Army, ASU Collaboration Produces Alloy with Superhero-Like Strength

Researchers from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and Arizona State University (ASU) have designed a super-strong alloy of copper and tantalum that can withstand extreme impact and temperature. It's likely the closest material on earth to vibranium, a rare, fictitious metallic substance found in Marvel's Wakanda and used in Captain America's shield.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Materials, Metals, Nanotechnology

2018 Create the Future Design Contest: Aerospace & Defense Category Winner


Hidden PFM-1 anti-personnel landmines are unexploded ordnance (UXO) devices that pose a difficult challenge to conventional landmine detection methods like metal detecting because the mines are primarily composed of plastic and only weigh 75 g. As a remnant of the Soviet-Afghan War, there are an estimated 10 million such devices scattered throughout Afghanistan. These mines remain in isolated locations, frequently out of reach of de-mining nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and act to thwart local economic and social development. The PFM-1s are infamously referred to as “toy mines,” as children often mistake the mines for toys and set off the 525 kg of cumulative pressure it takes to detonate them.

Posted in: News, Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Batteries, Power Management, Power Supplies, Green Design & Manufacturing, Imaging, Composites, Materials, Metals, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors, Software

Smart Materials Boost Jet Engine Efficiency and Reduce Noise

A group of new smart materials has the potential to significantly improve the efficiency of jet engines, cutting the cost of flying. The materials, which could also reduce airplane noise over residential areas, have additional applications in a variety of other industries.

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

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

Using Electromagnetic Brakes to Keep Thrust Reversers IN PLACE

Applying reverse thrust redirecting engine power to oppose the direction of travel is a standard technique for decelerating aircraft after touchdown. The approach saves wear on the brakes of the landing gear wheels and reduces stopping distance. Although accidental deployment of the thrust reverser cowl could and did happen, it was assumed for decades that this would only present a hazard in the moments around takeoff and landing. With changes to engine design and aircraft aerodynamics, this assumption no longer held, as demonstrated by the catastrophic loss of Lauda Air Flight 004.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Power Management, Power Supplies, Materials, Machinery, Mechanical Components, MEMs, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Positioning Equipment, Power Transmission, Propulsion

Thermostatic Solutions for Temperature Control Applications

The wax-filled thermostatic element was invented in 1936 by Sergius Vernet (1899-1968). Its principal application was in automotive thermostats used in the engine cooling system. Wax thermostatic elements transform heat energy into mechanical energy using the thermal expansion of waxes when they melt. In addition to engine cooling systems, this wax motor principle also finds applications in heating system thermostatic radiator valves, plumbing, industrial, and agriculture. Today this technology is widely used across a broad spectrum of industries including aerospace & defense, most often for temperature control of various fluid systems.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Thermal Management, Materials, Metals, Fluid Handling, Joining & Assembly, Machinery, Mechanical Components, MEMs, Data Acquisition, Sensors

Compact Power Amplifier Solution for Electronic Warfare

Wolfspeed, a Cree company, provides field-tested silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) power and RF solutions. As a leader in wide-bandgap semiconductor technology, Wolfspeed partners with designers to build faster, smaller, lighter, and more powerful electronic systems.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Board-Level Electronics, Power Management, Power Supplies, Materials, Machinery, Mechanical Components, Power, Power Transmission, RF & Microwave Electronics, Semiconductors & ICs

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