Test & Measurement

The Inside Story on Unmanned Vehicle Signal Recorder Technology

Pentek, Inc. designs embedded computer boards and recording systems for DSP, software radio and data acquisition for both COTS and rugged environments. In an interview with Aerospace & Defense Technology, Vice President Rodger Hosking explained how signal recorder technology is being implemented in military unmanned vehicles.

Posted in: News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Automotive, Communications, Wireless, Data Acquisition, Defense, RF & Microwave Electronics, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement, Automotive, Transportation

Eyes In the Sky

Drones (i.e. quadrotors) are a popular and increasingly widespread product used by consumers as well as in a diversity of industrial, military and other applications. Historically under the control of human operators on the ground, they’re becoming increasingly autonomous as the cameras built into them find use not only for capturing footage of the world around them but also in understanding and responding to their surroundings. Combining imaging with other sensing modalities can further bolster the robustness of this autonomy.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Imaging, Automation, Robotics, Sensors, Inspection Equipment, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

Developing Knowledge and Understanding for Autonomous Systems for Analysis and Assessment Events and Campaigns

There are many challenges in developing complete performance ontologies and test methodologies to define and evaluate the performance of autonomous systems. Chief among them is the dynamic environment in which the autonomous system is expected to operate. Change in the autonomous system’s environment is expected to affect system performance. Test methodologies have to include all aspects of this dynamic environment.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Defense, Automation, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

Hydraulic Cylinder Position Sensor Technology

As the demand for greater control and functionality increases, position-sensor-instrumented hydraulic cylinders are becoming more important in the heavy industry, mobile equipment, and subsea worlds. Position sensors for feedback in hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders have typically used one of three technologies: Linear Variable Inductance Transducers (LVITs), variable resistance potentiometers (Pots), or magnetostrictive transducers (MLDTs). While other sensor technologies have occasionally been used in these applications, the focus of this article is a comparison among these three popular technologies. Ultimately, a user or systems integrator must determine the exact requirements of the application and which technology best satisfies them on a total installed cost versus performance basis. The strengths and weaknesses of linear variable inductance, variable resistance pots, and magnetostrictive sensors are all examined below, together with a feature-by-feature comparison chart.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Mechanical Components, Positioning Equipment, Power, Power Transmission, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Test & Measurement

Monitoring a Nearshore Beneficial Use Site: Application of a Benthic Sled and Video Annotation

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Portland Districts (NWP) maintains safe and navigable waterways in Oregon through a variety of dredging projects, including channel deepening, and dredging sandbars. Placement of dredged sediment occurs at preselected, specific geographic areas categorized as nearshore beneficial use sites. Beneficial use sites are commonly monitored before, during, and after disposal, to evaluate dredge management practices and to avoid potentially adverse effects to the marine environment.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Defense, Environmental Monitoring, Cameras, Imaging, Video, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

Sound Attenuation of Neoprene Wetsuit Hoods as a Function of Dive Depth and Acoustic Frequency: Hyperbaric Chamber Trials

The U.S. Navy is interested in strategies that divers could employ to protect them from loud underwater sounds. Sonar transmissions and other forms of underwater sound, such as that produced by noisy underwater tools, are an occupational hazard for U.S. Navy divers.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Defense, Machinery, Mechanical Components, Data Acquisition, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement

New Products: May 2019 Aerospace & Defense Technology

Ultra-Low Temperature Elastomer

Greene Tweed’s (Kulpsville, PA) Fusion™ FKM 665, a new generation, ultra-low-temperature and chemical-resistant elastomer, was specifically formulated to meet and exceed the requirements of Aerospace Material Specification (AMS) 7379 and AMS-P-83461. With a temperature range of -70°F to 450°F (-57°C to 232°C), Fusion™ 665 achieves outstanding low-temperature performance without compromising high-temperature performance.

Posted in: Products, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Defense, Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, Imaging, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Industrial Controls & Automation, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Materials, Metals, Fastening, Joining & Assembly, Machinery, Mechanical Components, MEMs, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Positioning Equipment, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Simulation Software, Inspection Equipment, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

Underwater Drone Technology

Finding ways to overcome physical limitations so that humans can dive deeper and stay underwater longer has been an ongoing quest. Back in the 15th century, Leonardo Da Vinci drew sketches of a submarine and a robot. Had he thought to combine the two concepts, he would have created a prototype of an unmanned underwater vehicle, or underwater drone. Instead, the world had to wait another five hundred years.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Communications, Defense, Power Management, Power Supplies, Cameras, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Motion Control, Power, Robotics, Sensors, Instrumentation, Transportation

Understanding the “Black Art” of RF and Microwave Switching

Understanding RF, especially microwave switching, can be a challenge. In many cases, test systems have been compromised because a test engineer did not consider all the components of their test system: instruments, switching, cabling, Mass Interconnect (test fixture interface), fixture design, and so on. Each component has its own set of characteristics. With RF and microwave components, effects including insertion loss, VSWR, bandwidth, and so on all need to be considered as well.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components, RF & Microwave Electronics, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement

Using Ruggedized Test Equipment to Solve Jet Engine Problems

A jet engine is the very definition of “mission-critical.” A critical failure could cause a serious accident that endangers hundreds of lives. To prevent this from happening, manufacturers perform extensive testing on jet engine components, systems, and manufacturing processes.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components, Data Acquisition, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement