MEMs

Laser-Based System Could Expand Space-to-Ground Communication

A new research project announced recently as a collaboration between the Georgia Institute of Technology and satellite communications provider Xenesis could help open the bottleneck that now limits the flow of data from Earth-orbiting satellites to ground stations.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Data Acquisition, Fiber Optics, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optical Components, Optics, Data Acquisition
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Optical Seeker for Munitions Systems

BAE Systems
Nashua, NH
603-885-4321
www.baesystems.com

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), through the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, has awarded BAE Systems a $13.1 million contract to demonstrate a new, cost-effective optical seeker for precision-guided munitions. The seeker is designed to improve navigation, as well as automate target location and homing, for different types of munitions that are used in GPS-denied and other contested environments.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optical Components, Optics, Propulsion, Automation
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Permeation Tests on Polypropylene Fiber Materials

The Toxic Industrial Chemical/Toxic Industrial Material (TIC/TIM) Task Force MFR#1 published in February 2009 focuses on inhalation hazards in an operational environment and provides a list of compounds prioritized based on toxic hazard and the likelihood of an encounter. With these types of vapor threats, cartridge-based air purifying respirators are used to protect the warfighter against chemical exposure. Traditional air purification materials often rely on porous carbons such as activated carbon or activated charcoal. Ongoing efforts seek to improve the performance of carbon materials in air purification applications as well as provide alternative materials.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Alternative Fuels, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Harvesting, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy, Materials, Nanotechnology
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DARPA-Boeing Spaceplane Completes Engine Tests

Boeing and DARPA are collaborating to design, build, and test a technology demonstration vehicle for the agency’s Experimental Spaceplane program. The Phantom Express would reinvent space missions for commercial and government customers by providing rapid, aircraft-like access to space. Within minutes, the autonomous, reusable spaceplane would launch its upper stage to deploy small satellites into low Earth orbit. It would then land on a runway to be prepared for its next flight.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense
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Forget Joysticks – Use Your Torso to Pilot Drones

Imagine piloting a drone using the movements of your torso only and leaving your head free to look around, much like a bird. Your torso is more intuitive – and more precise – than joysticks for piloting drones, according to a recent study. Work is already underway to implement this new body-machine interface technology for search and rescue with drones.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Positioning Equipment
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Warhead Life-Extension Program Passes Key Milestone

The program to extend the life of the W80 nuclear warhead recently achieved a significant milestone when the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) gave passing grades to the plans to refurbish certain components and the proposed approach to developing component cost estimates. Passing the milestone confirms that the life extension program (LEP), dubbed the W80-4 LEP, remains on track. The refurbished warhead will be paired with a new cruise missile that is being developed in parallel by the U.S. Air Force, making this the first life extended warhead to be implemented in a new delivery system since the start of the Stockpile Stewardship Program more than 25 years ago.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Materials, Monitoring, Test & Measurement
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AgilePod Flies on U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper

In March 2018, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Sensors Program Office, working jointly with the AFLCMC Medium Altitude Unmanned Aerial Systems Program Office, sponsored three demonstration flights of an MQ-9 Reaper with AgilePod. The flights were a first for AgilePod on an Air Force major weapon system, and were the result of collaboration between AFLCMC and the Air Force Research Lab.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Defense, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors
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Army Researchers Teach Robots to be Better Teammates for Soldiers

Researchers at the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Research Laboratory and the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University developed a new technique to quickly teach robots novel traversal behaviors with minimal human oversight. The technique allows mobile robot platforms to navigate autonomously in environments while carrying out actions a human would expect of the robot in a given situation.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Robotics
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Heavy Ground Testing Puts Airbus’ BelugaXL On Track for First Flight

In preparation for its upcoming maiden flight, Airbus’ first BelugaXL is now in its heavy ground test phase – which focuses on the highly modified airframe for this next-generation oversize cargo airlifter.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Test & Measurement
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Researchers Push Limits in High-Temp, Polymer Additive Manufacturing

Researchers at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate are “turning up the heat” in the field of polymer additive manufacturing. In conjunction with researchers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center and the University of Louisville, the team successfully printed the highest-temperature capable, reinforced polymer composite parts using additive manufacturing. Consisting of a high temperature thermoset resin infused with carbon fiber filaments, this state-of-the art material breakthrough sets the stage for next generation, cost-efficient Air Force manufacturing needs.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aerospace, Defense, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Composites, Materials, Plastics
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