Rapid Deployment SIGINT Sensor

VStar Systems (San Diego, CA) announced the addition of a pod version of its MA-C SIGINT Sensor, the MA-C MiniPod™. Two active high frequency (HF) antennas allow for intercept and copy of land mobile radios from both direct Line of Sight (LOS) as well as Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) signals for Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) communication methods. The MA-C MiniPOD can be installed on most standard airborne racks/missile launchers for integration on a wide variety of platforms.

Features include signal demodulation and copy of 160 simultaneous analog and digital channels, patent-pending buffered copy operation with over 100 buffered channels, and providing frequency coverage in the HF/VHF and UHF bands. The MA-C MiniPod weighs only 40 lbs., allowing installation without any support equipment. It also includes VStar's proprietary AutoTune and SmartDF Software Algorithms.

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Measurement Software

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence (North Kingstown, RI) has launched PC-DMIS 2018 R1, the latest edition of their measurement software. PC-DMIS 2018 R1 allows users to easily convert AutoFeatures to points or quickly use the measured hits for new Constructions and Dimensions, available for Plane, Circle, and Cylinder AutoFeatures. By converting each hit to a vector point, Optimize Path can be used to enhance the order of point measurement, reducing the number of probe tip changes and overall measurement time.

New support for Q-DAS Traces enables easier analysis of PC-DMIS data. The new QuickSet control allows users to use both QuickFeature and GD&T Selection and still have the ability to modify measurement strategies. Enhanced speed of QuickFeature measurement enables users to create multiple circles and cylinders with just one click, optimized for bolt hole patterns or whenever surfaces contain multiple features of the same size and shape. The latest edition also introduces improved Flush and Gap AutoFeature workflow for point cloud inspection. INSPECT has also been improved to include CAD and LIVE views from PC-DMIS and the ability to create Playlists including one or more routines to be executed a specified number of times.

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Hands-Free Robotic Controls

Charles River Analytics Inc. (Cambridge, MA) has announced a follow-on contract to build a hands-free human-machine interface (HMI) for the US Army. The Supervisory HMI Enabling Practical Autonomous Robot Direction (SHEPARD) effort fuses multiple proven robot control technologies to provide a natural and reliable hands-free HMI for soldiers operating in diverse environments.

Unmanned vehicles (UxVs) are vital to military operations, although their widespread integration faces significant barriers. Most current UxV systems require active remote control or teleoperation, where a commander orders a trained human operator to control the robot to carry out a task. SHEPARD offers more natural and reliable communication so commanders can issue instructions directly to UxVs. The hands-free HMI will combine speech and gestures to enable reliable command and control of multiple unmanned vehicles. SHEPARD will use smart devices—like a watch—for easy communication with military robots.

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Shielded Surface Mount RF Inductors

Gowanda Electronics (Gowanda, NY) has expanded its SML32S series of wirewound, shielded, molded RF surface mount inductors in the “1210” style. This expansion increases the number of individual parts in the series by more than 20% and broadens the inductance range by adding values from 120 μH to 470 μH. The performance range provided by the expanded SML32S series includes inductance from 0.1 μH to 470 μH, DCR ohms max from 0.15 to 25 and current rating mA DC from 91 to 1175. There are two core types in the series (powdered iron and ferrite). The series operating temperature range is -55°C to +125°C.

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Hybrid Invar-Composite Molds

Ascent Aerospace (Santa Ana, CA) recently introduced HyVarC®, a patentpending Hybrid InVar and Composite mold. HyVarC combines a thin Invar backup structure and facesheet with a bonded, high-temperature composite working surface. The resulting tool is 50% lighter with a 20% shorter lead-time than a traditional Invar layup mold, while maintaining the same superior vacuum integrity and dimensional precision.

At half the thickness of a traditional Invar mold, the thin Invar backup structure takes less time to weld and manufacture. It serves as both the master mold and the deliverable mold, eliminating the time and cost of creating a second composite backup structure. The machined composite working surface offers better dimensional accuracy than net-mold composite tooling, while the Invar structure provides vacuum integrity and durability. Thin Invar, and the resulting lighter weight, is easier to handle when transporting the tool within the facility.

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