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News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Marstel-Day, LLC has received two awards from the Environmental Business Journal (EBJ) for its social contributions and natural resource management achievements. These awards recognize the company's "Stand With Wildlife" campaign as well as its support of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial. The Stand With Wildlife campaign helped shine a light on major wildlife conservation issues of our time, accompanied by a call to action for individuals and businesses to take a stand to support wildlife and biodiversity. Throughout the campaign, Marstel-Day partnered with organizations such asthe National Conservation Leadership Institute (NCLI); One More Generation; Soul River; the Jane Goodall Institute; Five Gyres; the Oakland Zoo; the Wildlife Center of Virginia; the Consortium for Ocean Leadership; the Earth Journalism Network; Discover Nature Apps; the US Fish and Wildlife Service and more. These partnerships focused on identifying and developing strategies to protect, restore and enhance the world's diverse wildlife and their habitats and on presenting ways in which individuals and businesses can help make that happen. Marstel-Day was also recognized for providing support to and coordination of a campaign marking the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty between Canada and the United States. Signed in 1916 between the US and Great Britain (acting on behalf of Canada), the Migratory Bird Treaty is the first major US legislation that protects birds migrating across international borders. The two countries agreed to stop hunting all insectivorous birds, and to establish specific hunting seasons for game birds. While the treaty has been very successful, migratory birds still face a number of challenges to survival such as the rate of avian deaths from wind turbines, loss of critical habitat, and the use of pesticides, which continues to grow. The 2016 EBJ awards will be presented at a special ceremony at the Environmental Industry Summit XV in San Diego, Calif. on March 22, 2017. Environmental Business Journal provides strategic information and market forecasts for executives involved in 14 business segments, including environmental remediation, water & wastewater, air pollution control, environmental consulting & engineering, hazardous waste, instrumentation, pollution control equipment, waste management, resource recovery, and solid waste management. About Marstel-Day, LLC: Marstel-Day, LLC is a certified woman-owned environmental consultancy operating to support clients with interest in natural resource protections. The company is headquartered in Fredericksburg, VA and has additional offices in Alexandria and Richmond, VA; Annapolis, MD; Stennis Space Center, MS; San Antonio TX and Oceanside, CA. The company has received numerous awards for its "green" approach to environmental services. About the EBJ Business Achievement Awards: In October-December 2013, Climate Change Business Journal solicited nominations for the EBJ Business Achievement Awards. Nominations were accepted in 200-word essays in either specific or unspecified categories. Final awards were determined by a committee of EBJ staff and EBJ editorial advisory board members. (Disclaimer: company audits were not conducted to verify information or claims submitted with nominations.) About EBI: Founded in 1988, Environmental Business International Inc. (EBI, San Diego, Calif.) is a research, publishing and consulting company that specializes in defining emerging markets and generating strategic market intelligence for companies, investors and policymakers. EBI publishes Environmental Business Journal®, the leading provider of strategic information for the environmental industry, and Climate Change Business Journal®, which covers nine segments of the Climate Change Industry. EBI also performs contract research for the government and private sector and founded the Environmental Industry Summit, an annual three-day event for executives in the environmental industry.


