Test & Measurement

Custom Data Logger for Real-Time Remote Field Data Collections

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

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.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, 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.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Test & Measurement
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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.

Posted in: News, Defense, Test & Measurement
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Combustion Characteristics of Hydrocarbon Droplets Induced by Photoignition of Aluminum Nanoparticles

In the study of combustion characteristics of liquid rocket fuels, it is customary to either study the combustion of liquid fuel droplets or the combustion of fuel sprays. However, the two are closely related to each other, because in a typical rocket combustion chamber, the burning of droplets, droplet clusters, and fuel sprays occur simultaneously.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Propulsion, Test & Measurement, Spacecraft fuel, Aluminum, Combustion and combustion processes, Liquid propellant rocket engines
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AMRDEC Technologies to Improve Air and Missile Defense

Engineers at the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) are working on a trio of technologies to explore improving existing air and missile defense designs at lower costs and in less development time. Each of the technologies was developed out of a demand from the warfighter. Investment in current missile weapons is high so the Army prefers to improve what is in use instead of fielding new items. Also, soldiers have more trust in machinery they have used and experienced.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Defense, Software, Test & Measurement
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Drop of Mock Nuclear Weapon Is First of New Flight Tests

From a distance, the drop of a mock nuclear weapon — containing only non-nuclear components — was a mere puff of dust rising from a dry lake bed at Nevada’s Tonopah Test Range. However, it marked the start of a new series of test flights vital to the nation’s B61-12 weapon refurbishment program. Initial data showed the test was a success, said officials at Sandia National Laboratories, which runs Tonopah. For months, teams will be analyzing a wealth of data they collected from this first of a qualification test series planned over the next three years.

Posted in: News, Defense, Test & Measurement
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NASA Puts Dummies to the Test for Airplane Safety

Ten crash test dummies buckled into seats in a cut-out section of a regional jet fuselage will soon help NASA and the FAA develop new crashworthiness guidelines for future airplane designs. It is part of the FAA's efforts to address how to better assess the airworthiness of new transport planes that contain nonmetallic components. The test also included baggage in the cargo hold to see how the luggage interacts with the subfloor separating it from the dummies.

Posted in: News, Defense, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement
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Sandia Labs Takes Modern Approach to Evaluating Nuclear Weapons

Sandia National Laboratories is transforming how it assesses nuclear weapons in a stockpile made up of weapons at different stages in their lifecycles — some systems that have existed for decades alongside those that have undergone life extension programs. Back when the United States was developing new nuclear weapon systems, weapons typically were either in production or were retired before they aged much more than about 10 years. The U.S. today is no longer designing new systems, so scientists and engineers refurbish weapons to ensure the stockpile will function as intended and that weapons are safe, secure and reliable.

Posted in: News, Defense, Monitoring, Test & Measurement
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