News

Unique Chamber Gives Air Force Real-World Corrosion Test Capabilities

Aircraft corrosion is a multi-faceted issue that requires more than a simple, one-dimensional approach. To enable Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) personnel to arrive at a complete picture and find out how to best protect valuable military assets, a unique solution was required.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Data Acquisition, Defense, Ceramics, Coatings & Adhesives, Composites, Materials, Metals, Plastics, Research Lab, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Instrumentation, Monitoring, Test & Measurement
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Army Developing Next Generation Combat Vehicles

While the Army's current combat fleet is composed of very capable vehicles, they have been in the inventory for decades and their ability to overmatch peer capabilities in close combat is starting to wane. As the Army prepares for future combat operations, it needs new platforms, with future growth margins, to maintain the ability to dominate the battlefield.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Automation, Automotive, Transportation
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Tiny Satellites Track Global Storms

NASA’s RainCube, a satellite small enough to fit in a backpack, shrinks weather radar into a low-cost, miniature satellite that can provide a real-time look inside storms. The satellite’s umbrella-like antenna sends out chirps, or specialized radar signals, that bounce off raindrops, bringing back a picture of what the inside of the storm looks like.

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Insect-Inspired Micro-Drone

A flying robot, developed by TU Delft researchers, is an autonomous, free-flying and agile flapping-wing micro-drone. Inspired by fruit flies, the robot’s control mechanisms have proved to be highly effective, allowing it not only to hover on the spot and fly in any direction, but also be very agile. The robot has a top speed of 25 km/h, can perform aggressive maneuvers, and provides 5 minutes of hovering flight or more than a 1-km flight range on a fully charged battery.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aerospace, Defense
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Wing Anti-Frosting Fights Ice with Ice

A passive anti-frosting surface was developed that keeps surfaces 90 percent dry and frost-free indefinitely – all without any chemicals or energy inputs. The anti-frosting surface was tested on untreated aluminum by patterning ice stripes onto a microscopic array of elevated grooves. The microscopic grooves act as sacrificial areas, where stripes of intentional ice form and create low pressure zones.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aviation, Defense
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Preventing Premature Part Failures with Electropolishing

Design engineers in the aerospace industry are constantly challenged to improve fit and function of components used in commercial and military aircraft. Parts used in these aircraft must withstand high-stress, corrosive conditions with long-term use. They also must meet highly demanding cycle life specifications.

Posted in: News, News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Government, Consumer Product Manufacturing, Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Joining & Assembly, Machinery, Mechanical Components
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3 Key Benefits: Better Corrosion Resistance, Fatigue Life, Part Integrity

Electropolishing has become a common metal finishing process used in the aerospace industry to help improve the overall quality of metal components. These components come in many forms including high-performance fasteners, fittings, nozzles, housings, and welded assemblies. In order to maintain reliable performance, these components must be precisely manufactured and have an impeccable surface finish that is free of burrs and other contaminants.

Posted in: News, News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Consumer Product Manufacturing, Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Metals, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components
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Advantages of Electropolishing for Penetrant Testing

It’s common, especially in the aerospace industry, for parts that are fracture critical to be Liquid Penetrant Inspected (LPI) prior to installation. Also known as Dye Penetrant Inspection (DPI) or simply Penetrant Testing (PT), this method is used to detect micro-cracks or other defects that could serve as an initiation site for failure. In order to properly execute a penetrant test, the surface of a metal part must be thoroughly clean of any debris, smeared metal, or any amorphous layer that may be hiding a hairline crack, thus yielding a false reading.

Posted in: News, News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Materials, Metals, Test & Measurement
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3D-Printed Turbine Extends Drone Power

A cooled, radial gas turbine was developed that provides thousands of hours of electricity to an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), a significant improvement to current UAV turbines that only operate a few hundred hours before wearing out.

To create the small, intricate design with internal air passages, engineers used selective laser melting, which builds metal parts layer by layer.

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Posted in: News, Defense
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De-Icing Without Power or Chemicals

A buildup of ice on an airplane wing can cause catastrophic failure. But preventing that buildup usually requires energy-intensive heating systems or chemical sprays that are environmentally harmful. A new system, based on a three-layered material, collects solar radiation, converts it to heat, and spreads that heat around so that the melting is not just confined to the areas exposed directly to the sunlight.

Once applied, it requires no further action or power source. It can even do its de-icing work at night using artificial lighting. The three layers, all made of inexpensive commercially available material, are bonded together, and then bonded to the surface that needs to be protected.

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