Technology Today

2012 Issue 1

Raytheon's Materials Technology

Shaping the future

The importance of materials in the chronicle of human development cannot be overemphasized. Mankind has been exploiting materials since prehistoric times. In fact, the three epochs of prehistory, the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age, are named after the materials and the related tool-making technologies that define them. Perhaps the earliest quantitative study of materials appeared in Galileo Galilei's Discourses and Mathematical Demonstrations Relating to Two New Sciences (1638).

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Additional Features:

  • Nanoscale Colloidal
    Quantum Dots
    Providing Innovative Solutions for Evolving Imaging System Applications

    A focal plane array (FPA) is the modern day "film" of an imaging system. Photons emitted or reflected by a scene are collected by the camera optics and imaged onto the FPA. The FPA is composed of two components: the detector array and the readout integrated circuit (ROIC). The detector array contains thousands to millions of detector elements. Through a hybrid circuit manufacturing process, each of the detector elements in the detector array is connected electrically and mechanically to a companion unit cell circuit on the ROIC by an indium bump interconnection.

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  • Carbon-Based Nanotechnology
    Realizing the Promise and Overcoming the Challenges

    As early as 1970, there was speculation that carbon fullerenes* existed in addition to the well known allotropes** of carbon found in the forms of coal, soot, diamond and graphite. The existence of C60 fullerenes, or "buckyballs," was first demonstrated by Kroto, Curl and Smalley of Rice University in 1985. For their work, they were awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. With the discovery of this new class of carbon allotropes, research interest in this family of materials exploded.

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  • Improving Thermal Performance of DoD Systems
    Engineering the Thermal Properties of Micro and Nanomaterials

    Raytheon is an industry leader in high-power radio frequency (RF) semiconductor device development and integration. Raytheon's wide bandgap gallium nitride (GaN) device technology for radar, electronic warfare and communications applications offers significant cost, size, weight and power advantages over conventional devices employing gallium arsenide (GaAs) technology. For comparably sized devices, GaN produces five to 10 times more RF power than GaAs.

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  • Raytheon's Diamond Technology
    Providing Thermal Management for Power Semiconductors

    Next-generation radar, communications and electronic warfare systems, especially those employing high-power gallium nitride (GaN) based radio frequency (RF) devices, will benefit from advanced methods of thermal management to remove the large quantities of heat generated in these systems.

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  • Taking Our Cue From Nature:
    Bio-inspired Shutters and Apertures for Infrared Imaging Applications

    Currently, applications for infrared (IR) imaging devices are limited by the need for costly, slow, bulky components that require cooling. These components include high-magnification sensors that require large lenses and telescope configurations, noisy mechanical shutters that limit the usefulness of many imaging systems in covert applications, electronics required to mitigate focal plane array (FPA) saturation effects (i.e., blooming) in all-weather applications, and filters that improve imaging contrast at dusk and in haze.

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  • Realizing the Potential of Metamaterials

    The subject of metamaterials has gained popularity over the past decade with regard to the benefits they may provide to various radio frequency (RF) and electro-optic (EO) applications employing antennas, lenses, guiding structures and electro-optic components. The term was introduced by Dr. Rodger Walser, formerly of the University of Texas, Austin, who offered the following definition: “Metamaterials are macroscopic composites having a man-made, three-dimensional periodic cellular architecture designed to produce an optimized combination, not available in nature, of two or more responses to specific excitation.”

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  • Detection and Identification of Radiological Sources
    Materials Challenges

    Raytheon is developing a suite of tools to inspect cargo and freight for weapons of mass destruction or disruption. This began with the development of the Advanced Spectroscopic Portal (ASP) inspection system, which was sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO). Originally designed as a stationary nuclear materials portal, ASP was intended to be located at border crossings, bridges and other sites where vehicles and cargo containers pass through.

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  • Advanced Sonar Projector Materials

    Specific requirements for acoustic transducers are driven by the application. Sometimes they are a combined reciprocal device; i.e., the same element is used to both transmit and receive with the appropriate switching. More often, separate projectors and hydrophones are used. This allows the designer more freedom to choose materials optimized for either transmitting or receiving and to design the physical configuration for the desired acoustic response. In this article, we will focus on underwater transmit, i.e., projector, applications.

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  • Materials Solutions to Meet the Need for Large-Scale Energy Storage

    With the recent Department of Defense pledge to increase military effectiveness by using a greater portfolio of renewable energy, the DoD and Department of Energy are forging closer working relationships to bring new technology to market. Specifically, the inaugural edition of the DoD Operational Energy Strategy states that the Department will concentrate its operational energy investments in the three profiled areas: demand, supply, and future force planning.

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  • Zinc-Bromine Flow Battery Technology for Energy Security

    Energy security and reduced fuel consumption are key strategic objectives of the Department of Defense. Energy security for the DoD means having assured access to reliable supplies of energy to meet operational and mission needs. A properly integrated energy storage system (ESS) can improve the energy security of an installation by allowing “islanding” of a facility.

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  • Liquid Metal Battery
    Innovation in Applying Materials Technology to Large-Scale Energy Storage

    As in many emerging technology domains, large-scale energy storage technologies are ever changing and evolving, with market needs driving the demand for completely new and novel technologies. The liquid metal battery (LMB) is a game-changing, innovative energy storage technology that meets the needs of fixed installations that require utility-scale energy storage to enhance grid stability, security and reliability, while contending with the increasing impact resulting from renewable energy insertion.

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  • Material Restrictions and Reporting:
    Raytheon Prepares for the Future

    Emerging material restriction and reporting requirements include the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals regulation, known as “REACH”; the Restriction of Hazardous Substances, or “RoHS” regulations; rare earth materials/minerals supply constraints; the Department of Defense restriction of hexavalent chromium; and conflict minerals reporting requirements.

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  • Responding to the Counterfeit Threat

    In the broadest sense, counterfeiting is the deliberate misrepresentation of an item with the intent to deceive a customer or an end user. Counterfeiters have found discarded commercial electrical and electronic products to be a good source of raw material for their illegal activities. By modifying external markings, for example, counterfeiters can “manufacture” practically any part and sell it to unsuspecting customers through oftentimes deceptive and misleading advertisements/websites.

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Mark E. Russel

A Message From Mark

Materials advances have created new industries and have redefined how we live. Demand is constant for new materials that deliver greater performance, improved cost effectiveness, superior reliability and better safety, while having minimal environmental impact.

Raytheon has a long history of materials discovery and innovation. We recognize that the proper choices and applications of materials technology are vital to the quality and performance of our products.


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    Mark E. Russell

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  • Office of Engineering, Technology and Mission Assurance

    Technology Today is published by the Office of Engineering, Technology and Mission Assurance

    Editor's note: Correction: Technology Today 2011 Issue 2, page 41. The photo is copyright AIRBUS S.A.S. 2010, photo by exm Company, N. Fonade.