Big Data, Aircraft, and a Better Future

The hype phrase today is “Big Data.” It is a phrase Mark Bünger, Research Director for Lux Research, believes can have a number of definitions depending on who is doing the defining. Bünger was the lead analyst on a report that Lux published in April 2015 that surveyed both the technology as it is today and how various industries are adapting to the opportunities—and perils—in trying to exploit it.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Data management, Aircraft

System Generates and Simulates Skin-Echo Pulses for Radar Testing

One of the methods for radar testing is the simulation of an environment where there are dynamic or static objects that are scanned by the radar under test. In particular, simulation implemented by MPG Instruments (Rome, Italy) generates skin-echo pulses coming from radar that transmits a defined pattern stream. The system simulates an object in the scanning area of the radar and is hit by a pulse pattern stream. The X-band radar must be tested at a frequency from 7 GHz to 12.5 GHz, and K-band between 12 GHz and 40 GHz.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, RF & Microwave Electronics, Simulation and modeling, Radar, Test procedures

Tourniquet Training System

Charles River Analytics
Cambridge, MA

The Department of Defense recently awarded Charles River Analytics, a developer of intelligent systems and robotic platforms, a follow-on contract for Tourniquet Master Training (TMT). The TMT course helps warfighters provide immediate aid by halting the bleeding of soldiers' battlefield wounds.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Medical, health, and wellness

Hybrid-Electric Military Motorcycle

Logos Technologies
Fairfax, VA

In partnership with the San Francisco, CA-based motorcycle maker Alta Motors, Logos Technologies has received a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to continue development of the SilentHawk military motorcycle.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Hybrid electric vehicles, Military vehicles and equipment, Two or three wheeled vehicles

Electrocoat Primer System

PPG Industries
Pittsburgh, PA

PPG Industries’ aerospace coatings group has installed an electrocoat primer system at the US Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The technology, custom-designed to protect the facility's aerospace parts, has reduced the time needed for primer application, processing, and full-cure.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Aircraft structures, Coatings Colorants and Finishes, Corrosion, Parts

Game-Based Naval Training

Office of Naval Research
Arlington, VA

To improve the ability to detect and defeat adversary radars and anti-ship missiles, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) partnered with the MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory and games experts Metateq and PipeWorks Studios to develop Strike Group Defender (SGD), a multiplayer training program.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Computer software / hardware, Marine vehicles and equipment, Military vehicles and equipment, Missiles

Testing Multijunction Solar Cell Efficiency

The photovoltaic community is closer than ever to achieving ultra-high multijunction solar cell efficiencies (>50%). Subcells from III–V compound semiconductors are approaching ideal Shockley–Queisser behavior and emit significant radiation of photons with energies equal to or above the optical bandgap because non-radiative recombination has been minimized with advanced growth processes. The optical environment of a solar cell controls where the radiated photons from a subcell are directed, and this greatly affects its efficiency. Thus the optical design of multijunction architectures is crucial for maximizing performance. To date, light trapping and radiative coupling have been investigated as promising optical design strategies. Light trapping inhibits the radiative emission of a subcell in order to reduce the dark current and increase voltage.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Architecture, Optics, Solar energy, Semiconductors

Thermal Response of Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) Materials in a Flash Flame Test

Testing was performed on Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) fabric and composite material in a flash flame environment when protected by a flame-resistant (FR) fabric outer layer. UHMWPE material has excellent ballistic protection properties, but has generally not been considered for ballistic protection garments due to its low melting point. This research was conducted to determine if UHMWPE materials could be considered for use in the recently developed protective undergarment (PUG) if worn beneath an FR uniform.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Composite materials, Fabrics, Polymers, Thermal testing

Thermal Conductivity Measurement Setup for Low-Temperature Characterization of Laser Materials

Operating lasers at cryogenic temperatures gained maturity only in the mid-90s due mostly to the progress in transparent, laser-grade ceramics and semiconductor pump sources. The main limiting factors for power scaling of room-temperature solid-state lasers are thermal effects such as thermal lensing, induced polarization losses, and fracture.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Conductivity

Non-Destructive Damping Measurement for MEMS Acceleration Switches

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) three-axis acceleration threshold sensors have been developed to measure acceleration threshold levels using voltage switching when the threshold is reached. Switches with different damping coefficients result in different mechanical impedances and response times. Analytical and numerical methods to model damping coefficient values based on empirical data are needed to characterize three-axis acceleration sensors; traditional methods use the displacement of an underdamped system to calculate the damping ratio.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Mechanical Components, Simulation and modeling, Sensors and actuators, Switches