News

NASA Puts Dummies to the Test for Airplane Safety

Ten crash test dummies buckled into seats in a cut-out section of a regional jet fuselage will soon help NASA and the FAA develop new crashworthiness guidelines for future airplane designs. It is part of the FAA's efforts to address how to better assess the airworthiness of new transport planes that contain nonmetallic components. The test also included baggage in the cargo hold to see how the luggage interacts with the subfloor separating it from the dummies.

Posted in: News, Defense, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement
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Report from SPIE 2017: Drones Spot Gas Leaks from the Sky

ANAHEIM, CA. During last week’s SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing 2017 conference, panelists from industry, academia, and government demonstrated how miniaturized sensing platforms, and the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) hosting them, can improve the detection of hazardous gas leakage.

Posted in: News, News, Aerospace, Aviation, Detectors, Sensors
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Sandia Labs Takes Modern Approach to Evaluating Nuclear Weapons

Sandia National Laboratories is transforming how it assesses nuclear weapons in a stockpile made up of weapons at different stages in their lifecycles — some systems that have existed for decades alongside those that have undergone life extension programs. Back when the United States was developing new nuclear weapon systems, weapons typically were either in production or were retired before they aged much more than about 10 years. The U.S. today is no longer designing new systems, so scientists and engineers refurbish weapons to ensure the stockpile will function as intended and that weapons are safe, secure and reliable.

Posted in: News, Defense, Monitoring, Test & Measurement
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Next-Generation Fire Support Systems Boost Lethality

Soldiers view live-stream full-motion video from unmanned aerial vehicles via a smartphone. They access 3-D digital maps to send precision target coordinates. Soldiers are now relying on these advanced technologies to improve lethality and maintain battlefield dominance. These are among the improvements that will be embedded in future fire-support capabilities because the Army has started testing four upgraded systems for its Field Artillery units to provide more accurate and timely fire support to maneuver formations.

Posted in: News, Communications, Wireless, Data Acquisition, Defense, Electronics & Computers
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Navy Chemists Develop Field-Repairable Transparent Armor

Research chemists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have developed and patented a transparent thermoplastic elastomer armor to reduce weight, inherent in most bullet-resistant glass, while maintaining superior ballistic properties. Thermoplastic elastomers are soft, rubbery polymers converted by physical means, rather than a chemical process, to a solid. Consequently, the solidification is reversible and enables damaged armor surfaces to be repaired ‘on-the-fly’ out in the field.

Posted in: News, Defense, Composites, Materials, Plastics
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The 3D Printing Landscape: Then and Now

Frequently used as a design validation and prototyping tool in its early days, the 3D printer now supports a much wider range of applications, from shape-conforming electronics to the creation of printed living tissue. Tech Briefs spoke with industry expert Terry Wohlers about 3D printing's emerging possibilities.

Posted in: News, News, News, Aerospace, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Consumer Product Manufacturing, Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Implants & Prosthetics
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Morphing Wings Make Jets More Efficient

University of Michigan engineers have developed improved wing designs capable of burning less fuel, as well as tools that help the aerospace industry build more efficient aircraft. In areas where new technologies are being applied – such as for wings made of composite materials or wings that morph during flight – improved design tools can provide insights when intuitive understanding is lacking.

Posted in: News, Aviation, Defense
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NASA Tests Engines That Reduce Drag and Fuel Burn

Boundary Layer Ingestion (BLI) is a promising idea NASA researchers are studying to reduce fuel burn in jet engines, thus reducing emissions and the cost of operating the aircraft. Thrust makes an airplane go forward, while drag tries to slow it down. Lift offsets the weight to keep an airplane in the sky. BLI deals specifically with the drag part of the equation by trying to reduce the total drag an airplane experiences in the sky.

Posted in: News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense
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Technique Enables 3D Printing of Aerospace-Grade Carbon Fiber Composites

Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have become the first to 3D print aerospace-grade carbon fiber composites, representing a significant advance in the development of micro-extrusion 3D printing techniques for carbon fiber.

Posted in: News, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling
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NASA Test Flights Will Study Improved Efficiency of Supersonic Aircraft

NASA is set to begin a series of supersonic flights that will examine efforts to improve the efficiency of future supersonic aircraft. Future supersonic aircraft seeking to achieve a low boom will rely on a swept wing design in order to fly at supersonic speeds without producing a loud sonic boom. The swept wing design generally produces airflow disturbances that run along the span of the wing, resulting in turbulent flow, increased drag, and ultimately, higher fuel consumption.

Posted in: News, Aviation, Defense
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