Space Weather’s Critical Effects on Satellite Materials

The Air Force Research Laboratory has investigated the effects of space weather damage to polyimides – materials used extensively in spacecraft construction due to their high heat resistance. The researchers determined the previously unknown chemical and physical effects of electron bombardment in Earth's magnetosphere on these polymers.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Materials

Air Force Scientists Study Artificial Silk for Body Armor, Parachutes

Who doesn’t like to feel warm in the winter and cool in the summer?

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Materials, Wearables

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

Preventing Ice Buildup on Electric Aircraft

Fuel economy is one of the biggest challenges facing the aviation industry. To overcome these challenges, researchers are working on next generation aviation systems.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Power Management, Thermal Management, Cameras, Imaging, Composites, Materials, Fluid Handling, Mechanical Components, MEMs, Power, Power Transmission

Peridynamic Modeling: An Alternative Approach to Analyzing Material Failure

A critical technology challenge for structural material applications in the aerospace and defense industries is to have a means for the reliable analysis of material damage and failure. Experimental structural assessments are typically expensive and often do not provide full information about coupled, multiscale damage processes. Computer-aided analysis has established itself as a useful tool for complementing experimental structural assessments. A comparative summary of current computer-aided approaches is presented in the accompanying table.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Materials, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Software, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

Tactical Communications System

Spectra Group
Tysons, VA

Spectra Group (US), a specialist provider of secure voice, data and satellite communications systems, specifically optimized for use in remote and challenging environments, has been selected by the US DoD to take part in the 2019 Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiments (AEWE 2019) at Fort Benning.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Communications, Wireless, Data Acquisition, Defense, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials, Data Acquisition

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

Air Force Produces Light, Thin Transparent Armor

The Air Force Research Laboratory is manufacturing transparent ceramic armor for both air and ground vehicles. ALON is a transparent ceramic material composed of aluminum, oxygen, and nitrogen. It begins as a powder that is formed into unique shapes and made transparent through the application of high temperature and pressure.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Ceramics, Materials

AFRL Achieves “Shocking” Materials Technology Breakthrough

The Air Force Research Laboratory, along with research partners at Los Alamos National Laboratory, are working to change the shape of materials technology with a breakthrough development that could open up a new range of possibilities for the military and beyond. The collaborative team has developed a 3-D printed polymer-based foam structure that responds to the force of a shock wave to act as a one-way switch, a long sought-after goal in shock research.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Materials, Plastics

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