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

On the battlefield, you need to know as much as possible.

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

Multi-Agent RF Propagation Simulator

A desirable interface between multi-agents is through over-the-air RF connections that include not only the intended direct RF communications paths but also highly variable multi-ray propagation, range attenuation, external RF influences, and near-earth influence. These influences are all difficult to predict, control, and repeat in an outdoor environment. This outdoor testing, as has traditionally been done, is extremely expensive while simultaneously providing fewer data points than more controlled events and the testing events are generally not repeatable.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Data Acquisition, Antennas, RF & Microwave Electronics, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Simulation Software, Inspection Equipment, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement, Testing Procedures

Panoramic Thermal Imaging Technology

SPYNEL sensors are passive wide area surveillance systems with automatic intrusion detection and tracking capabilities. The 360° thermal sensors offer 24/7 situational awareness by detecting and tracking an unlimited number of targets in real time, on land, air and sea. HGH Infrared Systems recently won a multi-million contract from a leading shipyard, to equip three new warships with the latest generation of SPYNEL panoramic thermal cameras.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Cameras, Imaging, Mechanical Components, Optical Components, Optics, Detectors, Sensors

Eyes in the Sky: HD Ethernet Cameras Take Flight Test Imagery to New Heights

There is increasing demand for high-quality High Definition (HD) video for airborne applications such as Flight Test Instrumentation (FTI). Ideally, such new camera solutions can reduce the weight and difficultly of installing wiring, and enable data to be coherently combined with image data. Ethernet cameras can address these needs with built-in compression and multiple output streams. Additionally, as Ethernet-based networks have become an attractive choice for FTI applications, we see increased requirements for integrating Ethernet-based cameras with FTI data acquisition equipment, network recorders, and telemetry systems as this removes duplication of wiring and devices.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Cameras, Imaging, Video, Manufacturing & Prototyping

Machining Titanium Aero-Frames

The rise of titanium for aerospace applications has been well documented in recent years. Equally, the challenges associated with the efficient, productive and high-quality machining of this popular material, have also been a topic of debate and scrutiny. Of course, every machine shop wants optimized performance from its cutters when milling titanium, but this can prove less than straightforward without the right technology and know-how in place. Today, however, thanks to a breakthrough in this area, things are beginning to change.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace Manufacturing and Machining, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Consumer Product Manufacturing, Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Industrial Controls & Automation, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Materials, Metals, Joining & Assembly, Machinery, Mechanical Components

Getting the Most Out of Industrial CT Scanning

Quality assurance and flight certification of critical aerospace parts and assemblies have reached new levels of sophistication in recent years. Leading aerospace and defense manufacturers worldwide now consider computed tomography (CT) scanning to be an essential part of their non-destructive testing (NDT) toolkit. Far more powerful than the CT used to scan the human body, industrial CT can penetrate almost every material, from superalloys to lead, revealing hidden details that previously could only be found by cutting and destroying finished parts.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Imaging, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Industrial Controls & Automation, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Ceramics, Composites, Materials, Joining & Assembly, Machinery, Mechanical Components, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Simulation Software, Software, Inspection Equipment, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement, Testing Procedures

Aerospace Work Platforms — More than Meets the Eye

For maintenance personnel in the aerospace industry to do their jobs effectively, they need to be able to get physically close to the equipment they are working on. This statement sounds obvious, but in order to meet this requirement, it is very important to utilize quality work platforms. Although most people are familiar with the basic uses of work platforms, there is not always much thought given to everything that goes into their design and fabrication.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Design, Industrial Design and Human Factors, Consumer Product Manufacturing, Contract Services, Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Industrial Controls & Automation, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Metals, Machinery, Mechanical Components