Features

Software Defined Radio Enables Flexible Communications for NASA

Communication is key to just about any endeavor. NASA’s ability to update and modify communication capabilities to reflect the latest upgrades without impacts to mission time or a trip back to Earth ensures optimal communication continues. In-orbit reconfiguration for spacecraft radios and systems, including those on the International Space Station, is the goal behind NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Testbed.

From its invention until now, the radio has undergone some mighty technological advances. Conventional or legacy radios are not programmable; they are designed for one fixed configuration. They are built to produce a single waveform at a specified frequency. Conventional radios often also have limited tuning options and fixed data rates. While some conventional radios carry multiple types of data, they are incapable of adapting to new waveforms. To make changes on these legacy radios, the radio would physically need to be changed. Once a radio is out in space, that task becomes nearly impossible to accomplish. These limitations created a need for improved communication in space.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Computer software / hardware, Radio equipment, Satellite communications, Test equipment and instrumentation
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Automated Testing of Advanced, High-Performance, Point-to-Multipoint Radio Systems

In 2008, 4RF Communications started development of a new range of radio products to augment their existing point-to-point, long-range wireless link product. Used by oil, gas, and utility companies for monitoring and control applications, the Aprisa SR is a point-to-multipoint Smart Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) radio operating in the 400 to 470-MHz licensed spectrum band with a 12.5-kHz channel size and narrowband 9.6-kbps capacity. The Aprisa SR is designed to address the key concerns facing the industry, such as the need for enhanced security, the need to efficiently handle the increasing complexity of SCADA networks, and the evolution to an IP-based and smart grid infrastructure.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Radio equipment, Data acquisition
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Pictorial Representation Tool for First-Aid Training

Charles River Analytics
Cambridge, MA
617-491-3474
www.cra.com

Reducing combat fatalities demands quick and effective emergency care on the battlefield, and all soldiers are expected to provide immediate, basic care to themselves or their comrades. Critical first-aid procedures are described in the Soldier's Manual of Common Tasks, but recalling the procedures in stressful, life-threatening battlefield environments is challenging. In addition, each first-aid skill is composed of numerous, interrelated subtasks and processes. Successful accomplishment of the subtasks and processes depends heavily on an individual soldier's basic aptitude, underlying skills, and understanding of the task flow involved.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Imaging, Medical, health, and wellness, Education, Emergency management
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Tactical Fighting System Simulator

Environmental Tectonics Corporation
Southampton, PA
215-355-9100
www.etcusa.com

Most fighter aircraft simulators are fixed-base, with no motion or sustained G-capability. Even those with six degree of freedom (6-DOF) motion bases provide only motion cues and cannot replicate an authentic, sustained high-G environment. While providing useful training for cognitive tasks, and providing some workload and environmental stressors, the devices cannot present the complete spectrum of physical stresses inherent in actual flight operations. Thus, current simulator training cannot effectively reproduce live-aircraft training events such as Basic Fighter Maneuvers (BFM), Air-to-Ground Weapons Delivery, Close Air Support (CAS), Offensive/Defensive Counter Air (OCA & DCA), Carrier Qualification (CQ) Operations, Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP), and air refueling.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Computer simulation, Education, Military aircraft, Military vehicles and equipment
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Ultra-Light Prototype Vehicle

U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC)
Warren, MI
586-215-8763
tardec.army.mil

At the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), final testing is beginning on the Ultra Light Vehicle (ULV) Research Prototype platform.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Concept vehicles, Lightweighting, Military vehicles and equipment
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Electro-Optical Boresight Weapon System

Senso Optics
Yokneam, Israel
+972-4-993-5527
www.senso-optics.com

The combat effectiveness of a weapon system depends substantially on its hit probability. The most accurate aiming occurs when an optical device is aligned to the weapon’s bore centerline.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Electronic equipment, Optics, Military vehicles and equipment
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UPS Devices Keep UAVs in the Air

The simplistic definition of UAV reads like this:

“An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), colloquially known as a drone, is an aircraft without a human pilot on board. Its flight is controlled either autonomously by computers in the vehicle, or under the remote control of a pilot on the ground or in another vehicle.”

Posted in: Articles, Defense, Electronic equipment, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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