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					Technology update
UAV gets a talking to from MIT
MIT researchers have developed and
tested an aircraft guidance system that
allows a pilot in one plane to guide
another, separate UAV by speaking
commands in English.
    “The system allows the pilot to inter-
face with the UAV at a high level, not
just ‘turn right, turn left’ but ‘fly to this
region and perform this task,’” said
Mario Valenti, a flight controls engineer
for Boeing who is on leave to pursue a
doctorate in electrical engineering and
computer science at MIT. “The pilot es-
sentially treats the UAV as a wingman.”
    Tom Schouwenaars, a doctorate can-
didate in aeronautics and astronautics,
                                               A test of the MIT manned-to-unmanned guidance system used a Lockheed T-33 trainer
and Valenti are principal researchers          (far left) and a Boeing F-15. Eventually an actual UAV (far right) will be used in place of
on the guidance system, which is part          the T-33. (Image courtesy of Boeing.)
of the “capstone demonstration” of the
Software Enabled Control (SEC) pro-
gram. Professors Eric Feron and
Jonathan How of the Department of              sity effort sponsored by DARPA through              Flight tests involving a Boeing F-15
Aeronautics and Astronautics are               the Air Force Research Laboratory. As           and a Lockheed T-33 trainer substituted
among the principal investigators on           industry partner, Boeing provided the           for a UAV at Edwards Air Force Base
SEC, which is a five-year, inter-univer-        avionics test platform for the MIT guid-        showed that the system performed
                                               ance system and the planes used to              “flawlessly.” The F-15 pilot issued mis-
                                               demonstrate it.                                 sion-level commands in everyday
                                                   The new guidance system is de-              English (i.e., “Fly to Task Area B.”) to
                                               signed for combat situations such as            the T-33, and the T-33 executed them,
                                               when a pilot needs to gather images of          maintaining a trajectory safe from
                                               an enemy’s location. Rather than the            threats, and at one point adjusting to a
                                               pilot being put directly in danger, the         last-minute change in the predetermined
                                               system will allow the pilot to literally tell   mission plan. The T-33 was manned by
                                               the UAV to fly to and survey the site.           a pilot and crewperson to manage the
                                               The UAV is capable of avoiding known            aircraft in case of failure, but the ve-
                                               threats (no-fly zones) and unexpected            hicle was controlled entirely by MIT’s
                                               threats (such as radar emanating from a         software, which ran on laptops placed
                                               missile site) while communicating its           inside each plane.
                                               actions to the pilot in the other aircraft,         The research team is currently work-
Tom Schouwenaars, left, and Mario              which follows behind at a higher alti-          ing toward implementing their guidance
Valenti are shown in front of the              tude and a safe distance. The technol-          technology in systems with multiple air
operational guidance system they               ogy also could have applications in the         vehicles. The work is being done in
collaborated on to fly a UAV from another
                                               coordination of multiple air or space           MIT’s Laboratory for Information and
manned aircraft via verbal commands.
They adapted the same guidance system          vehicles, such as in air-traffic control or      Decision Systems.
to fly the helicopter on the left. (Image       the reconfiguration of distributed satel-                                     Jean L. Broge
courtesy of Donna Coveney/MIT.)                lite systems, according to researchers.




6                                                                                                          Aerospace Engineering December 2004
     Technology update



    More wing and wheel links
    Jim Robinson, former President,                                                              lished, it could lead to major technol-
    Aftermarket Business, Pratt & Whitney,                                                       ogy and commercial opportunities for
    is now Honorary Chairman of the                                                              aerospace suppliers.
    Steering Committee of the Yorkshire                                                              The Advanced Manufacturing
    Forward Advanced Manufacturing Park                                                          Research Center (AMRC) located at the
    (AMP) at Rotherham, in the UK. The                                                           AMP, includes a “world-class engineer-
    Yorkshire AMP is involved in collabora-                                                      ing facility,” building on the expertise of
    tion between industry, research organi-                                                      Boeing and the University of Sheffield
    zations, and universities to support de-                                                     to develop innovative and avanced-
    velopment of technology for companies                                                        technology solutions for materials form-
    in the aerospace and automotive indus-                                                       ing, metal working, and castings. TWI,
    tries, with Yorkshire Forward, one of                                                        the independent research and technol-
    nine UK Regional Development                                                                 ogy organization that provides industry
    Agencies established by the govern-                                                          with technical support in welding and
    ment to help network technical, engi-          Automotive manufacturers should               joining, together with Castings
    neering, and commercial acumen.                consider learning from the aerospace          Technology International, a leading pro-
                                                   industry in terms of innovative
        “The present strategy of the automo-                                                     vider of R&D technical support and con-
                                                   manufacturing costs and fuel-savings
    tive industry’s original equipment manu-       technologies, says former Pratt & Whitney     sultancy services for castings, are also
    facturers (OEMs) is to produce the same        senior executive Jim Robinson.                established at the AMP. Scheduled to
    products but with more power and                                                             become a UK national center of excel-
    more ‘bells and whistles.’ They are not                                                      lence for composite technology, the
    today trying to sell any products with         ing processes, and composites.                AMP is supported by the UK
    revolutionary manufacturing processes             “The automotive OEMs see steel as          Government’s Department for Trade
    or unique designs,” said Robinson.             remaining their primary metal choice          and Industry and by Yorkshire Forward.
        He believes that automotive OEMs           for the next generation of vehicles be-           “As fuel, environmental, and safety
    should consider learning from the              cause its cost is low in comparison           issues become more important, the
    aerospace industry (companies at the           with other materials like aluminum,”          OEMs need to be looking to introduce
    AMP, though, are responsible for               said Robinson. “But they need to be           new technologies like friction stir weld-
    some technology used in F1 racing)             interested in technologies that can           ing, powdered metallurgy, composites,
    about new manufacturing cost and               help make steel products more effi-            and laser deposition to reduce operat-
    fuel-saving technologies, including            ciently, such as joining, forming, ma-        ing costs substantially,” said Robinson.
    high-speed machining, laser deposi-            chining, and processing.” He added                                          Stuart Birch
    tion, near-net-shape casting and form-         that if this crossover became estab-



    A380 going partly Japanese
    At Japan Aerospace 2004, Airbus an-            Japanese A380 production companies
    nounced that 21 Japanese “leading              JAMCO, Torey, Toho Tenax,
    companies” have joined the A380’s              Sumitomo Metal Industries,
    production program (see box). Airbus           Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Fuji
    says the estimated revenue of Japan in         Heavy Industries, Japan Aircraft
    the A380 program will top $4.6 billion.        Manufacturing, ShinMeiwa
        Airbus is also expecting to increase       Industries, Yokohama Rubber,
    its procurement from China, taking its         Nikkiso, Yokogawa Electric, Casio
                                                   Computers, Makino Milling
    value to £120 million by 2010. So far,
                                                   Machines, Bridgestone, Mitsubishi
    five Chinese companies are involved in
                                                   Rayon, Matsushita Avionics
    producing parts for Airbus, including          Systems, Kolto Industries, Sumitomo
    Chengdu Aircraft, Shenyang Aircraft,           Precision Products, Minebea,
    Xi’an Aircraft, Hong Yuan Aviation             Showa Aircraft, Komy.                 While final assembly of the first A380 will be
    Forging and Casting, and Guizhou                                                     in Toulouse, aerospace companies all over the
    Aviation Industrial Group. Chinese com-                                              world are contributing to its components.
    panies are currently involved in produc-
    ing A380 components, and an A380               3000 A320 emergency exit doors                airliner family. A330/A340 forward
    roll-on/roll-off vessel built by the Jinling   while Chengdu Aircraft has delivered          cargo door projects have been allo-
    Shipyard has been delivered.                   its first parts for the nose section and       cated to Shenyang Aircraft.
        Shenyang Aircraft has delivered            400 rear passenger doors for the A320             Airbus first entered China in 1985


