"Eyes" for the Autopilot

Automatic landings have long been standard procedure for commercial aircraft at major airports; this is usually not the case at smaller airports. Researchers have developed a completely automatic landing with vision-assisted navigation that functions properly without the need for ground-based systems.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Cameras, Imaging

Air Force Produces Light, Thin Transparent Armor

The Air Force Research Laboratory is manufacturing transparent ceramic armor for both air and ground vehicles. ALON is a transparent ceramic material composed of aluminum, oxygen, and nitrogen. It begins as a powder that is formed into unique shapes and made transparent through the application of high temperature and pressure.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Ceramics, Materials

Portable Gas Detection Shrinks to New Dimensions

A sensor for detecting toxic gases is now smaller, faster and more reliable, setting it up for integration into a highly sensitive portable system for detecting chemical weapons. Better miniature sensors can also rapidly detect airborne toxins where they occur, providing key information to help emergency personnel respond safely and effectively to an incident.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors, Transducers

Army Rebuilding Short-Range Air Defense

The Army is now standing up short-range air defense units, known as SHORAD battalions, and offering a five-week pilot Stinger course for soldiers in maneuver units. It's all part of a critical effort to defend maneuver units against the threat of aircraft, drones and cruise missiles, said Col. Mark A. Holler, commandant of the Air Defense Artillery School at Fort Sill.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aerospace, Defense

Operating at the Speed of Thought

When a cyber-warrior defends a complex computer network, or a pilot commands a team of unmanned vehicles, or a submarine officer interacts with intricate sensor systems, they are often limited by conventional interfaces: their fingers, eyes and ears. And while commercial technology has opened new possibilities for controlling complex systems — touch screens, mixed reality and voice control — taking full advantage of these increasingly fast, smart and sophisticated systems will require direct interface with the brain.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Biosensors, Sensors, Transducers

FAA’s New Rules Could Reintroduce Civil Supersonic Jets

The FAA announced two rulemaking activities on civil supersonic aircraft noise that could reintroduce supersonic passenger travel for the first time since the Concorde retired in 2003.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense

NASA Tests Electric Aircraft Power Systems

NASA Glenn has repurposed its Hypersonic Tunnel Facility to create the NASA Electric Aircraft Testbed (NEAT), a reconfigurable facility that can accommodate power systems for large passenger airplanes, like a Boeing 737, with megawatts of power.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Test & Measurement, Testing Procedures

Air Force Technology Reclaims Obsolete Aircraft Parts

The average age of Air Force aircraft is over 28 years. As a result, parts can be difficult to acquire when original suppliers are no longer in existence. The Maturation of Advanced Manufacturing for Low Cost Sustainment (MAMLS) program was created to utilize advanced technologies to address the current challenges of keeping aging aircraft flying safely.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling

Software Accelerates Hypersonic Engine Development

Argonne National Laboratory and the Air Force Research Laboratory developed a new numerical modeling tool that allows for a better understanding of rotating detonation engines (RDEs). Unlike conventional gas turbine engines, RDEs leverage high-intensity, self-sustaining detonation to rapidly consume the fuel-air mixture, typically in a ring-shaped, cylindrical chamber.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), Mathematical/Scientific Software, Simulation Software

Neural Lander Uses AI to Land Drones Smoothly

Landing multi-rotor drones smoothly is difficult. Complex turbulence is created by the airflow from each rotor bouncing off the ground as the ground grows closer during descent. Drones typically wobble and inch slowly toward a landing until power is finally cut and they drop the remaining distance to the ground.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Defense