Solid-State Microwave Power Module

Historically, the term microwave power module (MPM) has been associated with a small, fully integrated, self-contained radio frequency (RF) amplifier that combines both solid-state and microwave vacuum electronics technologies. Typically, the output power of these MPMs is on the order of about 100 Watts CW over an octave bandwidth. Because of their smaller size and lower mass compared to conventional traveling-wave tube amplifiers, these MPMs may have applications in electronic warfare systems.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Defense, Power Management, Power Supplies, RF & Microwave Electronics

Defeating Commercial Drone Threats with Open-Source SDR

It’s nearly impossible to look at technology news without seeing an article about drones. Whether detailing how Amazon wants to use drones to deliver packages or revealing amazing aerial video of drones following Olympic snow-boarders, commercial drones are ubiquitous. Drone emergence has benefited many applications including sports broadcasting and wildlife preservation wilderness surveys. Offering powerful, intelligent software, drones are becoming less expensive and easier to use, with substantial operating range.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Communications, Defense, Power Management, Power Supplies, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optical Components, Optics, RF & Microwave Electronics, Software, Test & Measurement

Defining an Open System Architecture Standard for Defense Systems

For many years now, there have been efforts within the US defense community to adopt “Open System Architecture” principles (or OSA) for defense computing platforms. Stretching back to the mid-2000’s there have been numerous efforts by all service branches to define sets of OSA principles or requirements on the embedded computing systems they procure and deploy. While these efforts have resulted in widespread adoption of POSIX functions for common tasks and a gradual shift in the use of common form factors and technologies such as VPX and Ethernet, there are still wide disparities between products from different suppliers, which creates difficulties for integrators. Product variations also make technology insertions or system configuration changes expensive, time consuming, and often locked to a particular vendor.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Board-Level Electronics, Computers, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Power Supplies, Data Acquisition, Sensors

The Challenge of Replacing Hard Chrome

The search for a suitable replacement for hard chrome on aerospace components has been a key supply chain priority for aircraft manufacturers. This is because of the documented health risks to workers and the impact on the environment from exposure to hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen that occurs during the chrome plating process and is the most toxic form of chromium.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Metals, Fastening, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components

Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Vehicles

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) based machine learning technologies in autonomous vehicles is on the rise. Helping to drive this trend is the availability of a new class of embedded AI processors. A good example is NVIDIA’s Jetson family, which includes small form factor system on modules (SoMs) that provide GPU-accelerated parallel processing. These high-performance, low-power devices are designed to support the deep learning and computer vision capabilities needed to build software-defined autonomous machines. They derive massive computing capabilities from the use of a parallel processing GPU device with many cores, enabling next-gen computing devices to take on many of the tasks that were historically handled by humans or multiple, traditional computers.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, AR/AI, Artificial Intelligence, Defense, Board-Level Electronics, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Industrial Controls & Automation

A 'STEP' Forward for Product Lifecycle Management

The existence of countless proprietary file formats and the exchange of 3D CAD data has been a significant problem since the beginning of 3D CAD modeling. CAD applications and methods using digital data are constantly changing, which predicates the need for a solution to share validated and accurately translated data. Thus the birth of STEP242.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Simulation Software, Software

Air Caster Technology

If there is a prime example of the need for friction-free, precise and delicate equipment movement in the aerospace and defense industries, satellite positioning during the testing cycle should be at the top of the list. Whether in a clean room or another environment, there is no margin for error when it's time to move the “bird” even a short distance. Anything short of a smooth relocation means unacceptable property loss and project delays if this most intricate piece of aerospace equipment is damaged. Disassembly is hardly an option.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Positioning Equipment, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement, Testing Procedures