Tech Briefs

Synthetic Aperture Radar for Helicopter Landing in Degraded Visual Environments

The development of sensors to assist helicopter landing in degraded visual environments (DVEs) is currently an important US Army requirement addressing the Survivability of Future Vertical Lift Platforms program, one of the Army's modernization priorities.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors

Novel Characterization Methods for Anisotropic and Mixed-Conduction Materials

State-of-the-art electronic and optoelectronic devices require electronic materials with specialized properties that cannot be characterized with standard methods, or that must be characterized with extra precision. As a result of this research, the following new materials characterization methods have been developed:

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Computers, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Photonics

Microstructural and Mechanical Characterization of 2-D and 3-D SiC/SiNC Ceramic-Matrix Composites

The purpose of this endeavor was to investigate the effect of 3-D weave architecture on PIP-processed ceramic-matrix composites (CMC). Microstructural studies were performed to document the resulting microstructure and mechanical testing was performed to determine the high-temperature durability of the five different variants of SiC/SiNC CMC investigated.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Imaging, Ceramics, Composites, Materials, Mechanical Components

Evaluation of Peel Ply Surface Preparation of Composite Surfaces for Secondary Bonding

Lightweight composite structures offer significant long-term cost-saving opportunities for the U.S. Army as replacements for traditional metal structures. However, high-strength economical bonding processes must be developed to join composites in order for them to be viable replacements. The Army is exploring approaches, also under evaluation in the commercial aerospace industry, to reduce the process steps associated with composite bonding.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Ceramics, Materials, Metals, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components

Enhanced Contacts for Inverted Metamorphic Multi-Junction Solar Cells Using Carbon Nanotube Metal Matrix Composites

In order to address issues related to mechanical and vibrational stresses that are commonly experienced in mounting, launch, and deployment of spacecraft, metal matrix composite (MMC) electrodes were fabricated with carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as reinforcement. The research plans were centered on first developing and selecting appropriate processes for fabricating CNT-MMCs based on characterization of their material properties, followed by optimizing MMC designs based on electrical testing under stress. Efforts in the program were also directed toward implementing the CNT-MMCs into solar cell device processing in a process compatible with standard clean room procedures.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Materials, Metals, Mechanical Components, Nanotechnology, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement

Reusable Rapid Prototyped Blunt-Impact Simulator

Rapid prototyping (RP) is the term most commonly used to describe additive manufacturing technologies. An additive manufacturing technology is any manufacturing process that fabricates a part by adding one layer of material at a time, one on top of the other, to produce detailed 3-D geometries directly from 3-D computer-aided design (CAD) models.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Simulation Software

Maintaining Enterprise Resiliency Via Kaleidoscopic Adaption and Transformation of Software Services (MEERKATS)

This research investigates a new vision for increasing the resilience of computing clouds by elevating continuous change, evolution, and misinformation as first-rate design principles of the cloud's infrastructure. The work is motivated by the fact that today's clouds are very static, uniform, and predictable, allowing attackers who identify a vulnerability in one of the services or infrastructure components to spread their effect to other, mission-critical services. The goal is to integrate into clouds a new level of unpredictability for both their services and data so as to both impede an adversary's ability to achieve an initial system compromise and, if a compromise occurs, to detect, disrupt, and/or otherwise impede their ability to exploit this success.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Defense, Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, Software