Energy Harvesting for Soft-Matter Machines and Electronics

A new class of soft multifunctional materials could be used to convert mechanical deformation from vibrations and stretching into electrical energy.
Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Energy, Energy Harvesting, Imaging, Composites, Materials, Metals, Optical Components, Optics

High-Speed Switched Serial Fabrics Improve System Design

Well into its third decade of widespread deployment, VME adopted the new VXS gigabit serial interface, clearly representing the most significant leap in backplane data transfer rates throughout its entire history. Because VXS delivered such a dramatic improvement in embedded system performance, the use of gigabit serial technology was extended to create VPX. The OpenVPX initiative followed shortly thereafter, as risk-averse government agencies mandated the need for industry-wide standards. The hallmark of any successful standard is that it continues to evolve with technology, and none offers a better example than VME’s evolution to VXS and VPX.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Data Acquisition, Electronics & Computers, Optics

Metal-Plated, High-Temperature Plastics

Imagine a material that lightens fuel loads and cuts costs every time a rocket blasts off from the launch pad.
Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Batteries, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Ceramics, Composites, Materials, Metals, Plastics, Optical Components

Armoring Satellites to Survive and Operate Through Attacks

Satellites do a lot of things — they help people navigate from one place to another, they deliver television programming, they search for new stars and exo-planets and they enable the U.S. nuclear deterrence strategy. But until recently, one thing they haven’t done — or needed to do — is defend themselves. That may soon change.

Posted in: INSIDER, Aerospace, Defense, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optical Components, Optics, Photonics

EO/IR Maritime Payload

CONTROP Precision Technologies Ltd., recently demonstrated its iSea-25HD system.
Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense, Cameras, Imaging, Video, Lasers & Laser Systems, Detectors

Defeating Commercial Drone Threats with Open-Source SDR

With the emergence of highly capable, low-cost, wirelessly controlled drones, bad actors can easily execute disruptive operations.
Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Communications, Defense, Power Management, Power Supplies, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optical Components, Optics, RF & Microwave Electronics, Software-Defined Radio, Threat Location, Targeting, & Surveillance, Software, Test & Measurement

Unmanned Helicopter Drone

A Robinson-22 helicopter converted into an unmanned drone successfully completed in-air programmed missions.
Posted in: Application Briefs, Aeronautics, Aviation, Data Acquisition, Defense, Power Supplies, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Positioning Equipment, Optical Components, Optics, Robotics, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Test & Measurement

Experiments Differentiate Between Underground Nuclear Tests and Earthquakes

Sandia National Laboratories researchers, as part of a group of National Nuclear Security Administration scientists, have wrapped up years of field experiments to improve the United States’ ability to differentiate earthquakes from underground explosions, key knowledge needed to advance the nation’s monitoring and verification capabilities for detecting underground nuclear explosions.

Posted in: INSIDER, Data Acquisition, Defense, Imaging, Video, MEMs, Fiber Optics, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optical Components, Optics, RF & Microwave Electronics, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement

Ultrafast Optics: Vector Cavity Lasers — Physics and Technology

Fiber lasers have found widespread applications in industrial material processing, scientific research and military systems due to their advantages of easy maintenance, excellent stability, compact size and low cost. One characteristic of fiber lasers, compared to other types of lasers, is that strong light is confined to propagating a long distance in a fiber core that has a very small cross-sectional area. This has the consequence that the nonlinear light interaction with the matter has a very long length. This results in the strength of all nonlinear optical processes being strongly amplified. This means that a conventionally weak, nonlinear optical effect can become significant. Therefore, apart from the practical applications, fiber lasers also constitute an ideal platform for the exploration of various complex nonlinear dynamics.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Fiber Optics, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optical Components, Optics, Photonics

Integration of Adaptive Optics Into High-Energy Laser Modeling And Simulation

The U.S. Navy is constantly predicting future threats and contemplating new weapon technologies to counter them. One of those technologies is directed-energy (DE) weapons. Conventional weapons rely on the kinetic energy of projectiles. High-energy lasers (HELs), one type of directed-energy weapon, work in a fundamentally new way, using electromagnetic radiation to damage or destroy enemy assets.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optics, Photonics, Simulation Software, Software