8                                                                                                            Aerospace Engineering December 2004
      Technology update



     and has consistently expanded its busi-      airliners larger than 400 seats, includ-    used to retract both sets of gears into
     ness there. The number of Airbus air-        ing freighters, over the next 20 years,     the fuselage. It was the first time the
     craft in service on the Chinese main-        of which more than half would be re-        gears had been tested in situ on the
     land, Hong Kong, and Macao has               quired by airlines from the Asia-Pacific     aircraft. Retraction tests of all landing
     topped 250. Airbus also has a state-of-      region. Within this context, Japan will     gears and commissioning of the brak-
     the-art training and support center in       have the largest single requirement for     ing and steering systems followed. To
     Beijing.                                     the aircraft of any country in the world,   save weight, the landing gear has an
         The A380, due to fly in the first quar-    claims Airbus.                              electrically actuated up-lock system that
     ter of next year and to enter service in         The A380 project reached a signifi-      also operates the undercarriage bay
     2006, will have two full-length wide-        cant new point in early fall when first      doors. Other airbus aircraft use a hy-
     body decks and typically carry 555           retraction tests of the aircraft’s body     draulic system.
     passengers in three classes. Airbus is       landing gear were successfully                                            Stuart Birch
     forecasting a market for about 1500          achieved. A local power supply was




     Unmanned systems subject of new SAE committee
     A new SAE Aerospace committee met            “These machines are breaking into
     for the first time at the November 2-4        markets in support of our civil authori-
     SAE World Aviation Conference in             ties, industry, and even our homes. It is
     Reno, NV, to develop and implement           imperative that standards for un-
     standards for unmanned systems. The          manned systems be addressed early to
     standards define an open architecture         aid and guide the development of cost-
     within which hardware and software           effective and safe solutions. JAUS pro-
     components developed by any vendor           vides a foundation, but as the current
     can commumnicate and function togeth-        scope of unmanned systems issues is
     er in any robotic device.                    daunting, the complexities of future
         Although it is an aerospace commit-      systems demand the attention possible
     tee, the group’s work is expected to         only through an international stan-
     cross industries (aerospace, automotive,     dards body.”
     and off-highway) and segments (civil             JAUS began work on unmanned sys-
     and military). In fact, the group had        tems in the mid-‘90s and was chartered
     initially formed in the mid-1990s as a       by the Office of the Under Secretary of
                                                                                              iRobot’s Packbot tactical mobile robot
     non-SAE committee addressing un-             Defense, Acquisition, Technology and        has been deployed in both Afghanistan
     manned ground vehicles, and it had           Logistics, U.S. Department of Defense.      and Iraq.
     developed a number of standards that         The group’s charter was to create a
     were, and are still, used within its small   standard set of messaging interfaces for
     universe. Previously called JAUS (Joint      the domain of unmanned systems, ac-         unmanned systems. “Our architectural
     Architecture for Unmanned Systems            cording to Jeff Kotora, who had served      goals,” Kotora said, “are to facilitate
     Working Group), the group ap-                as Chair of the JAUS Working Group.         technology insertion, decrease develop-
     proached SAE because it wanted its           He is Deputy Division Manager,              ment and integration time, allow for
     work to be adopted by a standards-           Operational Support Division at Titan,      increased participation by all vendors,
     setting organization with a high profile      and now serves as Vice Chairman of          and reduce life-cycle costs.”
     and global reach.                            the AS-4 Committee.                             The AS-4 Committee has about 50
         SAE approved formation of the un-            The JAUS working group considered       members from more than 25 institu-
     manned systems committee in August.          other standards organizations, but se-      tions, including Carnegie Mellon
     Its official designation is AS-4, the “AS”    lected SAE because “it appeared SAE         University in Pittsburgh, which has a
     standing for “avionic systems.”              had the most to offer, would work flex-      high-profile robotics program. There are
     Committee chairman is Woody English,         ibly with us during the transition pro-     three subcommittees: Architecture
     Chief Software Engineer with Titan,          cess, and was the best fit for JAUS,”        Framework, Network Environment, and
     Operational Support Division,                said Kotora.                                Information Modeling and Definition.
     Huntsville, AL.                                  Prior to approval as an SAE
                                                                                                                        Patrick Ponticel
         “Unmanned systems are key to the         Committee, JAUS had developed docu-
     future of our military,” English said.       ments that defined the architecture of




10                                                                                                        Aerospace Engineering December 2004
                                                                                                                               Technology update



  Boeing hears from a little bird
  Boeing is leveraging its experience in       UAV capabilities in which it can be                     which has already demonstrated such
  network-centric operations (NCO) for the     flown autonomously while its payload                     capabilities during UAV test programs.
  flight testing of an aircraft that it says    or sensor is guided from a remote site.                     Having the choice between using a
  combines the advantages of a UAV with        One candidate for such remote operat-                   military aircraft in either a manned or
  a combat-proven manned rotorcraft heli-      ing capability is Boeing’s AH-64D                       unmanned capacity “makes it a versa-
  copter. The proof-of-concept demonstra-      Apache Longbow combat helicopter,                       tile and easily deployable asset on
  tor, a modified MD 530F helicopter, has




  Boeing’s Unmanned Little Bird is shown
  flying over the Sonoran desert in
  Mesa, AZ. The aircraft combines the
  advantages of a UAV with a proven
  rotorcraft airframe, in this case an MD
  530F helicopter.


  been flying since early September and
  made its first autonomous takeoff and
  landing in October. Boeing has desig-           We have the motion solutions.™
  nated the demonstrator as the
                                                  Moog Components Group has innovative solutions
  “Unmanned Little Bird.”
                                                  for your motion needs. We are a world leader in
     “The Unmanned Little Bird would              slip ring technology, servomotor and resolver design
  add a new dimension to the already              and fiber optic rotary joints for high bandwidth
  proven capabilities of Mission                  applications.
  Enhanced Little Birds flown by the U.S.          Models are available in housed, through-bore, pancake and
  Army’s Special Operations forces,”              single or multi-channel fiber optic configurations. Standard,
  said Waldo Carmona, Director of                 off-the-shelf designs are ready for quick delivery or products        Aerospace Products:
                                                  can be customized for your unique projects.
  Advanced Army Systems, Boeing, not-                                                                                     Slip Rings
  ing that the aircraft could be configured        Reliability is built into each product. Extensive life testing          Torque Motors
  to carry a variety of payloads and to           means our products are designed and manufactured                        Actuators
  launch weapons in combat.                       to offer long life. With over 50 years of                               Resolvers
                                                  experience, our engineers work together                                 Fiber Optic Rotary Joints
     The aircraft has flown more than 20           with your design team to select just                                    Build-to-Print Solutions
  hours as a fully operational UAV. An            the right match.
  onboard test pilot monitors the aircraft’s
  performance but does not actively fly
  the aircraft. The prototype aircraft,
  which will continue to be used over the
  next year to demonstrate unmanned                               Motion Technology        |    Fiber Optics       |   Electronic Systems
  capabilities, is already validating the
                                                   800/336-2112, ext. 279           Fax 540/557-6400           mcg@moog.com           www.moog.com
  autonomous flight control system that
  could easily and cost-effectively be add-
  ed to a manned aircraft.
     Boeing is funding R&D of the air-             Poly-Scientific
  craft, which is demonstrating Level 5
                                                                                                 Circle 11

Aerospace Engineering December 2004                                                                                                                   11
      Technology update



     future battlefields,” said Carmona. “We        emerging manned-unmanned NCO                                 cargo loads. Future testing will demon-
     are clearly demonstrating the un-             technologies.”                                               strate a wide range of missions, includ-
     matched advantages of combining a                Flight testing has already shown the                      ing the aircraft’s ability to perform sur-
     cost-effective, proven airframe with          aircraft’s ability to transport external                     veillance communications relay.
                                                                                                                                                Jean L. Broge


