Polymer Material Decreases Mass of Aircraft

Lomonosov Moscow State University engineers created unique polymer matrices for polymer composites based on novel phthalonitrile monomers. The materials can sufficiently decrease the mass of aircraft parts that operate at high temperatures. The high-temperature polymer composites can replace existing metal engine parts.

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense

New Lab Helps Boeing Detect Aircraft Flaws

Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology and The Boeing Company established a new nondestructive evaluation (NDE) laboratory that uses millimeter-wave technology to improve the detection of potential flaws in coatings, surfaces, and materials.

Posted in: INSIDER, Aerospace, Defense, Instrumentation

Fluctuating Forces of Flight Captured by High-Tech Paint

A rocket is buffeted by a chaotic flow of air during flight. At high speeds, airplanes experience a similar, unsteady flow of air over their wings. A method to precisely measure these fluctuating forces uses pressure-sensitive paint (PSP), called Unsteady PSP, which emits a bright crimson glow in the presence of high-pressure airflow.

Posted in: INSIDER, Aerospace, Defense

Discovery Could Lead to Cleaner, More Efficient Jet Engines

Researchers at The Ohio State University found a way to improve the high-temperature properties of superalloys used in jet engines. The method tailors an alloy’s composition and exposes it to high heat and pressure to prevent microscopic defects from forming, actually making the alloy stronger. This “phase transformation strengthening” eliminates the formation of defects and decreases alloy deformation by half. When an engine can run at very high temperatures, it consumes its fuel more thoroughly and produces lower emissions.

Posted in: INSIDER, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense

NRL Develops Novel Monolayer Ferroelectric Hybrid Structures

Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Materials Science and Technology Division, have demonstrated that the intensity and spectral composition of the photoluminescence emitted from a single monolayer of tungsten disulphide (WS2) can be spatially controlled by the polarization domains in an adjacent film of the ferroelectric material lead zirconium titanate (PZT). These domains are written in the PZT using a conductive atomic force microscope, and the photoluminescence (PL) is measured in air at room temperature. Because the polarization domain wall width in a ferroelectric can be as low as 1-10 nm, this approach enables spatial modulation of PL intensity and the corresponding carrier populations with potential for nanoscale resolution.

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense, Electronic Components, Electronics

US Navy Synthesizes Slime to Assist Military Personnel

A team of U.S. Navy scientists and engineers at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) have successfully re-created a natural material used for marine wildlife defense to assist military personnel.

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials

Satellite Communications Ball Offers More Bandwidth, Greater Portability

While it may resemble a giant beach ball, the inflatable ground antenna transmit and receive (GATR) ball is actually the Army's latest piece of satellite communications equipment. The technology is so new that the 369th Sustainment Brigade's GATR ball has a serial number in the single digits. Designed to be lighter and more compact than traditional, rigid satellite dishes, the GATR ball can be broken down into just a few cases and hand carried anywhere in the world. The self-contained system can then be inflated and set up in less than two hours, ready to provide a variety of communication services.

Posted in: INSIDER, Communications, Wireless, Defense

Open Standard Middleware Enables New HPEC Solutions

The military embedded computing landscape has been transformed from where it was 20 years ago — and that has been almost entirely enabled by the ability of prime contractors, systems integrators, and OEMs to leverage the products of COTS manufacturers who take leading edge commercial technologies and apply them successfully to the world of military computing. A look at the commercial landscape today reveals cell phones that are putting vast amounts of location- aware information — and the ability to process that information — directly into the hands of consumers. The Internet of Things has become a deployable reality, with data derived from millions of connected sensors.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Defense, Electronics & Computers, Sensors, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Internet of things, Military vehicles and equipment

Cooling Your Embedded System: What Can Your Open Standard Architecture Handle?

Embedded computing systems for Mil/Aero applications are often conduction-cooled in an ATR or nonstandard chassis. However, there are many designs that require 19" rackmount systems with forced-air cooling. As more processing performance is packed into tight spaces, enclosures that provide advanced cooling options are increasingly common.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Thermal Management, Computer software / hardware, Embedded software, Cooling, Mountings, Fans

Evaluating Key Certification Aspects of Multicore Platforms for Safety Critical Avionics Applications

High performance, low power consumption and small footprint requirements imposed by the embedded market on the processor industry is causing a definite move away from single-core processors to multicore processors. Multicore processors have been deemed as the future of Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) constrained applications like military and avionics. They provide higher performance (MHz/W) at lower power. They also allow consolidation of multiple functions/ applications onto a single platform.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Electronics & Computers, Avionics, Computer software / hardware, Safety critical systems, Certification