News Article | April 11, 2016
Site: www.nrl.navy.mil

Sixteen U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) scientists and engineers representing six research divisions were recognized with the prestigious Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientist and Engineer of the Year Award. The award ceremony was held on June 12th, with Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development & Acquisition) Sean Stackley, and Dr. Delores Etter presenting the awards. The Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition sponsors this annual award. Former Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Delores Etter established the awards in 2006 to recognize scientists and engineers who have made significant contributions to their fields and to the fleet. The NRL researchers honored as 2014 Top Scientists and Engineers are as follows: Dr. Dmitri Kaganovich, named an Emergent Investigator, is recognized for his enhancement of temporal contrast in ultra-short laser systems. He provided an elegant solution to the fundamental problem of ultrashort laser contrast. The source of low-intensity laser pedestals has been unknown and there has been no efficient technique for minimizing them. Kaganovich was not only able to pinpoint the source of the problem (natural narrowing of the laser spectrum in the amplification chain of the laser), but also provided a simple, cost effective (few thousand dollar modification to a multi-million dollar laser system) way to significantly increase the contrast in high-intensity laser beams. This contrast enhancement technique could also enable the development of compact laser-based X-ray sources. Dr. Geoffrey S. San Antonio, named an Emergent Investigator, is recognized for his HF Over-the-Horizon Radar (HFOTHR) technology advancement. San Antonio successfully devised and demonstrated numerous techniques, architectures and experiments that have significantly advanced the HFOTHR technology. This type of radar uses the ionosphere to effectively act like a mirror to bend the radar signal back toward the earth, allowing detection of targets well beyond the radar horizon. San Antonio's research has been instrumental in mitigating environmental factors that limit the performance of these systems, which has been essential in making these systems effective, persistent sensors, capable of target detection at any time of day, any day of the year. Dr. Daniel Gibson is recognized for his Infrared Gradient Index Optics. Gibson developed diffusion-based infrared gradient (IR-GRIN) optics technology that will reduce the size, weight and power consumption of multi-band infrared imaging systems for DoD systems. The optics Gibson developed will correct for chromatic aberrations across a wide range of infrared wavelengths, enabling compact multi-band infrared imagers for the first time. His IR-GRIN optics will provide warfighters in the field with new tactical and operational advantages in systems with reduced size, weight and power consumption. Dr. Michael H. Stewart is recognized for his advanced functional nanoparticles for chemical, biological and solid state optoelectronic applications. Stewart leads multifaceted research efforts developing and advancing colloidal semiconductor quantum dot (QD)-based technologies for chemical, biological and optoelectronic applications. His efforts are relevant to the Department of Navy/Department of Defense for developing nanotechnology to improve nanobiosystems for health and biomedical purposes and to address the future of solution-processed optoelectronics for remote power and detector technologies. In 2014, Stewart demonstrated groundbreaking advances in biosensing and imaging with biocompatible QDs and has demonstrated innovative techniques to design and fabricate QDs for optical interrogation of neuronal communication networks. Dr. Mark Sletten is recognized for his next-generation concepts for Synthetic Aperture Radar. Sletten is conducting research at the forefront of next-generation imaging radar systems that overcome the challenges of an environment in perpetual motion as occurs in the maritime domain. Motion associated with ocean waves and ships represent a challenge for radar systems to compensate for and then robustly characterize. This new multi-channel synthetic aperture radar (MSAR), first developed as a ground-based system, has been transitioned to an airborne configuration where the challenging effects of in-scene motion are being overcome. MSAR has many Navy and Marine Corps maritime mission applications. The team of Drs. David Abe, Simon Cooke, Baruch Levush, and John Pasour is recognized for their Ka-band amplifier demonstration of 12 kW peak output power. This team developed and demonstrated a ground-breaking millimeter-wave power amplifier that dramatically advances the power of state-of-the-art amplifiers. The 12-kW amplifier is driven by a 20 kilovolt, 3.5-ampere sheet electron beam of 0.3 mm x 4 mm cross-section and produces 20 times the power of commercially available amplifiers of comparable frequency, bandwidth, and operating voltage. The team employed innovative vacuum electronic circuits and techniques to achieve these breakthroughs, which satisfy a critical Navy need for higher-power, broadband, millimeter-wave amplifiers to enable electronic warfare systems to counter new and emerging threats. The team of Drs. Boris Feygelson (Electronics Science and Technology Division) and James Wollmershauser (Materials Science and Technology Division) is recognized for their bulk (3D) fully dense nanocrystalline materials with unprecedented improved performance. Feygelson and Wollmershauser developed a nanomaterial