Sensors are playing an increasingly important role in the American military's race to hold onto its technological edge. The U.S. Army's Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) II program, awarded late last year, offers improved thermal sights that are smaller and take less energy to use. The supplier, Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace AS, is using thermal imaging modules from BAE Systems. BAE's TIM1500 are said to be the longest-range uncooled imager, offering a smaller size than cryogenically cooled imagers that require much more power. CROWS II is being added to U.S. Army vehicles such as the M1114 up-armored High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicle and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected trucks.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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