Aerospace Gimbals Test Service

A new test service introduced by Bal Seal Engineering, Inc. (Foothill Ranch, CA) offers OEMs verified performance results for Bal Seal spring-energized rotary/face seals used in aerospace and defense gimbal applications. Aerospace gimbals used for targeting, surveillance, and threat detection require precise positioning and must overcome internal drag to function efficiently.

Posted in: Products, Defense

DPA Countermeasures — Theory vs. Practice

The Threat

In today’s interconnected world, the information that we generate, store, transmit, and receive has become a valuable commodity. We have increasingly turned to cryptography as a tool to protect the confidentiality and integrity of this information, but we read almost daily about those protections being defeated. Skilled practitioners can often successfully mount attacks using only very modest resources to break unprotected devices. Attacks on FPGA bitstream encryption, as often reported in the open literature, represent significant examples of the DPA (Differential Power Analysis) threat for the aerospace and defense community.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Cryptography, Cyber security, Data management

A Hardware-Centric Approach to Countering Side-Channel Threats

From laptops and mobile devices to cars and airplanes, we are seeing near-daily threats to the systems and devices we use. Systems being used and deployed in the aerospace and defense industry are facing the same problem. As their complexity has increased, so has their attack surface, making them increasingly vulnerable to security threats. There has also been substantial growth in malicious, state-sponsored organizations targeting defense systems that are adept at discovering vulnerabilities, and using them to compromise the integrity of systems and exfiltrate sensitive information.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Computer software / hardware, Cyber security, Military vehicles and equipment

Optimizing Thermal Management to Meet SWaP-C Requirements

As defense systems continue to shrink, corresponding thermal management concerns expand exponentially. Designers have learned that overheating can be the downfall of even the most well-designed systems. Suppliers of today’s box-level systems continue to make strides in reducing the size, weight and power (SWaP) of these systems to meet mil-aero deployment demands. However, smaller systems may be more difficult to cool, adding an additional design mandate to keep the system within specified heat parameters, making thermal management that much more important in meeting environmental deployment specifications. Therefore, optimized cooling techniques need to be employed to meet SWaP-C (Size, Weight, Power and Cooling) needs that are now a vital part of the development process.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Thermal management, Cooling, Military aircraft, Military vehicles and equipment

Fighting for Life in Military Markets

Visits to the Seville headquarters of Airbus Defence & Space (Airbus DS) have often reflected stormy prospects for the company’s large-capacity A400M Atlas transport, which has suffered cost increases, delivery delays, technical issues, and order losses.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Flight tests, Military aircraft

Clamoring for More Entertainment

Consumer expectations for information and entertainment are creating big challenges for airlines that need to provide Internet access while providing inflight services that mirror what’s available in the home and office.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Defense, Infotainment systems, Vehicle occupants, Displays, Commercial aircraft, Satellites

Cellular Satellites: Joint Communications with Integrated Acquisition

It’s a familiar image: a soldier crouching with a radio next to a spidery antenna pointing skyward to reach a distant satellite. But that view of military communications is on the verge of change, being replaced by troops rapidly exchanging data while moving seamlessly around the battle space.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Satellite communications, Defense industry, Military vehicles and equipment

Virtual Flight Testing of Radar System Performance

Flight testing is the ultimate way to evaluate the performance of a radar system. During the actual aircraft flight, data such as Probability of Detection, Signal Strength, and clutter might be gathered. While effective, this approach does pose a number of challenges. The operational cost of flight testing a radar system using real aircraft can be over $100,000 per hour. Additionally, the results from one flight to the next are not repeatable. Each flight is slightly different, and getting enough flights in to be statistically significant is simply too cost-prohibitive.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Computer simulation, Radar, Flight tests, Test equipment and instrumentation, Test procedures

Satellite System


Hughes Network Systems, LLC (Hughes) recently unveiled a new HM Satellite System, engineered around its novel software-definable modem (SDM) technology and scrambled code multiple access (SCMA) waveform. Hughes is launching with three commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) products for government applications.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Suppliers, Satellites

Lithium Battery Pack


When designing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), engineers must continually seek to reduce size and weight wherever possible in order to improve aerodynamics and free up critical space to deploy additional sensors and instrumentation.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Battery packs, Lithium-ion batteries, Suppliers