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Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

WTF Roll Rasslers (with Split Bar FirstSpear Tubes)

Monday, July 6th, 2020

Whiskey Two Four are excited to offer an expanding line of workspace management tools for gearmakers.

WTF’s Roll Rasslers (with split bar FirstSpear® Tubes™) will wrangle even the peskiest of difficult to store rolled goods.

WTF’s Roll Rasslers help prevent premature wear of your MultiCam® printed VELCRO® USA brand wide loop.  WTF’s Roll Rasslers help prevent unnecessary depressions in softer, squishier fabrics like tricots and mesh.  WTF’s Roll Rasslers help prevent dust and debris from collecting on expensive rolls of fabric.

ITW 1.5″ Tri Glides and 60″ Texcel solution dyed, milspec, Berry compliant, MIL-W-17337, webbing straps offer a wide range of adjustment.


Sold in pairs. USA SALES ONLY. NO EXCEPTIONS. “FirstSpear® Tubes™” is owned by FirstSpear® LLC.

New Research Leads to Army Drones Changing Shape Mid-Flight

Monday, June 22nd, 2020

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Soon, the U.S. Army will be able to deploy autonomous air vehicles that can change shape during flight, according to new research presented at the AIAA Aviation Forum and Exposition’s virtual event June 16.

Researchers with the U.S. Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory and Texas A&M University published findings of a two-year study in fluid-structure interaction. Their research led to a tool, which will be able to rapidly optimize the structural configuration for Future Vertical Lift vehicles while properly accounting for the interaction between air and the structure.

Within the next year, this tool will be used to develop and rapidly optimize Future Vertical Lift vehicles capable of changing shape during flight, thereby optimizing performance of the vehicle through different phases of flight.

“Consider an [Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance] mission where the vehicle needs to get quickly to station, or dash, and then attempt to stay on station for as long as possible, or loiter,” said Dr. Francis Phillips, an aerospace engineer at the laboratory. “During dash segments, short wings are desirable in order to go fast and be more maneuverable, but for loiter segments, long wings are desirable in order to enable low power, high endurance flight.”

This tool will enable the structural optimization of a vehicle capable of such morphing while accounting for the deformation of the wings due to the fluid-structure interaction, he said.

One concern with morphing vehicles is striking a balance between sufficient bending stiffness and softness to enable to morphing,” Phillips said. “If the wing bends too much, then the theoretical benefits of the morphing could be negated and also could lead to control issues and instabilities.”

Fluid-structure interaction analyses typically require coupling between a fluid and a structural solver.

This, in turn, means that the computational cost for these analyses can be very high – in the range of about 10,000s core hours – for a single fluid and structural configuration.

To overcome these challenges, researchers developed a process that decouples the fluid and structural solvers, which can reduce the computational cost for a single run by as much as 80 percent, Phillips said.

The analysis of additional structural configurations can also be performed without re-analyzing the fluid due to this decoupled approach, which in turn generates additional computational cost savings, leading to multiple orders of magnitude reductions in computational cost when considering this method within an optimization framework.

Ultimately, this means the Army could design multi-functional Future Vertical Lift vehicles much more quickly than through the use of current techniques, he said.

For the past 20 years, there have been advances in research in morphing aerial vehicles but what makes the Army’s studies different is its look at the fluid-structure interaction during vehicle design and structural optimization instead of designing a vehicle first and then seeing what the fluid-structure interaction behavior will be.

“This research will have a direct impact on the ability to generate vehicles for the future warfighter,” Phillips said. “By reducing the computational cost for fluid-structure interaction analysis, structural optimization of future vertical lift vehicles can be accomplished in a much shorter time-frame.”

According to Phillips, when implemented within an optimization framework and coupled with additive manufacturing, the future warfighter will be able to use this tool to manufacture optimized custom air vehicles for mission specific uses.

