Machinery & Automation

Identifying the Flow Physics and Modeling Transient Forces on Two-Dimensional Wings

The main objective of this research was to better understand the flow physics of aircraft wings undergoing highly unsteady maneuvers. Reduced-order models play a central role in this study, both to elucidate the overall dynamical mechanisms behind various flow phenomena (such as dynamic stall and vortex shedding), and ultimately to guide flight control design for vehicles for which these unsteady phenomena are important.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Automation, Robotics, Wings, Mathematical models, Aerodynamics
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The Scaling of Loss Pathways and Heat Transfer in Small Scale Internal Combustion Engines

The rapid expansion of the remotely piloted aircraft market includes an interest in 10 kg to 25 kg vehicles (Group 2) for monitoring, surveillance, and reconnaissance. Power plant options for those aircraft are often 10 cm3 to 100 cm3 displacement internal combustion engines. Both power and fuel conversion efficiency decrease increasingly rapidly in the aforementioned size range, with fuel conversion efficiency falling from approximately 30% for automotive and larger scale engines (greater than 100 cm3 displacement) to less than 5% for micro glow fuel engines (less than 10 cm3 displacement).

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Automation, Heat transfer, Combustion and combustion processes, Engine efficiency, Two stroke engines, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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NASA Tests Robotic Ice Tools

Since 2015, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has been developing new technologies for use on future missions to ocean worlds. That includes a subsurface probe that could burrow through miles of ice, taking samples along the way; robotic arms that unfold to reach faraway objects; and a projectile launcher for even more distant samples. All these technologies were developed as part of the Ocean Worlds Mobility and Sensing study, a research project funded by NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington. Each prototype focuses on obtaining samples from the surface - or below the surface - of an icy moon.

Posted in: News, Data Acquisition, Defense, Motion Control, Automation, Robotics
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New Robotic System Finds and Destroys Explosive Threats

In combat, land mine and improvised explosive device (IED) clearance is a slow, painstaking, stressful job that physically and mentally drains soldiers and military working dogs. Technologies that seek out a variety of explosive hazards and IED components have matured in recent years to the point that semi-autonomous robots can detect, mark, and even destroy buried threats. The latest such system is called the Standoff Robotic Explosive Hazard Detection System (SREHD), and testing is currently underway at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground (YPG).

Posted in: News, Defense, Robotics
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Swarms of Autonomous Aerial Vehicles Test New Dogfighting Skills

Aerial dogfighting began more than a century ago in the skies over Europe with propeller-driven fighter aircraft carried aloft on wings of fabric and wood. An event held recently in southern California could mark the beginning of a new chapter in this form of aerial combat.

Posted in: News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Robotics
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Language Learning Robot Could Advance Autonomous Vehicles

A Purdue University researcher and his team are developing technology to give robots the ability to learn language. A team led by Jeffrey Mark Siskind, associate professor in Purdue’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has developed three algorithms that allow a wheeled robot to learn the meanings of words from example sentences that describe example paths taken by the robot, to use the words to generate a sentence to describe a path of movement, and to comprehend the sentence in order to produce a new path of movement.

Posted in: News, Defense, Robotics, Simulation Software, Software
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High-Speed, Autonomous Surface Patrol Capability Demonstrated

After a year of internal research and development, the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, recently conducted a large, at-sea demonstration of swarming unmanned surface vessels (USV). The experiment — done in collaboration with the Surface Targets Branch of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, Port Hueneme, California — was designed to advance the state of the art of collaborative, autonomous USV behaviors to higher speeds and a larger numbers of vessels.

Posted in: News, Robotics
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Army Researchers Demonstrate 3-D Printed Drones

Soldiers witnessed the innovation of Army researchers recently during flight testing of 3-D printed unmanned aircraft systems that were created on-demand for specific missions.

Posted in: News, Robotics
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Autonomous Underwater Munitions and Explosives of Concern Detection System

The objective of Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) Project MR-201002, Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Munitions and Explosives of Concern (MEC) Detection System, was to integrate an untethered and unmanned underwater vehicle with a total field magnetometer for underwater munitions detection and upgrade magnetic noise compensation software to reduce interference from electrical and dynamic influences such as vehicle heading, pitch and roll.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Automation, Sensors and actuators, Noise, Hazards and emergency management, Autonomous vehicles, Marine vehicles and equipment
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Power-Line UAV Modeling and Simulation

The Army Research Laboratory Power-Line Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Modeling and Simulation (ARL-PLUMS) Software Tool allows a user to model, compute, and analyze the quasistatic electric and magnetic fields around alternating current (AC) power lines. ARL-PLUMS comes with an interactive graphical user interface (GUI), which accesses a compute engine to calculate these fields around these lines due to various ground and line geometries and load conditions. ARLPLUMS allows the user to rapidly define all significant model parameters and compute the electric and magnetic fields along a UAV path or in a cutting plane. In addition, a set of false-color plots can be created to show the time-varying nature of the fields as a movie. ARL-PLUMS also comes with an application programming interface (API) for accessing some of these features from MATLAB without using the GUI.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Automation, CAD / CAM / CAE, Electric cables, Human machine interface (HMI), Noise, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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