Archive for April 2013

Laser Weapon System on U.S. Navy warship

April 11, 2013
Laser Weapon System (LaWS) temporarily installed aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS D...

Laser Weapon System (LaWS) temporarily installed aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS D…

The U.S. Navy took a step farther away from John Paul Jones and closer to James T. Kirk as it announced that a solid-state laser weapon will be deployed on a U.S. Navy ship in fiscal year 2014. The announcement that the Laser Weapon System (LaWS) will deployed on board USS Ponce (AFSB[I] 15) two years ahead of schedule was made on Monday at the Sea-Air-Space exposition, National Harbor, Maryland. The deployment is the latest in a line of recent recent high-energy laser demonstrations carried out by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Naval Sea Systems Command.

LaWS undergoing shore testing

LaWS uses a fiber-optic,solid-state laser as part of a system developed at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. It’s not intended to replace any weapons on board the Ponce, but rather acts as an adjunct weapon. Ultimately, LaWS will be paired with a rapid-fire anti-missile system, such as the Mk 15 Phalanx CIWS and its radar system.

LaWs optics

Obviously, the main attraction of the laser is its ability to destroy targets at long range at the speed of light, and LaWS has many advantages as both an offensive and defensive weapon. The Navy envisions it being used for precision and covert engagements, starting fires, and what it calls “graduated lethality.” It also sees it as a countermeasure against UAVs, missiles and swarms of small boats.

“We expect that in the future, a missile will not be able to simply outmaneuver a highly accurate, high-energy laser beam traveling at the speed of light,” Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder said.

LaWS also has the advantage of having a “deep magazine,” meaning that it doesn’t need propellants or explosives and can keep firing as long as a power source is available. Also, unlike conventional weapons, each “round” comes at a bargain price. “Our conservative data tells us a shot of directed energy costs under $1,” Klunder said. “Compare that to the hundreds of thousands of dollars it costs to fire a missile, and you can begin to see the merits of this capability.”

However, since flat-out fighting is rare in naval operations, less lethal applications for the laser system are more likely to be used on a daily basis and therefore of equal value. The optics that LaWS uses for its beams make it ideal for targeting, and the laser can also heat targets, making them easier for infrared tracking to lock on. In addition, the laser can dazzle pilots and electronics of aircraft, surface vehicles, or submarines. Electro-optical sensors and infrared missile systems are particularly vulnerable. LaWS also works as a 21st century version of a shot across the bow, by shining an intense beam of light warning the target that a lethal blast could follow instantly.

For all its advantages, LaWS has its limitations. For example, the rate of fire is restricted by the time needed to illuminate a target and then moving on to the next one, so the system can be overwhelmed. Also, lasers aren’t ideal in all situations or against all targets, so it needs to be teamed with another weapon that can put lots of iron into the air at the same time.

The deployment is partly a demonstration, but it’s also part of the testing and development program. Areas that need addressing are developing the gimbal mounting for the laser, hardening the hardware for a sea environment, dealing with optical turbulence, and evaluating how to use the laser in less-than lethal tasks.

Monday’s announcement was accompanied by the release of a video showing LaWS in action against a drone, which can be seen below.

