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21 Nov 17. AFRL pursues 3D printing technology. The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is examining whether three-dimensional (3D) printing can be used in a safe, reliable manner, for aircraft parts. Doing that will require that the part be based on the design process, understanding how much strength is needed, as well as the criticality of the part to be manufactured, Dr Jonathan Miller, a materials scientist and the additive manufacturing lead at AFRL, told Jane’s .
But 3D printing parts can make them susceptible to fatigue.
“Additive manufacturing behaves poorly in that way because if you just print the parts and you leave the surface like it was printed that is where you initiate all these fatigue flaws and cracks,” Miller explained. “So, what I have to do is machine off all those surfaces to get it to work.
“This is the type of research we are doing to learn and understand where we can use additive manufacturing and what kind of boost processing we need to do, [for] what applications, based on the design requirements of the parts,” he said.
One area where the materials are actually sufficient and work well is environmental ducting that feeds air into the cockpit. Because the ducts are one-off, unique parts and shapes that were made decades ago are ideal candidates for the 3D printing. Additionally, the tooling to make them no longer exists.
AFRL has had success printing the ducts using plastic material. The effort has resulted in significant lead time and cost improvements simply because the air force didn’t need to buy hundreds of ducts, they just needed 10.
But the same material doesn’t work well for other parts. The plastics are not airworthy, most of the time, because they lack the ability to withstand high temperatures. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
22 Nov 17. How Can You Performance Test Encrypted Data Over a Global Xpress Link? Global RadioData Communications (GRC) and GateHouse Telecom compare on-air and off-air test of encrypted data transfer performance over the Global Xpress Network.
When data is transferred over a data link, it can be intercepted. In fact, more than one billion data thefts are attempted each year and this figure can only rise as we move into the all-connected, data hungry Internet of Things (IoT) era.
To secure confidentiality of the transferred data you can protect it through encryption. Encryption can be done in many ways, and applies to the data transferred as well as meta data, such as the time and place of the data transfer. It is important to test the data transferral, as the encryption potentially affects the performance of the solution or application. An example of a performance sensitive data transferral could be a FaceTime session.
To learn how encryption affects solution performance there are two options – on-air testing or off-air testing. The benefits to off-air testing are many, but the question is, how does it compare to on-air performance?
Developer and supplier of mission critical communication products and solutions, Global RadioData Communications Ltd (GRC), recently completed performance testing of encrypted data transferral with the Gatehouse Telecom Global Xpress Link Emulator.
Phil Harvey, Senior Satellite Systems Engineer, Global RadioData Communications (GRC) Ltd. comments: “One of the tests carried out was to assess the general user experience of a GRC Scytale across the GLE simulated network using various degrees of signal degradation and service loading. The GLE GUI graphs showed the effect on the available bandwidth of the different degradation and loading settings. These can be readily correlated to the video performance of a FaceTime session. Performance was greatly affected by the high loading whereas the audio remained good. The same audio results were evident with a Mitel VOIP phone on the Scytale in that the Mitel c