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NEW TECHNOLOGIES

NEW TECHNOLOGIES

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13 Sep 04. United Defense Industries, Inc. achieved an industry first recently when it successfully fired a 120mm Electrothermal Chemical (ETC) gun from a hybrid electric drive combat vehicle. This effort, using a fully integrated 100kJ pulse power system, was accomplished through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the U.S. Army’s Armament Research Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC). ARDEC is the Army’s center of excellence for armament systems development. United Defense developed an autoloader that successfully loaded and ejected rounds and stub cases from the vehicle. Stub cases are steel cases that transport and hold the propellant. The fully automatic breech power connection, utilized in the demonstration, was designed such that electricity reached only the propellant, but not any other part of the cannon or vehicle. According to industry experts, ETC technology can significantly enhance accuracy of direct fire weapons, using pulsed power in conjunction with modified, fielded weapon systems and ammunition. The modification to the ammunition requires replacing the conventional igniter within the round with a plasma igniter. Plasma ignition significantly reduces the variations in projectile exit times. This increase in ignition control allows plasma ignition to become the critical element of an advanced fire control capability called “precision aiming.” Precision aiming uses gun muzzle position sensors, advanced fire control algorithms, and plasma ignition to virtually eliminate gun pointing error. Reduction in pointing error increases accuracy, especially when the vehicle is moving and the pointing errors dominate. Vehicle survivability is also enhanced when using this ETC technology because engagements can be at longer range, and at higher cross country speeds. This technology has a broad range of applications, including applications to existing and future direct fire weapons platforms.

13 Sep 04. With the successful production of its 30th nanomaterial product – silver nanopowder – and the full validation of the manufacturing process, QinetiQ Nanomaterials Ltd (QNL) will now market its nano production process and all the resulting materials under the TesimaTM brand. The QNL process allows the continuous gas phase production of bulk nanopowders and the four main product categories derived from it will be branded TesimaTM to reflect the unique flexibility of the system and the wide range of products it can produce. TesimoxTM is a family of oxides with sizes ranging from 20 to 100nm and includes ZnO, ZrO2, CuO, Cu2O, SnO2, TiO2, CeO2, Al2O3. TesimetTM comprises pure metals and alloys such as Al, Cu, Ag, to which passivation layers can also be applied during manufacture. TesimideTM consists of metal carbides and nitrides including the recent successful manufacture of 60nm WC. Finally TesimorphTM is QNL’s special product range of materials including mixed oxides, layered materials, doped materials such as yttria stabilised zirconia and non stoichiometric materials such as ZnO1-x. Farnborough based QNL is a wholly owned subsidiary of QinetiQ Group, Europe’s largest research and technology organisation and provides customers with complete nanomaterials solutions. It offers unrivalled capability that help customers develop, improve and deliver products in diverse markets from automotive to pharmaceutical and opto-electronics to energy.

30 Aug 04. Northrop Grumman Corporation was recently awarded a contract by Air Force Research Laboratory/Directed Energy Directorate in support to the
Office of the Secretary of Defense / High Energy Lasers Joint Technology Office, to develop a new capability to bond laser materials. The contract calls for SYNOPTICS, a unit of the company’s Space Technology sector, to develop a new and more efficient bonding process. This process will permit the bonding of different types of laser

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