VIDEO

Source: U.S. Navy

Advertisements

Automotive Engineering Unit:5 PPT

April 11, 2013

clutch

gear box

Automotive Engineering UNIT:3 PPT

April 11, 2013

3 superchargers

Automotive Engineering UNIT:2 PPT

April 11, 2013

2 FUEL SUPPLY SYSTEMS

carburettor nw

Automotive Engineering UNIT:1 PPT

April 11, 2013

1-chassis

1-PISTON

Combustion Chambers

cooling and lubrication mo

valves

Return of the Camaro Z/28

April 5, 2013
The Camaro Z/28 showing air intake

The Camaro Z/28 showing air intake

At this week’s New York Auto Show, Chevrolet rolled out its restyled 2014 Camaro line with the highlight being the return of the Camaro Z/28. The four-passenger, front-engine, rear-drive coupé is billed as the “most track-capable offering in Camaro’s history” and the ”most significant redesign since the introduction of the fifth-generation Camaro as a concept car in 2006.”An exercise in single-minded concentration on track performance through a new aerodynamics package and radical weight reduction, the Camaro Z/28 is the latest take on the classic racer that came out in 1967. The original was created for the Sports Car Club of America’s Trans-Am 2 class and was intended for road racing with a 302-cubic-inch V-8 and heavy-duty suspension, but lacked such amenities as an automatic transmission or air conditioning.The 2014 Camaro Z/28 isn’t intended for race competition. Instead, it’s more track minded. “We set out to make the fastest road-racing Camaro possible that was still street-legal,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “While the Camaro ZL1 offers exceptional performance on the street, the drag strip, and the track, the Z/28 is entirely focused on the track performance. The Z/28 will be too track-focused for most drivers, but offers road-racers one of the most capable track cars ever offered from an automaker.”Part of Chevrolet’s plan to achieve this was a drastic program of weight reduction with the Camaro Z/28 tipping the scales 300 pounds (136 kg) lighter than the ZL1. “We looked at every subsystem for opportunities to save weight,” said Oppenheiser. “Our goal was to get rid of everything that didn’t make the car faster, and keep only what was required by law. For example, we wanted to eliminate the audio system completely, but we had to keep a single speaker for the seat-belt chime to meet safety requirements.”

The Camaro Z/28 has a thinner rear window to save weight

Legal requirements are also the reason why the Z/28 comes with a tire-inflator kit in Rhode Island and New Hampshire, but not in other states where the law does not require it. Other weight-saving measures include removing carpeting from the boot and interior sound dampening insulation, replacement of the LN4 battery with the lighter LN3, and the rear window thickness was reduced from the standard 3.5 mm to 3.2 mm.

The Camaro Z/28's interior

“The team was so fanatical about saving weight, we even stripped the unused wiring out of the harness when we eliminated the fog lights, speakers, and air conditioning,” said Oppenheiser. “Every ounce saved contributed to making this the most track-capable Camaro we have ever built, and a worthy successor to the Z/28 name.”

Close up of the Z/28's front

With a wheelbase of 112.3 inches (2,852 mm), the Camaro Z/28 tries hard to echo the lines of the 1967 original and it does have a solid American muscle car feel to it, though with a lot of aerodynamic design thrown in for downforce and stability at track speeds. This is reflected in front with its disproportionately wide opening and the bonnet vent for cooling and aerodynamic lift reduction. Chevrolet kept the profile lines simple without being boxy, though the attempt to emulate the 1967 rear boot lid does come off as jarringly flat. Underneath, there’s a large splitter on the underbody panel and an aggressive rear spoiler helps with downforce generation.

the Z/28's 'Octane' interior

With all the weight reduction business, the interior of the Camaro Z/28 is a bit spartan with its “Octane” matte-metallic finish, but Chevrolet tries to balance this by fitting it with the ZL1 flat-bottomed steering wheel, and standard Recaro seats with microfiber suede inserts, which have only manual adjustments as another weight-saving measure. The rear seats are even more severe with nine pounds (four kilograms) shaved off by taking out the seat-back pass through and replacing the rigid seat back with high-density foam and a steel-mesh seat bottom. Even air conditioning is an optional extra.

Made with a one- and two-sided galvanized steel unitized body frame, the chassis of the Camaro Z/28 is also optimized for track performance. “We used the very best components in the industry to deliver uncompromised performance, lap after lap,” said Mark Stielow, Camaro Z/28 engineering manager. “We made nearly 200 changes to improve the track performance, which cumulatively make the Z/28 capable of 1.05 g in cornering. For perspective, with all other things, equal increasing maximum grip from 1 to 1.05 g can cut up to four seconds per lap.”

Powering the Z/28 is a naturally aspirated LS7 seven-liter V-8 with a cast aluminum block, overhead valves and sequential fuel injection punching an estimated 500 hp (373 kW) and 470 ft-lb (637 Nm) of torque. It was co-developed with Corvette Racing and boasts titanium intake valves and connecting rods, sodium-filled exhaust valves, forged-steel crankshaft and main bearing caps, a high-lift camshaft, hydroformed exhaust headers, a 10.5-quart, dry-sump oiling system with integral liquid-to-liquid cooling, and a racing-style, cold-air induction system and large K&N air filter for maximum air flow. There’s also a muffler bypass for increased torque and engine noise during acceleration.

