Tech Briefs

Hands-on Cybersecurity Studies: Multi-Perspective Analysis of the WannaCry Ransomware

This research involves a multi-perspective analysis of the WannaCry ransomware in the form of a cybersecurity exercise.
Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Software

Thermal Conductivities of Some Polymers and Composites

Thermoset polymers are good electrical insulators that are used in applications ranging from electronics to composite armor. They are rather poor thermal conductors, however.
Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Thermal Management, Composites, Materials, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement

Nominal High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP) Waveforms

Predictions of these signals were difficult to make due to the complexity of the physics unleashed by the detonation.
Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Photonics, RF & Microwave Electronics, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement

Real-Time Heuristics and Metaheuristics for Static and Dynamic Weapon Target Assignments

Projectile weapons have been a consistent threat of hostilities throughout history. Military advantage has always been aided by the capacity to inflict damage from a distance. In the 20th century, missile technology advanced to the point that an adversary had the potential to attack a protected asset from great distances. To neutralize this stand-off threat, the concept of air defense evolved. However, as the ability to reduce a missile threat increased, so, too, did the quantity and quality of missiles available, and research into the effective allocation of air defense resources emerged.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Simulation Software, Automotive, Transportation

Hybrid Ultra-Low VOC and Non-HAP Rain Erosion Coatings

Numerous military aircraft and shipboard surfaces, such as radomes, antennas, gun shields, wing leading edges, and helicopter blade leading edges, are coated with a specialized erosion-resistant protective coating possessing strict performance requirements. These protective coatings must provide excellent rain erosion resistance, superior mechanical properties, good adhesion to the substrate and meet a host of other metrics outlined in MIL-PRF-32239 and SAE AMS-C- 83231A.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Coatings & Adhesives, Mechanical Components

Electrical Characterization of Crystalline UO2, THO2 and U0.71TH0.29O2

Tracking and identifying radiation sources in the age of nuclear proliferation and well- resourced non-state actors is a national priority. Current neutron detection methods favor large detector volumes and long data collection times. Additionally, portable neutron detection methods have persistent problems with low signal-to-noise (small pulse height) and require large applied voltages.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Mechanical Components, MEMs, Semiconductors & ICs, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors

ONR Short Pulse Research, Evaluation and non-SWaP Demonstration for C-sUAV Study

The OSPRES (ONR Short Pulse Research, Evaluation and non-SWaP) program performed fundamental work in the areas of Silicon (Si) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) based photoconductive switch development, measurement of HPM waveform dependent effects on small unmanned aerial vehicle (sUAV), adaptive design of experiments, noise injection, RF coupling to sUAV's, minimally dispersive wave theory, and positive feedback non-linear transmission line (NLTL) development.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Electronic Components, Power Management, Power, Antennas, RF & Microwave Electronics

Matrix-Free Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Using Metal-Organic Frameworks

Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) is a soft ionization technique that is widely applied in the characterization of large biomolecules using various mass spectrometry (MS) analyzers, specifically, time-of-flight (TOF) analyzers. The MALDI process involves the deposition of an analyte solution onto a metal substrate before the addition of a matrix. The matrix/analyte dry spot is exposed to a UV laser, and the laser energy that is absorbed by the matrix/analyte is converted into heat energy that initiates charge transfer, which results in the desorption of the matrix and analyte molecules in ionized form. The positive ions are then accelerated through a vacuum into MS analyses.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Metals, Mechanical Components, MEMs, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Inspection Equipment, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

Geospatial Accuracy of Small Unmanned Airborne System Data in the Coastal Environment

The purpose of this study was to assess the ability of commonly available COTS software to produce geometrically accurate orthometric mosaics and terrain models from low-altitude UAS imagery.

Posted in: Briefs, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Data Acquisition, Design, Imaging, Automation, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Software

Developing Knowledge and Understanding for Autonomous Systems for Analysis and Assessment Events and Campaigns

There are many challenges in developing complete performance ontologies and test methodologies to define and evaluate the performance of autonomous systems. Chief among them is the dynamic environment in which the autonomous system is expected to operate. Change in the autonomous system’s environment is expected to affect system performance. Test methodologies have to include all aspects of this dynamic environment.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Defense, Automation, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

Monitoring a Nearshore Beneficial Use Site: Application of a Benthic Sled and Video Annotation

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Portland Districts (NWP) maintains safe and navigable waterways in Oregon through a variety of dredging projects, including channel deepening, and dredging sandbars. Placement of dredged sediment occurs at preselected, specific geographic areas categorized as nearshore beneficial use sites. Beneficial use sites are commonly monitored before, during, and after disposal, to evaluate dredge management practices and to avoid potentially adverse effects to the marine environment.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Defense, Environmental Monitoring, Cameras, Imaging, Video, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

Sound Attenuation of Neoprene Wetsuit Hoods as a Function of Dive Depth and Acoustic Frequency: Hyperbaric Chamber Trials

The U.S. Navy is interested in strategies that divers could employ to protect them from loud underwater sounds. Sonar transmissions and other forms of underwater sound, such as that produced by noisy underwater tools, are an occupational hazard for U.S. Navy divers.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Defense, Machinery, Mechanical Components, Data Acquisition, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement

Localization and Mapping of Unknown Locations with Unmanned Ground Vehicles

The main goals of this research are to enhance a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software platform to support unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) exploring the complex environment of tunnels, to test the platform within a simulation environment, and to validate the architecture through field- testing.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Batteries, Cameras, Lasers & Laser Systems, Photonics, Automation, Robotics, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Simulation Software, Software, Transportation

Deep Installation Method for Three-Component Seismic Sensors

Successful sensor installation is important, as it directly affects how the sensor will perform. If conducted incorrectly, it could seriously degrade the data received and collective system performance. This is especially pertinent for three-component (3C) seismic sensors that have the additional parameters of orientation and leveling in addition to the need to be well-coupled to the surrounding media.

