Aerobotix mobile robot helps CTG win defense manufacturing technology award – Aerospace Manufacturing and Design

Adaptive radome diagnostic system is the first use of a collaborative mobile robot in Air Force maintenance depots.
Huntsville, Alabama-based AS9100 certified robotics integrator and metrology company Aerobotix helped key partner Compass Technology Group (CTG) win the top Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award (DMTAA) at the recent Defense Manufacturing Conference (DMC). Atlanta, Georgia-based CTG, a provider of radio frequency (RF) materials measurement equipment, engaged Aerobotix in building its award-winning project – an adaptive radome diagnostic system, which is also the first use of a collaborative mobile robot in Air Force maintenance depots.
“Aerobotix is extremely proud and honored to have assisted Compass Technology Group in this endeavor,” said Josh Tuttle, business development manager at Aerobotix. “This truly is an example of Industry 4.0, as these self-navigating robots can be rapidly repurposed to serve multiple objectives, and in multiple locations.”
The mobile robot manipulates an Advanced Microwave Mapping Probe (AMMP), developed by the engineers at CTG under the Air Force’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The system uses microwave signals to non-destructively evaluate (NDE) aircraft radomes and identify defects such as delamination or water ingress. Aerobotix designed and built a system using a FANUC CRX-10iA collaborative robot, riding on a custom automated guided vehicle (AGV), and using light detection and ranging (LiDAR) to scan the work zone for safe navigation. The robot finds and orients to the part, adjusts the scanning paths and executes the detailed part analysis.
“This dramatic technology leap has enabled us to deploy laboratory precision in an Air Force manufacturing environment,” said Dr. John Schultz, Chief Scientist at CTG. “Combining our sensors and algorithms with Aerobotix’s automation system has moved us from literally tapping a penny while listening for substrate damage, to instead quantifying microwave performance with self-navigating LiDAR on a mobile base with a FANUC collaborative robot. Our robotic microwave NDE system will put better parts back in the air, quicker and at less cost.”
Established in 1999, the annual DMTA Awards are given to teams comprising government, industry, and academia employees responsible for outstanding projects in manufacturing technology. These projects must demonstrate technical accomplishments and provide a responsive world-class manufacturing capability that affordably meets the warfighter’s needs throughout the defense acquisition lifecycle.
“Aerobotix is perhaps best known for robotic painting, but this award for our work with CTG highlights our expertise in metrology and navigation systems,” added Tuttle. “We are a reliable automation integrator for the aerospace industry and excited to partner with other companies on future projects.”

