miércoles, 5 de julio de 2017

Additive Manufacturing of missile engines: Three interesting capabilities

The rocket that blasted into space from New Zealand on May 25 was special, as it is the first to be powered by an engine made almost entirely using 3D printing

Members of the team behind the Electron rocket at US company RocketLab said the engine was printed in 24 hours adding that 3D printing proved to offer three interesting capabilities over traditional manufacturing techniques:

1) The ability to produce highly complicated shapes. For example, lattice structures produced in exactly the right way so that they weigh less but are just as strong as similar solid components. This creates the opportunity to produce optimised, lightweight parts that were previously impossible to manufacture economically or efficiently with traditional techniques.

2) The ability to work best for the production of relatively small, intricate parts rather than large, simple structures, where the higher material and processing costs would outweigh any advantage.

3) The ability to produce whole systems in one go rather than from lots of assembled parts. For example, NASA used it to reduce the components in one of its rocket injectors from 115 to just two. 

martes, 4 de julio de 2017

Industry 4.0 and the risk of nuclear proliferation

Because 3D printers can produce a wide variety of three-dimensional objects, the potential commercial and industrial applications are generating the arrival of a new manufacturing revolution, known as Industry 4.0.

Industry 4.0 is spreading in all the fields of manufacturing industry, and it also includes (¿why not?) defense industry. Some examples:
  • The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is already experimenting with 3D printing in the manufacture of rocket engines.  (Dfr.: Kimberly Newton, “NASA Engineers Test Combustion Chamber to Advance 3-D Printed Rocket Engine Design,” NASA.gov, December 8, 2016)
  • The U.S. and British Navies have been using 3D printers on aircraft carriers at sea to produce customized UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) during deployments. (Cfr.: Kyle Mizokami, “The future of America’s aircraft carriers?  Floating drone factories,” The Week, April 21, 2016; Jon Rosamond, “U.S., U.K. Navies Expanding Experiments Using 3D Printing,’ USNI News, September 22, 2015.)
But not all about 3D printing is pink-coloured, as it presents certain risks that must be taken into account. In this regard, Matthew Kroenig and Tristan Volpe assessed the risk of nuclear proliferation in their article titled “3D printing the bomb?” (Cfr.: The Washington Quarterly, Vol. 38, No. 3, Fall 2015, pp. 7-19) and the topic is garnering attention among policy analysts.

Much of the concern surrounds whether 3D printing represents a new way for a state-level WMD program to circumvent nonproliferation export controls, thanks to use a convenient way to produce sensitive components: The law uses to run behind the life, and today we have to face the risk of following guidelines developed by the Nuclear Suppliers Group and Missile Technology Control Regime in an era when 3D Printing didn't exist... but to be applied followed in a new era where anybody can send electronically some different CAD files corresponding to different parts of a sensitive assembly, to be printed in different 3D printing service bureaus located in different countries. ¿Impossible? Not at all: If you can imagine it, it can happen. And if the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime do not update their guidelines to the new challenges represented by the Industry 4.0, the hidden production and sale of sensitive WMD-relevant dual-use goods is not entirely hypothetical.

viernes, 30 de junio de 2017

Design and Performance of Modular 3-D Printed Solid-Propellant Rocket Airframes

Solid-propellant rockets are used for many applications, including military technology, scientific research, entertainment, and aerospace education. This study explores a novel method for design modularization of the rocket airframes, utilizing Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology.

The new method replaces the use of standard part subsystems with complex multi-function parts to improve customization, design flexibility, performance, and reliability. To test the effectiveness of the process, two experiments were performed on several unique designs:

  • ANSYS CFX® simulation to measure the drag coefficients, the pressure fields, and the streamlines during representative flights and fabrication and launch of the developed designs to test their flight performance and consistency.
  • Altitude and 3-axis stability was measured during the eight flights via an onboard instrument package.

Data from both experiments demonstrated that the designs were effective, but varied widely in their performance; the sources of the performance differences and errors were documented and analyzed.

