Test & Measurement

Testing Large–Scale Vehicle–Borne Improvised Explosive Devices

In July of 2016, a refrigerator truck packed with explosives detonated next to a crowded apartment block in Baghdad’s Karrada neighborhood. The blast killed 323 people and was one of the worst Vehicle–Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED also known as car bombs) attacks ever recorded. On May 30, 2017, a VBIED in a tanker truck ripped through the embassy quarter of Kabul, killing more than 150 people. Several embassies, including those of Germany and France, sustained damage despite the presence of blast protection structures.

Posted in: News, Defense, Test & Measurement
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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
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The Impact of Video Compression on Remote Cardiac Pulse Measurement Using Imaging Photoplethysmography

Remote physiological measurement technique leverages digital cameras to recover the blood volume pulse from the human body

Remote measurement of physiological signals has a number of advantages over traditional contact methods. It allows the measurement of vital signals unobtrusively and concomitantly. In recent years, a number of approaches for imaging-based measurement of physiology using digital cameras have been proposed. Imaging photoplethysmography (iPPG) captures variations in light reflected from the body due to blood volume changes in microvascular tissue. It has been demonstrated that sub-pixel variations in color channel measurements from a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera, when aggregated, could be used to recover the blood volume pulse. Subsequently, it was shown that iPPG methods can allow accurate measurement of heart rate, heart rate variability, breathing rate, blood oxygenation and pulse transit time.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Test & Measurement
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Subjective Mapping of Dust-Emission Sources by Using MODIS Imagery

Accurate dust-source characterizations are critical for effectively modeling dust storms and their associated hazards.

Dust storms (5 to 100 km across) often originate from multiple dust-emission sources (1 to 10 km across). Remote-sensing-based dust-source identification is a challenge. A previous study developed a subjective approach for mapping dust sources by using enhanced MODIS satellite imagery; therefore, this study conducted mapping exercises to assess the reproducibility of this technique amongst multiple analysts and in different regions.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Test & Measurement
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Custom Data Logger for Real-Time Remote Field Data Collections

Compact, energy efficient instruments have the same functionality as a personal computer.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), CHL, FRF, had a need for a remote real-time data collection system to control instruments and log and communicate data from five observing stations in the Currituck Sound Estuary, NC1. These stations, referred to as the Currituck Sound Array (CSA), collect a suite of meteorological and oceano-graphic data including wind, air temperature, humidity, incoming solar radiation (above and below water), waves, currents, water level, salinity, and water temperature, as well as turbidity and many other water quality parameters. This array of instruments has a variety of control commands, sample routines, and output data formats. Additionally, the CSA was designed to act as a natural laboratory for estuarine research and as an instrument and model test bed. These capabilities required a reliable and flexible system that would allow easy modification of sampling schemes, the ability to log as many as 15 instruments with a single logger, and allow the incorporation of additional and novel instrumentation with minimal effort and expense.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Test & Measurement
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Topology Control in Aerial Multi-Beam Directional Networks

Comparing the performance of a centralized algorithm that retains robust connectivity and reduced throughput to a distributed algorithm that offers higher throughput but fewer network nodes.

In multi-beam directional networks, nodes are able to simultaneously transmit to all neighbors or receive from all neighbors. This spatial reuse allows for high throughputs, but in dense networks can cause significant interference. Topology control (i.e., selecting a subset of neighbors to communicate with) is vital to reduce the interference. Good topology control balances the number of links utilized to achieve fewer collisions while maintaining robust network connectivity.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Test & Measurement
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NASA Tests Multi-Material 3D-Printed Rocket Engine Part

NASA engineers tested a 3D-printed rocket engine prototype part made of two different metal alloys via an advanced manufacturing process. The part was low-pressure, hot-fire-tested more than 30 times to demonstrate the functionality of the igniter.

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6 Critical Errors to Avoid in Reusable Packaging Design

Designing a reusable, durable packaging solution for your product or service is much more than picking a type of package and a size. There are many things to consider about how your product will be used, where it will be used, and who will be using it. This list of six common errors will ensure your initial design decisions put you on the path to the most cost- effective case that combines the required protection with superior usability.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, White Papers, Defense, Electronics, Test & Measurement
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Green Aerospace Test Uses No Explosives

Sandia National Laboratories has successfully demonstrated a new, more environmentally friendly method to test a rocket part to ensure its avionics can withstand the shock from stage separation during flight. The Alternative Pyroshock Test uses a nitrogen-powered gas gun to shoot a 100-pound steel projectile into a steel resonant beam, which then transfers energy through a resonant cone attached to the part being tested. The resulting energy transfer mimics the conditions of stage separation in space.

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Researchers Test Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

As an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) rocketed into the night sky, a team of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers listened intently to radio chatter and watched flight data stream in from a control room at the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site. It was the first of two flight tests conducted recently to verify that the system could deliver a payload to target.

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