Phillips presented this work in a paper, Uncoupled Method for Massively Parallelizable 3-D Fluid-Structure Interaction Analysis and Design, co-authored by the laboratory’s Drs. Todd Henry and John Hrynuk, as well as Texas A&M University’s Trent White, William Scholten and Dr. Darren Hartl.

By U.S. Army CCDC Research Laboratory Public Affairs

New 5G Switch Provides 50 Times More Energy Efficiency Than Currently Exists

Saturday, May 30th, 2020

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — As 5G hits the market, new U.S. Army-funded research has developed a radio-frequency switch that is more than 50 times more energy efficient than what is used today.

With funding from the Army Research Office, an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Lille in France, have built a new component that will more efficiently allow access to the highest 5G frequencies, in a way that increases devices’ battery life and speeds up how quickly users can do things like stream HD media.

Smartphones are loaded with switches that perform a number of duties. One major task is jumping back and forth between different networks and spectrum frequencies: 4G, WiFi, LTE, Bluetooth, etc. The current radio-frequency switches that perform this task are always running, consuming precious processing power and battery life.

“Radio-frequency switches are pervasive in military communication, connectivity and radar systems,” said Dr. Pani Varanasi, division chief, materials science program at ARO. “These new switches could provide large performance advantage compared to existing components and can enable longer battery life for mobile communication, and advanced reconfigurable systems.”

The journal Nature Electronics published the research team’s findings.

“It has become clear that the existing switches consume significant amounts of power, and that power consumed is useless power,” said Dr. Deji Akinwande, a professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering who led the research. “The switch we have developed can transmit an HDTV stream at a 100GHz frequency, and that is an achievement in broadband switch technology.”

The new switches stay off, saving battery life for other processes, unless they are actively helping a device jump between networks. They have also shown the ability to transmit data well above the baseline for 5G-level speeds.

Prior researchers have found success on the low end of the 5G spectrum – where speeds are slower but data can travel longer distances. This is the first switch that can function across the spectrum from the low-end gigahertz frequencies to high-end terahertz frequencies that could someday be key to the development of 6G.

The team’s switches use the nanomaterial hexagonal boron nitride, a rapidly emerging nanomaterial from the same family as graphene. The structure of the switch involves a single layer of boron and nitrogen atoms in a honeycomb pattern sandwiched between a pair of gold electrodes. Hexagonal boron nitride is the thinnest known insulator with a thickness of 0.33 nanometers.

The impact of these switches extends beyond smartphones. Satellite systems, smart radios, reconfigurable communications, and Internet of Things, are all examples of potential uses for the switches. In addition, these switches can be realized on flexible substrates making them suitable for Soldier wearable radios and communication systems that can benefit from the improved energy efficiency for longer battery life with faster data speeds as well as other defense technologies.

“This will be very useful for radio and radar technology,” Akinwande said.

This research spun out of a previous project that created the thinnest memory device, also using hBN. Akinwande said sponsors encouraged the researchers to find other uses for the material, and that led them to pivot to RF switches.

In addition to the U.S. Army, support through a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the U.S. Office of Naval Research and The National Science Foundation’s Engineering Research Center funded the research. The Texas Nanofabrication Facility partly fabricated the switch and Grolltex, Inc., provided hBN samples.

By U.S. Army CCDC Army Research Laboratory Public Affairs

HENSOLDT and Nano Dimension Achieve Breakthrough in Electronics 3D Printing

Saturday, May 23rd, 2020

New multi-layer PCB boosts electronics rapid prototyping


Munich, Germany/Nano Dimension’s USA HQ, South Florida (Nasdaq, TASE: NNDM), May 19, 2020 – Sensor solutions provider HENSOLDT together with the leading Additively Manufactured Electronics (AME)/Printed Electronics (PE) provider, Nano Dimension, has achieved a major breakthrough on its way to utilizing 3D printing in the development process of high-performance electronics components. Utilizing a newly developed dielectric polymer ink and conductive ink from Nano Dimension, HENSOLDT succeeded in assembling the world-wide first 10-layer printed circuit board (PCB) which carries high-performance electronic structures soldered to both outer sides. Until now, 3D printed boards could not bear the soldering process necessary for two sided population of components.

