Loop Thermosyphons

Two-phase cooling has been utilized in the electronics cooling industry for many decades, with possibly the most well-known adaptation being the heat pipe. Heat pipes are capillary-driven, two-phase devices that rely on the boiling and condensation of a working fluid to transfer heat significant distances with minimal temperature gradient. The flow of the working fluid inside of a heat pipe is facilitated by a capillary wick structure that relies on surface tension to return the condensed liquid to the heat generating components. Heat pipes have found their way into a large number of industries and applications because of their high performance, high reliability, and low cost. Unfortunately, as the electronics industry’s insatiable quest for smaller, higher-powered devices soldiers on, the discrete cooling power of the heat pipe approaches obsolescence.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Board-Level Electronics, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Power Supplies, Thermal Management, Design processes, Electronic equipment, Thermal management

Additive Manufacturing Materials for RF Components

The Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) Weapons Development and Integration (WDI) Directorate has a program known as PRIntable Materials with Embedded Electronics (PRIME2). PRIME2 will integrate RF and electronics into additive manufacturing processes to reduce size, weight, and overall cost of these components and subsystems. This program will advance the state of the art in printable electronics, and deliver a materials database, process development, modeling, and simulation of 3D-printed objects with embedded conductive elements, passive prototypes, and RF prototypes. PRIME2 will create a new fabrication capability (applied to electronics and RF technology areas), weight reduction, higher reliability, and on-demand (local and immediate) spare components in the field.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Electronic equipment, Embedded software, Research and development, Additive manufacturing, Fabrication

CompactPCI Serial Space

There are a few open specifications in the embedded industry that have been used in the extreme environments of space over the years. These include VME, CompactPCI, OpenVPX, and MicroTCA. But, prime contractors such as Airbus and others desired a high performance and versatile architecture that was relatively simple and cost-effective. The CompactPCI Serial Space specification was ratified in 2017 to address these requirements, resulting in a compelling architecture for defense and space-based projects.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Defense, Board-Level Electronics, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement, Architecture, Embedded software, Satellites, Spacecraft

NASA CubeSats: Pushing the Boundaries of Technology

NASA’s Small Spacecraft Technology Program is on the countdown clock to advance communications and proximity maneuvering capabilities for CubeSats with the Integrated Solar Array and Reflectarray Antenna (ISARA) mission.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Antennas, Navigation and guidance systems, Satellite communications, Satellites

Plain Bearings for Aerospace Applications

Plain bearings are used across a wide range of aerospace applications to help achieve better fuel efficiency, extend maintenance intervals, and lower carbon emissions. These applications include installation in aircraft wing systems (flaps, spoilers, and slats), flight controls, cockpit controls, auxiliary power units, landing gear, door systems, and aircraft interiors (seats, bins, latches, and hinge points). “Our plain bearings even have a footprint on Mars,” said Brett Ricci, GGB Aerospace Strategic Account Manager for North America. “Operating in temperatures between -200°C to +280°C, our plain bearings have served as the primary suspension components in the robotic drilling arm of NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover since 2012.”

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Fastening, Joining & Assembly, Machinery, Mechanical Components, MEMs, Aircraft structures, Suppliers, Bearings, Spacecraft

Multi-Domain Command and Control (MDC2)

We are at an inflection point in the evolution of warfare. While technology is rapidly increasing pace, it is also creating an expansion into multiple, parallel domains, and giving enemy forces more options for both disruption and defense. Technology advances are a key factor to successes spanning the spectrum from humanitarian efforts to complex anti-access/area-denial environments. However, technology is only an enabler, and mindsets must change to allow the technology to be a tool for success, and not ignored due to antiquated doctrine, policies, and guidance.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Electronic equipment, Emergency management, Research and development, Hazards and emergency management, Military vehicles and equipment, Rescue and emergency vehicles and equipment

Turret Aiming and Stabilization System

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Division
Ashburn, VA

Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division recently completed significant enhancements to the production facilities of its Defense Solutions’ Drive Technology business unit, located in Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Switzerland, to support increased demand for its Turret Drive Servo System (TDSS) technology. The innovative, upgradeable TDSS turret aiming and stabilization drive system uniquely delivers scalable functionality and power adaptability to ground vehicle designers and turret manufacturers. Significant investments were made in the Drive Technology business unit’s production line, engineering, and development test tools. These include new testing equipment at the facility, such as state-of-the-art automated test benches and upgrades to the plant’s coating line.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense, Motors & Drives, Power Transmission, Stability control, Calibration, Defense industry, Military vehicles and equipment