“The LS7 is ideal for road racing because it delivers amazing performance in a compact, lightweight package,” said Jordan Lee, Small Block chief engineer and program manager. “The broad torque curve and high redline of the LS7 mean fewer shifts are required for each lap, while the lightweight design improves the front-to-rear weight balance for better handling.”

There aren’t any details on performance yet, but Chevrolet said that the Z/28 is three seconds faster per lap than the Camaro ZL1.

Trimming weight means that the Camaro Z/28 is only available with a Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual gearbox with close-ratio gearing and 3.91:1 final drive ratio. The rear-wheel drive features limited-slip differential with a helical gear set instead of traditional clutch packs. A second liquid-to-liquid system reduces differential temperatures by up to 100° F (37.7° C). According to Chevrolet, this allows for more applied power and faster cornering by adjusting the torque bias to maximize available traction and providing drivers with adjustable throttle and brake intervention.

Weight saving was a major factor in the Camaro Z/28's design

Chevrolet says that the Camaro Z/28 is one of the first production cars with spool-valve dampers that offer four-way adjustment tuning for bump and rebound settings for high-speed and low-speed wheel motions and enabling increased damper stiffness. Front and rear suspension includes a double-ball-joint, multi-link strut, direct-acting stabilizer bar, progressive-rate coil springs, and inverted monotube shock absorber. In addition, the StabiliTrak electronic stability control is standard.

Air conditioning on the Z/28 is optional

Weight reduction also extends to the Camaro Z/28’s 19-inch wheels with Pirelli PZero Trofeo R tires, which replace the 20-inch versions of the Camaro SS and ZL1, saving another 42 pounds (19 kg) while lowering the center of gravity for better handling. Brakes are Brembo Carbon Ceramic Matrix front and rear discs with six-piston fixed front and four-piston rear calipers capable of 1.5 g deceleration and providing a 28 pound (12.5 kg) weight saving over comparable steel brakes..

The Z/28 is a purpose-built track car

The 2014 Camaro Z/28 goes on the market later this year and will appear in track events in the United States in the spring of 2014. Pricing details are yet to be announced.

The Camaro Z/28's rear profile

The video below shows the unveiling of the 2014 Camaro line.

VIDEO

Source: Chevrolet

Two ton turbo diesel hexapod you can drive

April 5, 2013
Matt Denton, chief designer and founder of Micromagic Systems, sits in the cockpit of his ...

Mantis, built by Matt Denton of Micromagic Systems, is the largest operational hexapod in the world

The term mad scientist gets thrown around quite a bit, but in the case of one Matt Denton it most certainly applies. His company, Micromagic Systems, has been working steadily over the past four years to design and build a walking robot that’s big enough to carry a human passenger. The resulting beast is described as “the biggest, all-terrain operational hexapod robot in the world.”

Mantis' six legs are powered by a turbo diesel engine and 18 hydraulic actuators

The robot weighs a massive 1,900 kg (4,188 pounds), stands 2.8 meters (9.18 ft) tall, and is powered by a Perkins 2.2 liter turbo diesel engine and hydraulics. It’s outfitted with a variety of sensors (including force transducers, angle sensors, and an inclinometer) that help it walk. A Linux PC running HexEngine – software designed to control hexapod locomotion – takes care of the 18 hydraulic actuators in its legs, while a panel PC puts you in the driver’s seat.

Mantis, built by Matt Denton of Micromagic Systems, is the largest operational hexapod in ...

Mantis takes a break during the filming of its promotional video

“This is definitely the largest hexapod we have built so far,” says Micromagic founder and Mantis’ chief designer Matt Denton. His company, which produces animatronics for the film and television industry, has worked on hexapods before – including one that appeared as a six-legged turtle in the Harry Potter films. Mantis, however, was a passion project that is now being rented for events.

Mantis' legs contain a number of sensors and are controlled by HexEngine software, which w...

This isn’t the only ginormous hexapod robot being built. A team from Massachusetts is working on one of a similar size called Stompy, following a successful Kickstarter campaign last year. However, Matt and his team beat them to the punch with Mantis, which you can see in action in the video below.

VIDEO

Source: Mantis Robot, Mantis Facebook page