The contingent represents Portuguese industrial capabilities with technology-excellence clusters in the sectors of equipment and metalworking, mobility, automobiles, aeronautics, textiles, technical plastics, molds, production technologies, and renewable energies.
Thanks to economic relations with Germany and position as an attractive location for German business and investment, Portugal is Partner Country of HANNOVER MESSE 2022. Under the motto “Portugal Makes Sense”, companies from Portugal will display products and solutions for digital transformation, energy transition and reliable supply chains and demonstrate to German companies why it makes sense to minimize risk by sourcing from, outsourcing to, innovating with, and investing in Portugal.
The Portuguese contingent features a strong on-site presence, with a central pavilion and three thematic pavilions dedicated to the Engineered Parts & Solutions, Energy Solutions and Digital Ecosystems sectors. Each area features dozens of companies from Portugal with the most advanced technologies and processes. Decision-makers at the fair, especially German SMEs, will discover diverse opportunities to cooperate with innovative Portuguese companies and invest in Portuguese industry.
Portugal is a global player in the Engineered Parts & Solutions area, which covers sectors such as mechanical engineering, metal, mobility and automobile, aeronautics, and space. With 15,277 companies and 198,698 employees in 2020, this sector of Portuguese industry exported goods and services worth more than 17.8 billion euros to more than 200 countries. Big international companies find in Portugal a qualified and experienced workforce as well as very competitive technological and engineering expertise that enables them to manufacture and assemble metal, plastic, and rubber parts with high precision.
In the area of Energy Solutions, Portugal ranks ninth in global contribution to planet and climate in the Good Country Index and is taking determined steps to reduce energy consumption, make more efficient use of resources, achieve more sustainable mobility, achieve greater security of supply, and diversify renewable energy resources. Portugal is committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
In the Digital Ecosystems area, Portugal has one of the most vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystems in Europe as well as one of the most open policies to international investment. Portugal is a hub of high-tech and innovation in areas like cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, robotics, and autonomous vehicles. Portugal is not only a market open to innovation, but also the best gateway to ICT companies in Portuguese-speaking countries.
The Portuguese participation in HANNOVER MESSE 2022 is organized by AICEP –Portuguese Trade & Investment Agency in partnership AIMMAP – Association of the Portuguese Metalworking Industries and the Portuguese-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Join us for lunch 2/24 @12PM ET while you hear from grinding experts with Norton | Saint Gobain and Strausak.
Today there’s a need in the market for high performing tools that provide a better value proposition to the end-user. During the first session, Norton | Saint Gobain experts, Philip Varghese and Alfredo Barragan, will discuss grinding product tiers and their key technology differences that help significantly lower cost per part when grinding cutting tools. Relevant end-user case studies involved in flute grinding, OD and clearance grinding of round tools (end mills, drills), as well as periphery and form grinding of inserts (carbide, PCBN) will be presented. Attendees will also get a sneak peek at the next generation products for round tool grinding and insert grinding that are being actively pursued and tested in the cutting tool market by Norton | Saint-Gobain Abrasives.
The second session will highlight the Strausak model ONE, the new flexible 5-axis CNC tool grinding machine for the orthopedic industry. The machine allows particularly long flute length which is common with surgical drills and reamers. This scalable model has been designed so that any options can be upgraded and retrofitted at any time during the life of the machine to help the user to stay competitive in a dynamic and unpredictable environment. Kris Zellmann, Strausak’s National Sales Manager for the U.S. will lead the presentation. Strausak is a member of the Swiss Rollomatic Group of Companies specializing in the design and manufacturing of high precision CNC machines for production grinding and resharpening of cutting tools as well as orthopedic instruments and implants.
Make sure to register today.
3D printed PocketQube deployers made of carbon fiber-filled composite material successfully launched from SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.
Alba Cluster 3 & 4, the recent Alba Orbital space mission, had a record-breaking 13 PocketQube satellites launched from SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.
The nanosatellites had been integrated in five AlbaPod v2, the PocketQube small satellite deployers by Alba Orbital that were 3D printed by CRP Technology in Windform XT 2.0 carbon fiber-filled composite material. The pods were launched into orbit in January 2022 as part of SpaceX’s Transporter-3, the third dedicated launch for SpaceX’s small satellite rideshare service, which aims to give microsatellites and CubeSats a more affordable ride into orbit.
Once separated from Falcon 9, the deployers started launching the PocketQubes into orbit. A total of 105 small satellites were delivered into a roughly 326-mile-high (525km) polar sun-synchronous orbit.
The 13 PocketQube spacecraft represented Alba Orbital’s biggest cluster to date, and the first PocketQubes deployment from Transporter-3.
Engineer Franco Cevolini, CEO and CTO at CRP Technology, says, “Congrats to Alba Orbital and to all the teams flown with them, for all their hard work. The successful mission demonstrates once again the extreme value of Windform for highly performance, heavy duty, and mission-critical applications.”
Alba Orbital’s Alba Cluster 3 & 4 mission with 3D printed deployers is not just a one-time prototype process, but routine work for CRP Technology and the US-based partner CRP USA using the TuPOD system.
Four of the 13 PocketQubes that participated in the mission marked a first:
The other PocketQubes integrated in Alba’s 3D printed deployers were:
Announcement at Singapore Airshow raises airline’s firm order to 100.
JetBlue Airways placed a firm order with Airbus for an additional 30 A220-300 aircraft. This takes the airline’s firm commitment for the A220-300 to 100 aircraft. This latest agreement lifts the total firm order book for the A220 to 740.
“We’re already seeing benefits from the eight A220s we’ve added to the fleet, and we’re very happy to have more on the way,” said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer, JetBlue. “We’ve seen double-digits increases in customer satisfaction scores, and these fuel-efficient aircraft support our leadership in reducing carbon emissions. With 30 additional A220s on order, we’re in a position to accelerate our fleet modernization plans to deliver stronger cost performance and support our focus city network strategy.”
“It is very rewarding to see a happy customer coming back for more aircraft not even a year after entry into service of its first A220,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus chief commercial officer and head of Airbus International.
JetBlue started A220-300 operations in April 2021 and currently operates eight A220s in a 140-seat configuration.
The A220 offers state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials, and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines. The A220 offers customers a 50% reduced noise footprint and up to 25% lower fuel burn per seat and CO2 emissions compared to previous generation aircraft, as well as around 50% lower NOx emissions than industry standards.
Around 15 airlines operate close to 200 A220s on four continents.

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