Simulating and Analyzing Flow for an Air-to-Air Refueling System

Long-range bombers may have missions halfway around the world. Fighter jets may have to stay in the air longer than their relatively small fuel tanks will allow, or may find they have exhausted their fuel unexpectedly, such as during supersonic flight or evasive maneuvers. In these situations, large tanker aircraft are deployed that carry sufficient fuel to refill several smaller aircraft in a single mission (Figure 1). The task of injecting volatile jet fuel from one aircraft to another while both are moving at high speed and altitude is fraught with risk.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Test & Measurement, Computer simulation, Refueling, Aerodynamics, Freighter aircraft

The Ins and Outs of Spaceflight Passive Components and Assemblies

RF and microwave components deployed in spaceflight applications can experience hundreds of degrees of temperature variation, massive amounts of radiation, and can be expected to operate at an elevated level, sometimes for decades. The demands of operating in a space environment bring unique challenges and unforgiving reliability requirements. Designing passive components to meet these rigorous operation criteria necessitates a high level of design expertise, qualifications/certifications, and testing capability.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, RF & Microwave Electronics, Electronic equipment, Durability, Reliability, Total quality management, Spacecraft

Upgraded Electronic Flight Bag System

Astronautics Corporation of America
Milwaukee, WI

Astronautics Corporation of America has been selected to provide an improved and upgraded electronic flight bag (EFB) system on all fielded and future production Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplanes. The new Block Point Five (BP5) EFB will be a form/fit replacement for Astronautics’ current Boeing EFB. The BP5 will give Boeing 787 operators additional functionality and will be compatible for use throughout all phases of airplane operations.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aviation, Defense, Electronics & Computers, Stability control, Electronic control systems, Spacecraft

Helicopter Vibration Control System

LORD Corporation
Cary, NC
877 ASK LORD (275 5673)

LORD Corporation recently announced product qualification for their Improved Vibration Control System (IVCS) for the Boeing H-47 Chinook helicopter. Under contract with Boeing since Sept. 2013, LORD has now completed all program milestones and received final qualification approval for the state-of-the-art patented system that controls steady state and transient vibration on the twin-engine tandem rotor heavy-lift helicopter.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aviation, Defense, Electronic control systems, Vibration, Rotary-wing aircraft

Development of High Quality 4H-SiC Thick Epitaxy for Reliable High Power Electronics Using Halogenated Precursors

Development of robust semiconductor devices with high energy efficiency and reliability is a key objective towards 'Energy Conversion and Power Management ' for naval system applications. The goal of this research is to create the fundamental knowledge needed for the development of novel approaches to synthesize high-quality, thick SiC epitaxial layers (> 100μm) for reliable high voltage (≥10kV) / high power (>100 kW) electronics for navy ship applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Electronics & Computers, Semiconductor devices, Research and development, Materials properties, Marine vehicles and equipment

Silicon Based Mid-Infrared SiGeSn Heterostructure Emitters and Detectors

Enhancing the performance of GeSn p-i-n photodiodes using gold metal nanostructures.

The goal of this research project was to advance the science and technology of silicon-based photonic devices using SiGeSn heterostructures. Such devices work in mid-IR spectral range and form the foundation for mid-IR photonics that enable on-chip systems for applications ranging from vibrational spectroscopy, chem/bio sensing, medical/health uses, to environmental monitoring. This project was mostly directed toward improving GeSn detectors with the use of surface plasmons induced by carefully designed metal nanostructures. The goal was to replace the current mid-IR detectors that are usually photodiodes made from narrow bandgap III-V or II-VI semiconductor compounds such as InGaAs, InSb, HgCdTe (MCT) or type-II In-GaAs/InGaSb superlattice. These photodiodes are incompatible with the CMOS process and cannot be easily integrated with Si electronics. The GeSn mid-IR detectors developed in this project are fully compatible with the CMOS process.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Semiconductors & ICs, Integrated circuits, Sensors and actuators, Silicon alloys

Reconfigurable Electronics and Non-Volatile Memory Research

The purpose of this research was to investigate non-volatile memory device technologies that could be applied to reconfigurable electronics applications to provide power reduction, radiation tolerance, smaller size, and improved reliability over existing non-volatile memory devices. The research encompasses: 1) materials and device design, and 2) fabrication and testing of the devices. The types of memory devices that were investigated are divided into three categories:

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Semiconductors & ICs, Electronic equipment, Research and development, Reliability

Energy-Filtered Tunnel Transistor: A New Device Concept Toward Extremely Low Energy Consumption Electronics

Altering the thermal characteristics of semiconductors can prolong battery life.