fabrication technique capable of producing bulk nanocrystalline ceramics with unprecedentedly small grain sizes that exhibit dramatic increases in hardness; up to 50% greater than conventional ceramics. The research demonstrates for the first time that nanocrystalline ceramics obey the 60-year-old postulation that decreasing the grain size of a ceramic will increase the hardness. The work furthers the fundamental understanding of the mechanical response of nanostructured materials that is critical to the Department of Navy/Department of Defense and the greater scientific community since it can lead to the development of a new generation of structural materials with extraordinary properties. The team of Mr. Kenneth Sarkady, Dr. Gregory Lynn, Mr. Roger Mabe, Dr. Hugo Romero, and Mr. D. Merritt Cordray is recognized for developing and flight testing a light-weight integrated missile warning and directed infrared countermeasures system. The team developed an innovative infrared countermeasure system for DoD aircraft. It features a high-power, high-efficiency quantum cascade laser, new two-color infrared focal plane arrays for longer range threat detection, advanced algorithms for lower false alarm rates, novel switching technology for laser energy distribution around the aircraft, and low-weight miniaturized pointing devices. The team designed these new technologies into a system lowering weight, cost, power, and space requirements, while providing full spherical aircraft protection. The system demonstrated unprecedented effectiveness in field and live fire tests against all advanced threats. About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory provides the advanced scientific capabilities required to bolster our country's position of global naval leadership. The Laboratory, with a total complement of approximately 2,500 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to advance research further than you can imagine. For more information, visit the NRL website or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.


Dr. Justin McLay, research meteorologist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Marine Meteorology Division, receives the esteemed Laboratory Scientist of the Quarter award honoring extraordinary service to the Department of Defense (DoD). McLay is bestowed the award for his distinguished accomplishments in leading the 'New Rules of Predictability' project and his key role in developing and transitioning the Navy Global Environmental Model (NAVGEM) Ensemble Forecast System (EFS). "Dr. McLay's development of the 'New Rules of Predictability' has been groundbreaking," said Dr. John Montgomery, Director of Research at NRL. "His sustained effort in developing an ensemble system and using ensemble information provide a fundamental understanding of the impact weather and climate change have on Navy assets, and offer unique and valuable contributions to overall Defense Department missions and goals." McLay is a recognized subject matter expert in the design and application of atmospheric ensemble predictions. His work on the 6.1 level predictability project and 6.4 level NAVGEM EFS may significantly enhance the current and future missions of the Navy and DoD in environmental information dominance. Providing detailed knowledge of future extreme weather variability and conditions (wind speeds, wave heights, air and sea temperatures, sea ice thickness and extent, and sea level) the ensemble will enable the Navy and DoD to adapt to future environmental impacts. Beginning his career in weather science as a certified weather observer for the National Weather Service (NWS), McLay worked to obtain a doctorate in atmospheric science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he had received both a bachelor's and master's degree in atmospheric science in 1997 and 2001 respectively. After receiving his Ph.D. in 2004, he was granted a post-doctoral appointment within the National Research Council (NRC) for a position at NRL-Monterey in the Global Modeling Section of the Atmospheric Dynamics and Prediction Branch. In 2007, McLay started his federal career at NRL-Montery, and progressed to improve the design of the now retired Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System (NOGAPS) EFS through the implementation of locally banded ensemble transform (ET) perturbations of the initial state. In March 2015 he led the successful transition of the Navy's first operational method for stochastic forcing of the NAVGEM global model (SKEB-mc), which improves the measurement of forecast uncertainty. McLay has authored or co-authored 17 journal publications and has led nine successful technical transitions for the Navy's NAVGEM global EPS. In April 2015 he received the Alan Berman Annual Research Publication Award for a study of statistical inference applied to model parameter uncertainty. He is currently Associate Editor for the Monthly Weather Review journal and a member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Weather Analysis and Forecasting Committee. McLay has presented his research at numerous conferences and workshops, including as an invited speaker on the topic of forecast time series behavior at the Developmental Testbed Center (DTC), National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory provides the advanced scientific capabilities required to bolster our country's position of global naval leadership. The Laboratory, with a total complement of approximately 2,500 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to advance research further than you can imagine. For more information, visit the NRL website or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.


