MEMs

Army 3-D Prints a Building

The Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign, Illinois, has successfully three-dimensionally printed a 512 square-foot concrete structure. The structure, called a barracks hut or B-Hut, was printed as a result of a three-year Army Program called the "Automated Construction of Expeditionary Structures." It uses an additive manufacturing process to "print" semi-permanent structures in a theater of operation. The ability to use concrete sourced from readily available materials reduces logistical requirements for the U.S. Army.

Posted in: News, Defense, Green Design & Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping
Read More >>

Experimental Box Could Track Nuclear Activity by Rogue Nations

Researchers at the Virginia Tech College of Science are carrying out a research project at Dominion Power’s North Anna Nuclear Generating Station in Virginia that could lead to a new turning point in how the United Nations tracks rogue nations that seek nuclear power. The years-long project centers on a high-tech box full of luminescent plastic cubes stacked atop one another that can be placed just outside a nuclear reactor operated by, say, Iran. The box would detect subatomic particles known as neutrinos produced by the reactor, which can be used to track the amount of plutonium produced in the reactor core.

Posted in: News, Data Acquisition, Defense, Electronics & Computers, Detectors, Sensors
Read More >>

Energized Fabrics Could Keep Soldiers Warm in Frigid Climates

Soldiering in arctic conditions is tough. Protective clothing can be heavy and cause overheating and sweating upon exertion. And hands and feet can grow numb despite wearing such gear. To keep military personnel more comfortable and battle-ready in bitterly cold climes, scientists are conducting research aimed at creating high-tech fabrics that heat up when powered and capture sweat.

Posted in: News, Defense, Composites
Read More >>

Researchers Print the Unprintable: Kapton

Kapton, a material used in electronics and aerospace applications, has only been available in sheet form. Researchers from Virginia Tech have found a way to 3D-print a polymer with Kapton's structural characteristics.

Posted in: News, News, Aerospace, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials
Read More >>

NASA and Industry Take Next Step Toward X-Plane

Four companies were awarded contracts to come up with five configurations on paper that met very specific operational criteria for NASA’s next commercial X-plane aircraft.

Posted in: News, Aviation, Defense
Read More >>

New Products: September 2017 Aerospace & Defense Technology

Measurement Software

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence (North Kingstown, RI) has launched PC-DMIS 2017 R2, the latest edition of their popular measurement software. This is the second of two major releases scheduled for PC-DMIS in 2017, with continued service pack updates to ensure maximum reliability of the platform.

Posted in: Products, Aerospace
Read More >>

Radiation Tolerant “Smart Backplanes” for Spacecraft Avionics

In recent years there has been a trend towards the wider use of COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) equipment in space missions. This trend has been mainly driven by the restrictions in R&D budgets and a growing demand for shorter design cycles. Funding Agencies are encouraging designers of spacecraft systems to identify and overcome the obstacles that previously prevented the use of COTS products for space missions.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Architecture, Avionics, Reliability, Radiation, Radiation protection, Spacecraft
Read More >>

On-Orbit Satellite Refueling Flow Measurement

Over 7000 satellites have been placed in Earth-orbit since the beginning of the space age. 3000 are currently in orbit, of which 1000 are active, making our near space neighborhood a pretty crowded place. Now, plans are in motion to launch constellations of globe-girding communication satellites that will number in the thousands to provide worldwide internet connectivity. This is in addition to the ever-expanding constellation of LEO, geo synchronous and geo stationary satellites. Clearly, the number of satellites in orbit is on a trajectory of significant growth and we are approaching a point when the economics will demand longer life from these expensive assets just as the costs to put them in orbit continue to fall. NASA’s Restore-L mission, under the direction of the Agency’s Satellite Servicing Projects Division (SSPD) headquartered at the Goddard Space Center, is a major step towards realizing key technologies needed to provide in-space satellite servicing in order to increase on-orbit asset life.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Measurements, Refueling, Satellites
Read More >>

NASA Miniaturizes Century-Old Radio Sounder Technology

A century-old technology that scientists use to probe the ionosphere — the important atmospheric layer that can interfere with the transmission of radio waves — is getting smaller.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, RF & Microwave Electronics, Downsizing, Radio equipment
Read More >>

Eliminating Electrical Arcing in Satellite Systems

In 1995, Boeing Satellite Systems introduced a new family of communication satellite buses, with bodies that contain power, control, and propulsion systems. They used a high-voltage bus connected to a 100V stabilized power source, instead of the standard 27V. This introduced an increase in operating voltage that decreased operating currents and lowered the corresponding ohmic losses in the conductors. However, it also introduced a potentially catastrophic failure to the satellites’ electronic systems: electrical arcing (Figure 1).

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Architecture, Connectors and terminals, High voltage systems, Reliability, Satellites
Read More >>