Microturbine Propulsion for UAVs

The continued use of reciprocating engines has limited the UAV market’s ability to reach its true growth potential.
Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Power Supplies, Mechanical Components, Power, Power Transmission, Propulsion

How Miniaturized Distributed Modular Architecture Advances Avionics Design

A centralized IMA approach offers several advantages.
Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Communications, Wireless, Data Acquisition, Defense, Internet of Things, Fastening, Joining & Assembly, Fiber Optics, Optics, Data Acquisition, Sensors

Pathfinder Radar ISR and SAR Systems: Tactical Eyes for the Warfighter

Sandia National Laboratories’ (Albuquerque, NM) Radar Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems enable a new product paradigm in radar capabilities and modalities. With the ability to shrink sensor size, increase resolution, raise image quality, and advance realtime onboard processing, Sandia has been producing next-generation systems for nearly three decades. Sandia specializes in the full system design of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI), target recognition, and other sensor systems for the Department of Defense, other government agencies, and industry partners.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Data Acquisition, Defense, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Imaging, Optical Components, Optics, Antennas, RF & Microwave Electronics, Data Acquisition

Preventing Ice Buildup on Electric Aircraft

Afaq Ahmed Abbasi of Northwestern Polytechnical University explains his innovative approach.
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 is to have a means for the reliable analysis of material damage and failure.
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

Critical Communications Break Out of the Analog Mold

Once firmly rooted in its analog origins, critical communications is now steadily evolving to provide enhanced situational awareness. The latest public safety and military communications (MilCom) radios are more versatile and reliable, supporting ad-hoc networks to improve or enable connectivity. With higher-data-rate capabilities, critical communications solutions can send and receive high-resolution images, videos, and other types of data-intensive content. At the same time, they provide higher-quality voice communications while maintaining security. To ensure communications and interoperability, they still can support analog communications as a failsafe. These myriad capabilities are possible through the ongoing adoption of new technologies, ranging from digital public safety standards and modulation formats, to technologies like wireless local area networking (WLAN) and Long Term Evolution (LTE).

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Wireless, Data Acquisition, Defense, Imaging, Video, Manufacturing & Prototyping, RF & Microwave Electronics

Answering Your Questions: What are New Missions for Military UAVs?

An industry expert tells a Tech Briefs reader what's over the next hill regarding military UAVs.
Posted in: Articles, Blog, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Data Acquisition, Defense, Cameras, Imaging, Video, Data Acquisition, Sensors

Broadband 1.2- and 2.4-mm Gallium Nitride (GaN) Power Amplifier Designs

The US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has been working with Raytheon to design efficient, broadband, linear, high-power amplifiers and robust, broadband, low-noise amplifiers for future adaptive, multimodal radar systems. Raytheon has a high-performance, W-band, gallium nitride (GaN) fabrication process and a process design kit (PDK) that ARL used to design low-noise amplifiers, power amplifiers, and other circuits for future radar, communications, and sensor systems. After the first set of ARL and Raytheon designs was submitted for fabrication, test designs of broadband Class A/B power amplifiers were developed. While these designs did not get fabricated in the initial effort, they serve to demonstrate the performance, bandwidth, and capability of this GaN process and could potentially be fabricated in the future.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Electronic Components, Power Management, Power Supplies, Mechanical Components, RF & Microwave Electronics, Semiconductors & ICs

The FACE™ of Military Modernization

U.S. rival countries have been rapidly modernizing their militaries, with publicized advances that pose credible challenges to U.S. supremacy in all aspects of warfare: air, land, sea, space and cyberspace. On January 19, 2018 Secretary Mattis discussed the National Defense Strategy and emphasized the need to modernize key capabilities to address these threats. He stated: “To keep pace with our times, the department will transition to a culture of performance and affordability that operates at the speed of relevance. Success does not go to the country that develops a new technology first, but rather, to the one that better integrates it and more swiftly adapts its way of fighting. Our current bureaucratic processes are insufficiently responsive to the department's needs for new equipment. We will prioritize speed of delivery, continuous adaptation and frequent modular upgrades.”

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Data Acquisition, Defense, Mechanical Components, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Software

Coating Technology Enables Effective Missile Countermeasures

Heat-seeking missiles have been in use against both rotorcraft and fixed wing aircraft since the mid-1950s, and countermeasures to deceive their guidance systems have been employed for nearly as long. Typically, countermeasures operate by generating a strong infrared signature which confuses the missile tracking system. At the heart of these systems is some form of powerful infrared emitting source. Often this source requires optical coating(s) to perform wavelength filtering needed for optimum operation. However, both the mechanical configuration of the thin film filter coatings used and the operating extremes to which they are subjected present challenges for the manufacturer.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Machinery, Mechanical Components