News Article | November 15, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

Today, Orange Silicon Valley and Lumenir, in collaboration with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, are working to demonstrate a 4U supercomputer, featuring 224 TFLOPs of compute performance and 800 Gbps network bandwidth, ideal for globally distributed computing. The demonstration will take place at SC’16, the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, November 13-18, Salt Lake City, Utah. Cloud Computing, globalization, the explosion of Big Data, and the increase in geographically dispersed teams are driving the demand for Large Data Transfers in a globally distributed computing environment. The demonstration is a result of joint effort to concentrate the highest possible computational capability in a 4U server platform under a single PCIe root complex. With 12 general purpose GPUs (GPGPU) and eight 100 Gbps Network Interfaces, this is one of the fastest servers with a near Terabit network capability. This single server features 112 TFLOPs Single Precision and 224 TFLOPS Half Precision computational capability along with 800 Gbps RDMA network capability. “This is a big step forward towards in-flight rich content processing at a near Terabit-scale. The future of smart content delivery will also require effective AI capabilities embedded inside our infrastructure," said Gabriel Sidhom, Vice President of Technology and Development at Orange Silicon Valley. "This experiment allows us to demonstrate intelligent video understanding with near-real-time capability using supercomputers at the edge of our core assets – the network backbone.“ The server platform was assembled by the team at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, with the help of Orange Silicon Valley and Lumenir, and is a demonstration of dynamically deployed, complex, live, 4K by 60 fps uncompressed UHD video streams processed with a single “Supercomputer" at the edge of the WAN. The demonstration includes five geographically distributed 100 Gbps connections from Oakland, Salt Lake City, Chicago and Washington, DC and demonstrates a dynamic workflow which can be rapidly redeployed to satisfy different processing needs. This configuration permits nationally distributed resources to be leveraged in a way that is relevant to emerging data processing challenges. As a 12 GPU platform, the WAN transfer node can provide real (or near real) time neural network analysis capability over many high bit rate video streams with the potential to exceed 120,000 images per second. Lumenir, an engineering and design startup in Silicon Valley, was instrumental for the engineered modification of standard GPUs from double-wide to a single-wide PCIe form-factor required to pack this level of compute density into a 4U platform. Using CFD modeling, Lumenir designed an innovative heat sink with integrated vapor chamber that reduces thermal resistance and spreads the heat across the heat sink base. “This is a step towards hyper-converged, heterogeneous appliances at the edge of networks with extreme bandwidth that will transform global computing and the future of machine learning and artificial intelligence” said Bryan Silbermann, Founder and CEO of Lumenir. The demo has been staged at the StarLight Booth# 2611 during SC’16. About Orange Silicon Valley Orange Silicon Valley (OSV) is the Bay Area Business Innovation Center of Orange, one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators, serving 263 million customers across 30 countries. Through research, development, and strategic analysis, OSV actively participates in the disruptive innovations that are changing the way we communicate. OSV contributes to and engages with the regional Silicon Valley ecosystem through numerous programs, such as the Orange Fab startup accelerator, Orange Institute, and ongoing collaborations with OSV partners. OSV thrives on collaboration, working closely with Silicon Valley & San Francisco to foster innovation and seek out disruption. In an accelerating present OSV anticipates that the future is closer than we think. OSV acts as guides to the digital revolution occurring in the San Francisco Bay Area, regularly hosting startups, businesses, and corporate leadership Orange is listed on Euronext Paris (symbol ORA) and on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol ORAN). About Lumenir Lumenir, Inc. is an engineering and design company focused on hyper-converged, storage, and compute appliances. Lumenir, Inc. is an early-stage start-up based in the heart of Silicon Valley. For more information please visit: http://www.lumenir-innovations.com. About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory is the Navy's full-spectrum corporate laboratory, conducting a broadly based multidisciplinary program of scientific research and advanced technological development. The Laboratory, with a total complement of approximately 2,500 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to meet the complex technological challenges of today's world. For more information, visit the NRL homepage or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.