The modularization process reduced the number of parts dramatically, while retaining good performance and reliability. The specific benefits and caveats of using extrusion-based 3D Printing to produce airframe components are also demonstrated:

  • 3D printing, particularly extrusion-based processes, is an excellent method for producing the complex multi-feature parts needed for optimized airframes.
  • The print lines on 3D printed parts seemed to provide an advantage, not a disadvantage, to the rockets as it reduced the drag coefficient of the nose cone.

lunes, 26 de junio de 2017

U.S., Japan to reinforce deployment of guided missile destroyers

Japanese newspaper Tokyo Shimbun reported today ballistic missile defense, built around the Aegis Combat System, is being "doubled" with the deployment of eight Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.

The reinforcements of U.S. warships follow the May 14 launch of a new North Korean mid range ballistic missile. KCNA had stated at the time the missile could carry a heavy nuclear warhead. The two countries are expected to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral security measures in an upcoming "2+2" ministerial meeting of the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee, on July 14.

Tokyo recently decided to deploy a land-based component of a missile interceptor system, the Aegis Ashore, to enhance the country's ability to respond to the launch of North Korean ballistic missiles.

SM-6 Block 1A missile completes final land-based test

The US Navy (USN) has successfully completed a third and final land-based flight test of the new Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) Block IA Extended Range Active Missile, paving the way for at-sea testing to start later this year.

Developed and manufactured by Raytheon Missile Systems, the SM-6 missile is an evolutionary development that marries the propulsion, airframe, and warhead of the SM-2 Block IV missile with the active radar seeker of the AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile to provide an extended-range AAW (Anti-Air Warfare) capability over sea and overland.

Designed to be employed from Aegis cruisers and destroyers, the SM-6 missile has been conceived as the effector for the Naval Integrated Fire Control - Counter Air (NIFC-CA) over-the-horizon AAW network.

MDA seeks laser-armed HALE UAV for counter-ICBM role

The United States is looking to field a laser-armed UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) to intercept ICBMs (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles) towards the middle of the next decade, the MDA (Missile Defense Agency) disclosed on 13 June.

NK missiles and US bases

Interactive map of North Korean missile capabilities and US military bases in the Pacific TheaterCircles sized to represent base population. Line colors correspond with below missile types. Scroll over lines, circles and bar graphs for additional info. A kilometer is .621 of a mile. Zoom and scroll to see detailed view.


Japan: Nuke alert

A new television broadcast has informed Japanese residents what they should do in the event of a missile attack, and between now and July, 43 television stations across Japan will broadcast the announcement while 70 Japanese newspapers will publish written instructions.

In the event of a missile attack, the Japanese Government will inform members of the public though speakers across the country. Residents must seek shelter or lie on ground. If they are inside a building, they must stay away from windows and protect their heads.

Poland, Romania and Spain, targets of russian missiles

Poland, Romania and Spain have volunteered to take on elements of an American missile shield, despite Russia's firm opposition to US missile defense near its borders in Europe, and the constant warning of Russia regarding that states who decide to harbor elements of such defensive system will be target of the russian missiles.

The relationship between the United States and Russia are currently tense, especially in Europe, with the respective allies of countries that repeatedly meet pulling, buzzing and intercepting the other aircraft over the Baltic Sea in June. If that were not enough, it is rumored that US President Donald Trump would be considering to abandon the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty (INF).

The agreement restrains US and Russian missiles within ranges of 500 to 5.500 kilometers, but Republicans want to close the deal to develop new missiles, arguing that Russia would already done the same. Viktor Shamanov, head of the Defense Committee in the Russian lower house and leading military expert for the United Russia party, addressed the issue today: "We have to wait for a US decision, but I think withdrawing would be worse for everyone because This would provoke an arms race in which nobody will be winner ".

lunes, 19 de junio de 2017

Webcast: Nuevas impresoras 3D Stratasys F123

La serie de Impresoras 3D Stratasys F123 ha sido diseñada para eliminar las barreras a las que se enfrentan los diseñadores e ingenieros haciendo que el proceso de prototipado rápido sea más eficiente y productivo. Descubra las características y diferencias entre los distintos equipos de la serie Stratasys F123, las aplicaciones en las que estos equipos destacan y cómo aprovechar al máximo el potencial de las capacidades de conectividad de las Impresoras 3D.

Viernes 23 de junio a las 10:00 hrs.
Coste: Gratuito

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