MEMs

Creating the Future: A Better Way to Map Terrain

Mark Skoog, an aerospace engineer at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center, led the development of new software that stores terrain data in a more efficient and accurate way. The achievement, Skoog says, opens the prospect of anyone – yes, anyone – being able to fly.

Posted in: News, News, Aerospace, Imaging, Sensors
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AMRDEC Technologies to Improve Air and Missile Defense

Engineers at the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) are working on a trio of technologies to explore improving existing air and missile defense designs at lower costs and in less development time. Each of the technologies was developed out of a demand from the warfighter. Investment in current missile weapons is high so the Army prefers to improve what is in use instead of fielding new items. Also, soldiers have more trust in machinery they have used and experienced.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Defense, Software, Test & Measurement
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Drop of Mock Nuclear Weapon Is First of New Flight Tests

From a distance, the drop of a mock nuclear weapon — containing only non-nuclear components — was a mere puff of dust rising from a dry lake bed at Nevada’s Tonopah Test Range. However, it marked the start of a new series of test flights vital to the nation’s B61-12 weapon refurbishment program. Initial data showed the test was a success, said officials at Sandia National Laboratories, which runs Tonopah. For months, teams will be analyzing a wealth of data they collected from this first of a qualification test series planned over the next three years.

Posted in: News, Defense, Test & Measurement
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Mobile High-Energy Laser Shoots Down Drones

A Stryker combat vehicle equipped with a 5kW laser and an array of sensors spent several minutes scanning the horizon for a wayward "enemy" drone. On a television screen in a nearby tent off Thompson Hill - a range used during the recent 10-day Maneuver Fires Integrated Experiment (MFIX) - observers watched the black and white output of those sensors on two flat-screen televisions. A crosshair was centered on the screen. When what appeared to be a drone entered the frame, the crosshairs locked on to it and followed it.

Posted in: News, Defense, Lasers & Laser Systems
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New System Assists X-Planes with Super-Fast Data Transmission

A network and communication architecture that can more efficiently move data from research aircraft, while using half the bandwidth of traditional methods, could eventually also enable data collection of precise measurements needed for testing the next generation of X-planes. Researchers at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center integrated the new systems into a NASA King Air for three flights following extensive ground testing.

Posted in: News, Data Acquisition, Defense
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In-Flight, On-Demand Hydrogen Production for Greener Aircraft

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology developed a process that can be used onboard aircraft while in flight to produce hydrogen from water (including wastewater on the plane) and aluminum particles, safely and cheaply. The hydrogen can then be converted into electrical energy for in-flight use. While the use of hydrogen fuels has been a potential greener energy solution for some time, storing hydrogen has always been a problem.

Posted in: News, Defense, Green Design & Manufacturing
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New Products: May 2017 Aerospace & Defense Technology

Posted in: Products, Aerospace, Defense
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Interoperability Standards Pave the Way for Modular Robotic Manipulators

Unmanned vehicles have long been used by the military to handle situations characterized by the three Ds: dull, dirty, and dangerous. As the use of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), and unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) in the military and industry becomes more complex, the need for interoperability on and between systems has exponentially increased.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Architecture, Communication protocols, Computer software / hardware, Robotics, Autonomous vehicles, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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Solar Powering UAVs

One of the largest problems facing the aerospace industry involves size, weight, and power (SWaP) analysis and the increasing size of payloads with typically a finite amount of power to drive ever more demanding systems. This issue plagues all platforms, regardless of the energy storage medium, the type of propulsion, or system design. Only recently has an opportunity to augment these systems with on-board power generation been deemed not only possible but practical. Much like the space industry, which has benefited from solar technology on satellites that have been aloft for decades, it is now possible for both small and large fixed wing unmanned platforms to drastically increase flight time and payload capabilities.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Solar Power, Solar energy, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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Deploying COTS Subsystems in UUVs

In December, 2016 the newest class of unmanned vehicles, Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV) made international headlines after China, in an unprecedented act, seized an unclassified “ocean glider” operated by an oceanographic survey ship, the USNS Bowditch, about 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay in the Philippines. According to the Pentagon, the captured UUV, which was soon returned to the US, was measuring salinity and temperature in the area.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Electronic equipment, Autonomous vehicles, Marine vehicles and equipment
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