an intuitive plot for quick, but thorough analysis.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Analysis methodologies, Composite materials
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Advanced, Single-Polymer, Nanofiber-Reinforced Composite

Continuous nanofibers provide unique advantages for future structural nanocomposites.

A strategic goal of the U.S. Air Force is to be able to deliver munitions to targets anywhere around the globe in less than an hour. This will require very high speeds and novel lightweight and temperature-resistant materials. Nanocomposites are promising emerging materials for structural and functional applications due to unique properties of their nanoscale constituents. However, the currently available nanocomposites based mostly on nanoparticles lack the high strength and stiffness required for structural applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Composite materials, Fibers, Nanomaterials, Polymers
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Quantitative Diagnostics of Multilayered Composite Structures with Ultrasonic Guided Waves

This nondestructive methodology inspects a sound-absorbing composite structural system consisting of polymeric and metallic materials.

Aging infrastructure has a major impact on safety, increasing the need to assess damage severity. Machinery, systems, and components such as airplanes, cars, pumps, and pipes in the oil and chemical industry are subject to varying cyclic service loading and environmental influences. Sometimes multilayered coatings are used, requiring a high-resolution inspection to confirm the presence of a defect such as a delamination, and accurately locate and quantify its size. Highly attenuating materials may significantly increase the inspection time while limiting defect observability. Guided waves have been recognized as having excellent potential for nondestructive inspection. However, the presence of viscoelastic coatings used for corrosion protection is one of the major obstacles for guided wave inspection.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials, Diagnostics, Composite materials, Inspections, Non-destructive tests
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Reactive, Multifunctional, Micellar, Composite Nanoparticles for Destruction of Bio-Agents

Multifunctional composites have been investigated for destruction of bio-agents. These materials’ unique properties at the nano scale, including their abrasive character and high surface area leading to very close contact with cells, and their unusual surface morphology leading to high surface reactivity, make them promising biocides. Nanoparticles can also be prepared in a variety of forms such as powders, slurries, pellets, and membranes, making them more convenient and widely applicable for bio-agent destruction. Additionally, nanoparticles can generally be easily stored, which increases their flexibility.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Composite materials, Nanomaterials
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Beam Steering Developer’s Kit

New Scale Technologies Inc. (Victor, NY) has a new beam steering developer’s kit for precise point-to-point beam positioning and dynamic scanning up to 100 Hz. The two piezoelectric rotary stages in the DK-M3-RS-U-2M-20-L developer’s kit have a galvo-scanner form factor but are only 12 mm in diameter. A closed-loop controller embedded in each tiny stage enables direct input of high-level motion commands from a system processor via standard digital (I2C, SPI, UART) or analog servo interface. Each smart stage rotates a pre-mounted aluminum-coated mirror +/- 20 degrees at up to 1100 degrees/second with angular resolution of 0.05 degrees (1 mrad).

Posted in: Products, Lasers & Laser Systems
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Multicore Fiber Fanout

Optoscribe (West Lothian, Scotland) has introduced an ultra-low crosstalk option to its 3D Optofan series of multicore fiber fanouts. By controlling the 3D waveguide layout inside the component, stray light is minimized resulting in reduced crosstalk within the fanout of <-75 dB. The 3D Optofan series connects to Singlemode and Multicore Fibers and enables the transmission of high data rates over short and long haul distances. The 3D Optofan offers a broad flat spectral response with high throughput and minimal insertion losses. Robust packaging and product flexibility enables simple integration across a range of application scenarios.

Posted in: Products
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High Definition Infrared Camera

FLIR Systems (Meer, Belgium) has announced the new FLIR 1030sc High Definition (HD) Longwave Infrared (LW-IR) camera. Coupling an extraordinarily sensitive detector, with new FLIR OSXTM Precision HD-ready optics, the T1030sc routinely detects temperature differences of less than 20 mK at 30°C. Able to record 1024 x 768 full frame video at 30 Hz on just battery power, and stream raw data at 120 Hz via a high-speed interface (HSI), the T1030sc functions as a stand-alone data collection and analysis system in the field or as a fixed-mount thermal measurement solution in the lab.

Posted in: Products
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