Weekly Tech Roundup | Apr 4, 2019

Weekly tech roundup: technology manager top picks for April 2019

This week’s tech roundup includes some of the top technology picks from our expert technology managers. All of them are opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses to license the patent and bring the invention to the commercial market.

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Here is this week’s roundup:

High-speed camera calibration

In order to support weapon testing and training activities, many open-air ranges utilize multiple cameras to capture images in both the visible and non-visible spectrum. Generally, these cameras are used to record a test event and are synchronized to a precision time source (Coordinated Universal Time) to help create coordination imagery of the test event. The resulting imagery capturing the test event is then fed into image processing software and fused to generate time-space-position information (TSPI) data.

TSPI data is susceptible to error and is only as precise as the least precise data source in the data flow. Any improvement in the accuracy of the timing of the camera shutter speeds will likely result in an improvement in the generated TSPI data. Navy scientists have solved inconsistent shutter timing issues with a calibration mechanism for measuring with precision the timing of light integration for visible and infrared cameras.

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Multipurpose arm cycle ergometer

Researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Minneapolis Adaptive Design and Engineering Program have invented a novel exercise machine.

Exercise is an important activity to alleviate negative health effects sustained from prolonged medical bed rest and immobilization. However, most exercise machines are not suitable for use by a person lying in the supine position.

The VA’s new exercise device can be configured for performance of arm or leg exercises, which may be aerobic or anaerobic (weight lifting/strength) exercise. The machine was invented for patients prescribed six weeks of bed rest following spinal cord injury surgery and has been trialed with subjects with consistently positive results.

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Safer, more environmentally friendly smoke screens

Conventional obscurant smoke formulations contain hexachloroethane (HX), zinc oxide, and aluminum. This pyrotechnic reaction produces a large volume of zinc chloride, which is a toxic substance.

Army scientists have developed a pyrotechnic formulation to generate a smoke screen for obscuring effects and for ground-to-air signaling which provides excellent smoke effects but produces less toxic products than the conventional formulations.

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Data collection and analysis for remote networks

Expanding corporate and federal data networks makes information system analysis ever more complex. Such growth is compromising the ability to assess system readiness and component lifecycles. As networks expand beyond the walls of a building to remote or mobile locations, this complexity dramatically increases.

The Navy developed an operations network for data collection and analysis with the Secure Shipboard Information Management System, which is currently being tested aboard destroyers. The near-term goal is to equip the entire surface fleet with the ability to transmit data to shore systems for maintenance analysis and in-service engineering agents (ISEA) development.

In the private sector, the network could be implemented within a cruise ship or offshore drilling platform.

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Smart target sensors and communications

To more accurately measure the effectiveness of gunners firing at targets in a moving boat, Navy engineers have developed a system of sensors embedded in a target mannequin. This includes supporting communications that enable near or real-time detection of contact points in which kinetic energy transfers from a projectile to the target mannequin.

This system was developed at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, for gunfire target testing at the Potomac River Test Range. Development of an in-house active radio-frequency identification (RFID) solution is currently under development, and a passive RFID solution is planned.

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Personalized 3D rendering of audio signals

To provide a better auditory virtual reality, Air Force scientists and engineers have developed an improved methodology for selecting a head-related transfer function (HRTF) for the binaural rendering of audio signals that are perceived by a user to originate from a real-world spatial location.

This approach may be used prior to, or as part of any HRTF-based binaural audio rendering system. HRTFs selected in this manner are then imported into the binaural rendering system and used for improved performance.

If virtual audio signals are replaced with physical loudspeakers (or virtual simulations based on the device/settings), then the system may be used to select appropriate, commercially-available hearing aids, hearing protectors, communication headsets, or settings.

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