Method for Detecting Planar Surfaces in Outdoor Urban Environments

The ability to detect and recognize buildings is important to a variety of vision applications operating in outdoor urban environments. These include landmark recognition, assisted and autonomous navigation, image-based rendering, and 3D scene modeling. The problem of detecting multiple planar surfaces from a single image has been solved with this technology.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Technology, Imaging, Product development

Multifunctional Properties of Structural Gel Electrolytes

Due to the demand for more advanced and lightweight systems, multifunctional composite structures that can function as electrochemical energy converters, while bearing mechanical load, are in development. This research involves a materials-based approach in which each component of the system serves to bear and/or efficiently transfer load. In this iteration, multifunctional structural gel electrolytes were prepared by the integration of conductive pathways using non-aqueous solvents into structural resin networks. Polyethylene glycol (200 MW) and propylene carbonate were used as the non-aqueous solvents, while vinyl ester and epoxy resin were used as structural resins. The monomer and solvents were incorporated together and polymerized to create conductive pathways in cross-linked networks. The impact of chemistry and weight fraction of both liquid and resin were investigated on the electrochemical-mechanical response of the resulting system.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Aircraft structures, Body structures, Composite materials, Electrolytes, Materials properties

Multi-Agent Software for Airspace Control in the Combat Zone

AGENTFLY software is part of a computer-based system technology that will enhance airspace operation, providing ever-increasing support to personnel without freeing them from the ultimate responsibility. AGENTFLY features distributed coordination mechanisms based on collective decision-making and knowledge sharing, agent architecture, and specific agents responsible for data collection/ updating and planning/scheduling tasks, and the required visualization technology.

Posted in: Briefs, Software, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Personnel, Air traffic control, Military aircraft

Dynamics of Epitaxy on Nano-Sized Semiconductor Surfaces

Semiconductor self-assembled quantum dots (QDs) have emerged as one of the simplest subjects for exploring and exploiting the physics and device applications of charge carriers and excitons in the three-dimensional confinement regime. Nanoscale-sized surfaces in the form of mesas or ridges on patterned substrates offer opportunities, not only for creating large densities of QDs with great homogeneity, but also for novel thin-film growth-control phenomena during the formation of QDs on the surfaces of Si stripe and mesa structures. Si mesa structures have been demonstrated to be an excellent template for studying homoepitaxy and heteroepitaxy phenomena.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Nanotechnology, Semiconductors, Test equipment and instrumentation, Test procedures

Cooperative Single-Antenna Node Networks

Future tactical networks will be complex, with severe constraints on energy and bandwidth, operating in dynamic and unpredictable environments. By exploiting the broadcast nature of the wireless medium and spatially dispersed nodes, some of these advantages can be realized through cooperation among single-antenna nodes in a network.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Antennas, Telecommunications systems, Reliability, Military vehicles and equipment

Frangible Polymer Circuit Acts as Tamper Sensor

Originally begun as an investigation to detect attempts to tap into an electrical cable, the emergence of modern encryption hardware rendered impractical attempts to protect communication media such as a cable.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Computer software / hardware, Cryptography, Cyber security, Integrated circuits, Polymers

Using Real-World Methodologies to Calculate SSD Usable Life

With more embedded systems using SSDs in critical applications, designers are now asking the question, “How long will this SSD last in my application?” To help answer this pressing question, it is important to review the recent changes in NAND flash technology.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Computer software / hardware, Life cycle analysis

Middleware Offers Integration Framework for Dynamic UAV Applications

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) like the MQ-1 Predator have excelled in the theaters of war in which they have been deployed. However, the ability of those controlling the UAV to conceive of new missions for the Predator and other deployed UAVs in the field has led to the U.S. Air Force recognition that the fundamental architectural approach to development of complete Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs), including ground stations and other elements, has to put integration capability front and center as a key design issue.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Architecture, Systems engineering, Military aircraft, Unmanned aerial vehicles

Interaction Methods for Virtual Reality Applications

The potential of Virtual Reality (VR) technology has not been fully realized because the user interfaces are not designed to effectively support the user. One of the most critical interface aspects is the possibility to interact with the system within the virtual environment. The initial idea of optimizing the user interaction was to transfer the interaction that occurs in the real world as accurately as possible into the VR environment. In this case the user, theoretically, would have no problems interchanging between the two worlds.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace

Microfabrication and Testing of a Thermoelectric Device for Generating Mobile Electrical Power

Several attractive features of thermo-electric (TE) technology include no moving parts, light weight, modularity, covertness, silence, high power density, low amortized cost, and long service life with no required maintenance. Many of the potential uses for mounted/ dismounted power, such as recharging batteries, are therefore ideal for TE technologies. However, these applications will require more interconnected, smaller-scale modular devices than are currently available. Most commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) TE devices are optimized for cooling, not for generating power, so new device structures with materials and geometries better optimized for power generation are needed for broader use of TE technologies.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Architecture, Fabrication, Electro-thermal engines, Test procedures