News

Airbus, Georgia Tech Open Aircraft Design Center

Airbus and Georgia Tech opened the Airbus/Georgia Tech Center for Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE)-enabled Overall Aircraft Design (OAD). The center will contribute to the development and demonstration of a concurrent overall aircraft design process with a team of 30 Georgia Tech researchers, doctoral students, and Airbus experts.

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Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aviation, Defense
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Ducted Fans for Aircraft Propulsion

One alternative aircraft propulsion technology being explored is an array of electrically powered ducted fans distributed across the wing span or integrated into the wing. Researchers are studying the cross-communication – or cross coupling – between the aircraft engine’s RPM and the airflow characteristics about the airplane wing.

The researchers learned how that coupling between ducted fan systems and wing sections will modify the aerodynamic behavior and the overall lift, drag, and pitching moment characteristics.

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Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Propulsion
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Electronic Warfare Creates Battlefield on a Different Wavelength

Soldiers on the ground are now capable of rapidly reacting to electronic and cyber data rather than waiting on their higher echelons. Soldiers assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, currently deployed in Poland, are among the first brigades supporting Atlantic Resolve to train on a new system that enables a team to forward deploy and respond to enemy frequencies using new electronic warfare (EW) technology.

Electronic warfare, known as the battle in the electromagnetic spectrum, relies on data and signals to survey, fight and defend. Collecting enemy radio signals, sensing radar of an incoming threat, and utilizing radio waves to confuse or disable an enemy's electronic communication methods are all means in which electronic warfare specialist teams strive to train to perfection. Team members are learning to better operate and integrate EW capabilities, including the VROD, VMAX and Raven Claw. The VROD and VMAX are part of the backpack system that surveys the field from an electromagnetic perspective and delivers limited electronic assault capabilities such as signal interception and jamming. Raven Claw, a mobile computer system, offers on-the-ground planning and management without any network connection.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Data Acquisition, Defense, RF & Microwave Electronics, Data Acquisition
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Sandia Delivers First DOE Sounding Rocket Program Since 1990s

A new rocket program could help cut research and development time for new weapons systems from as many as 15 years to less than five. Sandia National Laboratories developed the new program, called the High Operational Tempo Sounding Rocket Program (HOT SHOT), and integrated it for its first launch earlier this year under the National Nuclear Security Administration’s direction.

The first HOT SHOT rocket launched from Sandia’s Kauai Test Facility in Hawaii in May, marking the first time the DOE has used rockets carrying scientific instruments, also known as sounding rockets, since the 1990s. Sandia is planning four launches next year.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aerospace, Defense, Propulsion
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Army, ASU Collaboration Produces Alloy with Superhero-Like Strength

Researchers from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and Arizona State University (ASU) have designed a super-strong alloy of copper and tantalum that can withstand extreme impact and temperature. It's likely the closest material on earth to vibranium, a rare, fictitious metallic substance found in Marvel's Wakanda and used in Captain America's shield.

Its structure and deformation response make it a candidate for ballistic impact or protective applications for military vehicles or personal protection for soldiers, said Dr. Kristopher Darling, a materials scientist with ARL's Lightweight and Specialty Metals Branch. Darling said that even beyond the Army, "anywhere there's high strength and good electrical conductivity required, these alloys can be thought of as a model system whose structure can be passed on to other alternative material systems. Materials based on iron or aluminum, for instance, could be used for protection and lethality applications."

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Materials, Metals, Nanotechnology
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2018 Create the Future Design Contest: Aerospace & Defense Category Winner

DETECTING PLASTIC LANDMINES

Hidden PFM-1 anti-personnel landmines are unexploded ordnance (UXO) devices that pose a difficult challenge to conventional landmine detection methods like metal detecting because the mines are primarily composed of plastic and only weigh 75 g. As a remnant of the Soviet-Afghan War, there are an estimated 10 million such devices scattered throughout Afghanistan. These mines remain in isolated locations, frequently out of reach of de-mining nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and act to thwart local economic and social development. The PFM-1s are infamously referred to as “toy mines,” as children often mistake the mines for toys and set off the 525 kg of cumulative pressure it takes to detonate them.

Posted in: News, Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Batteries, Power Management, Power Supplies, Green Design & Manufacturing, Imaging, Composites, Materials, Metals, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors, Software
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Optimizing Winglets for More Efficient Flight

Airplane winglets reduce drag, which can translate to higher speed or to allow a pilot to throttle back and save fuel. It also helps to reduce wingtip vortices that can be problematic for airplanes flying in their wake. Although winglets have been around since the mid-1970s, there is still a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and angles.

Researchers developed an algorithm that generates a wing that has the minimum drag, and ultimately will be more efficient. The integrated optimization framework will assist the current state of low-speed wing design and may also result in an improvement over the current conventional wing designs.

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Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Simulation Software
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Smart Materials Boost Jet Engine Efficiency and Reduce Noise

A group of new smart materials has the potential to significantly improve the efficiency of jet engines, cutting the cost of flying. The materials, which could also reduce airplane noise over residential areas, have additional applications in a variety of other industries.

The operating temperatures of high-temperature shape memory alloys (HTSMAs) were increased by applying principles from another new class of materials: high-entropy alloys.

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Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Composites, Materials
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NASA Tests Next-Generation Composite Wing

Two series of structural tests on a uniquely designed, high-aspect-ratio, lightweight experimental test article could demonstrate a new method of wing design and fabrication. The Passive Aeroelastic Tailored (PAT) wing – a tow steered composite wing – is the most highly instrumented wing NASA has ever tested.

The next step after completing the tests is to compare the actual results to those that were predicted and use that information to create a full-scale wing design for a commercial aircraft.

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Posted in: News, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense
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Blast Tube Tests Simulate Shock Waves Nuclear Weapons Could Face

You can learn a lot from a blast tube when you couple blast experiments with computer modeling. Sandia National Laboratories researchers are using a blast tube configurable to 120 feet to demonstrate how well nuclear weapons could survive the shock wave of a blast from an enemy weapon and to help validate the modeling.

Sandia recently completed a two-year series of blast tube tests for one nuclear weapon program and started tests for another. Each series requires instrumentation, explosives, high-speed cameras and computer modeling. Tests simulate part of the environment a weapon re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere would face if another nuclear weapon went off nearby, said test director Nathan Glenn.

Posted in: News, Data Acquisition, Defense, Research Lab, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Test & Measurement
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