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Army Selected for Joint Strike Fighter Software Assessment

The F-35 Joint Program Office has selected the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center to perform independent software safety analyses of the next-generation strike aircraft commonly called the Joint Strike Fighter. The single-engine, single-seat F-35 will be manufactured in three versions: a conventional-takeoff-and-landing variant for the Air Force, an aircraft-carrier variant for the Navy, and a short- takeoff/vertical landing variant for the Marine Corps and the U.K. Royal Air Force and Royal Navy.

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Researchers Work to Create Smarter Underwater Drones

An underwater drone armed with the best technology on the planet descended repeatedly to the bottom of the Indian Ocean, trying to find the remains of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, and time after time, it turned up nothing. If Nina Mahmoudian has her way, however, the next generation of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) will have a much better chance of getting it right.

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Agile Aperture Antenna Tested on Aircraft

Department of Defense representatives were in attendance during a recent event where two of the low-power devices, which can change beam directions in a thousandth of a second, were demonstrated in an aircraft during flight tests held in Virginia. One device, looking up, maintained a satellite data connection as the aircraft changed headings, banked and rolled, while the other antenna looked down to track electromagnetic emitters on the ground.

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NASA Engineers Develop 3D Printed Rocket Injectors

NASA engineers pushed the limits of technology by designing a rocket engine injector — a highly complex part that sends propellant into the engine — with design features that took advantage of 3D printing. To make the parts, the design was entered into the 3-D printer's computer. The printer then built each part by layering metal powder and fusing it together with a laser, a process known as selective laser melting.The additive manufacturing process allowed rocket designers to create an injector with 40 individual spray elements, all printed as a single component rather than manufactured individually. The part was similar in size to injectors that power small rocket engines and similar in design to injectors for large engines, such as the RS-25 engine that will power NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) — the heavy-lift, exploration class rocket under development to take humans beyond Earth orbit and to Mars. "We wanted to go a step beyond just testing an injector and demonstrate how 3D printing could revolutionize rocket designs for increased system performance," said Chris Singer, director of Marshall's Engineering Directorate. "The parts performed exceptionally well during the tests."Using traditional manufacturing methods, 163 individual parts would be made and then assembled. With 3D printing technology, only two parts were required, saving time and money and allowing engineers to build parts that enhance rocket engine performance and are less prone to failure.Source Also: Learn about the Peregrine 100-km Sounding Rocket Project.

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Researchers Create See-Through Solar Concentrator

A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy.The device is called a transparent luminescent solar concentrator and can be used on buildings, cell phones, and any other device that has a clear surface.And, according to Richard Lunt of MSU’s College of Engineering, the key word is “transparent.”The solar harvesting system uses small organic molecules developed by Lunt and his team to absorb specific nonvisible wavelengths of sunlight.The “glowing” infrared light is guided to the edge of the plastic where it is converted to electricity by thin strips of photovoltaic solar cells.“Because the materials do not absorb or emit light in the visible spectrum, they look exceptionally transparent to the human eye,” said Richard Lunt of MSU’s College of Engineering.SourceAlso: Learn about High-Efficiency Nested Hall Thrusters for Robotic Solar System Exploration.

Posted in: Materials, Plastics, Solar Power, Renewable Energy, Energy, Semiconductors & ICs, News

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Coming Soon - Piezoelectric Simulations with COMSOL Multiphysics

Piezoelectric materials are integral to the design of sensors, transducers, resonators, and actuators. This webinar introduces the simulation and modeling of such devices, which benefits the design process by enabling better understanding of the interactions between structural, piezoelectric, and conductive or dielectric materials.

Posted in: Upcoming Webinars

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Product of the Month: September 2014

Dewetron, Wakefield, RI, has introduced the TrendCorder series of instruments designed for basic data acquisition applications in industry. They feature intuitive, multi-touch operation, enabling them to be operated 100% by touch, including alphanumeric entry, channel setup, and display configuration. When the instrument is turned on, an app loads and shows incoming data immediately. The DejaVIEW™ feature enables a user to scroll back on the recorder graph to any place in the recording, and pinch/zoom on the graph to see any detail, no matter how far back in time, without interrupting current recording. This is designed for operators conducting long-term testing that cannot be interrupted. The instruments feature a 15.4" wide aspect multi-touch display, and data is streamed continuously to disk at rates up to 200 MB/s. The TrendCorder has four slots for TRION series plug-in modules. Three 6-channel modules are included in the TRC-18, with one slot free; the TRC-6 has one 6-channel module, with three slots free. The system weighs 18.7 pounds, including the input modules.

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