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NASA Demonstrates Aircraft Electric Propulsion

NASA’s Leading Edge Asynchronous Propeller Technology (LEAPTech) project will test the premise that tighter propulsion-airframe integration, made possible with electric power, will deliver improved efficiency and safety, as well as environmental and economic benefits. NASA researchers will perform ground testing of a 31-foot-span, carbon composite wing section with 18 electric motors powered by lithium iron phosphate batteries. The experimental wing, called the Hybrid-Electric Integrated Systems Testbed (HEIST), is mounted on a specially modified truck. Testing on the mobile ground rig assembly will provide valuable data and risk reduction applicable to future flight research. Researchers hope to fly a piloted X-plane within the next couple years after removing the wings and engines and replacing them with an improved version of the LEAPTech wing and motors. Each motor can be operated independently at different speeds for optimized performance. Key potential benefits of LEAPTech include decreased reliance on fossil fuels, improved aircraft performance and ride quality, and aircraft noise reduction. Source:

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Second, Smaller Rotor Increases Wind Turbine Efficiency

Large wind turbine blades disturb the wind, creating a wake behind them and reducing the energy harvest of any downwind turbines. A turbine sitting in the slipstream of another can lose 8 to 40 percent of its energy production, depending on conditions. By adding a smaller, secondary rotor mounted mounted in front of the big rotor, the two sets of blades are separated by the nacelle that houses the generating machinery on top of the tower. The extra blades can increase a wind farm’s energy harvest by 18 percent. Researchers are using advanced computer simulations, including high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics analysis and large eddy simulations, to find the best aerodynamic design for a dual-rotor turbine. Where, for example, should the second rotor be located? How big should it be? What kind of airfoil should it have? Should it rotate in the same direction as the main rotor or in the opposite direction? Source:

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Orion's Launch Abort System Motor Exceeds Expectations

NASA has tested the attitude control motor of the Orion Launch Abort System (LAS) to prove that its material can survive not only the intense temperatures, pressures, noise, and vibrations experienced during a launch emergency, but also 40 percent beyond. The LAS is being designed to bring a crew to safety should there be a problem in the launch pad or during ascent. Built by Orbital ATK, the motor consists of a solid propellant gas generator with eight proportional valves equally spaced around the outside of the three-foot-diameter motor. Together, the valves can exert up to 7,000 pounds of steering force to the vehicle in any direction upon command from the Orion. The motor would be used to keep the LAS, with the crew module, on a controlled flight path if it needed to jettison and steer away from the launch vehicle in an emergency. It also reorients the module for parachute deployment and landing.  Source:

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RR1P Rugged ATR Pluggable Canister RAID Data Storage Delivers Continuous Data Recording for ISR

RR1P removable canister RAID data storage system enables military ISR data to be removed from a plane, ship or ground vehicle in under two minutes. The canister connects to the ¾ ATR chassis with a military grade connector designed for 10,000 insertion cycles. It weighs only 25 pounds including a five pound removable canister with up to 19.2 TB of compact, rugged, high performance mobile RAID data storage.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Electronics & Computers

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The Less is More Approach to Robotic Cable Management

In recent years, cable management has come into the limelight because machine reliability has increased dramatically, even though robots have grown more complex. Unfortunately, the methods used to attach and guide cables have not quite followed suit. While managing cables and hoses is often an afterthought in most designs, it is truly a vital part of any well-functioning robot.

Posted in: White Papers

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Energy Chain® Cable Carriers: The Right Material for Any Application

Cable carriers are often an afterthought for many design engineers, but many times, they are the key to protecting vital cables and hoses on automated machinery. Cable carriers can be considered the lifeline that keeps a machine running. They not only guide the cables and hoses, but protect against harsh external elements, including dirt and dust, flying debris, chemicals and excessive heat.

Posted in: White Papers

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TechTalk Design Advice Series: The Cable Distribution Rules You Need To Obey

The key advantage of a cable carrier is that bus and motor cables, pneumatics, electrics and hydraulics can all be guided safely in one system. However, correctly arranging each cable and hose within your chosen cable carrier according to the recommended spacing requirements is vital if you want to prolong the service life of your system.

Posted in: White Papers

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