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UAV Circuit Boards

Sunstone Circuits
Mulino, OR
503-829-9108
www.sunstone.com

Miki Szmuk is an aerospace engineer with big ideas for building better unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). As a doctoral student from the Controls Lab for Distributed and Uncertain Systems (C-DUS) of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Texas (UT) in Austin, Szmuk specializes in the engineering of small, sophisticated UAVs.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense, Electronic equipment, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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Infrared Stereo Calibration for Unmanned Ground Vehicle Navigation

Many challenges still persist in the area of autonomous (and even semi-autonomous) vehicle navigation for unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs). One challenge is in detecting and classifying obstacles for avoidance and path planning. The use of laser-based sensors, such as lidar, has become quite common for assisting in such a task; however, lidar systems may be too expensive for certain applications, and are active, not passive sensors, so they may not be desirable in some missions. Lidar is adversely affected by smoke, dust, fog, and rain. Therefore, the use of passive camera sensors, such as typical color and infrared (IR) cameras, has become an important research topic in UGV navigation.

Posted in: Briefs, Defense, Sensors, Imaging, Optics, Sensors and actuators, Vibration
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Simultaneous Vibration Suppression and Energy Harvesting for a Multifunctional UAV Spar

The goal of this work was to investigate using harvested energy to directly control the vibration response of flexible aerospace systems. Small, lightweight, flexible Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) operate near flutter, providing both harvesting opportunities and vibration suppression requirements. The possibility that ambient energy might be harnessed and recycled to provide energy to mitigate the vibrations through various control laws was investigated. The goal was to integrate harvesting, storage, control, and computation into one multifunctional structure, and illustrate its benefits.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Vibration, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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Development and Evaluation of the Stingray Amphibious Maritime Unmanned Ground Vehicle

Every year, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps conduct thousands of Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIOs) to enforce embargoes, intercept contraband, prevent drug and human smuggling, and fight piracy. These operations are usually conducted by Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (VBSS) teams using rigid-hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) or helicopters. Key performance parameters were developed for a portable, throwable robot that can best support their missions. This robot can be used for advanced reconnaissance as the team is about to board a target vessel, to assist in compartment clearing, and for inspection of flooded compartments and bilges.

Posted in: Briefs, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Product development, Autonomous vehicles, Marine vehicles and equipment
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Pushbroom Stereo for High-Speed UAV Navigation in Cluttered Environments

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) rely on an external motion-capture apparatus that gives the vehicles almost perfect state information at high rates. Major challenges in gathering sensing data necessary for flight are the limited payload, computation, and battery life of the vehicles. Lightweight cameras are a good solution, but require computationally efficient machine vision algorithms that can run within the limits of these vehicles.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Software, Imaging, Navigation and guidance systems, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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Modeling and Simulation of an Unmanned Ground Vehicle Power System

Robotic vehicles such as unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) have multiple sources of power, including batteries, fuel cells, combustion engines, ultracapacitors, and solar cells to allow for extended periods of operation. Fuel-based power sources have a higher specific energy than batteries, which is why most current automobiles are gasoline-powered. Batteries have many other advantages in terms of low noise profile, easy replacement, and direct energy conversion. Solar charging allows for harvesting of natural resources to increase total energy reserves. Mission duration may be maximized using a combination of power systems.

Posted in: Briefs, Defense, Software, Simulation and modeling, Engines, Autonomous vehicles, Vehicle performance
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Rocket Science May Improve Kidney Dialysis

Researchers in the United Kingdom have found a way to redesign an artificial connection between an artery and vein, known as an Arterio-Venous Fistulae (AVF), that surgeons form in the arms of people with end-stage renal disease so the patients can receive routine dialysis. The new design may decrease the likelihood of blockages in AVF, which is a major complication of dialysis.

Posted in: News, Defense
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Are Airships the Future of Aviation?

Researchers from the University of Lincoln, UK, have completed a three-year study of stratospheric passenger airships designed to provide a future sustainable air transport network. The Multibody Advanced Airship for Transport (MAAT) project aims to position airships as the solution for future air transportation that is safe, efficient, cheap, and environmentally friendly.

Posted in: News, Defense
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Unmanned Aircraft Inspect Energy Pipeline

A fixed-wing unmanned aircraft was used to inspect an energy pipeline route with a piloted chase plane following behind to ensure safety beyond the ground observers' sight line. The flight was a step toward making aerial inspections of energy pipelines safer and more economical. The test aircraft was equipped with a special sensor package to identify threats to pipeline integrity.

Posted in: News, Defense
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Assisted Steering for Efficient Turning of Electric Vehicles

Scientists are developing a new assisted steering concept for electric vehicles. In conventional vehicles, the internal combustion engine not only accelerates the car, but also supplies onboard assist systems with energy, such as the assisted steering system, which reduces the strain on the driver at the wheel. In electric vehicles, this energy comes from the battery, and also reduces the range as a result. In this case, the steering system is assisted in an energy-efficient manner by intelligent control of the drive torques transmitted to the individual wheels.

Posted in: News, Defense
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