Improving Performance of Hybrid-Electric Aircraft

Although hybrid-electric cars are becoming commonplace, similar technology applied to airplanes comes with significantly different challenges. University of Illinois aerospace engineers are addressing some of them toward the development of a more sustainable alternative to fossil fuels to power airplanes.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aviation, Defense

Virtual Runway, Real Pilot Practice

When a plane overshoots the final approach, often the pilot’s natural — and dangerous — instinct is to pitch the aircraft up to slow down and land. It’s one of the leading causes of accidents, especially with small airplanes. But what if that same mistake happened at 5,000 feet instead?

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aviation, Defense

AUDS Goes Undetected With New Ammunition

For the third iteration, the AUDS (anti-unmanned aerial vehicle defense system) recently returned to Fort Sill for the Maneuver Fires Integrated Experiment (MFIX). During the last few MFIX events, the AUDS, which works to detect, track, identify and defeat unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), has evolved from its design as a simple focused-energy weapon to a non-lethal/lethal system by pairing its focused energy to a 30 mm chain gun. At MFIX 2018, the AUDS evolved again, this time developing a passive detection program.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aerospace, Defense, Automation, Robotics

Wind Tunnel, Lasers Provide Hypersonic Proving Ground

It’s about speed, and Sandia National Laboratories, with a hypersonic wind tunnel and advanced laser diagnostic technology, is in a position to help U.S. defense agencies understand the physics associated with aircraft flying five times the speed of sound. With potential adversaries reporting successes in their own programs to develop aircraft that can be flown at Mach 5 or greater speeds, U.S. development of autonomous hypersonic systems is a top defense priority. That has made aerospace engineer Steven Beresh of Sandia’s aerosciences department and his colleagues at the hypersonic wind tunnel popular lately.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Data Acquisition, Defense, Propulsion, Test & Measurement

Self-Generated Power Will Reduce Soldier Load

The bionic power knee harvester, also known as the PowerWalk, is an energy-harvesting device that is attached to both the upper and lower areas of both legs and generates power from movement. The device extracts the energy when the knee is flexed and negative work is being performed. The system adjusts to a person’s gait, so soldiers don’t feel like they are wearing a device and can even forget that they have it on.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Power, Robotics

Smart Skin Simplifies Spotting Strain in Aircraft

Thanks to one peculiar characteristic of carbon nanotubes, engineers will be able to measure the accumulated strain in an airplane over the entire surface or down to microscopic levels. They’ll do so by shining a light onto structures coated with a two-layer nanotube film and protective polymer.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense

New Products: December 2018 Aerospace & Defense Technology

Round TFT LCD Displays

Data Image (Winter Park, FL) has announced new round TFT LCD color displays in two sizes: 3" and 4.2" in diameter. They can be used as digital avionics, power meters, speedometers, rpm gauges, temperature indicators, strain gauges, volt/current meters or a simple clock. The display can show a single gauge or display multiple parameters. The formats for the displays are 432 × 432 for the 3" and 720 × 720 for the 4.2". Both have a brightness of 1000 nits typical and wide viewing angles thanks to the IPS glass technology used on both versions. Both have wide temperature rating. They are available with or without capacitive touch panels for user interface.

Posted in: Products, Aerospace, Communications, Wireless, Defense, Board-Level Electronics, Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Power Supplies, Displays/Monitors/HMIs, Fastening, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Positioning Equipment, Lasers & Laser Systems, Photonics, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Simulation Software, Software, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

Metal Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (AM) – the process of building up solid layers of material to form a finished solid part — is an emerging and exciting technical discipline. Also referred to as “3D printing,” many misconceptions exist about the capabilities and promises of the technology.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Materials, Metals, Plastics, Machinery, Mechanical Components

Cognitive Radio: The New Architecture of Space Communications

NASA spacecraft typically rely on human-controlled radio systems to communicate with Earth. As collection of space data increases, NASA looks to alternative radio technologies to meet demand and increase efficiency.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Aviation, Communications, Defense, Solar Power, Antennas, RF & Microwave Electronics, Software, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

Single Event Effects in High Altitude Aerospace Sensor Applications

There are many advantages to utilizing active electronics versus the passive systems often used in aircraft applications, such as pressure, temperature, and flow sensors. Some of these advantages are increased accuracy, reduced noise, transmission over longer signal paths, and the addition of signal conditioning. With these benefits comes the consideration that high altitude operation will expose the electronics to high-energy neutron solar particle radiation. Without proper design and component selection, this radiation may affect the reliability of measurements from aircraft sensors.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace