UAV Ground Control Station

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
San Diego, CA

The U.S. Air Force’s new Block 50 Ground Control Station (GCS) – developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) – for the first time controlled an MQ-9 Reaper® on January 8th from the GA-ASI Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility near Palmdale, Calif.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Communications, Defense, Displays/Monitors/HMIs, Power Transmission, Propulsion, Sensors

Underwater Drone Technology

Finding ways to overcome physical limitations so that humans can dive deeper and stay underwater longer has been an ongoing quest. Back in the 15th century, Leonardo Da Vinci drew sketches of a submarine and a robot. Had he thought to combine the two concepts, he would have created a prototype of an unmanned underwater vehicle, or underwater drone. Instead, the world had to wait another five hundred years.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Communications, Defense, Power Management, Power Supplies, Cameras, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Motion Control, Power, Robotics, Sensors, Instrumentation, Transportation

Geospatial Accuracy of Small Unmanned Airborne System Data in the Coastal Environment

The purpose of this study was to assess the ability of commonly available COTS software to produce geometrically accurate orthometric mosaics and terrain models from low-altitude UAS imagery.

Posted in: Briefs, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Data Acquisition, Design, Imaging, Automation, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Software

Eyes In the Sky

Drones (i.e. quadrotors) are a popular and increasingly widespread product used by consumers as well as in a diversity of industrial, military and other applications. Historically under the control of human operators on the ground, they’re becoming increasingly autonomous as the cameras built into them find use not only for capturing footage of the world around them but also in understanding and responding to their surroundings. Combining imaging with other sensing modalities can further bolster the robustness of this autonomy.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Imaging, Automation, Robotics, Sensors, Inspection Equipment, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

Surface to Surface Missile

Le Plessis-Robinson, France
+33 1 71 54 10 00

At the end of 2018, MBDA successfully demonstrated the use of the Mistral missile against fast boats such as FIACs (Fast Inshore Attack Craft). A number of foreign delegations attended the demonstration firing that was performed from a SIMBAD-RC automated naval turret firing from the land against a fast moving remotely-controlled semi-rigid boat more than 3 kilometers off the coast. The scenario was intended to be representative of the self-protection of a vessel against an asymmetric threat (commando or terrorist attack).

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Automation

Vehicle Active Protection System

Northrop Grumman Corporation
Falls Church, VA

Northrop Grumman Corporation successfully demonstrated advanced Vehicle Active Protection System technologies against Anti-Tank Guided Munitions during the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development Engineering Center (TARDEC) sponsored Soft-kill Rodeo in Huntsville late last year. The month-long government sponsored “rodeo” was developed to demonstrate and test soft-kill capability against real world threats.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense, Electronics, Optical Components, Optics, Sensors

Developing Knowledge and Understanding for Autonomous Systems for Analysis and Assessment Events and Campaigns

There are many challenges in developing complete performance ontologies and test methodologies to define and evaluate the performance of autonomous systems. Chief among them is the dynamic environment in which the autonomous system is expected to operate. Change in the autonomous system’s environment is expected to affect system performance. Test methodologies have to include all aspects of this dynamic environment.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Defense, Automation, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

Hydraulic Cylinder Position Sensor Technology

As the demand for greater control and functionality increases, position-sensor-instrumented hydraulic cylinders are becoming more important in the heavy industry, mobile equipment, and subsea worlds. Position sensors for feedback in hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders have typically used one of three technologies: Linear Variable Inductance Transducers (LVITs), variable resistance potentiometers (Pots), or magnetostrictive transducers (MLDTs). While other sensor technologies have occasionally been used in these applications, the focus of this article is a comparison among these three popular technologies. Ultimately, a user or systems integrator must determine the exact requirements of the application and which technology best satisfies them on a total installed cost versus performance basis. The strengths and weaknesses of linear variable inductance, variable resistance pots, and magnetostrictive sensors are all examined below, together with a feature-by-feature comparison chart.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Mechanical Components, Positioning Equipment, Power, Power Transmission, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Test & Measurement

Monitoring a Nearshore Beneficial Use Site: Application of a Benthic Sled and Video Annotation

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Portland Districts (NWP) maintains safe and navigable waterways in Oregon through a variety of dredging projects, including channel deepening, and dredging sandbars. Placement of dredged sediment occurs at preselected, specific geographic areas categorized as nearshore beneficial use sites. Beneficial use sites are commonly monitored before, during, and after disposal, to evaluate dredge management practices and to avoid potentially adverse effects to the marine environment.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Defense, Environmental Monitoring, Cameras, Imaging, Video, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

Sound Attenuation of Neoprene Wetsuit Hoods as a Function of Dive Depth and Acoustic Frequency: Hyperbaric Chamber Trials

The U.S. Navy is interested in strategies that divers could employ to protect them from loud underwater sounds. Sonar transmissions and other forms of underwater sound, such as that produced by noisy underwater tools, are an occupational hazard for U.S. Navy divers.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Defense, Machinery, Mechanical Components, Data Acquisition, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement