Sponsored By Oxley Developments
13 Aug 18. Oxley will be displaying a full range of LED lighting and electronic components for military vehicles and shelters at the prestigious DVD event on the 19th & 20th September at Millbrook. The team will be showcasing the range on Stand C4-600. The Oxley Searchlight is a high intensity LED unit fitted with handles and a clamping system to allow 360 degree rotation. The light can be mounted on a tripod and is suitable for vehicle use, alternatively tripod feet allow for deployment off the vehicle. This is a lightweight solution at just 2.2kg (tripod additional 3.5kg), the light offers a peak Intensity of 325,000cd with a power consumption of just 115W at supply voltage of 18-32.2V DC. Qualified IAW MIL-STD- 810F and RCTA DO-160F, the light is specifically designed for harsh environments with excellent resistance to shock and vibration and has an MTBF in excess of 50,000 hours.
The Oxley Compact LED Searchlight is designed as a fit and forget solution, specifically created for vehicle mounted requirements. The light provides an adjustable tilt angle and is available with a range of light distribution and beam intensity options, all designed to meet tough military standards. The light has high build standards which provide excellent resistance to shock and vibration and deliver a high reliability option for military users who require assurance of performance. This is a lightweight option at just 1.4kg and the light offers a peak intensity of 152,000cd (/01 Spot Variant), along with all the benefits of LED technology including low power consumption of just 55W and a long life of 30,000 hours MTBF.
Oxley has developed a range of low profile LED lights to satisfy a variety of requirements for robust, reliable and high performance lighting systems. The DC Combi light is ideal for new build and retro-fit projects. Unique in its design, it delivers white light plus an integrated blackout mode in a choice of colours.
In areas with limited space, the low profile design increases the available headroom. LED technology makes this a fit and forget solution, reducing overall costs through extended working life – on average 5x (typically 50,000 hours) including replacement, maintenance, disposal and labour costs. The requirement for surplus space to store replacement and used bulbs is eliminated, whilst the absence of mercury satisfies the environmental issue, providing a non-hazardous solution. The DC Combi light was originally designed for military vehicles and is also suitable for military field shelters, temporary work space lighting and naval/marine area lighting.
17 Aug 18. GPS Denied Navigation for UAS Using Aviation Transponders. Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a new method that gives aircraft a backup system in case GPS fails: An antenna on the ground that can tell a drone where it is. The team successfully tested their system in June.
“Right now GPS is the one ring to rule them all: Without it, tiny drones all the way up to commercial aircraft can’t do their jobs. It’s a huge liability,” said Christopher Lum, a UW research assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics and the director of the Autonomous Flight Systems Laboratory. “Before GPS was widely used, pilots had myriad other techniques for navigation. Now we need to fall back to some of those older techniques to keep unmanned vehicles like drones in the air without GPS.”
The team’s unmanned drones carry transponders on board that send signals to operators and any surrounding aircraft about their whereabouts.
“A transponder is like Twitter for aircraft,” said Lum. “It blabs out information to anyone who’s listening, such as: ‘Here’s my GPS position, here’s my GPS position.’ Then everyone else knows where the aircraft is.”
If GPS is knocked out, the transponder doesn’t know its location, but it will still send signals. So the team used a large ground-based antenna array to pick up the signals and then triangulate the position of the aircraft.
“The ground station is smarter than the aircraft at that point,” said Lum. “We’re just modifying the autopilot onboard the aircraft. Instead of using GPS information to navigate, it’s listening to this message coming from the ground to figure out where it is.”
On June 12, the team tested their system with the antenna array at the Columbia Gorge Regional Airport, just across the Columbia River from The Dalles, Oregon. The drone successfully completed its 1.25-mile flight path without using GPS. The only time it deviated from the designated path was due to wind. While this is not the first technique researchers have developed to keep aircraft flying without using GPS, what’s new is the transponder.
“It’s the size of a pack of cards,” said Helen Kuni, an undergraduate student at the UW and the director of flight operations for the lab. “And the hardware that makes the system work is extremely simple. It’s really easy to stick it on an aircraft and make it work. It won’t add much weight to a small aircraft with weight limits.”
The ground-based antenna system, on the other hand, makes this technique cumbersome. Right now it only works when the team is flying a drone at an airport with that antenna system. But the team has plans to expand the drones’ ranges. Starting this fall, Lum will partner with T-Mobile to try to use cellphone towers to perform the same function.
“T-Mobile has got that black magic to know where a phone is located anywhere within their antenna array,” said Lum. “So instead of being stuck in the Columbia Gorge region, our drones could use the cell network to get that location information anywhere there is cell coverage. It’s beautiful.”
Once the drones can fly larger distances without GPS, the team hopes to use them to help transport medical supplies to and from rural areas in the state of Washington. UW students who contributed to this project include: Hannah Rotta, Cory Cantey, Ravi Patel, Karine Chen, Kelly Lee, Joshua Brockschmidt, Tinnabhand Patana-anake and Jacob Longhurst. The project is supported by the Advanced Navigation and Positioning Corporation, Hood Technologies, Sagetech Corp, Insitu and the Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation. (Source: UAS VISION/University of Washington)
16 Aug 18. ElectraTherm partners for waste heat recovery demonstration. ElectraTherm, the Office of Naval Research (ONR), US Naval Academy (USNA) and Creare have joined forces to demonstrate new shipboard waste heat recovery systems as part of a Small Business Innovation Research project. The demonstration was commissioned at the USNA in Annapolis, Maryland, US, and was intended to prove the potential for waste heat recovery capabilities onboard ships. ElectraTherm’s Power+ Generator has been designed to capture low-temperature waste heat in order to generate fuel-free, emission-free power. The system takes the waste heat from an existing 390HP helicopter gas turbine used to train the USNA Midshipmen. A custom-designed exhaust gas heat exchanger has been provided by Creare for the project, which will be used to capture the wasted energy.