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

Simulation of Active Imaging Systems

Active imaging systems offer the promise of significantly improved tactical performance compared to passive military systems operating in adverse ground, air, and underwater/ maritime environments. These improvements would include, but are not limited to:

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Defense, Imaging, Lasers & Laser Systems, Simulation Software

Characterization of Bore Temperatures and Stresses in Small Caliber Gun Barrels

Currently in the small arms community, with the push for lighter, stronger barrels with improved life, a more complete understanding of the bore's thermal and structural behavior is required in order to not only improve future barrel design but to more thoroughly and accurately assess barrels in the current inventory.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Defense, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors, Simulation Software, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement

Modular Biosensor Patch

Researchers are identifying new biomarkers to help monitor cognition and stress in the human body and enhance human performance. Traditional biomarkers like heart rate, temperature, oxygen partial pressure, blood glucose, electrolyte concentration, and others have been correlated with cognition and stress states. However, the correlation is indirect. Molecular biomarkers with stronger and more specific links are preferred.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Fluid Handling, MEMs, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Biosensors, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors

Evaluation of Aeronautical Design Standard – 33 Using a UH-60A Black Hawk

In 1982, the U.S. Army Aeroflightdynamics Directorate (AFDD), then assigned under the U.S. Army Aviation Systems Command (AVSCOM), began development of a new handling qualities specification for military rotorcraft. This effort resulted in the U.S. Army's initial Aeronautical Design Standard–33 (ADS-33A), “Handling Qualities Requirements for Military Rotorcraft,” published in May 1987. It was initially applied to the RAH-66 Comanche Helicopter program, meaning the handling qualities requirements generally related more to scout and attack classes of rotorcraft. As more data became available and lessons learned emerged from using ADS-33A, refinements were implemented into ADS-33B and ADS-33C).

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Instrumentation, Test & Measurement, Transportation

Circuit Models for Robust, Adaptive Neural Control

This project seeks to reproduce the neural circuits used by the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans for locomotion. Caenorhabditis elegans is a small (~1.2 millimeter) nematode found in rotting fruit in many parts of the world. It feeds on bacteria and is neither parasitic nor pathogenic. Although capable of sexual reproduction, most laboratory strains reproduce primarily as self-fertilizing hermaphrodites, with each adult hermaphrodite producing approximately 300 progeny (Figure 1).

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Physical Sciences, Instrumentation, Test & Measurement

Pulsed Microwave Plasma Instrumentation for Investigation of Plasma-Tuned Multiphase Combustion

Strategies to control solid rocket propellant regression rate require a robust throttling technique applicable to high performance propellant formulations. Currently, several methods to control and throttle either motors or subscale propellant strands exist, including chamber pressure control (e.g. pintle nozzles or rapid depressurization quench), infrared laser irradiation of the burning surface to increase burning rates, development of inherently unstable combustion chamber geometries (producing either local pressure or velocity perturbations), and electrically sensitive hydroxylammonium nitrate (HAN)-based formulations in which burning rate is controlled by a voltage potential. However, these techniques are limited in that they either can only be used with low flame temperature (low specific impulse) propellants, result in low propulsion system mass fraction (pintle), are only capable of producing a single perturbation, or are formulation specific.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Energy, Materials, Power Transmission, Propulsion, RF & Microwave Electronics, Instrumentation

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, Radar/LiDAR Systems, 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

Burner Rig Testing of A500® C/SiC

There is growing interest in developing, testing, and deploying ceramic-matrix composites (CMCs) into commercial and military aerospace gas turbine engines due to their durability under extreme conditions and weight-savings potential. For military applications, the focus is on the afterburning section of the turbine engine, including the flameholder, augmentor liner, and both the convergent and divergent segments of the exhaust nozzle. These are demanding applications because of the high temperatures and rapid thermal cycles.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Composites, Materials, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

Space Debris Orbit and Attitude Prediction for Enhanced and Efficient Space Situational Awareness

This research deals with the problem of modelling the orbit and attitude motion of uncontrolled manmade objects in orbit about the Earth, which tumble due to the natural influences of the near-Earth space environment. A mathematical, physics-based and computational approach is taken to model the forces and torques that drive the orbit and attitude evolution of such objects. The main influence modelled is solar radiation pressure (SRP), which is the interaction of solar electromagnetic radiation with the surface of an object, leading to both forces and torques that influence the orbital and attitude motion. Other influences, such as the gravitational field of the Earth, are also modelled.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Imaging, Materials, Simulation Software, Transportation

Fundamental Aspects of Single Molecule and Zeptomole Electroanalysis

The objective of this research program was to provide the fundamental understanding required for using the principles of electroanalytical chemistry to detect target molecules at very low concentration, including single molecules, with high specificity, simplicity, and low power.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Nanotechnology, Inspection Equipment, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement, Testing Procedures