MEMs

Developing an Airborne Optical Systems Testbed (AOSTB)

The United States shares 5,525 miles of land border with Canada, and 1,989 miles with Mexico. Monitoring these borders, which is the responsibility of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), is an enormous task. Detecting and responding to illegal activity while facilitating lawful commerce and travel is made more difficult by the expansive, rugged, diverse, and thickly vegetated geography that spans both often-crossed borders. To help mitigate the challenges to border surveillance, a group of researchers at MIT Lincoln Laboratory is investigating whether an airborne ladar system capable of imaging objects under a canopy of foliage could aid in the maintenance of border security by remotely detecting illegal activities.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Lidar, Surveillance, Test equipment and instrumentation, Military aircraft
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Electronically Dimmable Aircraft Windows

That was the challenge posed to Gentex by Boeing. Window shades typically do the job on an airplane, but they’re cumbersome to operate, expensive to maintain, and do little to reflect the hightech nature of today’s modern aircraft. They’re an analog technology holdover operating in the digital age.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Windows and windshields, Electronic equipment, Human factors, Glass, Materials properties, Commercial aircraft
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Nanotube Yarns Generate Electricity When Stretched

Scientists at The University of Texas at Dallas and South Korea’s Hanyang University have developed tiny, high-tech yarns that generate electricity when stretched or twisted. The nanoyarns, constructed from hollow carbon nanotubes, create current when coated with an ionically conducting material — even a simple mixture of table salt and water.

Posted in: News, News, Energy, Energy Harvesting
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Secure 3D Printing: 'Three-Layer' System Protects Parts from Hackers

A 3D printer is essentially a small embedded computer — and can be exploited like one.

Researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology and Rutgers University have developed a “three-layer” way of certifying that an additively manufactured part has not been compromised.

Posted in: News, News, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Detectors, Sensors
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Optical Method Detects Weak Spots in Jet Engine Coatings

Researchers have demonstrated, for the first time, that an optical analysis method can reveal weak areas in ceramic thermal barrier coatings that protect jet engine turbines from high temperatures and wear. The technique could be used to predict how long coatings would last on an airplane. The lifetime of a thermal barrier coating used on airplane turbine blades can range from as little as 1,000 hours up to 10,000 hours at full turbine thrust, even when the coating is applied in the exact same way.

Posted in: News, Defense, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials
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NASA Tests Could Lead to FAA Integration of UAVs

NASA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System, or UAS in the NAS, project is attracting international attention as increasingly complex flight tests take place over NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California. The project is designed to develop recommendations for the FAA to safely open the skies to allow UAS to fly in the same airspace with human-piloted aircraft.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense
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Airborne Sense-and-Avoid Radar for UAVs

Widespread use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) within the National Airspace System is limited because of regulatory restrictions on their access to shared airspace. The Airborne Sense and Avoid (ABSAA) Radar Panel, a phased array antenna developed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory, has the potential to facilitate the introduction of UAVs into the national airspace.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Aviation, Data Acquisition, Defense, Electronics & Computers, Automation
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New Form of Carbon Is Hard as a Rock, But Elastic Like Rubber

A team of scientists has developed a form of ultra-strong, lightweight carbon that is also elastic and electrically conductive. A material with such a unique combination of properties could serve a wide variety of applications from aerospace engineering to military armor.

Posted in: News, Defense, Composites, Materials
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Researchers Test Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

As an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) rocketed into the night sky, a team of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers listened intently to radio chatter and watched flight data stream in from a control room at the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site. It was the first of two flight tests conducted recently to verify that the system could deliver a payload to target.

Posted in: News, Defense, Test & Measurement
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Army Discovers New Energy Source

Army scientists and engineers recently made a groundbreaking discovery – an aluminum nanomaterial they designed produces high amounts of energy when it comes in contact with water, or with any liquid containing water.

Posted in: News, Defense, Materials
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