Excessive heat dissipation (or power consumption) of modem integrated circuits is an undesirable effect that imposes substantial limitations on the performance of many electronic devices. For example, the level of heat dissipation /power consumption of smart phones, tablets, and laptops is such that it prohibits a continuous and prolonged operation of these devices, requiring frequent recharging. Large power consumption of electronic devices requires large energy storage in batteries, increasing the battery weights that soldiers carry in their missions or the weights of remote controlled equipment such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Therefore, technology that enables electronic devices to operate with extremely small energy consumption promises a broad range of commercial, military and space applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Transistors, Energy conservation

Army Demonstrates Hoverbike Prototype

The US Army demonstrated the flying capabilities of a unique rectangular-shaped quadcopter. The Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle (JTARV), also known as a hoverbike, may one day make it possible for soldiers on the battlefield to order resupply and then receive those supplies rapidly.

Posted in: INSIDER, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Defense

3D Printers Create Tomorrow’s Rocket Engines

Startup company Tri-D Dynamics LLC, a startup with ties to Purdue University, plans to use 3D printers as well as other additive manufacturing processes to make future rocket engines that show promise in being faster and less expensive to produce than traditional methods. The 3D printer would create small rocket engines for satellites.

Posted in: INSIDER, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling

Nano-Modified Aerospace Composites Have Improved Conductivity

Research indicates the potential of a carbon fiber reinforced plastic that is made multifunctional while still maintaining its structural integrity. Novel functionality including sensors, energy harvesting, lighting, and communication antennae can now be integrated into the structure of the composite to usher in a new era in composite technology.

Posted in: INSIDER, Aerospace, Defense

Simulation Software Improves Pilot Training

Providing pilots with the best possible preparation for extreme situations is the goal of new simulation software. The program that combines flow mechanics and flight dynamics in real time. The numerical model is extremely flexible and does not depend on stored flow data. External conditions such as topography, global wind speeds, and aircraft type are input. During the simulation, the algorithms use that data to continuously compute the interacting flow field at the virtual aircraft’s current location.

Posted in: INSIDER, Aerospace, Defense, Simulation Software

Professor Simulates Bomb Blasts to Study How Things Break Apart

How much force does it take to shatter a Humvee, a soldier’s body armor, or a submarine?

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense, Research Lab

High-Speed, Autonomous Surface Patrol Capability Demonstrated

After a year of internal research and development, the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, recently conducted a large, at-sea demonstration of swarming unmanned surface vessels (USV). The experiment — done in collaboration with the Surface Targets Branch of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, Port Hueneme, California — was designed to advance the state of the art of collaborative, autonomous USV behaviors to higher speeds and a larger numbers of vessels.

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense, Robotics

Army Researchers Demonstrate 3-D Printed Drones

Soldiers witnessed the innovation of Army researchers recently during flight testing of 3-D printed unmanned aircraft systems that were created on-demand for specific missions.

Posted in: INSIDER, Defense, Robotics

Computer Model More Accurately Predicts Flight Delays

Researchers at Binghamton University have devised a new computer model that can more accurately predict delays faster than anything currently in use. The multilevel input layer artificial neural network handles categorical variables with a simple structure to help airlines easily see the relationships between input variables (such as weather) and outputs (flight delays).

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

Cockpit Display Shows Precise Locations of Sonic Booms

NASA pilots flying supersonic aircraft now have a display that tells them exactly where sonic booms are hitting the ground. The display provided NASA research pilots the ability to physically see their sonic footprint on a map as the boom occurred. With the ability to observe the location of their aircraft’s sonic booms, pilots can better keep the loud percussive sounds from disturbing communities on the ground.

Posted in: INSIDER, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Defense

Laser-Based Navigation Sensor Could be Standard for Planetary Landing Missions

A laser-guided navigation sensor that could help future rovers make safe, precise landings on Mars or destinations beyond was developed at NASA’s Langley Research Center. The Navigation Doppler Lidar (NDL) will act as a GPS for Mars spacecraft.

Posted in: INSIDER, Aerospace, Defense, Sensors

Researchers 3D-Print Operational Drone with Embedded Electronics

Researchers at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 3D-printed a ready-to-fly drone with embedded electronics using aerospace-grade material. The electronics were incorporated in the drone during the 3D printing process, which used Stratasys ULTEM™ 9085 high-strength, lightweight FDM material certified for use in commercial aircraft.

Posted in: INSIDER, Aerospace, Defense, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling

32-Bit MCUs

Mouser Electronics, Inc. (Mansfield, TX) is now stocking the MSP432 mixed-signal microcontrollers from Texas Instruments (TI). TI’s MSP432 microcontrollers are based on a powerful, 32-bit ARM® Cortex®‑M4F core with a floating point unit and memory protection management. The microcontroller includes two 16-bit timers, four 32-bit timers, and a 14-bit analog to digital converter (ADC) that converts at 1MSPS. The microcontroller also boasts four high-drive input and output (I/O) pins that can support up to 20mA. The microcontrollers support capacitive touch capability, as well as digital glitch filtering on some I/O pins.

Posted in: Products, Products, Semiconductors & ICs