Mechanical Components

Optical Interconnect Design Challenges in Space

More and more aerospace applications are incorporating fiber optics technology into their designs due to its many advantages over copper. The thinner fiber solutions provide higher speed over a longer distance, are more reliable, offer higher noise immunity and, in many cases, lower the cost of ownership. Additionally, for the same diameter, fiber can pack more data than copper. Fiber is faster than the category 5 and 6 copper cables, approaching the speed of light (31% lower). For copper, pushing the speed beyond 1G is a challenge, but for fiber 10G is quite common. Copper is limited by distance. Usually, signal degradation with copper will occur after about 90 meters (2.7 km maximum for custom systems), while fiber can achieve more than 1.5 km without a problem and can deliver over 80 km depending on transmission signal quality.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components, Fiber Optics, Optical Components, Optics

Ultracompact, High-Speed Field-Effect Optical Modulators

The major goals of this research project included two parts. First, an ultracompact plasmonic electro-optical (EO) modulator was to be developed and investigated for efficient intensity modulation. Second, an ultracompact and high-speed EO modulator based on a dielectric platform was to be developed for straightforward integration with existing CMOS technology. Both modulators were targeted to facilitate next-generation interconnects for integrated photonic circuits.

Posted in: Briefs, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components, Optical Components, Optics, Photonics, Semiconductors & ICs

Hydraulic Testing of Polymer Matrix Composite 102mm Tube Section

The objective of this research was to hydraulically pressurize the internal diameter of one 102mm Polymer Matrix Composite (PMC) over-wrapped cylinder up to 25,000 pounds per square inch (psi) and during pressurization, in real time, collect and store pressure and strain data simultaneously. Strain data must be captured from the inside diameter of the oil filled metallic cylinder and from the outside diameter of the composite over-wrap material.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Composites, Materials, Metals, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components, Inspection Equipment, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

New Products: August 2018 Aerospace & Defense Technology

Barometric Pressure Sensor

Bosch Sensortec (Reutlingen, Germany) has introduced a new high performance barometric pressure MEMS sensor, the BMP388. The BMP388 delivers outstanding altitude stabilization in drones, where accurate measurement of barometric pressure provides the essential altitude data for improving flight stability and landing accuracy. The new barometric pressure sensor is part of Bosch Sensortec's comprehensive sensor solution for drones, which includes the BMI088 Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) for accurate steering and the BMM150 geomagnetic sensor for the provision of heading data.

Posted in: Products, Data Acquisition, Board-Level Electronics, Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, PCs/Portable Computers, Power Management, Power Supplies, Cameras, Imaging, Mechanical Components, Data Acquisition, Sensors

Designing a High-Speed Decoy Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

Drone aircraft and their uses have been evolving quickly, supported by a great deal of ongoing research. One area of increasing interest is the decoy drone, designed to mimic the radar and heat signature of an actual aircraft. These drones are intended to confuse or mislead anti-aircraft defense systems. If operating as designed, one or more drones are launched from an actual aircraft as it enters airspace monitored by anti-aircraft systems. The system picks up the signature of the drones and attacks them while the actual aircraft can be hidden with the swarm of drones.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Fluid Handling, Mechanical Components, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Simulation Software, Software, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

Using Turbine Flow Meters for Aerospace Test and Measurement Applications

Turbine flow meters have long been a preferred technology for obtaining precise measurements of fluid flow in the aerospace industry. In addition to their high accuracy, they are recognized for exceptional turndown, repeatability and speed of response.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Thermal Management, Fastening, Fluid Handling, Joining & Assembly, Machinery, Mechanical Components, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement

Using the Full CAD-CAM-CNC Process Chain in Ultrasonic and Conventional 5-Axis Machining

DMG MORI manufactures a wide variety of conventional chip-cutting and ultrasonic machining centers for OEMs and production job shops serving the aerospace industry. Inherent in this industry are several factors that require great care and planning in the machining process.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace Manufacturing and Machining, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Machinery, Simulation Software

Low-Cost Ground Sensor Network for Intrusion Detection

Perimeter surveillance of forward operating locations, such as Forward Arming and Refueling Points (FARPs), is crucial to ensure the survivability of personnel and materiel. FARPs are frequently located well outside the protective cover of the main forward operating bases. Therefore, they must provide their own organic perimeter defenses. Such defenses are manpower intensive. Research shows how cheap, remote, unattended sensors using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components can help reduce the manpower requirement for this task and yet not compromise the security of the operating location.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Power Supplies, Cameras, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials, Mechanical Components, MEMs, Optical Components, Optics, Power, Power Transmission, Propulsion, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors

Converting Existing Copper Wire Firing System to a Fiber-Optically Controlled Firing System for Electromagnetic Pulsed Power Experiments

After extensive review from the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Electrical Safety Office, it was determined that the existing firing system in Experimental Facility 167 (EF 167) was not adequate to safely perform pulsed-power experiments with gunpowder- or air-driven guns. This firing line used solid copper wire, which provided a continuous electrical conduction path between the high-voltage capacitor in the test chamber and the firing/control room, where personnel are stationed when experiments are performed (Figure 1). This poses a safety risk since high voltage can travel from the test chamber and potentially result in personnel injuries and damaged equipment.

Posted in: Briefs, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Automotive, Defense, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Power Supplies, Materials, Metals, Mechanical Components, Power, Power Transmission, Inspection Equipment, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement, Automotive, Transportation

In-Network Processing on Low-Cost IoT Nodes for Maritime Surveillance

The effective distribution of offensive weapon capabilities to naval units at the tactical edge is a critical focus for Navy leaders. A direct byproduct of this priority is the need to employ sensor and data collection systems that can effectively guide the targeting of that offensive capability. In the recent past, wireless sensor networks have received limited use in the maritime domain due to the exploratory nature of technology, high system complexity and the high cost of system deployment. With the Internet-of-Things revolution, commercially available hardware and software components can be used to build low-cost, reliable, disposable wireless sensor networks that can leverage in-network processing schemes to greatly expand the intelligence collection footprint.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Communications, Wireless, Data Acquisition, Defense, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Internet of Things, Mechanical Components, MEMs, Sensors, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Software