     Character change
     Poeton Industries has developed a new
     coating for aerospace use called                            100

     Apticote 3200B. It features a low-friction
     polymer formulation that “transforms”
                                                                  80
     the structural characteristics of light-
     weight metals, including aluminum and
     magnesium, to produce “stronger and                          60
                                                    Wear index




     more resilient versions” of the alloys.
         According to Poeton Managing                                                                                               Poeton specializes in
                                                                  40
     Director Colin John, a weight savings                                                                                          producing coating systems
     of up to 35% may be achieved—such                                                                                              that provide harder and
     as when switching from a hard anod-                          20
                                                                                                                                    more corrosion-resistant
     ized aluminum actuator barrel to a                                                                                             magnesium surfaces.
                                                                                                                                    Shown here is a wear index
     magnesium barrel coated with Apticote                                                                                          indicating the effect of the
                                                                  0
     3200B. An anodized aluminum compo-                                Uncoated    Uncoated   Apticote   Apticote   Apticote        company’s new Apticote
                                                                       magnesium   aluminum   300N on    3200B on   3200B on
     nent has a mass of 689 g compared to                                                     aluminum   aluminum   magnesium       3200B coating.
     448 g for the same component in coat-
     ed magnesium. The weight reduction            needed to produce motion. “In aero-                             Magnesium, lighter than aluminum,
     had also facilitated a reduction in the       space in particular, using lighter materi-                   can have structural characteristics that
     weight of the drive motor and subse-          als is a major objective for designers                       equal or surpass aluminum when al-
     quently the power consumption needed          and engineers, but often lighter materi-                     loyed. Over the last 20 years, great
     to turn the barrel.                           als have poor surface characteristics                        efforts have been made to produce
         Weight is a significant factor influ-       and need special coatings to achieve                         magnesium at a price comparable to
     encing the rated mechanical function of       those characteristics—which may in-                          aluminum, and to produce stronger and
     components and assemblies because             clude wear and corrosion resistance                          more resilient magnesium alloys.
     the heavier they are, the more energy is      and low friction qualities,” said John.                                                        Stuart Birch



     Cleaning up with nitrogen
     In October at the SAE Aerospace               range of applications. NitroJet’s cutting
     Manufacturing and Automated                   applications in the aeronautics industry
     Fastening Conference & Exhibition,            include upholstery, fabric, leather, and
     NitroCision introduced to the industry        soft materials as well as the removal of
     new technology that uses liquid nitro-        coatings from a variety of substrate ma-
     gen instead of water or more tradi-           terials including metal, plastic, ceramic,
     tional processes to cut materials and         and fiberglass.
     remove coatings.                                  The technology is significant to the
         NitroJet consists of a system of cool-    aeronautics industry because of its envi-
     ing and pressurizing nitrogen, creating       ronmental impact, claims the company.
     an ultra-high-velocity jet of supercritical   The gasses and liquids used in the pro-
     nitrogen with a density comparable to         cess dissipate upon reaching atmo-                           NitroCision's NitroJet uses liquid
     water. The nitrogen’s temperature and         spheric temperature so that no second-                       nitrogen instead of water or more
                                                                                                                traditional processes to cut materials or
     velocity can be regulated up to 60,000        ary waste stream is created, unlike con-                     remove coatings.
     psi from -240 to +500 °F and speeds           ventional sandblasting, water jets, and
     over Mach 3. That flexibility, along with      sponge blasting techniques. This feature
     its capability to be deployed manually        eliminates human and environmental                           has the capability of immediately trap-
     with a handheld wand or remotely with         hazards as well as the costs associated                      ping the hazardous material being cut,
     robotics or mechanical automation,            with the capturing, processing, and dis-                     abraded, cleaned, or removed with a
     makes it very adaptable for a wide            posing of secondary waste. NitroJet                          vacuum capture system.