“Military sensor solutions require performance and reliability levels far above those of commercial components.” says HENSOLDT CEO, Thomas Müller. “To have high-density components quickly available with reduced effort by means of 3D printing gives us a competitive edge in the development process of such high-end electronic systems.”

“Nano Dimension’s relationship with HENSOLDT is the type of partnership with customers we are striving for,” commented Yoav Stern, Nano Dimension President & CEO. “Working together and learning from HENSOLDT led us to reach a first-of-its-kind in-depth knowledge of polymer materials applications. Additionally, it guided us in the development of Hi-PEDs (High Performance Electronic Device) that create competitive edges by enabling unique implementations with shortest time to market.”

AMEs are useful to verify a new design and functionality of specialized electronic components before production. AME is a highly agile and individual engineering methodology to prototype a new electronic circuitry. This leads to significant reduction of time and cost in the development process.  Furthermore AME allows for a verified and approved design before production starts, leading to higher quality of the final product.

HENSOLDT started working with Nano Dimension’s DragonFly 3D printing system in 2016, in order to examine the possibilities of 3D printing electronics. Last year, HENSOLDT successfully implemented the DragonFly Lights-Out Digital Manufacturing (LDM) printing technology, the industry’s only additive manufacturing platform for round-the-clock 3D printing of electronic circuitry.

Rescue Ready RetroFit – Fire Escape Ladders That Make Sense

Friday, May 15th, 2020

Local Norfolk Firefighters Brett and Eric created the Rescue Ready RetroFit, an escape ladder for homes. Initially, they took it Sharktank but ended up bringing the concept to the finish line themselves and are funding initial production via Kickstarter.

You configure the Rescue Ready RetroFit in your home, preattached to load bearing members in your wall, allowing you to quickly place it into action in case you need to get out of your house in the event of fire.

Offered in a 2-story model, with a 3-story version coming soon.


Full Disclosure with TYR Tactical

Friday, May 15th, 2020

This is Part 1 of the inaugural episode of Full Disclosure which goes behind the scenes at TYR Tactical, taking a look at how products are designed. Today, they discuss the Shield and Dolly System.

Each episode will be broken down into two parts, and in this case, will be followed up on Tuesday, the 19th of May.

Strike Industries BIC Lighter Sleeve Concept

Monday, May 4th, 2020

What do you think of this potential Strike Industries BIC Lighter sleeve/case from Strike Industries? They are trying to keep it under $10 MSRP each.

Natick Soldier Center Designs Prototypes for Lifesaving Face Coverings for Soldiers

Sunday, May 3rd, 2020

NATICK, Mass. – Dangerous times call for quick action, including rapid prototype development. With this reality in mind, the Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center quickly designed face covering prototypes that comply with Department of Defense standards and meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requirements for protection against COVID-19, the disease caused by the Coronavirus.

The CCDC Soldier Center, or CCDC SC, quickly developed six prototypes for face coverings, tested the prototypes, and chose one prototype that was highly rated by Soldiers for immediate development. CCDC SC also selected a second prototype, also well received by Soldiers, that has been further developed, coordinated with PEO Soldier, and will be a more permanent Army solution.

CCDC SC efforts focus on the research, development, and early engineering of the solution and building a Technical Data Package. The designs developed at CCDC SC have transitioned to its partners at PEO Soldier – Project Manager Soldier Survivability for production efforts. CCDC SC is also partnering with PEO Soldier on future iterations.

“During the pandemic, we must ensure that our Soldiers remain ready for any mission and that they are protected” said Douglas Tamilio, director of the CCDC SC. “Our Soldier protection and human factors expertise, combined with our testing and prototyping capabilities, enabled us to quickly develop an Army acceptable solution to the urgent requirement for face coverings.”

