News

Heavy Ground Testing Puts Airbus’ BelugaXL On Track for First Flight

In preparation for its upcoming maiden flight, Airbus’ first BelugaXL is now in its heavy ground test phase – which focuses on the highly modified airframe for this next-generation oversize cargo airlifter.

According to ground test project leader Mathieu Laemle, a total of 72 development and certification ground tests must be performed before the BelugaXL’s high-profile first flight. “With more than 48 tests already completed, we are on time,” he added. “The big challenge was to be able to anticipate or modify the test scheduling so as not to impact final assembly.”

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Test & Measurement
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Researchers Push Limits in High-Temp, Polymer Additive Manufacturing

Researchers at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate are “turning up the heat” in the field of polymer additive manufacturing. In conjunction with researchers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center and the University of Louisville, the team successfully printed the highest-temperature capable, reinforced polymer composite parts using additive manufacturing. Consisting of a high temperature thermoset resin infused with carbon fiber filaments, this state-of-the art material breakthrough sets the stage for next generation, cost-efficient Air Force manufacturing needs.

“This is an extremely impactful breakthrough in composite material additive manufacturing,” said Dr. Hilmar Koerner, a scientist on the Polymer Matrix Composite Materials and Processing Research Team and the driving force behind the novel discovery. “These 3-D printed parts can withstand temperatures greater than 300 degrees Celsius, making them potentially useful for turbine engine replacement parts or in hot areas around engine exhaust.”

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aerospace, Defense, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Composites, Materials, Plastics
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Superstrong Al Alloys May Change Aerospace Manufacturing Processes

Purdue University researchers have developed a superstrong material that may change some manufacturing processes for the aerospace and automobile industries.

The Purdue team, led by Xinghang Zhang, a professor in Purdue’s School of Materials Engineering, created high-strength aluminum alloy coatings. According to Zhang, there is an increasing demand for such materials because of their advantages for automakers and aerospace industries.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Metals
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Laser-Made Parts Could Transform Aircraft Industry

Researchers are manufacturing steel and titanium aircraft parts using laser metal deposition technology. It can be used to 3D-print parts from scratch or to fix existing parts with a bond that is as strong as, or in some cases, stronger than the original.

The technology could completely transform the concept of warehousing and transporting for defense and other industries. Instead of waiting for spare parts to arrive from a warehouse, an effective solution will now be on-site.

Source

Posted in: News, Defense, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling
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NASA UAV Flies Alone in Public Airspace

NASA’s remotely piloted Ikhana aircraft successfully flew its first mission in the National Airspace System without a safety chase aircraft on Tuesday. Flying these large remotely piloted aircraft over the United States opens the doors to all types of services, from monitoring and fighting forest fires, to providing new emergency search and rescue operations. The technology in this aircraft could, at some point, be scaled down for use in other general aviation aircraft.

The flight was the first remotely piloted aircraft to use airborne detect and avoid technology to meet the intent of the FAA’s “see and avoid” rules, with all test objectives successfully accomplished.

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Posted in: News, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense
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NASA CubeSats Head to Mars

NASA has achieved a first for the class of tiny spacecraft known as CubeSats. The MarCO-A and MarCO-B CubeSats are designed to trail InSight on the way to Mars, aiming to relay back data about InSight as it enters the planet's atmosphere and attempts to land.

The MarCOs were never intended to collect any science data; instead, they are a test of miniaturized communication and navigation technology that can blaze a path for future CubeSats sent to other planets. They have already traveled farther than any CubeSat before them.

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Posted in: News, Communications, Defense
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Aircraft Scheduling Models Ease Traveler Frustration

Flight schedules that allow for a little carefully designed wiggle room could prevent the frustration of cascading airport delays and cancellations. By focusing on the early phases of flight schedule planning and delays at various scales, researchers have developed models to help create schedules that are less susceptible to delays and easier to fix once disrupted.

A reduction in delays, cancellations, and their cascading downstream impacts would greatly benefit the U.S. airline industry and travelers. Existing models are unable to distinguish the cascading downstream impact of one solution over another.

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Posted in: News, Defense, Mathematical/Scientific Software, Software
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Scientists Join Effort to 3D Print Parts for U.S. Navy

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) are lending their expertise in metal additive manufacturing to a new collaboration aimed at 3D printing critical replacement parts for the U.S. Navy.

The Office of Naval Research recently announced an award of $9 million to fund a collaboration led by GE Global Research and aimed at developing a rapid process for creating exact digital models of replacement or newly designed parts for naval, marine and aviation assets. The collaboration involves scientists and engineers from LLNL, GE’s aviation and additive divisions, Honeywell, Penn State University, the Nuclear National Lab (NNL) and the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM).

Posted in: News, Defense
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New Device Detects Damage to Body Armor

Cardiff University’s School of Engineering joined forces with California-headquartered Microsemi to develop A-Ultra – a lightweight handheld system that uses ultrasound to spot damage to personal protective equipment.

Around five million armor units used by the UK’s armed forces are shipped periodically around the globe for X-ray inspection, representing a significant cost. The A-Ultra system allows the robustness of protective armor to be monitored locally, delivering both enhanced safety for the UK’s armed forces and savings for the Ministry of Defence.

Posted in: News, Defense
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Army Develops Dual Pulse Rocket Motor to Support Warfighter

A team at the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Center, Aviation and Missile, has been working to develop a new dual pulse rocket motor incorporating insensitive munitions capabilities. A dual pulse rocket motor contains propellant that is divided into multiple sections by an internal barrier, which will perforate as the second igniter fires to allow the propellant to exhaust through the same nozzle as the first propellant.

The project was born in FY13 out of a program known as the Accelerated Improved Interceptor Initiative, or AI3 Interceptor, as a potential upgrade to the baseline rocket motor. The AI3 Interceptor program was halted, causing the JIMTP funded team to change their focus and downscale. Because the team was successfully demonstrating insensitive munitions technologies that hadn't been demonstrated before, the program was encouraged to continue.

Posted in: News, Defense
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