12                                                                                                                              Aerospace Engineering December 2004
                                                                                                                Technology update



                                               explosive materials and those sensitive        The NitroJet technology was initially
                                               to moisture.                                created by a team of engineers at the
                                                   Special seals and valves were devel-    Idaho National Engineering and
                                               oped and unique fittings were engi-          Environmental Laboratory. The technol-
                                               neered for the system because it func-      ogy also has applications in marine,
                                               tions under such extreme pressures,         automotive, industrial manufacturing,
                                               speeds, and temperatures. As a backup,      environmental restoration, and waste
                                               if any of the operating thresholds are      management industries.
                                               exceeded, NitroJet simply shuts down.                                     Jean L. Broge


  NitroJet can be used in a number of
  industries and applications, including the
  removal of coatings from a Space Shuttle
                                                          T H E                       E V A N S
                                                                               ®

                                                 Hybrid Capacitor
  panel.




                         NitroCision
                         developed
                         special seals
                         and valves
                         due to the
                         intense                              75, 000 cv              vs       51,000 cv (µF•V)
                         pressures and          Actual size
                         temperatures
                         of the system.
                                                 Compare… µF/g, µF/cc, µF/$$
      It offers particular advantages where
                                                                                      The Evans Hybrid® Capacitor, a unique
  the use of water for cleaning, cutting,
  and stripping is either prohibited or
  severely restricted because of reactivity
  or contamination concerns. Nitrogen
                                                 Smaller,                          electrochemical electrolytic capacitor,
                                                                                   saves weight, volume and cost by providing
                                                                                   more than four times the
  can be used with a wide range of pres-
  sures to avoid deformation or cause
                                                 lighter                                                               Designed and
                                                                                   energy density of tantalum manufactured by the
                                                                                   wet slug capacitors.              Evans Capacitor
  deterioration of the substrate material
  being stripped or cleaned. Using nitro-
  gen alone at the correct pressure set-
                                                 and more                             In two design styles, a
                                                                                   hermetic tantalum package
                                                                                                                   Company, known for
                                                                                                                                  ®
                                                                                                                      the Capattery ,
  tings, it can surface-profile soft metals,
  and, with the addition of entrained
  abrasive, it can cut hard metals such as
                                                 powerful                          and a polypropylene pack-
                                                                                   age, Evans tantalum
                                                                                                                    the world's leading
                                                                                                                      electrochemical
                                                                                                                         capacitor.
  carbon steel and stainless steel.
      NASA is currently using NitroJet to
  remove BTA insulation from solid rocket
                                                 capacitors.                       Hybrids are excellent for
                                                                                   avionics, power supplies, power filtering,
                                                                                   communications, weapons systems, medical
  boosters as well as the skirts of main
                                                                                   applications, auto auxilliary systems and
  engines. The technology is also being
  qualified on other parts of the overall                                           many very special uses. Hybrid Capacitors are
  shuttle assembly as well as in the refur-                                        available in standard configurations and ratings
  bishing of the Lockheed Martin C130             The Evans Capacitor Company      to 125V. Custom packaging, configurations
  aircraft. NitroJet’s high-pressure nitro-       72 Boyd Avenue                   and ratings are available.
  gen spray eliminates the need for the
  hazardous chemicals and the second-
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  ary waste they create. Because nitrogen         (401) 435-3555 Fax (401) 435-3558         Tech specs and pricing at
  is inert and compatible with most chem-         www.evanscap.com                             www.evanscap.com
  icals, it can be used with flammable or
                                                                                       Circle 13

Aerospace Engineering December 2004                                                                                                       13
      Technology update



