A broad operating temperature range, fuel resistance and long-term reliability are some of the unique properties of fluorosilicones that make them useful in aerospace applications. To demonstrate their effectiveness, NuSil recently compared fluorosilicones to standard dimethyl silicones in a series of tests.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Suppliers, Fluoride, Silicon alloys, Reliability, Performance tests

Silicone Cables: Silicone Encased Cables Make Military Robots More Reliable

Cicoil’s highly flexible and durable flat silicone cables are being used on unmanned ground based military robotic vehicles that require absolute reliability in mission critical and extreme environment conditions. Unlike bulky and stiffer round cables, flat silicone cables provide space and weight savings, enhanced flexibility, greater current carrying capacity, reduced skewing effects and better electrical characteristics.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Electric cables, Robotics, Silicon alloys, Durability, Autonomous vehicles, Military vehicles and equipment

AWACS Real-Time Operating System

LynuxWorks, Inc. announced recently that the Mission Systems and Sensors Division (MS2) of Lockheed Martin in Owego, NY, selected the LynxOS real-time operating system (RTOS) and Luminosity Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for use in conjunction with the United Kingdom’s (UK) Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS).

Posted in: Application Briefs, Computer software / hardware, Sensors and actuators, Suppliers

Mission Data Transmitted Successfully With Network Gateway

In the 1990s, when laying the groundwork for its missile defense shield, the Pentagon realized that if it wanted to provide an effective defense against ballistic missile attack, it needed to create a quick and efficient method of detecting and tracking enemy launches. In other words, it needed to build a highly capable constellation of high-orbiting infrared satellites that would serve as the primary watchtower for the entire Ballistic Missile Defense System.

Posted in: Application Briefs, RFM Catchall, Data exchange, Satellite communications, Security systems, Military vehicles and equipment, Missiles

Using High-Level Language to Implement Floating-Point Calculations on FPGAs

The scientific community is interested in using field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) for scientific computations because they can be targeted for specific applications and achieve greater throughput at a lower power cost. However, these gains can usually only be achieved by a user with expert knowledge of hardware design. Therefore, despite improvements in FPGA technology that have allowed their use to become attractive for a wider range of applications, inexperience with hardware design remains a barrier for many.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Integrated circuits, Technician training

Managing Security in FPGA-Based Embedded Systems

Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) combine the programmability of processors with the performance of custom hardware. As they become more common in critical embedded systems, new techniques are necessary to manage security in FPGA designs. Because FPGAs can provide a useful balance between performance, rapid time to market, and flexibility, they have become the primary source of computation in many critical embedded systems. However, techniques beyond bitstream encryption are necessary to ensure FPGA design security.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Cyber security, Integrated circuits, Safety critical systems

CMOS-Memristor Hybrid Nanoelectronics

The memristor is the fourth fundamental passive electronic device in addition to the resistor, capacitor, and inductor. By integrating with complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) devices, memristors show promise for development of revolutionary new nanoelectronic computing architectures with significantly reduced size and extremely low consumed power. The proposed effort explores a novel, high-payoff nanotechnology area that exploits crossbar nanoelectronic logic elements as well as the recently demonstrated phenomena of memristance. Specifically, the goal of this project was to explore CMOS-memristor hybrid nanoelectronic circuits for memory, FPGA, DSP, analog, and neuromorphic applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Downsizing, Architecture, Semiconductor devices, Energy consumption, Nanotechnology

Dynamically Reconfigurable Software-Defined Radio for GNSS Applications

Historically, the military has used special- purpose Global Positioning System (GPS) radios for radio navigation. This has the disadvantage of locking users into fixed technology solutions designed to meet a fixed set of requirements. Software Defined Radios (SDR) have the advantage of being able to easily adapt to provide new capabilities using current-generation technology. Continued improvements in SDR technology are enabling their use for Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) applications that require small-form-factor, low-power designs. This has the added benefit of allowing the signal processing algorithms for future GPS signals to be included in the GNSS SDR design without changing or modifying the hardware of the GPS receiver.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Computer software / hardware, Global positioning systems, Global positioning systems (GPS), Radio equipment, Military vehicles and equipment, Satellites

Investigation of Basalt Woven Fabrics for Military Applications

Basalt rock is a black or gray fine-grained rock in the family of igneous rocks, formed by cooling of molten lava. It is commonly found in the Earth’s crust, is abundant throughout the world, and can be easily mined. Basalt rock possesses certain qualities similar to thermoplastics and metals, i.e., it melts when heated to specific temperatures (1100 to 1300 °C), and can be drawn into flexible fibers, a process similar to the manufacture of S-2 and E-glass fibers.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Defense industry, Fabrics, Fibers, Materials properties

Size Scale and Defect Engineered Nanostructures for Optimal Strength and Toughness

Realistic combinations of ceramics and/or semiconductors have been developed that simultaneously achieve high hardness (>40 GPa) and toughness (>400 MPa*m1/2). To achieve this goal, there were three primary objectives: (1) the development of physically based dislocation models to understand the deformation of brittle materials, (2) the synthesis of model ceramic nanocomposites that demonstrate high hardness and toughness, and (3) the detailed understanding of the arrangements and types of dislocation structures in small volumes. This involved the uniaxial compression of Si nanovolumes (spheres and towers) using a combination of TEM in situ indentation and molecular dynamics simulations for objective (1), the deposition of Si-SiC core-shell nanotowers for objective (2), and the HR TEM analysis of deformed Si nanovolumes for objective (3).

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Ceramics, Composite materials, Nanotechnology, Semiconductors, Durability