News Article | February 22, 2017
Site: spaceref.biz

Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc., recently demonstrated the highest chamber pressure of any United States produced liquid oxygen and kerosene main combustion system. This milestone occurred during a series of successful test firings of the AR1's staged combustion system at NASA's Stennis Space Center. Preparations for the staged-combustion testing began at Stennis last summer, pushing the limits of the nation's premier large engine development test facility. During this testing, Aerojet Rocketdyne combined the engine's preburner with the main injector in order to validate injector design parameters and performance. "Staged-combustion testing is a critical step in proving our design for AR1 and reestablishing U.S. preeminence in hydrocarbon space launch propulsion," said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. "We have been working diligently on the AR1 program since 2014 and remain on target to deliver a flight-qualified AR1 engine in 2019 as promised. The latest testing validates our flight design and provides high confidence as we move further into AR1 engine manufacturing." The AR1 engine is being developed as a replacement for Russian-made engines currently used on domestic rockets. AR1 is a 500,000 lbf thrust-class liquid oxygen/kerosene booster engine that incorporates the latest advances in rocket engine technology, materials science and modern manufacturing techniques to deliver an affordable, reliable booster engine quickly. "AR1 is the lowest risk, lowest cost and fastest path to end U.S. reliance on Russian engines for the launch of America's national security and civil space missions," added Drake. Aerojet Rocketdyne is an innovative company delivering solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense markets. The company is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be obtained by visiting our websites at www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com. Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.


Simulation of surface wind and upper-ocean variability associated with the Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) by a regional coupled model, the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS), is evaluated by the comparison with in situ and satellite observations.COAMPS is configured for the tropical Indian Ocean domain with the horizontal resolution of 27km for the atmospheric component and 1/ 88 for the ocean component. A high-resolution nested grid (9 km) for the atmospheric component is used for the central Indian Ocean. While observational data are assimilated into the atmospheric component, no data are assimilated into the ocean component. The model was integrated during 1 March-30 April 2009 when an active episode of large-scale convection associated with theMJO passed eastward across the Indian Ocean. During this MJO event, strong surface westerly winds (~8ms-1) were observed in the central equatorial Indian Ocean, and they generated a strong eastward jet (~1ms-1) on the equator. COAMPS can realistically simulate these surface wind and upper-ocean variations. The sensitivity of upper-ocean variability to the atmospheric model resolution is examined by the COAMPS experiment without the high-resolution nested grid. The equatorial jet generated in this experiment is about 20% weaker than that in the first experiment, which significantly influences upper-ocean salinity and temperature. The large diurnal warming of SST during the suppressed phase of the MJO is also adequately simulated by the model. Weak winds during this period are mostly responsible for the large SST diurnal variation based on the comparison with the spatial variation of surface forcing fields. © 2013 American Meteorological Society.


News Article | February 22, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss., Feb. 22, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), recently demonstrated the highest chamber pressure of any United States produced liquid oxygen and kerosene main combustion system. This milestone occurred during a series of successful test firings of the AR1’s staged combustion system at NASA’s Stennis Space Center. Preparations for the staged-combustion testing began at Stennis last summer, pushing the limits of the nation’s premier large engine development test facility. During this testing, Aerojet Rocketdyne combined the engine’s preburner with the main injector in order to validate injector design parameters and performance. “Staged-combustion testing is a critical step in proving our design for AR1 and reestablishing U.S. preeminence in hydrocarbon space launch propulsion,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. “We have been working diligently on the AR1 program since 2014 and remain on target to deliver a flight-qualified AR1 engine in 2019 as promised. The latest testing validates our flight design and provides high confidence as we move further into AR1 engine manufacturing.” The AR1 engine is being developed as a replacement for Russian-made engines currently used on domestic rockets. AR1 is a 500,000 lbf thrust-class liquid oxygen/kerosene booster engine that incorporates the latest advances in rocket engine technology, materials science and modern manufacturing techniques to deliver an affordable, reliable booster engine quickly. “AR1 is the lowest risk, lowest cost and fastest path to end U.S. reliance on Russian engines for the launch of America’s national security and civil space missions,” added Drake. Aerojet Rocketdyne is an innovative company delivering solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense markets. The company is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be obtained by visiting our websites at www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com.


