Floating Armor Torso System

BCB International Ltd.
Cardiff, UK
+44 (0)2920 433 700

A Floating Armor Torso System (FATS), designed for marine-based forces, inflates when coming into contact with water. If the wearer were to be shot or injured in the line of duty and fall into a river, lake or the sea, the BCB technology would automatically inflate within seconds. The armor increases to the capacity of the size of the inflatable.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense, Protective clothing

Damping Measurement for Wafer-Level Packaged MEMS Acceleration Sensors

Microelectromechanical system (MEMS) three-axis acceleration threshold sensors have been developed to measure acceleration threshold levels using voltage switching when the threshold is reached. Determining damping coefficients is important for categorizing how each threshold sensor or switch operates. Switches with different damping coefficients result in different mechanical impedances and response times. Analytical and numerical methods to model damping coefficient values based on empirical data are needed to characterize three-axis acceleration sensors; traditional methods use the displacement of an underdamped system to calculate the damping ratio.

Posted in: Briefs, Defense, MEMs, Sensors, Measuring Instruments, Sensors and actuators, Switches

Sensing Suspicious Powders Using Noncontact Optical Methods

Suspicious powder incidents continue to be a disruptive and costly problem. In-situ assessment of suspicious powders within inorganic matrices, particularly with powders of biological origin, is currently limited to detection by biochemical methodologies that react with monomers such as amino acids, nucleic acids, lipids, or macromolecule compounds comprised of these basic subunits. Current optical methods such as Raman spectroscopy using excitation in the near infrared at 785 nm or visible at 532 nm, have not been able to detect or distinguish biological materials from background or other materials.

Posted in: Briefs, Defense, Sensors, Instrumentation, Test & Measurement, Optics, Biohazards

Isotope Beta-Battery Approaches for Long-Lived Sensors

The energy density of isotopes exceeds that of chemical energy storage by six orders of magnitude. Isotopes are used in many commercial applications, and are produced and available at modest prices. The power requirements of many sensors and communications equipment can greatly reduce the power requirements of many devices such as sensors, light sources, and transmitters. Chemical batteries are the mainstay of power for these devices. However, chemical batteries have limited lifetimes. This makes remote use and replacement difficult for applications extending the lifetime use.

Posted in: Briefs, Defense, Power Management, Sensors, Batteries, Sensors and actuators

F-35 Gets Cold Treatment in Step Toward IOC Remedy

Since it first became an active cold-weather testing facility in 1947, the 96th Test Wing's McKinley Climatic Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base, FL, there have been a wide variety of aircraft to undergo testing at the facility, ranging from the B-29 Superfortress and P-51 Mustang through to the Lockheed F-117, Boeing 787, and Airbus A350 XWB.

Posted in: Technology Update, Aeronautics, Defense, Test facilities, Aircraft

EOS and MTU Advance Quality Measures for Metal-Based Additive Manufacturing

EOS and MTU Aero Engines have partnered to develop quality-assurance measures for metal engine components using additive manufacturing (AM), signing a framework agreement for the joint strategic development of their technologies.

Posted in: Technology Update, Aeronautics, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Optics, Manufacturing processes, Engine components, Quality assurance

Selective, Sensitive, and Robust Electrochemical Detection of Anthrax

There exists an unmet need for rapid, sensitive, and field-stable assays for pathogen detection. Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax poisoning. This Gram-positive bacterium secretes a tripartite toxin including a cell-binding protective antigen (PA), and the delivered toxins edema factor (EF) and lethal factor (LF). Anthrax poisoning has high mortality and, when delivered in the form of B. anthracis spores, has a very high environmental stability.

Posted in: Briefs, Defense, Sensors, Biohazards

Talking Drone Converses With Air Traffic Controllers

Researchers have developed and demonstrated an autonomous capability that would allow a drone to verbally interact with air traffic controllers. The development is a critical step towards the full integration of unmanned aircraft systems – or drones – into civil airspace. Drones need to be able to fly safely alongside other airspace users without causing disruption to air traffic management.

The majority of air traffic control services are provided to aircraft by voice radio – aircraft controllers speaking directly to pilots. Using the new system, an air traffic controller can talk to, and receive responses from, a drone just like they would with any other aircraft.

The project brings the safe and seamless operation of UAVs within civil airspace one step closer. The new system enables a drone to respond to information requests and act on clearances issued by an air traffic controller.


Posted in: News, Defense

Researchers Develop New Maritime Target Detection System

SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific has developed RAPIER® full motion video (FMV), a maritime target detection, tracking, and identification solution that quickly and automatically analyzes video, alerts analysts of important targets, and outputs target information.

Posted in: News, Defense

DOD-funded Technology Lets Muscles Control Prosthetic Hand

After years of intense research and support from Defense Department agencies and a private foundation, a Marine who lost his right hand in Afghanistan is testing new technology that could change everything in the years ahead for someone who loses a limb. The implantable myoelectric sensor system, or IMES, was developed by the California-based Alfred E. Mann Foundation. Now in clinical trials for Food and Drug Administration approval, thanks to 31-year- old Marine Corps Staff Sgt. James Sides, the system lets a patient with sensors, or electrodes, implanted into forearm muscles intuitively control the movements of a prosthetic hand.

Posted in: News, Defense