Creare lead project engineer Roger Hill said: “I am very glad that we chose ElectraTherm for the ORC component of the most recent project. ElectraTherm has been extremely easy to work with and extremely helpful at every turn.”
ElectraTherm generates power from low-temperature heat ranging from 170°F-252°F / 77°C -122°C using Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) and proprietary technologies.
High-pressure vapour produced from the waste heat expands through ElectraTherm’s twin screw power block and spins an electric generator to produce fuel-free, emission-free power. The development demonstrates fuel savings opportunities for gas turbine or reciprocating engine waste heat streams. The project has secured funding from the Office of Naval Research and the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy under contract number N00014-16-C-2059. ElectraTherm noted that its Power+ Generator uses waste heat for a number of applications such as internal combustion engines, biomass boilers, flare gas and geothermal / co-produced fluids. The company’s fleet of 70 Power+ Generators has accrued more than 930,000 hours of run time to date. (Source: naval-technology.com)
15 Aug 18. US ARL and NCMS agree to support additive manufacturing programme. The US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has reached an agreement with the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) to support the advanced manufacturing, materials and processes (AMMP) programme. The AMMP programme has been designed to solve the complexities of additive manufacturing and respond to the requirements for affordable, complex parts that currently cannot be readily built. Under the programme, the US Government, as well as industry and academic partners, will collaborate to carry out scientific advances in metallurgy and plastics. In addition, the partnership will concentrate on the launch of new factory machinery that will help transform the way the US manufacturers build aircraft, automobiles, munitions, medical devices and other products. To be funded through a number of contracts, the AMMP technology projects will help advance and develop advanced, non-traditional technologies. Under the agreement, the NCMS will be responsible for managing the AMMP consortium, which will support the development of the quick and precise additive manufacturing technology. The AMMP programme will help develop new solutions to meet the US Army’s six modernisation priorities, which include long-range precision fire, a next-generation combat vehicle, future of vertical lift platforms, army network, air and missile defence capabilities, and soldier lethality. The army has released the first Request for Prototype Proposals (RPP) to the AMMP members for additive manufacturing of new and advanced high-strength aluminium alloys. The programme focuses on reducing time to market, manufacturing stronger and lighter parts, enhancing efficiency, reducing waste, generating complex geometries and providing advanced materials. AMMP will help improve industrial base capabilities for upgrading the army’s weapon system performance, speed, fuel efficiency and force protection. (Source: army-technology.com)
09 Aug 18. Experiment over: Pentagon’s tech hub gets a vote of confidence. In the early days of the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter stressed that the “experimental” part of the unit was vital, a sign that the Silicon Valley outreach hub could remain flexible.
“DIUx is, after all, an experiment, as well as a pathfinder,” Carter said in 2016, following a relaunch of the group after a frustrating first year. “We created it so we could try new approaches, learn what works and what doesn’t, and iterate until we get it right. And we’ll keep iterating together and learning from each other as we go forward.”
Now, three years after its founding, it appears the experiment is over. Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan on Thursday announced that the office will now be known only as the Defense Innovation Unit, formally dropping the “experimental” part of the title. In a memo, Shanahan called the group a “proven, valuable asset” for the department and said the name change is a testament to my commitment to the importance of its mission.”
“Removing ‘experimental’ reflects DIU’s permanence within the DoD. Though DIU will continue to experiment with new ways of delivering capability to the warfighter, the organization itself is no longer an experiment,” Shanahan wrote. “DIU remains vital to fostering innovation across the Department and transforming the way DoD builds a more lethal force.”
It’s a vote of confidence that will be welcomed by the now-DIU team and its supporters, after a year where many wondered about the future of the office. Since its creation, DIUx reported directly to the defense secretary — until February of this year, when it was rolled under the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering. Raj Shah, who led the group for the last two years, stepped down earlier this year as the office’s leader; a search for his full-time replacement is ongoing. And three years after the office was formed, some have questioned what exactly the group has accomplished. To help make sure DIUx thrives in the new ecosystem, the office recently hired Michael Madsento take over its D.C. operations, with the stated goal of increasing its influence and outreach in the Pentagon and on the Hill. Shanahan’s vote of confidence may make his job easier.
“DIU has provided meaningful solutions to some of the toughest challenges by successfully accelerating commercial technology into the Department,” Madsen said in a statement to Defense News. “We appreciate senior department leaders’ commitment to our mission and the opportunity to expand our lessons learned throughout the DoD to benefit the men and women in uniform.” (Source: Defense News)
Oxley Group Ltd
Oxley specialises in the design and manufacture of advanced electronic and electro-optic components and systems for air, land and sea applications within the military sector. Established in 1942, Oxley has manufacturing facilities in the UK and USA and enjoys representation worldwide. The company’s products include night vision and LED lighting, data capture systems and electronic components. Oxley has pioneered the development of night vision compatible lighting. It offers a total package incorporating optical filters, equipment modification, cockpit and external lighting along with fleet wide upgrade services including engineering, installation, support, maintenance and training. The company’s long experience of manufacturing night vision lighting and LED indicators, coupled with advances in LED technology, has enabled it to develop LED solutions to replace incandescent and fluorescent lighting in existing applications as well as becoming the lighting option of choice in new applications such as portable military hospitals, UAV control stations and communication shelters.