     F-35 STOVL and CV testing
     Using 1/15th scale models, the first set                                                  enable it to take simulated aircraft car-
     of F-35 Lockheed Martin Joint Strike                                                     rier measurements. This upgrade in-
     Fighter ground environment tests on                                                      cluded fitting an acoustic silencer to
     two variants of the aircraft have been                                                   protect the local environment from be-
     completed by BAE Systems in the UK.                                                      ing subjected to more than 1000 “land-
     The tests simulated the ground environ-                                                  ings,” each registering some 130 dB.
     ment around the short take-off and ver-                                                      “STOVL aircraft operate very differ-
     tical landing (STOVL) variant during                                                     ently compared to conventional aircraft,
     the hover, and the carrier variant (CV)                                                  and it is vital that the effects on the air-
     during carrier launch. BAE’s Thermal                                                     craft and its surrounding environment
     Acoustic facility was used for the tests,                                                are understood and used to support the
     described by the company as being                                                        aircraft’s development,” said John
     the only one in the world that can “ac-                                                  Thompson, BAE Systems’ Chief of
     curately recreate an overall jet environ-                                                Structural Test.
     ment at model scale.”                                                                        The J-35 is being developed for the
                                                   BAE is using 1/15th scale models of the
         According to BAE, data collected          F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for a ground     U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and U.S.
     from the STOVL tests will be used to          environment test program that will         Marine Corps, and the British Royal Air
     confirm the suitability of the aircraft’s      confirm the stability of the STOVL and      Force and Royal Navy. As well as the
     overall configuration. The effects on the      CV variants.                               STOVL and CV variants there is a con-
     aircraft structure will then be evaluated                                                ventional take-off and landing design.
     in the Acoustic Fatigue Facility (AFF) at     crews can work safely, and the protec-                                    Stuart Birch
     BAE Systems, Warton. In addition,             tive equipment that they must wear.
     these tests have defined both the areas            For the tests involving the F-35 CV,
     around the aircraft in which ground           the AFF’s capability was enhanced to



     Energizing the Global Hawk
     Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4B Global
     Hawk UAV is scheduled for a flight this
     February to test the first aviation appli-
     cation of Saft’s line of new Li-ion (lithi-
     um-ion) battery technology. Not that
     the company’s presence in aerospace
     applications is completely new. Saft’s
     lithium primary batteries powered
     both the Spirit and Opportunity Rovers
     for their Mars missions, both of                                            Saft has provided Ni-Cd batteries for Northrop
     which have lasted longer than most                                          Grumman's Global Hawk (shown is the RQ-4A) since
                                                                                 the mid-'90s, and will soon be testing its Li-ion
     scientists predicted.
                                                                                 technology (left) on the RQ-4B.
         Saft began providing Ni-Cd (nickel-
     cadmium) batteries in support of the
     Global Hawk program in the mid-'90s.             Currently, the Global Hawk UAV RQ-      electronic cell and battery manage-
     Since then, the UAV has played no             4A flies with three Saft Ni-Cd batteries    ment, communications, state-of-charge
     small role in providing U.S Air Force         that provide emergency power to fly the     information, and self-protection, accord-
     and joint battlefield commanders near-         vehicle in the event of engine failure     ing to Saft.
     real-time, high-resolution ISR (intelli-      and also power onboard navigation              Saft is providing Northrop Grumman
     gence, surveillance, and reconnais-           and computer systems. The batteries are    with three battery prototypes, two quali-
     sance) imagery. Since first flight, the         located forward of the wing in a side-     fication units, and six flight-ready batter-
     Global Hawk has logged more than              bay area affording ease of access.         ies for the February test. A total of 252
     4000 h, of which over 2000 are                   Li-ion technology will bring a 50%      Li-ion units are expected to be delivered
     combat hours obtained during                  weight savings and almost a 20% sav-       to Northrop Grumman through 2011.
     Operation Enduring Freedom and                ings in volume. On the Global Hawk,                                     Jean L. Broge
     Operation Iraqi Freedom.                      the new Li-ion technology will combine




14                                                                                                        Aerospace Engineering December 2004

				
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