Wind Tunnel, Lasers Provide Hypersonic Proving Ground

It’s about speed, and Sandia National Laboratories, with a hypersonic wind tunnel and advanced laser diagnostic technology, is in a position to help U.S. defense agencies understand the physics associated with aircraft flying five times the speed of sound. With potential adversaries reporting successes in their own programs to develop aircraft that can be flown at Mach 5 or greater speeds, U.S. development of autonomous hypersonic systems is a top defense priority. That has made aerospace engineer Steven Beresh of Sandia’s aerosciences department and his colleagues at the hypersonic wind tunnel popular lately.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Data Acquisition, Defense, Propulsion, Test & Measurement

Self-Generated Power Will Reduce Soldier Load

The bionic power knee harvester, also known as the PowerWalk, is an energy-harvesting device that is attached to both the upper and lower areas of both legs and generates power from movement. The device extracts the energy when the knee is flexed and negative work is being performed. The system adjusts to a person’s gait, so soldiers don’t feel like they are wearing a device and can even forget that they have it on.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Power, Robotics

Smart Skin Simplifies Spotting Strain in Aircraft

Thanks to one peculiar characteristic of carbon nanotubes, engineers will be able to measure the accumulated strain in an airplane over the entire surface or down to microscopic levels. They’ll do so by shining a light onto structures coated with a two-layer nanotube film and protective polymer.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense

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.


Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aviation, Defense

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.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Propulsion

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.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Data Acquisition, Defense, RF & Microwave Electronics, Data Acquisition

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.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aerospace, Defense, Propulsion

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.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Materials, Metals, Nanotechnology

2018 Create the Future Design Contest: Aerospace & Defense Category Winner


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

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.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Simulation Software