News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss., Feb. 22, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NASA drone technology captured never-before-seen imagery of the RS-25 engine built by Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), while it underwent testing at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. This is the first time drones have captured photos of the RS-25 engine test from above the test stand. Photos accompanying this announcement are available at “The RS-25 is a remarkable engine that continues to undergo testing at Stennis to ensure that the Space Launch System rocket will have the performance necessary to safely take our astronauts into deep space,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. “Never before has drone technology been used to give us a bird’s eye view of our engine test.” This is the twelfth test of the RS-25 engine to confirm that it meets the added requirements and performance beyond what was needed to support the shuttle program. “The RS-25 engine continues to perform flawlessly, which is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the hundreds of employees across the country supporting this program,” added Dan Adamski, RS-25 program director at Aerojet Rocketdyne. Aerojet Rocketdyne is an innovative company delivering solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense markets. The company is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be obtained by visiting our websites at www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com.


News Article | April 11, 2016
Site: www.nrl.navy.mil

Imagine a glass window that's tough like armor, a camera lens that doesn't get scratched in a sand storm, or a smart phone that doesn't break when dropped. Except it's not glass, it's a special ceramic called spinel {spin-ELL} that the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has been researching over the last 10 years. "Spinel is actually a mineral, it's magnesium aluminate," says Dr. Jas Sanghera, who leads the research. "The advantage is it's so much tougher, stronger, harder than glass. It provides better protection in more hostile environments—so it can withstand sand and rain erosion." As a more durable material, a thinner layer of spinel can give better performance than glass. "For weight-sensitive platforms-UAVs [unmanned autonomous vehicles], head-mounted face shields—it's a game-changing technology." NRL invented a new way of making transparent spinel, using a hot press, called sintering. It's a low-temperature process, and the size of the pieces is limited only by the size of the press. "Ultimately, we're going to hand it over to industry," says Sanghera, "so it has to be a scalable process." In the lab, they made pieces eight inches in diameter. "Then we licensed the technology to a company who was able then to scale that up to much larger plates, about 30-inches wide." The sintering method also allows NRL to make optics in a number of shapes, "conformal with the surface of an airplane or UAV wing," depending on the shape of the press. In addition to being tougher, stronger, harder, Sanghera says spinel has "unique optical properties; not only can you see through it, but it allows infrared light to go through it." That means the military, for imaging systems, "can use spinel as the window because it allows the infrared light to come through." NRL is also looking at spinel for the windows on lasers operating in maritime and other hostile environments. "I've got to worry about wave slap and saltwater and things like that, and gun blasts going off—it's got to be resistant to all that. And so that's where spinel comes into its own," says Sanghera. Says Sanghera, "Everything we do, we're trying to push the mission. It's designed to either enable a new application, a new capability—or enhance an existing one." Spinel can be mined as a gemstone; a famous example is the Black Prince's Ruby, which is actually spinel with a color dopant. NRL chemists have also synthesized their own ultra-high purity spinel powder, and other synthetic versions are commercially available. "The precursors are all earth abundant, so it's available in reasonably low cost," says Sanghera. The spinel NRL makes is a polycrystalline material, or a lot of crystal particles all pressed together. Whereas with glass, "A crack that forms on the surface will go all the way through," spinel might chip but it won't crack. "It's like navigating through the asteroid belt, you create a tortuous path: if I have all these crystals packed together, the crack gets deflected at the hard crystals: you dissipate the crack energy." When scientists first started trying to make glass-like spinel, they were using a crucible instead of a press. "A big problem with growing crystals is that you have to melt the starting powder at very high temperatures, over 2000 degrees Celsius," says Sanghera. It's expensive to heat a material that high, and additionally, "the molten material reacts with the crucible, and so if you're trying to make very high quality crystals, you end up [with a] huge amount of defects." That's why Sanghera and his colleagues turned to sintering. "You put the powder in [a hot press], you press it under vacuum, squash