Using Sensor Technology to Combat Legacy Issues in Defense Avionics

Reliance on aging military platforms has become a global concern and military aircraft today are expected to remain in service for longer than their original life cycles. This is partly as a result of a post-Cold War slowdown in purchasing of new material in the late 1990s, as well as cuts in defense spending. Indeed, the current USAF fleet is the oldest in its history, with the average age of aircraft being 26 years.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Avionics, Sensors and actuators

Counterfeit Electronics in the DOD Supply Chain

Counterfeit semiconductor devices entering the Department of Defense (DOD) supply chain continue to pose risks to many of our country’s most sophisticated aerospace and defense systems. However, considerable progress is being made by the DOD, industry and academia in developing approaches to help eliminate these devices before they are put into critical systems.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Supply chain management, Semiconductors

Touch and Go

Avionics developments are changing life in the cockpit and at airborne work stations.

by Richard Gardner

Since the digital revolution changed forever the pilot’s working environment, innovators and suppliers of cockpit systems have strived to provide a continuous stream of new developments and products that offer increasingly automated solutions to what has to be done to fly and land an airplane safely.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Human machine interface (HMI), Displays

Sandwich Cores for the Future

The search for lighter weight, stronger materials to construct airplanes and spacecraft remains as important as ever. But it takes a long time for new materials in aerospace structures to make their way into production designs. Capital is one reason; it is harder to take risks when it costs so much to develop new composites. Another is the long approval process from regulatory agencies due to safety constraints.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Composite materials, Foams

Making AESA Radar More Flexible

A modular, building-block approach brings greater design flexibility to Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar technology, simplifying system integration, and permitting rapid first-line repair with no downtime using standard off-the-shelf components.

Until recently, AESA radar was utilized almost exclusively by prime aerospace contractors within their own proprietary systems. These customized solutions were relatively costly and time-consuming to manufacture, and not reconfigurable to alternative uses.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Radar

Developing Secondary Surveillance Radar Automated Test Equipment

Unlike primary radars, Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) calculates the range and azimuth of a target, such as an aircraft, using a bidirectional communication link to gather information. Engineers use SSR in both military and civil aviation, with the former incorporating an identifying friend-or-foe system.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Radar

Aircraft Casting Alloy

IBC Advanced Alloys Corp.
Wilmington, MA

IBC Advanced Alloys Corp. will continue production of components for Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS).

Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense, Casting alloys, Aircraft

War-Game Simulation Software

MASA Group
Paris, France
+33 1 55 43 13 20

Military training tools must work effectively with reduced staff numbers and simulate a large variety of situations. Following 12 years of collaboration, the French Armed Forces have expanded their use of SWORD, a constructive simulation software package developed by MASA Group.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense, Computer simulation, Computer software / hardware, Education

VPX Chassis for Missile System

Manchester, NH

Using a hit-to-kill approach, a US Army anti-ballistic missile system called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) is designed to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate ballistic missiles in their terminal phase. The interceptor missile, developed by Lockheed Martin, carries no warhead, but relies on the kinetic energy of the direct impact to destroy the incoming threat.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense, Missiles

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