Air Force Scientists Discover Unique Stretchable Conductor

The Air Force Research Laboratory has developed liquid metal systems which autonomously change structure so that they become better conductors in response to strain. Conductive materials change their properties as they are strained or stretched. Typically, electrical conductivity decreases and resistance increases with stretching.

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

Air Force Invents Aircraft Tire Change Tool

How many airmen does it take to change a cargo aircraft tire? Too many. The U. S. Air Force’s largest aircraft, the C-5M Super Galaxy, has 28 tires. The current tire changing method is performed several times a week. It is a complicated, multistep procedure that requires up to five people working together for an extended period of time with a number of safety risks due to the size and weight of the tires and tools.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Fastening, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components

Pilot Assistance System Enables Low-Noise Landings

Approach and landing are among the most complex phases of a flight. In order to enable pilots to fly as quietly as possible, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) developed the Low Noise Augmentation System (LNAS), a pilot assistance system that uses a display in the cockpit to show pilots exactly what action to take for a low-noise approach.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aeronautics, Aviation, Defense

New Products: October 2019 Aerospace & Defense Technology

CT Software Solutions

Volume Graphics (Charlotte, NC) announced the latest generation of its software solutions for non-destructive quality assurance with industrial computed tomography (CT): Version 3.3 of VGSTUDIO MAX, VGSTUDIO, VGMETROLOGY, and VGinLINE.

Posted in: Products, Communications, Data Acquisition, Batteries, Board-Level Electronics, Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, PCs/Portable Computers, Power Management, Power Supplies, Thermal Management, Mechanical Components, Positioning Equipment, RF & Microwave Electronics, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Simulation Software, Software, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement

Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Vehicles

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) based machine learning technologies in autonomous vehicles is on the rise. Helping to drive this trend is the availability of a new class of embedded AI processors. A good example is NVIDIA’s Jetson family, which includes small form factor system on modules (SoMs) that provide GPU-accelerated parallel processing. These high-performance, low-power devices are designed to support the deep learning and computer vision capabilities needed to build software-defined autonomous machines. They derive massive computing capabilities from the use of a parallel processing GPU device with many cores, enabling next-gen computing devices to take on many of the tasks that were historically handled by humans or multiple, traditional computers.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, AR/AI, Artificial Intelligence, Defense, Board-Level Electronics, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Industrial Controls & Automation

A 'STEP' Forward for Product Lifecycle Management

The existence of countless proprietary file formats and the exchange of 3D CAD data has been a significant problem since the beginning of 3D CAD modeling. CAD applications and methods using digital data are constantly changing, which predicates the need for a solution to share validated and accurately translated data. Thus the birth of STEP242.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Simulation Software, Software

The Challenge of Replacing Hard Chrome

The search for a suitable replacement for hard chrome on aerospace components has been a key supply chain priority for aircraft manufacturers. This is because of the documented health risks to workers and the impact on the environment from exposure to hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen that occurs during the chrome plating process and is the most toxic form of chromium.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Metals, Fastening, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components

Defining an Open System Architecture Standard for Defense Systems

For many years now, there have been efforts within the US defense community to adopt “Open System Architecture” principles (or OSA) for defense computing platforms. Stretching back to the mid-2000’s there have been numerous efforts by all service branches to define sets of OSA principles or requirements on the embedded computing systems they procure and deploy. While these efforts have resulted in widespread adoption of POSIX functions for common tasks and a gradual shift in the use of common form factors and technologies such as VPX and Ethernet, there are still wide disparities between products from different suppliers, which creates difficulties for integrators. Product variations also make technology insertions or system configuration changes expensive, time consuming, and often locked to a particular vendor.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Board-Level Electronics, Computers, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Power Supplies, Data Acquisition, Sensors

Solid-State Microwave Power Module

Historically, the term microwave power module (MPM) has been associated with a small, fully integrated, self-contained radio frequency (RF) amplifier that combines both solid-state and microwave vacuum electronics technologies. Typically, the output power of these MPMs is on the order of about 100 Watts CW over an octave bandwidth. Because of their smaller size and lower mass compared to conventional traveling-wave tube amplifiers, these MPMs may have applications in electronic warfare systems.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Defense, Power Management, Power Supplies, RF & Microwave Electronics

Defeating Commercial Drone Threats with Open-Source SDR

It’s nearly impossible to look at technology news without seeing an article about drones. Whether detailing how Amazon wants to use drones to deliver packages or revealing amazing aerial video of drones following Olympic snow-boarders, commercial drones are ubiquitous. Drone emergence has benefited many applications including sports broadcasting and wildlife preservation wilderness surveys. Offering powerful, intelligent software, drones are becoming less expensive and easier to use, with substantial operating range.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Communications, Defense, Power Management, Power Supplies, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optical Components, Optics, RF & Microwave Electronics, Software, Test & Measurement