this powder together—and if you can do that right, then you can get rid of all the entrapped air, and all of a sudden it comes out of there clear-looking." If the press has flat plates, the spinel will come out flat. "But if I have a ball and socket joint, put the powder in there, I end up with a dome shape," says Sanghera, "so we can make near net shape product that way." NRL was not the first to try sintering. But previous attempts had yielded "a window [where] most of it would look cloudy, and there would be an odd region here and there—about an inch or so—that was clear, and that would be core-drilled out." So NRL deconstructed the science. They started with purer chemicals. "Lousy chemicals in, lousy material out," says Sanghera. Then they discovered a second problem, with the sintering aid they were adding to the spinel powder. "It's about one percent of a different powder, in this case lithium fluoride," says Sanghera. This "pixie dust" is meant to melt and "lubricate the powder particles, so there's less friction, so they can all move together during sintering." They were putting the powders together in shakers overnight, but, "The thing is, on a scale of the powder, it's never mixed uniformly." Understanding the problem led to a unique solution for enabling uniform mixing. Now, "there's only one pathway for densification," and the spinel will come out clear across the press. To further increase the quality of the optic, "You can grind and polish this just like you would do gems," says Sanghera. This is the most costly part of the process. "One of the things we're looking at is, how do we reduce the finishing cost?" The surface of the press is imprinted onto the glass. "If we can improve upon that," he says, "make that mirror finished, then—and so that's where we get into a little bit of IP [intellectual property], is what's the best way to do that?" For both the Department of Defense (DoD) and private industry, "Cost is a big driver, and so it's important for us to make product that can be affordable." "There are a lot of applications," says Sanghera. He mentions watches and consumer electronics, like the smart phone, as examples. The military in particular may want to use spinel as transparent armor for vehicles and face shields. A "bullet-proof" window today, for example, has layers of plastic and glass perhaps five inches thick. "If you replaced that with spinel, you'd reduce the weight by a factor of two or more," says Sanghera. The military's also interested in using spinel to better protect visible and infrared cameras on planes and other platforms. Glass doesn't transmit infrared, so today's optics are made of "exotic materials that are very soft and fragile," and have multiple layers to compensate for color distortions. "So that's what we've been doing now, developing new optical materials," says Sanghera. Spinel windows could also protect sensors on space satellites, an area Sanghera's interested in testing. "You could leave these out there for longer periods of time, go into environments that are harsher than what they're encountering now, and enable more capabilities," he says." NRL is also looking at spinel (and other materials) for next generation (NEXTGEN) lasers. "Lasers can be thought of as a box comprised of optics," he says. "There's passive and there's active components: passive is just a protective window; active is where we change the color of light coming out the other end." For passive laser applications, like exit apertures (windows), the key is high quality. "That window, if it's got any impurities or junk, it can absorb that laser light," says Sanghera. "When it absorbs, things heat up," which can cause the window to break. Sanghera and his colleagues have demonstrated, working with "ultra high purity" spinel powder they've synthesized in NRL clean rooms, spinel's incredible potential. For active laser applications, they've demonstrated how sintering can be used with materials other than spinel to make a laser that's "excellent optical quality." Instead of spinel, they use, "things like yttria or lutecia [and] and dope them with rare earth ions." NRL has transitioned both types of laser materials and applications to industry. Sanghera came to NRL in 1988, after completing his PhD at the Imperial College, London in materials science. "Little by little—talking to people, asking questions, going to conferences—you find out that what makes this place tick is solving problems," he says. "No two days are the same, it's very exciting." He first worked with glass, drawing it into optical fibers, and a lot of his success with spinel comes from that heritage of insisting on purity and quality. "An optical fiber's very long: it can go from 1 meter to 100s of kilometers. Purity's very important, because if there's any junk in there, the light will either be absorbed or it can be scattered." His lab also makes lightweight, inexpensive fibers for infrared countermeasures applications on helicopters and other platforms. By weaving it through the platform, "This fiber can remote the energy from the laser, which is inside the platform, to a device on the outside, which can then track and then shoot the laser beam out, confuse the missile." He acknowledges, "In