‘Quantum Radio’ May Aid Communications Indoors, Underground, Underwater

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated that quantum physics might enable communications and mapping in locations where GPS and ordinary cellphones and radios don’t work reliably or even at all, such as indoors, in urban canyons, underwater and underground. The technology may help mariners, soldiers and surveyors, among others.

Posted in: News, Communications, Wireless, Defense, Sensors

New Products & Services: December 2017 Aerospace Manufacturing & Fabrication

Metric-Sized Metal Shapes

Parker Steel Company (Maumee, OH) offers metric-sized metals suitable for applications where presized metric parts are needed. Parker Steel’s cold-finished carbon steel, alloyed and high-strength stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass and tool steel bars/shafting, tubing, sheets and plates, angles, channels and tees; and other specialty shapes can be shipped out the same day as ordered with very few exceptions.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Metals, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Simulation Software, Software, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement, Product development, Fabrication, Steel


The newest crash test dummy in development is actually a blast test dummy. WIAMan (Warrior Injury Assessment Manikin) is a ground-breaking anthropomorphic test device (ATD) being developed by the U.S. Army. It’s the first test dummy designed specifically for vertical loading in under-body blast (UBB) scenarios, like the ones soldiers may experience in combat from IEDs. A key goal of the program is to develop a scientifically-valid injury criteria for blast testing of military ground vehicles. This test data will be the most advanced of its kind and will be used to develop new, safer vehicles and associated equipment to help reduce injury risk for warfighters. Another first coming out of this program is the high-tech data acquisition system that is entirely contained within the dummy, making it the first completely autonomous device of its kind.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Imaging, Sensors, Anthropometric test devices, Protective structures, Military vehicles and equipment

Sensors Detect Aircraft Damage as it Occurs

The Army developed and tested networked acoustic emission sensors that can detect airframe damage on conceptual composite UH-60 Black Hawk rotorcraft. The sensing method can be used to reliably detect and locate the initiation and growth of damage that may occur during service.

Posted in: News, Defense, Sensors

Painless Microneedles Extract Fluid for Wearable Sensors for Soldiers

Sandia National Laboratories and University of New Mexico researchers have developed unique microneedle-based sensor technology that they hope can someday be used to help soldiers on vital missions. Ronen Polsky, a Sandia materials scientist who leads the design of the microneedle sensor, said the technology is the first way to extract large volumes of pure interstitial fluid for further study.

Posted in: News, Defense, Diagnostics, Drug Delivery, Patient Monitoring, Data Acquisition, Sensors

University Researchers Give Self-Driving Vehicles a Boost

While the future of vehicles may be driverless, West Virginia University is steering the technology in the right direction. More and more cars being sold today include semi-automated features ranging from self-parking to lane departure to automatic braking, but fully automated vehicles are on the horizon. WVU’s researchers are working to improve vehicle and smart infrastructure technology that underpins their development and their benefit to communities in areas such as safety, energy, traffic, economic opportunity and more. One of those researchers is Victor Fragoso, an assistant professor in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, whose research is focused on improving the artificial intelligence of autonomous agents, which includes driverless vehicles.

Posted in: News, Automotive, Defense, Electronics & Computers, Robotics, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors, Transducers, Automotive

Putting Smart Weapons to The Test

In the old days, a slingshot, BB gun, rifle or cannon was only as smart as the marksman taking aim. Now, many weapons are guided to their targets with the precision of infrared sensors and lasers. The technology continues to advance, but testing technology has lagged behind, leaving new generations of weapons and their tactical advantages unavailable to today's troops.

Posted in: News, Defense, Detectors, Sensors, Test & Measurement

Initial Validation of Ballistic Shock Accelerometers

Method 522.2 of MIL-STD-810G CN1 defines ballistic shock as “a high-level shock that generally results from the impact of projectiles or ordnance on armored combat vehicles”. Typical engagements of interest also include Kinetic Energy projectiles, land mines, and improvised explosive devices. For the purposes of this TOP, ballistic shock is generally referred to as the sudden high-rate loading resulting from under body blast (UBB) testing designed to assess the crew-survivability of military vehicles. Historical testing conducted in both areas have proven the relative similarities between the two environments.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Sensors

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

Secure 3D Printing: 'Three-Layer' System Protects Parts from Hackers

A 3D printer is essentially a small embedded computer — and can be exploited like one.

Researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology and Rutgers University have developed a “three-layer” way of certifying that an additively manufactured part has not been compromised.

Posted in: News, News, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Detectors, Sensors