CCDC SC is committed to discovering, developing, and advancing science and technology solutions that ensure America’s warfighters are optimized, protected, and lethal. CCDC SC supports all of the Army’s Modernization efforts, with the Soldier Lethality and Synthetic Training Environment Cross Functional Teams being the CCDC SC’s chief areas of focus. The center’s science and engineering expertise are combined with collaborations with industry, DOD, and academia to advance Soldier and squad performance. The center supports the Army as it transforms from being adaptive to driving innovation to support a Multi-Domain Operations Capable Force of 2028 and a MDO Ready Force of 2035. CCDC SC is constantly working to strengthen Soldiers’ performance to increase readiness and support for warfighters who are organized, trained, and equipped for prompt and sustainable ground combat.

Annette LaFleur, team leader for the Design, Pattern and Prototype Team in the Soldier Protection and Survivability Directorate at CCDC SC, explained that CCDC SC “designers quickly brainstormed, sketched, patterned, and fabricated prototypes in one weekend – while material scientists, textile technologists and engineers coordinated the test and evaluation of potential materials.”

“The materials selection was a collection of past and current clothing development efforts, as well as sourcing readily available materials from industry,” said Molly Richards, a research chemical engineer at CCDC SC.

LaFleur explained that clothing designers on the Design, Pattern, & Prototype Team worked with load carriage experts at CCDC SC to rapidly develop an array of potential prototype systems that included six potential designs. CCDC SC’s Human Factors Team assessed the prototypes on Human Research Volunteers stationed at CCDC SC. The designs were given to Soldiers for feedback, a key component of all design efforts at CCDC SC.

“CCDC SC items, including the face covering, are developed with the Soldier from the beginning stages, so we can say it is ‘Soldier tested and Soldier approved,’” said Richards.

“The design selected needed no improvements,” said LaFleur. “We down selected to designs with the highest Soldier acceptance while considering other factors such as integration with helmets and eyewear as well as ease of manufacturing.”

The first design developed by CCDC SC is being fabricated in-house. CCDC SC specializes in prototype creation and is not a production shop. However, due to unprecedented circumstances caused by the pandemic, CCDC SC personnel are fabricating the first design, which was chosen because of its high acceptance with Soldiers and because it is easy to produce.

Richards explained that a small team of employees across three directorates are busy fabricating the first design with an initial quantity of 10,000 face covers to outfit Soldiers in basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia.

A second design, also highly accepted, has been further developed rapidly as a more permanent Army solution.

CCDC SC knowledge and expertise played an important role in the rapid design and development of the face coverings.

“We have a team of 10 talented clothing designers who work daily to design new and/or improved combat clothing, uniforms and individual protective items,” said LaFleur. “They have the military specific knowledge, skills, ability and creative drive. We collaborated with other CCDC SC subject matter experts in materials/textiles, human factors, anthropology for sizing; engineering technicians in the machine shop; and so many others in various disciplines. We need our Soldiers to remain healthy so they can remain optimized and defend our nation. At CCDC SC our priority is for the Soldier to not to be burdened by what they are wearing, so they can focus on their mission. For the face coverings, the goal is to meet the intent of the CDC and DOD guidelines for use of cloth face coverings when in public.”

“This effort was a natural fit for the expertise in the Soldier Protection and Survivability Directorate,” said Richard Green, Ph.D., director of SPSD at CCDC SC. “We have expertise in materials that enabled smart choices on the selection of materials to ensure the safety of the users. We have expertise in design to make sure that the items fit, function, and durability are appropriate for the intended use, and we have the expertise to provide our PM partners with technical data packages for further production. Mainly, however, we have a dedicated team of true professionals who were willing to come to work under restrictive working conditions and speedily execute this project because they understand the importance of meeting this need expeditiously. I could not be prouder of their effort.”

“CCDC Soldier Center has the expertise from design and prototyping to materials and textiles to react and execute quickly for the need for face coverings for the Soldier,” said Richards. “It has taken a team of people across directorates with a variety of expertise to execute quickly. Protection for our Soldiers is our top priority and taking measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 is essential during this unprecedented time.”