Rotorcraft Icing Computational Tool Development

The formation of ice over lifting surfaces can affect aerodynamic performance. In the case of helicopters, this loss in lift and the increase in sectional drag forces will have a dramatic effect on vehicle performance. The simulation of rotorcraft flow fields is a challenging multidisciplinary problem that lags in development over its counterpart in the fixed wing world by more than a decade. Successful aerodynamic simulation of a rotor/fuselage system requires the modeling of unsteady three-dimensional flows that include transonic shocks, dynamic stall with boundary layer separation, vortical wakes, blade/wake and wake/wake interactions, rigid body motion, blade deformations and the loss of performance caused by ice accretion.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Computer simulation, Icing and ice detection, Aerodynamics, Rotary-wing aircraft

Curled RF MEMS Switches For On-Chip Design

Microelectromechanical system (MEMS) switches are active components in most electronic equipment. Radio frequency (RF) MEMS are used in wireless personal communication devices, satellite communication, and phased array antennas. MEMS are ideal for these applications because of their low weight, small surface area, low volume, high isolation, large frequency range, linearity, and low power consumption.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Microelectricmechanical device, Switches

Design Software Supports BAE System’s Mixed-Signal Chip Design

BAE Systems is a global defense and aerospace company, delivering products and services for air, land, and naval forces, as well as electronics, information technology solutions, and customer support services. In partnership with AWR Corp. (El Segundo, CA), MIT, Cornell University, and Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, BAE Systems has been working to produce a new breed of devices that embeds photonic devices into silicon- based integrated circuits (ICs), enabling computer chips to perform digital, radio frequency, and photonic functions in a single chip.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, CAD / CAM / CAE, Computer software / hardware, Defense industry, Silicon alloys

Upmast Radar Systems

Kelvin Hughes
Enfield, UK
+44 19 9280 5200

Kelvin Hughes recently installed its new SharpEye™ upmast radar system on four new vessels commissioned by the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force. The Damen Stan Patrol 5009 Coastal Patrol Vessels are all now fitted with a Kelvin Hughes Advanced Surveillance System incorporating a SharpEye™ X-Band radar, located upmast in a carbon composite housing with a stealth profile, as well as a tactical radar display. The four craft - the TTS Speyside, Quinam, Moruga and Carli Bay - will patrol Trinidad and Tobago's coastal waters and are also capable of operating in its Exclusive Economic Zone.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Radar, Marine vehicles and equipment, Military vehicles and equipment

Virtual Environment-Based Training Tools

Charles River Analytics
Cambridge, MA

Charles River Analytics Inc., a developer of intelligent systems solutions, has received a follow-on contract from the US Navy to develop more efficient training tools in virtual environments. Shiphandling Educator Assistant for Managing Assessments in Training Environments, or SEAMATE, supports experienced instructors as they monitor and interact with larger numbers of students in the classroom, increasing training efficiency while reducing costs and maintaining effectiveness. The contract is valued at just under $1 million with a contract extension option close to $500,000, if exercised.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Virtual reality, Education, Marine vehicles and equipment

Precision Assembly of Systems on Surfaces (PASS)

Chemiresistors represent a powerful class of chemical sensors that can be readily integrated into any electrical system, can be miniaturized, are readily multiplexed, and take nearly zero-power to operate. One of the greatest limitations to these sensors is a lack of selectivity, which is the electronic equivalent of noise. Interference from large varying background signals, such as humidity, can compromise the sensor signal to a point where there is no useful data. To address this challenge, new ways to integrate molecular constructs into carbon nanotube compositions that produce enhanced selectivity to certain molecules or classes of molecules were investigated to increase the signal to noise level in chemical sensors.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Electrical systems, Sensors and actuators, Humidity, Chemicals, Nanotechnology, Noise

Development of a Novel Electrospinning System with Automated Positioning and Control Software

Electrospinning is a nanofiber fabrication technique that has grown in popularity due to its potential in numerous biomedical applications. The process uses an electrical charge to draw ultrafine fibers from liquid polymer solution to form a non-woven fiber scaffold. The polymer fiber diameters can range from millimeters to as small as nanometers in scale.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Medical equipment and supplies, Fabrication, Fibers, Nanotechnology, Polymers

Advanced Multifunctional Materials for High Speed Combatant Hulls

Currently small boat combatant design focuses primarily on speed and maneuverability. It would be advantageous to expand these capabilities to include reduced radar cross-section, and enhanced survivability to blast and ballistic threats for both the structure and warfighters.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Radar, Crashworthiness, Marine vehicles and equipment, Military vehicles and equipment

Multifunctional Shear Pressed CNT Sheets for Strain Sensing and Composite Joint Toughening

The main goal of this work is to obtain a scientific understanding of the possibilities provided by, and the behavioral features of, a novel type high performance carbon nanotube (CNT) reinforced composite material incorporated in the interfaces of composite laminates and bonded joins with the following two purposes: (a) providing enhancement of the interlaminar fracture toughness and strength and (b) serving as a continuous strain monitoring sensor.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Joining, Coatings Colorants and Finishes, Composite materials, Fatigue, Materials properties, Nanomaterials

Antenna Design Turns Entire Vehicles into Broadcasting Equipment

High-frequency antennas transmit radio waves across vast distances and even over mountain ranges using very little energy, making them ideal for military communications. These devices, however, need to be huge to operate efficiently. Instead of adding more bulk, however, University of Wisconsin–Madison engineers are working to increase the effective size of antennas by turning the military vehicles that carry them into transmitters,using the structures that support the antennas themselves to help broadcast signals.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Communications, Defense