DoD, we are the premier place for development of fiber lasers. It's something we are heavily involved with, all the different types of fibers and configurations and materials required to enable these eye-safer and NEXTGEN lasers." Sanghera says that there's evolution, like enhancing an existing capability by improving size, weight, and performance/power (SWAP); "But revolution is when you come up with some new idea, you just enabled completely new capabilities." For that, he credits the many different disciplines NRL brings together. "We have a lot of smart people, we have a lot of what I call head-banging sessions, where we discuss new ideas and opportunities. If you don't ask the questions, you won't get answers and you won't stimulate new ideas." He also credits a close relationship with industry and with those NRL serves. "We talk to the warfare centers, the systems people—so that what you're doing really is going to be of value. There's already the application there in mind, and we're just trying to solve that problem; so it's very focused in that sense." About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory is the Navy's full-spectrum corporate laboratory, conducting a broadly based multidisciplinary program of scientific research and advanced technological development. The Laboratory, with a total complement of nearly 2,800 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to meet the complex technological challenges of today's world. For more information, visit the NRL homepage or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.


News Article | February 27, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) is the Navy’s full-spectrum corporate laboratory, conducting a broad-based program of scientific research and development for maritime application related to oceanic, atmospheric, and space sciences. They have selected Concept Laser’s 3D metal printing technology for rapid prototyping and materials research. This is their first laser powder-bed metals machine. “We require a wide range of Additive Manufacturing (AM) capabilities, ranging from quality monitoring to process parameter development, and need an architecture conducive to that research and development effort,” said Dr. Charles Rohde, NRL Acoustics Division. NRL will be using Concept Laser’s M2 cusing machine to print in Stainless Steel. Along with the machine, they will be using QM Meltpool 3D to monitor the quality of their metal applications, inspecting the part as it grows. This will also help them identify any design defects and if an application is on the edge of acceptability. Additionally, they will be using CL WRX Parameter 2.0 to freely design and develop custom parameters. “It is very exciting that the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory is bolstering their focus on metal additive manufacturing. There are so many advantages of 3D metal printing that our defense strategy could benefit from, including reduced lead time, less material waste, and printing complex geometries with no required assembly. NRL has a history of over 90 years of innovation in naval power and we look forward to hearing how they will use 3D metal printing to break boundaries,” states John Murray, President and CEO of Concept Laser Inc. Additive manufacturing involves taking digital designs from computer aided design (CAD) software, and laying horizontal cross-sections to manufacture the part. Additive components are typically lighter and more durable than traditional forged parts because they require less welding and machining. Because additive parts are essentially “grown” from the ground up, they generate far less scrap material. Freed of traditional manufacturing restrictions, additive manufacturing dramatically expands the design possibilities for engineers About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory provides the advanced scientific capabilities required to bolster our country's position of global naval leadership. The Laboratory, with a total complement of approximately 2,500 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to advance research further than you can imagine. For more information, visit the NRL website or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. ABOUT CONCEPT LASER Concept Laser GmbH is one of the world’s leading providers of machine and plant technology for the 3D printing of metal components. Founded by Frank Herzog in 2000, the patented LaserCUSING® process – powder-bed-based laser melting of metals – opens up new freedom to configuring components and also permits the tool-free, economic fabrication of highly complex parts in fairly small batch sizes. Concept Laser serves various industries, ranging from medical, dental, aerospace, toolmaking and mold construction, automotive and jewelry. Concept Laser machines are compatible with a diverse set of powder materials, such as stainless steel and hot-work steels, aluminum and titanium alloys, as well as precious metals for jewelry and dental applications. Concept Laser Inc. is headquartered in Grapevine, Texas and is a US-based wholly owned subsidiary of Concept Laser GmbH. For more information, visit our website at http://www.conceptlaserinc.com.

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